Kukla's Korner

Around The League On A Sunday Morning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

• The Red Wings are getting older, but they have five players on their farm club they certainly feel can be NHLers — defenceman Jakub Kindl, Slovenian winger Jan Mursak, Slovak centre Tomas Tatar, goalie Thomas McCollum and Justin Abdelkader, who would be there now except for salary cap issues. They are very high on two Swedish drafts — Joakim-Andersson and little Gustav Nyquist, who leads the NCAA in scoring at U of Maine. Nyquist, a fourth-round draft in 2008, could win the Hobey Baker Award as U.S. College’s best player. He’s incredibly skilled, but weighs only 170 pounds. Another Red Wings prospect, defenceman Brendan Smith (U of Wisconsin) could make the final 10 in voting.

• Denis Grebeshkov, who had one of his testicles shattered by a shot last week in Nashville, isn’t the first ex-Oiler to go through that pain. In the first game of the 2008 Capitals-Flyers playoff series, Philadelphia forward Patrick Thoresen slid to block a shot and wore ice bags for days. He didn’t need surgery, however.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Ready For 12 Hours Of Non-Stop Hockey?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

First puck drops just after 12:30pm ET today and the final horn should sound just about 12 hours later.

20 teams in action today, check the schedule below for times and channels.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Keep Your Head Up Boys

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

After Cooke’s hit on Savard, Boston general manager Peter Chiarelli said he was “disappointed” that his players didn’t react to it, presumably meaning that they should have gone after Cooke right then, even though it was late in a one-goal game and the Bruins need every point they can get to make the playoffs. Who’s to say Thornton, for instance, won’t try to score big points with his boss and teammates Thursday night? So what if he gets suspended for the rest of the season, as Bertuzzi was in ‘04? He might think it’s worth it if he can take out Cooke or Crosby or Malkin.

It is worth repeating:

Only in the NHL.


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

Talking Huet & Jagr

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

• The Chicago Blackhawks will have to take a long, hard look at their goaltending at the end of the season.

By sticking with the overpaid, underachieving Cristobal Huet at the deadline, GM Stan Bowman faces a big problem trying to fit all the pieces of his club under next season’s salary cap.

Not only do the Hawks have Huet under contract for two more years at an average of $5.625 million (all terms US), they will try to find a way to sign Antti Niemi, who has taken over as their No. 1 goaltender….

• All they have to do in Edmonton is hang the No. 68 sweater in Jaromir Jagr’s stall. The Oilers are fully expecting the 38-year-old to leave Omsk Avangard of the KHL this summer and sign as a UFA two seasons removed from the NHL. Edmonton scouts attended the Olympics to get a close look at Jagr. He would be welcomed back to the New York Rangers anytime, but Jagr has a close relationship with Oilers associate coach Tom Renney from their days on Broadway….

read on for more chatter…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cristobal+huet, jaromir+jagr

Nassau Coliseum Crumbling

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Dan Martin of the NY Post,

People have been saying the Nassau Coliseum has been falling apart for years. Now it is—literally.

Strong winds brought down two pieces of the aluminum façade that goes around the entire building at approximately 5:30 yesterday—about 90 minutes before the Islanders hosted the Devils—near the box office. The larger piece was 10 feet by 18 feet.

No one was injured and the box office entrance was closed, because other pieces also appeared close to falling.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Instead Of An All-Star Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

One idea floating around in the NHL head office is to somehow give an international hockey feel to feed off the Vancouver experience, possibly staging some form of a mini-World Cup. I stress this is very conceptual at this point, but still interesting nonetheless.

Speaking on international hockey, I’m told the Russians have recently approached Hockey Canada about staging a Summit Series in 2012 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the ‘72 classic. The Russians also want it to be best on best, so it would be Sidney Crosby & Co. versus Alex Ovechkin & Co. Of course, the NHL and NHL Players’ Association would have to sign off on it, and I’m not sure there’s an appetite for it at this point.

What about USA Hockey and Hockey Canada getting together with the NHL and NHLPA to do some form of series with top players? Given the recent gold-medal game in Vancouver, why not capitalize on the burgeoning rivalry between Team USA and Team Canada? Food for thought.

more hockey discussion…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sunday Hockey Points

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronton Sun,

• Love to know what the head of the NHL Players’ Association thinks about the head-shot controversy, but alas, there is no head of the NHLPA and thus no one to speak on behalf of the players for or against.

• Can’t envision a Stanley Cup final that doesn’t have Pittsburgh or Washington in it. The West can offer up a deeper field with Chicago, Vancouver, San Jose and Los Angeles all capable of doing some playoff business.

• For as much as Dion Phaneuf has contributed to the Leafs, he has yet to bring much offence. As of Saturday night, he had no goals, just two assists with the Leafs and the Toronto power play has been mostly dismal since he was traded for.

more points…

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

Reminder Canada- It’s Only A Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,

Hockey is Freudian for Canadians – it puts the id in our collective identity.

The father of psychoanalysis would have had a wet dream dissecting the thumb-sucking relationship between a game and a people. Not that there’s been a shortage of behavioural experts to probe this particular symbiosis, from pinhead academics to press-box philosophers…

Canada is one coast-to-coast Hot Stove League. Put another way, hockey for Canadians is chronic masturbation: Can’t keep our hands off it. Hence the perpetual kneading and modifying and mutating, not always as justifiable as deterring hits to the head.

Whether talking hockey at Tim Horton’s or hand-wringing hockey at “stakeholder” symposiums, weighing opinion polls or dispatching delegations to study how the game is conducted elsewhere, romanticizing in prose and mythologizing in culture, even occasionally bleeding over into political debate and courtroom pseudo-defendant, this, our national sport and obsession, is the common denominator.


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

No Parents Allowed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

In each of the previous two seasons, the Rangers took one road trip on which players were accompanied by their fathers. One of the highlights of last season, in fact, was when the fathers chanted, “Let’s Go Rangers!” in the corridor outside the locker room in Chicago on Jan. 16 during then-coach Tom Renney’s postgame press conference after their kids’ team defeated the Blackhawks in overtime.

But this year, though we’re told that preliminary planning had taken place for a trip including the players’ mothers, there was no such event. Repeated requests for an official explanation went unanswered, but several sources told Slap Shots that current head coach John Tortorella had put the kibosh on the event.

more hockey talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

It’s Not All Doom And Gloom For Ice Edge Holdings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic,

The CEO of Ice Edge Holdings, emphasizing that financing is not a problem, is optimistic that the purchase of the Coyotes can be finalized by the close of the NHL season.

Anthony LeBlanc said the “whole deal” is contingent on renegotiating a new lease with the city of Glendale.

“We indicated it was going to take us three to six months, and best case, we have this closed before the playoffs start,” he said. “We certainly expect that this will be closed by the time that the Stanley Cup is awarded this year. That’s our plan, but it will require the city and us working together to get the lease ratified.”

The process took on a new urgency for Coyotes fans in the past few days when gloom-and-doom reports surfaced in the Canadian media. An article in the Toronto Globe & Mail riled fans and prompted LeBlanc to post a letter of reassurance on a Web site.

LeBlanc said most of the time he and his colleagues just laugh off stories such as those - “Here we go again,” he said.


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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