Kukla's Korner

Hockey Is Helping The Autistic Son Of Russ Levine, NHL VP Of Digital Production

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Devon Heinen of Vice Sports,

Russell Levine fought back tears. So did his wife, Susan. It was a snowy, bitterly cold January night at Citizens Bank Park, in Philadelphia. Russ, a National Hockey League executive, was there for the league's 2012 Winter Classic, between the Flyers and the New York Rangers.

"Can you believe this?" Russ said.

Susan cut him off with a look: "I know."

The Roots were playing a mini-concert in the outfield before the game's third period, but the Levines were focused instead on an auxiliary rink by home plate where a group of kids played hockey. Skating among them was an 11-year-old boy wearing a Rangers jersey and a black helmet with a T made out of white tape. It was Trevor, Russ and Susan's son.

"That was not an experience I thought I would ever get to have," Russ said, recalling that night.

Russ is the NHL's Vice President of Digital Production, making a living immersed in the sport he loves, a sport he started playing when he was four years old. When Trevor was born, in 2000, Russ dreamed of having his son in skates by age 2.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Former NHL Player Sergei Berezin Arrested For Medicaid Fraud

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via John Dzenitis of WPBF,

Four Russian immigrants, including a former NHL hockey player, have been arrested for suspected Medicaid fraud after an undercover operation.

Florida’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit said Sergei Berezin and his wife paid a Boca Raton-based company, American Advisory Associates ,to obtain Medicaid and food stamp benefits for which they were unqualified and ineligible for.

Berezin was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1994 and played for a number of NHL teams, including the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks, before he moved back to Moscow to play hockey in Russia.

According to Berezin’s arrest affidavit, during the course of the undercover investigation, Berezin told a confidential informant that he was making $100,000 in income from rental properties and training hockey players.

American Advisory Associates allegedly paid a pair of DCF workers $500 each every two weeks to authorize benefits for the company’s clients.

Investigators said that in total for Berezin’s benefits, the Medicaid program was billed more than $67,000 from January 2010 through December 2013.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sergei+berezin

The 2016 NHL Winter Classic - Montreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (July 29, 2015) – Representatives from the National Hockey League, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, New England Patriots, National Hockey League Players’ Association and Bridgestone gathered today at Gillette Stadium to detail plans for the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®. In January, the NHL announced that the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will feature the Bruins and Canadiens at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on New Year’s Day, 2016. The event will be televised live on NBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports at 1 p.m. ET.

When these long-time rivals meet, Boston will become the first Club to host the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® for a second time, after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime of the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® at Fenway Park. It will mark the first time the Canadiens will play in the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, and just the second time a Canadian-based NHL team will play in the game, following the Toronto Maple Leafs’ appearance in 2014. 

 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Are The Toronto Maple Leafs Low-Balling Jonathan Bernier?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

The Toronto Maple Leafs asked an impartial arbitrator to award goaltender Jonathan Bernier the minimum amount possible in a brief filed to both sides on Wednesday, calling for an award of $2.89 million on a one-year deal.

The minimum award for restricted free agents in salary arbitration is 85 per cent of their previous season's salary, which for Bernier was $3.4 million.

Bernier, 26, is the only one of 23 players in the arbitration process this summer to receive a filed offer from his club below what he earned last season. The Maple Leafs did not issue Bernier a qualifying offer in June equal to his $3.4 million salary and instead opted for arbitration, where they had to option to offer 85 per cent.

Bernier's camp, led by agent Pat Brisson, asked the arbiter for an award of $5.1 million. The two sides are $2.21 million apart heading into the scheduled hearing on Friday morning.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+bernier

New Jersey Devils Place Dainius Zubrus On Unconditional Waivers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dainius+zubrus

‘Three Things’: Happy 90th to Ted Lindsay; fantasy forecasts; Richards’ day with the Cup

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Among today's Red Wings-related news stories:

First and foremost, via the Red Wings:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

One Last Chance?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Here's a look at some players whose careers may be hanging in the balance.

Jarret Stoll

A member of two Stanley Cup-winning teams with the Los Angeles Kings, Stoll saw his production decline from 27 points two seasons ago to just 17 last season, though his points totals are secondary to his strong two-way presence on the ice.

Stoll didn't figure into the Kings' long-range plans as a free agent, though, and now the question is whether Stoll fits into any team's plans after he was discovered with cocaine and other drugs at a Las Vegas resort pool shortly after the regular season ended. Stoll pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges and was sentenced to community service, and while there are teams interested in his skills, at this writing he remains without a contract.

Perhaps he will find a new home before the start of training camp or maybe he will have to earn a roster spot via a training camp tryout, but either way this ranks as a make-or-break season for the 33-year-old.

Mike Richards

Speaking of the Kings, Richards also won two Cups with Los Angeles but is also a man without a team as July turns to August. Trade talks were ongoing as the draft approached, but the Kings backed away from the deals after Richards was involved in an incident at the Canada/U.S. border. 

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Elite Goal Scorers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jonathan Quick at The Players' Tribune,

There are certain complexities to the game at the NHL level that can only be explained if you’ve seen them firsthand on the ice. That’s why I wanted to write this piece explaining what makes Elite Snipers so difficult to deal with for goaltenders....

Pavel Datsyuk

Datsyuk is probably the most deceptive player in the NHL. He’s a magician in the way that he’s able to hide the puck on his stick. Part of that is his hardware. He uses a type of blade that is pretty unusual in the league. It’s a lot thicker from top to bottom, and somehow when you combine this with his quick release and the fact that he’s hardly ever looking at the net when he shoots, it’s extremely difficult to track the puck coming off his blade.

Like I said above, 90 percent of the save happens before the guy releases the puck. Most guys have a little tell. You look at where the puck is in relation to their feet, or the way they’re bending their knees to get ready to shoot, and you just know what’s going to happen before it happens. But the problem with Datsyuk is that he fools you with his intentions. He will be way out on the wall with his hands, feet, and eyes positioned for a cross-ice pass — and it’s the right decision. It’s what 99 percent of players will do in that situation. So you instantly start cheating your eyes over to where he’s going to pass. Next thing you know — what the hell? — the puck is behind you in the net. He shot it. Who shoots from there? Datsyuk shoots from there.

read on for more on Datsyuk and other players...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+quick

Playoffs In Doubt?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

While a seven-team switcheroo is a stretch for 2016, we'll bet about four playoff teams from this past-season don't qualify next spring. Here are the eight 2015 playoff clubs most in danger of losing their status...

The Penguins? Are you crazy, Fox? Pittsburgh now has Phil the Thrill. The Pens are going to score six goals a game and make you look ridiculous. No doubt, GM Jim Rutherford has had himself a nice little summer. Kessel is money from the red line north, and we like the Eric Fehr and Nick Bonino moves, too.

But consider how close Pittsburgh was to missing out entirely last season. Of all the playoff teams, Pittsburgh was tied with a league-low 43 wins, and no Eastern playoff club had a worse goal differential than Pittsburgh's +11. Can Marc-Andre Fleury deliver an NHL-best 10 shutouts again? Well, that'll be extra tough since veterans Paul Martin and Christian Ehrhoff walked and Simon Despres has been enjoying deeper playoff runs in Anaheim. Kris Letang points out that the move to three-on-three overtime should help a talent-rich club grab a few more points, but they may need each one they get.

The window is now, and second-year coach Mike Johnston must deliver.

continue for seven more teams...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Jay Bouwmeester Plans A Bounce Back Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

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

Without the aid of seeing him until training camp in September, Blues fans must hope that Bouwmeester, 31, who has played 900-plus games in the NHL, is providing an accurate assessment when he says a summer of rest and regrouping will allow him to bounce back in 2015-16.

The soft-spoken defenseman never acknowledged the extent of the groin injury last season. Reached back home in Canada on Tuesday, he tiptoed the line of being truthful and not making excuses for a disappointing season, but he did discuss the difficulty the injury caused.

“The whole year was not what I wanted it to be,” Bouwmeester said. “But at the same time, I can kind of break it down and look at it a little differently. Last year, if I go back and look at it, the start of the year was weird. I was feeling good and playing OK and I think I got one point in the first 20 games — nothing was happening. Then with the injury ...”

On Nov. 22, Bouwmeester left a 3-2 victory over Ottawa late in the game when he felt a pop in his groin.

“Right when it happened, you’re saying, ‘OK, I’ve never felt this before ... it doesn’t feel good,’” Bouwmeester remembered. “It was something that was totally foreign.”

more

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

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