Kukla's Korner

Watching The Oilers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,

Fourth in the league in fights and second in goals scored, these guys are getting fun to watch.

“Right from Day 1, it was something everybody in the room was aware of, that we needed to change our philosophy, especially at home,” said captain Ethan Moreau.

“And we did that. Nobody really had to re-invent themselves, it was just a few subtle changes, adding a few physical guys, and it carried through the team.”

Combine that with a coach who favours attacking rather than defending and they’ve already delivered six months’ worth of wow in October alone.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Trade Trends

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun via the Sudbury Star,

Of the more than 40 NHL trades made since the 2008-09 deadline, involving both players and draft picks, about a third involved teams dealing within their own division or conference.

That’s a change in attitude from 20 years ago and something to keep in mind as November approaches and teams looking for an extra lift start to evaluate some deals.

When old rivals Boston and Buffalo made a truce this week, the Sabres sending ex-first-round pick Daniel Paille away for a third-rounder next year and a conditional fourth-rounder in 2011, it was the first time the old Adams Division rivals did any kind of swap since Buffalo gave the rights to Peter McNab to Boston in 1976.

“What it really speaks to is the economics of the league today,” said Sabres’ GM Darcy Regier. “Ironically, I was one that always wanted

to place a player in the Western Conference. It’s not always doable, and in this case it wasn’t do-able. So you make the best deal you can in the East.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sounds Like An NHL Reunion

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Wiecek of the Winnipeg Free Press,

On a night when the Manitoba Moose—and one former Manitoba Bison—moved freely among Wolves and 42-year-old Mike Keane was just the second oldest player on the ice, everything seemed possible.

And so here it is, from the opening faceoff to the final horn:

They put on quite a pre-game show. Fireworks, fireballs, lots of fire… And lots of smoke. There’s a thick haze hanging over the ice as they prepare to drop the puck. It reminds me of those old photos of the Montreal Forum in the 1970s, when you needed a ticket and a pack-a-night habit to attend a Habs game… Izzy Idonije, who played for the University of Manitoba Bisons before he played for the Chicago Bears, dropped the ceremonial first puck, wearing a Wolves jersey emblazoned with the No. 71… Wayne freaking Messmer sang the anthems tonight. Yeah, that Wayne Messmer, the guy who at old Chicago Stadium nightly walked the line between singing an anthem and inciting a riot. He’s still got great pipes, but the atmosphere here at the Allstate Arena isn’t nearly the same.

There’s the old Winnipeg Jet Ron Wilson behind the Wolves bench. Wilson and Don Lever were hired as assistant coach and coach this week and are making their debut tonight… This guy Chris Chelios can apparently play hockey.

read on

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“He’s the best goalie in the game right now, though he might have had some recent problems. He’s the best goalie in the NHL and he’s a great player. My point is that a lot of great players don’t sell tickets. I don’t think (Detroit’s multiple Norris Trophy winner) Nicklas Lidstrom sells tickets and he’s a lock first-ballot Hall of Famer. I think my team’s the same — we don’t have anybody who sells tickets. A player like Pavel Bure sold a lot of tickets.”

-Brian Burke speaking about Roberto Luongo.  Via Jim Jamieson at the White Towel.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke

Smile Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,

...Twenty-three years later, Bob Fisher is still sweating the details.

He was on Bell Centre ice this past Monday at 9 a.m., the empty risers in front of him awaiting the 2009-10 Canadiens for the first of two team photos that he’ll shoot this centennial season. A second will be taken after the March 3 trade deadline, of the roster the club hopes will skate into the playoffs.

“But this is the most historic picture I’ve ever done,” Fisher said, admitting that nerves kept him awake most of the night before. “This is (essentially) the team that will be playing on Dec. 4, the Canadiens’ 100th birthday.

“People are going to talk about this picture 50 years after I’m dead. They’ll ask: ‘Who was there in the centennial season?’ Well, this is the team.”

One hundred years ago, the first team photo of the pre-NHL National Hockey Association Canadiens was merely a montage of 11 players and league official Eddy McCafferty. This image, signed by Albert Dumas, was a template for many photos to come, mug shots or frozen poses cobbled into a single print.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bob+fisher

Jimmy D:  “We Suck, And We’re Going To Keep Sucking All Season Long”

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Inflammatory stuff right there sister.  Inflammatory.  Good thing I made it up.  OMG you must be breathing a huge sigh of relief right now. 

Well, not so fast…because our Senior Executive President For Not Being Able to STFU did say something frighteningly similar.


“I don’t know how I can put it any other way than to be truthful; you can’t lose those types of players and have the record we had a year ago.  We are going to have to work very, very hard to be competitive, and to make the playoffs.  That’s the truth.”


Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Tuomo Ruutu Hit On Darcy Tucker

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Ruutu received 5 minutes for boarding along with a 10 and game misconduct.

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

...it seems like Darcy Tucker escaped potentially catastrophic injury tonight. After being taken from the ice on a stretcher from Tuomo Ruutu’s hit from behind, eyewitnesses said later tonight that Tucker walked out of the Pepsi Center. He was on his way to the hospital for further tests, but Avs personnel told me Tucker appears to have “escaped” with a concussion and stitches to the head.

read on

added 11:40am, According to Ben Hankinson, Ruutu receives a 3 game suspension.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: darcy+tucker, tuomo+ruutu

All That Whining In Vancouver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,

Despite an NHL-imposed gag order to cease and desist from public comments, Toronto Maple Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke painted the rival Vancouver Canucks as whiners and tattletales yesterday.

Burke, the former Canucks GM who is returning to his former haunt for the first time since assuming leadership of the Maple Leafs in November, admitted yesterday that he erred in allowing a team-produced video – in which he floats inaccurate trade rumours about Vancouver players – to appear on the club’s website. But Burke also insinuated the Canucks are responsible for the brouhaha, and that the whole incident could have been settled privately had Vancouver GM Mike Gillis called him and not the NHL head office.

“All the commentary on this has come out of Vancouver,” Burke said on the eve of a showdown between the teams at GM Place tonight. “Not a word out of Toronto.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke

Ex-NHL Goaltender Carries The Bag For Fred Couples

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Arizona Republic,

Damian Rhodes, a former NHL goaltender for Ottawa, Toronto, and Atlanta , is a caddie for the first time this week, looping for Fred Couples, who is 4-under , seven shots off the lead.

“I told my caddy not to fly out from Connecticut, so he stayed home with his kids,” Couples said. “Damian was either in the right or wrong spot when I heard ‘I’ll caddy for you’ and I turned around and it was him.”

Rhodes, an avid golfer, is good friends with Jim “Bones” McKay, Phil Mickelson ‘s caddy. He said he had a blast being inside the ropes at a PGA Tour event.

“My wife said I can cross it off my bucket list,” Rhodes said.

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: damian+rhodes

NHLPA Review Committee

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

TORONTO (October 23, 2009) – The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) Executive Board has voted 25-5 passing a resolution to have Rob Blake, Chris Chelios, Nicklas Lidstrom and Mark Recchi form a committee to review NHLPA operations and submit its recommendations to the Executive Board of the NHLPA.

Rob, Chris, Nik and Mark will convene a conference call in the next few days to determine: the nature and extent of the review; the advisors who will be recommended to be retained to assist them; and the next steps to take.

There will be no further comment from the committee or NHLPA staff on these internal union matters until its work is complete and it has reported to the Executive Board and the players as required by the resolution establishing the committee.

Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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