Kukla's Korner

Life After 30

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Anthony J. SanFilippo of the Deleware County Times,

“You have to keep yourself honest in the summertime because you’re competing with guys who have the gift of time,” Knuble said. “I know it’s not going to go on forever, but that’s what you use for motivation – trying to make up for lost time.”

Knuble has been doing a darn good job of that. Since turning 30, he has played a second career.

Prior to hitting his 30s, Knuble struggled to score, compiling just 50 goals in his first seven seasons. Given a last chance in Boston, he turned his career around with one 30-goal season, and since has scored 164 goals in six seasons, four with the Flyers.

“I was lucky to still be in the league at age 30,” Knuble said. “Boston gave me a chance, but there were people in that organization that wanted to let me go. There are plenty of guys that are good players that never get the right chance. If things don’t come together for you quick, you kind of fade away and I was right on the cusp of that.

“Then I scored those 30 goals and suddenly my career went in a different direction.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+knuble

The Other Side Of Ron Wilson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

This season was supposed to be all about losing, and maybe, for the future development of the Leafs that would have been best. The worse the team performed, the better draft position come June. But Wilson, like all coaches, worries only about today. How do you make your team better? From the beginning, he didn’t want to talk about wins and losses.

But in a rare humble moment, he stopped to consider just how far this team has come and confessed: “I admit, I’m pretty proud of our record.”

That Ron Wilson is easy to like. When he’s more human. When he’s relaxed. When he’s not picking fights that aren’t necessary. No one in hockey could have done what he has done with this Leafs team this season.

And on the nights when the chip on his shoulder is gone, and his inherent detest of the media is not so apparent, you can see what the players see in him, how they want to fight for him.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ron+wilson

One Poor Choice Can Lead To A Lifetime Of Disappointment

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Gerritt of the Detroit Free Press,

Thirty-six seems too young to let a dream die. But after serving 14 years in prison for unarmed robbery, Mike Chegwidden, who might have become one of the Upper Peninsula’s greatest hockey players, knows he must let one go and find another.

He can still blaze most players 10 years younger. But in hockey as in hoops, 36 is way past prime time. Chegwidden knows he will never play in the NHL, or even semi-pro. He lost that ice dream when he was 16.

“I threw my life away,” Chegwidden told me at the ICE Arena in Mt. Pleasant, where he plays drop-in hockey once a week. Paroled on Jan. 13, he looks for work while living with his mother, Gerry Cote, and stepfather, John Cote, in nearby Clare County.

“I could have played a game for a living,” he said. “All it takes is one poor choice.”


Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+chegwidden

Blues Grasp The Underdog Role

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

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

Blues coaches and players have had a tough time explaining how a team predicted to finish last in the NHL — even before all the injuries — can be within striking distance of a playoff spot.

But with nine games to play in the regular season, and their playoff status seemingly riding on every period, one Blue with a Stanley Cup in his past took aim at the question Wednesday.

“I think it’s because we’ve got a big group of guys who are underdogs,” said Dan Hinote, who won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001. “All of the sudden, there’s a bunch of injuries ... we’ve got call-ups, we’ve got guys that haven’t been in the NHL before ... we’ve got guys that were waived ... guys that were traded. It was kind of like a big group of guys that weren’t supposed to do well.


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

12 Years Later

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

0321 on a school day and I’m seriously contemplating waking up my six-year old to show her what happened a dozen years ago tonite.

Oh, the Dive fan likes to point out that we’re “living in the past” when we continuously point to this game, that fight, that bit of redemption, that other fight and then that goal.  We like to reply that the impact of March 26th, 1997 is still very much being felt up and down the organ-I-zation.

In fact, we might even say that the momentum generated by that single regular season game still courses through the veins of the Wing franchise, that it is the lifeblood of a dynasty that is very much alive today.  Since the night Igor Larionov decided he’d go ahead and punch Peter Forsberg in the face, the Wings have made a habit of winning Stanley Cups.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Canes Players Hot In The Stretch

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

As the playoffs are approaching, we look for playoff bound teams that have been playing very well in their final games.  These teams will be in hot streaks when they get to the playoffs and might be very hard to defeat.  The playoff bound team that has been the hottest lately is probably the Carolina Hurricanes.  They have won their last five games in a row.  They have earned points in 12 of their last 13 games.  This has helped to propel the Hurricanes into fifth in the East Conference with 89 points.

As we came into last night’s games, the two highest scorers in the month of March so far are both Carolina players.  Ray Whitney has 18 points and Eric Staal 17 points so far this month.  Their offence has been a big part of Carolina’s recent successes.

The Carolina Hurricanes are generally not looked upon as one of the tougher playoff matchups in the East Conference, but if they continue to play this well they will be very tough.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Lecavalier Hopes To Find His Game In Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times (Thursday edition),

Vinny Lecavalier needs a jolt, a kick in the pants, something to shake up his game.

It sure has gone stale for the Lightning captain, who leads the team with 29 goals but has just four in his past 18 games, in which he’s minus-9, and two in his past eight, in which he’s minus-8.

That is why Lecavalier agreed tonight’s game with the Canadiens at the Bell Centre couldn’t come at a better time.

“I love to play there,” the Montreal native said. “Sometimes you need one game to get you back. Maybe going into a building where I love to play will help.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vinny+lecavalier

Panthers Feel The Pain After Losing To The Sabres

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,

Not going to get into the whole thing about what happened tonight, anyone who watched or looked at the scoresheet can figure that out. This was a devastating loss for the Panthers, although the wings in the locker room smelled so good a few guys seemed to get over it real quick.

And I’ve never seen the scratched players escape a postgame locker room as fast as tonight’s trio of guys did. And I sure don’t blame them.

Speaking of blame, coach Pete DeBoer had plenty for goalie Tomas Vokoun, even though a couple of those goals were flukey. But the one that tied it sure wasn’t.

continued and watch the game highlights below…

added 3/26/09 at 8:21am, Watch the Horton hit on Afinogenov below too…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: maxim+afinogenov, nathan+horton

Goalies Go A Little Crazy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Top 10 “Goalies Gone Wild”.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Panthers Trying To Create Sponsorship Market

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeremy Mullman of AdAge,

The National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers may be a sports franchise, but the team’s ownership is increasingly behaving like a media conglomerate in its efforts to woo and retain sponsors amid a tough sports-business environment.

Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Panthers and their arena, has taken over the team’s radio and TV-broadcast sales, set up shop in social-media hubs such as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and even upgraded digital signage around the Bank Atlantic Center in an attempt to create a one-stop shopping portal for sponsors.

The SSE Media Network, which formally launched this month, comes at a time when sports teams are struggling with cutbacks from major sponsors—such as automakers and financial institutions—creating intense competition for those that are still able to spend. In that climate, SSE is betting that the combination of increased impressions via the new platforms and one-stop shopping will give it an advantage over less-integrated competitors.


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

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