Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

‘Stock’ Gifts

from P.J. Stock of Blogs and Columns at CBC,

Best of the season to everyone except those that rip me about my blog entries. I hope many of you get coal in your stockings and reindeer manure under the tree. For all the others, a WII, a new car, gum, whatever you’re looking for, I hope you get….

Deserving of a gift:

1. Boston Bruins

Why? Despite competing with three other teams in the city that are all champions (Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox) and an owner who has a bad reputation in the city as a frugal man, the Bruins are back.

They have a star youngster, who, one year after being scratched for games in the playoffs because he wasn’t competing enough, responded by being one of league’s top scorers. That’s Phil Kessel….

more gifts and coal being passed out too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Wings Need To Keep Their Head Down At Wrigley

from Hey, Missy at the Chicago Tribune,

In particular, the Red Wings will have to navigate a particularly steep and narrow set of about 15 steps down from the tiny visitors clubhouse and make one of the longest walks in baseball to the dugout and then out to the rink. Three times. For the last portion before getting to the dugout, anyone over six feet (and with skates on, that pretty much applies to everyone), they also have to be careful not to bump their heads.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+classic

Financial Woes In The KHL

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

As with all start-ups, it has not exactly been smooth sailing for the KHL in its inaugural season. On Saturday, the league’s board of directors met to ponder an idea that had been floated the week before – a 30 per-cent across-the-board contract rollback to cut costs for some of the most under-funded franchises.

Amid heavy opposition from the newly formed players’ association (run by Andrei Kovalenko, a former NHL, nicknamed The Tank in his playing days), the proposal was put on the shelf at least for the duration of this season. KHL president Alexander Medvedev decided, according to sources, that trying to force a rollback would cause more headaches than it would solve problems….

The KHL salary cap will almost certainly be reduced next season; and Medvedev – a major emerging force in the hockey world - went to great lengths to warn teams that were in arrears in paying player salaries that those agreements needed to be honored. He went so far as to say the government might even intervene if promises weren’t kept.

more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl

Holiday Gifts

It’s that time of the year again, so here are the presents people in the hockey world should see under the tree.

read on for the rest of the story at my NHL.com submission for the week.

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

Calder ‘Sleeper’ Pick

from John Grigg of the Hockey News,

...But there’s one under-the-radar player who is fast making a name for himself around the NHL and coming up in Calder chatter (at least when I’m involved) – Boston defender Matt Hunwick.

The 23-year-old native of Warren, Mich., is an alumnus of the U.S. National Team Development Program and the University of Michigan. The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder started this year – his second pro season – with the American League’s Providence Bruins, but was called up after just two games. His first NHL game this season came on Oct. 15, but then he sat out until November. When Andrew Ference fractured his leg, Hunwick got a chance to be a regular and has only missed one game since.

After failing to register a point through his first five NHL games this season, Hunwick reeled off a six-game point streak in which he tallied three goals and eight points. He currently has three goals, 14 points (tying him for 10th among rookies with Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan) and is plus-13 in just 21 games.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+hunwick

Looking Ahead To 2009

from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,

Five questions to answer in 2009

Will the Sharks finally break through in the playoffs?
No, we don’t expect the Sharks to keep winning at this pace and finish the season undefeated in regulation at home. But we also don’t anticipate the annual playoff collapse, either. There’s something different about this San Jose team, and the roster finally has players who know what it takes to advance beyond the first two rounds.

How quickly will Brian Burke tear things down in Toronto?
There’s no easy way to rebuild, but the worst thing a rebuilding franchise can be is average. It needs to get much worse in Toronto before it gets better—and that starts by dealing anyone who can return prospects and picks.

read on plus a look at 2008…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Capitals Recall Two

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have recalled defensemen Bryan Helmer and forward Andrew Gordon from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today.

Helmer, 36, is a 6’1”, 215-pound 16-year pro from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. He is the Bears captain and is the active AHL games played (894) and assists (361) leader. The undrafted Helmer, No. 43 with Washington, has 11 assists in 25 AHL games with year. He was recently named captain for the Canadian team in next month’s AHL All-Star Classic. This is Helmer’s second recall of the year, as he recorded one assist in six games with the Capitals from Nov. 28 – Dec. 10. He has 24 points (8g-16a) in 140 career NHL games with Washington, Phoenix, Vancouver and St. Louis.

Gordon, 23, is a 6’0”, 185-pound second-year pro from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has 20 points (10g-10a) in 30 AHL games this year and is one of only four Bears to have double-digit goals and assists. Gordon has two game-winning goals and has tallied at least one point in 15 games this season.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

KK- Holiday Plans

I know many of you are about to get on with your holiday plans and I do hope you have a peaceful holiday season.

I will be updating KK through tomorrow, probably stopping around 4pm or so.

KK will be a post free zone on Christmas and will return on the 26th of December.

image

Filed in: KK Website Business, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Wheeler On Pace For Bonuses

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

...there’s a good chance that if Wheeler (11-9 -20, plus-19 in 33 games) continues to produce at his current rate, he’ll earn some extra cash to tack onto his $875,000 base pay.

Wheeler is in line to hit three $212,500 Individual A bonuses: scoring at least 20 goals, finishing among the top three Bruins in plus-minus, and making the All-Rookie Team. Wheeler is on pace to score 27 goals. He is second on the team in plus-minus, trailing only Marc Savard (plus-20). Among rookies, Wheeler is tied with Toronto’s Mikhail Grabovski with 20 points, trailing Columbus’s Derick Brassard (25), Chicago’s Kris Versteeg (25), and St. Louis’s Patrik Berglund (21). Brassard dislocated his shoulder last Thursday and is expected to miss the rest of the season.

more on the Bruins

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: blake+wheeler

Oilers Need To Make Some Moves

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

The Oilers have an abundance of young, skilled, play-making future stars but they clearly haven’t found a goal scorer to go with Ales Hemsky, are still seriously short on guts and remain at the bottom of the league in penalty killing and faceoffs. There’s been a serious shortage of will and willingness to compete. Some of the veterans aren’t as safe as they were at this time last year.

There’s no need for Eric Cole to remain here playing on the third line or that he’ll have a future fitting in on the first two. If you’re scoring Lowe is oh-for-three trying to find Hemsky a mate.

First there was Joffrey Lupul. Dustin Penner keeps getting chances and keeps failing to claim the spot. And getting right winger Cole to play with right winger Hemsky didn’t work either. Next.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | 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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