Kukla's Korner

Be Quiet Burke

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jason Botchford of The White Towel,

In a new special on Leafs TV called Behind the Draft 2009, Burke is essentially caught rumour mongering. In the documentary-styled, multi-chapter feature, which was filmed at June’s NHL Draft, the general manager, who has described members of the media as “maggots” and “scumbags,” makes an unsubstantiated, admittedly speculative claim, alleging the Canucks made a strong push for Victor Hedman. He is the Swedish defenceman who the Tampa Bay Lightning drafted second overall.

Burke is filmed in June at the beginning of the draft in the Leafs war room where he is seen addressing his scouting staff.  “Vancouver has made a major effort to get the second pick out of Tampa Bay,” says Burke on Part 1 of the series which can be seen on the Leafs’ web site. “We heard they offered, again this is all second hand so we don’t know if it’s true. We heard they offered (Alex) Burrows, (Kevin) Bieksa and their own pick. Those are two pretty good players.”

He’s right. They are two pretty good players whose inclusion in the alleged deal make the rumour sound pretty outlandish.

It’s one thing for Burke to make the comment in his war room. That’s fair game. It’s another entirely to allow it to air.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke

Just Get A Deal Done

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Adrian Dater at All Things Avs tries to present the full story between the Directv/Versus dispute.

I don’t know about you, but until a deal gets done, I can’t put any trust in either side.

In case you missed it yesterday, Mike Chen shared his experience with his readers when it came to dealing with Directv over this issue.

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: directv

Chasing The Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

Why I’m right: “We’re pissed off,” one player said when I visited Detroit last week. “I still don’t know how we lost,” added another. The Red Wings are motivated and angry. What sets them apart is their sense of professionalism. It’s all business all the time. The only thing that matters is winning. Some teams say it but don’t mean it. This team means it.

There’s been a lot of focus on the Red Wings losing 80-plus goals off their roster (Hossa, Kopecky, Samuelsson). That’s true. But they still have three of the world’s 10 best players. And there were times last year when they coasted, winning games on pure talent. Not anymore. They will again be one of the NHL’s best defensive teams.

In the words of one player, Mike Babcock is “even more intense.” Didn’t think that was possible. And Ville Leino is going to show why he should have been on this team last year.

Why I’m wrong: The biggest change for the Red Wings is external. For years, the Central Division was a 98-pound weakling with only Nashville providing any real competition. Now it’s arguably the NHL’s toughest (with the Atlantic). The Blackhawks, Blues and Blue Jackets all made the playoffs and the Predators are no pushovers. Suddenly, every divisional game is tough and it makes a difference.

more plus Western Conference predictions…

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

The Survey Says

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via pucksandbooks at On Frozen Blog,

At the Capitals’ media luncheon on Tuesday I was able to survey, in off-the-record fashion, 15 separate media organizations (OFB not included) to determine their respective prognostications for the Caps this season. The results:

• Only two media outlets predicted that the Caps wouldn’t advance out of round 2 of the NHL playoffs

• Eight outlets forecasted the Caps advancing all the way the to Eastern Conference finals

• Fully five outlets predicted that the Caps would reach the Stanley Cup finals

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

B’s Think D First

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

Up front, Julien is coaching a four-line group that general manager Peter Chiarelli considers some of the NHL’s best backchecking forwards.

“You build from the back end out,’’ Chiarelli said.

This season, at least to start, “defense first’’ will be the mantra because it is the known commodity. In goal, Thomas and Rask give the Bruins an effective 1-2 punch of veteran savvy and youthful excitement. Chara, counted on to mask some of Ward’s shortcomings, could become even more effective as a shutdown defenseman and offensive threat. Julien will deploy the veteran threesome of Mark Recchi, Patrice Bergeron, and Chuck Kobasew against dangerous forwards - look for the No. 3 line, along with Chara and Morris, to see plenty of reps against Alex Ovechkin tomorrow - in hopes that their close-quarters checking will stifle opposing attacks.

Defense is what Julien and assistant coach Craig Ramsay, who supervises the defensemen, know best.

read on

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

Sundin Done

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Darren Dreger of TSN,

Mats Sundin has ended the speculation and has officially announced his retirement.

The former Toronto Maple Leafs captain made the announcement around 6:40am eastern at a press conference in Sweden.

Sundin leaves the NHL having amassed 1,349 points, ranking him 25th on the all-time list.

added 8:49am, from Reuters,

“It’s a little sad to announce that my career as a professional hockey player is over,” he told reporters at a press conference in Stockholm.

“I would have loved to play until the age of 65, but as a hockey player you obviously retire a little earlier than that,” added the 38-year-old, who began his NHL career with the Quebec Nordiques in 1990 after being drafted in the first round in 1989.


added 9:55am, from Damian Cox of the Spin,

Five years from now, Sundin should be a first ballot Hall of Fame selection. But the Leafs shouldn’t wait that long to raise his No. 13 to the rafters of the Air Canada Centre. Next season, perhaps, would be perfect, just to make doubly sure he’s committed to retirement.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin

Evening Line- Part 2

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“...They gave Bowman four years to get a Cup in Detroit . . . but we only had two years and I didn’t know it.”

-Ex-Flames Coach Mike Keenan.  More from Kennan by Scott Cruickshank of Flames Insider.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+keenan

Where Have We Heard This Before?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of Off The Posts at the Ottawa Sun,

Ilya Zubov apparently doesn’t want to be in Binghamton.

Strange timing, but the Ottawa centre chose the Binghamton Senators media day to express to one of the local television networks that he doesn’t want to be there anymore.

In fact, it would appear Zubov has asked for a trade.

“I’m not pretty happy about it. It’s not what I want,” Zubov told the local FOX affiliate. “Both me and the Ottawa team (talked) that I might get traded soon.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: binghamton+senators

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“He played the fewest amount of games last year that he played in a long time, so I don’t know if he’s any better for it. I don’t’ know if we have to manage Nabby’s minutes. What we have to manage is the results and the effort. I’m not even sure if we have to manage that. He has to manage that.”

-Sharks Coach Todd McLellan on goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.  More from David Pollak of Working the Corners.

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+nabokov, todd+mclellan

Elite Line In Anaheim

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Stephens of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,

The three forwards combined for four goals, seven points and a plus-8 rating in Sunday’s 5-4 Ducks win over the Kings in the preseason finale. None of those numbers count now but the club is hoping that those kind of nights will be a regular occurrence.

“You could say there’s pressure there for us to perform,” Perry said. “We’re just young kids trying to go there and play hard, play our game. We’re just trying to perform at our best.”

If that’s the case, it could put the Ducks’ line among the NHL’s elite. Already there are those in hockey circles who consider the big, strong threesome one of the league’s best following a season in which Getzlaf finished tied for sixth in scoring with 91 points, Perry had a team-leading 32 goals among his career-best 72 points and Ryan was a Calder Trophy finalist with 31 goals and 57 points despite not being a full-time member until the midseason.

All three say that kind of recognition is nice to hear but nothing more.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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