Kukla's Korner

How Do You Rank The Lightning?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,

Got a call last week from Tampa Bay Lightning owner Oren Koules.

The man who brings you the Saw horror movies as well as Two and a Half Men was a little upset at his team being identified as one of my three disappointing teams through the first quarter of the 2009-10 season. At the time the column was published, the Lighting ranked in the middle of the pack in the overall standings and Koules wondered how disappointing can that be? He had a point.

At the same time, and maybe it’s just me, but I thought this year’s version of the Lightning had a legitimate chance to be a contender. On paper I’d put the Lightning up against the majority of contending teams. Just look at what Tampa Bay has up front: a former Hart and Art Ross Trophy winner in Martin St-Louis, a superstar centre in Vinny Lecavalier and a rising star in Steven Stamkos not to mention top flight depth players such as Ryan Malone, Jeff Halpern and Alex Tanguay….

Still, I worry about the Lightning. I am no longer convinced this is a team that can challenge for the Eastern Conference championship.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Friedman’s Thoughts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

• Dany Heatley comes to Edmonton on Friday. The smartest thing he could do is say, “I’m sorry but I didn’t want to go to a Canadian city. I wanted to go to San Jose from the beginning, because it’s less suffocating for me.” Won’t stop the avalanche of boos, but Oiler fans deserve an honest explanation.

• ...the Ducks are having troubles signing Bobby Ryan. Burke drafted him and Ryan is represented by same agency (Newport) as Phil Kessel. Kessel was a restricted free agent who ended up in Toronto. Could history repeat itself? Just wondering. We’ll see.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Devil Mocks Our Every Step…But Screw Him. We’re Live Blogging Anyway.

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Update: Cool.  Darren McCarty’s working the game tonite on Gary’s OLN.

When the winds of Thor blow and all appears dreary, we pull out “No Quarter” and the Live Blog turns bloody.  And that’s a fact.

Here’s a quick review of my weekend, because I know you care…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Are We About To See A Trade?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Michael Russo’s Twitter,

According to sources, the Wild is close to making a trade in the coming hours. Don’t know any more than that as of now

added 4:38pm, Erin Nicks in her Twitter reports RDS says Benoit Pouliot for Guillaume Latendresse of the Canadiens.

added 4:45pm, Canadiens have also recalled Sergei Kostitsyn.

added 4:48pm, Bob McKenzie confirms the trade via his Twitter.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Captain Nash

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

“Rick started off as a quiet guy who knew right from wrong but didn’t say very much, and now he speaks up,” Hitchcock said Monday morning from Madison Square Garden, where his team will play the New York Rangers later in the evening. “If he doesn’t like what is happening, he’ll more than speak up. He has made for a very good captain. He is really emerging as a strong leader in the NHL community.”

Hitchcock nodded his head in agreement when asked if Nash seems way more comfortable this year than last. Nash didn’t stumble on his words when describing the difference, which he believes is massive.

“At first it was just tough to walk down to the room and say something, but as the time goes on you start feeling more comfortable and you get a better relationship with each other,” Nash told NHL.com. “If I need anything relayed from the players I can go down there no problem. He’s a pretty easy guy to talk to and he’s pretty open with me, too. He lets me know what’s going on in the coach’s room and what he’s thinking for game plans and upcoming events, things like that.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rick+nash

Is Pronger The Leading Norris Candidate?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

If Chris Pronger keeps playing the way he has through the first quarter of the season and remains injury free, he could be on the verge of doing something truly remarkable.

In what has been a rather wide-open race for the Norris Trophy, Pronger has installed himself as the favorite so far. Should he win the Norris, he will have gone eight full seasons (nine years if you include the lockout) between being named the league’s top defenseman, something no other player has ever done before.

Pronger currently leads all players in ice time at 26:47 per game, is on pace for a career-high 73 points and is second on his team – third in the league – to Matt Carle in plus-minus at plus-13.

Anyone who saw this coming, you might want to apply for a job with the Anaheim Ducks, who saw fit to keep Scott Niedermayer instead of extending Pronger’s contract.

more hockey talk…

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

Early Playoff Picture

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Mathematically, then, 14 of 16 teams that had a playoff berth a year ago now held on to those positions. If that holds true this year then look for playoff regulars the Rangers, Montreal, Carolina, Anaheim and Vancouver to be on the outside looking in.

more on this topic plus additional NHL talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Stars Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (November 23, 2009) —San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price and Ottawa Senators center Mike Fisher have been named the NHL ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Nov. 22.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

ESPN Power Rankings- 4 Western Conference Teams In The Top 5

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

1. Chicago
2. San Jose
3. New Jersey
4. Calgary
5. Detroit

See the rest and a comment about each team at ESPN.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Mike Rathje And The Flyers Cap

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Mike Rathje has not played an NHL game since early in the 2006/07 season, yet he is an important part of the Philadelphia Flyers salary cap strategy.  At the conclusion of the lockout (in 2005), Rathje signed a $17.5 million five year contract with the Flyers.  This deal turned out to be one that the Flyers soon regretted.  They found a solution which has allowed them to have a payroll exceeding the cap in the many years that Rathje has been hurt.  The Flyers placed him on long term injured reserve with back and hip problems in 2006 and have left him there ever since.  Rathje last attempted to play in the 2007 training camp, but when he couldn’t make the team he stayed on the LTIR. 

The CBA rules allow team to exceed to salary cap by the salaries of LTIR players if this is needed to pay for the replacements for those players.  This means that the Flyers can have up to $3.5 million in extra salary cap room by leaving Rathje on LTIR (assuming they are at the cap when his salary hit is taken each year).  This is a preferable situation to buying out his contract.  If they buy out his contract (although they pay him less), their salary cap room is reduced by the amount of the buyout.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

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