Kukla's Korner

Get Your Grand Rapids Griffins Jimmy Howard Bobblehead

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011 vs. Chicago Wolves

Time: 8 p.m. at Van Andel Arena (doors open at 7 p.m.).

Jimmy Howard Bobblehead Giveaway:  3,000 fans will receive a Griffins Jimmy Howard bobblehead.

Visit GriffinsHockey for more information.



Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: grand+rapids+griffins, jimmy+howard

Who Will Vancouver Move?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

fromn Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,

Sami Salo’s presence was felt Thursday.

No sooner did the Vancouver Canucks finish their optional game-day skate than Raffi Torres was surrounded amid speculation he could be a roster casualty to eventually fit the Finnish defenceman under constraints of the $59.4-million US salary-cap ceiling. That would mean finding $1.8 million in salaries when Salo returns from an offseason Achilles rupture.

Torres makes $1 million. Aaron Rome makes $750,000. The math might be simple, but the situation isn’t.

An Achilles injury is the great unknown in the sporting world and there’s no guarantee Salo will return to total form at some point. There’s also a chance that general manager Mike Gillis may not want to tinker with a winning team and could opt to trade the defenceman — if he waves his no-trade clause — to maintain a status quo with a league-leading club that’s at the cap ceiling.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Vokoun Doesn’t Want To Sit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Harvey Fialkov of the SunSentinel,

In a surprise move, Florida Panthers coach Pete DeBoer said that backup goalie Scott Clemmensen will start Thursday night against the Nashville Predators.

Starting goalie Tomas Vokoun was stunned by the news because he is coming off a 4-3 overtime victory against the Washington Capitals and had a day off.

When asked if he was surprised by the move, Vokoun said, “Absolutely.”

“I’m very surprised,” he added. “I got an explanation but didn’t agree with it. My job is to play. The coach is there to make the decisions. I’m here to obey them whether I like it or not. It’s not very usual for a goalie after you win a game. I personally didn’t think I played a bad game. It seemed like he had a different assessment.”

a bit more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+vokoun

Ah, So That’s The Problem

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Steinberg of D.C. Sports Bog,

No, it’s not time to panic, but sure, it’s a fine time to try to figure out what it all means. Ted Leonsis offered one possible explanation Tuesday morning, before the Florida road trip began.

“My goal is I just want to qualify for the playoffs,” Leonsis said on Mike Wise’s radio show. “I don’t think it matters how many points we finish with. I want us to enter the playoffs playing the right way and being healthy….I think our guys may be unconsciously pacing themselves a little bit, I do. I think that.”

“Unconsciously pacing themselves” is certainly one explanation I haven’t heard very frequently, nor do I imagine it’s one that Bruce Boudreau would take kindly to. Leonsis went on to say that players are also playing for the team more than their own stats, which he seemed to suggest may have something to do with the struggles, in ways I don’t entirely understand.


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

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I think it’s best for our team, I think it’s best for me.  If I was 100 percent, I would love to go. But now, the situation with the injuries we have and the way it’s been going lately, I think it’s best for everyone.’’

-Henrik Zetterberg of the Detroit Red Wings talking about the NHL honoring the request that he not be selected for the ASG.  More on the Wings from Ansar Khan of Mlive.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: henrik+zetterberg

Rookie Of The Year

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

In November, I picked Sergei Bobrovsky of the Philadelphia Flyers as the Calder Trophy leader.  At that time he had a .926 saves percentage and a 2.19 GAA.  Since then Bobrovsky’s numbers have fallen a bit to a .917 saves percentage and a 2.55 GAA.  He has not played as frequently as he did in the early season, as Brian Boucher has taken over a significant portion of the playing load.  This has allowed other candidates to enter the race.

The top scorers among rookies are Jeff Skinner and Logan Couture.  While they are having strong rookie seasons, they are both well back of the top scorers in the league.  This doesn’t make them the standout rookies that typically win the Calder Trophy, despite the fact it appears most of the media is behind one of them.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Nashville Stars

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

What irks Trotz just a bit is that people around the league don’t seem to recognize the star players on his team.

“Sometimes I think people don’t think we have any players and coaches and management here maybe get too much credit but we have some really good players,” said Trotz. “Suter and Weber are really all-world. I was disappointed because I thought Rinne, Suter and Weber—all three should have been in the All-Star Game. I’m biased but I see them on a nightly basis and I know how good they are.”

Only Weber got the All-Star nod. Trotz continues to be amazed that Suter isn’t regarded as highly as he should be.

“Ryan Suter doesn’t get nearly enough credit for how good he is. He is just outstanding,” said Trotz.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Pending Sabres Sale Doesn’t Mean No Deals

Blog: KK Hockey By @DaveDavisHockey

There is a misguided notion among some Sabres fans hungry for change that the timing of the impending sale to triple-billionaire Terry Pegula will potentially put a freeze on some much needed player transactions as the February 28th trade deadline approaches.  If history is an indicator, don’t fret.

Assuming Buffalo is still out of the playoff picture in five weeks, GM Darcy Regier will best serve the organization by putting on his seller’s cap and stockpiling some draft picks and prospects in what’s starting to look a lot like his final trade deadline at the helm of this team.

Regier has been in this position before, in 2003 to be exact, when Tom Golisano was in the process of saving the franchise.  But while the wheels were turning behind the scenes as a transfer of ownership was slowly being completed, Regier wasn’t exactly sitting around contemplating his job status.

He cut ties with veteran forward Vaclav Varada.  He parted ways with fan favorite Rob Ray.  He moved Stu Barnes to tears when he dealt his captain to Dallas.  And in the most brilliant execution of stratagem imaginable, he somehow convinced then-GM Mike Barnett of Phoenix that the Coyotes would be a better team with Chris Gratton than with Daniel Briere.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: buffalo+sabres, chris+gratton, daniel+briere, darcy+regier, rob+ray, stu+barnes, terry+pegula, tim+connolly, tom+golisano, vaclav+varada

Losing To Chicago Still On Bieksa’s Mind

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,

Kevin Bieksa said he believes the Vancouver Canucks deserved a better fate in the Stanley Cup Playoffs the past two seasons.

Back-to-back six-game losses in the Western Conference semifinals, courtesy the Chicago Blackhawks, will do that to one’s psyche. While the results haven’t sat well with the defenseman, Bieksa also feels lessons learned in those losses only will strengthen the group in its pursuit of the big trophy this season.

“Losing when you think you deserve better is a tough thing,” Bieksa told NHL.com.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kevin+bieksa

Making Something Out Of Nothing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The NHL has a long history of making unnecessary mountains out of unimportant molehills and the most recent example came today, when it fined the Toronto Maple Leafs for an egregious salary-cap violation. GM Brian Burke confirmed the sanction for me in an e-mail this morning. The Leafs’ crime? Ron Wilson posted $600 on the board, a bounty that would go to the player who scored the winning goal in his 600th victory, which came the other night in the 4-2 victory against the San Jose Sharks….

But if anyone has the art of being a killjoy down pat, it is the NHL and I’ll predict - now actually I’ll BET - that they’re going to regret opening this can of worms. Because now they’ve set a precedent and now they’re going to have to police it - and investigate every single game in which a milestone could be reached, or a player returns to play a game against his former team.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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