Kukla's Korner

Wait And See

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Calgary Sun,

This season could decide Matthew Lombardi's future as a Calgary Flame. Assuming he makes it through this winter's trade deadline with the Flaming C still sewn on his jersey, as the Flames seem to be taking a wait-and-see approach with the young forward. The 24-year-old centre signed a one-year, $800,000 deal yesterday but it took a long summer of negotiating with GM Darryl Sutter to get it done. The fact the deal took so long to finalize has some thinking Lombardi's future lies elsewhere.
continued

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The “Yes” Man

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

...This Evgeni Malkin brouhaha is nothing of the sort. This is a boy, possessed of immense skill, promising too many things to too many people. Nothing more, nothing less. Cloak and dagger? Ha.... One longtime NHL agent, Matt Keator, suggested this case might be the catalyst to get the Russians and the NHL to resolve their differences because the situation will be repeated again and again until it is resolved. "Perhaps this situation will bring the parties together to find common ground," Keator said. As for Malkin, it's no slam dunk that he'll be in a Penguins jersey at the start of the season. It seems certain the Russians will sue Malkin and/or the Penguins, arguing that the two weeks' notice law in Russia was not meant for an athlete who signs a contract, as Malkin did.
read on

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The Training Begins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Citizen,

The intense sessions, featuring unconventional drills and equipment -- tractor tires, heavy stones and barbells shaped like logs find their way into some workouts -- are organized by personal trainer and strength specialist Tony Greco, a former world kickboxing champion. If the equipment resembles what you find in strongman competitions, it's no accident. Buffalo Sabres star Daniel Briere, who trained with former world strongman champion Hugo Girard of Gatineau several summers ago, credits those workouts with helping turn him from a journeyman player into one of the NHL's elite skaters. The goal is to push Ottawa-area NHL players just a little further, forcing them to use different muscles to handle new challenges, finding avenues to improve their balance, discovering an extra step that they can use when training camps open in four weeks.
more

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Weight Has The Cup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Earlier in the day, Weight visited Children's Hospital. To make the stop possible, he paid out of his own pocket to charter a plane to St. Louis. But it was worth it for Weight, who had a cousin succumb to a brain tumor.... Mike Bolt, the "Keeper of the Cup" as he's known, was impressed with the schedule preparation Thursday. And Bolt, who's actually one of three men who take turns guarding the Cup, knows busy when he sees it. "I did all of Europe," Bolt said. "We did five countries and six players in seven days. Twelve flights in seven days." Bolt said Steve Yzerman took the Cup on his See-Doo and Darren McCarty took it for a ride on his Harley-Davidson. "Going to Fenway was cool," Bolt said. "We walked into the Red Sox locker room and Dave Ortiz said, 'Now that's a trophy.' To hear other athletes say the Stanley Cup is probably the coolest trophy in professional sports makes you feel good that you're a part of it.
read on

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Black Aces POY

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

BLACK ACES HOCKEY has selected Edmonton Oilers goaltender Jussi Markkanen as Black Aces Hockey Player Of The Year. When Oilers backup netminder Ty Conklin struggled, in came Markkanen, a true Black Ace having been rated as the number 3 goalie who had not played in 2 months. Markkanen was a big reason the series went 7 games. The final could have been a 4 game blowout without him. He gave the Oilers a real chance to win game 7 with great save after great save.
OK, I'll buy that! image

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Baldwin Still At It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Courant,

Howard Baldwin picks through his Cobb salad for a moment, looks up and you swear the next thing out of his mouth will be about partnering someday with Larry Gottesdiener for an NHL franchise in Connecticut. But, no, it's nothing so dreamy, so fanciful, so pie-in-the-sky. It's even more fanciful than that.
continued...talk about a Gordie Howe movie included...

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Vishnevski Traded To Thrashers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Anaheim Ducks,

The Anaheim Ducks announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has acquired a 2007 second round draft pick, the rights to center Karl Stewart and a conditional draft pick from the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski.

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The “Old” NHL Is Fading Away

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei at ESPN,

The Old Guard attitude was that while college boys and Europeans are handy to have around, they must prove their talent is so exceptional or their grittiness so evident that they can be forgiven for not coming up through the ranks in Canada. In essence, those players were on probation their whole careers. Of course, that's completely behind us. Because members of the Old Guard now are such men as Lou Lamoriello, the former coach at Providence, and Brian Burke, his one-time captain.
much more...

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The Russian Side

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Moscow Times,

Hockey stars born, bred and trained -- at great expense -- in Russia are using a loophole in the labor law to get out of contracts with domestic teams and play in the National Hockey League. The growing problem of Russian players fleeing the country mid-contract to play for pre-eminent U.S. and Canadian clubs is costing the Russian Super League millions of dollars, hockey officials say. In recent days, the Westward flight of up-and-coming hockey greats has gained international notice with the disappearance of Evgeni Malkin, 20, Russia's hottest hockey prospect since Alexander Ovechkin, who plays for the Washington Capitals.
continued...recommended reading...not just about Malkin

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Spotted In LA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

Evgeni Malkin is in Los Angeles with his agents JP Barry and Pat Brisson. Malkin is seeking counsel to determine how he can join the Pittsburgh Penguins. "It's been a difficult week", Barry told TSN. Barry has been with Malkin since the pair connected at an airport in Helsinki, Finland on Saturday, at which point they went into lockdown in a nearby apartment to await Malkin's visa clearance.
continued

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