Kukla's Korner

Anaheim Signs Paul Mara

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Anaheim Ducks announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has signed defenseman Paul Mara to a one-year contract. Per club policy, no financial terms of the deal were disclosed.

Mara, 31 (9/7/79), appeared in 42 games for the Montreal Canadiens last season, collecting 0-8=8 points with 48 penalty minutes (PIM). He suffered a shoulder injury on Jan. 22 at New Jersey and subsequently missed the final 30 games of the regular season. In 2008-09 with the New York Rangers, Mara recorded 5-16=21 points in 76 contests, ranking fourth among club defensemen in points. He appeared in his 600th career NHL contest on Dec. 23, 2008 vs. the Washington Capitals.

added 7:11pm, From a Ducks press release…

Ducks defenseman Toni Lydman experienced an acute episode of double vision last week. Lydman has since undergone a battery of tests, which have ruled out most major medical concerns but have not identified the cause of the problem. Lydman is still experiencing some slight residual symptoms and will not be able to train/skate until the problem is diagnosed and his series of medical tests are complete. 

“Our top priority is Toni’s health,” said Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray. “Toni is feeling much better this week and we are encouraged by the results of his recent tests. However, we will proceed with caution until we can identify the source of the problem.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+mara

What Oiler Is Worthy Of The ‘C’?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

Who will get the “C”? With the Edmonton Oilers’ training camp set to open Friday with fitness and medical testing, that’s one of the more intriguing questions yet to be answered.

Choosing the next team captain is a decision that will likely fall to head coach Tom Renney, in concert with his assistants. That’s the way the succession system works in the NHL….

Shawn Horcoff would seem the most obvious, not to mention probably the best choice, never mind the fans who keep howling about his salary cap hit of $5.5 million, especially after last year’s major offensive struggle when he had just 36 points in 77 games and was minus 29. He’s the longest-serving Oiler, with 637 games, which almost puts him in the top 10 in team history.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

No Tryout For Theodore

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from The Sporting News,

Unrestricted free agent goalie Jose Theodore is still without a contract but according to his agent Don Meehan, Theodore won’t be joining the growing group of players accepting veteran tryout invitations around the league.

“No, I don’t think he has to try out for anybody,” Meehan told Sporting News.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jose+theodore

Predicting The West

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

...please understand that these picks are meant as fodder for debate. I don’t believe any member of your family, nuclear or extended, wears Army boots, so do some lightening up before you read on.

(Eastern Conference picks were posted last week; you can read them here.)


The Winged Wheel Warriors may no longer be a juggernaut that’s head-and-shoulders better than the other 14 teams in the West. Nevertheless, the return from the Kontinental League of Jiri Hudler, as well as the addition of Mike Modano, made an already-formidable group of forwards that much more so (and gives them arguably the league’s best third line). If collective team health isn’t a major issue as it was last season, there’s no excuse for them not to be as competitive as any team in the conference.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The NHL Must Continue To Think Outside The Box

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Colby Cosh of MACLEANS,

The popular Canadian view of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is not positive. He’s thought of as a bumbler, a shyster—and, perhaps above all, as a feeble imitation of his mentor, NBA commissioner David Stern. Sports commissioners are rarely beloved, but Stern may come as close as anyone since baseball’s Judge Landis; he has, unlike Bettman, succeeded in being perceived as an avuncular genius, a tribune of the fan….

The NHL needs guts and imagination to contend with popular alternatives in the U.S. like the MLB and the NFL that enjoy such massive advantages of scale. So while other leagues roll out fancy iPad and iPhone apps, it’s the NHL’s willingness to change the good old hockey game itself that could be a key factor in its long-term ability to win over fans, and survive in the cutthroat world of pro sports. It’s no coincidence that the league’s most notable marketing success in recent years has been the introduction of the annual outdoor Classics—a low-cost, quirky gambit that, under more conservative leadership, would have been blocked by neurotic worries about whether the idea was dignified or realistic.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Fantasy Hockey - ESPN Style

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

ESPN releases their fantasy rankings…

20. Drew Doughty, LA Kings- The unofficial fantasy darling of 2009-10, Doughty wears his crown with a healthy dose of humility. Doughty is so good because, aside from talent, he has a great attitude and works his caboose off, a lovely combination for the L.A. Kings and anyone savvy enough to draft Doughty in fantasy play. Second to only forward Anze Kopitar in team scoring, Doughty is productive with the man advantage. And in his two seasons in the NHL, Doughty has missed only a single game.

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Rookies Know Their Place

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from The CP at TSN,

As NHL training camps open Friday, dozens of young players will walk into locker-rooms for the first time and sit down near Jarome Iginla, Henrik Sedin or Chris Pronger.

But chances are, the rookies won’t speak to the star veterans unless they are spoken to first.

“It’s pretty intimidating, especially when you’re sitting across from the big-name players,” said Oilers defenceman Jordan Bendfeld, who has been to a pair of main camps.

“I definitely don’t walk up to people and start conversations. You just kind of stay behind with the younger guys and hang out with them. Once you get going, maybe you start talking to one of those older guys.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Lilja Goes Camping With San Jose

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sharks.com,

The Sharks are bringing in defenseman Andreas Lilja as a tryout player for training camp.  Lilja spent the past five seasons with the Detroit Red Wings and Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan is very familiar with him from his time as an assistant coach in the Motor City.

“He’s going to make it a more competitive camp because he’s a veteran player,” said McLellan.  “He is familiar with the coaching staff and our system because it is similar to what he came from.  Once camp starts, he is like any other player and his play will dictate whether he (gets a contract).”

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andreas+lilja

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I really need to step up and it’s about that time.  We feel that it’s our time to win this. It’s not just one or two guys that need to be leaders; it’s everybody. That’s including me.”

-Mike Green of the Washington Capitals.  More from Green by Carrera of Capitals Insider.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+green

Laviolette’s First Full Year In Philadelphai Should Help The Flyers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jerry Reimenschneider of PhillyBurbs,

A healthy hunger has, for the most part at least, replaced the heartbreak.

Peter Laviolette has a full season, rather than a sizeable fraction of one, to coach and condition.

The Flyers won’t have to leap midstream into Laviolette’s perpetually-pressure-the-puck system, which should fill the physical and mental sinkholes into which the team sank immediately following Laviolette’s arrival last December.

“We just couldn’t keep up with the tempo that he wanted us to play when he first came in,” center Danny Briere said Wednesday at the Flyers Skate Zone, where the team hit the ice for initial workouts prior to this weekend’s training-camp start.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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