Kukla's Korner

Remembering The Trade

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toroonto Sun,

It was Aug. 9, 1988, and Kurri, now 45, was running a hockey school near here in the Finnish capital. All was right with his world. He'd just won his fourth Stanley Cup, come off a season in which he scored 57 regular season and playoff goals and could see immortality for his Edmonton Oilers. Then suddenly Wayne Gretzky was on his way to Los Angeles. "I didn't believe it," he said with tears in his eyes. "I told my agent it couldn't be right." It's still emotional for the Finnish Flash, who has always wondered what could have been? "Who knows how many cups we could have won?" he said. "We were all in our 20s and our best hockey was ahead of us."
read on

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In The Oil Business

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Calgary Herald via the Provine,

Eighteen years after last skating in the NHL, David (Tiger) Williams, 52, is humping into work everyday, holding down the fort as chief executive of his baby, Pacific Rodera Energy Inc. That's right. Notorious, celebrated, vilified, charged-but-never-convicted, beaten-but-never-beaten-down, Tiger Williams, yes he of the 4,421 career penalty minutes, is running a publicly traded oil company. It's hard to make fit. Puck fans can still see a sour Tiger sitting in the penalty box. Or a gleeful Tiger riding his stick down the ice after scoring. Or Tiger dropping the gloves against men called, "the Hammer," "Cementhead," or "Knuckles."
read on image

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NHL Celebrity Matches—Part 2

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

By Alanah Downie [You can find Part 1 featuring Milan Hejduk, Dominik Hasek and Chris Pronger at VCOE.] Wasting time this weekend -- and a few more brain cells -- I ran a handful of NHL players through some facial recognition software that matches faces to their closest celebrity "twins". These are the matches that the software spit out, so you can't blame me, you must blame the technology. I am simply an innocent messenger. Here are the celebrity face matches for Jaromir Jagr, Roberto Luongo (Yo! Luongo, as we call him at VCOE), Joe Thornton and Mike Commodore. (Update: Mike Ricci added.) I think these boys would all be flattered, don't you? image

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image image image Updated: 1:02 p.m. EDT Mike Ricci added at Paul's suggestion. Madness.

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Boston Goaltending Unproven

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette,

This summer has been one long love fest between the Bruins and their ever-loyal fans, who have greeted every signing, every morsel of good news, with enthusiasm not seen in New England hockey circles in some time. After all that optimism, though, it’s time for a sobering thought: Is the Bruins’ goaltending really as secure as it seems? “It’s something that I’ve addressed in my mind,” Chiarelli said, preferring not to characterize his view as concerned or worried. “Certainly, both of them are unproven — as was Cam Ward.” Chiarelli said if an injury develops, or Toivonen or Thomas suddenly blow up, he might look to acquire another goaltender.
read on...much more on the Bruins including a mentor for Kessel...

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Red Wins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ft. Collins Coloradoen,

In a 2005 study published by the journal Nature, researchers at Durham University in England concluded that, "across a range of sports, we found that wearing red is consistently associated with a higher probability of winning." The researchers also suggested that red's effect may "subconsciously intimidate opponents in athletic contests, especially when the athletes are equal in skill and strength." Beside, ever heard anyone cheer for 'The Big Gold Machine?" "Go Big Green" just doesn't sound right. A blitz is not called a "Blue Dog," and the area of a football field that holds the most significance is not called "the Purple Zone." The height of urgency in our country today is not a "Teal Alert," and when someone gets mad, they don't "see yellow." Red matters. Red wins.
more

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Not Afraid To Lead

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

Perhaps best of all, he'd welcome the C with open hands and the broadest of shoulders. ``It would be a big honor," Chara said. ``I would be proud to be the captain, especially in an organization like [the Bruins], an Original Six franchise. I am not afraid to lead, and there are many ways to do that -- with work ethic, dedication, and drive. I would try to be the very best captain."
read on

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A Look At Gaborik

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pioneer Press, Over here,

Gaborik surrounds himself with friends and family while enjoying a lifestyle as one of his country's biggest celebrities. He draws satisfaction knowing his parents and brother are managing the arena he built and donated to the city, allowing more kids to pursue hockey dreams. And he is happily involved with a strong-minded woman who knows how to keep her famous boyfriend's feet on the ground. No one yet is rolling red carpet over the cobblestone streets so Trencin's most celebrated son can parade Lord Stanley's trophy through this historic 15th-century city for the first time. But Gaborik, 24 and entering his sixth NHL season, has the confidence to dream big. He can envision a 50-goal season and a homecoming party unlike anything Trencin has thrown. And it gives him chills.
more

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Bruins Need A Nucleus

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Nashua Telegraph,

Park said defenseman Zdeno Chara, signed as a free agent this summer, will help make up for some of the size lost by Thornton, without providing the points. Meanwhile, Park is impressed with new Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli. “I’ve met him, I’ve talked with him,” he said. “He’s a Harvard guy, he’s from Canada, you’ve got to like those two combinations right away. He’s got a big job ahead of him. Time will tell.” The Bruins, who start training camp in a couple of weeks, need one thing above all, Park said. “The problem they have is they have to establish a nucleus,” Park said. “They’ve signed a lot of good players, but they have yet to form a nucleus. So it’s going to be very key for them to start the season well.”
more

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Dave King Talks Compensation

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from George Johnson of the National Post,

"That day at customs, as everyone else was running around trying to find him, I just sat on the bus. I knew it wasn't a case of his being unable to find his boarding pass. I knew he was gone.'' The Russians are right to oppose the current IIHF-NHL agreement that will net their federation a paltry $200,000 for such a unique talent as Malkin. "And that figure,'' King reminds you, "is split between all the teams here. Which means $10,000 to Metallurg Magnitogorsk. A pittance, when you consider the time and money spent developing him.'' King says the ramifications of young superstars leaving goes far beyond any fee paid out.... "Teams are trying to generate sponsorship, there's an effort being made to bring in sponsors to televise games on TV. When the star players keep leaving, that makes selling yourself awfully tough.''
read on (reg. may be req.)

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Over The Boards

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Detroit Free Press,

The Wings have 11 forwards under NHL contracts, and Holland doesn't anticipate signing another unless Anson Carter or J.P. Dumont -- unrestricted free-agent forwards noted for their offense -- drop their demands.
Robert Tychkowski in the Edmonton Sun,
Memo to the Russian Ice Hockey Federation: Stop crying like you're the only teams in the world whose star, players can walk out of their contracts by simply giving two weeks notice. Chris Pronger did it in Edmonton long before Evgeni Malkin ever thought of it.
Shawn P. Roarke at NHL.com,
A few minutes later, I followed Yashin's path back out into the blinding sun, leaving the unique sights and sounds of the hockey rink behind, but not forgotten. A similar -- although far less photogenic -- smile was plastered to my face. For me, hockey season has begun. Not even the brutal rush-hour traffic on the Long Island Expressway, the Van Wyck Expressway, the Belt Parkway and the slog across Staten Island to the Garden State Parkway could dampen that fact.
more

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