Kukla's Korner

Selling Curtis Glencross on a horse-trading deal with Calgary

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

On Monday, the Calgary Flames announced that Jay Feaster’s officially taking over their general manager’s position on a full-time basis, and in doing so, the Flames revealed that they’d signed poor man’s power-forward Curtis Glencross to a 4-year, $10.2 million extension which underlines the fact that while Glencross might be a 40-to-50-point player, he tends to post 25+ goals of the, “Dagger in the heart of opposing teams” variety while crashing and banging the hell out of the opposition—to the point that this Red Wings fan swore when finding out that a player who’s become a “Wing killer” in both Edmonton and Calgary was sewn up before my team could try to get its octopus tentacles around him. The Calgary Sun’s Eric Francis reveals that Feaster team president Ken King engaged in an unusual means of courting Glencross:

Shedding light on a business meeting no other NHL team can likely boast, Craig Conroy detailed a recent horseback ride by Calgary Flames president Ken King and Curtis Glencross that led to the player’s new contract. 

“I’m not sure what (King) did on horseback with Curtis, but after that, things were good,” said Conroy, eliciting plenty of laughs during a hastily called news conference Monday.

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Classic Russian rhetoric: Salavat Yulaev president says Radulov promised’ to stay; SKA courting Jagr

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

File these under “no surprise” and classic Russian rhetoric: Sovetsky Soprt reports that Jaromir Jagr remains in contract negotiations with both Avangard Omsk, his current team, and KHL president Alex Medvedev’s biggest-of-big-market teams, the Gazprom Export-backed SKA St. Petersburg, and the talks remain as hot and heavy as multiple sources reported they were over this past weekend…

And while rumors have suggested that former Nashville Predators forward Alexander Radulov would be returning to the Mucis City as Salavat Yulaev, which is heavily subsidized by the government of the province of Bashkortostan, will engage in some serious belt-tightening (per Yahoo Sports’ Dmitry Cheskonov), Salavat GM Konstantin Tolkachev insists to Sovetsky Sport’s Andrei Lipkin that Radulov “promised” to remain with Salavat.

Oh, the Russian press…

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Spector: Hurricanes to address ‘state of the team’ today

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Via Lyle “Spector” Richardson, today’s something of a day of reckoning for Carolina Hurricanes fans:

RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER: Luke Decock recently reported Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford will be making his “state of the team” speech to the local media today. Chip Alexander meanwhile reports the club is also expected to announce Paul Maurice will remain as head coach next season. The club also has some difficult decisions to make regarding unrestricted free agents Erik Cole, Jussi Jokinen, Joni Pitkanen, Chad LaRose, Cory Stillman, Pat Dwyer and Jay Harrison. It’s believed Pitkanen’s future with the club is in doubt as he could earn more than the $4.5 million he made this season on the open market, while it’s believed the Hurricanes will attempt to re-sign Cole before July 1st. The club could also announce a long-term extension for center Brandon Sutter, a restricted free agent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise Maurice will return as he has one more season remaining on his current contract. Pitkanen won’t be back but Cole will as could Jokinen, whose career has found stability with the Hurricanes. They’d like to keep LaRose but that might not be possible given their payroll constraints. Stillman also could be a goner.

Pitkanen’s one of those classic “underrated” puck-moving defensemen who’s ready to land a higher-than-his-market-value contracts due to the dearth of truly elite defensemen this summer.

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Leaky Luongo

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

From Yahoo Sports’ Nicholas J. Cotsonika, if there ever was a Red Wings-Canucks comparison that seems to stick, it involves the fact that the media still views Roberto Luongo as a leaky, under-performing goaltender who may be a Chris Osgood-like Achilles Heel:

“I don’t know what more people want from him,” said Cory Schneider, Luongo’s backup. “We’re in the Western Conference finals. People talk about the past, but the fact is, in the past Vancouver was not the best team. This year we are where we are supposed to be, and people don’t seem satisfied with it. It’s like they are waiting for the other shoe to drop. I don’t get it. He’s a big reason we are here, and I thought he was great handling the puck this year.”

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Red Wings overnight report: On tweaks, tweaked ankles and Bolt inspiration

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

During the Red Wings’ locker room clean-out on Saturday, coach Mike Babcock suggested that the Wings will continue to make tweaks to the roster as opposed to wholesale changes, and the Windsor Star’s Dave Waddell revisits Babcock’s comments today:

“I think we’re going see some changes, no question,” Babcock said. “I think it’s very important as we ask our players to train all summer and work and get better. One or two per cent better. That as coaches we do the same thing. And as management we do the same. We got to improve our team. The bottom line is the final four is going on and this is our second year in a row we’re not involved.”

Aside from suggesting that Nicklas Lidstrom’s all but certain to return, Babcock suggested that the Wings will largely see improvement from players who progressed during the team’s playoff run, including Johan Franzen, Niklas Kronwall and Brad Stuart…

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If things keep rolling the way they are between Atlanta and Winnipeg, stick with Jimmy D

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

When an ownership group fails to keep an NHL team in a market, outsiders tend to assume that the team’s leaving a market because it’s simply “not a hockey town” and that there’s fault upon part of the fans as well as the owners. I didn’t believe that when the Jets left Winnipeg for Phoenix, the Nordiques left Quebec City for Denver or the Stars left Minnesota for Dallas, and I’ve found it downright insulting that now that the shoe’s on the other foot, Canadian media types have assumed that fans in Phoenix, Atlanta, and Long Island, among other places, simply aren’t that rabid about hockey. It’s an oversimplification to say the least and an all but lets ownership off the hook for trying to “sell” fans an inferior product in most cases.

So I’m not about to begrudge Thrashers fans’ hockey chops as their team’s crappy ownership group, which has never been particularly interested in presenting fans with a superb on-ice product, seems ready to bail and send the team to Winnipeg. Things got busy in a hurry on Tuesday, with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution confirming that True North Sports and Entertainment is officially talking with the Atlanta Spirit about buying the team and relocating it to Winnipeg, and the Winnipeg Free Press, Winnipeg Sun, Globe and Mail and the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman all stated that things are getting hot and heavy, with various sources suggesting different things about possible realignments which might or might not include the Red Wings moving East.

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Roloson Making a Place in History

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Damian Cristodero at the St. Petersberg Times:

One would think if an NHL player was being mentioned with one of the all-time greats, he would at least take some notice.

But Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson said he doesn’t read the sports section and doesn’t turn on the television much, either.

“So, to be honest with you,” he said Monday, “I have no inkling what you’re talking about.”

Did he want to know?

“No,” he said, “I don’t want to hear it.”

But it is worth mentioning.

Roloson’s eight straight playoff victories tie him with Hall of Famer Jacques Plante, who did it in 1969 with the Blues, for most by a goalie 40 or older. Roloson needs two more wins, not necessarily in a row, to tie former Red Wings goalie Dominik Hasek for most in a playoff season by those goalies of a certain age.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dwayne+roloson

Kaberle Under a Microscope

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Scott Burnside at ESPN, thoughts on the Boston Bruins and the puzzle of Tomas Kaberle:

Also on Kaberle from earlier today, a story from Shawn P. Roarke at NHL.com

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+kaberle

Habs President Leaving after 12 Seasons

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Dave Stubbs at the Montreal Gazette:

Soon, the Canadiens’ outgoing president [Pierre Boivin] will shut the lids of this cardboard on his photographs and souvenirs. But there was no time on Monday to pack, not with Boivin booked for a series of interviews that spread him thin from morning through late day.

The 57-year-old officially ends his presidency of the Canadiens on Wednesday, and he expects he’ll shed a few tears on a final elevator trip to the arena’s parking garage.

“If you don’t feel something after 12 years,” he said Monday afternoon during an hour-long, wide-ranging conversation in his southwest corner office, “then there’s something wrong.”

continued…

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pierre+boivin

Niemi’s Stanley Cup Story

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Terry Jones via the Edmonton Sun:

Antti Niemi now admits to getting giddy in private moments at several stages of the remarkable Stanley Cup story he has written so far.

But not now.

It’s almost all real now, he swears.

“Not so much this year, but I think, yes, last year,” he said of those private personal moments while backstopping the Chicago Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup last year.

Niemi began to stop marveling at being a guy who, not that long ago, was driving a Zamboni at the rink in his hometown of Vantaa, Finland, the moment he knew the salary-cap challenged Blackhawks were not going to be able to bring him back for an encore.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: antti+niemi

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