Kukla's Korner

Lucic’s Great Expectations

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Matt Kalman at the New England Hockey Journal,

imageToday after [Milan] Lucic and more than two dozen Bruins veterans, rookies and prospects took part in an hour-long captains’ practice at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, the rugged left winger explained how this year is different from last year.

“Obviously, it’s a little bit different because you kind of know what to expect going into your second season,” said Lucic, whose play in last year’s training camp forced the Bruins to make the decision not to send him back to junior hockey. “And I think, obviously, the first season went pretty well for me and you just want to build on it, try to get better and better. That’s a big thing for me, just to get better every day.”

read on

Lucic was also featured prominently earlier this week when he modeled the new Bruins 3rd jerseys. More on that at Icethetics and Hub Hockey, the source of the photo.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jerseys, milan+lucic

Filatov Will Miss Rookie Camp With Leg Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nikita Filatov will be sidelined 10 to 14 days due to a lower leg injury and will miss the team’s rookie camp to be held in Traverse City, Michigan over the next five days, club General Manager Scott Howson announced today.

“Nikita has an old injury that is bothering him, so he will not accompany our rookie team to Traverse City for the NHL Prospects Tournament,” said Howson.  “He’ll rehab the injury here and be re-evaluated in the next 10 days to two weeks.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikita+filatov

Backstrom Questionable For Opening Of Camp

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,

Nicklas Backstrom suffered a sprained ankle yesterday when he collided with the goal, General Manager George McPhee confirmed moments ago. Backstrom stayed down for a few seconds, then skated off the rink gingerly.

Backstrom was seen walking with a pretty pronounced limp later in the day and he didn’t skate this morning.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nicklas+backstrom

“Scampy” to the Hall of Fame

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Evan Weiner at NHL.com:

Scapinello will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 10 for his body of work, which included 2,500 regular-season games and 426 playoff games, all consecutive, as he never missed a game between 1971 and 2004. He was called the best linesman in the game in 20 of his 33 seasons; he worked 20 Stanley Cup Finals and three All-Star Games. He also worked the 1998 Winter Olympics. But according to Morel, Scapinello was one of those guys who made training camp fun.

“He juggled, he was pretty good,” said Morel. “He was pretty agile. He was good on a one-wheeled bike. Sometimes he brought that to training camp and show us what he did during that summer to practice that balance and it was OK.”

read on

Of Note: Scapinello published a book last year titled, Between the Lines: Not-So-Tall Tales From Ray “Scampy” Scapinello’s Four Decades in the NHL

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: referees

Goals & Expectations Higher For Predators

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Glennon of the Tennessean,

When the Predators’ season ended last April, owner David Freeman looked forward to an offseason in which the organization could hone its marketing skills and cement local business ties….

“This is going to be a year where our goals are higher and our expectations are higher,’’ Freeman said. “Just hitting 14,000 is not going to put a smile on our face and neither will losing in the first round of the playoffs. This is the year we hope to take that next step.

“We’re trying to build a franchise with long-term stability and long-term prosperity. We know that winning is important and we know that having a full house is important.’’


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: david+freeman

Who Is It?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Craig Custance of the Sporting News did an interview with… any guesses?

SN: So what else do you have in the mix?

Current Player: What don’t I have going on? I’m thinking of starting a NASCAR team with my buddies, or starting one up myself or buying into an existing team. I like to dabble in a lot of different things. I enjoy life, I like meeting new people. I’m an action junkie.

read on to find out who it is and a very interesting interview too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Calgary-Toronto Pipeline

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Mike Toth at Sportsnet.ca:

With Cliff Fletcher at the helm, the Leafs have suddenly become Ontario’s answer to the Calgary Flames, as no fewer than six members of the 1989 Stanley Cup squad have switched their allegiances from “The ‘C’ of Red” to the Blue & White. In addition to Fletcher, the architect of that Calgary triumph, Toronto’s management and coaching line-up includes Al Coates, Joe Nieuwendyk, Tom Watt, Doug Gilmour and Tim Hunter, with all of them expected to play a key role in Fletcher’s long-range plan to transform the lousy Leafs into serious contenders.

And can you really blame Fletcher for being so attracted to Flames?

After all, when Cliff exited Calgary to take over the Leafs for the first time in the early-90’s, he immediately fleeced his former team by pulling off the “Killer” trade that made Gilmour’s gang the toast of Toronto.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cliff+fletcher

Iginla Looking Forward To Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,

“We lost some very good players that were big parts of our team—and they’re going to help the teams they went to, no question—but the people we brought in are very good also,” said Iginla of the new-look Flames.

“I’d say that we’re probably a little grittier, and maybe a little bigger, but I think we still have that skilled side.”

Too many goals against was what plagued the Flames last year, so the team hopes the grittier, defensively conscious additions will make the difference after a third consecutive first-round playoff exit.

“You’ve got to be able to play more than one-dimensional,” said Iginla.

“I think it’s gonna be great, and I’m really looking forward to it.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jarome+iginla

Europe On The NHL Radar

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from William Houston/David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

The NHL is aiming to have teams based in Europe within the next 10 years, the league’s deputy commissioner said yesterday.

“As time goes on, you’ll see us making increasing movement into Europe,” Bill Daly said in an interview. “Certainly, it’s a possibility that within 10 years time we will be playing games there.”

Asked whether he viewed European expansion within 10 years as a good possibility, he said: “I hope so. But again, I think it’s a long way between here and there. And I think all the pieces have to continue to line up in order for that to happen.

“So, certainly, we would hope that would be the case. But I can’t say with any degree of certainty at this point.”


Update 11:09am ET (alanah): From Pierre LeBrun at ESPN

There remain hurdles, to be sure, serious ones. For starters, there’s the issue of travel. That’s obvious. But I believe the one issue that worries the NHL even more is European sports fans generally aren’t used to paying the same kind of money for tickets as North Americans. Getting fans in Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Russia, Germany, the Czech Republic, etc., to pay out bigger amounts for NHL games will be the real test if and when this ever comes to fruition.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Cole Will Play His Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

But if you think the seriousness of the injury has made the power forward shy away from the heavy going, think again.

“You learn to play the game a certain way, and if that style’s been successful and you’ve come all this way, it’s hard to change,” Cole said earlier this week as he skated with several other NHLers at Kinsmen Arena, preparing for the opening of the Oilers’ main training camp on Friday, Sept. 19.

“I’ve always played a hard-nosed style.” Cole was apprehensive in his first playoff game after breaking his neck. His Carolina teammates had unexpectedly lost Game 5 of the final in overtime on Fernando Pisani’s short-handed goal and had to fly clear across the continent after coming tantalizingly close to winning the series on home ice.

“It wasn’t an ideal situation to play my first game,” confessed Cole.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: erik+cole

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