Kukla's Korner

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Bruins Improving

from Ryan Dixon of the Hockey News,

For one of the few times since they moved to TD Banknorth Garden from ‘The Gah-den,’ the Black and Gold are emitting signs of long-term progress.

Everybody knows about the Bruins’ commitment to defense. It starts with coach Claude Julien’s teachings, filters down through Zdeno Chara’s wingspan and touches every corner of the dressing room.

That Boston will play a stingy game is a given. Where I see the B’s branching out, though, is on the attack. Only New Jersey and the Islanders celebrated fewer goals than Boston’s 212 last year, a number that’s sure to improve with the return of one player, the addition of another and the natural progression of two youngsters.

Reports indicate center Patrice Bergeron is on course to return healthy and hungry after a hit from behind by Philadelphia’s Randy Jones limited his season to 10 games last year.

more on the Bruins…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Nash Would Stay In Columbus If Everything Lines Up Right

from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,

The franchise’s most marketable player lauded the offseason roster makeover but made no declarations about his long-range future here other than to express his continued affinity for his adopted hometown. He labeled the coming season a “huge year” in terms of franchise growth.

“It’s always in your head obviously about (where) your following years will be,” said Nash, who scored 38 goals last season. “I’m happy in Columbus; I love it in Columbus. I would stay here if everything lined up right.”

Reaching the playoffs for the first time in franchise history might make Nash’s decision easier and possibly curb speculation that he plans to bolt for a larger market such as Toronto.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rick+nash

Asham Has Eyes On The Cup In Philly

“I’m there to win a cup — that’s the most important thing on my mind,” said Asham. “Last year with the Devils, we came up short in the first round and that’s definitely disappointing, but this is a new start and I think we have the guts to do it.”

“I think it’s going to be good, I think Philly definitely fits my game. They’re a rough-tough hockey team. I’m definitely going there excited. They had a great run last year in the playoffs and my goal right now is to win a Stanley Cup before my career is over, and I’m running out of years. I think Philly is my best chance.”

-more from Aaron Asham at the Portage Daily Graphic…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: aaron+asham

Harvey vs. Lidstrom

from Greatest Hockey Legends,

Now, on to Doug’s question. Is Nicklas Lidstrom better than Doug Harvey?

I think history tends to nicely accept that Doug Harvey is the second best defenseman of all time, behind Bobby Orr, of course. In fact, most of the so called experts tend to place Harvey in top ten players of all time, regardless of position….

Doug Harvey was the epitome of hockey grace, and one of the few players in hockey history that could truly take control of a game all by himself.

Now that is awfully hard to compete against. Lidstrom is catching up, with more seasons ahead. He’s got 4 Stanley Cup championships and 6 Norris Trophies. His career offensive numbers dwarf Harvey’s, mind you that is due much to the very different eras each played in. Both are classic and near flawless defenders and both are dominant at both ends of the ice.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: doug+harvey, nick+lidstrom

Cole Wants To Play A Big Role In Edmonton

from Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal,

Cole and his wife had just made a quick trip to Edmonton from their home in upstate New York.

They will return in August with their two children, aged seven and four.

“This is more about opportunity. There’s going to be a tremendous opportunity for me to play with two tremendous hockey players, and that’s not to say I wasn’t in Carolina, but I’m looking to play a bigger role, more of a leadership role,” said Cole.

“I’m going from a team where I was maybe in the middle of the road, maybe even one of the younger guys, to being the old goat in the room. I’m excited about everything.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: erik+cole

The New Mark Smith

from the Register Pajaronian,

Tuning his mandolin and setting up microphones for his evening show at the Bargetto Winery in Soquel Thursday, Mark Smith — better known to San Jose Sharks fans as simply ‘Smitty’ — hardly resembled the player fans had come to love during his six years with the team.

Gone is the teal-and-purple-dyed Mohawk he once proudly sported. Gone is the mean streak that earned him 97 penalty minutes one season. Gone is the blue-collar, tough-as-nails fourth-line center who earned his way into the NHL with more black eyes and bruises than goals and assists….

This is the new Smitty — the version 2.0 Smitty. And it’s who he wants to be now.

“I think moving to California and being in the lifestyle and the surroundings, you kind of take that on yourself,” he said behind a pair of red-rimmed sunglasses. “It impacted me in a big way. I’ve always liked the acoustic guitar and being able to just take off and go to the beach and play. But yeah, it definitely contradicts the way I play the game of hockey.”

more

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

PSA- Stoney & Wojo’s Radiothon

The 11th Annual Stoney and Wojo Radiothon for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society started today and runs through 7pm on Friday, July 25. Over the past 10 years they’ve raised well over one million dollars toward kicking Leukemia and Lymphoma’s ass!

Stoney & Wojo of WDFN in Detroit are broadcasting live for 28 hours straight to raise money for Leukemia & Lymphoma research. During the event, Stoney and Wojo will be joined by some of the biggest names in local and national sports and some guests will even make a surprise appearance on-site!

For more information including hourly auction items, follow this link.  A listen live link is also on the top-left side of the page.

Both Mike and Bob are regular KK readers and have promoted us numerous times throughout the hockey season.  If you can help out, I am sure they would appreciate your donation.

image

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Can A Bought-Out Player Help

from Terry Frei at ESPN,

When bought-out players hit the market this June, potential “bargains” became available.

Among those with severance packages, so to speak, Todd Bertuzzi signed with Calgary, Darcy Tucker and Andrew Raycroft went to Colorado, and Marc Denis agreed to a deal with his hometown Canadiens….

The X factor is how ruthless or passive the player and his agent are when negotiating the next deal, given the buyout money coming in. The emergence of Russian hockey as a financially viable alternative also has changed the picture.

The contrasts involving the goaltenders who fell out of favor: Denis’ two-way deal with the Canadiens was a two-way street without much risk, but Emery will be getting about $2 million from Atlant Mytishchi next season.

By definition, the bought-out players have been judged to underachieve and not deliver sufficient bang for the bucks.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Brett Favre’s Hockey Future? Ummmm…

From the Iowa CHOPS:

Favre and the Iowa Chops do have something in common.  They both have received a large amount of publicity the past couple weeks, but for completely different reasons.  Favre wants to come out of retirement and play football, but Nitzel believes hockey may be the best sport for him this time around.  “We can offer him plenty of bone-crushing hits, read-and-react plays, and thousands of fans cheering for him, so what’s not to like about that?” said Nitzel.  “All we have to do is sharpen his skating skills and after that, his athletic instincts will take over and he’ll be one heck of a hockey player.”

Nitzel said the Iowa Chops have contacted and will be sending a contract to Brett Favre’s agent, James ‘Bus’ Cook Jr., in hopes that the quarterback will consider signing with the Iowa Chops.  “We live in a beautiful, Midwestern city here in Des Moines and play in a state-of-the-art major league venue at Wells Fargo Arena, so that meets Brett’s criteria of places to play,” said Nitzel.  “We wanted to be the first team to offer him something new and challenging, and I believe he will enjoy the thrill of raising the Calder Cup just as much as he did the Vince Lombardi Trophy back in 1997.”

Read on.  And if you want to know why the Chops have received a lot of publicity lately, you might want to flip over to to this post at Puck Daddy.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brett+favre, iowa+chops, logos

Financial Health The Goal Of The NHLPA

from TSN,

While supporting the possibility of Canadian expansion, Kelly said the NHLPA’s main goal is to ensure all the teams in the NHL are financially healthy. Kelly has ideas about what it will take to achieve that goal.

“It will ultimately come down to the revenue-sharing system we have in the game,” Kelly told the Team 1040. “I mean the haves - the big market teams - are doing very, very well financially, and they could probably do more in the way of revenue sharing to help out those teams that are in the bottom five or six on the list to help make them more stable financially….

more

Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+kelly

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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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