Kukla's Korner

Blues Lose Brewer To Back Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that defenseman Eric Brewer will be sidelined two to four weeks with a back injury suffered on Nov. 25 at Dallas.  The injury is unrelated to the previous back injury that required surgery.

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

John Stevens Fired

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,

The Flyers have fired John Stevens as head coach. A press conference is scheduled for tonight.

added 5:321pm, from TSN,

TSN has learned that the Carolina Hurricanes have granted the Flyers permission to speak to Peter Laviolette, who is believed to be Stevens’ successor.

Laviolette will make his debut behind the Philadelphia bench on Saturday when the Flyers host the Washington Capitals.

more

added 6:03pm, TSN has removed this line from their previous post- Laviolette will make his debut behind the Philadelphia bench on Saturday when the Flyers host the Washington Capitals.

added 8:17pm, from the Philadelphia Flyers,

The Philadelphia Flyers announced that they have named Peter Laviolette head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers and relieved John Stevens of his duties, according to club General Manager Paul Holmgren.

“I know this was a very difficult decision for Paul to make. And, I really feel bad for John because he’s been a terrific long-time member of our organization,” said Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider. “I was hoping that the team would play better and that this could have been avoided, but after last night’s game, I think Paul felt he had to make this change. I make it a policy never to overrule my general manager, because once I do, it means I’ve lost confidence in him. I really want to wish John the best.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+stevens

All Nikita Filatov

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dmitry Chesnokov at PuckDaddy,

First, about his relationship with Hitchcock:

“Actually, Hitchcock gave me a lot. I started playing better defense,” he said. “But if at practice I did something wrong, Ken was ready to immediately stop practice, call the entire team over and explain to me personally where I made a mistake.”

Q. Was it embarrassing?

FILATOV: “This is a normal process. But Hitchcock took it too far sometimes. There was an immediate whistle after something small. Or he would give instructions through the defense coach, you get an individual workout. And when we lost to Detroit (1:9), Hitchcock actually made a schedule. Every player went to him for a 10-15 minute talk.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl, nikita+filatov

Will James Neal Be An Offer Sheet Target?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

The lads from Newport Sports Management Group were in Dallas Thursday to watch the game, and superagent Pat Morris represents Stars winger James Neal.

Both Morris and the Stars said there was no talk about an extension for Neal at the time, because it’s just too early in the process. The Stars would have to wow him with a huge offer right now, which they aren’t going to do, and the Neal side wants to see if he can put up a 40-goal season and really change the negotiations.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: james+neal

Thrashers Are On the Clock

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

With every passing day, with each improbable win, with each surprising rung climbed up the NHL standings, the nervousness builds for the Atlanta Thrashers.

Will he sign?

Each passing day brings this beleaguered NHL franchise closer to a crossroads, to a truly defining moment.

Either captain Ilya Kovalchuk will sign a long-term contract extension, or he will be put on the open market and sold to the highest bidder in advance of the March 3 trade deadline.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“We haven’t that swagger in this dressing room for couple weeks now and it’s showed in our play, in the wins column. We haven’t gotten it done.

“Me personally, I don’t think I had a hit [against Vancouver] and that’s what makes me effective. It frees up some room for Carts [Jeff Carter] and Danny B [Briere] and gets guys going on the bench.

“I got to get ready to go and excuse my language, be pissed early and ready to get out there and do something effective to get guys going.”

-Scott Hartnell of the Philadelphia Flyers.  More on the team from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: scott+hartnell

Looking At Savard’s Contract

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Erik Duhastchek of the Globe and Mail,

Another week and another NHL team blatantly plowed through a CBA loophole in order to circumvent the salary cap.

And no, we’re not talking about the Chicago Blackhawks, who signed three players – including defenceman Duncan Keith – to multi-year contract extensions Thursday worth a cool $135-million in total. The NHL gave the deals, including Keith’s 13-year extension, its blessing – which is not to say that the Blackhawks are in the clear on the Marian Hossa extension signed this summer.

Keith’s $72-million contract received the OK, after it had been vetted by the league and tweaked so that the dollars at the back end are defensible.

Instead, the contract that the league will scrutinize is the seven-year, $28.5 million extension signed by Marc Savard with the Boston Bruins.

On the surface, it looked as if Savard granted the Bruins a large home-town discount.

continued with numerous hockey topcs discussed…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc+savard

What About That Comcast/NBC Deal?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Adam Proteau of The Hockey News answers some emails…

Adam, I’ve noticed the hockey world has been largely mum about Comcast’s decision to purchase NBC/Universal. I believe this is not a good thing for hockey fans or the world at large.

How does this relate to hockey particularly? Consider Comcast’s ownership of the Philadelphia Flyers. Comcast owns both the Flyers and also the “Versus” network. Versus is the primary cable broadcast outlet for NHL hockey games. The Flyers are on Versus an awful lot due to this, and now Comcast will own the only other national outlet for the NHL in the U.S.: NBC.

The downside of the continued consolidation of media is something I could write about for days, but this isn’t the proper forum for that topic.

But clearly, any business decision resulting in fewer bargaining alternatives for the NHL is indeed a bad one – for the players, for the owners and definitely for the fans. Remember that as the network and/or league tries to spin the news to their benefit.

more Q & A from Adam plus Hippy Dave, our KK fantasy expert, chimed in on the Comcast deal at the KK Members Blog.

Filed in: NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: comcast, nbc

What will Comcast aquiring NBC mean for the NHL?

Blog: KK Members Blog By Hippy Dave

A very interesting tidbit of news came across the news wire today: Comcast aquires a 51% share of NBC, with GE able to force the sale of another 24.5% in 3.5 years, and the rest in 7.

As a former employee of an NBC affiliate in northern Michigan and a rabid hockey fan, I’m very interested in the repercussions to both the NHL and NBC in this deal.  Comcast owns Versus, which has been hitched to the NHL’s bandwagon for some time now.  Comcast has long shown an interest in hockey in general - during the ‘04-‘05 lockout, Comcast aired a few other hockey-related broadcasts on their own cable channels, including the Larionov retirement game (imagine the Red Wings vs. Russia—Yzerman scored a couple of goals for Russia that game as I recall, and yes, Igor got a goal too).  It feels natural that the NHL and Comcast should take care of each others interests, and I am excited to see what might happen in the future now that Comcast owns a controlling share in NBC.

Could we see more regular season and playoff NHL games on the major network?  I sure hope so.  I don’t really see NBC as a potential competitor to Versus, but rather as a nice complement.  Let’s hope that this might function as a workaround for those of us DirecTV customers who presently miss out on some programming due to the Versus/DirecTV impasse.  Let’s hope that this will bring the NHL to a broader audience and fuel a ratings and revenue resurgence for the game.  ESPN Who? 

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
 

Let’s Review

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Carrie Milbank reviews the week in the NHL for us.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, NHL Video, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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