Kukla's Korner

Nashville Players Available If They Fall Out Of Playoff Race

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Glennon of the Tennessean,

The next few weeks of the season might determine not only the Predators’ chances of making the playoffs, but also the chances of a number of Predators to remain with the organization.

A scroll down the roster reveals nine players in the final years of their contracts, including established NHL players Radek Bonk, Greg de Vries, Vern Fiddler, Scott Nichol, Steve Sullivan and Greg Zanon.

Should the Predators slide from the playoff picture in the weeks leading up to the March 4 NHL trading deadline, at least some of those names are bound to surface as potential trade bait.

Should the Predators remain in contention for a postseason berth — and they’ve won five of six games going into today’s game at Dallas — the roster is much more likely to stay intact.


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

Canucks Contract Talks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The Canucks, we are told, have yet to officially make a contract offer to veteran defenseman Mattias Ohlund. So, unless something drastic changes soon, it appears Ohlund is headed to unrestricted free agency. While we’re sure the Canucks would love to be able to move him March 4 if they fall out of the playoff race, the fact is Ohlund controls his fate with a no-trade clause.

In the meantime, talks have also stalled with the Sedin twins, also pending UFAs. There was a meeting this past Wednesday between Canucks GM Mike Gillis and the Sedins’ agent, J.P. Barry, but no progress was made.

Vancouver, meanwhile, is believed to be among a list of teams that has at least inquired about veteran blueliner Mathieu Schneider, a UFA on July 1.

read on for more NHL topics.  It is basically a recap of HNIC Hot Stove talk from last night but there is additional topics discussed.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Waiting For Their Chance

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce MacLeod of the Macomb Daily,

With the Detroit Red Wings (unfortunately) having salary cap room because of recent injuries to Brad Stuart and Tomas Holmstrom, the franchise has finally gotten a chance to look at some top prospects in NHL action.

When Stuart and Holmstrom return, the youngsters will be gone. But since the spotlight is on them right now, here’s one man’s rankings of Detroit’s prospects. Consider this a combination of proof and potential.

1. Darren Helm, center, 21. What separates Helm from defenseman Jonathan Ericsson is that Helm has more proof. Helm was very, very good in helping the Wings win the Stanley Cup last spring, solidifying the fourth line. Helm is physical despite being of average size and very fast. If the Red Wings were to put the system’s best team on the ice, Helm would be there.


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

O’Connell Would Trade Thornton Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

Joe Thornton will be back on Causeway Street Tuesday night, only his second visit to the Hub of Hockey since the Nov. 30, 2005, trade that Mike O’Connell orchestrated, sending Jumbo Joe, the Boston franchise’s centerpiece, to the San Jose Sharks.

Some three-plus years later, O’Connell figures the trade was justified, and it is one that he would make again, given the same circumstances. As for what he got in return, said O’Connell, there will always be those who say he should have received more.

“That’s always the case, even if it’s your best trade,” said the former Bruins general manager, these days overseeing pro development for the Los Angeles Kings. “But it was like any trade: You take in, rely on what everyone in the organization says - scouts, everyone - and let’s not forget there was a money issue here, too, moving Joe with his high [$6.6 million] salary. This wasn’t the pre-salary-cap NHL. Like all these deals, the money had to work, too.”

continued plus more hockey topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+thornton

Sabres Should Be Careful With Deadline Moves

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,

But unless some ridiculous offer comes their way, the Sabres shouldn’t do anything at the deadline other than plan for the future. Doing nothing shouldn’t be a chore for Regier, who has been ripped royally for doing exactly that. This year, though, doing nothing makes the most sense.


The Sabres have their core players locked into long-term contracts. If they can land a good player who will be under contract for the next several years, fine. Otherwise, dumping dead weight or hefty salaries should be the goal. And that, alone, is a tall order because of the salary cap.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Renney In Trouble, Kovalev Keeps Disappearing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

• Coming off a 10-2 loss to the Stars Friday, there’s plenty of talk that Rangers coach Tom Renney is in deep trouble. If New York decides to make a change, don’t be surprised to see Pat Quinn behind the bench on Broadway. Quinn, who led Team Canada to a gold medal at the world juniors last month, played junior hockey with Rangers GM Glen Sather and they have been close friends since.

• The talk is the Habs are getting tired of RW Alexei Kovalev and his disappearing acts. Kovalev has played a valuable role this season, but not consistently. Nobody would be surprised to see him moved soon.

more of this kind of talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Trade Talk From Brooks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The Flyers, who will have to shed around $2 million of cap space in order to reinstate Daniel Briere from long-term injury reserve once he recovers from groin surgery, are somehow positioning themselves as in on Florida’s Jay Bouwmeester while also having substantial interest in Anaheim’s Scott Niedermayer ($6.75 million), should he become available as a rental.

We’re told that Philadelphia is prepared to move Mike Knuble ($2.8 million, unrestricted on July 1) and Joffrey Lupul ($2.312M this year, $4.25M the next four years) in order to help the blue line.

The Ducks will be seeking young defensemen in any deals for Niedermayer or Chris Pronger, who seems on his way out with another year at $6.25 million remaining on his deal.

The Devils are interested in bringing Niedermayer back for their Grateful Dead Reunion Tour, but will not move Paul Martin to get it done.

more trade talk plus Olympics and suspension talk too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Price Under Fire

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,

While Toskala was solid, Montreal goaltender Carey Price was distraught after the game. He faced 41 shots and was beaten high on the glove side three times as he lost for the sixth time in eight starts since he returned to action from an ankle injury.

But Christopher Higgins said it would be a mistake to heap all the blame on the goaltender, who was a last-minute starter after Jaroslav Halak came down with the flu.

“We gave them a lot of odd-man rushes. “We didn’t give (Price) a lot of help.”

But head coach Guy Carbonneau didn’t let the goaltender off the hook.

“We’re not doing anything right,” said Carbonneau, whose team is clinging to fourth place in the Eastern Conference despite losing seven of its last nine games. “We’re having trouble scoring goals and it seems that whenever we make a mistake, the puck’s in our net.”

When asked what he didn’t like about Price’s performance, he said: “Where do you want me to start? He let in five goals.”

more and watch Price and Carbonneau in post game video at TSN…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carey+price

Suspension For Roloson?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,

The NHL is as soft on crime as the most liberal, feeling-sorry-for-criminals judge in the Dominion, so don’t expect Dwayne Roloson to be suspended for his uppercut, goalie stick chop at Daniel Cleary’s private parts.

But Roloson deserves to be out a few games for that one. Imagine the upset and anger in Edmonton if an opposition goalie did that to Ales Hemsky.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+cleary, dwayne+roloson

Biggest Hockey Decision Left This Season

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I think the biggest hockey-related decision (not to be confused with a business decision) left to be made this season will be made by the Florida Panthers.  The Panthers have to decide whether to trade or keep Jay Bouwmeester.  Bouwmeester is an All Star defenceman who leads the NHL in ice time.  He is also an unrestricted free agent this summer.  Last summer, it seemed clear that he wanted to leave Florida and fine a team to play for that would compete for a Stanley Cup.  Florida had one last chance to show a skeptical Bouwmeester that they were capable of contention.  Have the Panthers done this?

They are currently in ninth place in the East Conference.  They are one point back of a playoff berth with one or two games in hand against most of the teams just above them.  It is very possible that Florida will qualify for the playoffs this year.  It would be Florida’s first playoff berth since 2000 and the first of Jay Bouwmeester’s career.  Most likely they would lose in the first round, but they might be capable of a run.  If Bouwmeester is looking for a team that contends, is this good enough?  Florida has a young team and might be able to do better next year.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

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