Kukla's Korner

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“One day everyone quits but, right now, I don’t want to quit.  I don’t even like the word ‘Quit.’ I don’t want to get sappy but as long as the fans still enjoy listening to me, I want to keep doing it. I love it.

“Just let me go and do what I do. Oh, there are times where even I am not satisfied with my performance but hopefully that can be improved. But the most important thing to me is to try to be good to the fans.

“Look, once in a while you are going to miss something. The puck is just three inches big and, in some of these buildings, you are going to be sitting 200 feet away. Things are going to happen.

“The bottom line is, my broadcasts come from the heart. Family is No. 1 in my life and hockey is right there too. I don’t want to give it up.”

-Bob Cole of HNIC.  More on Cole from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun.

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Flames At The Trade Deadline

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

Should the Flames keep on trucking the way like they have the past eight weeks until the Feb. 28 deadline arrives, the acting GM can enjoy adding something to the mix and hope it’s enough to become a Stanley Cup squad.

However, if his team stays around eighth spot, hovering around the final playoff position but never with solid footing, Feaster must become a soothsayer.

Is it the right move to add a player or two to get over the hump or prudent to waive the white flag and sell assets for the future?

Talk about a difficult conundrum.

“No question,” Feaster said. “That comes back to the intellectual honesty I talked about when I took over. If you’re not realistically in the playoff picture, the scenario and plan you’re talking to (president) Ken King and ownership about is entirely different than if you sitting in eighth, a couple of points out of sixth or fifth, and you’re legitimately back in the mix.

“If we continue what we’ve done since the end of December, the trade deadline is a totally different set of circumstances.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

What Is Going On With The Capitals?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ryan O’Halloran of CSNwashington,

Before embarking on a season-long, nine-day road trip, the Capitals turned in another listless effort, scoring in the first two minutes but then being silenced in a 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings.

“It’s really disappointing,” Boudreau said after the Capitals’ fifth loss (three in regulation) in seven games. “Hopefully, this is as low as we get. … What we were counting on as a coaching staff [was] to come in and win this game as a springboard for a tough road trip.”

Instead, it was a springboard to a players-only meeting that kept the locker room shut for 11 minutes after a third period in which the Kings broke a 1-all tie on goals by Andrei Loktionov, Michal Handzus and Jarret Stoll.

Boudreau initially wanted to address the team but, “I talked to somebody [who said], ‘Let me go in and say something.’”

The unidentified player was one of many to speak up.

“We talked a little bit, just kind of figuring out what’s going on, what guys are thinking,” right wing Mike Knuble said. “You just talk for a few minutes about things and analyze what happened. … You’re not going to say too much, but there are some things that need to get out.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Garrioch’s 30-team trade deadline primer/insanity

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Long before he-who-refuses-to-be-named-though-everybody-knows-who-he-is got into the trade rumor business, the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch was both revealing legitimate and dreaming up imaginary trade scenarios with equal aplomb, and while he’s not buying into the concept that the lead-up to this year’s NHL trade deadline (3 PM EST on February 28th) will produce many blockbuster deals, that doesn’t stop him from dreaming up mostly unrealistic trade deadline outlooks and possible dangled players for each and every one of the NHL’s 30 teams:

What will hamper this year’s deadline is the lack of big names available. It would appear the Stars aren’t going to move centre Brad Richards, who would have easily been the best player available. The list of confirmed sellers is small. The Senators, Islanders, Devils, Blue Jackets, Maple Leafs and Blues have all thrown in the towel for this season, which means they’ll deal. Those teams will focus on trying to move pending unrestricted free agents to clear off some cash.

The Senators and Leafs are willing to talk just about anybody on their roster.

“Lots of small trades,” predicted a league executive. “It’s pretty much the same every year, isn’t it? Depth players for draft picks. You don’t usually see the big names go anywhere.”

That’s usually what the deadline is: Teams looking to add depth while trying to make sure their competitors don’t bulk up.

Continued, and no, the Wings won’t move Patrick Eaves…

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood earns fore for four hundred

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By George Malik

According to NHL.com’s Brian Hedger, the Red Wings’ players have chosen to officially recognize Chris Osgood’s 400th win (Osgood will be recognized for his achievement by the Wings prior to Sunday’s afternoon game vs. Boston) via a golf trip to Scotland and, according to the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness, Ireland this upcoming summer.  Osgood and several teammates are already looking forward to the trip...

“We’d planned to go earlier for Drapes’ 40th birthday, but for the guys to pay for me to go is great,” Osgood said. “A lot of [nice] things have happened to me this year. When they happen, it makes you reminisce and think about things you’ve accomplished and it makes you miss playing more.”

But Osgood argues that he’s probably owed given the number of milestone achievements he’s chipped in to recognize via his pocketbook over his tenure as a Wing:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Yandle Leads Defencemen In Points

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

It you had asked me last summer who I thought would be leading the NHL’s defencemen in points at this point in the season; I probably would have picked out Mike Green of the Washington Capitals.  After all, he led the defencemen in scoring the two previous seasons.  If it were not Green, I might have guessed Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks or Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings.  They had been Norris nominees last year and finished second and third in scoring among defencemen last year.  If you had suggested Keith Yandle of the Phoenix Coyotes, I don’t think I would have taken you seriously.  He is a good young defenceman who just finished 23rd among defencemen in scoring in 2009/10.  He was a good candidate to improve to a top ten position in scoring, but number one seemed far-fetched.

I wrote about Keith Yandle last summer when I noted that he was eleventh among defencemen last year by goals versus threshold.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Red Wings-Bruins off-day report: Good news from Modano, middling news regarding Filppula

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By George Malik

Updated 4x at 6 PM with Babcock discussing the Wings’ home record and status as the standard-bearers for a blue-collar town: The Detroit Red Wings engaged in an early-afternoon practice ahead of Sunday’s match-up against the Boston Bruins (12:30 PM EST, NBC/WXYT), and the Free Press’s George Sipple reports that Mike Modano is almost ready to ditch a gray “no hitting allowed” jersey for a red or white one:

“I think the contact thing has kind of picked up,” Modano said. “I kind of got the green light on that the other day. That’ll get better and we’re still looking at two weeks possibly. That’s a lot of skating, a lot of contact with practices until we get released to play. That’s probably good for me.”

Two weeks means a return closer to February 28th than the February 21st powwow with his doctors, meaning that he may return on the 24th against Dallas or sometime during the Wings’ bizarre, “Go to Buffalo and then play in LA, Anaheim, San Jose and Phoenix” road trip.  Modano also addressed the possibility of postponing his retirement to get a full season in with the Wings:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Lightning Players Chime In On Equipment Size

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cristodero or the St. Petersburg Times,

Specifically, (Ray) Shero said he is curious if players would reduce the size and hardness of their shoulder and elbow pads, both of which can be used as pretty potent battering rams.

Both pieces of equipment have soft caps to lessen their blows. But Shero wants to know if players would reduce sizes further.

“Poll the players,” he said.

So, we did.

Asked if they would be willing to reduce the size and hardness of their pads to perhaps help prevent concussions, 10 of 11 Lightning players surveyed said yes.

There were some caveats.

“As long as the (shoulder pads) still protect you along the boards,” center Steven Stamkos said.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Stars Sign Jason Williams

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Frisco, Tex. – The Dallas Stars announced today that the NHL club has agreed to terms with forward Jason Williams on a free agent contract for the remainder of the season. The deal is a two-way contract ($500,000/$105,000). Williams is expected to practice with the Stars today and be available for Sunday’s home game vs. Columbus.

Williams, 30, is a veteran of 420 NHL games, scoring 91 goals and 129 assists for 220 points. He won a Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2002, and has 27 career playoff games on his record (one goal, two assists). Williams began this season with the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League (AHL), playing in 17 games with four goals and five assists for nine points and 10 penalty minutes.

“Jason Williams has won a Stanley Cup and brings veteran experience to our club,” said Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk. “He has the versatility to play any forward position and gives us another right-handed shot. We’re pleased that we could add him to our team.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jason+williams

From Fan To Scout

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,

Boisvert, you see, recently landed a paying gig as a part-time scout for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

But unlike most people in the hockey industry, he has never played, never coached, never volunteered in a minor hockey association.

He stands as the embodiment of every hard-core fan’s dream: an uber-passionate and freakishly knowledgeable outsider who managed to get professional hockey people to actually listen to what he has to say.

And he has quite a lot to say.

more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: simon+boisvert

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