Kukla's Korner

Is Pronger The Leading Norris Candidate?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

If Chris Pronger keeps playing the way he has through the first quarter of the season and remains injury free, he could be on the verge of doing something truly remarkable.

In what has been a rather wide-open race for the Norris Trophy, Pronger has installed himself as the favorite so far. Should he win the Norris, he will have gone eight full seasons (nine years if you include the lockout) between being named the league’s top defenseman, something no other player has ever done before.

Pronger currently leads all players in ice time at 26:47 per game, is on pace for a career-high 73 points and is second on his team – third in the league – to Matt Carle in plus-minus at plus-13.

Anyone who saw this coming, you might want to apply for a job with the Anaheim Ducks, who saw fit to keep Scott Niedermayer instead of extending Pronger’s contract.

more hockey talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+pronger

Early Playoff Picture

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Mathematically, then, 14 of 16 teams that had a playoff berth a year ago now held on to those positions. If that holds true this year then look for playoff regulars the Rangers, Montreal, Carolina, Anaheim and Vancouver to be on the outside looking in.

more on this topic plus additional NHL talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Stars Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (November 23, 2009) —San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price and Ottawa Senators center Mike Fisher have been named the NHL ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Nov. 22.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

ESPN Power Rankings- 4 Western Conference Teams In The Top 5

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

1. Chicago
2. San Jose
3. New Jersey
4. Calgary
5. Detroit

See the rest and a comment about each team at ESPN.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Mike Rathje And The Flyers Cap

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Mike Rathje has not played an NHL game since early in the 2006/07 season, yet he is an important part of the Philadelphia Flyers salary cap strategy.  At the conclusion of the lockout (in 2005), Rathje signed a $17.5 million five year contract with the Flyers.  This deal turned out to be one that the Flyers soon regretted.  They found a solution which has allowed them to have a payroll exceeding the cap in the many years that Rathje has been hurt.  The Flyers placed him on long term injured reserve with back and hip problems in 2006 and have left him there ever since.  Rathje last attempted to play in the 2007 training camp, but when he couldn’t make the team he stayed on the LTIR. 

The CBA rules allow team to exceed to salary cap by the salaries of LTIR players if this is needed to pay for the replacements for those players.  This means that the Flyers can have up to $3.5 million in extra salary cap room by leaving Rathje on LTIR (assuming they are at the cap when his salary hit is taken each year).  This is a preferable situation to buying out his contract.  If they buy out his contract (although they pay him less), their salary cap room is reduced by the amount of the buyout.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Bruins Getting Healthier With Savard Return

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

Marc Savard, a sometimes impatient patient, did what he was told. For bone strength, he diligently drank milk, although he sometimes opted for the chocolate variety, just to break up the moo-notony.

Once a day, he applied an electric bone stimulator, shooting silent and painless healing rays for 20 minutes into and around the fractured bone in his left foot that sidelined him last month.

“I don’t know if that helps, might be a gimmick, who knows?’’ offered the Bruins’ top center, who is expected to return to the lineup tomorrow night in St. Louis after a five-week absence. “All I know is, I’m ready to get back and I’m glad about that. It will be great to get back in there with the boys.’’

Meanwhile, things have been looking better for the battered Bruins, who got top winger Milan Lucic (fractured finger) back in the lineup Thursday and proceeded to win two straight games.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Celebrating Uwe Krupp Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

Just writing the name “Uwe Krupp” brought back a little tingle to my fingers.

It’s probably been about three years since I have done that, and that’s far too long. Uwe Krupp will be back in Denver Monday night for “Uwe Krupp Night” at the Pepsi Center, and even though I have Monday off, I can’t miss Uwe Krupp Night. So I’m going to go, maybe just sit in the stands and watch the game with the rest of you. Screw the press box. The view is the worst in the building anyway.

Lots of old memories when Krupp’s name comes up, none bigger, of course, than the goal he scored to win the 1996 Stanley Cup. It’s a night I can never forget, naturally, not the least of which because I still have a t-shirt with the front page of the next day’s Denver Post reproduced on it. Ever see a t-shirt with a story you wrote on it? It’s a weird thing, believe me.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: uwe+krupp

Monday Morning Hockey Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of The Spin at the Toronto Star,

• You watch the Capitals on Saturday night and see Mike Green commit a horrific giveaway in the final seconds of OT and you think there’s no chance the talented blueliner can be part of the Olympic. He’s super-skilled, but oh-so-casual and a little too-cool-for-school.

• Everyone’s focussed on the Phil Kessel trade. But a far more costly transaction for the Leafs in the short term was that which sent Pavel Kubina to Atlanta for Garnet Exelby.

• Georges Laraque sticks out a knee on Nicklas Kronwall, Wade Belak viciously reefs Jarred Boll in the groin - in the grand tradition of the departed Chris Simon, it’s usually the NHL policemen who commit the crimes.

Laraque, by the way, should be gone for 20 games. But don’t hold your breath.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Fisher Has Game On And Off The Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

Mike Fisher made a vow to his girlfriend of almost a year when she wrote a love note to him for all the world to see.

“I told her that when my CD came out, I’d return the favour,” the Senators centre said with a laugh after Saturday’s 5-3 win over Buffalo.

In an exclusive interview with Sun Media, Fisher also chuckled when asked if he had any immediate plans to propose to country singing superstar Carrie Underwood, who he has been dating since near the start of this year.

“Who are you, Ellen?” he joked, referring to Ellen DeGeneres, the popular daytime TV host who last week pressed Underwood with similar questions.

While saying there are no marriage plans in the immediate future, Fisher admitted Underwood is just his second “serious girlfriend.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carrie+underwood, mike+fisher

Oilers Looking For Answers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal,

...it was up to a few of the Edmonton Oilers veterans to offer some insight as to what was discussed in a long Sunday morning meeting with head coach Pat Quinn.

“Honestly, we went over everything imaginable,” said Shawn Horcoff after the group finally emerged. “That’s a good thing to do. He vented to us, he told us some things we needed to hear, and we let him know what we’re seeing as well.”

Roll call was early. Real early. At 9 a.m. — a mere 10 hours after the Chicago Blackhawks thumped the Oilers in a 5-2 drubbing — the players sheepishly filed back into Rexall Place and, not so many minutes later, most filled back out. The exception being the seven veterans who were holed up in a meeting room with the head man.

Captain Ethan Moreau, defencemen Steve Staios and Sheldon Souray, goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, and wingers Dustin Penner and Ales Hemsky rounded out the gathering.

“Sometimes you don’t take the necessary time to address some problems you have, or issues, or philosophical differences you might have,” Moreau said.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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