Kukla's Korner

Burke’s Son Brendan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Buccigross of ESPN,

While you’re at Miami, Dad is now in Southern California as executive vice president and general manager for Anaheim and the Ducks win it all in 2007. You drink out of the Stanley Cup with Pops in the Anaheim dressing room. You love your father, you’re proud of him, but you are hiding something from him that you will soon hide no more.

In 2008, Dad is chosen as general manager of the 2010 U.S. Olympic hockey team and named a recipient of the 2008 Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the United States. His résumé is relentless. Today, Dad runs the most profitable NHL team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and is, without question, one of hockey’s more magnetic and interesting characters along with Don Cherry and Alex Ovechkin. Dad televises well.

So, imagine, this is your father. You? Probably destined to be “Burkie’s boy” in Canada even if you resurrected George Harrison and John Lennon and reunited The Beatles. Imagine.


Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+burke

The Story Of Frank Zamboni

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,

How amazing is it that a high-school dropout would have the ingenuity and foresight to invent the coolest and most important piece of machinery the sport of ice hockey ever has seen?

So goes the story of Frank Zamboni, the kid raised in Pocatello, Idaho, who was so sick and tired of watching workers manually resurface the ice with shovels and squeegees that he set out to do something about it.

It wasn’t long after he opened an outdoor skating rink in Paramount, Calif., in 1940 that Zamboni began designing a machine that would turn a three-man, 90-minute endeavor into a one-man, 10-minute job.

In 1949, he got his first single-operator resurfacer working and was granted a patent based on the design of the Model A, the world’s first self-propelled ice resurfacing machine. The unit never was used on any ice surface other than his skating rink at Paramount’s Iceland.


Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, Hockey Equipment, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: frank+zamboni

The NHL Has Done Their Job

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

“I really don’t think he’s a dirty player whatsoever,’’ Kronwall said. “I think he’s one of those guys that has a really good reputation, plays hard. I think this was more of an accident.’’

Kronwall said he is satisfied with the five-game suspension the NHL gave Laraque.

“I think it was fair,’’ Kronwall said. “It was kind of in the range I thought he would get. We have people in the league who look over things like this. They’ve done their job.’’


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: georges+laraque, niklas+kronwall

Leafs Lose Two To Injuries

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Twitter of Jonas Siegel,

John Mitchell out six weeks with a knee injury. Vesa Toskala will miss the upcoming trip with a groin injury.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+mitchell, vesa+toskala

PuckDaddy Style- Player Of The Decade

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Greg Wyshynski of PuckDaddy,

How you choose to define, or quantify, the “best” player in the NHL over the last decade will determine your level of agreement with this ranking, which is sure to be one of our most controversial End of Decade lists.

Do you judge greatness based on flashy stats? Championship rings and playoff performance? Individual awards? Do you factor in intangibles like leadership or reputation?


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Disconnect Between Shooting And Scoring

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

It is a relatively widely held belief among proponents of hockey sabermetrics that goals scored and allowed better predict future success than the win/loss record of a given team at a point in time.  This can be explained to mean that luck tends to even out over the longterm and some teams might be lucky enough to win a few close games, but in the future they will lose some close games as well (and vice versa).  The teams that are managing to significantly outscore opponents in their wins are likely better teams than those who barely beat opponents.  This may not be true in all cases.  For example, a team may be very good at shutting down their opponent when they get a lead (and hence win close games) but be completely inept at coming from behind and often allow goals when trying to force thing offensively (and hence lose blowouts).

A generally believed extension of that is that, in general, shots are a good predictor of goals and a good team can be predicted from its shot differential.  The problem here is that goaltending is removed from the equation.  Teams with outstanding goaltending will win more often than their shot differential predicts and teams with poor goaltending will underperform their shot differential.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Pascal Leclaire Out With Broken Jaw

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Ken Warren & Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen,

Ottawa Senators number one goaltender Pascal Leclaire missed practice Tuesday morning, after an errant puck hit him on the bench during Monday’s 4-3 overtime win over the Washington Capitals.

Senators general manager Bryan Murray confirmed to the Citizen that Leclaire has a broken jaw. The incident occurred when a deflected puck bounced off the glass behind the Senators bench and off Leclaire’s face.

Leclaire had been sitting out the game to nurse a “lower body” injury.

The Senators have recalled Mike Brodeur from Binghamton of the American Hockey League to serve as a back-up to Elliott for Wednesday’s game against the New Jersey Devils.

update 12:19pm, Updated reports now say broken cheekbone, not jaw.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pascal+leclaire

Ian White = Pat Stapleton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Langlois of Vintage Leaf Memories,

The continued emergence of Ian White as perhaps the best all-around Maple Leaf defenseman evokes memories of another “under-sized” defender who had a lengthy and successful NHL career.

I’m thinking of Pat Stapleton, the long-time Chicago Black Hawk who forged an excellent career as an NHL defenseman, despite his relative lack of size. At 5 foot 8 inches, Stapleton was considered ‘short’ in his era, just as White, at 5 foot 10, is so considered today.

continued and a fairly new blog, geared towards us old-school guys…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ian+white

Seller Beware

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Ozanian of Forbes,

If the NHL posted classified ads, their current listing could very well read:

For Sale: Phoenix Coyotes. Owners with deep pockets needed. Must build hockey business and not focus on side deals like real estate. Good management team with a history of turning a profit in professional sports preferred. Price negotiable (Forbes values team at $138 million).

None of these characteristics apply to David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski, the owners of the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts, who met with City of Glendale officials earlier this month to discuss a potential bid for the Coyotes. The meeting came after NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman singled out the pair as potential owners in an affidavit filed in federal bankruptcy court in June. But the NHL should be careful since these owners seem to stack up an awful lot like the old ones.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Burke Keeps Talking Moves

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

When it was suggested that Jason Blake doesn’t exactly pay his own way with his meagre goal-scoring numbers and that he would be a candidate to be sent packing, Burke said: “Does anyone on this team work harder than Jason Blake? There has to be an element of fairness in this.”

That is the difficulty Burke finds himself in. Some of this terrible Leafs team is his. Some of it was inherited. The mix of old and new has not worked out at all. And Burke, being stubborn, stands behind his free-agent signings and trades of the summer. In other words, if players are buried, they won’t be his acquisitions.

“It’s a fair comment to say that many of the moves I’ve made haven’t panned out yet at all,” Burke said. “(Mike) Komisarek had a slow start. (Francois) Beauchemin had a slow start. I would go back and sign them again tomorrow knowing they’ve had a slow start. I believe in them. I know what they can do. They’ve both played their way out of it and played well. But we went 0-and-7 while they found their game.

“When you’re the guy driving the bus, you get paid to make these calls. Virtually every one of them seems wrong at this time. Yet I don’t believe they are. I still believe in the blueprint. It requires patience.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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