Kukla's Korner

Gillis Continues His Rise In Vancouver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,

It’s only been three months since he was able to shed the “rookie general manager” tag. Now—apparently out of nowhere—Mike Gillis has been asked to be a rookie all over again.

A rookie president of a National Hockey League club.

He ought to take it as a compliment.

Even if adding another title to his nameplate should turn out to be mainly a money-saving device for a Vancouver Canucks ownership that is ever-vigilant for such opportunities, it underlines one thing quite clearly.

The mutual admiration society between Francesco Aquilini and his now sophomore GM is very much alive—maybe even stronger than 15 months ago, when Dave Nonis’s cologne was still hanging in the air as Aquilini was naming the former player agent and his ready-made coterie of ex-client/advisers to form the new regime.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+gillis

Mid-Week Thoughts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

• I’ve been getting up early the last two day to listen to Elliotte Friedman co-host the morning show on Fan590 in Toronto.  Elliotte knows his sports and is a pleasure to listen to.

• Why do some of the people associated with our game subscribe to a service that actually collects followers for them on Twitter?

• Anyone else tired of “sources said”?  The first thing of think of when reading that is, yea right!

• Can Eric Duhatschek please return from vacation soon!

• I am wondering if we are going to see more video reports from the MSM hockey writers/bloggers?

• On a non-hockey related topic, will the Detroit Tigers reach the MLB playoffs?

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“There’s no better place to be in the league right now.  I think we’ve got the best group of young hockey players in the NHL, and I’m very excited to be a part of it and see where we can take it.”

-Paul Kariya of the St. Louis Blues.  More on Paul from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+kariya

Looking At Patrick Eaves

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Universal Cynic,

Yes, it’s not a great sum of money from the Wings in the grand scheme of things, but one must remember that Eaves is injury-prone and has a history of concussions. One false move and he could potentially end up sitting in his closet, talking to his mittens for a third of a season. However, Eaves is still an excellent skater with capabilities along the boards that can be appreciated. And it’s safe to say that with a team like Detroit, his numbers are probably going to rebound, which only bodes well for him at this time, next year.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+eaves

Burke Talking Tough

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,

Burke said he is “excited” to see what Kaberle can do with some of the veteran defencemen he acquired, particularly Mike Komisarek and Francois Beauchemin.

“Say your first (defensive unit) is Kaberle and Komisarek,” Burke said. “Kaberle is not picking his teeth out of the glass all night (anymore). I’m excited about that.

“There’s some notion that everyone has to be tough on a hockey team. They don’t. You have to surround your skill guys with enough size and toughness that they can play their game. And I think that’s what we’ve done.”

Burke reiterated his belief that the club’s so-called skill players—Mikhail Grabovski, Jason Blake, etc—could enjoy excellent seasons because they now are surrounded with sandpaper.

“I believe that toughness and fear are contagious,” the GM said. “And I count on improved performance from some of those kids just because we’re bigger and meaner.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke

What Is The Rangers Plan?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

What’s the frequency, Slats? What’s the plan when an Ales Kotalik is signed for three years at $3 million per rather than leaving a spot open for one of the young guys the organization always seems to be touting? What’s the plan when Lauri Korpikoski is traded away after one season for a project named Enver Lisin? What’s the plan when a third-round draft pick is traded for a fourth-line center named Brian Boyle?

The NHL’s statistically-best penalty-kill unit of Blair Betts and Fred Sjostrom was not invited back. The critical power-play deficiency at the point has not been addressed. There is no bona fide first-line center. There is no bona fide No. 1 defenseman. There is no cap room.

There is also no Nikolai Zherdev. Credit Sather for getting one right.


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

The Latest On The Phoenix Situation

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Sun,

The NHL, Jim Balsillie, various bidders, creditors and other interested parties with a stake in the Phoenix Coyotes are today waiting for a ruling from bankruptcy judge Redfield T. Baum, hoping to get some sense of the team’s future.

The only sure bet is that, whatever the judge rules, someone is going to be severely ticked off.

Baum is expected to hand down a decision on how the Sept.10 auction of the Coyotes will be conducted, including whether Canadian billionaire Balsillie will be allowed to participate or whether it will be restricted to the two bidders who intend, after reworking the team’s arena lease, to keep the team in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale.

Balsillie, of course, wants to move the team to Hamilton and is pursuing his purchase of the team even though the NHL’s governors have unanimously rejected him as a potential owner.


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

According To A Source, Heatley Will Be A Shark

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Don Brennan of Off The Posts at the Ottawa Citizen,

A league source said Tuesday in Toronto that Dany Heatley will be traded to the San Jose Sharks “in the next two days”.

Stay tuned.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dany+heatley

Flames Concentrate On Defense

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Todd Kimberley at NHL.com,

When the Flames hired Brent Sutter as coach in June, the Flames told everyone who would listen that shoring up a porous team defense was their No. 1 priority.

“We went from first in the League (in goals-against during the 2005-06 season) to 23rd (in 2008-09),” Darryl Sutter said, “and were, quite honestly, fortunate to be a playoff team.”

The GM has been at it with a vengeance this summer in an effort to restore the Flames’ reputation as defenders of the faith. And landing the cream of the free-agency crop, blue-chip blueliner Jay Bouwmeester, was the biggest piece of the puzzle.

“We want to get better defensively. It’s obviously something Darryl and I stress, and something that I believe in as a coach,” Brent Sutter told NHL.com. “You need to play well defensively, and that involves more than how you play in your own zone. It’s also puck-possession time. It’s about how you forecheck. It’s about the things you do as a group. It’s about getting the puck back as quickly as you can.

“Yeah, defense is how you play without the puck, but good defense also means having the puck a lot, too, because that means less time chasing the other team.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Shanahan Agrees To Terms With Devils

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

The 40-year-old unrestricted free agent left wing has agreed to terms and will be ready to go for the start of training camp on Sept. 12, an NHL source said. The sides spent Tuesday finalizing the paperwork and the official announcement could come later today.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+shanahan

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