Kukla's Korner

Flames Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald,

On the unrestricted free agency front, grinding winger Eric Nystrom is due for a healthy raise on his $775,000 U.S. salary.

According to Sutter, Nystrom could prove too expensive for the Flames.

“He fills a role,” Sutter said. “I like Eric Nystrom, but fourth-line players on the first of August are $600,000 players.

“You have to prioritize. If you can get a star by spending that extra $300,000 to $400,000, that’s what you do.”...

The NHL buyout period officially opened Tuesday, and Sutter decline to tip his hand on whether he intends to buy out any players.

“It’s not for public disclosure,” he said. “But obviously, we didn’t do it today.”

much more on the Flames…

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

The Real UFA/Trade Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

As many of you know, Spector’s Hockey is a must follow this time of year.

Today Lyle has the…

Latest on Tomas Vokoun, Tomas Kaberle, Anton Volchenkov, Peter Mueller, Johan Hedberg & more.

read all about it…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

How Jeff Schultz Led The NHL In Adjusted +/-

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Last season, Jeff Schultz of the Washington Capitals led the NHL with a +50 +/- rating.  This is the highest +/- rating achieved in an NHL season since 2002/03 when Peter Forsberg and Milan Hejduk both went +52.  Naysayers have looked at this number and concluded that there is something wrong with +/-.  In this case, the problem is that +/- does not give them the information that they want it to give them.  It does not give them a realistic ranking of the best players in the NHL.  However, this number gives us a lot of information and shows us that Jeff Schultz did have a very strong year in 2009/10.  He excelled in his role with the Capitals.

The first problem one would bring up about Schultz’s raw +/- number is that he played with the President’s Trophy winning Capitals.  They were the team with the highest team +/- and therefore their players should have the highest +/- ratings as well.  It is argued that Schultz’s +/- is a team effect.  This is partially true.  Hence we try to remove team effects by using adjusted +/-.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Rockin’ The ACC

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

Yet as much as Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. prides itself on the fan experience, there are nights of church-pew silence where player chatter can be heard all the way up in the purples.

At the start of each period, the lower bowl can look like a ghost town, as the club suite holders tarry in their luxury boxes. The Leafs screen just about everything they can on a fairly new $50-million high def scoreboard/sound system and stage live hijinks around the rink. But with the notable exception of Luke’s Troops, in which Canadian Forces personnel get a heartfelt standing ovation every night, not all their skits and cartoons work.

Brian Burke was hired as general manager to put a winning product on the ice, which everyone knows is half the battle in getting people off their hands. But he’s not afraid to take the ball away from his games operations crew now and then.

He’s often seen with those big General Patton binoculars and on the road, he’s an early arrival in the press box, not only to see the warmups, but curious at what other clubs are doing to hold crowd interest.

“We will get this place rocking again,” Burke promised Tuesday, a day after unveiling captain in Dion Phaneuf and a new/old sweater design that fans had craved.

“We think we have made changes for the better already. It’s easy to create atmosphere once you are in the playoffs and that’s what we’ll be working toward next.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Kessel Has Goals On His Mind

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,

On a team historically bereft of big-time scorers, Phil Kessel believes he can achieve what only one Maple Leaf has been able to do in the last 15 seasons.

That’s topping the 40-goal mark.

“I think I can score 40. I could have had it last year if I’d have scored (consistently). I had a lot of chances, plus I missed quite a bit of games,” said the 22-year-old winger as he passed through town for the unveiling of Dion Phaneuf as Toronto’s captain and Tuesday’s opening of Real Sports Bar and Grill, MLSE’s playpen beside the Air Canada Centre.

“I’m going to improve on last year. Hopefully, I’m going to be a better hockey player,” Kessel continued.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+kessel

The Product Is Good

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

Apparently, for the first time in ages, you didn’t have to be a savvy hockey fan (a.k.a. a Canadian) to realize the NHL is now producing some of the most entertaining hockey we’ve seen since the inception of the Tuuk blade.

Even Americans, who’d have an easier time finding a BP executive than a hockey game buried on Versus, stood up and took notice of a game too cool to ignore anymore.

Starting perhaps with the Winter Classic at Fenway Park, moving to the Olympic tourney staged in a perfect setting and ending with a playoff that had more storylines than a Ben Roethlisberger pub crawl, it appears the NHL has finally rebounded from the lockout of 2004-05 and is actually gaining momentum.

Oh sure, it helps that the Americans landed in the gold-medal game and teams from two traditional hockey markets starved for Stanley Cup glory landed in the final.

But at the end of the day, the product is what sells NHL hockey, and right now, the speed and skill of the game has helped make it hotter than the Slap Chop.

read on

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

Panthers Have No Plans To Shop Vokoun

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,

Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon isn’t looking to trade goalie Tomas Vokoun.

Tallon called Vokoun on Monday night and assured him of that.

“He likes me, and he has no interest in shopping me or trading me unless there’s a great deal that would make sense,” Vokoun told the Sun Sentinel.

“Obviously, everybody’s tradable. He said if it was best for the future of the organization, he would have to do it. But from what I understand, he wants me around.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+vokoun

Predators Sign Geoffrion

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Nashville, Tenn. (June 15, 2010) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed 2010 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner and Brentwood, Tenn., native Blake Geoffrion to an entry-level contract. Geoffrion is the first Tennessee native drafted by an NHL team (56th overall by the Predators in the 2006 Entry Draft) and first to sign an NHL contract.

        Geoffrion, 22 (2/3/88), won the Hobey Baker, award given to college hockey’s most outstanding player, after tying for second in the nation in goals (28) and finishing first in Division I hockey in power-play tallies (15). A tri-captain of the University of Wisconsin Badgers in 2009-10, Geoffrion posted 50 points (28g-22a) in 40 games, helping the school reach the NCAA National Championship Game. In addition to recently being named USA Hockey’s College Player of the Year, the 6-1, 196-pound right wing was a First-Team West All-American, and a First-Team WCHA selection in his senior season. Geoffrion was also the Most Valuable Player of the West Regional after leading UW to victories over Vermont and St. Cloud State with five points (2g-3a) in the two games.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: blake+geoffrion

Detroit’s Cap Guy Staying With Wings, Turns Down Yzerman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Detroit Red Wings will keep their coveted “capologist,” as Ryan Martin has decided to stay with the team rather than become an assistant general manager to Steve Yzerman in Tampa Bay.

“I decided last night, and I talked to Steve last night and told him I decided to stay,” Martin said today. “It was a difficult decision but also a good decision.”


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

Report- Cam Neely Will Be Named Boston Bruins President

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Boston Herald,

The Bruins have called a press conference for tomorrow to announce that Vice President Cam Neely will be elevated to the title of team president, according to a club source. It has long been speculated that the Hall of Fame former Bruin, who became a club executive after GM Peter Chiarelli was hired in 2006, would one day stepped into the role of team president, last held by Harry Sinden, who was moved out of that role and into that of senior adviser to the owner, also after Chiarelli was hired.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+neely

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