Kukla's Korner

Will Sutter Help Phaneuf Find His Game?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,

Wanting to see what new head coach Brent Sutter can do for the Calgary Flames, excited fans can’t wait for the fall.

One Flame in particular will be an interesting study.

Being reunited with his Red Deer Rebels coach from his stellar days in the WHL, Sutter’s hiring might be the best thing to happen to Dion Phaneuf.

Preaching a ‘wolfpack’ mentality for his teams, Sutter hopes to instil a new level of leadership and accountability in the Flames locker-room.

Since exploding onto the NHL scene as a rookie under the guidance of Brent’s brother Darryl in his last year as both head coach and GM of the Flames, Dion has increasingly looked a little more like a lone wolf.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dion+phaneuf

Gretzky Remains Loyal To Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rod Mickleburgh of the Globe and Mail,

In an interview yesterday with The Globe and Mail, Gretzky was asked about cost-cutting measures suggested by the suburb of Glendale, Ariz., where the Coyotes play their home games, to keep the team from moving.

Glendale’s austerity proposals include chopping Gretzky’s salary to $1.6-million and elimination of his 1-per-cent slice of club revenue.

Gretzky said he came to Phoenix 10 years ago to start something.

“And I love the city. ... It’s a great sports town. Whatever is going to make it work for the city of Phoenix, I’m 100 per cent behind it.”

Pressed as to whether that meant he was willing to look at a pay reduction, as suggested by Glendale officials, Gretzky replied: “Yeah.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wayne+gretzky

Bruins Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

Rumors persist around the league that Chiarelli will deal veteran pivot Marc Savard, who has one year left (at $5 milion) on his deal. Savard would have to waive his no-trade clause, which is something he likely would consider if it brought him closer to his children in Ontario. If Savard were dealt, it would mean greater offensive responsibility for the likes of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. It’s more likely that Chiarelli would ask Marco Sturm, with two years left on his deal (at $3.5 million per season) to waive his no-trade clause.

more on the Bruins…

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

Wild Looking To Deal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

Asked if Gaborik bought a home in Vancouver, Salcer (baborik agent) said, “I have no knowledge of that at all. I know nothing about that. Nothing.”

Asked if he’s had conversations with Gillis, Salcer said, “None.”

Chuck Fletcher wouldn’t comment on the Gaborik situation, other than to say he feels it important to keep everything close to the vest at this point.

“There’s nothing I can comment on with the whole Gaborik situation,” Fletcher said. “I’m just going to work through things and we’ll see how it plays out.”

However, he continues to have trade talks with several teams and is hoping to make a move or two in advance of or at the Draft itself. He continues to be entrenched in Dany Heatley talks, which besides the assets, would cost any team a $4 million signing bonus July 1 and then a $4 million salary during the season.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+gaborik

Sutter Abandoned The Devils

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

Two years later, Sutter is in Calgary and the Devils are looking for another coach with another personality that will require adjusting to and, possibly, more system alterations.

Brent Sutter did not fulfill his promise with the Devils. He abandoned them after two seasons in which he could not get them out of the first round of the playoffs. He had his reasons for leaving, but he abandoned them nonetheless.

So, there is reason for the players to be uspet with him for leaving them. It’s also understandable why owner Jeff Vanderbeek said he was left with a bad taste in his mouth by Sutter’s quick move to Calgary.

As GM, Lou Lamoriello’s job is to stay even keeled. Vanderbeek was a fan before he was an owner and, in some ways, he still thinks like a fan.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brent+sutter

A Little Miscalculation

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Anna Mehler Paperny and David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

The NHL has been underfunding its players’ pension plans by millions of dollars, shortchanging widows over a number of decades, an Ontario Superior Court judge has found.

The decision means the league will have to top up its pension fund by as much as $30-million and may have to make retroactive payments to the widows of deceased players.

The suit, brought forward last year by the NHL Players’ Association, charged that errors in the calculation of pensions for players who died before 1986 meant their widows received as little as 10 per cent of the funds entitled to them.

continued

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

Hall Of Fame Inductions

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The annual Hockey Hall of Fame inductions occurred today.  They went as I predicted.  In are Brett Hull, Brian Leetch, Luc Robitaille and Steve Yzerman.  Also inducted was New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello who enters as a builder.  He built a New Jersey team that has won the Stanley Cup three times.  All are well deserved choices.

Next year, the class may not be as strong.  There are two first time eligible players who I think deserve induction in Eric Lindros and Joe Nieuwendyk.  They will also look to past candidates who have been eligible for a few years and likely induct from that group due to a smaller class of first time candidates.  Doug Gilmour heads that group.  It is quite likely that four players will not be inducted next year.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Possible Bouwmeester Destinations

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brian Biggane of the Palm Beach Post,

If a deal is made for Bouwmeester, it probably will be at or before the NHL Entry Draft being held in Montreal on Friday and Saturday.

Speculation in Philadelphia is that the Flyers would be willing to send 25-year-old right winger Joffrey Lupul to Florida in exchange for Bouwmeester’s rights….

Vancouver also is expected be in the running, and goaltender Roberto Luongo, who knows Bouwmeester well from their time in Florida, could be a selling point.

While Calgary already has a high-end young defenseman in Dion Phaneuf, there has been speculation the Flames could deal Phaneuf to Ottawa for disgruntled sniper Dany Heatley, leaving a major void on the blueline.

Edmonton is probably not in the mix because of repeated failures of other hometown products, who typically face ridiculously high expectations from the hometown fans.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jay+bouwmeester

The Sutter Plan Starts Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Peter Zuurbier of CalgaryFlames.com,

“Our job (as coaches) is to give the players an environment that they have the opportunity to succeed in. Obviously the standards in this organization are high, and to be quite honest I can speak on behalf of the whole coaching staff that we wouldn’t want it any other way. Those are our standards too, and that starts today, the process starts today and I’m very excited about it,” said Brent Sutter.

Flames general manager Darryl Sutter sat next to his brother beaming, unable to hide his pleasure and optimism about the team going forward.

“To me it’s a big day, to be able to get who I think is the best free-agent coach out there. And to add the group and see how they’re going to work together is an awesome thing,” said Darryl Sutter, who made it clear quickly the exact dynamic of the relationship between the two brothers.

“I’m the general manager, Brent is the head coach, and this is our coaching staff. They’re the very best people available and it really doesn’t matter what their last name is.”

read on

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

Blackhawks Talking To Their UFAs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,

Tallon planned to meet with Havlat’s agent, Allan Walsh, Tuesday night or Wednesday and said he would “like to get something done this week.” The sticking point could be length of the deal, as the Hawks must reserve money for after next season when they will need to re-sign Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith, among others. Havlat just completed a contract that paid him $6 million per season.

As far as Khabibulin, Tallon said he spoke with Jay Grossman, the goaltender’s agent, Monday and also will meet with him in Montreal.

“We’ll see what it’s going to cost,” Tallon said of re-signing Khabibulin, who completed a deal that paid him $6.75 million per season. “It all comes down to the [salary] cap and how much money we have. It’s time maybe for our young guys to step up; [Antti] Niemi and [Corey] Crawford to battle. We have confidence in our goaltending depth so we’ll see.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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