Kukla's Korner

Ducks Looking For Winning Combination

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the OC Register,

The Ducks are counting on the puck-moving ability of Niedermayer, Pronger, Schneider and Beauchemin, as well as the addition of Weight and Ryan, to boost a group of forwards that has been lacking in offensive balance all season.

Weight, expected to play against the Sharks despite not having arrived from St. Louis in time for Saturday’s practice, is a premier playmaker who had seen diminished ice time this season under Blues coach Andy Murray. The Ducks are hopeful Weight will click with winger Todd Bertuzzi, or perhaps Chris Kunitz, if Carlyle should opt to play Bertuzzi on the top line with center Ryan Getzlaf and right wing Corey Perry.

more on the Ducks…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

We May Have A Problem Here

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Miami Herald,

‘‘We played so flat, there was no energy or work ethic whatsoever,’’ Jokinen said moments after the players finished a postgame meeting. ``When the game was 4-2, I think some of our guys stopped playing. That shouldn’t happen in this league. That’s a first-place team, but it’s not a lot to ask to work your back off every single shift. Play hard. I didn’t see that tonight, and that’s the scary part.’‘

Said Vokoun: ``If you don’t want to play in games like this, you’re in the wrong business. . . . If [players quit], we have a big problem here.’‘

more on the loss to the Wings…

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

More Games In Europe

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

League sources told Sun Media yesterday that Paul Kelly, the newly appointed NHLPA executive director, has been telling players the number of regular-season games in Europe is going to rise dramatically.

Kelly has suggested the NHL increase its regular-season schedule to 84 games and don’t be surprised if those extra two games are held at European venues. The belief among players is there could be as many as 8-10 games per season in Europe in the next two or three years.

“It’s the only way that revenues can be grown,” said the league source. “They’ve pretty well tapped everything they can in North America. Europe has tremendous growth potential and the NHL wants to do something about it. The players are partners now and need to do their part.”

more and your weekly dose of NHL rumors and talk…

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

Polling Everyone

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sun Media,

For a couple of weeks, Sun Media has been polling NHLers, coaches, scouts and other media personalities from east to west and everywhere in between, looking to come up with a Best Of list.

We asked them to give their top pick in a number of categories ... and some of the answers are surprising.

When asked for the NHL’s funniest player, several answered: “Marc Bergevin,” a player who’s not even in the NHL any more. “Marc Bergevin is still the funniest player I’ve ever been around,” said one. “Nobody could touch him.”

THE PLAYER YOU CAN BUILD AROUND

1. Sidney Crosby

2. Roberto Luongo

3. Vincent Lecavalier

read on for the complete list…

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

Throwing Money Around

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

Some 15 months ago, it was the Islanders committing budgetary lunacy, inking then-25-year-old netminder Rick DiPietro to a 15-year deal worth $67.5 million. The Goalie for Life at the time stood a sub.-500 58-62-13. With a 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh last night, the ex-BU Terrier has gone 46-31-11 since signing the historic pact.

Now we have the Flyers sizing up the 22-year-old Richards, the 24th overall pick in the 2003 draft, as their franchise piece going forward - up to and including the 2019-20 season (good seats still available for that ‘19-20 opener).

What’s it all about? Well, specifically, it’s about: 1. Thomas Vanek and 2. Dustin Penner. And, to a certain extent, Brad Richards, too.

read on plus numerous NHL topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+richards

Easy Choice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Columbus Dispatch,

If the Blue Jackets make the Stanley Cup playoffs in the spring, Ken Hitchcock should win the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach.

And the voting shouldn’t be close.

Yes, it’s way too early to be handing out hardware. The Blue Jackets played their 32nd game (out of 82) last night.

But for the first time since the Blue Jackets joined the NHL in 2000-01, it’s safe for their fans to check the standings around the holidays without getting too depressed.

continued

Way to early to be mentioning the Jack Adams Award…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+hitchcock

The Value Of Lundqvist

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

At this point, Lundqvist, Washington winger Alex Ovechkin and Calgary defenseman Dion Phaneuf are the three select Group IIs yet unsigned to extensions. The Rangers cannot formally begin talks with Lundqvist until the calendar turns to 2008, and when it does, they will. And when they do, they will have no choice but to accede to their 25-year-old franchise goaltender’s demands. They won’t even be able to protect Lundqvist from receiving an offer sheet by filing against him for arbitration, because they did that last summer, even though they didn’t go through with the process.

What is Lundqvist, who can become an unrestricted free agent after next season, worth to the Rangers? He’s worth pretty much any dollar amount he and agent Don Meehan request.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: henrik+lundqvist

Match Penalty For Chris Simon

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

With the Islanders pressing for the tying goal, forward Chris Simon took a match penalty for trying to stomp on Jarkko Ruutu’s foot with just under six minutes left. New York had a few short-handed chances, including Mike Sillinger’s breakaway with 3:18 left, but the veteran forward missed put the puck over the net.

“It was a bad time for a penalty,” Nolan said. “To tell you the truth, I didn’t have the time to look at it and see the severity of it. We’ll look at it and probably make a comment on it (Sunday).”

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+simon, jarkko+ruutu

McCabe Out With Broken Hand

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

But worse news for Toronto was that workhorse defenceman Bryan McCabe will likely be lost for at least six weeks after breaking three bones in his left hand midway through the third period after falling awkwardly into the boards after a check from Andrei Kostitsyn.

Toronto coach Paul Maurice was livid, saying Kostitsyn horse-collared McCabe and threw him into the boards.

“He’s too good a player to miss that much time after a (expletive) play like that,” he said.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bryan+mccabe

Blues Make The Right Move

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

The McDonald addition was enormous. It was just the latest in a series of strong moves, which included the acquisitions of forward Brad Boyes and goaltender Hannu Toivonen from the Bruins and the signing of collegiate free agent defenseman Steve Wagner.

These moves accomplished Davidson’s goals of getting younger while pushing into playoff contention. Meeting these goals simultaneously is tough, but this regime is making it happen.

Davidson and Pleau are positioned to make another move, too, since the Blues have top defensive prospects Wagner and Roman Polak at Peoria and seven healthy veterans on the St. Louis roster.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andy+mcdonald

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