Kukla's Korner

The Best Swedes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,

...without further delay, here are NHL.com’s top 10 Swedes currently playing in the NHL. Noticeable absentees from this list include Mats Sundin, who still is uncertain on playing in 2009-10, and St. Louis center Patrik Berglund, who needs to prove his strong rookie season was no fluke before making the cut.

1. Nicklas Lidstrom, D, Detroit: Let’s call him the best European player in the League right now, although Washington’s Alex Ovechkin quickly is closing the gap. Lidstrom, a six-time Norris Trophy winner, has 997 points and a plus-409 rating in 1,330 career games spanning 17 seasons. His 24:49 average ice time per game and plus-31 rating was tops among Swedish players in 2008-09.

2. Henrik Zetterberg, F, Detroit: The 2008 Conn Smythe Trophy winner turned in his fourth straight 30-goal campaign last season, and he has 405 points in 432 career games—all with the Red Wings.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Thrashers Goaltender Lehtonen Had Minor Surgery

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Thrashers goalie Kari Lehtonen had a minor surgical procedure this off-season but is not expected to miss any time, according to his agent.

Larry Kelly confirmed the surgery Friday but referred all other inquiries to Thrashers team officials.

The Thrashers did not immediately have a comment.

added 1:!3pm, The same link as above has now been updated,

Thrashers goalie Kari Lehtonen had surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back earlier this week. He is not expected to miss a significant amount of time when the Thrashers report for training camp in September.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kari+lehtonen

Aaron Ward A Cane Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

RALEIGH, NC—Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has acquired defenseman Aaron Ward from the Boston Bruins in exchange for forward Patrick Eaves and a fourth-round selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

“With this trade, our defense really takes shape,” said Rutherford. “Aaron played very well during his time in Carolina and had maintained that consistency with New York and Boston. We envision him complementing Joni Pitkanen well as a defensive pairing.”

added 11:42am, via the Boston Bruins,

The Boston Bruins have traded Aaron Ward to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a 2010 draft pick and Patrick Eaves. Eaves is on waivers.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: aaron+ward

The Stanley Cup Visits North Bay

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Pagan of the North Bay Nugget,

Wayne Yeo had been to a private Stanley Cup party before—but it was 42 years ago, when Carl Brewer, the late Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman, hosted a cottage gathering in Keswick, Ont.

He remembers getting to celebrate with Leafs greats such as Frank Mahovlich and watching the Leafs’ 1967 Stanley Cup parade.

Thursday’s Stanley Cup celebration was a bit more special for Yeo and his wife, Barb—their son, Mike, returned to North Bay’s Memorial Gardens with Lord Stanley’s mug and about 1,500 fans joined in the celebration.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+yeo

Following Heatley

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from The Universal Cynic,

As reported by Brent Wallace and Chris Stevenson, Dany Heatley will not be showing up to Jason Spezza’s wedding in Ottawa this weekend….

That being said, I just thought I’d throw out this conspiracy theory for you, courtesy of The Driver: What if this was a red herring to throw the media off, and Heatley does manage to pull off a stealth appearance? It may piss off the media something fierce, but who cares?

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dany+heatley

A Slow Friday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

It certainly appears we will be having a slow, hockey news day today.

Teams are waiting to see how the arbitration hearings go before making any more player movements.  Although we may see some minor moves, I doubt we hear of any major signings until these hearings are complete.

I am around today, but as has been the case the for the last few weeks, not much is really going on.

Therefore, this post is an open comment one, have your say anything hockey related and let the discussion begin.

Filed in: KK Website Business, NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

RFA & Insurance Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from NHL Home Ice Blog,

NHL Executive Director Paul Kelly spoke with Scott Laughlin about the lack of offers for RFAs this off-season and the insurance issue for players invited to pre-olympic camps

click to listen to the interview Paul did on Hockey This Morning on XM204…

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

Have The Predators Improved?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Glennon of the Tennessean,

So should fans believe this team has what it takes to make up ground in the Western Conference, moving out of last place in the Central Division and returning to the playoffs after a one-year hiatus?

The Predators believe so, and they listed the ways on Thursday at the organization’s “Skate of the Union” address at Sommet Center.

Maybe the biggest difference is that the Predators have every reason to believe that the top line of Steve Sullivan, Jason Arnott and J.P. Dumont will be together most of the year.

Sullivan returned from injury midway through last season and helped the Predators go 20-11-5 over the final 36 games.

“At forward, we’re going to be much improved,’’ general manager David Poile said. “The reason is that we’re going to have our first line intact for the whole season … and that’s something we didn’t have last year.

“When these guys are together, which we saw, they produced every game. I’m very confident, as I’m sure they are, that if everyone stays healthy — knock on wood — that we’ll be just fine.”

more

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

All Brad Meier

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

As a regular feature, StarPhoenix sports reporter Cory Wolfe gets personal with a sports figure. Today, NHL referee Brad Meier gets cornered.

The SP: You’re participating in the Sticks on 23rd street hockey tournament with several NHL players. Any fears that they’ll try to seek retribution against a guy who normally has the power to penalize them?

Meier: I don’t think so because at the end of the day, I’ll have the last laugh when it comes to regular-season play next year. I think I’ll be all right….

The SP: (Laughs) OK, you’ve got a tough job. What’s the best heckle you’ve heard from a fan, player or coach?

Meier: Well, Pat Quinn is always good for some funny ones. One night we were in Toronto and they were taking the rough end of the battle. He kind of piped up and asked us if we all thought it was Hudson Bay rules out there because he didn’t think we’d want to call any penalties. He’s always good for a comment but he’s pretty funny, pretty witty and he’s a great guy to us off the ice.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brad+meier

Competition Started Early For Crawford

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

The old backyard rink at the Crawford house was a labor of love – and a haven for hostility.

Such was Marc Crawford’s life growing up in a family of nine kids in picturesque Belleville, Ontario, halfway between Toronto and Montreal.

Crawford’s dad, Floyd, would work every winter to get the rink going, and would add pieces as the kids got older. Brother helped brother with shoveling snow, hanging lights and constructing wooden boards and a penalty box.

But once the teamwork ended, the competition began.

“Those games on that rink,” said older brother Bob Crawford, a veteran of 246 NHL games, “were the toughest games I ever played in my life.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc+crawford

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