Kukla's Korner

Summertime and the living is easy

Blog: KK Hockey By The Upper Canadien

You’re a professional hockey player, it’s summer, and you have to stay in shape. What to do, what to do. As has been discussed on Kukla’s Korner over the past week, and on various other forums across the web, Carey Price has spent much of his off-season practicing his rodeo tricks, even competing in a cattle rustling event a few weeks ago. Quite the adventurous summer for the unsigned Mr. Price, especially when compared to the great Canadian traditions of lake-sitting, light swimming, barbecuing and beverage consumption – all wonderful activities to help beat the heat. This got me wondering what other Montreal Canadiens have been up to over the past few months - so I did a little digging.

First off, the neat stuff. PK Subban and Mike Cammalleri were part of a weeklong hockey camp for Biosteel, a performance energy drink Cammalleri has discussed as being a big part of his game. Subban and Cammalleri were featured in some videos that appeared via Twitter last week, discussing their strength training at length and, you guessed it, the importance of Biosteel. It may just be me, but the name Biosteel always reminds me of Power Sauce, the sole reason Homer Simpson was able to climb the Murderhorn (More on that here: Homer Climbs the Murderhorn.

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Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: biosteel, cammalleri, lapierre, off-season, power+sauce, subban, the+murderhurn, training

Blues Still Looking For An Investor

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

It has been more than three months since TowerBrook Capital Partners announced it would divest its investment in the Blues, a major move considering the private-equity firm holds as much as a 75 percent stake in the club.

TowerBrook has indicated it will postpone divesting until Blues owner Dave Checketts can find a replacement, allowing the club some immediate security. But as the team prepares for next month’s training camp, its long-term financial future seems uncertain until a new investor can be found….

“It’s not healthy in the NHL right now,” said Jim Lites, former president of the Dallas Stars and now president of the Hicks Sports Marketing Group, which is owned by Stars and Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks. “I just think it’s a tough economic model. We’re spending 55-56 percent of our revenue on player payroll, and that makes it a tough go, particularly in the small- and medium-size U.S. markets.

“We’re depending so much on the ticket and arena revenue to drive the business. Do the math ... it’s really difficult. The business is different in Calgary and Montreal, let alone Toronto, than in St. Louis and Dallas, where we have to chase paid bodies into the building. The economics have to change, and for Dave (Checketts), that’s something you have to rely upon.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Brind’Amour Talks Retirement

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,

It has been a busy few months since Brind’Amour ended his 21st NHL season. After weeks of uncertainty, Brind’Amour and the Canes made a joint announcement June 30 that the versatile center would retire but would remain with the team in a management position.

A few days later, he was remarried. More recently, on Aug. 9, he turned 40.

Now comes the hard part. A new hockey season beckons, and Brind’Amour will not be on the ice - not as a player - when the Hurricanes’ preseason training camp opens Sept. 17.

“It’s going to be interesting for me,” he said. “Right now it doesn’t feel any different. I’m still training with the guys in the offseason. I think once the camp comes and I’m not actually going out there, and just watching them, that’s going to be tough.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rod+brind'amour

Talking Red Fisher As He Celebrates Turning 84

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Boone of the Montreal Gazette,

If Red Fisher were writing this story about himself, it might start like this:

“Come with me now to the moments following Game 6 of the Stanley Cup conference semifinal. A guy was asked whether Jaroslav Halak’s 52-save performance was the best goaltending he’d seen in the playoffs ...”

The guy was Red Fisher. And everyone in the Bell Centre press box was asking the Living Legend of Sports Journalism to compare what we’d just seen to what he’s seen since 1955.

To deliver his authoritative assessments, WikiRed, the human hockey Google, plumbs the database in his head: about 6,000 game stories, 17 of the Canadiens’ 24 Stanley Cups, including five in his first five years on the beat, 26 Hall of Fame Habs.

You can watch hockey highlights on YouTube. You can read bulletins on Twitter. You can listen to sports talk radio.

But to contextualize the bleu-blanc-rouge, you have to read Red.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: red+fisher

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Admit it: When first you heard Michel Goulet had been signed by the Flames, your first reaction was to wonder which line he’d play on.

-Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun.  A few more Calgary notes from Eric.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: michel+goulet

Southeast Division Statistical Previews by Position: Offense from the Defense

Blog: KK Hockey By Jon Jordan

In my second statistical peek at the Southeast Division, I’ve grouped defensemen with their new clubs and will focus, this time, on offensive production from the blueline.

(Next up, we’ll re-visit the d-men from a different angle, including blocked shots, TOI and other specifics with less of an offensive emphasis.)

Remember, just as I did with the forwards, this is simply a look back at last year’s individual player statistics, updated to reflect this summer’s off-season transactions. And, as I said in that first piece, a look to the recent past can often be a good indicator of what’s to come… But not always!!!

It should also be noted, especially since I didn’t mention it with the forwards package, that rookies and European transfers (many of whom could certainly make a major impact, theoretically) are not part of this forecast.

Recall as well that for this analysis, currently unsigned, unrestricted free agents are not included, while those still unsigned but restricted are (save for Tampa’s Paul Ranger, an RFA that I have excluded intentionally, as I have little reason to believe he will return).

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+alberts, boris+valabik, brett+carson, brett+clark, bryan+allen, bryan+mccabe, bryan+rodney, dennis+wideman, dmitry+kulikov, erik+gudbranson, freddy+meyer, jamie+mcbain, jason+garrison, jeff+schultz, joe+corvo, john+carlson, john+erskine, johnny+oduya, joni+pitkanen, karl+alzner, keaton+ellerby, mathieu+roy, mattias+ohlund, mike+green, mike+lundin, mike+weaver, pavel+kubina, ron+hainsey, tim+gleason, tobias+enstrom, tom+poti, tyler+sloan, victor+hedman, zach+bogosian

In Defense of the Shootout

Blog: KK Members Blog By Michael Smith

When the National Hockey League first instituted the shootout coming out of the lockout in 2005-06, immediately there was a line drawn in the sand.  To one side were those in favor of an ending more satisfying than a tie and to the other, those who labeled the shootout a gimmicky, “skills competition”. 

From the start it was obvious that I was in that first group.  I was enthralled by the individual show of skill.  I wasn’t alone.  The other 18,198 people in Madison Square Garden seemed equally riveted, standing unprompted, and remaining that way throughout. 

The shootout shone a rare spotlight on individual talent.  Without it, would we have gotten to see so many variations on the Datsyukian Deke?

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Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: marek+malik, mike+ribiero, pavel+datsyuk, shootout

Different Opinions

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,

With rosters slowly shaping up, SN asked an analyst, a player and a coach to answer a few questions about how this summer’s events will affect next season’s standings.

SN: Which team has improved the most this summer?

(Kevin) Weekes: I would say Atlanta. I just like the fact that they got winners in Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Ben Eager and Andrew Ladd. (Thrashers G.M.) Rick Dudley is reshaping the culture down there. They have young, hungry players who play well, and they’ve brought in winners.

(Brooks) Laich: Sometimes the best move is not to do anything at all. Players get better from one year to another. Sometimes there’s a surprise; sometimes making no moves is better. I hope I never have to be a G.M. Those are tough decisions.

(John) MacLean: Everybody in July, right now, thinks they have a shot at winning the Cup. You see everybody sign someone….


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Art Of Our Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

An art series titled Stealing Signs: Memories from my last life; Saskatchewan, 1934. Essentially, it is a visual love letter to the game that we love so much.

Check it out and make sure to check out some of the other links, they will without a doubt take you back in time.


Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink

An E-mail Interview with Islanders’ Blogger Dee Karl

Blog: Goal Line Report By Patrick Hoffman

As everyone knows, there are a lot of terrific hockey bloggers out there.

Today, I was lucky enough to do an e-mail interview with one of them - Denise Karl. “Dee” is the New York Islanders blogger over at HockeyBuzz.com and also contributes to several other outlets as well.

Dee was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule and tell us about how she got into the game, how she began blogging, what outlets she blogs for and more:

PH: How did you get into hockey?
DK: I am the monster my husband created. Or so I let him believe. Years ago, I owned a bar/restaurant and needed sports on the TV. I didn’t grow up with sports, but I did love figure skating. Kurt Browning didn’t go over well on a bar TV, so my bartender turned on a hockey game and I was hooked. Then I married him. Figured I owed him one.

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Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: denise+karl, new+york+islanders+blogger

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