Kukla's Korner

Who Plays With The Twins?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

Monday night, Burrows lined up for his second preseason game in his accustomed spot with the Sedins, which is where he earned the lion’s share of his success last season.

Now, this is interesting because, for everything he accomplished over the final two months of the 2008-09 campaign, that spot hasn’t exactly been reserved for Burrows. Later this week, veteran Mikael Samuelsson will audition for the job. There is also some thought that training-camp sensation Sergei Shirokov will get a look there.

This, in turn, raises all manner of implications for both the Canucks and Burrows, and you can make the case it’s the most intriguing decision Alain Vigneault faces heading into the season. Right now, Burrows is saying all the right things when he’s asked about his situation, and you’d expect nothing less from the 28-year-old Montrealer.

You just wonder how he’d adjust to life in coach after flying first class for the last 30 games of last season.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Montreal Greats Honored On Stamps

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Doug Fischer at the National Post,

To mark the Montreal Canadiens’ 100th anniversary, Canada Post will issue for the first time a set of commemorative stamps containing moving images of the historic 500th goals of three of the team’s legends.

Using archival footage blended with sophisticated lens technology, the stamps feature two-to three-second clips that show Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau and Guy Lafleur scoring their landmark goals. When the ultrathin plastic stamp is moved up and down or side to side, it provides the illusion of cinema-like movement.

Mr. Richard can be seen shooting the puck into the net and leaping with joy into Mr. Beliveau’s arms. Mr. Beliveau is seen deftly sliding the puck into the corner of the goal, while Mr. Lafleur rifles a shot into the goal before heading to the players’ bench for congratulations.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Youngsters Impressing Leafs Coach

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

After many rejected nicknames, the winner came to Christian Hanson in a flash after he and Ryan Bozak and Viktor Stalberg just completed another high-energy shift.

“The Frat Pack,” Hanson said proudly. “You know, like Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack.

“We hadn’t come up with a good one yet. That’s your job (the media). Maybe we should hold a contest.”

Call them what you will—a Sun reader suggested Highway 86 in honour of their shared birth year—the Maple Leafs trio of NCAA grads has been one of the delights of camp for coach Ron Wilson.

continued

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

The Latest On The Lighthouse Project

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sandra Pettie of Newsday,

Although most of the questioning was polite, the developers - New York Islanders owner Charles Wang and developer Scott Rechler - appeared frustrated and at times ill-prepared for the questions about traffic, height of buildings and whether the developers would sell off parts of the project.

Town board members repeatedly asked for specific commitments, but the developers declined to make them. Instead, they extolled what they say are the project’s virtues - creating jobs, serving as a magnet for new industry and keeping young people on Long Island.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

In The Field With Beliveau

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Stubbs of Habs Inside/Out,

The great Jean Béliveau has been celebrated in photo, film, documentaries, books and magazines.

His likeness has appeared on cereal boxes, bottlecaps, keychains and myriad other collectibles. He’s been immortalized in sculptures made of bronze, wood and ice.

But this, Le Gros Bill says, is the first time he’s been made of corn.

Chip and Tom Hunter, farming brothers in Florenceville-Bristol, N.B., have created a 600-foot-tall Béliveau atop a logo celebrating the Canadiens centennial in a six-acre field of feed corn.

continued with picture…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jean+beliveau

Let Duchene Stay

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,

Let the kid play.

That’s what I’d do if my name was Joe Sacco or Greg Sherman or Pierre Lacroix or anybody else with decision-making abilities around the Avalanche.

The kid is Matt Duchene, and he should not be allowed to go back to junior hockey this season. The betting line is that Duchene, the third pick in this year’s NHL draft and only 18, will be an Av all season.

But you never know with the Avs. They’ve often taken the cautious path with players, including the return to junior of previous first-round picks Alex Tanguay and Wojtek Wolski.

Those Avs teams were different, however, in that they weren’t relying on younger players as much. They had superstar veterans, so they could take their time.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+duchene

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“Obviously some guys are a little louder than others when they give comments, and they get more play. But guys are very comfortable with the decision that we made. We did the right thing. It doesn’t make me feel any different from the moment that we had the meetings.’’

-Andrew Ference on the removal of Paul Kelly.  More from Fluto Shinzawa at the Boston Globe.

Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+ference

Leafs Moves Not Reflecting In The ‘Other’ Betting Category

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Haney of the Las Vegas Sun,

In a reflection of how challenging it can be to make significant improvements in a single year in professional sports, the over/under on Toronto opened at just 85.5 points — a step up, but a total that would likely leave the Leafs out of the playoffs again.

The San Jose Sharks, who compiled the most points in the 2008-09 regular season (117), top the board at the Hilton with an over/under of 107.5 points for 2009-10, followed by the Detroit Red Wings (106.5), Chicago Blackhawks (105.5) and Washington Capitals (104.5).

The Bruins, who led the Eastern Conference with 116 points, could be due for a drop-off. They opened at over/under 101.5 points.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, the defending Stanley Cup champs, opened at 102.5 — a figure that would place them among the league’s top playoff teams. They compiled 99 points last season.

Hockey bettors represent a loyal but small subset of Nevada sports gamblers. The Nevada Gaming Control Board tracks NHL betting in a category called “other” — encompassing all sports besides the big three of football, basketball and baseball.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Former Ref Claims He Was Wrongfully Fired

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Robert Cribb of the Toronto Star,

Former NHL referee Dean Warren is taking the league to the Ontario Labour Relations Board claiming he was wrongfully fired for his union advocacy on behalf of his black-and-white striped colleagues.

Warren, a Toronto native who learned the ropes officiating in the Greater Toronto Hockey League, will appear at a labour relations board hearing tomorrow.

He is alleging the league fired him in April 2008 for his “union activity” with the National Hockey League Officials Association.

The NHL argues in written submissions that Warren was fired for “substandard performance.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dean+warren

Let Canada Have Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Frank Deford at NPR,

The Phoenix Coyotes, largely unnoticed by the inhabitants of Arizona, have now gone bankrupt. A wealthy Canadian wants to pay almost a quarter of a billion dollars to buy a franchise that is worthless in the desert, and move it to Hamilton, Ontario, where it would be positively adored.

But the NHL is fighting in bankruptcy court to hold on to the Coyotes.

What a shame. Look, it’s no insult for a sport not to be appreciated everywhere. Pride and television are no match for love and cheers, and hockey is too good a game to be held up to ridicule just because its vainglorious patrons’ reach exceeds their grasp.

The NHL should render unto Canada what is Canada’s and let the Coyotes go where they are wanted.

more

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

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