Kukla's Korner

John Torchetti Named Associate Head Coach In Atlanta

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

John Torchetti, who was a candidate for the Thrashers head coach position, was named associate head coach on Thursday. He will serve under Craig Ramsay, who was hired to coach the Thrashers last month.

Torchetti, 45, served as an assistant coach with Chicago the past three seasons, including helping the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup championship this season.

Torchetti joins a list of four former Blackhawks players obtained by the Thrashers this offseason. Torchetti and Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley worked together in Chicago, Florida and Tampa Bay.

“I’ve known John for several years and he is a highly-talented and extremely knowledgeable individual,” Dudley said in a statement. “He is an excellent coach who will strengthen Craig’s staff and we’re fortunate to have him as part of our organization.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+torchetti

Gagne Says NTC Not Waived

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sarah Baicker of CSNPhilly,

Flyers winger Simon Gagne has told media service RDS that he has not waived his no-trade clause.

This contradicts multiple reports last week that said Gagne had waived his no-trade clause with the Flyers looking to move him to another team.

“I have a no-trade clause and I didn’t waive it,” Gagne said Wednesday, speaking to reporters in French. “The Flyers have a salary cap problem, and I’m a player that is on the tail end of his contract, with still a year to complete. The next few days may help us to see what’s going to happen for me.”

I wrote earlier this week this whole story did not make sense and now Gagne comes out with the true story.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: simon+gagne, simon+gagne

What Probert Could Have Been

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,

Even in his post-hockey life, a period when he discovered the joys of family and the rewards of a solid marriage and a network of caring friends, one got the sense that Probert, a near perfect blend of size, speed, gifted touch and physical ability to play the game anyway you wanted to play it, was still mentally tortured by the conflict of who he was when measured against what others expected him to be.

It’s understandable. If one were looking for an appropriate inscription for the stone that should forever mark his spot it could easily be: “Peace at Last”.

But it could also be “He Could Have Been”...

And there lies both the tragedy and the reality of the life of Robert A. Probert.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bob+probert

There Is A Difference

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

I rag on NHL players a lot – and with good reason. Their boring nicknames roll off an assembly line, they’re far from the most worldly of individuals, and their union-maintaining abilities leave much to be desired.

But after witnessing the NBA’s orgy of egoism the last few weeks, I appreciate NHLers a little bit more than I used to.

Don’t get me wrong – this isn’t going to be one of the thinly veiled bigoted rants that often get tossed at NBA players. I covered the Toronto Raptors for a bunch of years – during the Vince Carter Era, mostly – and I found, in many aspects, basketball players and hockey players share the same experiences: the shortened childhoods; the temptations that come when the exuberance of youth and large sums of money are locked in the same room together; the drive to provide for families that sacrificed in the hope their prodigal sons would prosper.

continued

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

Carrying The Torch

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sammy Hudes of ShalomLife,

There have always been just a handful of ‘the chosen people’ playing in the National Hockey League, yet many have certainly made names for themselves over the years. From New York Islanders great Bob Nystrom to journeyman Mathieu Schneider, a defenseman who has amassed 743 points during his impressive career, there have been many recognizable names to play in the NHL who are of the Jewish faith. Schneider, 41 has played for 10 teams over his career but is without a contract for the 2010-11 season thus far. So is Jeff Halpern, a 34-year-old who last played for the Los Angeles Kings and once captained the Washington Capitals (who are now led by Alexander Ovechkin). The futures of both Schneider and Halpern are unclear, but will likely be known by August or September.

In the new era of the NHL, the leaders of the Jewish population include the likes of Mike Cammalleri, Eric Nystrom, Nicklas Grossman and Mike Brown.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Bryan Trottier No Longer In Charge Of Player Development For Islanders

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Botta of NYI Point Blank,

Bryan Trottier will not return as Executive Director of Player Development for the franchise, a role he has held since 2006.

Trottier, the Hall of Fame center, Hart Trophy winner and member of the Islanders dynasty, was listed atop the team’s directory of hockey operations personnel above even assistant general manager Ryan Jankowski, who was told on Monday night that his contract would not be renewed.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bryan+trottier

Wow…That’s Really Dumb

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

This.

This may be Burke’s best move to date Leaf fans. A two year deal for very little money for a very underrated defenseman. Red Wings fans can not be pleased they lost him…

I think Dwayne Keith Klessel and KK have forged a pretty solid relationship through the years.  But I get paid huge money to call a dumbass a dumbass.  And that right there is seriously the stupidest thing I’ve read since Al Gore invented this bitch back in 1976.  If anyone wants to know if Wing fans can really “cannot be pleased we lost” Brett Lebda?  Read here.

 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

OSU Just Wanted To Help The Blue Jackets

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steph Greegor of The Other Paper,

It wasn’t exactly what Ohio State University had intended.

When the university offered to take the financial obligation of managing Nationwide Arena off the hands of the financially strapped Blue Jackets, it really was done with altruistic intentions said Xen Riggs, who has managed the Schottenstein Center since its opening in 1998.

“We just wanted to help,” Riggs said. “But our hope is that it will be a community effort.”

It’s the last part of Riggs’ statement, however, where the real truth may lie. Admittedly, the arena deal, struck earlier this year and implemented in May, barely puts a dent in the CBJ’s annual debt, contributing a paltry $1 million bandage to a $12 million hemorrhage. And there are certainly some benefits to OSU in taking over management of Nationwide Arena.

But it’s the notion that someone had to do something that may be the most important aspect of the deal.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ohio+state+university

NHL Rules Push Players To KHL

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Yesterday it was announced that Evgeni Nabokov signed a four year contract with SKA St Petersburg in the KHL.  Nabokov is a good NHL goalie.  He was named to the First Team All Star in 2008.  He is better than many goalies who are employed in the NHL, including many starters.  He is a better goalie than either of the pair his former NHL team, the San Jose Sharks intend to use next year.  There should be little controversy in claiming he is a better goalie than Antero Niittymaki or Thomas Greiss.

If Nabokov is such a good goalie why was he pushed out of the NHL?  Largely it comes down to a finite number of NHL jobs available.  The salary cap has forced teams to economize in some positions and the prime goaltending jobs filled up with players who will be paid less than the price Nabokov demanded (and deserved based on his past history).  When jobs began to be filled and Nabokov saw other big name goalies in Marty Turco and Jose Theodore remaining unemployed as well, he opted to return to his homeland to play in the KHL.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Penguins Looking For A Center

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

“We’re set in terms of defense and [in] goal, and up front we’re pretty good,” said Shero, who last week signed defensemen Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek to replace Sergei Gonchar and others.

The Penguins had interest in former New Jersey center Rob Niedermayer, but he agreed to a one-year, $1.15 million deal with Buffalo.

“We’re just looking around to see if anybody fits, and we’re keeping Billy Guerin in mind as well,” Shero said of the veteran winger who became a free agent July 1.

With most free-agent wingers the wrong fit, Shero is looking for a center as the team considers shifting Jordan Staal or Evgeni Malkin from center to wing.

Shero said coach Dan Bylsma can use training camp to determine the configuration in that scenario. Staal, who has developed into arguably the top third-line center in the NHL, played some on Malkin’s flank on the second line earlier in his career. Malkin occasionally moves to wing on the top line with center Sidney Crosby.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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