Kukla's Korner

What Is Next For The Blue Jackets?

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Columbus Blue Jackets have had an awful season.  They have only won 17 of the 57 games they have played so far this season.  With the trade deadline coming their top players in Rick Nash and Jeff Carter are rumored to be available.  Should they be traded they will almost certainly be the best player involved in the trade.  The only way that Columbus can win this deal is in the longterm if they obtain young prospects who develop into significant NHL players.  The problem is these prospects are likely not NHL ready today, but in a year or two at best.  That would make Columbus an even weaker team in the short-term than they are now.  That is not a good prospect for their fan base.

The most significant reason that Nash and Carter may be available is that they are expensive players.  Nash has a $7.8 million salary cap hit until his contract expires in the year 2018.  Carter has an almost $5.3 million salary cap hit until his contract expires in 2022.  There is a significant investment in those players and Columbus is not on the strongest financial ground.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Not Just Another American Playing Hockey In Germany

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jere Longman of the New York Times,

A hockey jersey hung in each player’s locker. It bore Germany’s national colors, black trimmed in red and gold. The front was emblazoned with an eagle above the word Deutschland. This would be Evan Kaufmann’s first time wearing the jersey. He removed it from the hanger and turned it around to see his family name spelled in capital letters.

He would recall feeling a tingle of excitement. He felt something else, too, emotions that crisscrossed like the laces of his skates. He was proud to wear the jersey but also solemn about what history had done to the name on the back. His great-grandfather starved to death by the Nazis. His great-grandmother herded to extermination on a train to Auschwitz. His grandfather shuttled between ghettos and concentration camps, surviving somehow, finding a displaced sister after the war, pushing her from a hospital in a wheelbarrow after her lower left leg was amputated because of frostbite.

On Feb. 10, Kaufmann finished dressing and skated onto the ice at a tournament in Belarus. With his initial shift, he became one of the few Jews to represent Germany in elite international sports since World War II, the first in ice hockey since the 1930s and perhaps the most visible to have had family members murdered in the Holocaust, according to sports historians and Jewish officials.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evan+kaufmann

Congenial Eberle

Blog: Oil Patch By Lisa Brown

As the disappointment of the Oilers’ season settles in, the focus turns to the positives that might be found; Ryan Nugent-Hopkins could be the first Oiler to win the Rookie of the Year honours, the Oilers could select another high calibre player and of course that Jordan Eberle could win the Lady Byng Trophy.

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Filed in: Edmonton Oilers, Jordan Eberle, | Oil Patch | Permalink
 

16 Teams In Action Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Three games can be considered early games, then the five other have puck-drops from 7:00pm ET until 10:00pm.

It’s getting desperation time for a few teams since those teams have decisions to make before the trade deadline.

See the full schedule below…

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Friendly Talk With Gary

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dmitry Chesnokov of Puck Daddy,

KHL President Medvedev is also the head of Russian natural gas giant Gazprom. He was in New York to attend the annual meeting with American shareholders as well as conduct other Gazprom business. But he still found time to have a meeting with the heads of the NHL [please note how he calls Bettman “Gary” without using his last name]. Right after the lunch was over Medvedev spoke exclusively with me…

“Yes, we held a meeting today with Gary [Bettman] and Bill Daly. I would like to point out that the meeting had a very friendly feel to it. It was also very constructive which indicates that both Leagues understand each other’s positions and views. It can only help the development of the game of hockey on both sides of the Atlantic. And even though we haven’t accomplished a lot yet, nevertheless we already have a few regulatory documents that govern the respect of each other’s contracts,” he said

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+medvedev, iihf, khl

Video- NHL Linesman McElman Takes A Puck To The Face

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Andy McElman suffered facial injuries according NHL Tonight and will have a CT scan plus a visit from a facial surgeon.

Let’s hope for a full and speedy recovery.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andy+mcelman

Penguins May Have Decisions To Make At Trade Deadline

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

The NHL trade deadline is nine days away, and there are less than six weeks in the Penguins’ regular season after that.

It might be easier for general manager Ray Shero and his staff to know what moves, if any, to pursue if he had an idea whether center and captain Sidney Crosby might be back in the lineup before the playoffs.

Crosby simply cannot oblige.

He has been dealing with concussion-like symptoms perhaps related to a neck injury for more than two months and has played in just eight games dating to early January 2011. He said Friday he still has headaches but the trouble he has had with motion and balance has subsided….

If the Penguins knew Crosby was going to be out at least until the end of the regular season, then, as long as he remained on long-term injured reserve, they could exceed the salary cap and use some of his $8.7 million cap hit to acquire one or more players. Perhaps they could add a scoring winger or a physical, shutdown defenseman.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“Everything that I’ve gone through does make these last two weeks even sweeter for me.  I’m not sure what’s going happen next. Whatever they decide to do next is fine with me. I’m just determined to enjoy the ride as long as I can.”

-Joey MacDonald, goaltender for the Detroit Red Wings.  More on MacDonald and the Wings from Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joey+macdonald

Forget The Portrait, How About The “Real” Thing?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Jets had a surprise guest for their game against the Bruins last night.

“She” brought them luck too, with Winnipeg beating Boston 4-2.

image

REUTERS/Fred Greenslade

Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Spezza’s In The Other House These Days

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,

Spezza thinks of himself as more of “a team player” these days – fewer blind passes, less gambling, but still creative – and is convinced his personal success this year has been but a happy result of the overall team play.

Whatever it is – new coach in Paul MacLean, deft tweaking by GM Bryan Murray, the reborn play of Alfredsson, Jason Spezza shooting more – it has worked more than not this season, the recent wins picking the team up from a losing streak that had reached seven games and, once again, quieting the fans of Scotiabank Place.

“It’s good to have passionate fans,” Spezza says. “It’s part of playing in a hockey market and it’s part of the positives and negatives that come with that. If you’re playing really good, you’re a hero, and if you’re not, you’re a dog.”

Having known the doghouse, he much prefers the penthouse.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jason+spezza

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