Kukla's Korner

Going Streaking?

Blog: KK Members Blog By Darrenworldwide

There are a lot of very good reasons to peg the Ottawa Senators at 10th in the East this year.  Can the geritocracy of Alfredsson, Gonchar, and Kovalev be dominant over the full course of an 82-game schedule? Is Peter Regin for real? Have Michalek and Kovalev’s injuries fully healed? Will anyone on Ottawa’s defense corps hit anything this year?

Does Ottawa need to buy Pascal Leclaire a Popemobile to ensure his safety off-ice?

Also casting a long shadow over Ottawa’s chances at making the playoffs is the improvement of other teams in the East. While I may have my doubts about the various alchemies being employed in the Southeast Division and New Jersey, I think it is fair to say that the East is now beginning to resemble the West in that the distance between the eighth seed and those on the outside looking in will be much closer than at any time in recent memory.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Members Blog | Permalink

Are You Ready For The Season?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

If not, check out my NHL.com blog today.  Even if you are ready, you may have missed a few things.

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

Report: Sabres offered Kennedy one-way contract

Blog: KK Hockey By @DaveDavisHockey

While some Sabres fans are still fuming about the actions of management during the Tim Kennedy arbitration saga, an interesting tidbit came out of Buffalo yesterday from beat reporter Paul Hamilton of WGR Sports Radio 550. 

Hamilton, a long time respected Buffalo media veteran, revealed that he knew from a source with the team that near the end of the arbitration process the Kennedy camp rejected a final offer from the Sabres of $800k on a one-way contract. 

It had been speculated for weeks that Kennedy not being offered a one-way deal was the major obstacle between the two parties during negotiations.

The comment by Hamilton was made during one of his daily appearances on the station and following the announcement that the South Buffalo native had agreed to a one-year, $550k deal with the New York Rangers. 

The Sabres open their home schedule against the Rangers at HSBC Arena on October 9.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: fan+590, kennedy, macarthur, wgr

Khabibulin Sentencing Comes Down Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

The minimum mandatory sentence is 30 days in jail for extreme drunk driving, but he could be imprisoned for up to six months. The 37-year-old Khabibulin was found guilty last Friday afternoon of two impaired driving charges—one for exceeding a blood-alcohol level of .08, the other for being over .15—and an excessive speeding charge.

If Khabibulin goes to jail, that would muddy the Oilers goaltending situation even more. As it is, hockey conspiracy theorists are having a field day.

There has been rampant talk that the Oilers could use Khabibulin’s sentence against him—as a way of getting out of their four-year, $15-million US contract with the veteran netminder for failing to report to training camp next month. There is talk that former Chicago Blackhawks goalie Antti Niemi is waiting in the wings to be signed.

But would anybody be saying this if Khabibulin had played 60 games last season and won 35 of them, rather than just 18 games after requiring back surgery? Probably not. Chances are the Oilers will stand behind Khabibulin, regardless.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikolai+khabibulin

Defensive Goals Versus Threshold

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

In today’s sabermetrics and hockey post, I am looking at the defensive portion of Tom Awad’s goals versus threshold system.  Unlike the offensive portion and the goalies portion, this part is much more likely to be inaccurate.  Defence is far harder to show statistically and as a result this part of the system is quite likely to miss significant defensive achievements and reward less impressive ones.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“It’s minor, nothing major. He started to skate three weeks ago and felt some discomfort. It’s not the same as last year, it’s in a different location. So it’s a little confusing.’‘

-Ken Holland, GM of the Detroit Red Wings on the knee issue with Niklas Kronwall.  More on this from Ansar Kahn of Mlive.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: niklas+kronwall

Maltby Close To Signing Two-Way Contract With Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland will meet with Maltby later this week, and Maltby’s agent, Anton Thun, said, “I anticipate we’ll have some news by the end of the week.’‘

The club has a standing one-year, two-way contract offer on the table to the longtime Red Wing.

Maltby, 37, has been exploring the free-agent market, but Thun said his client’s preference is to remain in Detroit.

“He’s been with Detroit a long time (since 1996), his family is there,’’ Thun said. “I think we can come to a mutually agreeable contract.’‘

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kirk+maltby

Brent Burns…What Happened?

Blog: KK Members Blog By roymahlberg

Two seasons ago I was watching the Minnesota Wild play the Calgary Flames when Brent Burns was dubbed by Jim Hughson as a rising defensive star who was in the same class as Dion Phaneuf and Mike Green.  He was a sure thing to play on Team Canada in the upcoming Olympics and had just signed a long-term contract. 

Today I ask myself what went wrong.  Injuries, to start with.  In the last three seasons Brent’s games played have gone like this:  82, 59, 47.  Young players, especially those playing on the blueline, need playing time to develop and Burns hasn’t played enough to do that.

Secondly, Coach Lemaire screwed with his head by playing him at wing whenever Jacques felt like it.  The Wild, as always, lacked a scoring punch and Lemaire felt inclined to play the gifted defenseman at wing to see if it would ignite the team.  All it did was take Burns out of his natural position and forced him to play in a spot where he didn’t succeed.

And finally, most of us are coming to the realization that Burns just isn’t going to be a great player.  He’s certainly got the tools, but sometimes I question his makeup.  Does he have the grit to make a #1 defenseman?  It looked like he did in the playoffs against Corey Perry and the Ducks a few years ago, but I haven’t seen that since.

Burns is a good player, don’t get me wrong, it’s just that I don’t believe he’s going to be a great one, and unfortunately that’s not what the Wild want to hear.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: brent+burns

Everyone has to get their start somewhere…

Blog: KK Members Blog By Twig

So what’s going on in the world of minor league hockey? Anyone? No one knows? I’ll never quite understand that. I get that the AHL lacks the big names that the NHL has, but the game is the same. In some ways I think it’s better, though in the end I do care about the Stanley Cup a whole heck of a lot more than I do the Calder Cup.

Every year around this time I glance at the rosters of junior hockey and minor league hockey teams. I do this because I know that someday, one of them might be on my favorite team. Some of them could end up with their names on the Stanley Cup or in a race for the league scoring title. They’re unknown to me now, but maybe not in a few years.

Howard, Crosby, Doughty… All three are well known around the league now, but look back 5 or 6 years and they were pretty much unknown. They’re rich and famous today, but they got their careers started by riding buses and washing off in a shower with no hot water.

So this year, in the middle of all the stress, anxiety and joy of this years NHL season, don’t forget your local minor league team. You might catch a glimpse of future (or even past) greatness. And when you see one of those guys screw up and you think, “Wow, he sucks.”, don’t forget that we all gotta start somewhere.

And you can’t beat the price of admission.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Members Blog | Permalink

Giguere’s Presence Paying Immediate Dividends

Blog: KK Members Blog By Greg Thomson

After enduring a devastating 5-3 comeback loss to the Vancouver Canucks on January 30th last season, Brian Burke took action by accentuating the Leafs lack of accountability within the organization. Burke wowed the hockey world by orchestrating separate trades to acquire former Calder and Norris Trophy nominee Dion Phaneuf and former Conn Smythe winner and Stanley Cup Champion Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Burke also managed to unload the ugly contracts of Vesa Toskala and Jason Blake in exchange for former Conn Smythe winner and Stanley Cup Champion Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Most of the talk during the fallout of the trade were focused around the acquisition of Phaneuf and the unloading of Toskala and Blake, but the addition of Giguere was perhaps the largest gain to further the betterment of the franchise. He has only been with the Leafs for a few short months, but his impact to the Maple Leafs organization has paid immediate dividends.

Giguere is coming off a disappointing season in which he began as the backup in Anaheim behind Jonas Hiller.  He only began to regain his status as a bonifide starting goaltender after being reunited with Brian Burke and godly goaltending coach Francois Allaire in Toronto. Giguere posted only 4 wins, along with a bloated 3.14 goals against average and 0.900 save percentage in 20 games with the Ducks. His numbers drastically improved upon arriving in Toronto, where he managed back-to-back shutout in his first two starts with the Leafs. His 6 wins in 15 games with the blue and white wasn’t overly impressive, but showed that he is still capable of carrying a team.

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Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: jean-sebastien+giguere

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