Kukla's Korner

CBA Changed Draft Philosophy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Macomb Daily,

In the collective bargaining agreement that ended the NHL lockout in 2005, teams’ rights to European-drafted players were severely curtailed. Before the current agreement, NHL teams could draft Europeans and keep their rights on the shelf forever whether or not the player ever signed a contract. Now, Europeans can remain in a system for only two years without a contract.

Non-college North American players were always in that situation and remain so. College or college-bound players may now be claimed by NHL teams for four or five years after being drafted (they may play a year of Tier II junior before entering college) without being signed.

“In the old CBA, a North American you had to sign after two years and a European you could hold onto forever,” said Detroit assistant general manager Jim Nill. “You get into the later rounds, when there was a North American and a European kid that were about the same, you’d go with the European because he could develop. Some kids are ready at 20, some are ready at 25. Europeans have lost that time.”

read on

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

Canucks Focus On Work Ethic & Preparation

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Province,

“I don’t know what the expectations are,” said Vigneault. “I know our expectation is we want more and we want more success. We’re going to demand more from each other. We’re raising our own expectations.”

Vigneault then paused, his eyes grew wider and he became visibly animated.

“Our first step is making it to the dance. But making it isn’t as easy as saying we had success last season. It’s a big challenge. The teams that made the final two years ago [Carolina and Edmonton] didn’t make the playoffs last year. You have to respect that process. It’s our job to make sure the players don’t get caught looking ahead.

“We know about the challenge. We’re going to hit it head on with our work ethic and our preparation. We’re confident if we do it the right way we’ll get in the playoffs and then we’ll see what happens. And that has nothing to do with outside expectations.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault

Gauthier Could Be On The Flyers Bubble

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Courier-Post,

When the Flyers fortified their porous defense in the offseason by acquiring Kimmo Timonen from the Nashville Predators and Jason Smith from the Edmonton Oilers, Flyers’ defenseman Denis Gauthier wondered whether he’d be starting training camp wearing a different uniform.

“Yeah, I was concerned,” Gauthier said Tuesday after a scrimmage with several other Flyers’ veterans. “I wanted to be back. When I signed that two-year (contract) extension I planned on being here the whole two years. I feel like I was a part of getting (junior teammate) Danny Briere to come here. That would have really (ticked) me off, giving up on me after one year.”

That two-year extension, valued at $2.1 million in each of the next two seasons, could end up being an albatross for Gauthier, especially if Mike Rathje is successful in his attempted comeback.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: denis+gauthier

New Blood In Anaheim

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the OC Register,

Most anywhere else, in most any other season, the addition of marquee free agents Mathieu Schneider and Todd Bertuzzi would be the focal point of an NHL team’s training camp.

Schneider and Bertuzzi, who left the Detroit Red Wings to join the Ducks in early July, have remained mostly under the radar because of a preoccupation with the potential retirement of team captain Scott Niedermayer and unrestricted free-agent right wing Teemu Selanne….

“I think Todd and I both enjoy that,” Schneider said. “It takes a lot of pressure off us.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Bergeron Ready To Share The Load

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

“Last year, a lot of things went wrong,” said Bergeron, his production of 70 points only a 3-point drop from his sensational sophomore season. “I am aware of that, and I want things to change. Every time you learn, you improve. I think maybe I tried to do too much.”

Indeed, much like defensive behemoth Zdeno Chara, Bergeron paid a price for his talent, his willingness, and his versatility. In the fractured and oft-befuddling game plan cobbled together by then-coach Dave Lewis, Bergeron was at times painfully overused, especially so considering that he was also hurt - an issue that he steadfastly refuses to discuss.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrice+bergeron

Preds Increase Ticket Prices

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tennessean,

The Predators will raise single-game ticket prices by an average of about 25 percent for the coming season, vice president Steve Violetta said Tuesday.

In addition, the team will expand on the policy of variable pricing that it started in 2006-07, meaning single-game tickets will come in three different categories — regular games, premium games and premium-plus games.


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

The Calm Before The Storm

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

The optimism that abounds with every team as the NHL season approaches does not fit with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

You cannot shake the feeling that this is the calm before the storm, the final days of the latest administration that failed to turn the Leafs into a champion. The signals are everywhere that the board of directors of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment has the plunger poised to blow things up come spring.

First, there was no sign of the contract extension supposedly promised to general manager John Ferguson. He is entering the final season of his contract. Making the playoffs is the only thing that will save him.


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

Emery Hopes To Play In 2-3 Exhibition Games

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,

His recovery remains on schedule, he said, and a consultation with the doctor isn’t necessary. Emery will get input from athletic therapist Gerry Townend and team doctors before deciding when to go full out.

“(There’s) no setback. I know where I’m at. Things are going well. I’m getting stronger. I’m getting mobility back. There’s still some discomfort and it’s still not at the point where I think I should go all out yet,” he said.

“I want to be really strong so even if that means taking a couple more days (off), whatever the best way is to go about it, I’ll do that after I talk to Gerry and the coach and get everyone’s input on things. I know when I’m ready….”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ray+emery

A Look At Joseph & Belfour

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

Funny how their careers have been intertwined, Joseph and Belfour. Two people, two goalies, who couldn’t have been more different in both style and substance.

One was technical, the other athletic. One was grumpy, the other friendly. One was a workout freak, the other, not so much.

And neither was considered a prospect when they were young. Both went undrafted more than once. Both spent one year playing U.S. college hockey. Both went from college to the now defunct International Hockey League. Both arrived as backups in the NHL.

Both have earned more than $50 million in what for Belfour is a certain Hall of Fame career and for Joseph one that is certainly worthy of consideration.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: curtis+joseph, ed+belfour

More Games In Europe

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

Sources say the league is currently negotiating to place the 2008-09 regular season opener in one of three venues - either Prague, Stockholm or a German city from a group that includes Hanover, Munich or Frankfurt.

No word yet on which NHL clubs might get the call.

It would seem obvious that this London event is the first step in the league’s attempt to significantly heighten awareness of the NHL “brand” in Europe and that with each passing year there is going to be a greater emphasis on exposing the European market to the NHL product.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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