Kukla's Korner

Battle for Brunnstrom

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Allan Muir at Sports Illustrated:

The men skating for the Red Wings, Stars and Canadiens may be focused on the hunt for the Stanley Cup, but the front office staffs of these three clubs are locked in a fierce battle of their own this week.

All three are thought to be among the final contenders for the services of Fabian Brunnstrom, a 23-year-old Swedish free agent who has been described as a cross between Daniel Alfredsson and Tomas Holmstrom.


You know, I won’t question that this Brunnstrom kid is likely very impressive, but this North American Tour thing that his agent J.P. Barry is running has turned out to be one slick marketing plan for his client. 

Is there any other way that an undrafted, 23-year old Swedish player with 9 goals last season would ever have gotten this much ink if it weren’t for this well-publicized little journey around the NHL in recent weeks? Impressive.

Update 3:15pm ET: TSN catches up with SuperStar Fabian here.  (*hat-tip to Slapshot for pointing to the video)

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: fabian+brunnstrom, j.p.+barry

Today in Playoffs History—May 2

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

imageMay 2, 1967 • With the oldest lineup in Final history, the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 in Game Six to win the 1967 Stanley Cup. The Leafs’ roster included 42-year-old goalie Johnny Bower and 41-year-old defenseman Allan Stanley as well as seven others at least 30 years old.

Toronto center Red Kelly played his 65th game in Final competition, setting a Stanley Cup record later tied by Montreal’s Henri Richard.

*historical info courtesy of the NHL
*photo from Legends of Hockey.net

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+history, playoffs

Goalies Running on Empty

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,

How much of a factor was fatigue in the slight, but discernible decline, in the overall performance of some of the NHL’s leading goaltending lights?

Or to put it another way, do NHL teams play their starting goaltenders too much in the regular season, only to discover there isn’t enough left in the tank to get them through four grueling playoff rounds?

more… *an in-depth look at goalie performance in the playoffs

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: goalies, goaltending, statistics

The Future Of The Avalanche

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector at Fox Sports,

Giguere has over $27 million committed to nine players for next season, giving him sufficient cap space to retain many of the aforementioned but it remains to be seen how many will fit into his plans.

The Denver media is already speculating over the possibility of Sakic retiring and questioning Forsberg’s value, Liles was the subject of trade rumors for most of the season and Theodore’s struggles against the Red Wings could jeopardize his potential re-signing.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Cup Bound

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,

It’s safe to say, one would think, that if the Stockholm Red Wings play the way they did in the second round of the playoffs, their players will be getting fitted for Stanley Cup rings just over a month from now.

Of course, if they make as short of work of their next two opponents that they did of the Colorado Avalanche, perhaps we might see the end of the season before we have to star applying sunscreen on a regular basis.

Is it just me or are the Red Wings looking very much the part of Stanley Cup champion?


Ken, you are not going to find many Wings fans who will answer your question.  At this point, we are just trying to avoid a black cat walking in our path.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

For the Love of the Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated,

And that is probably the most miraculous thing about the Cup: It has the unique ability to turn men into little boys.

Like the 6-year-olds they once were, NHLers really are playing for the trophy at the end of the season. Their salaries stop when the regular season does. There is, of course, a monetary prize, a playoff payout, that goes to all teams, but if you break it down per hour for the intense, all-consuming work the finalists will put in over eight weeks, they would probably make out just as well if they had been manning the deep fryer at a burger joint.

The game is distilled to its purest form during the playoffs. Stanley of Preston, whose farsighted vision was as long as his title, really did reward the top amateur team because in the spring, hockey is about the love of the game.

more… about what makes the Stanley Cup Playoffs special

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+history, playoffs, stanley+cup

Open Post & A Poll

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

It looks like a slow Friday, only one game tonight.

Therefore, this is an open post which allows you to vent, rant, question or just talk hockey and vote on the winner of tonight’s game.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the 2008 Stanley Cup Blog at CBC,

Detroit management spent much of Thursday meeting with another potentially star Swede, Fabian Brunnstrom. The forward, a free agent and considered one of the best players in the world not in the NHL, will spend the next couple of days hanging around the Wings to see if it might be a good fit for him. The question might seem: are you crazy? What better fit for a young Swede than this team?

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: fabian+brunnstrom

Come Back Joe

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of Sportsnet,

For the record, Sakic told reporters again this week in Denver that he wouldn’t be making that decision until this summer. It’s obviously the kind of decision that needs time and reflection.

I think the decision has never been tougher for him. Turning 39 on July 7, Sakic knows Father Time has his finger on the buzzer. Right now he just needs a timeout to make the hardest call in his career.

The Avalanche want him back, that’s a no-brainer. The only question is whether Sakic wants to come back.

I certainly hope so. He’s one of the classiest NHL players I have ever been around in my time around the game. It’s easy to show class when times are good, but what set Sakic apart is that he exhibited it all the time. I’m too young to have been around Jean Beliveau, but I think I have an idea what it’s like to be around a player that’s so well respected.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+sakic

Pitkanen Injury Questioned

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Calgary Herald,

Finnish defenceman Joni Pitkanen pulled out of the IIHF world hockey championship with a knee injury, but he wasn’t getting a lot of sympathy from head coach Doug Sheddon.

“I wouldn’t put a gun to anyone’s head to play for their country,” said Sheddon, who is convinced the injury wasn’t all that serious.

“The commitment has to be better and I didn’t see a whole lot of commitment from him,” Sheddon said.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joni+pitkanen

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