Kukla's Korner

Checking Out Kessel

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Boston Herald,

If attendance at voluntary practices is a useful indicator of a team’s attitude, the B’s seem to be approaching the season in just the right frame of mind, with virtually the entire roster of NHL players showing up a week or more early to skate. It’s a team, much rebuilt, that seems determined to bounce back from last season’s debacle. Many of the veterans have cast an interested eye toward 18-year-old rookie forward Phil Kessel, the B’s No. 1 pick (fifth overall) in June’s draft widely considered one of the most purely talented players to enter the NHL in years. The early impression: He’s as good as billed.
read on

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The Universal Language

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Sun,

And, Vigneault insists, discipline and accountability will be universal. "That's the way it's always been with me, and that's the way it's always going to be," Vigneault said. "I firmly believe if an organization is going to be successful, your top players have to be held to a higher standard. "I get the maximum out of players, personally, and I get the maximum out of players collectively. I'm confident I can make them accountable. I'm hearing all the right things when I sit down with them. That's fine. Now I need to see the right actions. I need to see good off-ice test results [when main camp opens with fitness tests next Thursday]. Those test results better be really good." Bam-Bam. Jenny Craig's number might be ringing off the hook as you read this.
more

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Devils Cap Situation

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Post,

The stalwarts wait, depending on Lou Lamoriello to find a way out of his salary cap squeeze. John Madden and Sergei Brylin insist they mustn't worry that they could be part of the worst-case solution. The Devils are at the $44 million salary cap without counting some $5-6 million for Brian Gionta, Paul Martin and David Hale, all unsigned restricted free agents. They can figure to receive some $1.5 million grace from the Long Term Injury easement that will apply to Richard Matvichuk, but the real kicker will be whether Lamoriello is allowed to subtract the combined $7.1 million assessment for Alexander Mogilny and Vladimir Malakhov. If the league doesn't permit any potential Malakhov/Mogilny moves, Lamoriello may have to trade away some of his higher salaried players.
continued (reg. req.)

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Anyone Hungry

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Mike may be the most prominent restaurateur in Vernon, California, an industrial town that seems more like an enormous, truck-choked loading dock; and his sign, which depicts a giant hockey player, was “borrowed” for the doughnut shop in Wayne’s World. But Mike sure is proudest of his Hockeyburger, which is essentially a cheeseburger garnished with a sliced, grilled all-beef hot dog. Some people theorize that the concoction is called a Hockeyburger because the burger symbolizes the puck and the hot dog the hockey stick; some say that the trisected hot dog resembles the grille on a Zamboni machine. Some people think that Mike is just a fool for hockey. But although the Hockeyburger may be fearsome to behold, it is actually almost as delicious as it is indigestible. “Try a Hockeyburger,” Mike’s sign reads. “Made Out of Old Pucks.”

Has anyone been to Mike's Hockyburger? If so, let us know. I searched for a website and even a picture, nada.

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Blues Goaltending Up For Grabs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Larry Pleau and John Davidson participated on a tele-conference call today...

Q. Either one of you could maybe answer this or both of you, I'm wondering how you break down your goaltending situation, obviously Curtis Sanford had a great year last year and you did decide in the end in bringing Manny Legace as a free agent, how do you see that in terms of 1A or 1B or in terms of competition again the two? LARRY PLEAU: I think you said it best, the competition. When you look at it all three of our goalies, Bacashihua, they have a lot to prove, and the spot and the opportunity is there for somebody to jump up and be that No. 1 guy. So the competition has got to be key for us. And when you look at a Legace in his career, that's what he wanted is the opportunity to show everybody in this league that he's No. 1, and one thing we could offer is the opportunity for that. JOHN DAVIDSON: We have a young fellow the first rounder, Schwarz he's going to play in the American League in Peoria. And it gives a depth where if something happens along the way here, we don't have to force him into something he shouldn't be doing, unless he earns it. With the three goalkeepers that are the main ones, the internal competition is terrific. We now have depth there, and at the same time in signing Manny, it put us in a position where we didn't have to make a trade where we lose a significant draft pick or at least maybe a significant prospect. So we've helped ourselves for the immediate season, and we've helped ourselves hopefully fo r the long term, also.

Continue Reading »

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Martin Talks About Keenan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

Despite reports to the contrary, Florida Panthers coach and GM Jacques Martin insists Mike Keenan isn't gone because of him. "No, I don't think there was a breakdown with my relationship with Mike," Martin told The Canadian Press in an interview Thursday. "I think I've always had a good relationship with Mike. I think we worked well together. I think the organization, the ownership, for whatever reason, listened to Mike when he came to them."
continued

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KK- Shopping & Reviews

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I have set up a Shopping & Review section on KK. This area is strictly a shopping area and it is much appreciated if you visit on a regular basis. I receive a slight commission for any sale that is made, therefore helping me continue and expand Kukla's Korner. I will occasionally update you on any new items available, but will mostly depend on you to visit that section. I don't and never will ask for any donations, but if you have an interest in the products or services offered take advantage of the offers. At times, discount coupons will be posted, along with special deals only available to KK readers. A good example is iTunes and BestBuy. Numerous KK readers have used the provided links to purchase items, and I receive a commission based on the sale of those items. It helps me, you lose nothing, and KK continues to grow the way I want it too. Thanks and now get shopping!!!

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Center Ice Available

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

In the USA, you can now order Center Ice on Directv, Dish Network and as of today (at least in the Detroit area) on Comcast. The earlybird special is $149.00 compared to a $129.00 price we paid last year. I believe they discounted the $20 as a thank you to the fans after the lockout year. CI has also been available in Canada for the last few weeks. image

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Off-Season Lessons

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei at ESPN,

So what have we learned in the offseason? • Neil Smith didn't like being part of a multitiered and crowded chain of command. He reacted to it with such revulsion, it was almost as if he had spotted 23 rats running around in the hallways of the Coliseum. But give him credit, the Islanders were undefeated during his tenure. • John Davidson stepped out of Hockey Night in Canada's "Hot Stove" and into the fire as president of the Blues. Actually, having only one gig instead of 12 might represent a cutback in his workload. • Cutting its ownership stake in the Canadiens to 19.9 percent, Molson Coors is showing its interest in hockey now is Light.
more

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For Your Listening Pleasure

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

My XM radio interview (mp3 file) from this morning on Hockey This Morning. It lasts about 9 minutes.

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