Kukla's Korner

Beating The Ray Shero Drum

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

We knew Penguins general manager Ray Shero was good at his job long before his terrific signings of free-agent defensemen Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek Thursday. The team’s run to the Stanley Cup final in 2008 and its Cup win in ‘09 are pretty good proof. But we didn’t find out just how great Shero is until after the Chicago Blackhawks won the Cup this spring. The champagne wasn’t even dry in Chicago when the Blackhawks traded key players Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Versteeg, Andrew Ladd, Colin Fraser, Ben Eager and Brent Sopel because of NHL salary-cap concerns.

Contrast that to the Penguins who have Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal, Brooks Orpik, Kris Letang, Martin, Michalek and Marc-Andre Fleury signed through at least the 2012-13 season. It will be disappointing if they don’t win at least one more Cup during that time.

No wonder Shero said Friday morning after doing five-year deals with Martin and Michalek for a total of $45 million: “I slept good last night.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ray+shero

Now What Do The Kings Do?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

They had anticipated being an attractive option for Kovalchuk and a top-tier defenseman following a season in which they made the playoffs for the first time since 2002 and continued to develop an impressive core of youngsters. But like a few years ago, when they chased defenseman Zdeno Chara, and last summer, when winger Marian Hossa said no, they didn’t succeed.

The trade route is their primary option to pick up a productive winger and experienced, top-four defenseman. They could also sign a restricted free agent to an offer sheet — the Ducks’ Bobby Ryan immediately comes to mind — but the cost would be steep in draft picks and ill will around the league.

more on the situation…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Cold In California

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Happy Birthday Bitches.  Hockey mourning ends tomorrow.  Hope everyone’s summer has been….adequate.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Burke Walks For His Son Brendan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Arthur of the National Post,

On the 156th day of the rest of his life, Brian Burke woke up and he tried to keep another promise. He would march, he said. So he marched.

And marching was easier, in a way. Not that it was easy. As Brian Burke walked the streets of Toronto, sweating in the sun and waving at the sea of people at one of the world’s grandest Pride Parades, he thought about his son. He thought about Brendan, his beautiful boy. How could he not? Brendan was why he was here.

continued

thanks to a KK member for the pointer

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

Pay Cut To Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jamie Fitzpatrick of Jamie’s Hockey Blog,

July is traditionally the fattest month for NHL free agents.

The shower of cash from teams driven to madness by off-season optimism and desperation is a wonder to behold.

But a new trend is emerging. This summer, many players are settling for less.

As of Sunday, 44 unrestricted free agents had signed new contracts (give or take a fringe player or two).

Using salary numbers compiled from various media sources, here’s how the market is looks:

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Boughner Leaving Spitfires For Coaching Job With Columbus

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via tweets from Aaron Portzline,

Multiple NHL sources say Bob Boughner will leave the Windsor Spitfires to join #CBJ coaching staff.

CBJ will make official announcement of Boughner’s hiring on Monday.

added 9:57pm, from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,

Bob Boughner, who has guided the Windsor Spitfires to the last two Memorial Cup trophies, will join the Blue Jackets as an assistant coach on Scott Arniel’s staff, The Dispatch has learned.

Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson and Boughner did not return messages left on their cell phones. Spitfires GM Warren Rychel would not comment. But The Dispatch has learned that an announcement is expected by the Blue Jackets on Monday.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bob+boughner, windsor+spitfires

Ilitch Empire Could Expand

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bill Shea of Crain’s Detroit Business,

The attractiveness of owning the Detroit Pistons to Mike and Marian Ilitch may be equaled by a desire to create one of the largest regional entertainment monopolies in the country.

The Pistons are expected to be sold as a package with Auburn Hills-based Palace Sports & Entertainment Inc. — which would give the Ilitches the Palace of Auburn Hills, DTE Energy Music Theatre and the contract to manage Meadow Brook Music Festival for Oakland University.

That is, if the Ilitches are interested. Despite mounting evidence, they’re coy about it, and Palace Sports is mostly silent.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: detroit+pistons, marian+ilitch, mike+ilitch

Kings Out Of The Kovalchuk Race

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Helene Elliott tweet,

Kovalchuk says no to Kings. Lombardi: “We took our best shot to meet his needs and the team’s.”

added 6:09pm, via Helene Elliott of the Fabulous Forum,

Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi said Sunday afternoon that the high-scoring free agent decided against joining the Kings, who had targeted him as the productive winger they urgently need and a marquee player who might generate some buzz around town.

“We took our best shot to meet his needs and the team’s,” Lombardi said in an email.

He would not elaborate on where the Kings’ offer fell short or where Kovalchuk might be headed.

added 6:46pm, Just in case you believed those internet reports yesterday that the Avs were interested in Kovy…

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

And, the Avalanche will NOT be part of the mix in the hunt for Ilya Kovalchuk. Colorado just isn’t a player for the still-free star winger.  And who can blame them, really, with Kovalchuk’s purported salary desires.

continued

added 9:46pm, from Elliotte Friedman tweet,

Source: Kings really want Kovalchuk badly, feel he’s exactly what they need…but cannot get him to drop below a contract request of $100 million. Kings feel they have made biggest offer they can without jeopardizing Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson extensions.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Ten Best Players Of The Last Decade

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Several people were making top ten lists around January 1st to celebrate the bests and worsts of the last decade (2000-2009).  In hockey, I think a decade is better defined as the 2000/01 season until the 2009/10 season and now that it is concluded, I will make my top ten list.  Here are the ten best players of the last decade.

Martin Brodeur   He firmly set himself up in the debate for the best goaltender of all time in this decade by becoming the all time winner in shutouts and wins.  He won the Vezina trophy four times and the Stanley Cup once in this decade.  He was chosen as a goalie for Team Canada in all three Olympiads in this decade.  Brodeur clearly established himself as the top goalie in the last decade.  Even as he is 38 and clearly slowing down in the final year, he was a Vezina nominee.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

All Sergei Gonchar

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

There was no shortage of interested teams, so why the Senators?

Well, it is a Canadian city. You know how Canada is with hockey; playing up there is something special. If I was going to leave, I wanted to go someplace where hockey really mattered. Also, we played against them a lot in the playoffs and I do believe they are a good team. They played us very tough in the playoffs. They are very close to winning the Cup, and I believe I can help them go that next step.

The Penguins weren’t willing to give you a third year, and a lot of people believe their reluctance was the sensible move.

Yes, I can say before you ask that it motivates me. My goal is not to play just until that third year. I want to play in the NHL until the (2014) Olympics. They are in Russia, and I would love to be there for my country. Three years was never going to be the end of my career.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sergei+gonchar

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