Kukla's Korner

They Provided Us Thrills

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,

10. Mario Lemieux

The icon of Pittsburgh’s 1991 and ‘92 Stanley Cup champions did not have speed. But even without that fundamental building block of excitement, he was thrilling because of his unique ability to take time and make it stand still….

9. Dominik Hasek

A goaltender? Sure. Hasek was from the Czech Republic but he probably vacationed on Mars. For 16 seasons beginning in 1990, he tended the nets like an extraterrestrial, playing a style that had its own internal logic even if the rest of the world had no idea what he was doing….

read on...

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

Do The Lightning Want Niittymaki?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,

This would be an interesting situation. Antero Niittymaki, formerly of the Flyers, was not given a qualifying offer because of some concerns about hip problems the past few seasons for which he had surgery in September 2008. There are also reports he is being courted by Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, though no signing has been announced.

Lightning GM Brian Lawton has decliend to say who the team is after, but said an offer has been extended and a decision is expected soon.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: antero+niittymaki

Ducks Sign Boynton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via AnaheimDucks.com,

Anaheim’s search for a veteran defenseman has led to the signing of former Panthers defenseman Nick Boynton to a one-year contract.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nick+boynton

Sakic Never Took A Shift Off

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John F. Molinaro of CBC Sports,

Nothing impressed me more about Joe than the sheer drive he displayed every time he took to the ice,” Marc Crawford, now coach of the Dallas Stars, told CBCSports.ca.

Crawford should know, having coached Sakic for four seasons and winning a Stanley Cup together in 1996. Calling him a natural leader, Crawford said Sakic had a great hockey mind, and understood the game better than most of his contemporaries.

“It’s funny, because I never felt I really coached him; it was more like I collaborated with him,” Crawford explained.

Possessing brilliant hockey instincts, Sakic went about his business in a workmanlike fashion, becoming one of the premier players in the NHL in the process.

Playing against him was no picnic, according to former Edmonton Oilers forward Craig Simpson.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+sakic

Rob Blake Re-Signs With Sharks & Huskins Too

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

SAN JOSE – San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the team has re-signed Group III unrestricted free agent defenseman Rob Blake to a one-year contract. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Blake, 39, finished his 18th NHL season in 2008-09, recording 45 points (10 goals, 35 assists) in 73 games with San Jose.  He finished eighth among League defensemen in shots with 198 and tied for 16th in points. Blake recorded his 500th NHL career assist on Jan. 9 at Edmonton, placing him 22nd all-time for assists amongst NHL defensemen. He was selected as the Seagate “Sharks Player of the Month” for November, leading all League defensemen for the month with 16 points (five goals, 11 assists).

“Rob’s performance this past season speaks for itself,” said Wilson.  “He’s a true professional, a leader that has been a captain in the League and still plays at an elite level.  The way that he carries himself day-in and day-out is something that every player in our locker room should try to mirror.”

SAN JOSE – San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the team has re-signed Group III unrestricted free agent defenseman Kent Huskins to a two-year contract. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Kent played an important role on a Stanley Cup winning team and knows what it takes to win,” said Wilson.  “He is a player that can play in all situations and does whatever is necessary to get the job done on this ice.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kent+huskins, rob+blake

The Mid-July Awards

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

In mid-July, most NHL people get themselves as far from an ice rink as possible. For them and those who report and comment on them, the summertime is all about decompression, rejuvenation and reflection.

We can’t help you unwind or juvenate, but we have all kinds of reflecting going on up in this hizzy – whatever a hizzy might be. And what better way to reflect on the 2008-09 season than by handing out a few of our own honors that may or may not be named The Proteau’s Types Awards for years to come.

Runners-up: The St. Louis Blues’ late-season run; Tim Thomas’ career year; The Columbus Blue Jackets’ first-ever playoff appearance; Steve Sullivan’s long-shot comeback.

Winner: The Renaissance of the Chicago Blackhawks.

From the hugely successful 2009 Winter Classic at Wrigley Field to the increased talent level that powered them to an appearance in the Western Conference final, there was little that didn’t go better than planned for the Hawks last year.


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

#19 Goes To The Rafters In Denver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the organization will officially retire number 19 in honor of team captain Joe Sakic.

The club will raise Sakic’s number 19 in a special ceremony prior to the start of the club’s 2009-10 season opener (game date and time to be announced).

“It is appropriate and deserving that we launch the season by honoring Joe’s accomplishments,” said Avalanche President Pierre Lacroix.  “It will be a tremendous event for a very special person and hockey player.  We can’t put into words what he meant to this franchise and to our hockey fans.

“Joe’s numbers and records speak for themselves.  He’s been the face of the franchise for two complete decades and his impact on this team and this city cannot be overstated.  By retiring number 19, we are honoring one of the finest professionals in the history of the National Hockey League and we are bidding farewell to one of the greatest individuals in pro sports.”

Sakic’s 19 will be the third sweater number to be retired in the 14-year history of the Colorado Avalanche, joining Ray Bourque (77) and Patrick Roy (33).  Sakic will be the seventh player in franchise history to have his sweater number retired, as the Quebec Nordiques retired the jerseys of Peter Stastny (26), Michel Goulet (16), Marc Tardif (8) and J.C. Tremblay (3).

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+sakic

Sakic Officially Retires

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

DENVER – Colorado Avalanche captain Joe Sakic announced today that after 20 seasons and 1,378 games with the same organization, he has played his final game in the NHL.

“After having the privilege of playing for 20 years, I’m leaving the game of hockey with nothing but great memories and a sense of accomplishment,” said Sakic.  “The game has given me more than I ever dreamed of, and for that I am truly grateful.”

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+sakic

Radim Vrbata Available

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Critodero of Lightning Strikes at the St. Peterburg Times,

Rich Evans, agent for Lightning right wing Radim Vrbata, said his client “100 percent” wants to return to the NHL next season. That leaves Vrbata in a bit of a pickle as Tampa Bay GM Brian Lawton said Vrbata does not fit into the team’s plans, and Vrbata will end up in AHL Norfolk if he cannot be moved to another team.

Toward that end, Lawton said he has given Evans permission to search the league for a team that will pick up Vrbata’s contract that pays $3 million for the next two years.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: radim+vrbata

Never In The NHL World

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I am so thankful we don’t see trades like this in the NHL….

from Chad Ford and Marc Stein of ESPN,

The deal, according to sources, calls for the Mavericks to acquire Marion and Kris Humphries from Toronto and Greg Buckner from Memphis, with Marion to receive a five-year contract worth an estimated $39 million. Buckner has had two previous stints with the Mavericks but is likely to be released, sources said.

The Grizzlies will land Jerry Stackhouse from Dallas and a substantial cash payment to buy out Stackhouse’s contract. Only $2 million of Stackhouse’s $7.25 million salary next season is guaranteed, as long as he is waived by Aug. 10.

The Raptors will receive Devean George and Antoine Wright from the Mavericks, while also preserving their $5.9 million mid-level exception for the coming season by turning their acquisition of Turkoglu—who is getting a five-year deal worth an estimated $53 million—into a sign-and-trade as opposed to an outright signing.

We’d all have to be fluent in capology.

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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