Kukla's Korner

Trying To Serve The LA Area Hockey Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Harvey (LAT Sports Editor) of the Fabulous Forum Blog at the LA Times,

The Times has excellent hockey writers, including Helene Elliott, the 2005 Elmer Ferguson Award winner for her oustanding hockey coverage and this year’s winner of the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation sportswriter of the year award. She was among honorees along with Sugar Ray Leonard and Ashley Force at a dinner last night in Beverly Hills.

But it’s true that we’ve had to cut back on national coverage. It’s also true we will be more selective this season, as we were last season and the season before, about which Kings and Ducks road games to cover with our own reporters….

“I know the reaction often is that there aren’t a lot of hockey fans and therefore they don’t get enough respect,’’ he said. “So maybe there was some of that, that we have a sport a few of us love but that not everybody likes.’‘

We at the Times will continue to try to serve that few as best we can. But it’s not easy with the ravenous hockey crowd. As a colleague once said, “There’s not enough hockey in the Hockey News for hockey fans.’‘

more including a nice award for Kings play-by-play man Bob Miller.

The LA Times just doesn’t get it, nothing else to be said.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“The economy is tough, and if anyone says it isn’t they’re just not being accurate”.

“We may not see the effects for a while, either. A lot of people had their spending budget in place prior to our season. We sell our seats, we sell our corporate business, and we sell our season tickets starting in July. But from July through now, the world’s been tougher on the United States. We have to really work at playing an entertaining game on the ice, having people coming to our arena and understanding that it’s an event and having fun in the building.”

-Blues President John Davidson.  More from Davidson at TSN.

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+davidson

Cherepanov Was Playing Hockey Illegally?

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the Associated Press today the allegation from Col. Vladimir Karpenko, a spokesman for the commander of Russia’s Railway Troops, that Alexei Cherepanov (who, of course, recently died during a game) was in fact playing “illegally” and should have been serving his mandatory military service at the time.

The full story is here.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+cherepanov, khl

Why The Non-Disclosure Of Injuries Works

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kelly Hrudey of Blogs and Columns at CBC,

I shared goalie duties with a really good guy, Chris Terreri, but shortly after opening the season, Chris broke his hand in a game in St. Louis.

A couple of games after that, I separated my right shoulder and our goalie prospects at that time weren’t ready for NHL action.

The Sharks chose not to tell anybody about my injury.

So I ended up playing 12 straight with a separated shoulder. This kind of injury made it impossible for me to raise my arm over my shoulder.

If the other teams around the league would have known of my injury, without question every shot would have been high to my stick side.


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

Canadiens Suspend Valentenko

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

The Canadiens’ young prospect Pavel Valentenko signed a deal in Russia earlier this week, and the Habs responded today by suspending the player from the team and presenting their concerns to the IIHF. 

Valentenko’s Canadian agent Roland Hedges tries to explain his client’s actions. From the Canadian Press via TSN:

Hedges said Valentenko has been supporting his family since he was 15, and took a pay cut to pursue his NHL dream when he signed with Montreal before the 2007-08 season.

After playing all of last season and the first four games of this season with Hamilton, he was given permission to return to Russia to attend to a family matter. He said the signing was not premeditated.

“His intention was to go home to see his parents and see what he could do,” said Hedges. “When he got home, his father already had the deal done (with Dynamo).

“And if you saw the size of the deal, you’d see why.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: iihf, khl, pavel+valentenko

Professor McPhee

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Tarik El-Bashir in the Washington Post,

George McPhee leaned forward in his chair, squinted his eyes and focused on the performance that was unfolding before him. Except on this Wednesday night, the performers weren’t hockey players and McPhee, the general manager of the Washington Capitals, wasn’t sitting in a suite high above the ice. Instead, he was in a classroom at Georgetown University grading the midterm projects of 44 students in his graduate-level sports management class.

The Washington Capitals GM is teaching eight classes this semester.  I think my favorite line in the article comes from one of McPhee’s students, who remarked “It’s like learning to play basketball from Michael Jordan” which, it occurs to me, might not be the best analogy… (edit: actually, I change my mind. I was thinking about that quote in the wrong way, equivocal to “...learning to play hockey from George McPhee.” Which obviously isn’t what was meant. Whoops!)

Anyway, great article—read the rest here.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: george+mcphee

Another Prospect Lost In The Russian Talent Pipeline

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Although Russians make up some of the most talented players in the NHL today (including reigning MVP Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and current top scorers Alexander Semin of Washington and Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins) there influx of players from Russia is strongly in decline.  In fact there are only two Russian rookies in the league so far this year.  Russian players tend to be staying at home due to the lack of transfer agreement and due to better opportunities in their homeland.

When the pipeline of players has become as weak as to only produce two new players in a season, any further losses of players are significant.  During the years of no transfer agreement, approximately three or four Russian players a year have headed back to Russia during the NHL season.  They have generally been AHL players who were help to under $100,000 salaries per year while in the minors due to two way contracts that would be subject to re-entry waivers if they were paid higher.

The latest player in North America to depart is Pavel Valentenko of the Montreal Canadiens.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Islanders On The Right Path

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Baumbach of Newsday,

When (Bill) Torrey built the expansion Islanders from the ground up in 1972, he eschewed any talk of trying to put together an immediate contender. He, instead, focused on the draft with the goal being to build a core that would be competitive for years to come. He believed in that method then, and still does today.

Reached at his West Palm Beach, Fla. home, Torrey said he sees the parallels with his vision to Snow’s current plan and he thinks it’s the right way to go.

But he cautioned it’s going to take time and lots of patience.

read on

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

A Good Deal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

In the context of that complicated four-year, $21.6-million (all currency U.S.) contract extension signed by the Ottawa Senators’ Daniel Alfredsson this past week, the question – of what constitutes a “good” contract in today’s NHL? – is more pertinent than ever.

And more to the point, who is the contract good for? The player? The team? Or in the rarest cases of all, for both?

Alfredsson clearly is satisfied with his new compensation package, which will permit him to play out his career with the Senators, the team that drafted him originally back in 1994 with a long-shot 133rd overall pick.

continued and other hockey topics too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+alfredsson

Dustin Brown Dishes Out the Hits

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Dear NHL:  When LA Kings’ captain Dustin Brown slam you painfully into the boards this season, take heart in the fact that it costs him more than it costs you.  This press release from the LA Kings explains why:


Los Angeles Kings right-winger and team captain Dustin Brown has announced a partnership with KaBOOM! in conjunction with the Kings Care Foundation.

Brown will donate $50 for each of his body checks during the 2008-09 season to KaBOOM!, a non-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of very child in America.  Last season Brown led the NHL with 311 body checks.  Through five games the season he has a team-leading 21 body checks, which would equal $1,050 in donations.

In all seriousness, a good cause.  As the Kings note: “Since 1995, KaBOOM! has led the construction of more than 1,500 playgrounds, ice rinks, skate parks, and athletic fields.” You can find out more here.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dustin+brown

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