Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Building To Be Better

Not a hockey focused story, but important in the overall picture…

from Michael Schwartz of the New York Times,

Hundreds of sleek athletic facilities are springing up everywhere, it seems, heralding an athletics boom in a country hungry for sporting prestige and wallowing in cash.

Fears of losing Olympic ascendancy have impelled Russia to spend the last several years pumping billions of dollars from its oil-soaked coffers into rebuilding an athletics infrastructure left to rot when the Soviet Union crumbled. The investment has already shown impressive results, with Russians attaining international success in arenas beyond the Olympics.

Last September, the national basketball team won the European championship for the first time since the Soviet Union fell in 1991. In May, the national hockey team beat Canada for its first world championship in 15 years and St. Petersburg’s Zenit soccer club won the UEFA Cup championship.

read on

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Arbitration Can Get Ugly

From James Mirtle at the Globe & Mail:

NHL salary arbitration hearings have been few and far between this summer, and there’s a reason. When cases go to a hearing, they can often get ugly, as players, agents and teams fight for dollars under the salary cap.

Washington Capitals defenceman Shaone Morrisonn is the only player who’s been through the process this off-season. He was awarded a one-year, $1.975-million (all currency U.S.) contract last Saturday after a hearing last Thursday in Toronto.

According to arbitration documents obtained by The Globe and Mail, the Capitals offered several less than flattering assessments of Morrisonn, a stay-at-home defenceman who was fourth on the team in ice time last season. Calling him “one-dimensional,” Washington argued that Morrisonn received substantial playing time in 2005-06 and 2006-07 on a weak team as a result of being “at the right place at the right time.”

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: arbitration, shaone+morrisonn

Backing Up Nashville

Neil Bristow at Hockey Prime Time has an interview with Nashville Predators’ goalie Pekka Rinne online which he was good enough to mention to me today.  Rinne is set to back up Dan Ellis this coming season (which didn’t impress Brian Costello at THN very much yesterday) so maybe now’s a good time to get to know the guy better.

From Hockey Prime Time:

Neil Bristow - You made your NHL debut Dec.15th 2005. Can you share with us a little of what that was like? What was going through your mind at that time?

Pekka Rinne - It was something that I had always been dreaming of. At that time both Tomas Vokoun and Chris Mason were hurt and I got the call. Everything happened pretty fast and I didn`t have time to stress about the game, we won the game and it was just amazing experience I’ll remember for rest of my life.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: goalies, pekka+rinne

Blue Jackets Plan To Compete

from Tom Reed at Puck-rakers,

Hitchcock loves the word “compete.” He peppers interviews with it and uses it much like Nash, in every situation. Adjective, adverb, noun, verb, you name it. It is Hitch’s go-to, four-tool word. Last season, he didn’t believe he had enough competitors to fit his demanding style.

He can’t use that excuse this fall. He’s banking on an increased intensity level to help with the scoring until the home-grown talent such as Jakub Voracek and Derrick Brassard ripens.

The Jackets didn’t have a fourth double-digit goal scorer last season until Dan Fritsche recorded his 10th goal on March 14. That’s astonishing.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Personal Story

from Shawn Lavigne of Home Ice XM204,

18 years ago today on July 28, 1990 I should have died…literally

I was driving home from an overnight radio shift at CFRA in Ottawa and was one mile away from my home when I had a head-on collision with a truck. I fell asleep my car was destroyed and my body was mangled, I was given a 30 percent chance of survival and if I pulled through I faced paralysis….

In the end though when people feel sorry for me I always tell them it could have been worse. The greatest inspiration in my recovery was two things. My family and my friends! They never let me get down. There was no pity party only love and encouragement. It is amazing what a note, a card, or a visit does to pick someone’s spirits up. My mom never left my bedside until she knew I was out of danger.

read on

Filed in: NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Stamkos Signing to be Announced Tuesday

From Brant James at Lightning Strikes:

The team will begin rookie camp in Victoria, B.C., by formalizing the signing of Steven Stamkos, its No. 1 draft pick in this season’s NHL Entry Draft.

Not surprisingly, Stamkos was offered the most lucrative possible rookie contract as allowed by the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement: three years with a base of $850,000 and a total package value of $2.4 million if he reaches all maximum achievable performance bonuses (a complex set of league-standardized criteria.)

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steven+stamkos

Having Fun with Hockey in July

From Adam Proteau at The Hockey News,

If you truly want to feel like it’s January (only without the twin terrors of frostbite and New Year’s resolutions), here are a few tips to get you back in an on-ice mindset even in warm weather:

1. Start and finish a trade rumor cycle all by yourself.
Who says professional rumorists and swap-mongers get to have all the fun? By kicking off a whisper campaign among your friends and co-workers – using the most illogical, unworkable-under-salary-cap-regulations, one-sided deal you can dream up – then sitting back and watching the useless debates begin, you’ll think it’s a week prior to the NHL’s trade deadline before you know it.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hockey+fans

Trying to Reach the Cap Floor

From Spector at Fox Sports,

The Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes and Atlanta Thrashers are currently under the league’s cap “floor” of $40.7 million and must add salary to get over that mark before the start of next season.

As per NHLnumbers.com, the Coyotes ($38.592 million) and Thrashers ($37.719 million) are sitting comfortably within striking distance of the cap minimum, requiring little more than a few minor signings to get over the cap whilst filling their remaining roster spots.

The Kings, however, with a payroll of $27.756 million currently sit well below the cap minimum, and with 14 players under contract for next season have a long way to go to get over the cap and flesh out their roster.

read on

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Selective Pricing

from the Buffalo News,

The Buffalo Sabres announced today they have added a fifth category to their variable pricing schedule for the 2008-2009 season. The three Toronto games and a Friday night game against Montreal on February 6 will be designated as “Platinum” games, which will be the most costly, ranging from $78 to $233.

The other 37 home games will be allocated in last year’s categories of Gold (10), Silver (15), Bronze (9) and Value (3). The team said prices for Gold games will decrease by 15 percent from 2007-08 will increase on average 12 percent for the remaining categories.

more Sabres news…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Babcock With The Cup

“A dream comes true!”

Watch below as Mike Babcock takes control of the Cup.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+babcock

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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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