Kukla's Korner

The Better Looking Blues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Lukas of ESPN,

The classics are classic for a reason.

The uni-verse has taught us that lesson countless times, and it did so again this week when the St. Louis Blues finally dispensed of all the nonsense and got back to basics with their new uniform design.

How superior is this new design to the one it's replacing? Let us count the ways:

1. No more apron strings.

Those annoying gold stripes that ran down the torso and continued onto the pants, which were added to the Blues' uniform in 2007, were a disaster from the get-go. They made the chest logo feel too boxed in and confined, they looked like dangling apron strings, and they almost never lined up from jersey to pant leg. They reeked of gimmickry and templating -- two surefire ways to ruin a uniform -- and getting rid of them is a textbook case of addition by subtraction.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Can The Boston Bruins Afford Johnny Boychuk?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

They still have to sign power play defenceman Torrey Krug and top-nine winger Reilly Smith, and they lost first-line forward Jarome Iginla to the Colorado Avalanche because the Avs could give him more than a one-year performance-laced deal.

They also have to resign their second-best centre David Krejci, also UFA next summer.

Can they afford to give Boychuk a multi-year deal, with a significant raise from his current $3.33 million cap hit? Do they have anyone who can take his spot with a similar skill-set? Do the Bruins think about moving Boychuk before h becomes UFA? Does Boychuk see what a reasonable facsimile player Brooks Orpik, 34 next month, got from Washington ($5.5 million cap over five years) this July and think he’d like a shot at the same gravy?

All questions to ponder.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: johnny+boychuk

Danny DeKeyser Will Fly With The Blue Angels

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

DETROIT – Detroit Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser will ride along with the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels aerial demonstration team in an F/A-18 Hornet on Tuesday, Sept. 2 at the Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison, Mich.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Patrick Lalime On The Ottawa Senators

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Katie Strang of ESPN,

The 40-year-old Lalime, who holds the Senators franchise record in career wins, said he thinks Anderson will come into training camp with top billing but that the two players will push each other in a healthy competition.

Anderson, 33, posted a pedestrian .911 save percentage last season but recorded an NHL best .941 in the lockout-shortened 2013 season just two years ago.

“I think Craig’s gonna be the go-to guy to start with. I know Robin can do the job -- I have no worries he can do the job. I think the good thing is they have them signed for a pretty good price,” said Lalime, who will join TVA this season as an analyst. “They have two good goaltenders and they can make a decision based on that a little easier. I think Anderson is the guy starting but I know Robin, once he gets his chance he’ll run with it.”

Lalime said the team’s main challenge will be in scoring, especially making up for former captain Jason Spezza, who was traded to Dallas this summer in a package that included Alex Chiasson going back to Ottawa in the deal. 

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+lalime

Winnipeg Jets May Take On It’s Us Against The World Mentality

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Campbell of the Winnipeg Free Press,

Given the forecasts of pessimism for a team many believe is falling behind in the NHL's difficult Central Division, thick skin is going to come in handy this fall, Jets captain Andrew Ladd suggested Wednesday

"I think you learn that they are predications and until you start playing games and see where you're at from that standpoint, they don't really mean anything," Ladd said Wednesday, asked at the Stars FORE Special O golf tournament what he thinks of all the off-season banter about his team. "It's just a bunch of chatter that everybody likes to talk about in the summer when there's nothing else going on.

"I think as a group we can use it as motivation to tell each other that no one's really giving us a chance and there's nothing wrong with that."

Ladd's teammate Blake Wheeler, coming off a 69-point season that led the Jets in scoring, said he's not all that interested in reminders from the past.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Questions Facing The Los Angeles Kings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Curtis Zupke at NHL.com,

Is there a cumulative effect of playing 64 Stanley Cup Playoff games the past three seasons? -- Listen to Lombardi on how the Kings finished the playoffs last season.

"I remember coming back to New York after losing Game 4 and walking in the back of the [trainer's room]," he said. "It was like Gettysburg. It was unbelievable how banged up these guys were, and nobody knows."

The Kings were also one of the most penalized teams in the League in 2013-14, sometimes a sign of mental fatigue. But the Kings are now less of a grind-it-out team and play more of an attacking style, which would seem to lend itself to less wear-and-tear that caught up with them in the 2013 playoffs.

Will the Kings sleepwalk through another regular season? A better question might be, does it matter? -- The Kings have finished eighth, fifth and sixth in the Western Conference the past three seasons and come out with two Cups. No one will blink an eye if they don't get home-ice advantage for the fourth straight season, except for coach Darryl Sutter grumbling about travel and schedule.

more

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

Red Wings overnight report: rink news, ‘state of the Wings’ talk and prospect(ish) news

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated with Lashoff talk at 6:20 AM: This time of year is--if I may be honest--quite fun, because you never know where the "news" will take you on as we slowly wait for the NHL's preseason prospect tournaments to take shape (ONLY TWO WEEKS AAAAAAAAAAAAAA, oh, sorry, anxiety talking). On

Wednesday, we had Pro Hockey Talk's Red Wings day, a "Captain's Skate," the Grand Rapids Griffins' schedule and Daniel Alfredsson's future to talk about.

This morning (unless you're in Bratislava, Slovakia, where you can go visit Tomas Tatar and get his autograph), the Free Press's David Gallagher has a little bit more about the Crain's Detroit Business-reported (by Bill Shea) "contractors summit" taking place at the MotorCity Casino, where Ilitch Holdings is going to outline its construction plans and discuss the "District Detroit" in further detail...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

NHL Talk Heating Up As Camps Get Closer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Katie Strang of ESPN held an online chat earlier today...

Given the number of Cup contending teams currently hovering above the cap (Bruins, Blackhawks, etc.), when do you expect the first domino to fall in terms of dumping salary? Any specific players you expect to see moved?

Katie Strang  I think we could see a Johnny Oduya or Niklas Hjarlmasson being moved. Those teams still have time to make moves, but they have to start figuring things out salary cap-wise relatively soon.

Doesn't Oduya have at least a modified no movement agreement? Chicago's plight is the most interesting because they seem to be handcuffed no matter what.

Katie Strang  He does, and handcuffed they are indeed.Might make Leddy a more likely candidate.

Anything with the (Ryan) Malone rumors and the Rangers?

Katie Strang  Sounds like there is something there, but asked if he has received a training camp invite and was told "not yet"

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Report- Casual Contract Extension Talks Between David Krejci And The Boston Bruins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from DJ Bean of WEEI,

According to a source familiar with the negotiations, the Bruins have had “casual discussions” with David Krejci‘€™s camp about a contract extension for the first-line center. Krejci, 28, is entering the final year of a three-year, $15.75 million contract and is set to be an unrestricted free agent after the coming season.

The source said there is an expectation that talks will accelerate in the near future. Historically, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has tried to get deals with his franchise players done before they enter their contract years. Chiarelli did it prior to the 2010-11 season, when he locked up free-agents-to-be Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron, and last summer, when he signed Bergeron to an eight-year extension.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: david+krejci

Scott Gomez Accepts Invitation To The New Jersey Devils Training Camp

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,

Scott Gomez, who won two Stanley Cups with the Devils, has been invited to the team's training camp on a unsigned tryout basis, general manager Lou Lamoriello told The Star-Ledger Wednesday.

Gomez, 34, played 46 games last season for the Florida Panthers and had 12 points (2 goals, 10 assists). It is his playmaking that makes him appealing to the Devils.

"He felt he still had a lot of hockey in him and he's been working out this summer so I told him to come to camp," Lamoriello said. "There are no promises. We certainly know what he has the capability of doing. This is no different than with Petr Sykora."

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: scott+gomez

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