Kukla's Korner

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The First-Half Impact Players

from Jay Feaster at the Sporting News,

My top 25 excludes players from teams out of the playoff picture. An impact player matters only if he is having a positive impact getting his team to the playoffs.

1. Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez, Boston Bruins goaltenders:...

2. Dan Boyle, San Jose Sharks defenseman:...

3. Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals forward:...

4. Marc Savard, Bruins forward:...

continued with a brief look at each player…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

We Will Know The PA Plans This Week

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

We fully understand why most hockey fans’ eyes glaze over whenever we update them on labor issues in the NHL. But this little bit of news, we believe, will grab some attention.

We’ve been told the NHL Players’ Association will hold a conference call with the players’ executive board (30 player reps) on Thursday night in which the group will ultimately decided whether or not to opt out of the current collective-bargaining agreement. (The players’ union, as per terms of the CBA, has the right to opt out after the fourth season of the deal, which is this season).

If the answer is yes to opt out, who knows if there’ll be hockey next season. If the answer is no, then it’s at least two more years with the current CBA and labor peace.

continued with more hockey topics…  If you watched the Hot Stove on HNIC last night, you heard most of the additional topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Blues Lose Polak To Fractured Foot

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that defenseman Roman Polak will be sidelined indefinitely with a fractured right foot. He suffered the injury in the third period on Jan. 17 vs. Chicago.  In addition, the club has recalled defenseman Steve Wagner from the Blues’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen.

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

A Look At Pavel Datsyuk

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Those who remember Datsyuk as a rookie, when he was a lanky little thing with deft hands and the shiest smile, aren’t the least bit surprised he has become a luminous star.

“His first day of training camp he had the flu,” former captain Steve Yzerman said. “From the second day on, he wowed us.”

Yzerman played with Datsyuk from 2001-02 until he retired in the summer of 2006. Now a member of the front office, Yzerman has vivid memories of Datsyuk’s first year.

“His stickhandling stood out immediately,” Yzerman said. “He just shoots more now. He was really good back then; he just didn’t play a lot.”

It spoke volumes about Datsyuk that, even as a rookie, veteran Brett Hull wanted to play with him, because Hull wasn’t the type to tolerate linemates who didn’t get him the puck.

“Brett recognized a good player there, for sure,” Yzerman said. “Pavel was so good right off the bat. Had we needed him to, he could have played a lot more than he did. He was phenomenal.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pavel+datsyuk

Flyers Taking Too Many Penalties

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post,

The Flyers have taken 251 minor penalties this season—second in the NHL to the Anaheim Ducks’ 266—and they lead the NHL with 11 bench minors for too many men on the ice.

As a result, they have been short handed 228 times this season (second to Anaheim) while being awarded just 167 power plays (second-fewest to the New Jersey Devils).

So the question begs to be asked: Why have the Flyers received 61 fewer power plays than their opponents, while the Minnesota Wild have been awarded 36 more power plays than their opponents?

“I think it has a lot to do with the crest we wear on our jerseys, with all our history and stuff like that,” said Hartnell, who leads the Flyers with 28 minor penalties, which is tied for third in the NHL. “But we have to do a better job individually to keep our sticks where they belong.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Bruins Should Keep Both Goalies

from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette,

There’s a pretty hot debate brewing over what the Bruins should do about their goaltending situation before the trade deadline with both Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez in the final year of their contracts and headed for unrestricted free agency if still unsigned by July 1.

The conventional wisdom says you trade one of them — in this case, presumably Fernandez — before the March 4 deadline so at least you get something in return. Clearly, the Bruins cannot re-sign both of them; they could cost up to $10 million combined, and that’s way too much money to be tied up on a team that’s already up against the salary cap — a cap that probably won’t be rising next year….

So, what to do?

In this case, the answer is simple: You don’t trade either Thomas or Fernandez — unless you’re offered something crazy like Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin.

read on and sorry no author was listed for the article, just a picture of the writer…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Did You Know The Staal Brothers Will Play Against Each Other?

from Empty Netters,

Also, with NBC doing the game, prepare yourself four quite a few “Staals are brothers” references. Even more than an FSN Pittsburgh broadcast. Network television is generally geared towards the most broad, generic mentally dull audience available. So instead of actually explaining the Penguins’ power play, they’ll just bring up the Staals 902 times.

more on today’s Rangers/Penguins game…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sunday Hockey Talk

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

• There’s no guarantee Osgood will be the goalie to start the playoffs if this keeps up. Conklin is a huge favourite in the Red Wings room. They like everything about him except his love of flying. He’s got his own little Super Cub two-seater after first taking flying lessons when he was playing for the Oilers.

“I limit my flying to Redbird (team plane) and Northwest,” joked Kris Draper, talking to Detroit writers. “I’m not flying Ty Conklin Air. Not a chance.”

• New York Islanders winger Bill Guerin has a no-move clause in his contract, but if New Jersey came calling at the deadline and he could rejoin Bobby Holik and Brian Rolston, would he say no?

• The Boston Bruins have Marco Sturm on the long-term injury list, which saves them his $3.5 million salary and also gives them a shot at another forward at the deadline if he’s out several months. If the St. Louis Blues aren’t in the playoff hunt at the March 4 deadline, would they move Keith Tkachuk, who grew up in Massachussets and went to school in Boston?

more hockey talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Statement Made

from SanJoseSharks.com,

“We came out on top and that is what we set out to do,” said Dan Boyle.

The hero on the night was Milan Michalek who has the primary assist on two goals and used a dramatic burst of speed to make the game 5-4 and change the momentum in San Jose’s direction for the remainder of the evening.

“It was a great game tonight,” said Michalek. “It was good to get the goal and the win. We want people to know that we are the best in the NHL.”

read on

Watch the game highlights below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Players Want Added Penalty For Head Shots

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

The players, said union boss Paul Kelly, remain eager to work with league officials on adding penalties for those who target opponents’ heads with checks. “The trick is to do that without reducing the amount of contact that is part of what makes this such a great sport,” he said.

The five players on the Competition Committee: Jason Spezza, Mathieu Schneider, Brian Campbell, Jeff Halpern, and Ryan Miller. To sum up their dislikes: 1. whistles (needless stops in play) and 2. defensive, trapping hockey. Sounds like a group that gets it.

more hockey notes…

Paul Kelly talked with Ron MacLean last night on numerous topics.  Watch the ten minute interview below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+kelly

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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