Kukla's Korner

A New Face For The Leafs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen via the National Post,

Nazem Kadri can’t possibly know what’s in store for him.

Not just because there are always questions about a teenage prospect’s future in professional hockey, but because the 18-year-old centre from Komoka, Ont., southwest of London, is on the verge of becoming just the second Muslim to reach the NHL. (Ramzi Abid played 68 NHL games after being selected in the second round of the 1998 NHL entry draft by the Phoenix Coyotes.)

Unwittingly, Kadri, drafted seventh overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in June, is entering the NHL at an interesting time for a player of his ethnic background. Kadri’s father, Sam, left war-ravaged Lebanon in the late 1960s, emigrated to Canada and married a Canadian woman of Lebanese descent.

The NHL and especially Hockey Canada are on the prowl for a new face - a player such as Kadri - to represent a rapidly changing demographic, to attract new Canadians to the game.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nazem+kadri

So, You A Betting Man?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I’ve been inspired.  How so and how much so?  Well, I’ve begun a series of manifestos, a continuation of a project that started last summer then fizzled out when I lost my stamina.  I’m taking a different approach this time around and I think the results will be better, funnier and more dependable.

And that’s all I’m gonna say about that. But stay tuned.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Oilers Stuck In Neutral

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Edward Fraser of The Hockey News,

It’s one thing for a contending team to be pressed up against the cap ceiling, but quite another for a middling squad to be shackled by financial restraints.

Teams such as the Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks, Detroit Red Wings, Washington Capitals, Calgary Flames, Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks can take a win-now-and-worry-about-the-future-later attitude because they are all rational Cup contenders. Fans will forgive serial shedding of salary in the wake of a championship high.

Clubs like the Edmonton Oilers, however, don’t look good now and, thanks to roster mismanagement, don’t look good for the future, either.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Preparing For Training Camp

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John McGourty of NHL.com,

In today’s NHL, there’s no such thing as getting ready in training camp. Now, players have to come to camp ready to go.

“You have to be ready right out of the chute,” Buffalo Sabres right wing Mike Grier said. “The coaches expect you to be ready to perform at a high level right away. The first day of camp is medical testing, the next day we’re on the ice, scrimmaging at a high level, and by the fourth day, we usually have an exhibition game. You better be ready or there’s a good chance of injury.

NHL teams are barred by the collective-bargaining agreement from directing players during the summer—but they can, and do, make suggestions to players about how to prepare for the upcoming season.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Ted “Teeder” Kennedy Passes Away

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Fan590 in Toronto just reported Ted “Teeder” Kennedy has passed away.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, NHL Talk, Old School, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ted+"teeder"+kennedy

Loving The Islanders

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News,

On a snowy night this past February, I became a kid again.

I’ve taken my children to Disney World, been to Sesame Place and walked through more toy stores than I care to remember, but it wasn’t until Ryan - my 4-year-old son - and I walked into Nassau Coliseum on the night of Feb. 3 that I truly felt like I was back in the glory days of my youth.

Being an Islanders fan growing up in Manhattan wasn’t easy. All my friends were Rangers fans, and half the team lived in the building across the street from me, as I would often run into Ron Greschner, Ron Duguay and Barry Beck at the local diner. Sure, I asked for some autographs every now and then, but they were never displayed in my room the way my Bobby Nystrom or John Tonelli signatures were.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“It has been a relatively busy summer with free agency and some trades.  It’s died down a bit and I think you’ve seen some GMs show restraint and patience, but there’s still been some big deals out there. I think once the [Dany] Heatley situation is resolved too, you will see more trades and signings as well as when camp gets closer, teams will need to address cap issues and fill out rosters. It will heat up soon.”

-Paul Kelly, Executive Director of the NHLPA.  More about Kelly from James Murphy at NESN.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+kelly

Forsberg The Great

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: peter+forsberg

The Latest Hockey Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector’s Hockey,

Richard Labbe (La Presse) reports former Habs blueliner Francis Bouillon is expected to know the identity of his new team soon. The NY Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins are believed interested in Bouillon. He could have a new contract by the end of this week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was erroneously reported earlier this week he’d signed with the Rangers. The Blackhawks and Penguins are in the market for affordable blueline depth so they’d be good alternatives for Bouillon if the Rangers deal doesn’t go through.

more from Lyle on Theodore and Tanguay…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Re-Thinking The Visnovsky Trade

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

If the Edmonton Oilers could get a do-over, would they move Matt Greene and Jarret Stoll for Lubomir Visnovsky?

Would they have felt the crushing need to get the pro’s pro Visnovsky from Los Angeles last summer if they knew that Denis Grebeshkov would evolve into a fine puck-mover in his own right, giving the Oilers a surplus of offensive guys on the back-end? enthusiasm, not to mention his ability to play the body.

In addition, they have yet to fill Stoll’s role on draws, as a right-hander. He wins 56 to 58 per cent of his faceoffs. He may never be the second-line centre they thought he would be in his early days with the Oilers, when he had 68 points one season, but he can (a) play the point on the power play, (b) shoot a ton and (c) check and win faceoffs, something the Oilers could always use more of.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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