Kukla's Korner

Would Gerber Help Flames?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,

One of the things being discussed is the future of Ottawa Senators netminder Martin Gerber. He’s been waived by the team and is expected to meet today with Sens GM Bryan Murray to figure out what happens next.

The Flames are rumoured to be considering bringing the veteran in as insurance in case workhorse Miikka Kiprusoff succumbs to a late-season injury.

According to a colleague in the nation’s capital, the belief is the Flames might be interested if the Sens are willing to pick up half of the $1.5 million left on Gerber’s salary.

read on

via Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

We said it before the season started and we’ll say it again now: Enjoy Michael Cammalleri the rest of the season, because on July 1, he’ll be a Toronto Maple Leaf, making almost as much money as Jarome Iginla.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Chemistry Issue In Anaheim

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News,

Ducks general manager Bob Murray will decide sometime over the next month whether to tear his team down for the future, or build it up for one more Stanley Cup run.

With time to reflect at the All-Star break, and just 31days remaining before the March 4 trade deadline, he’s not sure which direction to go. In a telephone interview Sunday from Chicago, Murray said he’s just as confused as anybody about why the team has made the decision so tough.

“Something’s not right in the dressing room,” he said. “Within that group of players, it doesn’t for some reason lend itself to the team coming and playing with enthusiasm. There’s no energy. That could be a chemistry issue.”

continued

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

Back To Reality

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,

...But that party’s over.

There will still be glorious hockey celebrations – imagine Canada winning two gold medals at next year’s Vancouver Winter Games – but no more spectacular bashes that suggest the revenue streams are as endless as the water that flows here from the Great Lakes.

“We are having a good season,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told a news conference here on Saturday.

“It’s a wonder no one threw a shoe at him,” a francophone reporter muttered.

more

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

Time For Rangers To Get Serious

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler of Game On,

Despite the uncontestable—it’s all there in the arithmetic—the fact that this 2008-09 Blueshirts edition is NOTICEABLY better in points and stands twelve wins over .500, scores of Doubting Thomases—coach Tom Renney excluded—abound.

The Thomases and Nervous Nellies worry about scoring; they fret over the power play and the absence of a MONSTER (Chris Pronger) defenseman. They suffer migraines over Nik Zherdev, wondering if he’ll ever do a reasonable facsimile of Allie Ovechkin.

No problem. Concern is the norm in a playoff race featuring the challenging likes of Washington, Boston, Pittsburgh and New Jersey, to name a few that fail the Pushover Test.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

You Can’t Have It Both Ways

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Daryl Reaugh of Razor With An Edge,

Let me get this straight, the league office endorses NHL teams hiding injuries from the media and fans or disclosing them as very vague “upper body” or “lower body” – but its not OK for a player to have one of these slight or near-phantom injuries keep him from attending the corporate elbow-rubbing autograph session known as All-Star Weekend.

Hmmmm. That’s curious.

Does the “H” in NHL stand for hypocrisy?

continued

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

Lack Of American Top Scorers

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

During last season, I wrote about the lack of American top scorers in a couple different posts and I wanted to re-address the situation this season.

Here are the top 10 American born scorers in the NHL and where they rank in the overall NHL race as of All Star break:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

NHL & Network TV Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,

The free lunch for NBC is over. That’s the message the NHL will give to the network when it begins negotiating a new national television contract to replace the one that expires after this season.

Since the lockout, the league has had a deal with NBC that essentially gave the network its NHL property for free. In a deal similar to the one that the Arena Football League had, NBC doesn’t pay the NHL any money, but guarantees that it will cover production costs. Any money made by the broadcasts first goes to covering those costs and if any profits are left over after that, 80 percent go to the league and 20 percent go to NBC.

But that arrangement for NBC is about to end, according to those who are familiar with the league’s television contract. With paying customers in the form of TSN and CBC in Canada and Versus in the United States, the league feels it has the leverage to begin charging a national broadcaster for its product.

continued plus other hockey notes…

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

Watching CBC

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,

Plenty of ideas were offered on how to improve the all-star format.

Reporter Scott Oake passed on a proposal by San Jose Sharks centre Joe Thornton, who suggested giving the players a cash incentive. Members of the winning team would not be required to pay into the National Hockey League Players’ Association escrow account.

“Then you’d see a game to rival any of the 82,” Oake said.

Don Cherry had his own ideas. Give NHL players the responsibility of selecting the all-stars rather than fans. That four Montreal Canadiens filled six of the Eastern Conference starting spots was hardly a realistic representation of the NHL’s best, he said.

more on the CBC coverage of the weekend in Montreal…

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all-star+game

The ASG Is Not Going Away But Changes Needed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

The All-Star weekend isn’t going away, though, as much as some reporters might grumble about having to cover things such as the trick shooting event. It’s an important date on the NHL calendar when it comes to corporate schmoozing. And if you’d seen the way the city of Montreal embraced the event—the Bell Centre was packed to watch practice, along with the rest of the events—even the skeptics among us would’ve had to say there’s still a place for it.

But if the All-Star Game is to have its place, the league must deal with problem areas, and chief among them is the players and how they end up there.

If fans want to vote like crazy for their hometown heroes, as they did in Montreal by selecting Carey Price, Mike Komisarek, Alexei Kovalev and Andrei Markov to the starting lineup for Sunday’s game, fair enough.

But let’s stop rewarding the undeserving when the rest of the rosters are filled out.

more

added 9:46pm, from Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail,

Those of us who grew up watching hockey couldn’t have thought anything less of Gary Bettman than we already did before this past weekend.

But it was remarkable, nonetheless, to see the NHL commissioner turtle on the topic of fighting, give a Canadian player a pass for skipping the all-star game and then turn around and give paying customers a slap in the face by suspending Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk for not taking part in Sunday’s glorified afternoon skate?

continued

added 10:24pm, from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,

In future, before anyone bitches, moans and characterizes the All-Star Game as a Mel Brooks-caliber farce and near-total waste of perfectly good eyesight, they ought to attend one in a real hockey city like the home of the Habs.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all-star+game

The Ideal Brian Burke Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,

“When I talk about having a hard-nosed team, I want to make it clear that I love skill, first and foremost,” he said. “If you look at the teams I had in Vancouver, we had a ton of skill and a lot of hard-hat guys.

“I draw a line right through the top six [forwards] and bottom six. The bottom six guys have to bring a pick and a shovel to work. They have to do the penalty killing, block the shots, they have to win the fights and deliver the bodychecks. The top six have to put the points up on the scoreboard.

“We have a lot of work to do. There are a bunch of holes on this team. The one motto I have with my players is: no complaints, no excuses. I’m not going to complain.

“I don’t have this and I don’t have that. We’ll get things fixed here, but it will take some time.”

more on the Leafs…

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

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