Kukla's Korner

Hawks Or Leafs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox at ESPN,

Well, the Hawks will surely hit the half-century mark without winning it all, while the Leafs were closer five years ago than they are now. The Leafs are likely to be better this season and in the immediate future, but the Hawks have a chance with Toews and Kane to be one of the game’s most talented young teams if they nurture the prospects they own.

So the answer, really, is neither team appears on schedule to win the Cup anytime soon. But if the Hawks have the right kids and a productive change in ownership direction is in the offing, they look like the better bet somewhere down the line.

read on for a comparison…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, toronto+maple+leafs

Early Picks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside at ESPN,

Here’s a look at some players, coaches, teams and managers who might be making headlines this season:

Our pick for best defenseman (Norris Trophy)
With Scott Niedermayer on the fence somewhere between Fernie, British Columbia, and retirement, the door once again swings wide open for Nicklas Lidstrom, who has managed to win five of the last six awarded. Chris Pronger may give chase in Anaheim, but this is Lidstrom’s trophy to lose.

Our pick for best goaltender (Vezina Trophy)
This one represents a changing of the guard as far as we’re concerned. Yes, Martin Brodeur will be in the mix as will Roberto Luongo, but watch for Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers to earn his first Vezina after being nominated in each of his first two NHL seasons.

much more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Don’t Fear Kovalev

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pat Hickey at the Montreal Gazette,

Alex Kovalev said yesterday there’s no reason his younger linemates should feel intimidated.

“I’ve told them to play their games and not to worry about me,” said Kovalev, who will be playing with Andrei Kostitsyn and Mikhail Grabovski when the Canadiens face the Carolina Hurricanes tonight.

Last season, Tomas Plekanec said he was uncomfortable playing between Kovalev and Sergei Samsonov. But Kovalev said yesterday that he is heeding general manager Bob Gainey’s advice and helping the youngsters.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+kovalev, montreal+canadiens

Wife Of Emile Francis Found Safe

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Sun-Sentinel,

The wife of NHL Hall of Famer and former New York Rangers coach and general manager Emile “The Cat” Francis has been found unharmed at a hotel after he reported she was missing.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, Old School, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: new+york+rangers

Hockey All Day

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

If you can catch ESPN Classic today, you have some great games to watch.

All times are ET.

image


Filed in: NHL Talk, Old School, NHL Media, NHL Video, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Easy Decision For MacTavish

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

“When Doug Weight left I asked him who he thought should replace him as captain and he said Jason Smith,” said Oilers’ coach Craig MacTavish.

“I asked Jason, when he left, and he said Ethan Moreau.”

While MacTavish threw out some teasers about maybe having rotating captains and suggesting he was going to be very open-minded about the whole deal, he knew who his captain was going to be.

“It was a little bit of a no-brainer.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: edmonton+oilers

Questions For Flyers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Sheridan of Philly News,

John Stevens had as grim a task as any Philadelphia coach in recent memory, taking over a doomed team after the stunning dismissal of Hitchcock. Stevens handled himself well, establishing his expectations for players and making sure there were consequences when those expectations weren’t met.

But do we know Stevens is a championship-caliber NHL coach? It is no insult to him to answer no to that question. Hitchcock had a pedigree of success and couldn’t get it done with the talent at hand here. Stevens might be the right man for this job. No one knows, including Stevens, Holmgren and the players.

In theory, Biron settles down the goaltender spot. He has a fine career goals against average of 2.55, but that shot up to 3.02 playing behind the Flyers at the end of last season. Niittymaki’s average was 3.38 last year - so the apples-to-apples comparison doesn’t tell us much.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: philadelphia+flyers

Brashear Builds Homes With His Bare Hands

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from D.C. Sports Bog,

Brashear’s father had been in real estate, and he always wanted to get involved in that industry, and he’s already thinking about what he’ll do post-hockey. And so he and his buddies formed the company and built two houses-a one-level home and a cottage—this summer in Quebec City. And yes, Brashear was out at the sites, using nail guns and making cuts with electric saws and doing some roofing and lifting trusses and putting in hardwood floors and working on ceramic tiles. You know, the usual offseason stuff.

“It’s my company; I want to show the guys that I can be out there and working,” he told me.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: donald+brashear, washington+capitals

NHL.com Facelift

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NHL.com went through a bit of a facelift.

Check it out- looking good.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Looking At Barry Trotz

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tennessean,

Barry Trotz has a new look. After years of coloring his ever-maturing locks, the Predators coach has traded his bottled brown for au natural.

The look suits the tenured coach, but even now, with his gray shining through, blue is the color that really defines him.

The son of a railroad mechanic and a restaurant employee, Trotz and his blue-collar work ethic have followed an untraditional path to the upper levels of the National Hockey League.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: barry+trotz, nashville+predators

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