Kukla's Korner

Different Directions

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

So while Fletcher fumes over the unwillingness of his stars to leave town and vows to use the rest of his tenure to throw more bodies overboard to change the “face” of the team, Maurice is aggressively rewarding the Muskokas with extra work while apparently declining to use the remaining portion of the schedule to play young players or the backup goalie.

Maurice, understandably, is just trying to win hockey games. But there are other organizational priorities here, like getting meaningful experience for Tlusty, Stralman, Earl, Newbury and Williams and perhaps trying to increase Raycroft’s trade value.

Fletcher couldn’t lean on his rich vets to waive their no-trades, however, and apparently has no control over what the coach does with the roster.

The hockey office says “Charge!” in one direction, and the team itself ignores the command and roars off to attack another hill.


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

The Russian Plan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Slap Shot at the NY Times,

Russian hockey teams, fueled by petro dollars, are reversing the flow of Russian players: Increasingly, they are luring NHL players back home, and they have designs on catching and surpassing the N.H.L. as the world’s premiere hockey league.

Alexei Yashin moved back with a $17.63 million buyout from the Islanders. He now plays for Yaroslavl Lokomotiv. “Less and less players are going to the N.H.L. and more and more are coming back here,” Yashin said in an interview in English after a recent game.


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

Rangers On Their Way Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler at Game On,

Now it can be told.

The once-unthinkable CAN be thought.

Yes, the Rangers very well could top the Eastern Conference on April 6, closing the regular schedule.

Once-invincible Ottawa is crumbling by the minute.

Sure, the early-season Atlantic-leading Flyers are coming on again but when they visit The Garden on Sunday afternoon, the Blueshirts should take them.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Five Helpers For Richards

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Dallas Morning News,

As debuts go, Brad Richards’ was, well, perfect.

The Dallas Stars’ blockbuster trade deadline acquisition tied the franchise record – and set a personal best – for assists in a game, recording five to help lead the Stars to a 7-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night at a sold-out American Airlines Center.

“Maybe I shouldn’t have done that,” Richards joked when asked about elevated expectations.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brad+richards

Farewell February

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Don’t come back.  You’ve, well, pretty much sucked.  January 30th?  The Wings held a 17 point lead over Dallas.  The entire roster was healthy. They were in the middle of an 8 game winning streak.  The MSM didn’t even mention Detroit anymore because it was so clearly the Wings and everyone else.  Oh, well, there was the occasional, “they need some adversity.” 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Marian Hossa Out

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

My understanding he took a knee to knee hit from Glen Murray.

Will be re-evaluated tomorrow according to FSN Pittsburgh.

added 9:59pm, via TSN,

Marian Hossa’s first game as a Pittsburgh Penguin ended pre-maturely as the Slovakian sniper left after suffering a grade 1 strain of his MCL.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+hossa

The Playoff Road

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from On the Forecheck,

While the web-surfing hockey fan can find reams of analysis as to which teams did or did not help themselves on the NHL’s Trade Deadline Day this week, there’s another question worth answering when one considers how tight the playoff races remain. To what extent has the remaining schedule for various teams gotten tougher or easier, depending on what their upcoming opponents have done to their rosters?


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sharks Have Cap Room For Campbell

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Victor Chi of the Sporting News via Yahoo,

The Sharks should be able to offer Campbell the two most important enticements for a free agent: Money and success. They have the salary-cap space to accommodate him, and the team is positioned to be competitive for several seasons—- Joe Thornton and Jonathan Cheechoo are signed through 2011.

San Jose’s ace, though, might be the Ottawa connection. Campbell and GM Doug Wilson both played junior hockey under legendary Ottawa 67s coach Brian Kilrea. Wilson often cites Kilrea as one of the most important influences in his life, and the alumni network of 67s is tight. He believes in the way Kilrea develops hockey skills and character, and his track record with the Sharks is a reflection of that.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+campbell

Too Many Goalies

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via Sports Illustrated,

The Washington Capitals demonstrated three goaltenders do not fit in front of two nets.

Newly acquired Cristobal Huet presided at one end of the rink Thursday during his first practice with the team. Longtime face-of-the-franchise Olie Kolzig was at the other end.

As for reliable backup Brent Johnson? All he could do was watch from the bench.

“I think everybody realizes how weird it is in here right now,” Kolzig said.


added 7:37pm, Kolzig’s agent talks about this move at Capitals Insider...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Khan(!): Cleary’s On Track

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Deep Digger Captain Ansar Khan(!) let loose a torrent of literary brilliance following today’s practice.  He’s all over it: Cleary (recovering), Chelios (skating), Quincey (departing) and Redmond (returning).

Cleary said he’s still hoping to play in the last three or four games of the regular season to get ready for the playoffs.

He’s lost a lot of weight being on a liquid diet after undergoing surgery on Feb. 9, having three plates and numerous screws inserted into the jaw.

“I didn’t even want to get on the scale. I usually like to play at 210, 215, so I got a ways to go,’’ Cleary said. “I got 4-5 weeks to get it back and I feel I’ll come back stronger and better than I was before I was hurt. I lost 15 pounds, but I expect it to gradually come back once my diet gets better.’‘

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

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