Kukla's Korner

Emery Ready To Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,

The Ducks are among “three or four”  teams that are looking into acquiring veteran goaltender Ray Emery, his agent confirmed to the Register late Thursday afternoon.

Calgary-based agent J.P. Barry said he’s been in contact with the Ducks about Emery as they’re seeking a reliable insurance goalie in case either or both Jonas Hiller and Curtis McElhinney get hurt down the stretch.

“The Ducks are one of the teams that I’ve been talking to,” Barry said. ”It goes both ways, right? I’m looking for a position for Ray. There’s some teams that have been receptive to discussing him and they’re one of them.”...

All signs point to Emery being healthy enough to return to action in the near future if he lands with a team.

“He’s ready to go here,” Barry said. “I think if we put him with a team on Monday, he’d be ready to play Friday or Saturday.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ray+emery

Forsberg = Favre?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jason Brough of Olrand KurtenBlog,

Let’s get back to the article in question, which starts out by saying how the NFL is more popular than the NHL. And I have no problem with that - the NFL is more popular than the NHL

But then comes this part:

North American hockey has many reasons to look up to its pigskin counterpart, but something the league doesn’t need is a joke similar to the one a certain crocs-wearing quarterback has unleashed offseason after offseason in the NFL.

The league is close to having its own Brett Favre in the form of 37-year-old Peter Forsberg, a massively talented player that could be remembered as one of the all-time greats but refuses to acknowledge his days of skating with the big boys are over.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brett+favre, peter+forsberg

Sabres Sale Announced

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Pending NHL approval, the Buffalo Sabres have been sold.  Terry Pegula, a billionaire who made his fortune in natural gas has agreed to buy the team for $189 million.  This is $175 million in cash and $14 million in debt assumed.  Outgoing owner Tom Gosliano bought the team out of bankruptcy in 2003 for about $90 million.  That was $60 million in cash and about $30 million in debt assumed. 

This transaction shows a lot about the NHL’s finances.  Buffalo is a smaller market that does not spend up to the salary cap.  It is a market that has lost more high profile free agents than they have signed in the last few years.  It is not the most profitable market, but run well Sabres ownership can make a profit most years (if not all of them).  This profit is nothing compared to the profit that comes from the sale of the team.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Ryan Kesler is Hart Worthy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

Admittedly, this argument is a tough sell because, in the 42 seasons the Hart Trophy has been awarded in the post-expansion NHL, it’s never gone to a player like Ryan Kesler.

But maybe the time has come.

Kesler, of course, is having another break-out season after his break-out 2009-10 season and, with back-to-back Selke nominations, it’s not as if he’s an unknown commodity around the league. But unless you’ve been watching him on a night-in, night-out basis, it’s hard to capture the full measure of his game and what he’s meant to the Canucks.

The numbers are impressive enough, although they don’t exactly jump off the page. Following his two-goal performance on Wednesday night in Phoenix, Kesler sits third in the league with 30 goals, but he’s still a $10-dollar cab ride from Steven Stamkos, who leads with 39. His 50 points also placed him 11th among NHL scorers before Thursday night’s games. Again, pretty good, but not exactly Hart material.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+kesler

Kurtis Foster discusses details of gruesome injury, says NHL should adapt hybrid icing rule

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Kurtis Foster spoke to TSN’s Ryan Rishaug about the gruesome details pertaining to the leg injury he suffered thanks to a collision with Torrey Mitchell while chasing down an iced puck, revealing that he lost half the blood in his body while his left thigh was surgically reconstructed, and Foster suggests that the NHL’s rule change preventing unnecessary contact when players chase down iced pucks doesn’t go far enough in terms of ensuring that a player won’t suffer a similar injury thanks to the NHL’s touch icing rules:

“It’s a start,” said Foster. “But I think it’s one of those rules that, like a lot, when it comes to crunch time in the last 20, 30 games of the season, when if there’s a little bump on an icing, I don’t think it’s going to be called.”
...
“They talk about head-shots and all these things that they’ve been working on and I think the biggest thing is that, because people have been getting injured and there have been more concussions, they’re taking more of a look at it,” he said. “To this day I wonder, not that I would have wanted that to happen, but if I had been injured even worse or if my career had have been over, or if I had have lost my leg because of the blood loss, I wonder if the rule had have been changed.”

Foster knows that NHL purists will likely always fight the no-touch icing rule, but said he thinks the league could adopt the hybrid icing rule used in the USHL, which allows the linesmen to blow the play down if the defenceman is clearly leading the race for the puck.

“If they were to try the hybrid rule I think it would help, and it would definitely lead to bigger and better things,” he said. “Why not try it in the preseason and then see how it goes, and then make a decision before the season.”

Continued.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Perfect Human’s future hinges upon familial ties, not aging

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By George Malik

The Associated Press’s Larry Lage posted a wonderful story about Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom this afternoon.  Lidstrom earns oodles of praise from none other than Gordie Howe, Brendan Shanahan and Ken Holland for remaining an elite, Norris Trophy-caliber defenseman at 40 years of age, but as Lidstrom continues to defy the aging process, the Wings’ captain admits that his 16-year-old son Kevin’s decision to go back to Sweden to attend Vasteras’ hockey academy’s tugging on his heartstrings:

“It was tough in the beginning because I was used to having all of our kids around,’’ Lidstrom said. “It was great when he came home for two weeks around Christmas. We’re Skyping almost daily, so we get to see him and talk to him. He’s growing up and becoming a man.’‘

Lidstrom says that he feels as good as he did five seasons ago, and as he insists that he’ll continue to evaluate whether he wishes to continue playing on a year-by-year basis…

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Some Thoughts on Ovechkin

Blog: Goal Line Report By Patrick Hoffman

Over at RLD Hockey, blogged about Washington Capitals’ sniper Alexander Ovechkin and his struggles.

You can either click here to go to the site and read it or you can continue below. Let me know what you folks think:

When talking about the game’s best players this season, hockey fans will hear names like Sidney Crosby, Steve Stamkos, Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Martin St. Louis, Tim Thomas, Ryan Kesler, etc.

There is one key player that is not being talked about as much this season as he has been in past seasons: Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin.

This is quite a surprise given how he and Crosby are the faces of the ‘new’ NHL. For Ovechkin, it has been a rather unusal quiet season for someone who has 52 points (19 goals and 32 assists) in 51 games. Obviously, the glaring stat when it comes to ‘Ovie’ is his 19 goals. He’s on pace for just 30 goals, which would be the lowest total of his career.

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Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin, washington+capitals

Source: Pegula Wants To Keep Regier, Ruff

Blog: KK Hockey By @DaveDavisHockey

Hockey Night In Canada’s Elliott Friedman reported on Tuesday that he was recently told that incoming Sabres owner Terry Pegula would like to keep both Darcy Regier and Lindy Ruff “going forward”.  He mentioned it again in today’s piece about the Sabres scouting department.

I asked Paul Kukla if he could find out from the respected CBC commentator how he knew about this.  Friedman’s response to Paul was that he heard of Pegula’s intentions from a “trusted source” at the Board of Governors meeting in Raleigh during the All-Star break.

Another person to keep in mind is former Penguins GM Craig Patrick.  Friedman was told that Pegula is interested in bringing on the former Penguins GM in some capacity, perhaps initially in a senior advisory role with the long term goal of him eventually becoming president of the club.

Whether Ruff wants to return as coach, move up to the front office, or test the free agent market is anyone’s guess.  After yesterday’s practice he simply stated that he wanted to win a Stanley Cup in Buffalo.  Regier has two years remaining on his contract and told the media today that he expects to still have his job in Buffalo next season.

@DaveDavisHockey

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: buffalo+sabres, darcy+regier, elliott+friedman, lindy+ruff, sabres+ownership, terry+pegula

The IIHF’s still as subtle as a brick

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

The IIHF is producing “giggity”-inducing moments, thanks to their ridiculous insistence on advocating for the “good of the game” while simply promoting their own dues-paying European partners’ bottom lines, on a daily basis.  Last night, they essentially posted an infomercial praising Rene “the Dentist” Fasel as a sort of hockey saint instead of a creepy, self-serving shill who makes Gary Bettman seem warm and fuzzy by comparison, and now Lukas Aykroyd attended the AHL’s All-Star Game to watch its seven European participants, salivate over the suggestion that the AHL may play an All-Star Game against European or KHL opponents, and offer the following lament:

In the meantime, big questions remain for this year’s European AHL All-Stars.  Will Swedish forward Linus Klasen fulfill his NHL dreams by starring with Nashville? Or will he bide his time with the Milwaukee Admirals, unable to showcase his skills like his role models, Pavel Datsyuk and Alexei Kovalev? Will his countryman Johan Harju graduate to the Tampa Bay Lightning, or wonder whether he’d be better off contending for his second straight IIHF World Championship medal with Tre Kronor instead of grinding it out with the Norfolk Admirals? And where does undrafted college blueliner Erik Gustafsson fit into Philadelphia’s big picture?  Are young Russian AHLers Sergei Shirokov and Vyacheslav Voinov destined to shine with Vancouver and Los Angeles? Or was the KHL really a better fit for them at this time?

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Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Will Craig Anderson Carry The Avs?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Heading into the final year of his contract, Anderson said he and the Avs talked a bit before the season but haven’t talked since.

In hindsight and given the numbers Anderson has put up, it looks like GM Greg Sherman did the right thing by not offering Anderson a long-term extension. But the team’s uneven defensive play and soft goaltending has put them in a precarious position vis a vis making the playoffs. That has put pressure on Sherman to upgrade the goaltending to keep the Avs in the hunt and likewise upped the ante on Anderson to prove he’s still the man.

Sherman insisted in a recent interview he was happy with his goaltending tandem, but really, what else is he going to say?

Regardless of who is manning the twine, it is safe to say the Avs will need better goaltending if they are going to make the playoffs this year.

Maybe it will be Anderson that provides that goaltending. He has shown he can do it, of course, but can he do it again?

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+anderson

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