Kukla's Korner

Habs Coaching Staff Complete

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

MONTREAL  – Montreal Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey announced today that goaltending coach Pierre Groulx and assistant coach Perry Pearn have been added to the team’s coaching staff to work alongside head coach Jacques Martin. These nominations complete the Canadiens’ coaching staff which also includes returning assistant coach Kirk Muller.

Pierre Groulx spent the past four seasons with the Florida Panthers organization under head coach and general manager Jacques Martin, as well as Peter DeBoer during the 2008-09 season. In his first two seasons with the Panthers, Groulx worked primarily as video coach before adding the duties of assistant/goaltending coach to his resume in 2007-08.

Perry Pearn is a career coach with a long and successful track record at the amateur, international and professional levels. Pearn has spent the better part of the past five seasons with the New York Rangers as an assistant coach. Prior to joining the Rangers, he had worked as an assistant to Jacques Martin with the Ottawa Senators from 1996 to 2004.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

If Steve Sullivan Suffers Another Back Injury, Preds Will Be Responsible For Salary

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Glennon of the Tennessean,

When Sullivan suffered his back injury in February 2007, the one that kept him out for almost two years, insurance paid 80 percent of his $3.2 million annual salary. But if Sullivan were ever to injure the back again, insurance would no longer pick up any of the tab.

“It would be an exclusion, because once you have a pre-existing injury, that’s it,” Predators General Manager David Poile. “So if he was ever to go down with the back, insurance is out. If he injured a knee or something else, you could get the insurance. But not if it’s the back.’‘

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+sullivan

Still Spending

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Daryl Reaugh of Razor With An Edge,

In this time of economic uncertainty the NHL’s “cost certainty” has again lavished millions on players whose contracts ran out at the right time.

On day one of 2009 free agency the 30 team’s spent around $450,000,000….

Here’s my early run-down:

ANA – retained aging superstars Selanne and Scott Niedermayer

ATL – seem to be enamored with Leaf cast-offs

BOS – made Mark Recchi the new Chelios

BUF – again, trying to fall to the floor…and continue to bitch about ’99

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Forget About Kovalev Returning To Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via CJAD,

Two hundred fans may have protested yesterday at the Bell Centre, demanding GM Bob Gainey get Alex Kovalev back with the Habs.

However, Gainey told CJAD’s Andrew Carter this morning, that won’t be happening.

Gainey says Kovalev will definitely NOT be coming back.

An offer had been made to Kovalev on Canada Day but an amount hadn’t been agreed on.

Gainey says another player became available and was willing to come to Montreal, therefore the money for Kovalev went instead to that contract.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+kovalev

Penguins Observations

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Madden of the Beaver County Times,

* Rob Scuderi at $3.4 million per year makes little sense anywhere, zero sense in Los Angeles. Scuderi at his best just won’t make the Kings that much better. Scuderi can be a piece in a championship puzzle. But a No. 5/6 defenseman can’t elevate a scrub club.

* Jay McKee can do everything Rob Scuderi did.

*  The Penguins’ main contractual issue now is extending Sergei Gonchar and Kris Letang past next season. Gonchar is the power play’s linchpin, exquisite on the breakout, a solid minutes eater and the team’s conduit inside the mind of Malkin. Letang is necessary for the long-term quality of the club’s blue line corps. Letting either go is not an option.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Knuble Feels He Is A Fit In Washington

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids Press at Mlive,

“I didn’t want to leave Philly. I thought they were still a good team that could contend in the East,” Knuble said. “But I didn’t want to leave a team that had a chance to contend for a team that didn’t have a chance.”

Washington won 50 games last season and finished first in the Southeast Division. The Capitals then lost an exciting seven-game series to the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Knuble hopes he can help Washington take the next step.

“I knew they needed a guy like me,” Knuble said. “A guy that go out in front of the net and score goals, get goals off my skate, my stick, my rear end, whatever.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+knuble

The World Jewish Ice Hockey Championships

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Patrick Martin of the Globe and Mail,

At first glance it looked like any other international hockey tournament: players in their early 20s carrying in their hockey bags, on-ice officials arriving in suits and ties, former NHL players working as coaches for Team Canada and the Zamboni making one last sweep of the ice.

Outside the arena flew the participants’ flags - Canada, Russia, the United States, France and ... Israel?

Look beyond the flags and you see the mountains of Syria, turn around and there are the hills of Lebanon.

This is no ordinary hockey tournament: It’s the World Jewish Ice Hockey Championships, which started yesterday in this northernmost Israeli town pressed up against the border with Lebanon.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Available UFAs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from James Mirtle of From The Rink,

By my count, there are really only about 60 or 70 unrestricted free agents worth looking at, especially if you limit your list to players who played at least 30 games last season and in at least 10 minutes a game. With an assist to Behind The Net and some of Gabe Desjardins’s nifty advanced metrics, what follows is an evaluation of who’s left, and how they can help a team.

First, a look at 42 UFA forwards and how they stacked up at even strength last year.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Good-Bye Saku

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Habs Inside/Out,

Canadiens fan Megan Martin, a Concordia University journalism student who is interning this summer as a City reporter at The Gazette, shares her thoughts at the departure of Canadiens captain Saku Koivu:

The state of team loyalty in sports is a far cry from the Canadiens’ glory days. But when a captain like Saku Koivu heads elsewhere, even my 92-year-old grandmother has a heavy heart.

Koivu’s reach as a member of the community extended far beyond those who bleed bleu, blanc et rouge.

Habs fan or not, the sense of loss that comes with Koivu’s departure is hard to swallow.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: saku+koivu

Turco Wants To Prove Last Season Was A Fluke

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

For all the hype about Gustavsson and his NHL potential, the plan still is for Turco to have his hands firmly on the wheel of the Stars in 2009-10.

And Turco, who will turn 34 on Aug. 13, is aware of that.

“It’s a huge year for me in a lot of regards,” said Turco, whose contract ends after next season. “But, honestly, the thing that is most important for me – like I think it is for every player on the team – is that I want to prove last season was a fluke. I want to prove that we are a much better team than we showed.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marty+turco

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