Kukla's Korner

Players Waiting For A Phone Call

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Pisani, who can’t fathom so many players waiting for the phone to ring with camps approaching.

Pisani doesn’t know if he would take a two-way offer from some team, if that’s all he could get.

It beats the alternative: a simple training camp invite, where trying to make the team would be like trying to bail water out of a sinking boat with a shot glass. Darned near impossible. It’s hard enough making a club when you’ve got a two-way NHL contract and everybody else is on a one-way.

Would he take an invitation to somebody’s camp?

“I’m not sure yet. I haven’t got to that point,” he said.

“I’m not ready to retire.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: fernando+pisani

It’s All About The Dallas Stars TEAM

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Stepneski of Andrew’s Stars Page at ESPN Dallas,

The Dallas Stars have parted ways with some popular individual players this summer, but hockey is considered by many to be the ultimate team sport, and that’s what the Dallas Stars will be emphasizing this season – team.

It’s a message that GM Joe Nieuwendyk and Marc Crawford will push and it’s a message that the team’s marketing staff will capitalize on as well.

“Your marketing message for the year has to flow up from an authentic place; it flows up from the team because you are trying to encapsulate the best of your team. This year it is: ‘It’s About TEAM’ and team will be in all capital letters,” Geoff Moore, executive vice president for sales and marketing. “It’s because the Dallas Stars were not built by one player. Certain players had more to do with it than others, but it was always about a team. “


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Can The Devils Sign Kovalchuk And Parise?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Marc Everson of the NY Post,

It’s really what late Devils owner John McMullen meant when he said “You don’t want 50-goal scorers. Then you have to pay them.” The update is you have a huge cap hit.

It was a nice try, elegant even, and the Devils’ attempt to keep Ilya Kovalchuk’s cap hit manageable should have succeeded. Now that the arbitrator upheld the NHL’s rejection of the contract, the extra cap space it’s going to cost makes it even more likely that New Jersey will have to choose between Kovalchuk and Zach Parise in its long-term plans, and make that choice now.

It was going to be a tough go anyway, now it’s that much harder. For this season, they can have both if they can get under the cap with Kovalchuk’s hit. Next summer, Parise can become a restricted free agent, and that’s when what they do now will really matter.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink

My Kind Of Girl

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Marcia C. Smith of the OC Register,

“I’m not the normal teenager. I’m actually really lame,” a grinning Annie Pankowski confessed shyly on Tuesday at The Rinks-Anaheim ICE. “It’s because I train a lot, like, really, a lot.”

The commitment would explain how this rugged 5-foot-8, high-scoring right wing and captain on the 16-and-under AAA Lady Ducks became the first California-born, coached, groomed and competing player to make USA Hockey’s 18-and-under Women’s National Team….

Ask Pankowski whether she plays video games? No. Goes to the movies? No. Likes any bands? No. Has Justin Bieber on her iPod? Who?

Her favorite thing since teetering on blades at age 6 has been playing ice hockey, followed closely by competing hobbies of doing gym training for hockey, decorating her Laguna Hills bedroom with medals and memorabilia from hockey nationals and dreaming of playing college hockey and, “if it’s an option,” she says, Olympic hockey, too.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: annie+pankowski

Canes Playing With Their Own Salary Cap

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,

As an overwhelmingly quiet summer winds down for the Carolina Hurricanes, with training camp a little more than a month away, it’s clear the belt-tightening imposed by owner Peter Karmanos has had an effect on the roster.

Good or bad, it’s hard to say right now, but there’s no question it’s a different look than last year, or the year before, or the year before that.

The question at the start of the summer, when Karmanos insisted general manager Jim Rutherford slash the payroll to stem the NHL team’s operating losses and make the franchise a more attractive proposition for a would-be buyer - no takers yet, it must be noted - was this: What does $44 million get you?

At this point in August, we’ve got some answers.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Leaving College For Other Hockey Opportunities

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Pollard at the Toronto Sun,

It’s been a tough off-season for NCAA hockey teams and the NHL is responsible for most of the pain.

Although it’s really nothing new, the exodus of players from American colleges to the pro or junior ranks seems to be more pronounced this year….

Since April 1, 17 players gave up NCAA eligibility to sign with NHL teams, according to figures compiled by insidecollegehockey.com. Factor in the others, like Tinord, Lessio and Melchiori, all of whom never even showed up on campus, and you can see how hard the U.S. schools have been hit.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Non-NHL Hockey, College Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Burke Points His Finger At Kaberle’s Agent

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Howard Berger of Fan590,

Though it’s understandable that any person directly involved in the Tomas Kaberle trade watch might be fed up by now, statements attributed to the defenseman’s agent on Wednesday afternoon were off the mark.

In a column by Nicholas J. Cotsonika on YahooSports.com, Rick Curran unfairly castigated Maple Leafs’ general manager Brian Burke for the tone of media coverage relating to his client. As per any loyal advocate, Curran spoke passionately on behalf of Kaberle and made a number of salient observations. But, he went overboard, I believe, when he accused Burke of stoking the fires….

When told of the comments, Burke responded appropriately. “He drafted the [limited no-movement] clause… this isn’t my handiwork,” double-B said about Curran. “I’m dealing with what I inherited. So, if he doesn’t like the fact it puts his client in this position, he can certainly accept some of the blame. I don’t have to.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+kaberle

Blackhawks Salary Structure Next Summer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune answers some questions from readers…

With all the player chaos this summer, what are the prospects of this happening again in the summer of 2011?

Summer 2011 is a long way away and many things can happen to alter the roster before then, but the Blackhawks don’t figure to have a whole lot of cap room following the upcoming season. With top players Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Marian Hossa, Brian Campbell and others signed to expensive deals, the Hawks could be in a bit of a bind but drastic changes like the one’s over the past two months likely won’t be necessary. Brent Seabrook will be a restricted free agent after the 2010-11 season and if he continues to develop into one of the NHL’s top defensemen will be in line for a big raise. Troy Brouwer will also be restricted who could blossom into a top winger and would rate more money.

more Blackhawks related questions and answers…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Maybe A Regular Season Game In Northern Ireland

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stuart McKinley of the Belfast Telegram,

Ken Yaffe, the senior vice-president of the NHL — only half a dozen men have higher positions than him in the organisation — spent yesterday in Belfast checking that everything is in place ready for the visit of one of the biggest ice hockey teams there is.

He’s the man with the power to pull the plug on any game involving an NHL club and had he not been satisfied with the facilities at the Odyssey or any of the arrangements that have been put in place for the glamour exhibition match between the Giants/Elite League Select team and the Bruins then he would have been on the phone to Boston immediately to tell them that the game was cancelled.

Not only did his mobile stay in his pocket, but the visit of the Bruins could be the precursor to a regular season NHL game coming to Belfast, with Helsinki, Stockholm and Prague each hosting two matches this year. All three of those cities have seen real NHL action before and if the net is cast wider, then Northern Ireland is an option.

“We’re very optimistic about this year’s event and coming to Belfast again is something that we would look at in the future,” said Yaffe.


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

Boogaard In the Rangers Corner

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan David of NewYorkRangers.com,

The last two Rangers teams that went all the way to the Stanley Cup Final could both point to one of the NHL’s most feared enforcers on their roster.

In 1979, there was Nick Fotiu—a former amateur boxing champion whose tenacity and ability to intimidate division rivals such as the Islanders and Flyers remain the stuff of Garden legend more than 30 years later. Fotiu saw his physical role as a responsibility to protect teammates, but when he did throw his weight around, he turned heads throughout the league.

In 1994, there was Joe Kocur, already one of hockey’s toughest tough guys long before he arrived in New York at age 26 and a valued member of the championship team. Kocur sparked so much fear in opponents that his total penalty minutes dropped as a Ranger because by then most other NHL enforcers weren’t so eager to take him on.

Like Fotiu and Kocur before him, new Rangers forward Derek Boogaard is a player in the prime of his career, and his reputation is both well-deserved and well-established.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: derek+boogaard

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