Kukla's Korner

What’s Hartnell Worth

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Journal,

After all, at 25, he is the free-agent baby.
Hartnell, who grew up in Lloydminster, is the youngest player available when the league’s unrestricted free-agent market opens for business July 1. The new collective bargaining rules stipulate that players who begin their careers in the NHL at age 18 are free to move on just seven years later.
A hard-nosed player with some offensive touch, Hartnell brings a lot to the table. How much do you pay for him?


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Stats Tell The Truth

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

Never mind that the Leafs have gone 40 years—a lifetime for many—without winning or even playing for the Cup.
What is troubling, as the club plods directionless in the bottom half of the National Hockey League, is that the 40 years without a championship seem eerily capable of dragging into several more.
A statistical analysis of what makes a Stanley Cup champion sadly indicates how far the Leafs have been and remain from being a Cup winner.


Filed in: Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Former Tough Guy Speaks Out

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Earl McRae of the Ottawa Sun,

“Life is not as much about what happens to us, but what happens in us.”
And because of what happened in Billy Huard—Designated Tough Guy, his hands and fingers scarred, disfigured, and in constant pain, permanent pins in his wrists—Billy Huard deserves to be heard, and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, like it or not, has an obligation to hear him.
The Open Statement of Billy Huard:
“Since my retirement, I have seen all the rule changes, another lockout, and the demise of the fan base in a big way. And behind much of this seems to be ‘the fighting issue.’ Nobody can figure out how to deal with this. Here is what I, a former fighter, has to say, someone who performed the role for a living.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Hasek’s Agent Upbeat About His Return

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Windsor Star,

Dominik Hasek’s agent Rich Winter confirmed Monday that the Detroit Red Wings goaltender has made his decision about his future with the team, but he wanted to inform Wings management first.
Winter, who was decidedly upbeat in discussing Hasek’s plans, hinted that the 42-year-old is coming back.
Winter said he expected an announcement in the next day or two.

continued... plus talk on the other UFAs from the Wings…

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

UFA Talk Heating Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

The Islanders, meanwhile, have touched base with the Smyth camp. They’ve made it their priority to try and keep Captain Canada from hitting the market. Blake appears gone from the Island. Blake’s agent Neil Sheehy last spoke to Isles GM Garth Snow last Tuesday and there was no progress made.
“Based on our discussion, nothing has really changed,” Sheehy said Monday. “Basically we kind of agreed that going on the free-agent market was probably the best thing to do.”
“I’m not saying Jason doesn’t want to be an Islander, I’m just saying that based on everything he’ll probably be on the market July 1.”

much more UFA talk…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Fix The Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Al Strachan at Fox Sports wants to fix the game with a 10 point plan…

10. Market the players
These guys are the most articulate, entertaining and accessible athletes in pro sports yet as soon as one of them says something remotely controversial, Bettman and his minions rush to silence them. Build some commercials around them. Increase their image. The league knows how much the players can sell the game, but too many owners feel that if they market the player, then his salary demands would increase accordingly. That’s probably true but it’s time to stop worrying about such matters.

read the other nine…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Kozlov A Hot UFA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance at the Thrashers Blog,

Slava Kozlov and not Keith Tkachuk, is looking like the potential Thrashers free agent who will be drawing the most interest come July 1st (assuming the Thrashers don’t get him locked up in the next couple of weeks, which isn’t out of the question).
The rumors of Kozlov’s return to Detroit continue to circulate, as James Jahnke points out in the Detroit Free Press roundup. The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson says the Florida Panthers are interested in Kozlov, but there are concerns down in South Florida that his asking price might be a little too high. The other Southeast Division team with some cash to spend, the Washington Capitals, might be a Kozlov suitor as well.


Filed in: NHL Talk, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Yashin & Smyth Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from The Maven,

• It says here that the Rangers or Devils would be attractive to Yash, who makes his home in Manhattan with gal-pal Carol Alt. Question is, do either Glen Sather or Lou Lamoriello have any interest in him?
• Thousands of Islanders fans are nervous about the possibility that Ryan Smyth may not opt for Nassau after all.
Not that we want to make them any more anxious but one whisper going the rounds has it that none other than Glen Sather may have Smyth in his fiscal crosshairs!

more on numerous NHL topics…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

KK Interview with Las Vegas ECHL Co-Owner, Jonathan Fleisig

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

This morning, Paul had a chance to speak with Las Vegas Wranglers’ co-owner Jonanthan Fleisig about the NHL in Las Vegas.  More about Jonathan from the team’s website:

Fleisig, 37, is a New York City native, and is the co-owner of the Las Vegas Wranglers as well as the principal owner and CEO of Flying Puck, LLC (dba Bakersfield Condors). This is Fleisig’s second year in Las Vegas and he is entering his eighth season in Bakersfield.  While in the WCHL, Fleisig was a member of the league’s Executive Committee, and actively conducted the assimilation into the ECHL for 2003-04.

Along with his hockey holdings, Fleisig is the sole owner of Flyball, Inc., parent company of his baseball club in the Northeast League. He also sits on the Northeast League Board of Directors during this, his eighth season of ownership in the baseball world.

Jonathan is personally involved with many national charities. The Wranglers plan to mirror that charitable commitment, and his belief that minor league sports provide valuable and responsible assests to the community through involvement in local charitie, schools and civic organizations.

Our thanks to Jonathan for taking the time to share his thoughts with KK readers.

You can download the audio file here, or click on the player below to listen online.


Continue Reading »

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, KK Interviews, | KK Hockey | Permalink

NHL 08

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from GameSpot,

With such noticeable changes to the series last season, the overarching goal for NHL 08 seems to be refining the new-look controls and adding depth to the overall experience. A big part of that refinement will be in improved skating controls, which look to add more variety and depth to how you move your players around the ice.

read on

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

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