Kukla's Korner

The Story Of Player Agent Eustace King

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,

In the latest issue of The Hockey News, senior writer Ken Campbell uncovered the inspiring story of Chris Stewart and Wayne Simmonds, two rising NHL stars who came from hard-scrabble roots.

Not only do the two share a common past, but they also share an agent, Eustace King of O2K Management. His story’s not bad, either.

King is, to his knowledge (and mine, for that matter), the only African-American agent in the NHL. Hailing from Evanston, Ill., just north of Chicago, the former goaltender played NCAA hockey at Miami, Ohio where his teammates included future NHLers Dan Boyle, Kevyn Adams and Randy Robitaille.

But his future was not between the pipes. Instead, King went into business, eventually finding his way to the NHL headquarters where he focused on corporate sponsorships for the league, while also contributing to the NHL’s diversity program.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: eustace+king

Can Modano Play A Whole Season?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

It’s not an issue of whether Modano has the will to lace ‘em up in September or October; but what is his will to play out an entire season? That seemed to be an issue in Dallas the past couple of seasons and explains in part why the Stars made the choice to walk away from a player who has been the face of the franchise for two decades.

If we were Wings GM Ken Holland, we’d take a run at Bill Guerin or Paul Kariya to add veteran scoring punch and give one of your young prospects a shot at centering the third line. Less nostalgic, perhaps; but, in the long run, we’re guessing it would be a more productive move with less potential for dressing-room headaches.

more plus other NHL topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+modano

Yzerman Continues To Turn The Page

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,

In the latest bit of housecleaning from the previous regime, the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday fired Norfolk coach Jim Johnson and roving goaltenders coach Cap Raeder. Somewhat of a surprise as both, especially Johnson, were lauded by Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman for the way they ran the recent development camp. Yzerman went as far as to say he and Johnson were “on the same page.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sami Salo Tears Achilles Playing Floorball

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Sun,

According to reports out of Finland, Vancouver Canucks defenceman Sami Salo tore an Achilles tendon playing floor hockey and will be out at least three months.

The Canucks have yet to confirm or deny the report, which surfaced on Friday.


I Skyped with a buddy in Finland, he is confirming this and I put up a tweet about it.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sami+salo

Nashville Purchase Finally Finalizing

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

In 2007 the Nashville Predators were in a bad situation.  Their owner was Craig Leipold, who wanted out.  Jim Balsille made overtures about buying the team and moving it to Hamilton, but Leipold instead accepted an offer form $193 million (less than Balsille offered) from a local ownership group.  As payment for not selling the team to Balsille, Leipold wound up as the Minnesota Wild owner, which is a team in a much stronger financial situation than Nashville.

It turned out that the local group was not in good shape.  William “Boots” Del Biaggio, who held a significant minority share, turned out to be a fraud.  The NHL had not investigated his background significantly and it turned out he did not have the money he claimed.  Del Biaggio declared bankruptcy and went to jail, but the question of who owned his 26% share of the team remained a question looming over the team.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Billy Jaffe Out As Islanders TV Analyst

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Botto of NYI Point Blank,

Bob Raissman reports in today’s print edition of the Daily News that color commentator Billy Jaffe will not have his contract renewed. Jaffe lasted four seasons and built a strong reputation around the NHL and with fans, adding work with VERSUS and appearing on the popular “NHL Live” on XM/Sirius that was simulcast on NHL Network.

The Islanders, by letter of their broadcast contract, give their blessing (or lack thereof) to all announcers. Although MSG Network hires and pays the broadcasters, the Islanders - like most teams - have the ultimate say. In recent seasons, the franchise has been notorious in insisting their broadcasts do not contain the slightest bit of criticism.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: billy+jaffe

The Renovation Of Maple Leaf Gardens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elizabeth Church of the Globe and Mail,

With eight months left in the $60-million Ryerson University renovation of the upper portion of Maple Leaf Gardens, new sketches of the plans show an effort to keep the spirit of the former hockey shrine in the new, scaled-down rink. Ryerson, which is sharing the building with its new owner, Loblaw Cos. Ltd., is planning a student athletic centre for the building’s new second storey, with the rink on the floor above. “People will say, wow, this is very familiar, even though it really is a different place,” university president Sheldon Levy said. A look at the latest drawing for the rink:


Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Brunnstrom Looking For A One-Way Arbitration Decision

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News, Fabian Brunnstrom will seek a “one-way” contract when he takes the Stars to arbitration today in Toronto.

The Stars winger received a qualifying offer of $826,875, but that money would only be paid at the NHL level. If Brunnstrom was sent to the minors, he would have received $65,000 if he had signed the qualifying offer.

Brunnstrom instead opted for arbitration, asking for guaranteed money no matter where he plays.

Brunnstrom, 25, had 17 goals and 12 assists as a rookie in 2008-09. Last season, under new coach Marc Crawford, he was a healthy scratch for much of the season and had two goals and nine assists.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: fabian+brunnstrom

A Lost Season for “Cost Certainty”

Blog: KK Members Blog By @TheDailyBites

In light of the recent debacle, known as the Ilya Kovalchuk contract saga, and listening to and reading wide ranging opinions on various radio stations and print media, I can’t help but thinking back to the lockout and lost season of 2004-2005.

The main issue of the CBA negotiations was the idea of creating “cost certainty” for the owners.  Gary Bettman wanted to ensure that player salaries were linked to league revenues.  After a lost season, Bettman and the owners were able to get the salary cap or “cost certainty” that they desired.  Player’s salaries are now guaranteed to be 54% of league revenues and teams must meet a salary cap floor.

The salary cap for the 2005-2006 season was set at $39 million with a salary cap floor just over $21 million.  In comparison, the current salary cap for the 2010-2011 season is set at $59.4 million with a cap floor of $43.4 million.  The salary cap has increased by over 40% in its first five seasons of existence and the cap floor has more than doubled!  That is a pretty impressive growth rate considering that returns in the stock market and most people’s pensions have shrunk.  What is even more perplexing is that the salary cap floor is now more than 10% higher than the original salary cap.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: bettman, cba, kovalchuk

Homer, What Are You Doing?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

George Malik tweeted a link to some pictures that appear to be part of some sort of tradition/ceremony during Zetterberg’s wedding.

At least I hope so.

Hopefully someone can explain.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+holmstrom

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