Kukla's Korner

Bruins Fans Desperate for a Winner

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Craig Custance at the Sporting News:

Aaron Ward played in Boston when things first started turning around under GM Peter Chiarelli, and he noticed how desperately some hockey fans in the area wanted a winner. There was a group of fans quick to embrace the Bruins again because in that part of the country, hockey is in the veins.

“This town’s been aching for a winner so long when it comes to the Bruins,” Ward told Sporting News.

But now, this group has a chance to expand beyond the diehards. It has a chance to capture the imagination of the entire city.

And Ward thinks, if they do, the Bruins could find a long-term place right next to the Red Sox and Patriots in the hearts of Boston sports fans. This has a chance to be a relationship that isn’t temporary as hockey bonds sometimes are in other U.S. cities.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: aaron+ward

Red Wings mid-day stuff: Ericsson in English and tidbits

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Thanks to my ISP clunking out after some severe thunderstorms rolled through the Metro Detroit Area, this is essentially an “overnight report” in belated fashion…which is annoying as all hell get out for someone who wants to remain on top of the news. It could have been much worse, however, so my apologies for the delay.

Anyway: Jonathan Ericsson talked about his desire to remain a member of the Red Wings in Swedish on Sunday, and the Free Press’s George Sipple basically offered an English equivalent of his interview this morning:

When the Wings’ players cleaned out their lockers for the season a couple weeks ago, Ericsson made it clear he wasn’t all that excited about testing the waters as an unrestricted free agent. “I really like it here, and my first choice is to be here,” Ericsson said then.

And until he hears from his agent, he said he planned to be back in his native Sweden working on a new summer home.

 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Atlanta To Winnipeg Almost Finalized

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Numerous reports claim a press conference announcing the move could be made tomorrow.

If not, then look to Thursday for the move to become official.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winnipeg

Red Wings sign Andrej Nestrasil to a 3-year, entry-level deal

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Via a tip from Chris from Too Many Men on the Site, the Red Wings have signed Andrej Nestrasil to a 3-year entry-level contract. Nestrasil’s agent, Robart Spalenka, tells Hokej.cz’s Vaclav Jachim that that the Wings and Nestrasil’s North American agent, Don Meehan, spent an extended period of time negotiating the deal, but now that it’s done, Nestrasil will attend the Wings’ rookie camp this July and then turn pro with Grand Rapids in the fall.

Spalenka also believes that the Wings will sign Ottawa 67’s goaltender Petr Mrazek to a contract next season, and he tells Jachim that Wings director of player development Jiri Fischer played a huge role in mentoring Nestrasil.

I’d provide a full translation, but aside from Spalenka comparing Mrazek to Marc-Andre Fleury (not quite), talking about the Czechs’ performance at the World Championships and pointing out that the Grand Rapids Griffins are a first-class organization…Czech does not translate well.

Update: Capgeek.com has Nestrasil’s contract details. He has a cap hit of $585K at the NHL level but will earn $50,000, $55,000 and then $57,500 at the AHL level over the next three seasons, and he’s earned salary bonuses of $58,334 for the 2011-2012 season and then $58,333 for the 12-13 and 13-14 seasons.

Update #2, 8:37 PM: The Grand Rapids Press confirms

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Going beyond the stats for the ‘11 Final

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

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Rest assured, the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins will be chirping at one another like age-old enemies seconds after the puck drops in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. But to say there is any rivalry, what with six games between the two in six seasons, is stretching the things way past the breaking point.

This figures to be an entertaining series. Big-name goalies, strong defenses and lots of variety and skill among the forwards. I’ll let others break down all the stats here because I think it’s a clean sheet for both sides. There has been plenty of time for both sides to get ready, so forget fatigue. Neither side will be any more exhausted than what we have seen from past finalists. So, instead of breaking down power plays and penalty killing, let’s look at some other storylines worth watching.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks, Phil_Coffey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Chara Continues To Grow Into Leadership Position

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,

Zdeno Chara may finally be rounding into the leader everyone always wanted him to be.

That’s no knock on the 6-foot-9 defenseman and Bruins captain in his fifth year with the team, and his 13th year in the NHL, of course.

It’s more a nod to the demands that come along with wearing the ‘C’ on the Black and Gold sweater of the Spoked ‘B’ tribe, and the downright crazy expectations of a frothy fan base that hasn’t tasted from the Stanley Cup in 39 anguish-filled years.

Chara couldn’t just be a sterling leader by example or the hardest worker on the team as he’s always been during his All-Star, Norris Trophy caliber career with the Islanders, Senators and Bruins

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: zdeno+chara

Still Waiting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

You’ve got a Canadian city and an original six-franchise from a huge American market. You’ve got new stars in the Sedins and Ryan Kesler from the Canucks and emerging stars like Milan Lucic and, if Julien ever lets him on the ice, Tyler Seguin in Boston. Tim Thomas is also as appealing a personality as there is in the NHL.

There’s much to like about this final, in fact, which makes makes you wonder why the NHL is doing its best to hide it. It’s now been four days since the last playoff game and Boston’s first media availability isn’t until Tuesday, the day before Game 1.

Sorry, that’s too long. You wouldn’t notice it here because the Canucks are 24/7 in this market. But, in the States in particular, fans have had time to find other diversions and it’s hard to get them back once they’ve left.

Hockey’s hold on the collective consciousness of sports fans isn’t so strong that it can withstand a five-day news blackout. The league should know that.

a few more Vancouver related topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Memorial Day- A Day To Honor Those Who Have Falen While Defending Our Country

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Remember, Honor and Don’t Ever Forget.

 

Filed in: KK Website Business, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Memorial Cup Playoffs

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Memorial Cup has just completed in Mississauga, Ontario.  Here is my preview of the tournament and here is my review of the round robin portion of the tournament.

When the round robin completed the Owen Sound Attack and the Kootenay Ice were set to play a tie breaker to determine who would play the home Mississauga St Michael’s Majors in the semifinal.  The semifinal winner would meet the St John Sea Dogs in the final.

Here are the results:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Watching The Stanley Cup Final

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,

The Stanley Cup final matchup last year was the best thing to happen to the NHL in the United States since Wayne Gretzky dried his tears on the pier at Santa Monica, Calif., in 1988. The meeting of the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers, the third- and fourth-biggest media markets in the States, produced substantial ratings at the precise moment the league was renegotiating its U.S. TV rights. Bingo: a $2-billion (all currency U.S.) deal with NBC and Comcast. (Start your engines, conspiracy theorists.)

The Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks pairing in 2011, by contrast, has been compared by some to the Fox TV glowing puck as a broadcasting non-starter. Ratings from the local Vancouver market don’t count in the U.S. Nielsen ratings. To Americans, Vancouver might as well be Vladivostok at this time of year. The Sedin twins, likely to win back-to-back Hart Trophies, rival the GOP presidential field on the invisibility factor. Boston is dropping as a major U.S. market.

Yet Boston is still the No. 7 market, a not insubstantial perch. The presence of an Original Six team from the Northeast usually spurs ratings

continued plus more topics, including Fox bidding for the 2014 Winter Olympics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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