Kukla's Korner

All Is Well On The Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

When Gary Bettman faces the news media this weekend, he will undoubtedly face the usual questions about troubled franchises, the continuing struggles to attract viewers on U.S. national television and issues surrounding the collective labour agreement.

But it’s unlikely the commissioner will have to defend the on-ice product, as so often has been the case during his 15-year tenure. While Nash’s goal is being hailed in some quarters as one for the ages (which has translated into hundreds of thousands of page views on YouTube), there is an ever-increasing number of lift-you-off-the-couch moments from NHL arenas on the nightly reel of hockey highlights. Two emerging trends are largely responsible for that development — the influx of talented young players into the NHL and the gradual weaning away of obstruction from the game. Oh, and you can also toss in the shootout, which provides another opportunity for the game’s most highly skilled entertainers to walk in uncontested on opposing goaltenders.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Different Year, Same Names

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Only a handful of NHL GMs are making the trek to Atlanta for this weekend’s all-star festivities.

But, that’s not going to stop them from talking trade.

Two league executives told the Sun yesterday San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson is amongst the most active trying to wheel and deal with the NHL trade deadline set for exactly one month from today—Feb. 26 at 1 p.m.

“Right now, there’s a lot of tire-kicking going on because so many teams are in the race,” a league executive said yesterday. “Teams are going to continue talking, but you’re going to have to blow someone away to get something done.”

read on for a few names, mostly the same names we have heard again and again…

Also from Garrioch,

Thrashers GM Don Waddell said last night he’s going to sit down with Hossa and his Edmonton-based agent Ritch Winter early next week to try and hammer out a long-term contract extension.

“I’m not frustrated. It’s just something that’s got to get moved quicker than it has,” said Waddell. “Look, (the Feb. 26 trade deadline) is right around the corner, we’ve had many, many discussions and I’m just going to tell them that we’ve got to get to the next stage.”

more NHL bits too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Odds Of Making The Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from On Frozen Pond,

Got an email today from Karen Baird at the University of Alberta—home of the Zips. Anyway, they have a business professor there named Armann Ingolfsson who teaches management science through simulating NHL hockey games. That’s my kind of science!

Anyway, by playing out the rest of the season using current winning percentages, they’ve figured out which teams are in the playoffs—and which teams ain’t.

read on for the chart…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Selanne- Very Good Chance I’m Going To Come Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the LA Times,

Teemu Selanne gave the strongest indication yet that he may come out of semi-retirement when he said Friday there’s a “very good chance” he’ll return to play for the Ducks.

Selanne insisted he would not make a final decision until he talks with General Manager Brian Burke next week, but the 10-time All-Star forward admitted he is leaning in a certain direction.

“It could happen. I’m leaning one way. I’m not going to say which way,” Selanne said. “Right now, I feel there’s a very good chance I’m going to come back. When? That’s the question. When I feel ready. Every week, I’ve been feeling better and better and better.

continued (reg. req.)

With the Hockey News report from yesterday and now this, well, it appears Teemu will soon be back.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: teemu+selanne

Going From College Hockey to the NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From George Bazos—a player agent with Sports Professional Management that represents college-turned-pro players including Martin St. Louis, Craig Conroy and others—an article in College Hockey News:

It seems that every off-season (and sometimes even during the season), more and more college hockey players are deciding to sign professional contracts and leave school early.

I have been representing professional hockey players for over 17 years, the majority of whom have come from the collegiate ranks. I have represented players that have stayed in college for four years, as well as some who have chosen to turn professional before their collegiate eligibility has expired. Every player’s situation is unique, and a number of factors must be considered when determining the best time for a particular player to become a professional.

continued… considering the issues a college player needs to evaluate before turning pro

Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, College Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: college+hockey, hockey+contracts

Again, Don’t Believe It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Dallas Morning News, the Dallas Stars Blog,

Just got off the phone with Les Jackson to ask him about the Marty Turco for Martin St. Louis trade that hockeybuzz is touting, and he said his policy going forward is going to be to not comment on trades, because it just seems like a waste of time to him.

But he said he has not had talks with trading Marty Turco to anyone for anything.

“I am not interested in trading Marty Turco. That’s just the way I feel,’’ he said


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, NHL Media, Dwayne, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marty+turco

Young Caps In The Hunt

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via Yahoo,

“The playoff race is now on,” declared Washington Capitals owner and nonstop blogger Ted Leonsis in the 10:03 a.m. Friday entry of his Ted’s Take blog.

Wait a minute. Playoff race? Capitals?

Well, take a long, hard look at those standings as the NHL heads into the All-Star break. Washington (23-22-5) is one point behind first-place Carolina in the Southeast Division. Granted, it’s a weak division, but even this is more than anyone could have expected considering where the Capitals were two months ago.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

It Used To Be Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

But the evolution of the all-star game — from a legitimate competition to the sort of shinny extravaganza it is today — happened in a short period of time and the changes were book-ended by Mike Keenan’s three appearances as the Eastern (or Wales) Conference coach.

Keenan coached in back-to-back games — 1986 in Hartford and 1988 in St. Louis (the 1987 game was replaced by Rendez-Vous, a two-game exhibition between the NHL and Soviets in Quebec City).

This week, Keenan recalled: “The first time I coached, it was a real hockey game. That was when Mike Ramsey caught Wayne Gretzky with his head down and the only way you caught Wayne Gretzky with his head down was because he didn’t expect anybody to hit him. But he flattened him and after that, there was a real edge….”

read on plus some Wings/Ducks game talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all-star+game

NHL.com Provides All Access For ASG

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Update 3:45pm ET: Live streaming starts today on NHL.com [here’s the direct link to the broadcast], 4-6pm ET, simulcast from the NHL Network, featuring the “Coaches Show” and interviews with players in the YoungStars game.


New York (January 24, 2008) ­– Fans who cannot attend the National Hockey League (NHL) All-Star Game weekend in Atlanta don’t have to miss out on any of the excitement from the event.  NHL.com will feature more than 20 exclusive Webcasts, plus some simulcasts from the NHL Network, giving fans online a virtual all-access pass to the dressing room, the ice and behind the scenes at every major All-Star Weekend event.

The highlight of the NHL.com Webcast schedule takes place on Sunday, January 27 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. EST, when Cisco Presents the 2008 NHL All-Star ALL ACCESS Show exclusively on NHL.com. The live Webcast will take fans on an unprecedented visit inside the NHL All-Star Game with locker-room access, player interviews, pre-game analysis and video features.  NHL.com then will simulcast the NHL Network’s pre-game coverage before the 56th NHL All-Star game faces off at 6 p.m.  EST.


Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Media, NHL Video, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all-star+game

At The Mid-Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Off-ice disaster award

If they make a movie of the Nashville Predators’ story, they could call it “Titanic.” With the plucky team gamely staying in the playoff hunt in the Western Conference despite former owner Craig Leipold’s mandated offseason fire sale of talent, fans have responded by staying away in greater numbers than ever before. The Preds’ average paid attendance at the All-Star break would leave them out of the revenue-sharing pie at the end of the season, which will mean new ownership will have to dig deeper, sooner, if they’re going to fulfill their promise to re-ink top restricted free agents Martin Erat, Jordin Tootoo, Shea Weber and Ryan Suter.

more awards from Scott Burnside of ESPN…

added 12:17pm, Another surprise from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,

The 2007-08 edition of the Habs are one of the best surprises of the season. Their 60 points, second only to the mighty Ottawa Senators (66), in the Eastern Conference at the break. Because the Sens are in Montreal’s division, however, and because I don’t see Ottawa falling off, the best the Canadiens can do is hope for fourth in the conference because of the divisional seeds. Home ice at the Bell Centre in the first round? Bring the ear plugs.

more on the Canadiens…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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