Kukla's Korner

Hard Not To Notice Fleury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from George Johnson of the Calgary Herald,

He’s becoming a kind of rash, this audacious little beggar. And those inside the Calgary Flames’ family who figured the Theo Fleury experiment was nothing more than an annoying lark, a stunt, a PR nuisance destined to quickly run its course, are starting to break out in hives.

“When he got the puck at the dot, I knew he’d score,’’ laughed former teammate Cory Stillman, sitting out for Florida on Sunday night. “Theo doesn’t miss those chances.’‘

Ho hum. Another day at the office. A goal. An assist. Another standing ovation.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: theo+fleury

Quincey A Big Hit In Denver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,

Kyle Quincey is one of only two ex-Detroit Red Wings to play for the Avalanche. While Todd Gill was the other, he essentially quit the team midway through his one season in Denver, 2001-02.

The Avs have plans to keep Quincey in a burgundy and blue uniform a lot longer than one year, and they certainly won’t mind if Quincey lays a bunch of big hits on the Red Wings like the kind he did in his preseason Avs debut Sunday night….

Quincey posted 38 points for the Kings last season, an excellent offensive number for any defenseman. He showed some reasons why Sunday, moving the puck quickly. He also has a big slap shot, although only four of his 38 points with the Kings came on goals.

“He’s got a lot of poise with the puck,” Avs coach Joe Sacco said. “When he’s in situations where he thinks he’s in trouble, he seems to get himself out of trouble. We’re looking for him to have a positive impact on our club.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kyle+quincey

Phaneuf Needs To Stay On The Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

The last thing Dion Phaneuf has to prove to anybody is that he’s tough.

And the last place the Flames need him is in the penalty box or on the surgeon’s table.

So it’s laughable to hear that after establishing himself as the NHL’s hardest hitter the last four years, Phaneuf is being criticized for refusing to fight a no-name knucklehead in a meaningless exhibition game.

Phaneuf is maturing to the point he knows every team in the league would rather have him off the ice and is justified in being selective in terms of when to punctuate his hits with fights.

While this space has long embraced fighting in the game, it’s embarrassing for critics who flooded sports talk radio phone lines to be so lacking in hockey knowledge to suggest every time he lays a forward out cleanly, he needs to follow it up with his fists.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dion+phaneuf

40 For Franzen?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris McCosky of the Detroit News,

Franzen’s goal production has climbed in each of the last three seasons—from 10 to 27 to 34. Who’s to say he can’t score 40 this season?

“I want to take a step forward, that’s for sure,” said Franzen, whose role could be expanded to being on the No. 1 power-play unit this year. “I don’t know exactly what my role will be but so far I seem to be more free, with a role on the power play.I just have to keep working on my shot and on getting open and trying to bury pucks when I get a chance. Because I think I am going to get a lot of chances.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: johan+franzen

Panthers #1 Line Could Be Around A Long Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel via the Santa Barbara News-Press,

They were the young trio of forwards Florida Panthers fans fell in love with during the 2007-08 season, so much so that the team had a contest to name their line.

Center Stephen Weiss and wingers David Booth and Nathan Horton became known as the ‘‘Sunrise Express,’’ a nickname not so loved by Weiss, but, he joked, ‘‘It’s better than people calling us the three bums.’‘

Not likely. From the moment they got together, they were the team’s best line. Before last season started, though, the line was broken up. Horton was moved to center on another line out of necessity, and while Weiss and Booth still achieved success, their line lacked the chemistry it had with Horton.

Now the Sunrise Express is back together, and there’s a chance the Panthers will finally have a stable, cohesive No. 1 line for an extended period of time. Booth, 24, signed a six-year deal in July. Weiss, 26, and Horton, 24, did the same two summers ago.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I think that the younger players in this league have to take a long, hard look at some of the guys that are still standing after the afternmath.  It’s really going to be up to them. If anything is going to be done, it’s the young stars of this league that have to be the driving force. They’ll always have guys like me and long union guys for support and advice if they need, but this next collective bargaining agreement is not going to be about guys like me.

“Having been a player rep for about 18 of my 22 seasons and being a close friend of Ted Lindsay and knowing what he did to start this union and the sacrifices he made, I feel deeply about it being in good hands.”

-Brendan Shanahan on the NHLPA.  More from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice.

Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Goaltending Coach Change May Be Under Way In Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Jim Gintonio of Ice Chips at the Arizona Republic,

Still trying to confirm rumors that Coyotes goaltending coach Grant Fuhr has been replaced by Sean Burke, and that Fuhr, a five-time Stanley Cup winner with the Edmonton Oilers, would stay with the organization in prospect development.

Burke played 18 years in the NHL, and parts of five with the Coyotes.  He currently is the team’s director of prospect development.

The Coyotes’ official stance is “no comment at this time.”

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

Getting To Know Judge Redfield T. Baum

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe O’Conner of the National Post,

He is Canada’s newest celebrity, and a legal saint in the making depending on what decision he ultimately makes. Judge Baum even has his own Wikipedia page, created, it seems, right around the time the money-bleeding Coyotes entered the orbit of his Arizona bankruptcy court.

Several people have remarked to Toby Baum about his father’s renown in the hockey-mad country to the North. He even heard directly from a handful of Canadians on his Facebook page after his father neglected to rule in Mr. Balsillie’s favour and ship the team to Hamilton at the outset.

“People sent me some pretty derogatory comments about my dad, hate mail and stuff. And I thought: Really? What are you doing? You don’t even know me,” says Toby Baum, who is the judge’s son from his first marriage (he has three step-siblings).

Indeed, we don’t know much about his newly-famous father, although in a case where the two sides do not agree on much, most courtroom observers can agree that Judge Redfield T. Baum—with his Hang-‘Em-At-High-Noon name, folksy delivery and desert-dry wit—has been the star in the latest installment of the serial drama involving the NHL and the Canadian billionaire who will not take no for an answer.

more

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

Will Orr Skate At Fenway?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

According to team principal Charlie Jacobs, the Bruins still hope to include members of the club’s triumphant 1970 Stanley Cup team in a charity event, perhaps a game, while the ice is in place at Fenway Park for the Jan. 1 Winter Classic….

A couple of issues here: 1. Given other civic and charity plans, possibly even public skating, the base paths could be a bit crowded to work in an event of this scale. 2. If it’s not a charity gig, the NHL could raise an objection to a large-scale pay event being staged on its sheet prior to the Winter Classic.

All that said, it would be one fine sight to see Bobby Orr, now 61 years old, take a skate through the Back Bay. Imagine the memorabilia shots of No. 4 cruising through open ice, with the Green Monster in the background.

more topics including Boston GM had no choice but to move Kessel…

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

Kariya On The Road To Recovery

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

The Blues have been cautious in the early going with Kariya, who is getting his body used to a lengthier skating stride. But the fact that he played in back-to-back preseason games Tuesday and Friday shows that progress is being made.

“I feel better every day,” said Kariya, who missed the opening day of training camp as a precaution. “When I started, my groin and hip-flexor was a little tight. But they’ve loosened up and the hips themselves, the joints feel great.

“The practices are so demanding, it’s tough to get an indication of where your legs are, but I’ve felt like I had good jump in the games. To get a couple games under my belt and have no repercussions ... the body’s feeling good.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+kariya

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