Kukla's Korner

Colorado Playoff Bound

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from E.J. Hradek at ESPN,

The additions of Smyth and Hannan will more than offset the free-agent losses of center Brett McLean and journeymen defensemen Ken Klee and Patrice Brisebois.
Last spring, the Avs missed the postseason by a single point. I believe the club’s new additions are more than capable of making up that small difference. Come April, Sakic and Co. will be back in familiar territory—the Stanley Cup playoffs.

read on for more about the Avalanche…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Crosby Switching To RBK Stick

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),

For the past four years, including his first two NHL seasons, Crosby has used Sher-Wood brand sticks under an endorsement contract that the Pittsburgh Penguins star signed with the Quebec-based company when he was 16 years old.
But that deal, which pays Crosby a reported $150,000 (Canadian) per year, will expire on Saturday,and Crosby is set to sign on to use RbK sticks, according to sources close to the talks.
This new deal would be an extension of an existing endorsement contract between RbK and Crosby, signed in 2005 and paying him a reported $500,000 (U.S.) per year. It was to be a head-to-toe arrangement making Crosby RbK’s signature athlete by wearing RbK skates, gloves, helmets and protective equipment. But thanks to the pre-existing Sher-Wood deal, the RbK-Crosby arrangement could not include sticks — a key performance tool for hockey players, and the hottest equipment category in the sport in years, according to manufacturers and retailers.

 

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

The Best Prospects

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Calgary Sun,

Sure, it’s easy to say the Chicago Blackhawks drafted a couple of potential stars in Patrick Kane—the first overall draft this year—and last year’s No.-3 pick Jonathan Toews.
But can anybody say the ‘Hawks have a better group of up-and-comers than the Los Angeles Kings, who boast Jack Johnson, Thomas Hickey and Jonathan Bernier in their stable?
Or the Washington Capitals with Nicklas Backstrom, Semen Varlamov and Karl Alzner?

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Nashville Looks Within To Replace Sullivan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tennessean,

We’re close to the cap and with the depth we have with our younger forwards, I think the coaches, management and scouts would like to see what we have,’’ Poile said. “We’d like to see if some guys can play a higher role in our organization.
“(But) if there’s an opportunity that presents itself, I’d present it to (current owner Craig Leipold) and or the new owners.’‘
Don’t expect that to happen in the near future.
“This is a tough time to make a deal,’’ Poile said. “There aren’t too many free agents to date and most clubs are pretty comfortable as to how they’re going to start the season.
“If there are going to be deals, it’s usually after training camp or the first month of the season, when there are injuries or certain guys aren’t playing as well as teams had hoped when they put together their depth charts.’‘

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Top 50 Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Puck Stops Here at Fox Sports,

The Hockey News Top 50 player list is out and I want to respond to it (as I did last year) by listing my top 50. I believe these are the 50 players I would most want to build a winning hockey team right now. As The Hockey News (THN) did, I will consider Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne likely retired and thus not include them. I have also included comments for the top 10 players and any players omitted in The Hockey News list.

continued... Agree?  Who is at the top of your list?

added 9:13pm, Spector also touches on this topic at his Fox Sports blog.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Belfour Confirms Playing In Sweden

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

There has been some doubt if Eddie Belfour was really going to Sweden this fall to play.
The Vail Daily had a story about some NHLers gathering for some conditioning this past week and Eddie was there…

Belfour, donning his signature mask with an eagle — he’s been long known as Eddie “The Eagle” — looked sharp in net during drills, and was his always-competitive self. At the other end of the ice, a goalie with a similar style moved around the pipes. Dayn Belfour, who plays Junior “A” in Canada, got a chance to work alongside his father at the end of Friday’s session in a shootout. As Eddie left the net after stopping a shot, he skated to Dayn for a quick chat.
“We wanted to stop everything so we’d win,” Eddie said.
The Belfour’s came up on top.
In October, Eddie, the sure-to-be future Hall-of-Famer, will be heading to Sweden, where he’ll play for Leksand, a second division team in the Swedish Elite League.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge and opportunity,” he said.

Sounds like Belfour is indeed heading to Sweden.

added 10:21am on 8/27/97, A limited translation from Leksandsif confirming Eddie in Sweden,

The previous season played he 58 games in Florida Panthers in NHL.
This autumn, he plays pursues Leksand’s IF.
This season gets the hockey audience in Sweden possibility to make more detailed acquaintance and to take part of an off the sport’s really big profiles over time.
Curse” Eddie The Eagle” Belfour has typed on for Leksand’s IF.
- I see the as a renown that few to play for a so classic klubb as Leksand, says you when we sheep a chat with him.

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

Lord Stanley We’re Comin’ After You!

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sharkspage,

A friend passed along the song “Cheechoo Tameu” from local San Jose ska band, the Whiskey Avengers. It is an infectious tune, with a verse of good old hockey game thrown in for good measure.

read on and listen to the tune, pretty catchy!

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

Looking At The Canadian Teams

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

Over the past week, SportsCentre filed look-ahead reports for Canada’s six NHL teams, getting you primed for the start of training camp. Now follow it up with TSN.ca’s Canadian six-pack, an online synopsis with all the reports on where your favourite Canadian team is headed this season.

read on for reports on all the Canadian teams in the NHL…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

HNII

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

METULLA, Israel—On Hockey Night In Israel, Sherry Bassin walks out the back of the Canada Centre, turns left, turns right and then points up the hill past the barb-wired fence.
“See that,” he says with emotion, his eyes searching up the hill. “That’s Lebanon. That’s the Hezbollah flag. That’s how close we are….
“One game, in the recent world (B) championships, Jean Perron felt sorry for the goalie,” said Canadian businessman Sid Greenberg, one of the tournament founders and patrons. “He pulled Gusin early in the third period, after the 97th shot against.”
“I didn’t take him out because he was playing badly,” said Perron. “He was playing amazing. I just didn’t want to get him killed.
Perhaps the largest name on the Canadian roster was Benjamin Rubin, best known as the Quebec junior player who is attempting to find balance between religion and a career in hockey.

read on

Filed in: International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The “Good Guy” Image

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Erin Nicks at the Ottawa Sun,

Here’s the reality: Despite Canada’s fervour for the NHL, very little outside information about a player’s off-ice life ever sees the light of day in the mainstream media, unless it’s presented in a highly sanitized version.
Undoubtedly league traditionalists and myopic observers prefer it this way.
It helps to preserve the NHL’s “good guy” image of players from small towns with good families who were raised proper. Regardless of the perception, the truth is some players do engage in activities or behaviour that is hardly pedestal-worthy….
The next time said player is in the penthouse or doghouse, just remember there’s always more to a tale than the rehearsed responses given—which could suddenly make that “gossip” far more relevant than you originally thought.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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