Kukla's Korner

A Battle They Cannot Afford To Fight

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Every year, one or two promising restricted free agents have not signed new contracts when training camp opens up.  This is a very poor method to run a hockey team.  These young players are the future of the franchise and potential future stars who are being alienated because they have very little leverage in contract negotiations.  Last year, the Los Angeles Kings did this with Patrick O’Sullivan.  It is a logical consequence of the move that O’Sullivan has since been traded to the Edmonton Oilers (where he is a very promising young player) and all they have to show for it is Justin Williams, who struggled through injuries last year scoring only 14 points (O’Sullivan is younger and scored 44 points).  The ill-will created by the tough contract negotiation usually ends badly and forces a trade down the line or else the player leaves as a restricted free agent as soon as he can.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I like to get into some scrums in front of the net.  I try to play a little gritty. I’m not tough or anything like that, but I try to play hard, go to the net and shoot a lot of pucks and stay for rebounds.”

-Mikael Samuelsson of the Vancouver Canucks.  More on Samuelsson from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mikael+samuelsson

Antoine Vermette Signs Extension With Columbus

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Tom Reed of Puck-rakers,

The Blue Jackets have signed forward Antoine Vermette to a 5-year contract extension, the Dispatch has learned. He will earn $3.75 million per season making the total package $18.75 million.

Vermette still has one season remaining on his current deal which will pay him $2.76 million.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: antoine+vermette

Are The Sedin Twins Elite?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

As they enter their, yikes, ninth season with the Canucks, Daniel and Henrik also appear to be entering the third phase of their careers. Their first, from their rookie campaign in 2000-01 to the lockout, were characterized by high hopes followed by middling production and a certain dissatisfaction with their level of play. In their second, which started in the post-lockout year and ended in 2008-09, the twins established themselves as under-rated, under-valued NHL frontliners who produced at a point-a-game clip.

Now, the question becomes, can they take the next step? Can they move into that rarefied place occupied by the NHL’s elite and which is reflected in their new deals. They took their first steps towards that club last year but to gain full membership they’re going to have to improve from the point-a-game pace to somewhere in the 90- to 100-point range.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+sedin, henrik+sedin

MacTavish Joins TSN

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

TSN welcomes a new recruit to its roster with NHL coach Craig MacTavish joining the NHL ON TSN broadcast team as a guest analyst for the 2009-10 season.

MacTavish will have 25 appearances in studio, making his broadcast debut on Monday, Sept. 21 during the pre-season game featuring Pittsburgh @ Montreal at 7:30 p.m. ET on TSN2.


Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+mactavish, tsn

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

To me, David Jones is one the biggest keys to this team, whether it have a chance at a playoff run or not. If he can stay healthy and play like I think he can, the Avs might have a chance. He’s looked good so far.

-Adrian Dater of All Things Avs at the Denver Post.  More early observations on the Avalanche from Adrian.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: david+jones

Columbus Depending On 2nd Year Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

The Blue Jackets would not have made the Stanley Cup playoffs last season without the impact of their rookie class, especially goaltender Steve Mason. For a franchise that always has planned to build through the draft, last season marked the most dramatic push yet from within the organization.

“It was a real pleasant surprise,” defenseman Mike Commodore said. “Nobody really wants to think about where we might have ended up if it weren’t for Mase and the other guys.”

Now, as the Blue Jackets prepare for the 2009-10 season, that class of sophomores—Mason, center Derick Brassard and right winger Jake Voracek—face lofty expectations and heightened responsibilities.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Heatley May Have Had Issues With Former Teammates

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from James Gordon of the Ottawa Citizen,

Dany Heatley hasn’t revealed all of his reasons for wanting out of Ottawa yet, but a rift with certain teammates may have been one of them.

Senators general manager Bryan Murray suggested there was more than personal issues with coach Cory Clouston behind Heatley’s trade request.

“It wasn’t only Cory,” Murray told Toronto radio station The Fan 590 earlier in the day. “I think it was the role on the team a little bit, I think it was ice time a little bit, I think there was, you know, maybe it was the relationship with a couple of the individual players.”

Murray downplayed that assertion somewhat when he spoke to the Citizen later in the day, but confirmed it was among Heatley’s complaints.


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

Markov Not Interested In Habs ‘C’

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,

Defenceman Andrei Markov will not be the next captain of the Canadiens.

The Gazette has learned that Markov, who wore an “A” on his jersey as one of the assistant captains last season, was asked whether he wanted to wear the “C”, but told the Habs he wasn’t interested.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrei+markov

Don’t Make It Personal Dubinsky

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Memo to Brandon Dubinsky: if Jeter and Rivera could wait their turn, so can you; if Jeter and Rivera could understand and live within the terms of their respective sport’s labor agreement, so can you.

If that means that Dubinsky, now entering the fourth day of his Ranger training-camp holdout, plays for less money this season than Enver Lisin, who is in for $790,000, then so be it. Jeter didn’t take it as a personal insult that he played for less than Sojo.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brandon+dubinsky

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