Kukla's Korner

Monday Hockey Thoughts In Mid-November

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

• Those Fedor Tyutin/Evgeni Nabokov trade rumours were insane. Tyutin’s part of the solution, not the problem, in Columbus. Here’s what happened. After Thursday’s loss to Chicago, the team asked Tyutin and Kris Russell to stick around. We all know now Russell was traded, so somebody assumed Tyutin was gone, too. The Blue Jackets actually asked Tyutin to stay in case they needed to talk to Nikita Nikitin, who they got for Russell. Nikitin doesn’t speak much English.

• Word is that Nabokov has not been asked to lift his no-move clause. And Garth Snow told Hotstover Eric Francis that there isn’t a lot of interest. I still think the Islanders want this three-headed goalie monster to go away.

• One NHL GM: “There are a lot of us who don’t like our teams.” It’s hard to make trades, though, with so many not wishing to add salary. Will be interesting to see what happens when all of them are together for meetings Tuesday.

• Curious to see if anyone at the GM meetings brings up icing. One coach said: “I don’t know what icing is anymore.” Hybrid icing is on the agenda (and, even after the Taylor Fedun injury, there’s some doubt it has enough support), but this is more about what kind of play determines if icing gets waved off.


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

Milan Hejduk Named Avalanche Captain

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that forward Milan Hejduk has been named team captain.  The 35-year-old will wear the ‘C’ for the first time tomorrow night in Pittsburgh.

“Milan is a player who leads by example both on and off the ice,” said Avalanche Head Coach Joe Sacco.  “He is a product of this organization and won a Stanley Cup with this franchise.  He is well respected among his teammates and we feel he deserves this opportunity and responsibility.”

Hejduk, who has served as one of the permanent assistant captains since 2008-09, will become only the third captain in Avalanche history, joining Joe Sakic and Adam Foote.  Overall, Hejduk is just the 10th different captain in the franchise’s 32-year history in the National Hockey League.  The Usti-nad Labem, Czech Republic native joins Peter Stastny as the only European-born captains in franchise history.

“I’m honored to be named Avalanche captain,” said Hejduk. “From my rookie season here in Colorado, I have always felt a great sense of pride wearing this sweater and being a part of this organization.  I am looking forward to this added responsibility.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: milan+hejduk

Leafs Have Holes To Fill

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

Do not let Toronto’s 10-6-1 record or place atop the Northeast Division cloud judgment. With every day that passes, this team continues to develop holes as though it were a moth-eaten sweater. Not so many that Burke has to completely blow things up. But the Leafs, who have lost three of their last four games and won some recent games that they probably should not have, are trending downwards.

More and more, this does not look like a legitimate playoff contender. Not with starting goaltender James Reimer still on the shelf, not with a penalty-killing unit that, for the most part, has been 30th in the league, and certainly not with the Leafs having allowed seven more goals than they have scored.

If not for the offensive production of Phil Kessel (the NHL’s leading scorer with 12 goals and 24 points) and Joffrey Lupul (nine goals and 19 points), this team might be mired in a seven-game losing streak right now.

It appears that a change is needed. The Leafs need an experienced goaltender, they need someone to help remedy the penalty kill and they need secondary and perhaps tertiary scoring.

read on

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

Jets Playing Like They Have Not Relocated

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,

Despite having moved to Winnipeg and taken on a new name and colours, the Atlanta Thrashers still, unfortunately, exist.

But a renewed campaign to permanently extinguish them is upon us.

Management and some players in the Winnipeg Jets dressing room have seen enough of the Thrashers’ way of doing things and are now intent on eliminating any remaining DNA.

Management doesn’t like the approach the group takes, as evidenced by recent comments from coach Claude Noel.

“We have to raise our standard of existence. We have a low standard of ourselves. That’s what we are right now,” said Noel. “That’s part of trying to change your identity.”


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

You Make The Call- Does Lucic Get Suspended For Hit On Miller?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

added 3:35pm, No suspension or fine for Lucic.

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

The Buffalo Sabres got savaged in the North American media and on the Internet on Sunday for not responding to Milan Lucic’s bulldozing of Ryan Miller on Saturday night in Boston. They apparently heard about it in strong terms as well from coach Lindy Ruff and General Manager Darcy Regier during a meeting Sunday in the Bell Centre.

And things took on a much more ominous tone later in the evening, when Regier told The Buffalo News that Miller has a concussion and will be out an undetermined period.

Regier is adamant Lucic should be suspended for the hit. Lucic will have a hearing today at 1 p.m. to discuss the first-period play in which Miller was knocked to the ice and his helmet was knocked off.


You can read the NHL rule, Contact Outside the Goal Crease below and in case you missed or need to watch the play again, check it out here.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: milan+lucic, ryan+miller

Mickey Redmond Continues To Give Back To The Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gregg Krupal of the Detroit News,

During the inductions at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto today Redmond will receive the crowning prize for announcers of the game, the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.

For a guy who grew up in Ontario in a family dedicated to the sport, it’s a tall tribute.

“When I got the call about the award, it really didn’t hit me,” Redmond said. “And then, the biggest thing was the wording of the press release. It said it was for outstanding contributions to the game.

“So, for me to get recognized for giving back to the game and helping the game continue is a very, very special feeling because it’s a reflection of my mother and dad.”

Redmond’s father Eddie, a defenseman, played for years, including with the great Jean Beliveau for the Quebec Aces, coached by the renowned Toe Blake, in the old Quebec Senior Hockey League. Later, his father was president of the Peterborough Petes, a minor league club.

His mother, May, played basketball and skated.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mickey+redmond

Rangers Have No Plans To Allow Mats Zuccarello To Play In Europe

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

There is no out-clause in Mats Zuccarello’s contract that would require the Rangers to allow the 24-year-old winger to leave for Europe if he is still a member of the AHL Whale by a certain date, the Norwegian’s representatives and general manager Glen Sather told The Post late last week.

And though Craig Oster, one of the winger’s agents at Newport Sports, told The Post the subject is likely to be raised with management within the next few weeks if Zuccarello remains in Hartford under his $67,500 AHL contract, Sather doesn’t seem to have much interest in obliging.

“Why would we agree to anything like that?” is how Sather phrased it in an email response to the Post’s inquiry whether the club would set the Hobbit free. “There’s no such agreement.”

Zuccarello started this season with the Rangers before being assigned to the Whale after three games, in which he averaged 8:25 of ice time while operating on the club’s fourth line and second power-play unit.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+zuccarello

Road Trip Ends, Hopefully so Does the Losing Streak

Blog: Oil Patch By Lisa Brown

This loss makes three in a row, and so, the “fail for nail” sentiment is becoming more and more prevalent in my twitter feed amongst Oiler fans. All I can say to that is of course let’s just breathe and take this one game at a time shall we? After all, the Oilers are still above .500 and that in itself is a welcomed change.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Edmonton Oilers, Jordan Eberle, Nikolai Khabibulin, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan Smyth, | Oil Patch | Permalink

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“When you step away from the competition side of the game, there’s always an empty feeling in your stomach.  There is a good possibility that I will return to the NHL this year.”

“Over the next few weeks I’m going to sit down with teams that I’ve got scheduled,” Waddell said. “If there is the right fit … I don’t just want a job with a team, I want to be an asset for a team. I have a lot of friends who will give me work, but I want to be an asset to a team. Hopefully, there is a good fit out there for me.”

Former Atlanta Thrashers president and general manager Don Waddell.  More from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Shots Not There For Ovechkin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington,

Through 15 games, Ovechkin has seven goals, seven assists and is a minus-1. That projects to 38 goals and 38 assists for 76 points, which are respectable numbers for most players not named Ovechkin.

“He’s frustrated,” Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. “You can see the frustration on his face. He wants to score so badly. He’s scored seven on the road and none at home. I’m sure he’d prefer to score a few at home in front of the 18,000 people who come and adore him every night. It’s not for lack of trying.

“So, what do you do? You usually take your frustration out on something and he hits. It’s a talent that he has and it’s one of the things that makes him who he is. He’s a scorer, but he’s also a power forward who is physical. There aren’t too many guys who have that rare combination. He’s had some good looks and some good shots.”

So why the drop in production? The biggest indicator is the dramatic drop in shots and rise attempts that don’t reach the net.

Ovechkin is tied for 38th in the NHL with 50 shots. It’s a category in which he has led the NHL in each of his previous six seasons.


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

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