Kukla's Korner

Have The Winnipeg Jets Improved?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun,

Are the Winnipeg Jets better right now than they were at this time last year?

Although there’s still nearly a month to go before main training camp, it’s a question that is generating plenty of discussion these days, whether it be around water coolers or in dressing rooms all across Manitoba....

While realizing the game is played on the ice and not on paper, let’s take a closer look at how the Jets are shaping up right now, position by position.

Goalies

Returnee: Ondrej Pavelec

Candidate for promotion: Michael Hutchinson

The wild card: Connor Hellebuyck

Who’s out: Al Montoya (Florida Panthers)

The verdict: Worse

Given how well Montoya played as the backup last season and the fact Hutchinson has only three NHL games on his resume, it’s tough to argue the Jets aren’t in a worse position between the pipes. Granted, they’re expecting improvement from Pavelec, believe that Hutchinson is ready to make the jump to the NHL after an excellent season in the minors and the future looks bright for Hellebuyck, who is turning pro after a brilliant college career but needs some seasoning. Pavelec understands the importance of the upcoming season and it’s time for him to take the next step in his progression.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- David Branch Discusses The Stance The OHL Has Taken On Staged Fighting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

David Branch, commissioner of the OHL, joined Jeff Blair and Elliotte Friedman on Sportsnet's Prime Time Sports Show yesterday to discuss the stance the OHL has taken on staged fighting.

 

 

Below, read some of the changes the OHL recently announced...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: david+branch, ohl

Catching Up With Dan Bylsma

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Dan Bylsma hasn't gone anywhere. He has no plans to anytime soon. Pittsburgh is home and will be through hockey season, unless an NHL job opens.

Better be the right job, though.

Running the Penguins' bench for 478 games imparted the importance of stability upon Bylsma.

“I think we were a model,” Bylsma said over a wide-ranging conversation that lasted more than four hours. “We had stability, great stability. From ownership, from within the organization, with our players. I was fortunate to coach in a stable situation, and I shared that vision with my general manager — and I coached for a great general manager.

“If Ray Shero wasn't the best GM in hockey, he was definitely top three. That's what I believe.”

Penguins ownership stopped believing in Shero long before CEO David Morehouse fired him May 16. Different sides have different details about what happened and where it went wrong. The only consensus to emerge after the confounding crash is that nobody was happy with where things were.

Shero and Bylsma always figured last season was one of transition. They had a plan for this offseason. It was an intriguing one, but that job belongs to others now.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+bylsma

Questions The Tampa Bay Lightning Must Answer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tal Pinchevsky of NHL.com,

Will Bishop show last season wasn't a fluke? -- Bishop was one of the League's true breakout players last season, establishing career bests with 37 wins, a 2.23 goals-against average, a .924 save percentage and five shutouts. He missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs with an arm injury, but was rewarded for his efforts when he was named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy.
After signing a two-year extension earlier this month, it's now time for Bishop to show 2013-14 wasn't an aberration and he is indeed a franchise goalie.

"He was arguably the MVP of our team last year. We really leaned on our goaltender heavily," coach Jon Cooper told NHL.com. "I truly believe he's coming into his prime. With his work ethic and the way he approached the game as the year went on last year, I'm fully confident he'll be a rock back there for us."

Can the Lightning make it count in the playoffs? -- Outside of their run to the Eastern Conference Final in 2011, the Lightning haven't won a playoff series since hoisting the Stanley Cup in 2004. After being swept last season by the Montreal Canadiens, this team is expected to take the next step in the postseason.

"We know the standard that is set, what's expected. We set a really high bar for ourselves and I'm really excited about that," Cooper said. "It's so hard to make the playoffs in this League. We know what it takes now. If we want to not only make the playoffs but try to advance, we know the work that has to be put in."

 

Below, watch E.J. Hradek and Dan Rosen discuss the outlook for the Lightning...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Red Wings overnight report: catch-up mishmash

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 2x at 8 AM, curse you, insomnia: I'm currently in the midst of my famous late-summer sinus infection, but there are some things you need to know:

1. Red Wings single-game tickets go on sale today at 10 AM (online, at box offices, etc.) and the $9 seats go on sale on Saturday, in-person-only, at the Joe;

 

2. The Joe Kocur Foundation's annual set of charity softball games take place on Saturday in Highland, MI, with the gates opening at 10 AM for 4 softball games that take place at 11 AM, 1 PM, 3 PM and 5 PM (the latter pair of games are the Wings alumni games) and tickets are $11.54 online until noon today, and then you have to pay $15 at the door.

The Milford Times' Joe Thiesen reports that the event's super-fan-friendly...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Datsyuk can deke and dangle on social media, too

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Via the Score's Thomas Drance, Pavel Datsyuk deked, dangled and scored past Paul Bissonette...On Twitter (and hey Sauce Hockey, free advertising!):

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

What Will The Sharks Dressing Room Be Like?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,

From the outside, particularly from some media that aren’t regularly in the dressing room or coach’s office, the team has been on the receiving end of some pretty harsh criticism. Some of it is certainly warranted. The Sharks were unable to trade either Thornton or Marleau, and signing the pair to three-year contract extensions with no trade clauses now seems like a mistake. At the very least, Wilson should have left himself with some flexibility there, or made them prove they had what it took to lead a team to another deep playoff run before re-upping them.

There’s more. If a guy like Joe Pavelski is eventually named captain (and he’s probably the best bet), it might cause an awkward situation in that he’ll have two former team captains sitting just a few feet away from his locker stall. The team didn’t add anyone of note other than bruiser John Scott, who likely won’t even be in the lineup half the time. A strong argument can be made, too, that the Sharks only needed to add a few pieces to a team that pushed the eventual Stanley Cup champs to seven games.

But much of that condemnation tends to conveniently forget or gloss over the issue in the dressing room, and that really is the biggest issue of all. Had there not been some sort of change, there’s no reason to believe that the Sharks wouldn’t flame out in the playoffs again, as they have so many times in the past. 

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Joe Sakic On The Retirement Of Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

DENVER – Colorado Avalanche Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic issued the following statement today regarding the retirement of goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

"On behalf of the Colorado Avalanche, I would like to congratulate Jean-Sebastien on an outstanding hockey career.  His achievements speak for themselves, from winning the Stanley Cup to winning the Conn Smythe, Jiggy was always a top-notch goaltender.  He was also a very important part of our team during the past three seasons, providing veteran leadership and stability in net.  We wish him and his family the best of luck."
 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jean-sebastien+giguere

Champions Hockey League - Live Today 08/21

Blog: KK Members Blog By Cubanpuckstoppr

For those looking for some live hockey in August.

The Champions Hocley League is kicking off today.  This is what used to be known as the European Hockey Trophy. http://europeantrophy.com/

Eleven different European Leagues are represented. With strong representation from SEL and Liiga.

http://www.championshockeyleague.net/

There are a few different ways to stream the action.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
 

Linda Cohn Files Suit Against Hockey Arena After A Coin Change Machine Fell On Her

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dareh Gregorian of the New York Daily News,

An ESPN anchor has filed suit against an upstate hockey arena after a promotional appearance there went bad.

"Listen Closely" host Linda Cohn — a former goalie at SUNY Oswego — was at the Brewster Ice Arena in March to face off against the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack when she says she suffered "severe and disabling injuries" in what the team described as a "freak accident."

The accident took place off ice, when "a heavy, large coin change machine fell upon her," her Manhattan federal court suit says.

continued

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: linda+cohn

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