Kukla's Korner

A Battle In The Central Division

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

While Detroit continues to disprove the theory that it’s impossible to build an annual Stanley Cup contender in the salary-cap world, the Red Wings, and the rest of the West, suddenly have company.

Gone are the days of the Red Wings beating up on divisional weaklings. The Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues and Columbus Blue Jackets are on the rise, and the Nashville Predators, despite a paltry budget, perennially have one of the NHL’s best farm systems.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Directv Says This, Versus Says That

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Enough!!!  Get a deal done before the puck drops tonight.

Read the latest on this topic from Richard Sandomir of the New York Times.

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

Imagine That, Kris Draper Talking

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Draper wore a mic while on the ice during yesterday’s exhibition game.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kris+draper

Believing In Burke

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Arthur of the National Post,

Brian Burke loves it here. The pressure, the pace, the weight on his broad shoulders, it’s all fine with him. Being the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs has worked out, off the ice, exactly as he wanted it to.

“It’s awesome. It’s the Vatican. It’s everything,” Burke said on the eve of his team’s 2009-10 National Hockey League season opener against Montreal. “This move has worked out from a family standpoint—all the things that we thought would be better in our lives as far as our family and distance to see children [in Boston] and stuff, all of that has come true. We’ve fallen in love with this city.”

The city, meanwhile, seems to have fond feelings for him, too, as he has gone about remaking the city’s chief sporting obsession. Nobody is really doubting Burke, not yet.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Betts Still Unsigned in Philly

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

First-year wingers James van Riemsdyk and Mika Pyorala were on the 22-man roster that the Flyers submitted to the NHL yesterday.

Center Blair Betts was not.

Betts, 29, is trying to make the team on a tryout contract. After yesterday’s practice in Voorhees, general manager Paul Holmgren said he was still negotiating with Betts’ agent, Steve Kotlowitz. The two sides appear to be at a stalemate.

Betts, whose agent did not return phone calls, made $615,000 with the New York Rangers last season. He has excelled on face-offs and on the penalty kill in the preseason.

“We’ll see how it goes over the next day,” Holmgren said of talks with Betts’ agent. He said if a deal isn’t completed by today, “then it’s probably not going to happen.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: blair+betts

Tonight The Habs Makeover Begins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,

Let’s talk about his career as a demolitions expert. His knowledge of pentaerythritol tetranitrate. The miles of primer cord he rolled through the Bell Centre this summer.

In show biz, think of Gainey as a more urbane Big Jim McBob from Second City Television - “Blow’d up good ... blow’d up real good!”

There is a method to Bob’s madness; always has been, whether or not things have worked to his vision. And here tonight, in the first of 82 regular-season games, the curtain will be pulled back on the reconstruction that followed the summertime boom! of his Canadiens.

He’s got a new head coach in Jacques Martin, a hockey man through and through who’s instilled confidence and respect in his players and the city before one puck has been dropped for real.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Rangers On The Late Show With David Letterman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Top 10 things never before spoken by a hockey player.

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

Canada Loses Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

...By contrast, the NHL has never blocked an effort by a Canadian-based team to move south to a U.S. market. It was allowed decades ago when Hamilton moved to New York and became the Americans and Ottawa shifted to St. Louis, and more recently when the Winnipeg Jets became the Coyotes and the Quebec Nordiques moved to Colorado.

An interesting double standard, wouldn’t you say?

The exception to the ABC (Anywhere But Canada) rule came in 1980 when the money-losing Atlanta Flames, after a short-circuted attempted move to Houston, were sold to interests in Calgary for $16 million and allowed to shift operations to Alberta.

John Ziegler must have been looking the other way on that one.

So until there is another round of NHL expansion – greed will dictate the when – Canada can forget about getting another NHL team. Balsillie can claim “nobody can deny that we are now a big step closer to having a seventh NHL team in Canada,” but it seems abundantly clear that won’t be achieved through relocation.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

All Bryan Murray

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allen Panzeri of the Ottawa Citizen,

After a year in which another coach got fired, the team missed the playoffs for the first time in 12 seasons, and the team’s star goal scorer demanded a trade, Murray’s hoping this season allows him to show his face in public a little more without getting a pie thrown at it.

On the eve of the season, he sat down with The Citizen to talk about a number of issues. Here is an edited version of that conversation….

Q: What would qualify as a successful year?

A: That’s a tough question.

No. 1, you have to make the playoffs, very definitely. No. 2, you have to be competitive in the playoffs.

Do you have to win every round? I don’t know.

Our plan is to try to win the Stanley Cup, without a question. That has to be a given. But we have to get back to playing at a kind of level where we get respect in this town, and we have to show the fans as a team that we really compete every night and that we really care about playing here….

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bryan+murray

Canucks GM Not Happy With Burke

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,

Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said his franchise would again talk to the NHL about an incident involving a Maple Leafs executive making comments about Vancouver players.

“We’ll talk to [the league] about it and see what their position is but this, in my mind, is another example of the Toronto Maple Leafs trying to upset our team,” Gillis said from Calgary, where the Canucks begin their season with a game against the Flames.

Vancouver’s latest complaint stems from a video on the Maple Leafs website, entitled Behind the Draft, where general manager Brian Burke discusses the possibility of trading up into the top five slots.

“Vancouver has made a major effort to get the second pick out of Tampa Bay,” Burke tells his scouts at a pre-draft meeting. “We heard they offered - again, this is all second-hand, so we’re not sure - [Alex] Burrows, [Kevin] Bieksa and their own pick. Those are two pretty good players.”

read on

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

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