Kukla's Korner

McKee Finds His Winning Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Koreen of the Kingston Whig Standard,

Jay McKee was trying to enjoy a family vacation in the Miami area earlier this month while he was going through the National Hockey League free-agent process.

Needless to say, the Amherstview product could not spend his whole time kicking his feet up on the beach.

“When I agreed to a contract, a bunch of (text messages) came in,” said the shot-blocking defenceman, recalling July 10, the day he was signed by the reigning Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the wake of the St. Louis Blues’ decision to buy him out of his contract.

“My phone actually broke. The buttons stopped working. Maybe that had something to do with all the texting.”

In this case, mixing business and pleasure worked out just fine for McKee.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jay+mckee

Hockey Twitters

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Since I wrote an NHL.com blog about Twitter a few weeks ago, I have received numerous emails asking me to suggest hockey people to follow.

Yesterday I asked KK readers to submit their favorites and KK member Puck Central even blogged about it with his favorites…

Many of the major hockey sources now have twitter accounts that are updated regularly and often the updates are just seconds after news is confirmed.

If nothing else, sign up for it and give it a try, it only takes a few minutes. I’ve put together a comprehensive list of hockey websites, beat writers, players, agents and bloggers that have the best information (in my opinion) and update their pages with the least amount of non-relevant information (like “I like chocolate ice cream!”).

read on for his list…

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

Brewer May Not Be Ready For Blues Opener

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Two months ago, Blues defenseman Eric Brewer was recuperating from his second back surgery in four months and readying himself to repeat a slow rehabilitation process. Both Brewer and the club were optimistic that he would be available at the start of the 2009-10 season.

They are still optimistic. But while Brewer has shown some improvement with the sciatic nerve issue that affects his right leg, the Blues are acknowledging for the first time that their captain might not be in uniform opening night in Sweden, on Oct. 2.

“Progress has been made, so we’ll live with that,” Blues President John Davidson said. “If there was no progress by now, we’d be nervous. I’m a glass half-full guy, so that’s how I’m looking at it. (But) if he can’t play, the emphasis for us will be to have a good start with healthy players.”

continued

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

Morris Signs With Bruins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

The Boston Bruins have wasted no time restocking their blue line as they have signed defenceman Derek Morris to a one-year deal worth $3.3 million.

added 11:18am, from Joe Haggerty of Big Bad Blog at WEEI,

The $3.3 million price tag is a pretty high price for Morris and leaves the Bruins with roughly $1.3 million under the salary cap with Phil Kessel still sitting unsigned as a restricted free agent. The feeling at this address is that the Bruins tried to deal Kessel through much of June, but couldn’t a deal to their liking and aren’t going to deal the 36-goal sniper this summer.

Either he signs a one-year deal with the Bruins for less than $4 million — and the Bruins are forced to trade another valuable dressing room/grit commodity like Chuck Kobasew — or Kessel sits and watches the Black and Gold hockey world move forward without him.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: derek+morris

The Latest From Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Carrie Watters of the Arizona Republic,

Friday’s bid deadline for the Phoenix Coyotes included one bid and a near-bid.

A group of Canadian and American investors who came forward earlier this month with interest in the bankrupt franchise filed a letter of intent to bid up to $150 million.

As expected, sports mogul Jerry Reinsdorf waded in with a bid worth up to $148 million.

National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said he was pleased to see that offers to purchase the team were filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

“We look forward to continuing the review and approval process,” he said.

continued

added 7/25/09 at 8:36am, from Paul Waldie of the Globe and Mail,

When Research In Motion co-chief executive Jim Balsillie offered to buy the Phoenix Coyotes and move the NHL team to Hamilton, Anthony LeBlanc was so excited he sent his old boss a letter of congratulations.

But soon Mr. LeBlanc, a former RIM executive, started looking more closely at the Coyotes together with a couple of hockey-loving friends from the investment world. Yesterday, Mr. LeBlanc and his group submitted a letter of intent, offering to buy the Coyotes for $150-million (U.S.) and keep the team in Phoenix.

“Southern Ontario can support another [NHL] team – there’s absolutely no question, and I think Jim would be a tremendous owner,” Mr. LeBlanc said from his home in Ottawa. “It’s just we don’t think that Phoenix is the right team because we think there’s a real savvy business case that can be had in Phoenix.”

continued

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

Arbitrator Awards Winnik One Year Contract

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

GLENDALE, ARIZONA—Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that Coyotes left wing Daniel Winnik has been awarded a one-year contract as a result of an arbitration hearing. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
 
Winnik, 24, recorded 3-4-7 and 63 penalty minutes (PIM) in 49 games for the Coyotes last season.  The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Winnik also established career-highs in plus/minus (+1) and PIM (63). He finished plus or even in 39 of his 49 games last season. Winnik also played five games for the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League (AHL) last year.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink
 

Calling The Maven

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler of Game On,

It isn’t often that I get a phone call from Martin Biron.

Actually, over a half-century of covering hockey I’ve never received a buzz on the buzzer from any NHL goalie; at least not out of the blue like this one….

Biron-Roloson will open the campaign, and if I were to turn Marty’s feelings into a hit song, it would be “That’s Quite Alright With Me.”

Or, to put it directly into his final words before our conversation concluded: “I like the way the (young) Islanders are shaping up. When I was with the Flyers, the Islanders always gave us trouble; always hustled; always worked. Last year, with all their injuries and whatnot, they’d lose games by a goal. With our goaltending now, and a healthy team, we could be winning those games by a goal. This is going to be a fun season for me.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marty+biron

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“We could stop now and I could feel pretty comfortable going into camp and the start of the year. But now is the time where some funny things happen. Certain players kind of become available because the first month of free agency has almost gone by. Sometimes there are some veterans that may make some sense to give you some depth or that have won somewhere else.

“It gets to the point where it’s musical chairs. If a player doesn’t jump in and grab one of those chairs by the time the season starts, there may not be a chair left. Some of these players are going to have to take a lower salary than they thought, so there may be a player who pops up that we like and can fit in.”

-Canes GM Jimmy Rutherford.  More on Carolina from Paul Branecky of CarolinaHurricanes.com.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jimmy+rutherford

New Technology In Skate Sharpening

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Vito Pilieci at Canada.com,

An Ontario company has developed a new way to sharpen skates that will give the wearer as much as a five-per-cent boost in speed without sacrificing any control.

Called the “Flat Bottom V,” the technology allows for a skate to be sharpened with a squared-off hollow centre. The shape provides the optimal performance on the ice for skaters, according Kingsville’s Blackstone Sports, the creators of the technology….

Traditionally, a sharpener passes a diamond over the skate’s blade, carving out an arched grove. A lower arch provides the skater with more speed while a higher arch provides taller edges that bite into the ice and give the skater more control over their movements.

The Flat Bottom V is created with a device called a “spinner” that contains several diamond cutters capable of carving out the hollow square shape.

The skate-sharpening technology, which is slowly being rolled out to skate shops all across the nation’s capital, proved to be an instant hit with many players within the National Hockey League…

more

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

All Brian Lawton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Edward Fraser of The Hockey News,

THN: Do you plan on making more moves before the season begins or is your roster set?

BL: We’ll probably make another move or two, but that’s not definite.  It’s very difficult to get things done right now, very quiet. Most people have already signed their teams for the year and are ready for the season to start.

You have a lot of teams up against the cap; a lot of teams with one-way contracts. I feel a lot better about our position this year than I did last year.

THN: Was Mattias Ohlund the one guy who you had targeted from Day 1?

BL: We had three guys on our list that we really felt would be beneficial and we really felt like we needed to get one of them to get back on track to respectability.

Mattias was on that list, the other two, of course, were Scotty Niedermayer and (Jay) Bouwmeester.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+lawton

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