Kukla's Korner

Chicago Stronger - Detroit Weaker

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times,

In signing Hossa and Kopecky, the Hawks weakened their biggest Western Conference rival, the Detroit Red Wings. The Wings took another blow Friday when winger Mikael Samuelsson signed a three-year, $7.5 million contract with the Vancouver Canucks. They also lost backup goaltender Ty Conklin, who signed with the St. Louis Blues. All the Wings have done in free agency is re-sign winger Johan Franzen.

In short, the Hawks got stronger and—perhaps just as important—the Wings got weaker.

‘‘I never thought of that,’’ Tallon said, stifling a grin. ‘‘Really, we just wanted to make ourselves better—and Detroit’s an elite team. Why wouldn’t you want to emulate what they do?’‘

Sooner or later, the Hawks will have to beat the Red Wings to win their first Stanley Cup since 1961. But for that to happen, Tallon has a bit more work to do.


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

Nash Now A Part Of Columbus

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,

It’s intriguing to contemplate where the eight-year, $62.4 million contract Rick Nash signed with the Blue Jackets leads.

Nash is an excellent player, obviously, or he couldn’t have commanded those kinds of numbers. He is the team captain, an NHL All-Star and, hopefully, a major piece of a championship puzzle. In the near term and long term, this hockey marriage bodes well.

Nash has given the team and this city the kind of celebrity endorsement every business covets. When NHL free agents and Blue Jackets draft picks try to decide where to spend their futures, there is no stronger signal than the one the strapping winger gave with this signing. The signal is an emphatic thumbs-up, both for the franchise and the city.

But hockey is only part of it. Nash is about to become the kind of athlete we’ve never had here, one who spends most or all of his athletic career in the city, playing for a local team.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rick+nash

Brashear Should Not Be Part Of The Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Let’s get this straight. The decision to sign free agent Washington thug Donald Brashear—who appeared to spend an inordinate amount of time since the end of lockout attempting to injure Rangers before finally succeeding with the Game 6 blindside blow to Blair Betts’ head that knocked him out of the playoffs with a broken orbital bone and concussion—represents an indelible stain on the family concept preached by head coach John Tortorella….

Obviously neither Tortorella nor GM Glen Sather thinks so, but it’s our belief the signing of Brashear breaks a bond with the team’s fan-base as well as with the team’s players. It shouldn’t matter whether Betts is here or not. This should not have been done.

more and other NHL notes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: donald+brashear

Top 20 Adjusted +/- (Rate Stat)

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I have written about the top 20 and worst 20 adjusted +/- ratings when adjusted as a counting stat from last season.  This is not the only way to adjust +/- ratings.  Gabe Desjardins of behind the net calculates them in a different manner.  He calculates the */- per minute when a player is on the ice and his team’s +/- per minute for the team when a player is off the ice and compares them to make an adjustment.  This uses +/- as a rate statistic.  As a result, his method is better at finding players who do not play as many games or as much playing time than the previous method.

Here are last year’s top 20 adjusted +/- ratings by this method (among players with 50 or more NHL games played):

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Qualifying Offer Mistake By Chicago May Cost Them

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Dreger of TSN,

According to both the NHL and the NHLPA, the investigation into how and why the Chicago Blackhawks bungled a number of their qualifying offers is ongoing.

Neither side will comment, however since this story broke Friday evening on TSN.ca, interest into how the league and players association will respond is significant.

If the NHL grants leniency and attempts to sweep this issue away, it’s expected the NHLPA will swiftly file a grievance and the matter will go to a hearing.

Sources with hands on knowledge of how qualifying offers have to be filed say as innocent as this mistake may have been, there is no excuse for it, and the league should follow through with the ultimate penalty and declare all players who didn’t received proper notification, unrestricted free agents.


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

All Ryan Smyth

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Ryan talks about his decision to waive his NMC and a few other topice with Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings,

Question: You talked about some of the discussion with your family. What were some of the factors you weighed?

SMYTH: “Obviously we have a beautiful home in Colorado, so we had to weigh the factors of all that stuff, and moving. Then you look at the hockey front. (The Avalanche) came to me and said they wanted to rebuild, and money was an issue, and obviously that goes hand in hand with my issue and my contract. It was mutual at the end of the day, and I have nothing but great things to say about Colorado.’‘

Question: Playing in Colorado, you’ve had a chance to get a decent look at the Kings. What are your impressions?

SMYTH: “Watching these young kids play, and to see the energy and excitement and the direction the organization is going in, there’s nothing but upside. I’m honored to be a part of it and I hope I can contribute a lot.’‘


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+smyth

Saku Koivu May Be Concerned With Playing With Mikko

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

The team continues to be patient as free-agent center Saku Koivu takes his time deciding where he will sign. It’s not looking good with Minnesota, and it doesn’t appear to be so much about money as a concern about playing with his brother, Mikko.

“We’ve put a lot of conversations and time into it,” GM Chuck Fletcher said. “Whatever decision he makes, I’m sure they’ll be for good reasons.”

If Saku Koivu doesn’t sign and Fletcher can’t make a trade, coach Todd Richards believes Pierre-Marc “Bouchard can be that guy” at No. 2 center.

more Wild talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: saku+koivu

If Yotes Stay In Phoenix, It Will Be Long-Term

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rebekah L. Sanders of the Arizona Republic,

If a new owner keeps the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale, the team will stay for the long haul, a top National Hockey League executive says.

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told The Arizona Republic in an exclusive interview this week that sports mogul Jerry Reinsdorf’s investment group, which has offered $148 million to buy the team, will not negotiate a short-term lease at Jobing.com Arena.

Glendale struck a 30-year deal with the Coyotes when it spent $180 million to build the facility in 2003.

Reinsdorf’s bid, however, hinges in part on renegotiating the terms of that lease.


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

Enjoy The 4th of July

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Hope everyone has a great Independence Day!!!

For the next three days, the KK Hockey section will be in lite-posting mode while I enjoy some party time with family and friends.

Filed in: KK Website Business, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Putting The Nash To Toronto Talk To Bed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

One of the postives coming out of the Rich Nash signing, we no longer have to hear Nash headed to Toronto…

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

After efforts by the Maple Leafs to land the Sedin twins and Richmond Hill native Mike Cammalleri fell short earlier this week, there were hopes throughout the city that Brampton’s Rick Nash might somehow be wooed to Toronto when he became eligible to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2010.

Columbus Blue Jackets officials were said to be well aware of the chatter north of the border—talk spearheaded by FAN-590/Sportsnet analyst Doug MacLean, the man who drafted Nash first overall in 2002—suggesting a marriage between Nash and the Leafs would make perfect sense down the road.

So much for those aspirations.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rick+nash

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