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Category: NHL-Teams

Update from Raleigh: All Eyes on the Draft

Funny… In chatting with several casual hockey fan friends and family of mine about being in Raleigh here for ASG weekend, a mention of “The Draft” as part of the festivities has led to a pause in each case and a question along the lines of, “Wait, what? They’re having the draft at the All-Star game now?”

Of course, they don’t know any better - that it’s juuust a “fantasy” draft for an exhibition game.

We do, but if we didn’t, judging from walking around Fan Fest at the Raleigh Convention Center today, where the draft will be held, this silly little pick ‘em event is being taken pretty seriously.

Granted, Nicklas Lidstrom and Eric Staal aren’t exactly holed up in “war rooms” or anything but the league and its broadcast partners are certainly planning on putting on a first-class show. The set for the draft is aces (and enormous!) and the commentators and analysts from TSN and Versus were intently rehearsing each and every “pick”, with Darren Dreger playing Staal and Matthew Barnaby assuming the role of Lidstrom.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+ward, eric+staal, gary+bettman, martin+st.+louis, nhl+all-star+game, nicklas+lidstrom, steven+stamkos

ASG Coaches Assigned

RALEIGH, N.C. (January 28, 2011)—The coaching assignments for the 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend were determined after a coin-flip ceremony today.

      Head coach Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks and his assistant, Mike Haviland, was assigned to coach Team Staal—captained by Eric Staal of the All-Star host Carolina Hurricanes.

      Head coaches Peter Laviolette of the Philadelphia Flyers and Alain Vigneault of the Vancouver Canucks, meanwhile, will coach Team Lidstrom, which is captained by Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings.

      Quenneville and Haviland were named as All-Star coaches as a reward for guiding the Blackhawks to the 2010 Stanley Cup Championship. Laviolette and Vigneault earned All-Star coaching honors for leading their respective conferences through the midpoint of the regular season (Saturday, Jan. 8).

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: 2011+all-star+game

At The All-Star Break

I’ve listed the Eastern and Western Conference standings below and would like your thoughts of how will the standing look at the end of the regular season.

What teams fade, what teams make a push to get make the playoffs?

In the East, I think there will be only one change, Atlanta will be out while Carolina will move up into the top 8.

Looking at the West, Nashville and Phoenix drop out of the playoff picture while Minnesota and Calgary, yes Calgary, make the playoffs.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Talking Trades

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

“There hasn’t been much real talk,” Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon told ESPN.com this week. “Teams are saying ‘We’ll talk later, we’ll talk later.’ But that’s fine.”

“Most of us have players that we would make available even right now for a trade, either because they’re underperforming and/or overpaid,” Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier told us this week. “But it’s impossible right now to get an agreement on values. We’re all hoping that we’re going to be able to just charge a cost without taking anything back, and that’s not reality. So I think, yes, we’re all sitting around to the last day or two again [before the trade deadline].”

It’s been a frustrating time over the past month for several GMs who are trying to shake things up.

“There’s been lots of talk going on, but it’s hard to jar anything loose right now,” Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson said this week.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Will Money Motivate Semin?

from Damien Cox of The Spin,

To many who don’t watch the Caps a lot, it might be easy to believe that Ovechkin, Backstrom and Semin are the Big Three, particularly after Semin chimed in with a 40-goal season a year ago. But that’s far from the case. In fact, Leaf fans who don’t much like the way Phil Kessel plays would find a lot of similarities between Kessel and Semin, particularly the way in which they prefer the periphery to those angry, messy areas much closer to the net, which contributies to the streakiness of each player. There are a lot of players like that in the league, and it’s the ones like Semin who play in markets where there isn’t a great deal of media scrutiny who fare the best. Put Semin on the Leafs and Kessel on the Caps and you’d see them perceived in very very different ways.

Semin’s competitive reputation took a huge hit with his dreadful performance in the playoffs last spring against Montreal, and he hadn’t scored in 14 games this season before being knocked to the sideline with an injury this season.

So how does that player get $6.7 million for next year, a bump up from $6 mil’ this season?


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+semin

Morning Line

“There might be a change or two, but we believe in the group and I think there’s more to come from what we have here, and it’s starting to come. I like the way we’ve played. You have to look at the big picture; you can’t micromanage this game or that game. In general, we’ve played good hockey over the last stretch here and if we continue it bodes well, but we can always look at tweaking personnel-wise to make us even better.”

-Stan Bowman, GM of the Chicago Blackhawks.  More from Stan by Tim Sassone of Between The Circles.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: stan+bowman

Greetings from Raleigh!

Well, we made it, and in some pretty decent time, as best I can tell.

But I will say this: Nine-and-a-half hours in a car with anyone is trying – and my partner on The Bolts Beat, ESPN 1040’s Mike Corcoran didn’t even do anything wrong. In fact, he did many things right! I mean, have you ever seen anyone eat three, count ‘em, three bacon cheeseburgers from Wendy’s in one sitting??? In fairness, I should counter that with an admittance to crushing about eight double stuffed Oreos once the energy meter started plummeting but, man, was that burger bombing awfully impressive!

We arrived right around 12:30 am and were basically settled in the room by 1:00. I considered a quick pint at what was described as the only place that would still be open right here in the vicinity of our hotel but decided against it in favor of some shuteye.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all-star+weekend, nhl, nhl+all-star+game

Recognizable Names In The Draft

from Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star,

They are, in many ways, their father’s sons.

When the NHL conducts its annual entry draft this June, there will be at least a dozen teenagers with recognizable names, thanks to a father, uncle or brother who has played in the league before them.

Those names include Max Iafrate, son of former Leaf Al Iafrate; Keegan Lowe, son of Edmonton Oilers executive Kevin Lowe; and Dillon Simpson, son of former Oiler, CBC hockey analyst and Battle of the Blades performer Craig Simpson.

Being the son of a famous NHLer has its advantages and its pratfalls. Some of the would-be second-generation stars say they received the best hockey guidance possible, as they grew from kids on backyard rinks into prospective professionals. On the other hand some, like Wayne Gretzky’s son Trevor, discovered their natural athletic ability led them to a different sport entirely — football, in this case.


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

LLL - Kessel Might be Drafted Last Overall

Leaf Nation will tell you, Kessel does not deserve to represent Toronto in this weekend’s All Star festivities – Grabovski has been the best Leaf this season.

But Kessel will nonetheless appear as an almost obligatory representative for a Toronto Maple Leafs team that really does not have a player worthy of being an All Star.

What will sting the most, however, is this: Kessel is one of the favourites to be the player selected last overall.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+kessel

Super Hero NHL Captains

Not sure why there hasn’t been more talk about this, but along with all the other events going on during All-Star Weekend, the first Super Hero NHL Captain will be announced.

I believe Toronto is first.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | 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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