Kukla's Korner

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Category: NHL-Teams

Be Thankful For

from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,


I thought both the Red Wings and Lidstrom were a little too long in the tooth to be serious Stanley Cup contenders this season. I was wrong, wrong & wrong. Lidstrom, 40, has been nothing short of spectacular thus far recording 20 points in 18 games. He’s on pace for 14 goals and 91 points which is significantly better than the nine goals and 49 points he managed last year.


Steven Stamkos gets most of the headlines in Tampa Bay, and with 20 goals in 21 games, why wouldn’t he? But it’s his running mate, little Martin St-Louis who does most of the grunt work. The NHL’s most valuable player and top scorer in 2003-04 continues to be the driving force behind Tampa Bay’s re-emergence in the Eastern Conference.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Mess On Long Island

Pierre LeBrun of ESPN answers some emails,

Q. I think the Islanders mess needs to be addressed in an unprecedented show of force by the league. The latest circus moments are the attempted circumvention of the SALARY FLOOR, increase of prices, dismissal of Billy Jaffe, 12-game losing streak, press credential pulling of Chris Botta, the complete and seemingly intentional destruction of this team by the ownership since they didn’t get their Lighthouse Project approved, and the firing of Scott Gordon (coach #?) as a scapegoat for the incompetence and contempt this management crew seems to have for the fan base. Couple that with the endless amount of things over the LAST 20 YEARS (Milbury antics, other ownership issues including a con man buying the team, fishermen, NYLES, Yashin, yadda, yadda, yadda), and many people not even realizing this team still exists, the league has to say enough is enough….

LeBrun: It is utterly sad, is it not? A rink that’s half empty for every game, a team that’s last overall in the league and the bizarre off-ice distractions like the Jaffe and Botta situations. First, let’s be fair: not that many teams would survive the long-term injury losses of Mark Streit and Kyle Okposo, not to mention the other injuries. Those two guys were arguably the best two players on the team last season. Still, it’s ugly. My biggest concern if I were an Islanders fan is what John Tavares and his powerful agent Pat Brisson (Crosby, Toews, Kane) will think once the star forward’s entry-level contract is up in July 2012. Your top priority right now must be to make sure you don’t lose his enthusiasm for wanting to stay in Long Island.

more Q & A…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Trouble Ahead For Which Canadian Team?

from Jamie Bell of TSN,

If you’re a fan of a Canadian-based NHL team, the ‘glass half-full’ point of view would show that heading in to action on Wednesday, three of the six teams are in a playoff position - with a fourth just on the outside looking in.

The more cynical opinion would be to say that three of the six teams were completely out of the post-season picture, with an additional two teams tenuously gripping to the eighth and final spot in both the Eastern and Western Conferences.

The realist would say that at this point in the season, the Montreal Canadiens appear to be the only Canadian-based team with a legitimate shot at making a sustained playoff run, and even then there are some legitimate concerns about the team’s lack of size and a devastating knee injury to defenceman Andrei Markov.

Regardless of the approach, it’s far from a banner year for Canadian teams - but whose situation has become the most untenable?


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Blast From Buffalo Reporter Exposes Our Vanity

As you’ve probably figured out by now, we’re living in an increasingly egocentric world.  It’s 2010 and all of us, in our tweeting, blog meta tagging and facebook friending glory, are legends in our own minds.  We’re so important and relevant that we were even voted collectively as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year.

So, when someone dares to challenge our elite celebrity status or question our worthiness as it were, well at that point it’s “Go” time.  That’s precisely what happened in Buffalo yesterday.  An e-mob of Sabres fans shouted a loud “Do You Know Who I Am!” to a mainstream newspaper guy who by technology standards still parties like its 1999.

After some unsubstantiated hearsay about Derek Roy supposedly striking Tim Connolly in the face at Ryan Miller’s charity event gained some legs courtesy of a tweet from former Sabre and current ESPN reporter Matthew Barnaby, Buffalo News reporter John Vogl apparently was frustrated by his due diligence obligation on the matter.

It’s not preferable for those who report the news to become the news, but that’s exactly what happened following Tuesday’s Sabres practice, when Vogl unloaded some epic anti-twitter blasts for the ages in his blog. 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bloggers, buffalo+news, buffalo+sabres, john+vogl, mainstream+media

Sharks In Need Of Goals

from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,

The Sharks are off to a slow start. If you are pondering when to officially become concerned about that, coach Todd McLellan can tell you.

“A month ago,” he said Tuesday.

All right, then.

Fortunately, the Chicago Blackhawks are in town tonight, to give us an excellent barometer about our beloved Los Tiburones, who have compiled a meandering 9-6-4 record to date. The Sharks have looked good, bad, sharp, awful, brilliant and sloppy “... often within the same period.

McLellan has not been shy about expressing frustration over his team, saying it can work harder and execute better.


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

Blackhawks Enjoy Their Vegas Stay

via Norm Clarke of the Las Vegas Review-Journal,

The final tab remains a mystery for the Chicago Blackhawks’ epic party at Lavo (Palazzo) on Sunday.

So too, for now, is the identity of the ‘Hawk rookie who spent the night in an awesome replica of the “Iron Man” suit of armor.

But this much is known: it was a bubblicious night of such magnitude that the 11 a.m. workout at the Fiesta was canceled. Blackhawks down!

And that 6-liter bottle of champagne they ordered goes for $35,000.

It appeared to be the club’s annual rookies party, an NHL tradition that calls for the team’s first-year players to split the tab.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Put The Red Line Back In Play To Cut Down On Head Shots

from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,

Brett Hull, now an executive vice-president with the Dallas Stars, used to be a font of goals. Now he is a font of ideas. He thinks the NHL can use an old approach to open a second front in its war against blindside hits that target the head: reinsert the red line.

The red line topic has cropped up in passing in discussions among GMs—Ottawa’s Bryan Murray is said to be a proponent of the idea—but it never has gained any sort of traction. Then again, the argument in favor of the return to the red line never has been made quite in the way Hull frames it.

Hull says players are increasingly vulnerable to the Rule 48 hits because they continually turn their heads to look back for the long passes that are encouraged by the increased open ice. The old-time zone-to-zone-to-zone passes, he posits, would help alleviate the problem.

Just a thought. Certainly it’s worth examining some videotape to gather empirical data.

read on for more hockey topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brett+hull

Byfuglien Settles In On D

from John Manasso at NHL.com,

Twenty-one games into the NHL season, the marriage of Dustin Byfuglien on defense in the first season of Craig Ramsay’s tenure as coach of the Atlanta Thrashers looks like a match made in heaven.

After Byfuglien arrived during the offseason from Stanley Cup champion Chicago via trade, Atlanta elected to move the 6-foot-3, 265-pounder, fresh off a dynamic performance in the playoffs as a forward, back to defense. General manager Rick Dudley made the trade and hired Ramsay within a whirlwind 24-hour period in June.

Maybe somewhere in the hockey savant mind of Dudley, the vision of Byfuglien paired with Ramsay’s system, which encourages defensemen to join the rush, such a potent mix had first bloomed. Entering Wednesday’s games, Byfuglien ranks third among defensemen in points with 19 (only 15 shy of his total for all of last season), trailing the League co-leaders by a single point and leading all defensemen in goals with seven.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dustin+byfuglien

Start Planning Your Hockey Viewing Now

13 games tonight, 1 tomorrow and 13 on Friday.

Friday is a hockey lovers dream.  First game begins at noon and the final horn should close out all the hockey action about 12:30am on Saturday.

Normally when games are scheduled throughout the day and night, we get a break of about an hour or so in the late afternoon, but not on Friday.  That is 12 1/2 hours of action, and non-stop action.

I know what I will be doing all day and hope to have some leftover turkey to enjoy the day even more.

See the schedule below, which starts today and runs through Friday.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Rangers Won’t Overpay For Brad Richards

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

You know what, if Rangers general manager Glen Sather cares to pony up Marc Staal or Michael Del Zotto and Brandon Dubinsky or Ryan Callahan, then the Blueshirts undoubtedly would have Richards, the blue-chip Dallas first-line center in the final season of his contract at a $7.8 million cap hit, in time for tonight’s opening faceoff at Tampa Bay.

The Post has learned, however, that Sather has no intention of offering the financially distressed Stars that absurd combination of young guns, or indeed any permutation of emerging Bluebloods to fill the need for an upper-echelon playmaker to skate with Marian Gaborik, though the absence of such a pivot wouldn’t seem to have had anything to do with No. 10’s puzzling disappearing act against the Flames in Monday’s rollicking 2-1 victory at the Garden.

There is no doubt Sather will mount up, cry giddyup, and pursue Richards—who won the Conn Smythe playing for coach John Tortorella’s 2004 Stanley Cup-winning Lightning—once he hits the open market on July 1.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brad+richards

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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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