Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Letowski Goes The KHL Route

from Brody Mark of the Chronicle Journal,

A disheartened Trevor Letowski has decided to try his hand overseas.

After waiting a month for a solid NHL offer, the Thunder Bay native signed a one-year deal with HC Astana of the newly formed Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) based out of Russia. Letowski had played the last nine seasons in the NHL.

“It had become a little frustrating here,” said Letowski Wednesday afternoon. “Anyone who has been a free agent at the NHL level knows that after July 1, you‘re talking to your agent pretty much every day. There‘s different things here and there and you get your hopes up and then another day it‘s bad news, another day it‘s good news.”

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: trevor+letowski

Kubina Grows On Leafs

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

Not only is Pavel Kubina unlikely to be traded, but Cliff Fletcher is talking him up as a possible captain if Mats Sundin departs.

With an Aug. 15 window to shop Kubina rapidly closing, the Maple Leafs’ general manager yesterday listed the chance of dealing the $5-million US defenceman as “less than 50%.”

“Any trade involving Pavel would have to be very advantageous for the Leafs,” Fletcher said. “I thought he played well last season (after an awful start to Kubina’s four-year $20-million deal) and I know (new coach) Ron Wilson liked him a lot. Plus, it’s very quiet right now for trades.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pavel+kubina

Sharks Notes

from Working the Corners,

Do not be surprised if the Sharks announce a contract extension soon for defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who is now scheduled to become a restricted free agent next July. Talks with his agent are under way and, so I hear, going well.

Finally, since I know many of you missed the short item in the paper Tuesday on the re-signing of Ryane Clowe, here’s what his agent, Paul Cobeil, had to say about the fact no contract was signed until months following a handshake agreement between Clowe and Doug Wilson in the GM’s office.

Cobeil pointed out that the handshake took place when Clowe was still in rehab. And having played only a handful of games, it was “tough for him to bring the numbers for a bigger contract.”

As for Clowe’s decision to take a one-year deal, Cobeil said that made the most sense because he expected both the left wing and the team to have more success this coming season.

more on the Sharks…

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

Hockey Metrics

from Rick Nothrop of the Prince Albert Daily Herald,

Baseball has Bill James. Football has draft guru, Mel Kiper Jr. and Aaron Schatz, who started Footballoutsiders.com dedicated to statistical analysis of the National Football League.

But where do hockey fans look for insightful, investigative musings on the National Hockey League?...

Thankfully, there is a place hockey fans can turn: Hockeyanalytics.com. Allan Ryder maintains Hockeyanalytics.com, a website with reams of information that just might one day do for hockey what Bill James did for baseball.

Ryder’s regular columns in the Globe and Mail expound on the virtues of new statistics — called metrics — that shed new light on the game of hockey.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Tough Talk

“We’re not only going to match any offer sheet, we’ll have enough space to go after your guys. Go ahead and make our day. If you sign our guy, we’re coming back with both barrels firing. You’d better be damn straight that you have the cap space and all your guys are signed.”

—Dean Lombardi, LA Kings GM

Sourced at Craig Custance’s Sporting News blog. And thanks to Puck Daddy for providing the perfect (and inevitable) response:

“Dang, snap, OH NO HE DIDN’T!”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dean+lombardi, offer+sheets

Thinking Vancouver 2010

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

...That leaves just two returnees: Chris Pronger and Robyn Regehr, although Regehr will be in tough to hold onto the seventh spot.

Joining those two will be Dion Phaneuf, Shea Weber, Jay Bouwmeester, Dan Boyle and Brent Burns. As a unit, they boast size (averaging 6-3, 211 pounds), mobility, and the versatility to manage special teams as adeptly as they do five-on-five play. All of them have international experience—Weber and Phaneuf were partners with the junior team—that should help them make the transition to this stage.

In the mix, but likely on the outside looking in: Washington’s Mike Green, Chicago’s Brian Campbell and Duncan Keith, Philly’s Braydon Coburn, and Ed Jovanovski of the Coyotes.

Roberto Luongo, another star of the World Cup semi-final win over the Czechs, should be ready to assume the No. 1 job in the Canadian nets after apprenticing behind Martin Brodeur at the last two majors.

read on for the forwards and coaching staff…

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Emery Trying To Shed Reputation

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

With the help of professional therapy, the support of his family and a fresh slate awaiting him in Russia, where he will tend goal for Atlant Mytishchi of the new Continental Hockey League, Emery said he’s ready to stop doing the same old things that saw him descend in startling fashion from a starting netminder with a Stanley Cup finalist to a pariah with a reputation in tatters and essentially no NHL options.

“I had lots of help,” Emery said. “I brought my family into things. I had friends I had to stop associating with. And I’ve got friends that I’m a lot closer with.”

It took the better part of two weeks to get our phone conversation lined up, and there was a feeling it might never happen, that perhaps Emery had no intention of addressing these issues with us. Yet he was text-messaging apologies and working to get a time lined up around his schedule as the team heads to training camp about an hour outside Helsinki, Finland.

read on

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ray+emery

Avery Meets The Press

from Mike Heika at the Dallas Stars Blog,

Sean Avery was in town for his introductory press conference today, and he was resplendent in a madras plaid out that included long shorts, an unstructured jacket and red leather dress shoes with no socks.

Avery is an interesting guy. He’s an agitator who can score goals and who loves fashion. He said he already has talked to Marty Turco and Brenden Morrow and believes he will fit into the locker room fine. He said he doesn’t think scoring 25 goals will be any problem at all.

a little more plus they will have a vid of the press conference up soon…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sean+avery

Caps Extend Steckel

The Washington Capitals have signed center David Steckel to a one-year contract extension for the 2009-10 season, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Steckel was already under contract with the Capitals for the upcoming season and would have been an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of 2008-09.

Steckel, 26, completed his fourth professional season and first full NHL campaign in 2007-08. A 6’5”, 222-pound native of Westbend, Wisc., Steckel averaged 13:33 of ice time in 67 games, leading the team and finishing seventh in the NHL with a 56.3% faceoff percentage.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: david+steckel

Life In Latvia

from Mark Hartigan’s Blog at the Hockey News,

Welcome to my first Insider Blog. I’m writing to you from Riga, Latvia, where I will be suiting up this season for Dinamo Riga of the Kontinental Hockey League, alongside my buddy and former Columbus teammate Duvie Westcott, not to mention a couple other ex-NHLers….

Even though it’s the middle of summer, things have been real busy for me. I left Minnesota last week, getting on a plane at 7:30 pm and landing in Amsterdam at 11 am the next morning. Duvie and I had a nine-hour layover in Amsterdam, so we rented a hotel room at the airport to get some sleep.

The beds were smaller than a single – I mean, if you roll halfway over, you’re on the floor – and the funny thing was the beds were pushed together, so Duvie pushed them apart and faced them towards the TV.

more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mark+hartigan

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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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