Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Canadiens Suspend Valentenko

The Canadiens’ young prospect Pavel Valentenko signed a deal in Russia earlier this week, and the Habs responded today by suspending the player from the team and presenting their concerns to the IIHF. 

Valentenko’s Canadian agent Roland Hedges tries to explain his client’s actions. From the Canadian Press via TSN:

Hedges said Valentenko has been supporting his family since he was 15, and took a pay cut to pursue his NHL dream when he signed with Montreal before the 2007-08 season.

After playing all of last season and the first four games of this season with Hamilton, he was given permission to return to Russia to attend to a family matter. He said the signing was not premeditated.

“His intention was to go home to see his parents and see what he could do,” said Hedges. “When he got home, his father already had the deal done (with Dynamo).

“And if you saw the size of the deal, you’d see why.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: iihf, khl, pavel+valentenko

Professor McPhee

From Tarik El-Bashir in the Washington Post,

George McPhee leaned forward in his chair, squinted his eyes and focused on the performance that was unfolding before him. Except on this Wednesday night, the performers weren’t hockey players and McPhee, the general manager of the Washington Capitals, wasn’t sitting in a suite high above the ice. Instead, he was in a classroom at Georgetown University grading the midterm projects of 44 students in his graduate-level sports management class.

The Washington Capitals GM is teaching eight classes this semester.  I think my favorite line in the article comes from one of McPhee’s students, who remarked “It’s like learning to play basketball from Michael Jordan” which, it occurs to me, might not be the best analogy… (edit: actually, I change my mind. I was thinking about that quote in the wrong way, equivocal to “...learning to play hockey from George McPhee.” Which obviously isn’t what was meant. Whoops!)

Anyway, great article—read the rest here.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: george+mcphee

Islanders On The Right Path

from Jim Baumbach of Newsday,

When (Bill) Torrey built the expansion Islanders from the ground up in 1972, he eschewed any talk of trying to put together an immediate contender. He, instead, focused on the draft with the goal being to build a core that would be competitive for years to come. He believed in that method then, and still does today.

Reached at his West Palm Beach, Fla. home, Torrey said he sees the parallels with his vision to Snow’s current plan and he thinks it’s the right way to go.

But he cautioned it’s going to take time and lots of patience.

read on

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

A Good Deal

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

In the context of that complicated four-year, $21.6-million (all currency U.S.) contract extension signed by the Ottawa Senators’ Daniel Alfredsson this past week, the question – of what constitutes a “good” contract in today’s NHL? – is more pertinent than ever.

And more to the point, who is the contract good for? The player? The team? Or in the rarest cases of all, for both?

Alfredsson clearly is satisfied with his new compensation package, which will permit him to play out his career with the Senators, the team that drafted him originally back in 1994 with a long-shot 133rd overall pick.

continued and other hockey topics too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+alfredsson

Dustin Brown Dishes Out the Hits

Dear NHL:  When LA Kings’ captain Dustin Brown slam you painfully into the boards this season, take heart in the fact that it costs him more than it costs you.  This press release from the LA Kings explains why:

TEAM CAPTAIN WILL DONATE $50 FOR EVERY BODY CHECK

Los Angeles Kings right-winger and team captain Dustin Brown has announced a partnership with KaBOOM! in conjunction with the Kings Care Foundation.

Brown will donate $50 for each of his body checks during the 2008-09 season to KaBOOM!, a non-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of very child in America.  Last season Brown led the NHL with 311 body checks.  Through five games the season he has a team-leading 21 body checks, which would equal $1,050 in donations.

In all seriousness, a good cause.  As the Kings note: “Since 1995, KaBOOM! has led the construction of more than 1,500 playgrounds, ice rinks, skate parks, and athletic fields.” You can find out more here.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dustin+brown

Devils Greene Out With Broken Hand

from NewJerseyDevils.com,

The Devils’ list of injured players grew by one more on Friday, when it was announced that defenseman Andy Greene is expected to miss the next four to six weeks with a broken hand.

Greene, who leads New Jersey defensemen with six points (1g-5a), sustained the injury in Wednesday’s 6-5 shootout loss to Toronto, but did not leave the game. He has five points in the last four games, including a three-assist night against the Leafs.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andy+greene

Hot Flame

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

Kiprusoff, whose big contract and big early-season goals-against-average had all kinds of critics questioning his abilities, continues to be a key cog in the club’s winning spree.

While the offensive heroes keep changing, he continues to be the constant, shining between the pipes night after night.

During Calgary’s winning streak, Kiprusoff has posted a sparkling 1.40 goals-against-average and .952 save percentage.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: miikka+kiprusoff

Watch College Hockey

New York, NY / Toronto, ON (October 31, 2008) – NHL Network today announced it has reached a one-year extension for broadcast rights to games from the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA), Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), and Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC Hockey).

The broadcast package provides NHL Network with 19 ‘Game of the Week’ match-ups that will air Friday nights through the remainder of the season. The deal also includes the ECAC Hockey Semifinals and Final.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, NHL Network, Non-NHL Hockey, College Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sharks Playing Their Game

from Damien Cox at ESPN,

Somebody somewhere presumably believes this blood-and-guts stuff sells. It’s 2008 and hockey is still writhing over the value of fighting in the sport. That says it all.

The Detroit Red Wings, needless to say, proved there was another way last season, riding skill, speed and Tre Kronor power to an impressive Stanley Cup title. The Wings hardly fought at all, didn’t carry an enforcer and roared through the postseason.

That left the San Jose Sharks, to name one team, in a bit of a conundrum.

Follow the Ducks or follow the Wings?

Simply being the Sharks, after all, wouldn’t do.

read on

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

Happy Halloween

Eric McErlain at AOL Fanhouse put this latest NHL promotional spot up on YouTube today, asking the trivia question: “Can you name all the goalies featured in the video?”

Unfortunately, I can’t, not all of them—someone else take a shot.

The photo below is a flashback to last year’s Halloween day episode of Pardon the Interruption, which featured Michael Wilbon dressed in a couple NHL jerseys—something that qualifies as scary on ESPN. smile 

 

Update 12:38pm ET: The Habs ask their players about their best Halloween memories—

Tom Kostopoulos: “My best costumes were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I wore a different one from that show three years in a row.  First, I was Raphael, then Donatello and then Shredder.  It was great!”

Mike Komisarek: “When I was a kid, my best costume was when I was dressed up as a hockey player.  At least, that’s the only one I can share…for a bunch of reasons.”

More at the Montreal Canadiens site.

Update 1:39pm ET: And from the LA Kings, favorite costumes—

Dustin Brown: Anze Kopitar. A couple years ago I was the Big Bad Wolf which was pretty good.

Anze Kopitar: I bought a Brown jersey so that’s what I am going to be.

Update 1:52pm ET: More team mentions of Halloween and related events from the Devils, the Bruins, the Blues, the Sabres... etc.  The NHL site also has a feature up on horror-themed hockey masks.  And over at Going Five Hole Sean Leahy has some costume suggestions for NHL players.

Last but not least, go here if you feel like taking a light quiz.

Update 2:07pm ET: Reminded by Lady Stanley in the comments, I’d be remiss not pointing to the S.J. Sharkie video we posted yesterday. smile

Update 3:13 pm ET: Not exactly hockey related, but when Bruce Springsteen releases a spooky new tune on Halloween called “A Night With the Jersey Devil” we gotta include it, right? Check it out.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: media

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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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