Kukla's Korner

Leino Brings His Game To Buffalo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,

For the past week, he has been trying to become familiar with his new teammates and surroundings. Heck, he didn’t personally meet Darcy Regier until he showed up for physicals Friday. He’s living in a town house downtown. He’s using his free time to find his way beyond the Hyatt Regency and the Chop House.

“People like it here,” Leino said. “It’s kind of underground when you come as a visiting team. One restaurant, you’re staying in a hotel and it’s usually the middle of winter and it’s snowing. It’s the worst view of Buffalo that you could possibly get. But since, I’ve talked to the players. I’m seeing what’s out there.”

Leino isn’t here on vacation, of course. The Sabres signed him—and perhaps overpaid for him—because they believed he can help them win a Stanley Cup. He took the ice with his new teammates about 7:30 a.m. Saturday for the start of training camp and played center between Tyler Ennis and Drew Stafford.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ville+leino

Talk Less, Lead More & One Last Chance Florida

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

  • Alex Ovechkin is making more noise about wanting to take on more of a leadership role with the Capitals. Ditto for Evgeni Malkin with the Penguins. I guess that’s good. The thing I’ve noticed about most leaders, though, is that they don’t say much about it. They just lead. And when they’re successful, they say even less.

  • Can’t say for sure that the extreme-makeover Panthers will be good, but they should be relevant and interesting. Finally. The Sons of Sunrise have gone a record 10 straight seasons without qualifying for the playoffs (the Bruins ripped off a stupefying eight straight before Bobby Orr’s arrival). Kevin Dineen at long last gets a shot as head coach. Blue line oldsters Brian Campbell and Ed Jovanovski make for an interesting back end. If these guys don’t show something in the next 12-18 months, it’s time to hand the franchise a GPS and set the coordinates: “Anywhere, Canada.’’

  • more hockey topics…

    Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
     

    All Around The Hockey World

    Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

    from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

  • I didn’t understand why John Tavares allowed the New York Islanders to draft him in the first place. Haven’t understood his first few seasons on the Island. Have less understanding of why he would sign on long-term this week. So, clearly, I don’t get the guy.

  • Five of the six members of the GTHL all-Century team were honoured in person Saturday night — Ken Dryden in goal; Brad Park and Paul Coffey on defence; Mike Gartner and Brendan Shanahan up front. Only one missing: Eric Lindros, who was attending his brother, Brett’s, wedding.

  • Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, while wildly entertaining, is only slightly delusional when he says he will have so many stars in five years, “I won’t be able to afford to pay them all.” Like who?

  • more hockey notes along a look at the Drew Doughty hold-out…

     

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

    Do The Right Thing Drew

    Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

    from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

    Drew Doughty and his agent, Don Meehan, are entitled to ask the Kings for as many millions of dollars as their calculators have digits.

    They can cite Doughty’s fine rookie season and stellar follow-up, which included an Olympic gold medal and top-three Norris Trophy finish. They can downplay his uneven third season by emphasizing his remarkable mobility, vision and scoring potential.

    But sometime soon they must recognize that it’s more important for Doughty to score points on the ice than make points at the bargaining table.

    Doughty would have gained more by participating in the first training camp sessions Saturday than he will gain if he ultimately prevails in a senseless battle.

    continued

    Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
      Tags: drew+doughty

    Keith Prepares For A Norris-Like Year

    Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

    from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

    It is foolish, of course, to read too much into a training camp scrimmage, let alone the first day.

    But darn it if Duncan Keith didn’t look like the Duncan Keith of old out there Saturday before a sold-out crowd at United Center as the Chicago Blackhawks opened camp.

    Good omen? The Blackhawks certainly hope so. For if there’s an overriding factor in Chicago’s return to glory, it’s a bounce-back season from the 2009-10 Norris Trophy winner.

    Let’s make one thing clear—Keith did not have a bad campaign last season. We can name 30 NHL head coaches who would take 45 points (7-38) in 82 games from a workhorse who once again led the team ice time.

    continued

    Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
      Tags: duncan+keith

    Training Camp News and Notes

    Blog: F Street Faithful By Matthew Tate

    Before I get into my personal observations from the first day of Caps’ training camp I want to pass along the biggest news of the day:

    Tarik El-Bashir, of the Washington Post, reported earlier that Tom Poti did not pass his medical test on Friday.  Poti has not played since January due to a groin problem.

    I was running a little behind schedule today so I missed the majority of the first group.  While I didn’t get to see the big guys (Ovechkin, Green, Semin…) skate in the group, I was able to catch the goaltender specific workout of group A. Aside from that I was able to catch all of the group B and C practices.  Here are some things I noticed:

    Continue Reading »

    Filed in: | F Street Faithful | Permalink
      Tags: training+camp, washington+capitals

    The Kadri Watch

    Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

    from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,

    So let’s start in this corner over here, with once-and-again-and-again roster aspirant Nazem Kadri, prematurely and precipitously cast as a top-line centre when last he passed through Leaf boot-camp 12 months ago. That experience was an unqualified disaster for the brash young’un, who’d so impressed a year earlier when very nearly breaking camp with the squad. As in, a child shall lead them.

    Second time around, with exactly one (1) NHL game on his resume, Kadri shocked as a cocksure cock-up, suddenly all a-flounder among the big-league pros. Common wisdom suggested Kid Kadri had spent too much time reading, and believing, his own press clippings, the fawning tributes and predictions, stellar reviews that were a bit much, based on his junior career flash.

    There was, as well, the added distinction — with commensurate pressure — of being the first Muslim player ever drafted by the Leafs in this proudly multicultural city. So Kadri was not just a hockey scrubeenie, green in blue, but a diversity trophy as well, poor thing, carrying the banner for ethnic inclusivity.

    His third kick at the can, stripped down to hockey essentials, has make-or-break written all over it, though management continues to preach patience with a boy who’s not yet reached his 21st birthday.

    more

    Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
      Tags: nazem+kadri

    Paying Their Respect To Brad McCrimmon

    Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

    from Ryan Pyette of the London Free Press,

    Hundreds gathered to pay their final respects to McCrimmon, including Babcock, former Wings coach Scotty Bowman, team owner Mike Ilitch, ex-defenceman Chris Chelios and a myriad of old teammates, including members of the 1989 Stanley Cup champion Calgary Flames and the 1979 Memorial Cup finalist Brandon Wheat Kings.

    The Wings skated early Saturday a four-hour drive away in Traverse City but delayed the official opening of training camp to be in Farmington.

    “Brad was a farm boy from Plenty, Saskatchewan, and he was one of the best 10 plus-minus players in NHL history but he was a husband (to Maureen), father (to Carlin and Liam), son, and a brother,” Babcock said. “Kelly (McCrimmon’s younger brother) spoke about how Brad would call home to his dad every day, sometimes twice. He called his son Liam his little man.

    “That’s what I’ll remember most about Brad McCrimmon.”

    more

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

    Video- Jagr Now Knows What It Takes To Win The Cup

    Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

    Jaromir Jagr met with the media today.

    Jagr also mentioned he felt the Pittsburgh fans did not want him back.

    Watch that video below…

    Continue Reading »

    Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
      Tags: jaromir+jagr

    Winnipeg Ready For Some Hockey

    Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

    from Ted Wyman of the Winnipeg Sun,

    It started at 5 a.m., when the first fan showed up to get a good seat.

    By 8:45 a.m., you could tell something special was in the air.

    The parking lot was full and so were the stands. Fans lined the walkway from dressing room to the ice surface. Some 1,500 people in the building were tingling with anticipation, waiting for their first glimpse.

    Shortly after 9 a.m., they erupted, as Nik Antropov stepped out on the ice, leading a column of Winnipeg Jets for the first practice of their first NHL training camp at the MTS IcePlex.

    Before it was over they were cheering the drills, giving loud ovations for slick passes, corner-destined shots and nifty dekes and as the players prepared to leave the ice, up went the Go Jets Go chant that so many fans in this city have been dying to utter since the original Jets franchise packed up and moved to Phoenix in 1996.

    continued

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

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