Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Bruins Youngsters Quickly Improve

from Bud Barth of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette,

Defenseman Dennis Wideman, a relative graybeard by comparison at age 25, was talking about the explosive development this season of the Bruins’ Baby Bombers — Phil Kessel, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Matt Hunwick, Blake Wheeler and even Wideman himself.

“Those guys are all 100 times better than they were last year,” Wideman said, ignoring the fact that his improvement curve is just as steep. “If they keep going like this, and keep getting better and keep working, it’s scary what they could accomplish.”

It’s already frightening to see how far they’ve come just up till now. You can throw Patrice Bergeron into this bunch, too, considering he’s only 23 years old and is showing such remarkable progress in rebounding from that awful concussion of last year.


Without going up and down every roster, it’s clear that there’s not another NHL team that (a) has such a wide array of young talent, and (b) has seen such a drastic improvement in that many players in such a short period of time.

continued

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

An In-Depth Look At The KHL

from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,

“There’s no question the hockey is a lot different,” Jagr said. “You’ve got to skate a lot more here, playing on the larger Olympic ice, and there’s more room. Even if you take a shot from near the boards here, you’re really not that close to the net.”

Game programs are free and there are no air horns, organs or vendors walking the aisles. But rock music reverberates through the stadium during breaks in play and over centre ice an NHL-quality video board shows replays.

Between periods, spectators line up at concession counters, and for about $4.50 at one concessionaire called “Chicken Next Door,” they can buy chicken nuggets or kabobs. A pint-sized beer costs $3.80 and Pringle’s potato chips are available for $6.70 for a large, or $3.60 for a small. Jagr and Cherapanov black home jerseys – they bear a resemblance to those worn by the Buffalo Sabres – are available for about $70 apiece.

much more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl

Honor Keon Without Him

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

To hell with Dave Keon and all his years of misdirected bitterness. If the Maple Leafs want to honour his jersey they should just go ahead and do it without him.

Really, these ceremonies are for the fans, not the players.

continued pluse more hockey bits…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dave+keon

Rumors On A Sunday

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

• There are whispers that if they don’t start winning more consistently, Renney could be in trouble. If that’s the case, Pat Quinn, Team Canada’s coach at the world junior championship, might not be out of work long when the tournament ends Jan. 5. There was talk last year that Quinn could end up with the Rangers. “It might depend on what kind of job he does with Team Canada,” said one league executive.

• Two unrestricted free agents skating near their respective homes not getting nearly as much attention as Sundin: C Bryan Smolinski (Detroit) and C Yanic Perreault (Magog, Que.). Both have been effective NHL players with long careers, but neither can find a full-time job. Teams have asked Smolinski and Perreault to report to their minor-league affiliates, but understandably they believe anybody who wants to bring them in should know their capabilities.

more ‘whispered’ rumors…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Freeze Ticket Prices

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Gary Bettman and the NHL should announce an immediate, across-the-board, 30-team price freeze on tickets for this year’s playoffs and for 2009-10 season-subscription packages and single-game purchases.

By doing so, the NHL not only would reap incalculable positive publicity as the first pro sports league to ever initiate such a program, it would create enormous and real good will among its consumers who are the lifeblood of the sport.

Beyond that, announcing a price freeze will be good for a business that relies disproportionately on ticket revenue. A price freeze will stimulate ticket sales. Ticket sales stimulate additional ancillary game-day revenue. It always is better to maximize actual attendance than average ticket price.

read on

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

Afternoon Line

“The easy way out is to bench a player, that’s the easy thing to do. Maybe it’s a fault. Maybe I should. But that’s not working with people, that’s pushing them aside. I’d rather challenge people to be better.”

-Senators coach Craig Hartsburg.  More from Chris Stevenson at Off The Posts.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+hartsburg

Searching For The Wings

from Jeff Z. Klein & Stu Hackel of Slap Shot at the NYT,

According to Google, the Detroit Red Wings were the most searched team, followed by the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Buffalo Sabres, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins.

The list closely mirrors the countdown of teams that draw the most television viewers in the United States.

more plus a look at the ASG ballot-stuffing issue.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Brian McGrattan Enters Rehab Program

NEW YORK/TORONTO (December 13, 2008)—The National Hockey League Players’ Association and the National Hockey League announced today that Brian McGrattan of the Phoenix Coyotes has voluntarily entered Stage #1 of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program of the NHL and the NHLPA.

Under terms of the program, McGrattan will continue to receive his full salary and benefits and will have no penalty imposed as long as he complies with the prescribed treatment and follow-up care program.

The program’s doctors, Dr. Dave Lewis on behalf of the NHL and Dr. Brian Shaw on behalf of the NHLPA, are administering McGrattan’s care.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+mcgrattan

The Aggressive Way Of Play

from Russia Today,

Canadian Darcy Verot is spending 2007-2008 season with Vityaz Chekhov. His arrival was some kind of a sensation, since Russian hockey had never seen this aggressive way of playing the game, which the Chekhov crowd really enjoys. The town’s stadium rarely has empty seats even though the club is currently the worst in the KHL.

read on and watch a related video...

image

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: darcy+verot, khl

Injuries Hitting Canadiens

via TSN,

The Montreal Canadiens got some news on Saturday about their injured players, but the news wasn’t good.

Following Saturday’s morning skate, head coach Guy Carbonneau revealed that Carey Price is suffering from a lower body injury on top of a cold that he’s been fighting for a few days now.

Carbonneau said that Price sustained the injury during Wednesday’s practice and that the starting goaltender will remain off the ice for at least four more days.

Also on Saturday, Carbonneau made public the result of Saku Koivu’s MRI, stating that the captain will be out of the lineup for two weeks.

Carbonneau also confirmed on Saturday that Christopher Higgins will be out at least five more weeks, saying it’s the same injury that has kept defenceman Mike Komisarek out since mid-November.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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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