Kukla's Korner

Recent UFA Busts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,

So as a cautionary tale, we present a handful of marquee free-agent disappointments. The list is not all-inclusive and certainly open to interpretation. Was Hossa a bust because Detroit lost Game 7 of the final to the Penguins? Paul Kariya has 80 points in 93 games with St. Louis since signing his three-year, $18 million contract in 2007, but do leadership and assists make up for a paucity of goals and a mostly lost 2008-09 season because of hip surgeries?

Tough calls, like the ones GM will be making at 12:01 pm on July 1.


Jay McKee, defenseman, four years, $16 million

St. Louis needed bodies to fill out its roster at the time president John Davidson overpaid, albeit moderately, for McKee….

Rob Blake, defenseman, two years, $12 million

A Blake homecoming in Los Angeles seemed like a natural, but he was largely ineffectual on a team in deep rebuilding mode….


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Monster Delays His Decision

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

Jonas Gustavsson, the free-agent goalie from Sweden is going to wait until after July 1 to announce his decision.

Gustavsson’s agent Joe Resnick told Hockeycentral “It’s highly unlikely we’ll commit before 12 noon Wednesday. With so many teams potentially making major changes to their rosters, maybe it’s best to wait and watch it unfold first.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonas+gustavsson

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I thought some guys were tired in the first round of the playoffs — it’s unacceptable.  I think we need to change the look of our club. I think we need to change a little bit of the attitude of our club. It’s wide open and that’s a good thing for a player. So he [had] better be in shape because that’s something he can control.”

-New York Rangers coach John Tortella.  More from the coach by Andrew Gross of NorthJersey.com.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+tortorella

Blues Appear In Good Shape

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

With Erik Johnson, Eric Brewer and Alex Pietrangelo returning – and with McKee and Woywitka leaving – the Blues defense will be much better with the puck. Expect fewer turnovers next season, better outlet passing and better quarterback play with the man advantage.

If the Note can add one more offensive defenseman, via free agency or trade, this will become the most improved defensive unit in the league. This team’s biggest weakness would become its strength….

So the team has few pressing needs. John Davidson, Larry Pleau, Doug Armstrong and Co. are shopping for a goaltender (Josh Harding? Craig Anderson? Scott Clemmensen? Ty Conklin?) to replace Manny Legace and another offensive defenseman to boost the transition game.

At forward the Blues are in excellent shape.


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

Follow The Frenzy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via NHL.com,

Hockey fans in the United States will be able to keep up with all the moves of free agency like their counterparts in Canada.

American hockey fans can watch the NHL on TSN: Free Agent Frenzy show on the NHL Network and follow all the moves and rumors during one of the League’s most exciting days.

The NHL on TSN: Free Agent Frenzy is scheduled for 2-6 p.m. ET, right after NHL Live (noon-2 p.m. ET).

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sedin’s Thinking About Canucks Offer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

The fate of Daniel and Henrik Sedin in Vancouver took another turn on Tuesday as Canucks general manager Mike Gillis has left the twins’ home country of Sweden after speaking to the twins in person.

Sources tell TSN that the brothers are with their agents JP Barry and Claes Elefalk in Stockholm, Sweden discussing the team’s offer to extend the twins’ contracts.

The two sides, Sedins included, met with Gillis for two hours. Gillis presented his team’s offer before flying back to Vancouver.


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

More Talks With Bouwmeester Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,

Both Jarome Iginla and Robyn Regehr made calls to the Edmonton native before Sutter travelled north up the QEII yesterday for a face-to-face meeting with Bouwmeester and agent Bryon Baltimore.

Baltimore said another meeting will take place today in Edmonton.

“We had some discussions about the overall situation,” Baltimore said last night. “I think we have a reasonable understanding of each other.

“We’ll see what transpires.”...

The notion Bouwmeester has another level of excellence in him is what makes signing the 25-year-old a massive priority for Sutter and the Flames. If he hits free agency tomorrow, teams will throw ridiculous amounts of dollars his way.

Few may be able to offer the balance the Flames sport, with a winning team and a special environment in addition to a solid amount of money.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jay+bouwmeester

Coming To The Aid Of Heatley

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen,

Tom Molloy, an international hockey coach and former neighbour of the Heatleys, says the one-sided Heatley bashing from fans and media has been difficult for the family.

Dany’s parents (Murray and Karin) dropped over to our place the other day,” Molloy said by telephone from Calgary. “They said, ‘Everyone is crucifying Dany.’ His mother is very upset. And the attacks are all personal stuff, about his character. Nobody mentions that this is a guy who gives up a month of his summer every year to play for Team Canada.”

Molloy wrote a letter to The Citizen sports department because the Heatleys told him they didn’t have “a forum” to express the other side of the story….

Molloy’s letter to the newspaper began this way:

“I can’t express how disappointed I am in the press and hockey fans concerning Dany Heatley’s request to be traded. I was talking with his parents ... and they can’t believe the awful things that people are saying about Dany. He simply wants to play on a team that believes in his abilities.

“The new coach (Cory Clouston) has decided that Dany is a second- or third-line player, uses him on the second power play and plays him 14 minutes a game.


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

Be Prepared For Pronger

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler of Game On,

If they were the Broad Street Bullies before, the acquisition of Chris Pronger from Anaheim has turned them into the BROAD STREET BULLIES now.

This should inspire thought—if not concern—among the Rangers, Islanders and Devils; not to mention all points north and south.

Let’s not kid ourselves; this Incredible Hulk called Pronger is an unholy terror….

his was an incident last season in Anaheim; Devils vs. Ducks with only a couple of seconds left in a game long ago decided.

New Jersey’s ace, Zach Parise knew that the final buzzer was about to sound and let down his guard.

He did not bargain for Pronger who emerged from behind and delivered a devastating—as dirty as can be—crosscheck that felled the unsuspecting Devil.

Parise survived the blow—don’t ask me how—and Pronger escaped without a penalty, but that’s not the issue, although that is Pronger’s specialty.


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

It’s A Day Of Rumors

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Plenty of teams are tight against next season’s $56.8- million (all terms US) salary cap and others are worried about the cap dropping in a year, expect some big deals to go down as GMs look for a quick fix.

“You really have to be careful about the way you spend, but that won’t stop teams from buying,” said a league executive, who noted that with teams trying to move players like Daniel Briere (Philadelphia), Brian Campbell (Chicago), Tomas Kaberle (Toronto), Dany Heatley (Ottawa) and Patrick Marleau (San Jose) during the draft, there were more than $500 million in contracts on the market.

Here’s what could happen with the top players:

- Hossa: The Wings offered him a 10-year deal, but haven’t been able to lock up the winger. GM Ken Holland is toying with dealing his negotiating rights today. Detroit has major salary cap issues and needs to shed cash. Hossa wants to go to a winner. He is a close friend of Boston D Zdeno Chara, but the Bruins have money issues as well. The Habs, Wild, Oilers, Kings and Canucks are going to make a pitch if he’s available.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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