Kukla's Korner

Early Season Top Defenceman

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Early in the season it is not uncommon that a surprise player gets off to a good start and becomes the early leader for a major NHL award.  Most of the time as the season progresses, the player slips back into the pack and the winner is a more usual suspect.  Sometimes, especially when it is a young player with significant upside, they may stay in the race or even win the award. 

At this early point in the season, Alex Goligoski of the Pittsburgh Penguins has been the best defenceman in the NHL.  Goligoski has 12 points, which places him third among defencemen in the NHL.  He has a +13 +/- rating which is good for first place in the league.  On a Pittsburgh team that suffered a blow to their defence when Sergei Gonchar suffered a broken wrist, Goligoski has done a wonderful job.  The Penguins struggled without Gonchar last year, but with Goligoski in his place have not missed a beat this year.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Leino To The Doghouse?  Shocking, I Know.

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I’m too lazy to find it. But somewhere I predicted we’d see this.

Detroit News

Mike Babcock redrew the lines, starting by benching slumping Ville Leino for tonight’s game against the Flames.

“Ville’s having a day to watch,” Babcock said. “He’s not playing hard enough here, so he’s going to watch and the other guys are going to play.”

Leino has one point in his last seven games.

“He’s getting snuffed out, not involved,” Babcock said. “If you are a scorer and you are not going to the net, you’re going to be in for a long year.”

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Paying Gretzky

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

Right now, the NHL’s bid provides for between $11-$12 million to three potential creditors – Gretzky, Moyes and the city of Glendale. Gretzky isn’t thrilled that there is no certainty of collecting. Apparently, he is not asking for all of the money up front or in some lump payment, but an acknowledgement that, at some point, he will collect.

One league source says that will happen.

“We recognize that a lot of us have jobs because of what he’s done for a long time. What has happened this summer has been totally unfair to him, but, because he’s Wayne Gretzky, it all ends up on him ...This is important, and we realize it is important.”

That is 100 per cent the proper philosophy. But, there is one concern.

At this time, it was not possible to get the board of governors to vote on raising the purchase price from $140 million to $148 million. And, there may be slight resistance to doing so. Some of the governors are apparently unhappy with Gretzky’s public disappointment, and could let that affect their decision.

That is a ridiculous attitude.


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wayne+gretzky

Andrew Ladd With An Elbow/Shoulder Hit On Matt D’Agostini

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Ladd received five minutes for the elbow, 2 minutes for roughing and a game misconduct. 

D’Agostini did not return to the game.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+ladd, matt+d'agostini

Majority Owner Of Panthers May Step Down

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald,

Unable to complete a sale of the team to an outside group, Panthers owner Alan Cohen is in serious discussions to step down as general partner and allow two of the team’s minority owners to run the NHL franchise, a source said Friday.

Cliff Viner and Stuart Siegel—two deep-pocketed Palm Beach County-based businessmen—have talked to the Panthers about increasing their ownership stakes and running the team, according to a league source briefed on the discussions.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alan+cohen

Penner At Top When Playing At Even Strength

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Staples at the Cult Of Hockey,

Right now, Penner is a different kind of all by himself, right at the very top of the NHL when it comes to point production at even strength.

Heading into Friday night’s games, according to Behind the Net, Penner is averaging 4.86 points for every 60 minutes of even strength play, while Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals is at 4.77 points per 60 minutes of play, good for second place.

The next most productive scorers are Brad Richards, wonder kid Ryan O’Reilly, Marian Gaborik and Gilbert Brule.

What does this tell us, other than Penner is doing a great imitation of Phil Esposito right now?

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dustin+penner

Letter From Penney To NHLPA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CBC,

This is a letter written by Ian Penny, former interim executive director of the NHLPA on October 23, 2009 to the organization’s player executive board. It details reasons why he believes he was constructively dismissed by the NHLPA. It was obtained by CBCSports.ca

Executive Board Members: I am writing to the Board in my capacity as Interim Executive Director to share my concerns about a number of very troubling issues, including surveillance activities at the NHLPA office; the leaking of confidential information from Board meetings; fatal flaws with the review of operations; and my personal situation. I recognize that I am in a conflicted position when I comment on the review and some of the other office issues that concern me, but it remains my duty to advise the Board on these types of matters.


Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ian+penney

Bottom Line For The Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Morrison of CBC,

Bottom line is that even if the Wings are able to battle through the injuries and the transition, this may just be the season that Holland has to make a move in goal. Now, they will want to give Howard time to establish his worth and Osgood, a veteran, time to find his game.

It will be interesting to see, though, if Howard has NHL game and whether time, as it inevitably will one day, has run out on Osgood.

This much we do know, the Wings will be patient, they are still deep enough to weather the storm and stay in the playoff hunt, but if they are going to get things turned around they will need vastly improved goaltending to do it. Whether that goaltending can come from Osgood and Howard, well, no one could answer that with any certainty today.


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

Avalanche Having Fun

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Last year, it took 91 points to qualify for the playoffs in the Western Conference. After amassing 22 points already in just their first 13 games, Colorado needs only to average one point per game the rest of the way to qualify for the playoffs. The Avalanche are the first team since the 1995-96 Winnipeg Jets to play two 18-year-olds, centres Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly, their first and second picks in last June’s entry draft. At the moment, Duchene is living with Foote’s family in Denver, in an attempt to ease his transition to the NHL.

Foote broke in under similar circumstances with the 1991-92 Quebec Nordiques, just one year before they turned the corner and qualified for the playoffs.

“We were just playing and having fun,” said Foote. “We started at the bottom of the barrel. Very similar I guess.”

read on plus other hockey topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Jones Was In A Tough Position With Philadelphia

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Rich Hammond of Inside The Kings had a chance to chat with Randy Jones who was claimed on waivers from the Flyers yesterday,

Question: It seemed like you were stuck, in a way, with the Flyers’ roster and salary-cap issues. Did that get frustrating? Did it almost feel like it was out of your control?

JONES: “Well, sometimes you do feel that it’s a little out of your control. I guess when it first happened I felt a little (upset) at the situation. You almost want to put blame on someone or just get (mad) at certain individuals, but I came to realize that it’s now how I should be handling it. In reality, I should have played better, if you will. You have to play good enough so that they can’t get rid of you. So it was a tough situation, but you kind of have to make the most out of it.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: randy+jones

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