Kukla's Korner

Tonight The Habs Makeover Begins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,

Let’s talk about his career as a demolitions expert. His knowledge of pentaerythritol tetranitrate. The miles of primer cord he rolled through the Bell Centre this summer.

In show biz, think of Gainey as a more urbane Big Jim McBob from Second City Television - “Blow’d up good ... blow’d up real good!”

There is a method to Bob’s madness; always has been, whether or not things have worked to his vision. And here tonight, in the first of 82 regular-season games, the curtain will be pulled back on the reconstruction that followed the summertime boom! of his Canadiens.

He’s got a new head coach in Jacques Martin, a hockey man through and through who’s instilled confidence and respect in his players and the city before one puck has been dropped for real.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Rangers On The Late Show With David Letterman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Top 10 things never before spoken by a hockey player.

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

Canada Loses Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

...By contrast, the NHL has never blocked an effort by a Canadian-based team to move south to a U.S. market. It was allowed decades ago when Hamilton moved to New York and became the Americans and Ottawa shifted to St. Louis, and more recently when the Winnipeg Jets became the Coyotes and the Quebec Nordiques moved to Colorado.

An interesting double standard, wouldn’t you say?

The exception to the ABC (Anywhere But Canada) rule came in 1980 when the money-losing Atlanta Flames, after a short-circuted attempted move to Houston, were sold to interests in Calgary for $16 million and allowed to shift operations to Alberta.

John Ziegler must have been looking the other way on that one.

So until there is another round of NHL expansion – greed will dictate the when – Canada can forget about getting another NHL team. Balsillie can claim “nobody can deny that we are now a big step closer to having a seventh NHL team in Canada,” but it seems abundantly clear that won’t be achieved through relocation.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

All Bryan Murray

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allen Panzeri of the Ottawa Citizen,

After a year in which another coach got fired, the team missed the playoffs for the first time in 12 seasons, and the team’s star goal scorer demanded a trade, Murray’s hoping this season allows him to show his face in public a little more without getting a pie thrown at it.

On the eve of the season, he sat down with The Citizen to talk about a number of issues. Here is an edited version of that conversation….

Q: What would qualify as a successful year?

A: That’s a tough question.

No. 1, you have to make the playoffs, very definitely. No. 2, you have to be competitive in the playoffs.

Do you have to win every round? I don’t know.

Our plan is to try to win the Stanley Cup, without a question. That has to be a given. But we have to get back to playing at a kind of level where we get respect in this town, and we have to show the fans as a team that we really compete every night and that we really care about playing here….


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bryan+murray

Canucks GM Not Happy With Burke

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,

Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said his franchise would again talk to the NHL about an incident involving a Maple Leafs executive making comments about Vancouver players.

“We’ll talk to [the league] about it and see what their position is but this, in my mind, is another example of the Toronto Maple Leafs trying to upset our team,” Gillis said from Calgary, where the Canucks begin their season with a game against the Flames.

Vancouver’s latest complaint stems from a video on the Maple Leafs website, entitled Behind the Draft, where general manager Brian Burke discusses the possibility of trading up into the top five slots.

“Vancouver has made a major effort to get the second pick out of Tampa Bay,” Burke tells his scouts at a pre-draft meeting. “We heard they offered - again, this is all second-hand, so we’re not sure - [Alex] Burrows, [Kevin] Bieksa and their own pick. Those are two pretty good players.”

read on

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

Future Hall Of Famer Mats Sundin Retires

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Today Mats Sundin announced his retirement.  I like to write a career perspective for players who retire that I consider future Hall of Fames, such as Sundin. 

Mats Sundin was born in Bromma, Sweden on February 13th, 1971.  He was raised in the Swedish hockey system.  Sundin first came to the notice of North American scouts in the 1988 European Junior Hockey Championships where he scored nine points in six games as a fifteen year old.  Sundin was quickly promoted to the Swedish division two, where he was playing against men many years older than them and managed 18 points in 25 games.  NHL scouts had seen enough to select him first overall in the 1989 entry draft by the Quebec Nordiques.  This was the first time ever that a European had been selected first overall.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Lecavalier Leading The Way

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,

Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said he likes what he sees from captain Vinny Lecavalier. So much so, he said he sees “a different Vinny.”

“It’s his attention to detail, the way he’s running the team, the room,” Tocchet said Wednesday at the St. Pete Times Forum. “When we have off-ice workouts, he makes sure everybody’s in there.”

Lecavalier also has accepted a strategy of coming back into the defensive zone for the puck to ignite breakouts instead of waiting for the puck to come to him.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vinny+lecavalier

What Was The NHLPA Thinking?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

The battle between Paul Kelly and the NHLPA just got even uglier.

The Toronto Star reported Wednesday that the union hired former Ontario Chief Justice Roy McMurtry to investigate whether or not it was correct to fire Kelly for looking at confidential documents.

According to the newspaper, McMurtry found that Kelly committed “a serious breach of trust” and that there was “legal cause to terminate him.”

But the NHLPA should never have hired McMurtry to investigate Kelly.

And McMurtry should never have accepted.


from TSN,

It appears as thought the NHL Players’ Association has made a major blunder in their attempt to prove they had just cause for the firing of former PA head Paul Kelly.


Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: roy+mcmurtry

I Think It Is A Preview

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael-Louis Ingram and Gary Norris Gray of Black Athlete,

The Ottawa Senators traded Dany Heatley to the San Jose Sharks for Jonathan Cheechoo and Milan Michael. This greatly improves San Jose’s scoring power. The Sharks will miss their young feisty pacesetter Cheechoo’s heart, which cannot be taught….

Will the tough Philadelphia Flyers, a.k.a. the New Broad Street Bullies reclaim their fame this year? Brian Boucher was last year’s starter, but Goal Brotha Ray Emery (back after an All-Star year in Russia’s Super League) should be in the nets….

Can Calgary finally get to the Finals with Goal Brotha Number One, team Captain Jarome Iginla? With the addition of Brother Dawes and the improving Rene Bourque this should be a very interesting team to watch on offense, along with Mr. Rock ‘Em /Sock ‘Em, Dion Phaneuf and a healthy Robyn Regehr on defense….

Will the Chicago Blackhawks live without the ‘Bulin Wall in goal? Nikolai Khabibulin moves on to the Edmonton Oilers. Last year’s budding star, goalie Cristobal Huet has to step up in net along with new Hawks Marian Hossa and John Madden…

more (part 1)

On to part 2…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

Marleau On The New Captain

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Pollak of Working the Corners at the Mercury News,

Maybe the place to start is with the former captain. How was he feeling about the transfer of power to Rob Blake?

“It’s a good thing,” Patrick Marleau said. “They were looking for a change and there are some pretty good guys now wearing the letters. That being said, there are still other guys in the room that need to lead as well.”

And he does include himself in that group.

“If anything we’ve learned from years previous that it’s going to take a lot more guys stepping up at different times and at key times. It’s just a way of changing things, changing the look and pulling things together.”

Joe Thornton, who ends up getting the A back that he lost earlier this summer, said he didn’t see his role any differently with Blake as captain than it was with Marleau. And he called Blake “a perfect choice.”

more on the Sharks…

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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