Kukla's Korner

Longest Summer In History Ends Today

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

The offseason hadn’t been this short in nearly five years.  But it sure did drag. A lack of drama over the summer, perhaps?  Most likely.  Our big discussion topic was a Russian kid who’s not even on the roster, and may very well play his way back home. 

Other than that, it was a summer of recovery.  Recovery from losing in the Western Finals to a team the Wings had on the ropes, and to a lumbering idiot like Chris Pronger.  Since last May, two Wings have defected to the hockey hotbed of SOCAL and Anaheim named a Sasquatch their Captain.

Have you forgotten precisely how you felt about Pronger?  I think I had, so I went back and read a few posts from last May, just to get the hate working in preparation for the season opener on Versus!!!!

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Goal Judges Get a New Perch

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Lisa Dillman at the LA Times,

Amusement park rides aren’t nearly as scary as the upper reaches of Pengrowth Saddledome, home of the Calgary Flames, which is why news that the team’s goal judges would be stationed in the thin air of the catwalk sounded like a bad joke.

So, Pluto was unavailable? Maybe they’re planning on playing U2’s “Vertigo” when a goal is scored. And just an idle thought, will these goal judges be given high-powered binoculars along with their official blazers at Thursday’s home opener?  “It almost sounds laughable,” agreed Flames public relations assistant Sean Kelso.

Not now.

continued… (*looking at various teams; may require free registration)

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: referees

NHL - Esquire Party

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

imageTonight the NHL and Esquire Magazine celebrated the start of the 2007-08 season and the 10th anniversary of Hockey Fights Cancer with an all-star bash at Esquire North, a penthouse overlooking New York City’s Central Park.

Among those expected there were NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, Esquire Publisher and Vice President Kevin C. O’Malley New York Islanders head coach Ted Nolan, Hockey Hall of Famers Bobby Nystrom and Rod Gilbert, NHL great Willie O’Ree.  Plus a host of players, including Mike Comrie, Rick DiPietro and Bill Guerin of the Islanders; Ryan Miller, Derek Roy and Paul Gaustad of the Buffalo Sabres; and others. The Stanley Cup also made a special appearance at the event.

Photos and more, below.

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Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The New NHL Economy

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Tarik El-Bashir in Wednesday’s Washington Post,

But as the NHL prepares to open season tonight—the third under the new collective bargaining agreement—some league executives and outside observers are again voicing concerns about the growing disparity between high- and low-revenue teams.

Although the average player salary this season is expected to be about $1.8 million, which is what it was in 2003-04, the salary cap ceiling has grown to $50.3 million per team, an increase of nearly 30 percent in two years. The salary cap floor, meantime, is up to $34.3 million, substantially more than some clubs spent before the lockout that scuttled the 2004-05 season.

more… (*a detailed overview the NHL’s financial situation)

*may require free registration to read

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Brian Burke Talks to TSN

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From TSN,

Burke has been critical of some of the moves made by the Oilers this past off-season and did not mince words when talking about Lowe.

“If I had run my team into the sewer like that I wouldn’t throw a grenade at the other 29 teams and my own indirectly,” said Burke. “So I have no intention of speaking to him anytime soon.”

When Duthie asked what would happen if the Ducks needed to talk to the Oilers about a player late in the season Burke explained his assistant GM, Bob Murray would make the call.

more… (*Full interview about 3 minutes long. Follow the link to check out the video.)

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anaheim+ducks, brian+burke

Blue Jacket Vets on IR

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the AP via TSN,

The Blue Jackets could start the season without as many as three of their top veteran players.

The club announced Tuesday that defenceman Adam Foote, left winger Fredrik Modin and centre Michael Peca would be put on injured reserve. The Blue Jackets open their season on Friday night at home against the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: columbus+blue+jackets, injuries

Waiting for the Best of Kovalev

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From T.C. Denault at Habs World,

This year’s preseason offered no shortage of stories. [...] Strangely, lost in the shuffle was Alexei Kovalev.

What makes this even stranger is that this upcoming season represents a make or break year for Alexei Kovalev. The time for excuses is past. Now beginning his third full year in Montreal, one could argue that Canadiens fans have yet to see the best of Kovalev.

It’s hard to argue that we haven’t seen the worst of Alexei Kovalev already.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+kovalev, montreal+canadiens

From Luongo to Vokoun

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Steve Gorten at the Sun-Sentinel,

Jacques Martin has never publicly said, and probably never will, that trading Roberto Luongo was a mistake, despite how it shook the Panthers’ organization.

Martin ultimately gave his approval of the trade to then-General Manager Mike Keenan not because he wanted to — Luongo was the reason Martin chose to coach the Panthers instead of the Coyotes — but because he felt he had no other choice after contract negotiations with the star goalie grew too contentious.

So Martin, the coach, made do with Alex Auld and Ed Belfour in goal. In June, Martin, the general manager, made a major move to stabilize that position and this franchise: He traded three draft picks to the Nashville Predators for goalie Tomas Vokoun.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: florida+panthers, goalies, tomas+vokoun

Coaching the Avs

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Aaron J. Lopez at the Rocky Mountain News,

For nearly three decades, Joel Quenneville has been wielding a stick and some blades in the NHL, first as a player, then as a coach. If all goes as expected, when he stands behind the Avalanche bench Jan. 9 in Washington, he will join Jacques Lemaire and Bob Pulford as the only people in NHL history to coach and play in at least 800 games (Quenneville played 803 games in 13 seasons).

While Quenneville takes pride in the personal milestone, his mind is focused on guiding the Avalanche to the playoffs after missing the postseason for the first time since the franchise moved to Denver in 1995.

continued… (*a short Q&A session with the Avs coach)

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: colorado+avalanche, joel+quenneville

Optimistic in Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail, the optimism of Paul Maurice:

The man is the epitome of grace under fire. A font of cool rationale as the centre of the hockey universe explodes into panic.

Lost Kyle Wellwood to another operation on his sports hernia? Relax, coach Maurice says. Chad Kilger and John Pohl are here to carry the second line.

Vesa Toskala looked more like Red Light Racicot than the second coming of Curtis Joseph in the exhibition season? Not to worry, coach Maurice says. He and Andrew Raycroft will make the Leafs better in goal this season.

The defence as a group looks every bit as bad as last season? Hey, coach Maurice says, we’re just working a few kinks out.

more…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: toronto+maple+leafs

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