Kukla's Korner

Kings Want Your Vote

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Tough decision!

Watch the video…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Not A Sure Thing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox at ESPN,

It’s a classic example of how enamored NHL clubs can be of teenage players one moment, and how anxious they can be to dump the same players soon after.

And how there’s absolutely no guarantee that young players pressed into NHL service before their 20th birthdays are so talented that they’ll turn into stars like Sidney Crosby, or so hastily promoted that they’ll end up enormous busts like Alexandre Daigle.

The truth is, it usually takes years for either scenario to play out.

Both Vincent Lecavalier and Nik Antropov, you may recall, were drafted into the NHL the same year (1998), one a Quebec-born Canadian and the other a prodigy from the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nik+antropov, vincent+lecavalier

Tales From the Leafs

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Neil Stevens at the CP via Yahoo,
image

One of the most X-rated interviews of a coach ever recorded has finally made its way into print.

Get ready for a four-letter John Brophy barrage in “Tales From The Toronto Maple Leafs” by David Shoalts. The actual recording, made by Lance Hornby after a Toronto loss in Minnesota on Feb. 22, 1988, has been discreetly played for some of his pals over the years, but nobody ever dared to have it published - until Shoalts, like Hornby a Leafs beat writer, waded in with this hilarious look at some of the hijinx associated with the storied franchise during the last 50 years.

Don’t let the kiddies near this book. It is for adults only, and any Leafs fan who doesn’t mind the uncensored truth will love it.

Brophy used what Shoalts terms “the f-bomb” 72 times during the infamous interview way back when.

*book available at Amazon.com, a KK affilliate link.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: david+shoalts, hockey+books, toronto+maple+leafs

One Year Later

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Hockey Journal,

A year ago this week, Boston Bruins center Phil Kessel underwent surgery for testicular cancer.

Watching the second-year pro skate a regular shift these days as the club’s third-line pivot, you’d never know he’d battled such a deadly disease just 365 days ago.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+kessel

Prove It Mark

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,

Recchi was and likely still is furious with the way he was treated. That’s understandable, especially coming from a player who gave so much of himself to hockey. But that’s also life in the NHL these days. There is no room for sentiment and not much even for players who have made lifelong contributions to winning. But the simple fact of the matter is that for all his talk about how well he had been playing before the cruel cut came, it simply isn’t true.

Recchi had five points in his first six games of the season, six in the first eight, but nothing in his final 10 before being put on the departure list.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mark+recchi

Chris Pronger on Niedermayer’s Return

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Chris Pronger at The Hockey News,

There are those who wondered about Scott’s decision to take time off, but not his teammates. We understood and so did our fans. Anaheim Ducks fans are delighted Scott has decided to play again. They enjoy the way he plays.

Scott has the right to retire or play, regardless of his contract situation. What some people forget is, when we sign with a team, that team has the right to play us, not play us, put us on waivers, send us down or trade us. Teams own your rights; they don’t own your soul.

more…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anaheim+ducks, chris+pronger, scott+niedermayer

What Will They Talk About

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John McGourty of NHL.com,

Leave it to the Toronto Maple Leafs to spoil a good party.

The 27th annual “What’s Wrong With the Leafs?” luncheon will be held at a Toronto restaurant in a couple days and if the boys in blue can top their recent 5-1-1 streak with road victories tonight over the Atlanta Thrashers and tomorrow against the Montreal Canadiens on Hockey Night In Canada, there will be precious little downside to talk about at the negativity-in-perpetuity shindig.

continued

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

Kelly Sees Visor Usage Increasing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,

“I just think there’s going to be a steady, dramatic increase in visor usage,” said Kelly, hired by the NHLPA in October to replace ousted former NHLPA executive director Ted Saskin. “Players are getting the message that they should put a visor on, there are more young guys and European guys coming into the league, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 20 (percent) spike in the number of players wearing visors next year, and another 15 percent spike the year after that.

“Even left to its own natural evolution, visor use will become pretty much unanimous in a matter of two or three years.”

more

Filed in: NHLPA, Hockey Equipment, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Thinking 2010

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

Looking at how players are performing this season and projecting where they will be in 2009-10, the highly likely Olympians at forward would appear to be Paul Stastny (Colorado Avalanche), Zach Parise and Brian Gionta (New Jersey Devils), Dustin Brown (Los Angeles Kings), Chris Drury (New York Rangers), Erik Cole (Carolina Hurricanes), Chris Higgins (Montreal Canadiens) and Kane.

Brian Rolston (Minnesota Wild) will be 36 in 2010, but my hunch is he will be on the team playing the role of the smart, skilled veteran who can handle a variety of roles.

read on

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Look At Willie O’Ree

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Black Athlete,

Tough Willie O’Ree—whose older brother used to hit him into the boards to get him used to the greetings of NHL players—always had to be ready for a fight. Because there was always a fist, elbow, stick or—especially in New York, Chicago and Detroit—a slur in O’Ree’s face.

“I never wanted to be a fighter, but I wasn’t going to let anyone push me out of the league,” he says as we walk the quiet halls of the TD Banknorth Garden, the arena that replaced the original Boston Garden in 1995.

He never picked a fight because of a racial comment.

“I let them go in one ear and out the other—(otherwise) I’d be fighting all the time,” he says.

more

Update 5:19pm ET: At Willie O’Ree’s NHL.com blog, an interview with O’Ree and Snoop Dogg at a Ducks game this week. 

 

Filed in: NHL Talk, Old School, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: snoop+dogg, willie+o'ree

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