Kukla's Korner

Player Agent Recalls Draft Day Excitement

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ryan Pyette of the London Free Press,

The NHL draft-day drama remains so fresh.

London hockey agent Brian MacDonald of Siskinds Sports Management was sitting alongside his Knights client Nazem Kadri’s sizable clan at Montreal’s Bell Centre in June.

Suddenly, Ottawa Senators GM Bryan whipped past toward the Toronto Maple Leafs table, obviously to try to swing a last-minute deal with Buds boss Brian Burke.

“That was exciting,” MacDonald said, reflecting on the first round nail-biter. “We knew the Leafs were really high on Nazem so we were waiting to see which way it went (with Toronto and the seventh pick) and it always takes two sides to make a deal.”

And, often, a lot of ups and downs along the way.


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

Random Offseason Musings from a Hippy on Beer Fumes, August 19th, 2009

Blog: KK Members Blog By Hippy Dave

So I just finished brewing my first batch of beer, and let me tell you, I think it’ll be a good one.  A pale ale.  Also let me tell you, don’t keep your head above the kettle for most of the boil, I think there are some intoxicating fumes in there.  I wanted to keep these offseason musings for next month but after huffing wort for a couple hours they just wouldn’t wait:

- I believe one of the most under-reported events of this offseason was the retirement of Jeremy Roenik.  It’s really too bad JR never won a cup.  Say what you will, but I think this guy was a dynamo of personality that this league sorely will miss, and certainly needs more of.  Now if only Sean Avery could class up like he did, the league would have a new spokesman.  Maybe if he can’t do it Ray Emery can.

- The other unsung quiet retirement of the year, I can’t freaking believe nobody’s covered this: Darren McCarty.  Sure, it’s not “announced,” but, c’mon, am I the only one who’s really sad about Mac sliding darkly into that quiet night?  We love you, Mac.  The Wings need another Darren McCarty, but they’ll never have one again.

- Speaking of fighters, I was pouring through one of my favorite sites and came upon this thread: Who are the top 10 fighters of all time?  I’m sure you all have your opinions.

- Also speaking of “fighters”: Patrick Kane and his brother deserve some jailtime.  I’m sorry, but if any of us regular readers violently assaulted a person, we’d get it.  I’m freaking tired of celebrities getting special treatment and he’s no exception.  Screw being young, the law shouldn’t descriminate based on age in adulthood.  Besides, he’s about to make a bunch of money off the endeavor based on the new NHL ‘09/Grand Theft Auto bundle pack:

- Ok, the Sabres signed Grier.  If you had to choose between Maltby, Williams, Bertuzzi, or him, which would you choose?  *cough*

- Lidstrom’s in the last year of his contract.  At 39, how many years do you think he’s got left?  I’m guessing quite a few.  At least 4.  He’ll give Cheli a run for his money.

- For Corsi’s Sake, we get it already.  I’ll leave it at that.

- Summer, what summer?  IIHF Style.

- And finally, the top 10 most bizarre hockey incedents of all time.

I’m beginning to think drinking beer is so old-school, from here on out I’m munching the barley and hops directly, and chasing it with the yeast and boiling water and letting it all ferment in my liver.

- The Hippy

Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink

The Balsillie Scheme

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,

Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie devised a “self-serving scheme” to put the Coyotes into bankruptcy in order to force it to be relocated, according to documents filed by the NHL into bankruptcy court yesterday.

Further, according to the NHL’s document, Balsillie “co-opted” Phoenix owner Jerry Moyes into his plan “with an offer of cash, which Mr. Moyes was only too eager to take.”

The NHL made its claim in a document filed to support its contention that Bill Daly, the league’s deputy commissioner, should manage the business affairs of the Coyotes, rather than Moyes, and a bankruptcy trustee should replace Moyes at the team’s helm.


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jim+balsillie

Stars Owner Plans To Keep The Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

While pressure builds on Tom Hicks, owner of the Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars, to sell one of his teams to satisfy his creditors, a source close to the Hicks Sports Group said Tuesday that the hockey team will not be affected.

HSG has until August 2010 to satisfy debt payments before creditors could initiate any kind of takeover, the source said, adding that the deadline is 10 months later than some creditors had initially assumed. HSG owns and manages both franchises.

“There is a plan in place, and we’re following the plan,” the source said.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tom+hicks

Hope On Long Island

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brian Compton of NHL.com,

With less than a month to go before their first preseason game, one word aptly describes the New York Islanders as they head into the 2009-10 campaign.


With owner Charles Wang’s Lighthouse Project gaining momentum in recent months, combined with the selection of John Tavares with the No. 1 pick at the 2009 Entry Draft, things could finally be looking up for the former dynasty that last won a playoff series in 1993.


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

Tortorella Talks Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Z. Klein of Slap Shot at the NY Times,

Tortorella is usually full of eloquent enthusiasm, but always lurking just beneath the surface is the promise of conflict. He said he was looking forward to getting hold of the Rangers for the first time in training camp, as opposed to late in the season.

“The real part of it is when you can have your own camp,” he said. “That’s where we can establish what our mindset is going to be, conditioning, which I think is a weakness of our club. As I’ve said, and I make no bones about it, I don’t think we’re a stiff team mentally. I think we have to be a little bit tougher in that area, in mental parts and preparation.”

And how will it work with the Rangers now that Torts will have control from Game 1?

“It’s a process, it’s accountability, it’s merit,” he said, then outlined a program of eternal Darwinian struggle.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+tortorella

Avs Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

- I believe the Avs are still trying to move one or more of their older, higher-paid defensemen (though not Adam Foote, he’s got a no-trade). Scott Hannan is one of them I believe, and while he also has a no-trade clause, the Avs could ask him to waive it if they feel they get the right deal. Stay tuned.

- Alex Tanguay still will not become an Av again. And Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

more Avs talk including a chat Adrian had with Matt Duchene today.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Frigging Yawn…See This One Coming?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

About as predictable as it gets.  Dive “fans” will now claim that Detroit’s re-signing of Todd Bertuzzi will “re-ignite” the rivalry.  I typically avoid these Examiner pieces, mostly because they’re garbage, but I couldn’t turn away from this one.

Dive Examiner

But, but, but, but, but, but, think of the animosity this signing brings to a dying rivalry. In one fell swoop and with one vicious cheap shot, Bertuzzi ended Steve Moore’s career and established himself as the most reviled athlete in the history of Denver sports. Now he’s signed with a team that was once the Avs’ arch nemesis. This is sheer brilliance, the one ember that could fan the flames of acrimony that made Avs-Wings games sanctioned blood sport.

You might want to ice a team that doesn’t, you know, suck?  That might help “re-ignite the rivalry.”  Just throwing that out there.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Gomez Taking French Lessons

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,

On the subject of captains, Scott Gomez starts lessons with a French tutor on Friday. The connection between the language of Voltaire and a letter? Gomez, whose albatross of a seven-year, $51.5 million contract was taken off the New York Rangers’ hands, now is with the captain-less if not quite rudderless Montreal Canadiens.

The former Habs captain, Saku Koivu, was cuffed about in the French-language media for not knowing French. (English and Finnish were not deemed sufficient in the province. This was a perpetual thorn in the side of the classy Koivu, who now has a one-year deal in Anaheim.) Gomez is not the captain type—he says he hasn’t worn a C since youth hockey in Alaska—but then there are no obvious choices in Montreal.

After the departure of 10 unrestricted free agents, including Alex Kovalev and captain timber such as Mike Komisarek, defenseman Andrei Markov remains the best player, but he is hardly the fulcrum of the dressing room. There are no French-speaking players on the team with enough portfolio on the ice to get the letter, and newcomer Brian Gionta, an American, is an unknown there.

more topics discussed, some have already been mentioned on KK.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: scott+gomez

Proof Positive

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Today’s signing of Todd Bertuzzi has led to some of the most heated discussion we’ve seen here in a long, long time.  Using three-syllable words to confuse Pens fans is one thing.  Lobbing coherent arguments and points of view at one another within the lifelines of the 19 is another.  Despite our differences, it’s been a great day to be a literate Wing fan.

In my opinion, this is the post of the off-season so far…and that includes any of the manifestos I’ve foisted on you, summer agenda or not.  Shanetx...you are the man.  He’s brought us a frigging essay on why, Big Frigging Bert or not, we have every reason to expect one helluva Tuesday in 43 weeks.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

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