Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Category: NHL-Talk

Morning Line- Steve Yzerman

"Geez, half the time, you're texting the guy sitting right at the table next to you," Yzerman said. "You can do that from anywhere. Whether we're doing it remotely or live, I think it has no bearing. You're going to do what you're going to do regardless. Believe it or not, it's not like we just wander around the room, kind of looking for somebody, and open up the raincoat and sell them a watch or something like that. There is a bit of a plan to it all, believe it or not."

"I personally like doing the draft remotely, albeit the second day was kind of a death march for everyone," Yzerman said. "We’re all on the floor, we’re kind of packed at our table, there’s not a lot of room, there’s a lot of distractions. I like doing it remotely and got used to it."

-Steve Yzerman, Executive VP and GM for the Detroit Red Wings.  Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press has more.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Off-Season Hockey Notes

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- Curry is the NBA’s highest-paid player at $48 million. Connor McDavid is the NHL’s highest-paid player at $12.5 million for each of the next four seasons. Patrick Mahomes leads the NFL at $45 million a season and pitcher Max Scherzer is baseball’s highest-paid player at $43 million this year … When the NHL went to salary cap in 2004, the highest-paid players were Jaromir Jagr and Peter Forsberg, each at $11 million a year. The salary cap then was $39 million. It has more than doubled since then, 18 years later, but the highest player has only grown from $11 million to $12.5 million. The salary of the middle-range players has grown out of control in the NHL: And that’s happened at the expense of the superstars, who aren’t paid comparable to what the greats are paid in other leagues.

- Daniel Alfredsson is going to the Hockey Hall of Fame. That’s nice, if not necessarily convincing. Still waiting: Jeremy Roenick, Alexander Mogilny, Keith Tkachuk, Theo Fleury — all of whom were every part the equal if not the better than Alfredsson and all of whom scored more NHL goals. If I was picking players for the Hall, I would vote Mogilny first, Roenick second and then debate between Alfredsson and Tkachuk. And then maybe Rod Brind’Amour and Fleury after that.

- The Hockey Hall of Fame announced its class of 2022 last Monday and again the name of Paul Henderson was left behind, which every year gets a response.

Maybe this year more than ever.

more on the last topic plus a few more hockey notes...

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

This Is The NHL

from Phil Mushnick of the New York Post,

Given that modern marketing strategies have not yet afflicted the NHL or have been rejected by coaches and players, no scored goals were followed by look-at-me demonstrations toward the nearest TV camera, a mime of a dog urinating on the boards (or opposing goalie) or the scorer grabbing his crotch (to soon be rewarded with Subway sandwich commercial endorsements).

Instead, the scorer immediately found the nearest teammate or the one who made the pass to express and share joy and thanks.

In fact, throughout the Cup, ESPN and Turner were stuck: No slow-mo (or any “mo”) replays of players in self-aggrandizing, chest-pounding mode to show en route to commercials, as per the mindless NFL TV norm.

Sunday’s second period included that commercial for Mass Mutual Insurance, the one with snippets of interviews with NHL players, all of them reflexively referencing themselves as part of a team. The close of the ad reminds us, “It’s never I. It’s we.”


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Will The Russians Return?

from Michael Russo and Dan Robson of The Athetic,

Before Kirill Kaprizov returned to Russia this offseason, Bill Guerin asked his Minnesota Wild star if he’d consider remaining in the United States or spending his offseason somewhere other than his own country.

Maybe on Fisher Island in Miami, where he stayed for a few weeks before signing his five-year, $45 million contract last fall. Maybe even in Norway with his mentor and Wild teammate, Mats Zuccarello.

Brian MacLellan, the Washington Capitals general manager, planned to have the same conversation with Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and his other Russian players. In fact, one prominent agent who represents a number of Russian players suggested to his clients they not return home.

“Some Russians should stay in North America this summer,” the agent said. “Just a thought.”

Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that began in February and the current friction between Russia and the United States and Canada as sanctions continue to mount, there is concern among some NHL teams and the league itself that the Russian government could prevent Russian players from returning to their NHL teams later this summer.


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

Playoff Numbers

via the NHL PR department,

The 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs opened with two weeks of “Mayhem” in the First Round, featured the “Battle of Alberta” in the Second Round, the second-highest scoring Conference Finals sweep in history and a Stanley Cup Final that saw the Colorado Avalanche dethrone the two-time defending champions to claim their first Cup in two decades. A few #NHLStats to tell the story of the highest-scoring playoffs since 1995:

1999 – Year that “All The Small Things” was released by blink-182, with the song becoming the in-game anthem of the Stanley Cup champion Avalanche.

562 – Goals scored in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the fifth most in a postseason that consisted of four or fewer rounds (i.e., excluding 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers).

101 – Average percentage of capacity for crowds at NHL arenas, with 1,655,687 fans attending the 89 postseason games in the first “normal” postseason since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

89 – Games played in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the most in a postseason that consisted of four or fewer rounds (i.e., excluding 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers) since 2016 (91).

Continue Reading »

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

Bob McKenzie’s Final Draft Rankings

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

It’s a photo finish for the No. 1 spot on TSN’s 2022 NHL Draft Final Ranking and, by the slimmest of margins, it’s Juraj Slafkovsky over Shane Wright.

Five of 10 scouts surveyed by TSN ranked the 6-foot-4 Slovak left winger at No. 1, while four scouts slotted the Kingston Frontenac centre in the top spot.

The headline will be that it’s the first time this season — that includes pre-season rankings in Septembermid-season rankings in Januarydraft lottery edition rankings in April; and now the final rankings in June — that someone other than Wright is No. 1.

Slafkovsky was ranked No. 5 at mid-season but used two stellar international performances, at the Olympics and the men’s world championship, to vault to TSN’s No. 1 spot heading into the draft in Montreal on July 7-8.

There are, however, two points worth noting.


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

Upcoming Key Dates

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

Video- P.K. Subban On The NHL

via the YouTube page of the NHL on ESPN,

P.K. Subban on why hockey deserves more appreciation | First Take
Stephen A. Smith, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and P.K. Subban debate whether hockey gets the attention it deserves.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Riley Cote Has Turned To Psychedelic Drugs

from Steve Volk of Rolling Stone,

Riley Cote’s journey to enlightenment began in earnest when a hulking man punched him in the face. Cote, now 40 and retired from professional hockey, remembers the moment with a dark laugh. He’d gotten into this particular bust-up one night during the 2009 season with one of the NHL’s most vicious fighters, and took the worst of it, waking the next day with his left eye blackened shut.

“What,” he asked himself, “am I doing?”

He drove to the Philadelphia Flyers training facility and got into the shower. Feeling congested, he reached for a tissue. He didn’t realize he’d suffered a cracked sinus, so what happened next was physics. When he blew his nose, the air — rather than coming out of his nostrils — inflated his face. The pressure surged instantly behind his good eye and closed it tight....

After eight years in pro hockey (four in the NHL, four hopping around its minor-league teams), Cote felt his retirement bearing down. As an NHL “enforcer” — a player whose main role is to get into fights — he’d taken countless hits on the ice. Off it, he self-medicated with booze and drugs. He’d brutalized his body inside and out by the tender age of 28. “I damaged my brain,” Cote says. “Punching it and dehydrating it and partying my ass off.”

Today, Cote is a new man, with a mane of long brown hair, a yoga-trimmed physique, and an aura of ease in his own skin. It is a transformation he credits largely to psychedelic drugs.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Late Evening Line -Kelsie Snow

"This is a disease that happens in the darkness, right?" Kelsie said. "It's such an overwhelming disease just to live with that most of the time people can't advocate and can't be a face for it while they're going through it. You go home, and you just try to get through every day, and you're just gutting it out every single day.

"And so, for us to have the opportunity for him to be as healthy as he's been for as long as he's been, really allows us to put a public face to it. And that's the goal, right? It's not, like, 'Oh, we're inspiring.' That's not what we're here for.

"We're here to just say, 'Hey, look at us. There's a ton of other people like us, and we want you to see this disease and understand that it's happening to young families. It's not just happening to grandparents. It's happening to young dads, young moms.'"

-Kelsie Snow, wif of Chris Snow who is battling ALS.  Nick Cotsonika of NHLcom has more.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, NHL Talk, | 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 [email protected]



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