Kukla's Korner

Osgood Is The Key To The Wings Success

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding at USA TODAY,

Coach Mike Babcock is looking at other forwards to score more in Franzen’s absence, but my view is that goaltender Chris Osgood is the key to overcoming Franzen’s loss. The Red Wings still have a dominating defense and they simply need Osgood to be at his best.

more and Osgood was ‘on’ last nght with this save on Ovechkin…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+osgood

NHLPA Being Laughed At

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

Be it Tuesday or Sunday, depending on ongoing office politics at the NHL Players Association office in Toronto, the player representatives, including Mark Stuart as Boston’s new spokesman, are expected to hook up on a long conference call. Their aims are to figure out:

1. What to do with the PA’s existing leadership group (Harpo, Chico, Zeppo, and Groucho) in Toronto; 2. How to eliminate the many pitfalls in the language of the PA’s constitution; 3. How to go about finding a new executive director; 4. How fast to pay Paul Kelly, dumped some six week ago as union boss, the nearly $2 million he is due on his contract, before, as noted here from the start, it turns into a multimillion-dollar lawsuit. No one is laughing at these guys more, players and current union leaders included, than the folks at the NHL offices in New York and the club owners.

many more hockey notes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Around The League This Morning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

• How many times do you think the Hawks wish they didn’t have to pay Brian Campbell $7.6 million when Cam Barker and centre Patrick Sharp are on the points on Chicago’s power play? They have to re-sign Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane (that’ll be about $20 million a year for the three), and they can’t move Campbell at that price.

• The Stars are definitely looking for a high-end puck-moving defenceman who can play the point on the power play, but they apparently won’t trade winger James Neal or Loui Eriksson to get one. Fabian Brunnstrom could be had, however.

• It’s not surprising the NHL is sniffing around Quebec City and Winnipeg these days, looking for a warm landing place to plunk the Phoenix Coyotes next year.

Quebec City has plans for a new rink, and super salesman Marcel Aubut, who made a tidy sum selling the Nordiques to Denver interests in the mid-‘90s, but is there enough corporate support there to support the NHL, even with new digs? That was the problem before. And they would have to play in the Colisee for several years first.

• There will be another team in southern Ontario some day but it will be an expansion franchise for about $400 million and they’ll be playing out of the Air Canada Centre with the Maple Leafs as landlord, but giving the expansion whatevers a good slice of the revenue pie.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Videos & Pictures Galore

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters does a great job gathering all the available media for his readers to enjoy.

Today, in his Assists section, he overdid it.  Numerous goodies to read, watch and view.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

What An Entrance

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Chicago Blackhawks walk the red carpet before their home opener last night.  A photo gallery of the entrance can be viewed here (nice suit Dustin Byfuglien).

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Money Is Always On The Minds Of General Managers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,

Long gone are the days of the quick fix, in which general managers across the NHL would evaluate their rosters through 20 games and address needs with a quarter-pole swap meet. Back in the day, trades were mostly completed based on need and talent over the almighty buck.

Not anymore.

GMs these days are all about dollars and sense with a four-step thought process that generally goes in this order: annual salary, length of contract, years remaining before unrestricted free agency, hockey ability. If the first three don’t add up, the fourth doesn’t make a bit of difference.

“It isn’t about just hockey,” Sabres GM Darcy Regier said. “It’s about years on the contract, dollars in the contract and a lot of things that weren’t there before. You can say, ‘I love that player,’ but that’s not the first place you look. The first place is, ‘What’s his contract?’ ”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sunday Morning Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

• Greedy owners have contributed to the early problems of the Maple Leafs. Not the Leafs owners—they are greedy enough on their own—but all NHL owners, who insist on too many pre-season games played which doesn’t leave enough time for practice. When you change almost half your roster, the way the Leafs have, you don’t get better playing meaningless games, you get better practising.

• Funny, the Maple Leafs’ so-called tampering of Canucks players is huge news in Vancouver and sidebar stuff in Toronto. If every general manager who leaked a name or two of players available, or in this case broadcast it, is thought to be tampering, the whole league would end up in jail ... If the NHL wants to deal with tampering, why not hammer some of the teams that sign players in the first minutes of free agency?

• The more I see of Steven Stamkos’ shot, the more I think the Canadian Olympic people have to seriously consider him for a place on the Olympic team in Vancouver.

more hockey notes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Ice Edge Watching The Coyotes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Andrew Bagnato of the Arizona Republic,

Ice Edge chief operating office Daryl Jones attended the Phoenix Coyotes’ home opener Saturday night.

Someday, that might not be newsworthy - if Jones’ Ice Edge group buys the team.

Jones and Ice Edge investors have been discussing lease options with Glendale officials with an eye toward reviving their bid for the financially ailing Coyotes, whose sale has been tied up in a complicated bankruptcy proceeding.

“Our intention is to buy the team,” Jones told The Associated Press. “I think people are sort of not sure whether we’re serious, just because maybe they don’t know a whole lot about us. But the fact that we had a $10 million deposit, the fact that we’ve been in this for three or four months, spending the money you need to be involved.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Has Ron Wilson ‘Lost’ The Leafs?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star, I

t’s been decades since the Leafs actually ruled the hockey world, of course. They were a team to be reckoned with not that very long ago, but now this club, which hasn’t played a post-season match since 2004 and is by far the NHL’s most expensive to watch, has sunk to bottom of the standings after two weeks of this season.

The only good news is that Nazem Kadri wasn’t forced to be part of this.

“It is depressing here right now,” Leaf head coach Ron Wilson admitted after a 5-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday night.

That verdict was hardly a shocker. The Leafs are plagued by substandard goaltending and kill penalties less efficiently than any other NHL club, and those two factors alone probably doomed the team to defeat at the hands of the champs.

That said, the time has come to really start wondering about the impact Wilson is having on this squad.

In a nutshell, after one full season and four games, the Leafs either aren’t listening to what Wilson is preaching or can’t execute his instructions.

read on

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

Kaleta Went Headhunting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

There was déjà vu all over again on Thursday night with Patrick Kaleta headhunting and Petr Prucha laid-out and groggy on the ice after leaving himself vulnerable to such a malicious blow.

Kaleta, the Buffalo winger, represents the worst in this game. He appears to have no compunction whatsoever about injuring his opponents with hits that are somehow declared legal when broken down into hundredths-of-a-second video frames that obscure real life and real time intent but do not ameliorate real life consequences to the victim.

In allowing Kaleta to skate free, NHL VP Colin Campbell is off to a depressing start in the league’s effort to protect its players from malicious blows to the head. What effort (?), is right. Why is it that Campbell always gives the benefit of the doubt to the perpetrator rather than to the victim?

Why won’t the NHL take a stand here? Why won’t Campbell use the smell test as the basis for exacting punishment against Kaleta and his ilk? Who’s going to object, the remnants of the Players’ Association? That’s a good one.

more hockey topic discussed….  If you missed the Kaleta hit, you can watch it here.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+kaleta

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