Kukla's Korner

Tom Hicks Becoming An Overly Involved Owner

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I have long maintained that the best way to build a successful NHL franchise is to hire the best hockey person you can find to run things and then get out of the way and let him run things.  NHL owners are not ideal GMs.  They generally lack the required skill set.

Tom Hicks, the Dallas Stars owner, seemed to understand this.  He had kept Bob Gainey on as his general manager and let Gainey run things.  That worked and the Dallas Stars won the 1999 Stanley Cup.  However Hicks has stopped following that path with the Dallas Stars and it is beginning to affect them in the standings and likely to get worse in the future.

The biggest problem with the way the Dallas Stars are run is that they don’t have one general manager.  They have two.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

A Different Manny Fernandez

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Brothers of the Pioneer Press,

Manny Fernandez looked like he’d seen a ghost.

Clearly trying to put all things Minnesota behind him, Fernandez appeared stunned when a reporter from St. Paul walked up to him the other day in Ristuccia Arena, where the Boston Bruins practice.

You could almost see the wheels turning. Did he mix up the next opponent? Weren’t the Bruins scheduled to play the Devils the next afternoon?

At times cordial and at times a smoldering volcano during his six seasons with the Wild, Fernandez seems to have turned over a new leaf with the Boston Bruins. After a moment, he extended his hand, peeled off his big goalie pads and said he’d be happy to talk a little puck.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: manny+fernandez

Playoff Points

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Marc Crawford of Blogs and Columns at CBC,

The great sportswriter from the Detroit Free Press, Mitch Albom, wrote the book titled The Five People You Meet in Heaven. It’s a wonderful story about how the people you meet are influenced by your life and it gives meaning to the significance of the lives we all lead.

As we head into the afterlife known as the NHL post-season, I would like to share with you the five people who hold a special place in my version of playoff heaven.

To begin, I must explain my belief that a team’s playoff success usually requires, to some degree, five elements in order to win the Stanley Cup. These include a great goaltender, a prolific scorer, an outstanding offensive defenceman, a checking line or shut down defensive pair, and, last but not least, an unlikely scoring hero.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Playoff Primer For Chicago Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times reminds Chicago fans what the playoffs are like…

When it comes to the excitement level between the regular season and the playoffs, few sports compare to hockey, which remains primarily an arena sport. On any given night, in most NHL cities, those inside the arena make up a significant percentage of that team’s fans. That means ratings are never as high as league and team executives would like. It also means an electrifying playoff atmosphere for those who don’t remember.

These Blackhawks are capable of winning a series or two, which will only ratchet up the intensity. Can they topple the Sharks or Red Wings, the two dominant teams in the Western Conference? Probably not. But the Hawks have won two straight against San Jose, giving them a puncher’s chance.

more

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

These Hits Don’t Tickle

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NHL players discuss being hit.

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

NHL Players “Going Green”

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the NHLPA:

NHL players are “going green” in a big way, due in part to the success of the NHLPA Carbon Neutral Challenge program. Players are taking more action in their own lives to reduce their environmental footprint. With over 420 NHLPA members signing up for the second year of the program, the players continue to show leadership on the environment.

“I’m very proud that we’ve offset more than 4,200 tonnes of carbon emissions this season, which is like taking 840 cars off the road for a year,” said Andrew Ference, the Boston Bruins’ defenseman who initiated the NHLPA Carbon Neutral Challenge. “But best of all, I’m hearing of more and more players in the dressing rooms talking about ‘going green’.”

continued…

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+ference, environmentalism, nhlpa

Bertuzzi Expected Back Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

According to Vicki Hall of Flames Insider, Todd Bertuzzi will be in the lineup tonight when the Flames meet the Blue Jackets.

“It feels pretty good,” Bertuzzi said, slipping the brace off his left leg. “I’ve practised a couple of times pretty hard, and I’m no worse for wear.

“Looking forward to getting back in,”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“It’s 10 friggin days since it happened.  We have talked to Tampa’s coaches, we have said our speech. The people that are bringing the crap up are you guys. Nobody cares about it anymore. You guys want to bring it up because you want to see a riot, then you want to talk about retribution. It’s the dumbest thing in the world. You gotta have better stuff to talk about.”

-Washington coach Bruce Boudreau.  The Capitals face the Lightning tomorrow so the Ovechkin 50th goal celebration was brought up.  More at TSN...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bruce+boudreau

The ‘Blow It Up’ Theory

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,

How can it possibly be difficult to build a winner in the National Hockey League? All you have to do is listen to the radio in cities where the team is struggling.

In those places, the winning formula is freely distributed by the experts, some professional, some amateur. “Blow it up,” they say. “Go into the tank.”

Basically, it’s the same theory. Management is supposed to get rid of all the talent and not try to win. You can’t throw games, but you could use minor-leaguers and the backup goalie.

The proponents sometimes offer a little preamble about how the local team is going nowhere and has no future if it continues to piddle around in the lower or middle levels of the standings. So the answer is clear: Blow it up.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Coach ‘Q’ Holds The Playoff Success Key For The Blackhawks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

We often talk about “the missing piece” when it comes to Stanley Cup puzzles. That one, elusive block to complete the tower, the one snapshot to complete the image.

Usually it’s a player, a puck-moving defenseman, a shut-down forward, a power-play specialist.

Sitting on a bench near the Tampa harbor is the man who may well be the Chicago Blackhawks’ missing piece. He’s 50 years old with a graying mustache and a steely glare and three teenage children.

Joel Quenneville won’t score a goal for the Hawks and he won’t block a shot, but he is the man who holds the key to a team and a city aching to win its first playoff series since 1996.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joel+quenneville

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