Kukla's Korner

Thornton Ready To Lead The Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated,

Thornton watched two games of the 2007 Ducks-Senators final on tape while in India and, between winces, noticed the physical dominance of Anaheim, the Western Conference team. So, why shouldn’t it be San Jose’s turn in 2008? “We have a little more experience from the Edmonton and Detroit series,” he said of second-round meltdowns in the past two seasons. “We realize we had some of those games in hand, but couldn’t find a way to finish them. There are a lot of pieces here, a lot of guys going through their prime years. Realistically, we’ve got a shot at the Cup.”

The Sharks, in fact, have an excellent shot. With Thornton taking the mantle of leadership that has been assigned to him since his teenage years with the Bruins, San Jose is SI’s choice to win it all.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+thornton, san+jose+sharks

Last Year For Sather?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via William Houston of the Globe and Mail,

According to hockey insiders, Glen Sather turned down a five-year contract extension with the New York Rangers during the summer, leading to speculation this will be last season as president and general manager of the club.

NHL watchers would view his departure as the end of era, and also beginning of a new era in which recently retired players such as Mark Messier and Scott Mellanby would begin moving into top management positions.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: glen+sather, new+york+rangers

Captain Moreau In Edmonton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Edmonton Oilers,

The Edmonton Oilers have named Ethan Moreau as their new captain, making him the 12th player to wear the “C” since the team joined the NHL in 1979.

Oilers coach Craig MacTavish says the decision to name Moreau the Oilers new captain was made after careful consideration. MacTavish says, “Ethan’s leadership at this stage of his career is highly developed. The intensity and physical play that he exhibits every shift is a great example for everyone. It’s his voice in our dressing room that has the most impact and at the end of the day, Ethan was an obvious choice.”

Moreau said, “I’m extremely honoured and consider it a priviledge to be named captain of the Edmonton Oilers. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the organization and will continue to strive towards bringing the Stanley Cup back to Edmonton.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: edmonton+oilers, ethan+moreau

Sabres Looking For Consistent Vanek

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sabres Edge at the Buffalo News,

“I need Thomas to play like he’s a $900,000 player because it seemed to do pretty good last year,” Ruff said with a laugh after this morning’s practice in HSBC Arena. “That’s my analogy. Just because you’re making more money doesn’t mean you have to change as a player. My expectations of him don’t change.”...

“If he can be consistent with last year, that would be a darn good year for Thomas,” Ruff said. “Is it realistic to think he can go from 25 [goals] to 44 to 70-something? I don’t think so. But if we can keep him in that consistent area and have him be that 40- to 50-goal scorer, that would be pretty good.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: buffalo+sabres, thomas+vanek

Mark Bell Can Begin His Suspension

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

Sources tell TSN Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mark Bell is expected to be reinstated today, ending his indefinite suspension after being placed into stage two of the NHL’s substance abuse program last month.

Bell will now begin serving the additional 15 game suspension handed down by the National Hockey League and won’t make his Maple Leafs debut until November 6th in Ottawa.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mark+bell, suspensions, toronto+maple+leafs

Gerber #1 For Now

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Citizen,

Scenarios change so quickly, the starting job sometimes falls from the sky.

“You never know what the situation is,” Gerber says. “All I can do is put everything out there, try to work hard and everything else takes care of itself usually. You have to stay healthy. A lot of things play into it.”

The 34-year-old from Burgdorf, Switzerland, is more comfortable in his Canadian environment now, and more comfortable in the same old net. Known as a goaltending technician, Gerber has been working on the athletic side of his game - in particular, quickness and mobility.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: goalies, martin+gerber, ottawa+senators

Your Predictions

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Some predictions from me at my NHL.com blog today.

Feel free to come up with your own topics too!

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Wings Have All The Answers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Abel to Yzerman pointed out the Q & A interview the Wings braintrust did with the Detroit News.  Here is another expert…

Ilitch: Oh, I do. I’ll speak up. I think we’ve got a good team, we got a good shot at the Cup. Last year we should’ve won the Cup. We were 2-2—and I’m gonna talk like a typical fan now—it was 2-2, and a minute and a half to go, and they called the cheapest penalty I’ve ever seen.

Devellano: Yeah, (expletive).

Bowman: Two-man system.

Ilitch: Now, and here’s the big tears coming out, but prior to that, Kenny brought it to the league’s attention, there was a flagrant penalty on Anaheim, right in front of the referee, and they didn’t call it. Then they turned around and called that (interference) penalty (on Datsyuk). We had that game won, and we’d have been up 3-2 in the series.

That same referee in 1994, when we were down 3-2 going into Toronto, we score four power-play goals, we come back to Detroit 3-3, and the referee did not call one penalty—not one—during the game or overtime. So you figure that one out. We lost, and that’s the same guy that made that call in this arena with a minute and a half to go.

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: detroit+red+wings

Phoenix Hopes To Forget Last Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Arizona Republic,

Last year.

Two words this organization would like to forget, and with good reason: the worst record in the NHL’s Western Conference and the team’s poorest showing since moving to the Valley 11 seasons ago - 67 points (31-46-5), second fewest in the league.

“I definitely use it as a motivational tool,” defenseman Nick Boynton said. “We don’t want to harp on it, but, yeah, it’s embarrassing. You don’t want it to happen again. You’ve got to come out and prove it’s not going to be like that.”

But can things get better this time around?


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phoenix+coyotes

Money Year For Commodore

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

Commodore will make $1.3 million this season in the final year of a two-year contract. After that, if his progress continues, at age 28 he could find himself one of the top defensemen available on the market.

“I thought about it a little bit this summer, and it’s a little bit of motivation, I guess,” Commodore said. “Every summer you try and find something.

“Last year, my motivation was that I’m going to get a big opportunity to play, so I need to work a little harder in the weight room.

“This year, it’s a good opportunity for me to have another good year back-to-back and hopefully see where that takes me.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, mike+commodore

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