Kukla's Korner

Hotstove Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Along with host Ron MacLean, Al Strachan, Mike Milbury and Pierre LeBrun talked about contraction, the Penguins, Lightning and a few other topics last night.

Watch it here...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Be On The Look-out For Expiring Contracts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,

But most NHL teams are just like the Oilers in this regard, having handed out numerous long-term contracts to players in recent years, perhaps in the mistaken belief that the cap would just keep rising.

In Edmonton, the only way out of this problem would be for the Oilers to dump some long-term contracts and perhaps get in return other players who have expiring contracts.

For instance, Brendan Morrison of Anaheim has an expiring contract at $2.7 million, Maxim Afinogenov and Tim Connolly of Buffalo have an expiring contracts for $3.5 million, Jaroslav Spacek has one for $3.3 million, Adrian Aucoin of Calgary, $4.0 million, Martin Havlat of Chicago, $6 million, Joe Sakic of Colorado, $6 million.

These are just a few examples, but if you were to acquire any of these players at the trade deadline, you would have their cap hit for the rest of the season, but you would have all of that cap space for the next season.

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Pens Are Losing, Still Exciting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

Yeah, the Pens are too loose defensively right now and it’s a major reason why they’ve lost seven out of eight. But, geez, it just leaves you green with envy when they leave town and you know you have to go back to watching the …zzzzzzzzzzzzz…..Minnesota Wild or the ….zzzzzzzzzzzz….Nashville Predators or the ….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….Columbus Blue Jackets 12 more times this year, or whatever it is.

The West might have the better teams as a conference, but let’s face it, the three most exciting players in the NHL play in the East: Crosby, Malkin and Alex Ovechkin. I just wish we could see them more, instead of Jacques Lemaire and his Ambien brand of hockey.

more observations from Dater…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

‘League Sources’ Talking

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of he Ottawa Sun,

• While league sources say the Oilers have a mild interest in Ottawa’s top centre (Spezza), the man Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini really wants in the middle is Mike Fisher.

Fisher has been struggling this season with only three goals in 35 games going into last night, after scoring 23 last season.

• A team that would love Spezza is Columbus. The word is Ken Hitchcock believes he can transform the struggling centre into the next Steve Yzerman. Hitchcock worked with Spezza at the world championship in Quebec City last spring.

more

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Change Needed With Fighting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Shame on Don Cherry, who referred to and embraced “the culture of hockey” at Sanderson’s funeral in Port Perry, Ont., while talking about how the deceased’s father “knows [fighting] is a part of the game,” as if the Whitby defenseman had died on the battlefield for some greater cause rather than on the ice for no reason whatsoever.

Bench-clearing brawls were once part of the culture of hockey. So were wood sticks, bareheaded players and barefaced goaltenders. But time moves on. Time leaves people like Cherry behind….

Shame on those who would argue against eliminating fisticuffs from the sport because “only one person” has died as a result of a fight. Only one? As in, one is acceptable? What about when that inevitably becomes “only” two? Will two be too many or will “only two” fatalities be regarded as an acceptable price of maintaining “the culture of hockey?”

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New Vezina Leader

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

As the season progresses, I like to track the players who I feel are front-runners for the NHL’s awards.  I had been picking Craig Anderson of the Florida Panthers as the Vezina leader.  This pick was a little unsatisfactory because Anderson has only 21 games played (and only 18 decisions).  This is less play that Tomas Vokoun, his Florida teammate with whom he has been sharing the Panther goaltending position.  This makes him the nominal number two goalie in Florida and it is odd to call a number two goalie the NHL’s best.

The Vezina race is relatively wide open because none of the goalies who have the most games played are asserting themselves as front-runners.  It is hard to call the current games played leaders (Miikka Kiprusoff of Calgary, Marty Turco of Dallas, Henrik Lundqvist of the NY Rangers, Joey MacDonald of the NY Islanders or Vesa Toskala of Toronto) serious Vezina candidates.  None of them have been consistently outstanding goalies.

Continue Reading »

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Senators Running Out Of Options

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from James Gordon of the Ottawa Citizen,

Option 1 didn’t result in a much-needed victory, though Elliott was good in his debut.

General manager Bryan Murray has found Option 2 impossible to pull off.

How long before team owner Eugene Melnyk goes with Option 3? The rumours certainly won’t be going away any time soon, thanks to another demoralizing defeat.

The disappointment was all over coach Craig Hartsburg’s face as he faced the media afterward.

“I thought it was an even game, we just couldn’t score,” he said. “We had our chances, couldn’t finish … it’s a tough game coming back after a long road trip and I thought our guys, we tried, we executed a lot of things, just maybe didn’t have that extra energy we needed.”

more

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A Look At GameCenter Live

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports,

At first, the effect is dizzying: a sensory overload of images, facts and figures orbiting what amounts to picture-in-picture-in-picture-in-picture television. That it’s occurring on a computer monitor, rather than the flat-screen hanging on the living room wall, doesn’t decrease the feeling of digital claustrophobia.

Gradually, the charms of NHL GameCenter Live—the League’s Web- and subscription-based service that provides coverage of out-of-market games on a nightly basis—blow away any clouds of confusion.

continued

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

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“They (Rangers) went to Europe and he had told me to stay back and keep training and to be ready. I felt that in spite of the fact that I wasn’t signed early on that I was still going to be given an opportunity to stay. I had no desire to leave my team, but it didn’t work out and that’s sometimes the way it goes in the salary cap business. I had a great two years there. I feel really lucky to have played there and I had a great experience there. But I also feel lucky I had a relationship with some other teams in the Northeast. I believe it was right around Nov. 1 when I had said it wasn’t going to work out with the Rangers and I was going to start negotiating with other teams in the Northeast.” 

“I had some great offers from some very good organizations and good people out West.  I didn’t want to move my family. I have three children, all under six years old and they’re in school and definitely my first choice was to do something close to home—whether I could live at home or be a short commute for my family to come and see me as often as possible. That was my first choice, so I feel really fortunate.”

-Brendan Shanahan.

More on Shanahan from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice.

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

Kronwall Out, Not A Lower or Upper Body Injury, but…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Detroit Free Press,

Defenseman Niklas Kronwall is out with an illness tonight

added 8:56pm, Ah, the flu!

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: niklas+kronwall

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