Kukla's Korner

Is Bettman To Blame For The Tampa Ownership Mess?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

There are a couple of perfectly logical reasons why NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is feverishly brokering a deal to sell the Tampa Bay Lightning to Boston-based hedge fund manager Jeffrey Vinik.

First and foremost, it’s his job to do everything he can to have stable and well-heeled owners for all 30 NHL teams.

But there’s another far more personal reason: His integrity is on the line. After all, it’s Bettman’s regime that is, in large part, responsible for this mess in the first place.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman

Report- The Rangers/Flames Trade Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The trade that last night seemed imminent in which the Rangers would have received Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust from the Flames in exchange for Ales Kotalik and Chris Higgins remains on hold because Kotalik has yet to waive his limited no-trade clause that includes Calgary, a well connected source has told The Post.

Kotalik, who somehow was able to wrangle a three-team no-trade clause in the three-year, $9M free agent contract he signed this summer, has told GM Glen Sather he needs time to ponder his options.

And he’s taking all of it.

continued and Bob McKenzie was just on Leafs Lunch on 640am in Toronto and he said the stumbling block seems to be on the Calgary side.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ales+kotalik

Stars Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (February 1, 2010)—Phoenix Coyotes right wing Shane Doan, Ottawa Senators goaltender Brian Elliott and Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom have been named the NHL ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Jan. 31.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

KK- A Very Good Month

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

As I mentioned a few months ago, January through the end of the playoffs are the busiest months at Kukla’s Korner.

The trend is beginning to pick up and your dedication to KK is much appreciated.


Filed in: KK Website Business, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Political Games

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail at CTVOlympics,

Think Canada has a monopoly on player selection controversies? Or is the only country immersed in discussion about who will play where during the men’s 2010 Winter Olympics hockey tournament?

It’s just as bad - and maybe worse - in Russia, which has the added complication of balancing players from its own domestic league (the Continental Hockey League or KHL) as well as its stars in the NHL.

Politics is the stepchild of modern international hockey, and so for the Vancouver Games, the Russians opted for nine players from the KHL, and the rest from the NHL.

If Washington Capitals goaltender Semyon Varlamov is dropped for injury reasons, the third goalie to play behind Ilya Bryzgalov of the Phoenix Coyotes and Evgeni Nabokov of the San Jose Sharks is expected to come from the KHL.

Even though Russian coach Slava Bykov is considered a progressive leader, he adopted one of the principles from the old Soviet days and will play four five-man units.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+russia, winter+olympics

Floaters Everywhere

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,

First, a belated goodonya this morning to Pierre McGuire, who called out Scott Gomez for conspicuous failure to back-check. Maybe the problem is that every time the Habs coaches holler “back check!” what Gomez hears is “big cheque!”

Funny, when a Russian plays like Gomez has played this year, or like Shawn Horcoff (think Alexei Yashin or Alex Kovalev) he’s a floater. But when it’s an American (Gomez) or a good Canadian boy (Shawn Horcoff, who made Stu Cowan’s rich underachievers list yesterday) he’s just struggling through a tough season, don’t ya know. But floating is floating, whether you were born in Alaska, Trail or Irkutsk.

There’s a reason guys like Gomez and Vincent Lecavalier don’t score goals anymore: they avoid the heavy traffic where the genuine superstars (Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin) get most of theirs.

continue for more hockey talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

What Is Wrong With Boston?

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Last year the Boston Bruins had the best record in the East Conference.  They finished with 116 points, only one point back of first overall San Jose.  This year has not gone as well.  Boston currently has a 23-30 record (with nine regulation tie points).  That places them in 11th place in the East Conference.  They are only two points back from a playoff berth, but they are in the middle of a group of eight teams that are separated by three points and thus have significant competition for that final playoff spot.  Why is this year`s team not doing as well as last year`s did?

To answer that question let`s start by looking at last year`s team.  When we looked at team Corsi Numbers (puck possession numbers) from last year we see the Boston Bruins are near the middle of the pack.  They directed about as many shots at their opponent`s goal as they had directed at their own.  The difference for Boston last year was goaltending.  Tim Thomas won the Vezina Trophy and was by far the best goaltender in the NHL.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“The number 10 is pretty tough to get to, and I told the guys, “You might go your whole career without getting it again, so enjoy it.”

Washington Coach Bruce Boudreau after the Caps tenth consecutive win.  More on the Capitals from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bruce+boudreau

Drop The Shootout

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press,

Both made splendid moves to score on Howard. Crosby went top shelf off his backhand, and Malkin patiently waited for Howard to commit before calmly tucking the puck behind the fallen goalie’s skate.

Pittsburgh got the point, but the NHL is missing the point.

Maybe I’ve simply grown tired of the shoot-out, because it seems to happen so frequently that there’s no longer anything fresh about it. Perhaps the NHL should acknowledge it made a mistake in cheapening the value of victory for the sake of creating easy highlights for “SportsCenter” (That is, on those rare occasions when “SportsCenter” shows hockey highlights).


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

What Would You Call Matt Cooke?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ron Cooke of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

How would you describe Cooke?

I took a shot at it and used the term “agitator” Sunday after the Penguins’ 2-1 shootout win against the Detroit Red Wings at Mellon Arena. Cooke smiled politely. But he clearly didn’t like it.

“I’ve always kind of been in that stereotype and I’ve always tried to get out of it,” he said. “An agitator, to me, is someone who gets 10 points a year and does his job. I like to think I contribute more to the team than that. I can get you 30-40 points a year and 10-15 goals.”

You know what? Cooke is absolutely right. Calling him an agitator just won’t do. Forget his 11 goals and 22 points so far this season. The term doesn’t fairly describe his defensive work, especially as a penalty-killer.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+cooke

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