Kukla's Korner

Obama Pleased To Have Ovechkin In His City

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times,

We knew he was into basketball, but apparently President Obama keeps an eye on Washington Capitals hockey as well namely NHL MVP Alexander Ovechkin.

The Caps left wing made Mr. Obama’s list of great Russian contributors to the world, along with scientists, cosmonauts and pioneers of literature such as Pushkin.

“As a resident of Washington, D.C., I continue to benefit from the contributions of Russians—specifically, from Alexander Ovechkin. I’m very pleased to have him in Washington, D.C.” Mr. Obama said, drawing a laugh from the graduating class at the New Economic School in Moscow on Tuesday.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin, president+obama

Flyers Take A Chance With Pronger Signing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

The Flyers prefer to characterize the draft-day move as the opportunity to add a future Hall of Fame player who will solidify the back line for seasons to come. That might be exactly how it will turn out, too, but the stakes and the measuring stick for the Flyers remains as always: Cup or nothing.

And with that, the clock is ticking.

It is ticking because the Flyers paid an enormous price to acquire him, sending away two first-round picks, and - by including talented 19-year-old defenseman Luca Sbisa - the equivalent of a third first-rounder.

Three years from now, if the Pronger acquisition has not produced a Stanley Cup, the talent gap left by dealing those three top picks has the potential to leave some holes on the roster.

As it is, there are a few holes the Flyers will have to plug in the short term, too. Losing Joffrey Lupul in the trade and forward Mike Knuble because the team couldn’t afford to keep him will provide for some challenges on the scoring lines, particularly at right wing.

But those are the chances the Flyers have taken, with the future and with the present. And, for all the right reasons, those were the correct chances to take.

read on

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

Rangers May Walk Away From Zherdev

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Nikolai Zherdev’s decision to file for salary arbitration probably means that it will be one-and-done on Broadway for the underachieving winger.

As it was, there was debate within the organization whether to qualify Zherdev at the required $3.25 million price tag after his uneven season that frustrated both Tom Renney and John Tortorella.

Now, with Zherdev seeking a contract believed in the neighborhood of $4.5M, there’s little doubt the Blueshirts would walk away from an arbitration award that’s even a nickel more than $3.25M, and thus make the 24-year-old winger an unrestricted free agent.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikolai+zherdev

NHL Investigating Tampering By Leafs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,

The Toronto Maple Leafs are under investigation for tampering because of comments made by head coach Ron Wilson about the club’s interest in Daniel and Henrik Sedin prior to the free-agent deadline on July 1.

Leafs general manager Brian Burke confirmed yesterday that the NHL has informed him that the league will examine potential tampering because of remarks made by the Leafs coach in an interview with a Toronto radio station last week.

“The league has indicated that they are looking into it, so we will have no public commentary at this time,” Burke said yesterday when asked to respond to a column published by the Vancouver Province last weekend in which an unnamed NHL executive remarked that what Wilson said was a “clear-cut case of tampering.”


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

Worst 20 Adjusted +/- (Rate Stat)

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I have been looking at +/- ratings and their adjustments in some of my recent posts.  I have written about adjusted +/- as a counting stat and given the top 20 and worst 20 players from last season by this method.  I am comparing it to the rate stat adjustment that Gabe Desjardins of Behind the Net does.  I have listed the top 20 players by this method.  Here are the worst 20 players last season by this method of +/- adjustment (with a minimum of 50 games played).

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Monday Evening Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

(Ducks GM Bob) Murray said his preference at this point is to try and find a No. 2 center. He refused to discuss names, but a source had told ESPN.com last week the Ducks were among the teams along with Minnesota to talk to Koivu’s camp. Interestingly, New Jersey, according to a source Monday, was also in the Koivu mix. The Devils lost Gionta and John Madden via free agency.

Tanguay, for my money, remains the best forward left on the market. Ownership issues and all, the Phoenix Coyotes are one of the teams in talks with him. But another source told ESPN.com on Monday night that talking to Tanguay and the Coyotes actually signing him are two different things.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Cam Barker Signs Three Year Extension

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Darren Dreger’s Twitter,

Chicago won’t have to wait for a grievance to determined Cam Barker’s status. He’s signed a 3 year, $9.25 mil ext.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+barker

Wings Must Deal With Cap Issue

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce MacLeod of Red Wings Corner,

Looking at a possible NHL roster, the Red Wings have 11 forwards, 8 defensemen and 2 goalies signed. That roster includes Leino, Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, Derek Meech, Jonathan Ericsson, Brett Lebda and Andreas Lilja. That roster does not include Jiri Hudler.

That roster has a cap hit of approx. $55.117 million. That leaves $1.683 million of room left under the $56.8 million cap.

With 11 forwards, the Red Wings obviously need two more and they have two slots open with the roster that I’m using.

The problem is that Hudler’s salary is going to make the Wings do a cap dance again.

Hudler could be given a salary of $3-4 million by an arbitrator. Even if he signs for $2 million, that puts Detroit over the cap limit.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Flyers May Have Interest In Shanahan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Chuck Gormley of Flyer Files at the Courier Post,

There is an intriguing goal-scoring winger still waiting for a contract offer and his name is Brendan Shanahan. The Devils have not offered a contract to the 40-year-old winger and Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren is looking to add some more Stanley Cup experience to his club.

Holmgren’s other options include Chris Gratton and Mike Sillinger. Stay tuned.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+shanahan

NHLPA Files Grievance Over Blackhawks Mishandling Of Qualifying Offers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Dreger of TSN,

Sources tell TSN the National Hockey League Players Association has filed a grievance over the Chicago Blackhawks mishandling of a number of its qualifying offers and intends to argue the players affected by the mishap, who remain unsigned, should be ruled unrestricted free agents.

The NHL will be notified and can agree with the NHLPA’s filing, or the league can disagree and the case will move on to an expidited hearing.

“In response to various media inquiries, the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) confirms today that it has filed a grievance regarding the failure of the Chicago Blackhawks to submit Qualifying Offers to its 2009 Restricted Free Agents prior to the deadline stipulated in the CBA.  The NHLPA will make no further comment on the matter, which is now pending before the Impartial Arbitrator,” said Jonathan Weatherdon, NHLPA Spokesperson.

At this moment, it’s the Players’ Association’s contention, these players are unrestricted free agents and free to negotiate with any team.


added 6:16pm, from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,

The status of only Versteeg and Barker is in question since the Hawks signed five of their restricted free agents on Monday, including Troy Brouwer, Ben Eager, Colin Fraser, Corey Crawford and Aaron Johnson.

According to a source, the five restricted free agents chose to re-sign with the Hawks rather than be part of the union’s grievance. Brouwer and Crawford signed two-year deals while Eager, Johnson and Fraser re-uppped for one.

Obviously the agents for Versteeg and Barker see the Hawks’ blunder as a golden opportunity to get their clients a bigger payday.


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

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