Kukla's Korner

Expectations Are High In Chicago

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

A successful spring led directly into a whirlwind summer for the NHL’s newest “it” team, but the Chicago Blackhawks remain on strong footing despite the somewhat surprising change at the top from Dale Tallon to Stan Bowman.

“It’s fair to say expectations are high,” Bowman, the Blackhawks’ new general manager, told NHL.com. “I like our team.”

There’s a lot to like, what with the additions of Marian Hossa, John Madden and Tomas Kopecky to last season’s Western Conference Finalists. Bowman’s task now is to keep it all together.

How he plans to do that seems to be the biggest question around the Blackhawks today.


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

Flyers Coach Talks About Recent Changes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jacob Robinson of the Expositor,

Any significant needs the team lacked in two straight playoff exits at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins were hopefully addressed this summer with the acquisitions of defenceman Chris Pronger and goaltender Ray Emery.

Both players have been controversial at times in their careers, but Stevens believes that the “City of Brotherly Love” will welcome the duo with open arms.

“Adding a veteran guy like Pronger, I think, is an ideal fit,” Stevens said in a telephone interview. “He’s great at both ends of the rink, he’s got an attitude, he plays with a bit of an edge and (has) great leadership qualities, he’s won a Stanley Cup before. If you had a checklist on a player, you’d check everything off where he’s concerned. He brings so many things to your team.”

With Emery, the Flyers are giving the much talked about goalie a second chance in the league. Emery was cut loose by the Ottawa Senators in 2008 and played in Russia’s KHL last season.

“I feel good about Ray,” Stevens said. “I think Ray is going to be great. I think he’s a real fiery guy, I think he’s anxious for this opportunity and I think we’re a good fit for him and he’s a good fit for us.”

“We feel like we’ve made some good changes on our team, so this is a real important year for us.”

more from Stevens…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+stevens

The Action Comes Right At You

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,

Is Lord Stanley ready for the James Cameron treatment? More precisely, what happens when hockey’s greatest moments get the same 3D treatment that famed Canadian director Cameron is employing to convert his classic film Terminator? “I’ll be back … with my hockey stick.”

Michael Lowe, the producer/director of Calgary’s LoweLife Productions, has teamed with Conversion Works – the innovative 3D conversion firm working with Cameron on his classic Terminator and Titanic films – to create a history of hockey that he hopes will blow the doors off anything seen by fans before. Lowe recently showed Usual Suspects samples of what to expect from the marriage of 3D and hockey. The results might be described as Gary Bettman’s happy dance.

The depth of field on 3D, the capture of perspective between the players, offers a solution to TV’s biggest complaint about the sport: Where’s the puck? Using the technology at the Hockey Hall of Fame, to mention one venue, to revive vintage games and classic moments could put hockey in the front seat of sports technology.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Media, NHL Video, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

If the NHL truly believed the Olympics were important, that the quadrennial tournament was an important marketing platform for the NHL and its players, the league wouldn’t play cutesy with the orientation camp insurance. They would expand the clauses in the collective bargaining agreement that ensures players’ contracts are guaranteed during international play, including the Olympic tournament to include the camps. End of story.

-Scott Burnside of ESPN.  More from Scott on this topic…

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

Holland Does It Again…And I’m Talking About Hudler

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Man. Check this out.  Say what you want about Jiri Hudler’s departure, and I’ve said plenty.  But you can’t help but like the guy after reading this great piece from Puck Daddy’s Dmitri Chesnokov.  Hudler comes out of this looking good and Kenny Holland? Well, he’s Kenny Holland. All class.

You traveled to Detroit to pack your things etc. How did you say goodbye to the Red Wings? Did they wish you luck?

“Ken Holland, the general manager, texted me and said: ‘Good luck this season. We are happy for you. Make sure you work hard every day and improve as a player. Have a great season and life there.’ They treated me very good for a player who left. They understand [me]. And they believe I can be a better player.”


Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Interest In Hockey Declining In Canada

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Misty Harris at the Vancouver Sun,

In a nation long ruled by hockey, it’s the equivalent of high treason.

According to one of the country’s top sociologists, interest in the National Hockey League has been declining over the past two decades, with the game’s largest proportion of fan losses occurring among teenagers. The University of Lethbridge’s Reginald Bibby says his findings debunk the myth of “hockey-mad” Canadians, and call into question the game’s endurance as our national winter sport.

Between 1990 and 2005, the percentage of adults who “very” or “fairly” closely follow the NHL dropped to 30 per cent from 36 per cent. Among teens, fandom over the same 1992 to 2008 period — fell fully 10 points, to 35 per cent from 45 per cent.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Another Hockey Blogging Pioneer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from PuckDaddy,

If you write or read a hockey blog, then you know and owe the name Eric McErlain. His Off Wing Opinion was a trailblazing hockey blog, and his work on establishing guidelines for credential bloggers was a landmark moment. He went on to create the NHL blog on AOL’s FanHouse and served as The Sporting Blog’s resident hockey voice.

But he’s also as passionate a hockey fan as you’ll find, as was evident from his overwhelming coverage of the Winter Classic at Wrigley Field earlier this year.

The following list is drenched in puckhead nostalgia and the common bonds we share as fans—from the rink to the living room.

Here are Five Reasons Eric McErlain Loves Hockey:


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

Watch The Roenick Retirement Press Conference

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The live stream (watch below) should start between 1:50-2pm ET.

Note: Some people may have difficulty viewing the video below on Internet Explorer. If so, please try using your Firefox browser.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jeremy+roenick

Williams: 1.5 Million Reasons To Be “Excited”

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

So says George Sipple.  And Williams is talkin’.

“I’m excited to get back,” Williams said in a phone interview today from London, Ont. “I always enjoyed my time in Detroit, met some great people there and to be able to re-sign is nice. Not many people get traded away and brought back.

“With what the Wings have lost this year in free agency, they’re trying to get some scoring and hopefully I can provide that.”

“Excited to be back,” eh Jason?  Wonder why?  Oh…right.


Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Playing In Sweden

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

At The Hockey News,

Defenseman Joe DiPenta returns to the NHL for a fifth NHL season after spending 2008-09 with the Frolunda Indians of the Swedish Elite League. The 30-year-old, who won a Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2006-07, will blog throughout the season about his experiences on the Buffalo Sabres blueline.

from Joe DiPenta at The Hockey News,

People say hockey players use too many cliches, but I’m afraid I have to throw another one out there: What a difference a year makes.

I finished the 2007 season playing a limited, but valued, role on the blueline of a Stanley Cup-winning team. After the 2008 campaign, one in which I was a healthy scratch more times than I care to count, my hockey future was a bit uncertain.

At the time I was a 29-year-old defensive defenseman with 174 NHL games on my resume and an Anaheim Ducks Cup ring in my back pocket. I was hoping that would be enough to get me another NHL ride, so when my agent told me there was interest in my services from a Swedish club in May of ’08, I initially dismissed the notion.

But as the weeks passed, I began doing some research and giving it a bit more thought.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+dipenta

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