Kukla's Korner

Heatley Deal May Define Murray’s Career In Ottawa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,

Cheechoo has to get back to the 30-goal range and Michalek has to increase his offensive output to justify his cap hit for this deal to come close to being a winner for the Senators.

The winner of this deal right now is the Sharks: They got a 50-goal scorer of questionable character, who, if he’s happy and motivated, is one of the best scorers in the league. All they gave up was a guy they were trying to dump and a young player who may or may not live up to his paycheque.

AN NHL SCOUT’S TAKE: “A tough deal for Bryan Murray to make. Michalek is a good player. Cheechoo just hasn’t been very good the last two years. Michalek is going to score 20 goals. The issue is always going to be that they gave up the best player and that’s Dany Heatley. He’ll go in there and burn it up. This could be the deal that defines Bryan Murray’s career in Ottawa.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

It’s Different In Anaheim

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

Had this been Montreal, where he spent 13 seasons and united a sometimes-fractured city in admiration of his victory over non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the stands would have been jammed with reporters and photographers interested in the million issues that percolate around the Canadiens.

Instead, Koivu had 90 minutes of blissful privacy to meet teammates and start settling in as the Ducks’ second-line center, a process that will continue today when training camp begins at Anaheim Ice.

“It is different, there’s no doubt,” he said, smiling. “Like today here it felt good. You can just be among your teammates and have fun and practice hard but it’s more of a tighter feeling than it was in Montreal.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: saku+koivu

NHL Players Alumni Appreciate Paul Kelly

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

Thursday night in Toronto, Gordie Howe and (Ted) Lindsay coaxed Kelly into attending an NHL Players Alumni dinner in Toronto, where a banquet room full of retirees treated him to a protracted and boisterous standing ovation. These are guys with a memory, recalling that it was Kelly, in his days as a Boston-based prosecutor, who finally exposed the evil deeds perpetrated against the players by former PA boss Alan Eagleson, sending the Eagle off to the slammer.

All these years later, it seems the players have adopted Eagleson’s calculating and tyrannical approach, shooing Kelly off the watch without just cause.

Leave it to the PA. They had the right guy, and they Just Said No. Again.

more plus a mix of NHL topics…

Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+kelly

Could Panthers Be In Financial Trouble?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

Don’t look now, but there is another Phoenix Coyotes situation on the National Hockey League horizon.

The Florida Panthers were supposed to be sold this summer, but quietly no deal was ever agreed to with the difficult owner Alan Cohen, and those who know the situation best wonder what comes next.

The current owners clearly want out. They didn’t even bother to replace Jacques Martin as general manager this summer. They are operating on a shoestring budget and rumblings are the owners may consider abandoning ship if need be.

This isn’t the kind of news the NHL wants to hear as another season is about to begin, especially considering what this summer in bankruptcy court has been like for the league.

continued plus more hockey notes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The ‘Rink’ Master

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

Crank up the calliope, comb the hair on the bearded lady and prep the fry-oil for the baloney. Doug MacLean, that crafty carnival barker, is back in business.

On Thursday morning, it was reported that MacLean had taken a job as “advisor” to Jim Balsillie, who is attempting to pry the Coyotes out of Phoenix and move the team to Hamilton, Ontario….

Since MacLean was fired in Columbus—where, he said last week, Charlie Manson got better treatment—he has been working for The Fan 590 radio and Rogers Sportsnet television in Toronto. In the past, MacLean has used his platform to make uncooth remarks about John H. McConnell, late owner of the Jackets and his former boss. But that is another story. For months on end, MacLean has spent airtime to criticize Balsillie. An example of one of his typical riffs: “You can’t pick up a franchise and move it anywhere you want. It opens up a can of worms. ... I’m pro-NHL and I don’t think that somebody should be able to move into someone’s backyard and play. I don’t agree with that.”

MacLean took a 180-degree turn when it became apparent that 30 other owners were unwilling to hire him—and Balsillie was.

read on

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: doug+maclean

Lose Game 7 Of The SCF, Change The Roster

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock estimates his team might have as much as a 37 percent changeover in personnel from last year’s season-opening roster.

Most of the new names are familiar, but it marks the biggest change since Detroit added five new players following the lockout four years ago.

“This year potentially (could) be eight,” Babcock said. “None of these people started on the team last year: (Darren) Helm, (Jonathan) Ericsson, (Justin) Abdelkader, (Ville) Leino, (Jimmy) Howard, (Patrick) Eaves, (Todd) Bertuzzi, (Jason) Williams. I’m not saying they’re all on the team—they still have to make the team—but our team is going to change, no question.

“To me that’s very exciting. I think change is a good thing.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Playing It Safe With Gaborik

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Marian Gaborik did not participate in the on-ice sprints due of a tender groin. This is not related to previous hip problems.

“We just want to be careful,” Tortorella said. “We don’t want to do anything stupid. We want to get him ready for the regular season.”

read on for the latest on Dubinsky and some talk about Zherdev offering to return to the Rangers…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+gaborik

Resign Wayne

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Bordow of the East Valley Tribune,

Had Gretzky been successful in a suit and tie, it would behoove the Coyotes to wait on him. But let’s face it: He’s been a disaster as an executive and marginal as a coach. The Coyotes have yet to make the playoffs under his tenure.

Is that entirely his fault? Of course not. But he had the loudest voice in the organization and the biggest stick. He has to take responsibility.

More than likely, the legal battle between NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Balsillie will drag on for months. The players will suffer, the fans will suffer, the organization will suffer.

Gretzky’s resignation won’t solve any of that. But the last thing the Coyotes need right now is another distraction.

Do the right thing, Wayne.

Walk away.


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wayne+gretzky

Questions For The Kings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings,

How would you answer the questions? What are you most excited, eager and/or anxious to see/hear about in training camp? 


Don’t count on it. In June, “confirmed” reports had the Kings trading for defenseman Chris Pronger. This week, they supposedly acquired forward Patrick Marleau. Both reports turned out to be little more than rumor babble, but given that the Kings have a deep pool of talented prospects, it’s no surprise to hear them attached to every wacky trade rumor. The rumors are unlikely to die down unless Alexander Frolov, due to be an unrestricted free agent next summer, signs a contract extension during training camp. If the Kings add anything before the start of this season, it’s likely to be a veteran defenseman, not a forward.


Since the end of the 2002 season, Kings fans have waited to see a playoff game. Dean Lombardi is entering his fourth season as the Kings’ general manager, and while the pieces of his plan seem to be falling in place - the Kings have an ever-improving young defense and a stable of talented young goalies - the Western Conference is tough, deep and balanced, and the Kings need to show that they have enough offense to make a big jump from last season’s 14th-place finish in the West.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Niedermayer Talks Ducks Changing Defense

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Curtis Zupke of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,

Can the Ducks build off last season’s run to the conference semifinals with more new faces?

“That will create more challenges, but that’s what this time of year is for,” Niedermayer said. “We’ll try and get on the same track as quickly as possible. We have a good group of guys that were there last year, and a couple of new guys sprinkled in, but I don’t think it will be a problem.

We’re going to be younger back there, but in some ways maybe that’s a good thing. Everybody’s going to have to take more responsibility. Obviously those two guys played an important role on this team the past few years.”

On another topic, Niedermayer said brother Rob is home in British Columbia and staying in shape in the hope of catching on with a team.

more plus Scott has a few kind words for Pronger…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: scott+niedermayer

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