Kukla's Korner

Milbury Keeps Talking

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from William Houston of Truth & Rumours,

The problem is, outside of Cherry and also Al Strachan, you are unlikely to hear a Hockey Night commentator criticize anyone in a position of NHL power.

  The worst for this is Mike Milbury who is outspoken only in the sense that he passionately defends the establishment. If ever in his TV career Milbury has made a comment that ran counter to the official thinking of the NHL or club officials, we missed it.

  He likes fighting and thinks opponents of fighting are girls. He thinks the NHL Players’ Association inflicted the worse atrocity known to mankind by firing executive director Paul Kelly, whom, the guess here, was viewed by the NHL’s hierarchy as the perfect guy to be ensconced as the players’ leader.

  Milbury’s toeing the company line, of course, would have absolutely nothing to do with his hope and aspiration of getting back into the NHL as a coach or general manager.


Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+milbury

Teaching Our Youth

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from USA Hockey,

In our first episode you’ll hear Doug Wilson, former NHL hockey player and current general manager of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks, discuss how parents and coaches can encourage youth athletes to focus on three main principles - effort, learning and bouncing back from mistakes.

click to listen...

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, Non-NHL Hockey, Youth Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: doug+wilson

Trying To Establish The Value Of Bobby Ryan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Stephens of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,

The Ducks are dealing with a shaky present following a bad home loss to St. Louis but at some point this season or afterward they’ll have to address their future with Bobby Ryan.

ryanart1Ryan is making $765,000 in the final year of his original three-year entry level contract. There have not been any discussions between the winger and Ducks management but Ryan’s agent, Mark Guy, said his client is open to getting an extension done during the season.

“I don’t know if there’s any kind of imminent time line to it,” Guy said.

The 22-year-old Ryan can become a restricted free agent in July if a deal isn’t worked out before then. Naturally this season is important as the Ducks wonder if he can follow up his 31-goal, 57-point rookie campaign that made him a Calder Trophy finalist.

General Manager Bob Murray would not comment on any contract discussions with Ryan, though he did say that he wants to see what the big winger does in his second full season.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bobby+ryan

Wild Struggling

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

This week, the Wild might have to start up the “Save the Season” campaign because a hole—a large one—already has been dug.

Realists could have predicted a slow start to this season.

New coach. New players. New philosophy. Heavy road schedule. Often times, that equates to early-season struggles.

But even the biggest skeptics couldn’t have predicted the Wild would be swept on its five-game, 11-day road trip out west. The Wild only has the sheer incompetence of the winless Toronto Maple Leafs to thank for not being dead last in the NHL.

Of course, 29th isn’t a whole lot better.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Bryzgalov At The Top Of His Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Kreiser of NHL.com,

Bryzgalov has won five of his six starts this season; he allowed just one goal in the loss. Overall, he’s surrendered seven goals in six games—only three on 73 shots while going 3-0-0 last week—and already owns shutouts at Pittsburgh and San Jose, where he won 1-0 in a shootout last Monday.

Through the season’s first 2 1/2 weeks, Bryzgalov is off to the best start of his career, with a 1.14 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage—both tops among regular goaltenders. He’s also the only netminder with more than one shutout.

more hockey notes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+bryzgalov

Is Vokoun A Proven Goaltender?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jay Feaster at The Hockey News,

Shortly after the 2006-07 season ended in another first-round playoff exit for the Tampa Bay Lightning, I began receiving calls from Predators GM David Poile offering to solve our goaltending problem by trading Tomas Vokoun to us.

Poile had been told to slash payroll and was looking to move high-dollar contracts. He suggested that our cross-state rival, the Florida Panthers, might also be in the hunt for a No. 1 goalie and if we didn’t make the move we could find ourselves facing Vokoun six or eight times a year in our division.

While we had goaltending problems in Tampa at the time, we were not interested in Vokoun. Our pro scouts were not sold on Vokoun’s ability to win a championship and thrive under big-game pressure and his contract was too rich for us, both in real dollars and available cap space.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+vokoun

Nashville Signs Ryan Ellis

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

Nashville, Tenn. (October 19, 2009) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed defenseman Ryan Ellis, the club’s first choice (11th overall) in the 2009 Entry Draft, to a three-year entry-level contract.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+ellis

First Look At The AHL

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Like the NHL season, the AHL season is also underway.  The AHL is a high quality league that often produces depth players (and sometimes stars) for the NHL.  It is a high level hockey league and is important to watch to see the next wave of NHL players before they arrive in the NHL.  The early season leader in the AHL is the San Antonio Rampage.  They are the farm club of the Phoenix Coyotes.  They have a 6-1-1 record (one overtime loss) which puts them in first place in the AHL.  They have been the highest scoring team in the league.  Four of the top twelve scorers in the AHL are San Antonio players.  Sean Sullivan leads the way with 10 points.  He is 25 and looks like he may be ready for his NHL debut.  He is a Boston University graduate, who has been rapidly improving in his AHL tenure.  One point behind is Kyle Turris.  Turris is a highly regarded prospect who was the third overall pick in 2007.  He spent last year in the NHL, but did not appear ready for that level of competition.  He may be a future NHL star and is learning to play at a high level against adult competition.  Kevin Porter is the third highest scorer in San Antonio.  He spent last year shuttling between the AHL and NHL and may soon be ready to grad an NHL job permanently.  The final of the four top scorers from San Antonio is Brett MacLean.  He was the Coyotes 2nd round pick in 2007 and has a good chance at a significant NHL career. 

The Phoenix Coyotes have a good pipeline of young players in their system.  This makes their AHL affiliate in San Antonio a top team.  This makes their future look promising, assuming competent ownership takes over the team.  The Coyotes have the talent that they could be a good team for years into the future, but uncertainty in ownership could derail it all before it begins.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“You really can’t control it. If you’re competing against other NHL teams, it’s one thing. If you’re competing against another country paying whatever—you can’t.  If his decision is to go play in Russia, I don’t think we can do anything. There’s only so much money you can pay.”

-Thrashers GM Don Waddell on the possibility of Kovalchuk signing with a team in Russia.  More from Custance on this topic.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+waddell, ilya+kovalchuk

Flames Have Time To Tweak Their Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

The Flames are in the early stages of a stretch with five games—all at home—in 20 days.

That means a golden chance for new head coach Brent Sutter to work on all the details he’s looking for within the system he’s trying to implement.

In fact, it’s like a second training camp, with a twist.

“With the schedule so condensed and so many things going on, to have five (games) in 20 days, where we can practice, it’s valuable,” said centre Craig Conroy. “It’s not so much changing things, it’s getting things down. ‘This is where you’re gonna be. This is what we’re gonna do. This is how we go.’ We’re always learning and that’s the big thing. We’re learning, but it’s starting to become second nature.

“The first eight games, we’ve had a chance to see it. But now it’s going to be more engrained and move forward. This is a great time for us.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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