Kukla's Korner

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“Of course, to play in the NHL is a dream.  You can go to any youth sports school and ask those who train there—everyone will say that they dream of the NHL.  There cannot even be a talk about comparing the two leagues.  The KHL right now is moving in the right direction, raising up a little, but there is no point to compare the leagues.  Let them call me names, call me a traitor, but this is true.

-Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals,  Ovechkin did an interview (many topics) with sports.ru and you can read the translated interview by Dmitry Chesnokov of PuckDaddy.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin, khl

Retiring Theo Fleury’s Number

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,

And there’s no telling when he might see his jersey lifted above the ice in Calgary. It took 22 years for his junior club to honour him, proving character is considered more important than talent when it comes to celebrating a star.

His hockey life has come full circle, joining the Hall in a city that both kickstarted his career and began a lifelong nightmare thanks to the alleged abuse of convicted pedophile Graham James — his first junior coach.

The Warriors have now determined Fleury worthy.

With years of sobriety under his belt and a new reputation being built as a voice against sexual abuse and violence against children, his character off the ice is finally catching up to the skill he always displayed on it.

If his life continues in the same direction, the Flames will undoubtedly follow suit.

As long as Fleury’s penchant for untimely outbursts doesn’t get in the way.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: theo+fleury

Olympics Or World Cup?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

...selling yourself to an indifferent market like the United States takes more than a one-time shot. The television ratings in Vancouver were proof Americans will watch hockey, and getting a chance to show your wares on a world stage should never be considered a bad thing (although what the NHL really needs is the United States to win the men’s gold medal).

First, though, the NHL has to commit to the Games for the long term. It should also decide what it is going to do with the World Cup of Hockey – a competition that appears, it seems, only when the league feels like it.

Ideally, either the Olympics or the World Cup should be chosen as the sport’s major international competition.

Originally, there was a plan to have the World Cup every four years in between Olympics, so there would be a best-versus-best international competition every two years. But that could result in what we saw in the 1980s, with the Canada Cups and the world championships – international hockey burnout for the players.


Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Getting Messy In Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Fuller of the Toronto Sun,

The Toronto Maple Leafs have a Tomas Kaberle problem. The longer it festers, the more likely it is to infect other regions of the dressing room.

This is hardly a revelation to team president Brian Burke. He’d have moved Kaberle months ago if, in his mind, he was getting equal value in return.

But this isn’t just about trading a player anymore. It’s about cleaning up a mess.

Burke likely won’t have to ask the veteran defenceman to waive his “no-trade” clause, which the GM is loathe to do. Kaberle and his people — from his father, Frantisek, to his agent, Rick Curran — understand the situation. And, the situation, I suspect, is becoming intolerable.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+kaberle

Counting Tuesdays With The Chief

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By VooX

Counting Tuesdays With The Chief.  That will be the title of my first book.  I’ll write that my Red Smith Award for outstanding contributions to sports journalism was my inspiration in the introduction.

Recently I played a dirty trick on everybody.  In two posts, here and here, I copied Mitch Albom articles, almost verbatim, in which he fabricated a story and then confessed his amoral ways a couple of days later.

It was wrong to bring the Delicate Genius to the blog.  Wrong to steal his lies and bring them to such a fine forum.  It was a satirical commentary on faux journalists like Mitch Albom, it had to be done.

It is too easy for someone with access to fake the facts.  Too easy to surround a few quotes with paragraphs of drivel.  It is tempting to betray the trust of the fans and the readers in the pursuit of selfish desires.  Writing sports stories isn’t about enhancing reality by spicing up quotes.  Writing sports stories is about telling the truth and bringing people with you to experience the moment.  It shouldn’t be up to a faux journalist like me to remind paid journalists that.  They are supposed to hold the truth sacred.

Apparently not everybody got the joke.

George Malik, showoff blogger and recent KK addition, sent me this email yesterday after I came clean and apologized via email for misleading him:

There is ONLY one tenet regarding blogging as “journalism” or anything near it—
“Don’t make shit up”—and you violated that tenet.  Don’t do it again.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Habs name new director of hockey operations

Blog: KK Hockey By The Upper Canadien

According to various media outlets, the Montreal Canadiens are on the verge of announcing the appointment of Patrick Boivin as their new director of hockey operations, replacing Julien Brisebois, who recently left for the same position in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.

Boivin, the son of Canadiens outgoing president Pierre Boivin, assumes the “capologist” role that Brisebois previously filled. The role of general manager of the Hamilton Bulldogs, previously also held by Brisebois, will now be managed by Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier. 

In other news, there is no news regarding unsigned starting goaltender Carey Price.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: boivin, brisebois, carey+price

Aaron Asham A Penguin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Ryan Rishaug tweet,

Asham signs with penguins. Done deal.

added 6:55pm, Penguins say $700K.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: aaron+asham

The State Of Women’s Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at The Hockey News,

Hayley Wickenheiser already knows what she’s going to say. She hopes the power brokers of the hockey world are listening.

The captain of Canada’s Olympic women’s team plans to lay out the state of the women’s game at next week’s World Hockey Summit in Toronto.

“I’m sure there will be female hockey people and stakeholders in the audience, but I also hope that we get some movers and shakers in the game there,” Wickenheiser says.

“I’d love to see Brian Burke there, I’d love to see NHL people there who have experience growing the game and managing teams, taking teams through highs and lows and knowing what it takes to develop programs.”


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Offensive Goals Versus Threshold

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

One goal in hockey sabermetrics is to have one number to show the value of a player above a replacement player.  The idea is that any team should be able to find players of a low enough level either by call-ups from the minors or by waivers or some other method.  The idea is to find the production level of a replacement player and then show how many more (or less) goals a player produced than that level.  The idea comes from the baseball idea of value over replacement player or VORP.

Tom Awad has done a significant amount of work to devise a system to try to approximate this.  Bear in mind that it is an approximation and cannot be used to get more than an approximate value for a player.  Tom Awad has written three articles on it here, here and here.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

2010 NHL RDO Camp Yields Mixed Message

Blog: KK Members Blog By Brian Halverson

NHL officials, general managers, and media members convened in Toronto Aug. 18-19 at the Maple Leafs’ practice facility in a veritable who’s who of league power players. They gathered to observe 33 projected top 2011 draft prospects competing in scrimmages designed to allow NHL Vice President of Hockey and Business Operations Brendan Shanahan and his staff to experiment with 28 prospective rule changes and variations.

Nearly all of these proposals are either too bizarre or radically progressive to ever be heard from again (one faceoff circle centered in each zone, draws conducted by whistle rather than puck drop), but a few caught the eye of those in attendance and the Twittersphere was abuzz with speculation.  Much of the discussion centered on potential changes to the icing rule in the quest for increased safety.

What caught my eye, however, was what I perceive to be contradictory philosophies employed in the support and/or rationalization of some of these proposed changes.

The debate over touch or no touch icing has been on the radar of this born and bred Minnesotan since Kurtis Foster’s leg was shattered in a March 20, 2008 collision with San Jose’s Torrey Mitchell as the pair chased down an iced puck at the Shark Tank. The event immediately brought the issue to the forefront of league discussion.


Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+shanahan, brian+burke, hybrid+icing, kurtis+foster, lockout, nhl, rules, toronto

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