Kukla's Korner

Predators Can Define Their Direction

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rocky Bonanno of NHL.com,

Where are the Nashville Predators headed? After 10 seasons of play, the question is legitimate and needs to be answered.

Nashville is not exactly a pushover, but neither is it a team anyone fears playing. The Sommet Center is not a hostile environment for visiting teams, the Predators have yet to win a playoff series, and their string of four straight seasons in the postseason was snapped in 2008-09.

Is that the genesis for a shakeup? Is the team really headed in the right direction? Rather than run off a string of wholesale changes, Nashville management feels it has the personnel internally to get back on track.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Most Protected Player In The NHL

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

When we look at the top 20 offensive zone starters, we see that Ed Jovanovski leads the league.  He has a significant lead on anyone else in the league.  Jovanovski has 168 more offensive zone starts than defensive zone starts.  Patrick Kane of Chicago is in second place well back at 139.  This is an amazing total given that Phoenix had the worst team Corsi Number  in the league last season and had many more defensive faceoffs than offensive faceoffs to take last year. 

Given that Jovanovski is the highest paid player on the Coyotes with a $6.5 million salary cap, this isn’t good enough.  He should be the player who leads the team and does the hard work to make the team win.  In Phoenix, it is Zbynek Michalek and Kurt Sauer who play the tough roles.  They are on for the most defensive zone starts in Phoenix.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Sunday Ditties

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

My peers have picked up the slack this summer.  As I’ve embarked on our own A2Y crusade (you know what it is, and how well it’s worked), Wing bloggers old and new have not stopped.  This weekend is no exception.  I’d like to give you some examples on this fine Sunday morning, just two days before a Tuesday that will be looked back on as just one of the 43 remaining until the Cup returns to a team that will actually earn it.  Right Gary?

Ready?  Awesome.

Here we go.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Roenick Talks Chicago

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Verdi of the Chicago Tribune,

Jeremy Roenick has numerous options for what to do with the rest of his life, including stage, screen and television. But he will clear a busy schedule for one particular job title, should it be offered.

“I began my career with the Blackhawks and should have ended it with the Blackhawks,” he was saying the other day from his home near Phoenix. “And there should have been no in between the Blackhawks. I should never have left. I didn’t want to leave. I loved Chicago and felt loved in Chicago.

“Anyway, I’ve seen what they’ve done for some retired guys like me. Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Tony Esposito, Denis Savard. They’re ambassadors for the club. I could go for that. As long as we’re at it, it would be cool if they retired my number, 27, too. I would be honored.”

continued...

Heck J.R. why not ask for the assistant GM job too?

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jeremy+roenick

Report- Rangers Sign Prospal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

As contract negotiations with Brandon Dubinsky have hit a speed bump, the Rangers have signed 34-year-old free agent forward Vinnie Prospal to a one-year, $1.1 million deal, The Post has learned.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vinnie+prospal

Nothing New On The Kessel Front

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

(Phil) Kessel, who will turn 22 at the start of the NHL season, underwent shoulder surgery soon after the Bruins were eliminated by Carolina in Round 2 of the playoffs and likely won’t be ready to play until December. A restricted free agent without arbitration rights, he remains unsigned and has not said publicly what he wants to be paid in his next deal.

Meanwhile, Boston general manager Peter Chiarelli, who made the Kessel camp a requisite qualifying offer in June, remains hopeful that the sides can broker an agreement.

“Right now, there is nothing going on,’’ Chiarelli said. “This is a player that we still covet, and we’ll do anything to keep him - within reason, including matching an offer sheet and shuffling our roster around.’’

Kessel, with 66 career goals on his résumé, likely is being offered a deal in line with David Krejci’s new pact - three years at a $3.75 million average.

more plus other hockey notes…

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

Were Changes Good For The Canadiens?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,

Extreme makeover? Or did the Montreal Canadiens really improve themselves by adding three new forwards and two defensemen at the cost of letting their first-, third-, fifth- and seventh-leading scorers walk?

This is a touchy situation, especially after the Canadiens were expecting to celebrate the team’s 100th anniversary with a run for their first Stanley Cup since 1993 ... and instead stumbled down the stretch, replaced coach Guy Carbonneau and then bowed out in the first round of the playoffs to the hated Boston Bruins.

continued

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

Shawn Thornton With A Different Type Of Training

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald,

It is an all-too-rare lovely summer day, but Bruins winger Shawn Thornton hasn’t exactly spent it on the beach or golf course. By late afternoon, he’s already had two tough workouts—skating in Wilmington, lifting weights at a gym in Charlestown—and his training is far from finished.

Next stop: The Ring Boxing Club on Commonwealth Avenue in Allston near Boston University. Thornton has been a regular at the gym this offseason, working with veteran trainer Tommy McInerney in an effort to improve both his conditioning and punching ability.

“It’s a long day, but hopefully it will pay off halfway through the season,“ Thornton said as he taped his hands for a sparring session with McInerney. “It switches up the monotony, too. It used to be I’d go for a run or whatever to get a sweat. Coming in here is a lot more fun than anything else I could do….”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: shawn+thornot

Talking Hockey On A Sunday Morning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

• Yes, the Maple Leafs have a big league defence and maybe strength in goal—although that has to be proven—but really, who is going to man the first two lines up front? Mikhail Grabovski? Alex Ponikarovsky? Ferris Bueller?

• Should the proposed new owners of the Florida Panthers ever complete the deal and get NHL approval, Neil Smith will be back as their general manager, hopefully for longer than the three weeks he worked for Charles Wang in Long Island.

• I see where Arturs Irbe, one of the great characters of recent hockey times, has signed on as goalies coach with the Capitals. What’s strange about this is Irbe was an old-school, odd-style goaltender, and he’s now teaching butterfly and puck movement, two things he couldn’t do himself.

• Brad May won’t be getting another contract from his old pal, Brian Burke, and isn’t likely to get work elsewhere, which basically means his NHL career has come to an end after 17 seasons and 1001 games.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Messier Becomes An Apprentice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The Captain is back.

As an apprentice.

Mark Messier is rejoining the Rangers’ organization as special assistant to club president Glen Sather, The Post has learned. It will mark Messier’s first job in hockey—and first full-time job, period—since he ended his playing career following the 2003-04 season.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled with the opportunity to move back to New York with my family, to learn from Glen and to work for the Rangers,” Messier said yesterday by phone from the Bahamas. “I’m going to come in and get my feet wet and get an overview of how the business runs and how the team runs and take it from there.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mark+messier

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