Kukla's Korner

Senators Playing Like A Playoff Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Brodie of OttawaSenators.com,

The standings don’t exactly agree with his sentiment.

But given their performance level of late, Ottawa Senators head coach Cory Clouston will gladly match his team up with any of the squads currently occupying one of the eight Eastern Conference playoff berths.

“We feel like we’re a playoff team,” Clouston said of the Senators (29-30-10), who stand 12th in the East, 13 points shy of a playoff berth. “Whether or not we end up in the playoffs, that’s (yet) to be determined, but we still feel that we’re a playoff team. We’ll feel we’re doing enough things right now and beating enough teams and we’ve shown and proved to ourselves that we’re a playoff team.

“Hopefully, time will be on our side.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Pay-Up Brodeur

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

A court has ruled Martin Brodeur must pay his ex-wife $500,000 a year until 2020.

The AP has the story via USA TODAY.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+brodeur

Standings For The 2nd Half Of The Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Not surprisingly, the New Jersey Devils are first in the NHL since the halfway point, picking up 76 percent of their possible points with 44 in 29 games. Detroit, recovering from the first-half Cup hangover, is second with 40 points in 30 games and the stunner in third place, the St. Louis Blues.

In the actual season-long standings, the Blues are 11th, two points out of the playoffs in the crazy race that is the Western Conference. But what it tells you is, if the Blues can get in, they might be on quite a roll and be a dangerous first-round foe.

That’s what happened in 2005-06, when the upstart Edmonton Oilers got hot at the right time and played the role of giant-killer all the way to the Cup finals as the No. 8 seed.

more with the 2nd half of the regular season standings…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Will Kesler Take A Home-Team Discount?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,

The Canucks can start talking contract extension July 1, and it would be in their best interests to start kicking those tires now and then lock up the restricted free agent long-term. Allowing Kesler to build on this career season when the final year of his deal plays out in 2009-10 would only up the ante because he will also have arbitration rights.

If Kesler is willing to agree to a sensible salary—he’s earning a paltry $1.75 million annually—coupled with long-term security, it will be music to the ears of Canucks GM Mike Gillis. Maybe not so much for Kesler’s agent, Kurt Overhardt.

“It’s important that I don’t talk contracts and important that I fly under the radar,” Overhardt said Wednesday. “Ryan has always had the skill and fortitude. It’s about opportunity and maturing.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+kesler

Hard On The Blackhawks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,

Huet wasn’t very good. Neither was Campbell, who continues to make decisions that leave you scratching your head, especially on the power play.

Campbell is pressing big time and seems to be getting worse instead of better.

Three bad goals by Huet, by my count. Definitely not playoff goaltending. He did make a few huge stops, but the goals were killers. Time to play Khabibulin. A lot.

The Hawks have 13 games to play. Nik should play at least 10 of them.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Jeremy Roenick on being drafted as an 18 year old…

“I was scared to death.  I actually just came out of my junior year of high school and I was about 155 pounds, I was really small, so when I came in the league, I came in with these giant men that had hair all over their body, beards.

I can barely grow a couple of hairs on my face.”

Much more on Roenick by Jessica Ayala of the Spartan Daily (San Jose State Univ.).

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jeremy+roenick

Canadiens Are Last Year’s Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

In a few crucial ways, this year’s edition of the Montreal Canadiens remind me of last year’s edition of the New York Rangers.

Not that that’s a good thing.

First and foremost, this year’s Canadiens have 11 players – including forwards Alex Tanguay, Saku Koivu, Alex Kovalev and defensemen Francis Bouillon and Mike Komisarek – set to become unrestricted free agents this summer.

Similarly, last year’s Rangers had nine players – Sean Avery, Jaromir Jagr, Brendan Shanahan, Marek Malik, Michal Rozsival and Martin Straka chief among them – in the final season of their contracts.

continued

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

Holland Talks Hossa & Franzen

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Holland plans to meet with Hossa’s agent, Ritch Winter, during next week’s trip to western Canada. Holland is talking to the camps for Hossa and Johan Franzen, the Wings’ two biggest free agents headed into summer.

“Given the uncertainty of the economy, I’m moving slow,” Holland said Wednesday. “But it’s not only the economy. It’s about team building, it’s about our philosophy. We can keep Franzen and Hossa, but then we’ll have to let a whole lot of other players go. I don’t know if that’s the answer to being competitive. But if I can get a number that I think allows us to have one extra player, you start to think more and more about doing something. Right now, I’m not really close to where I’d like to get to with either side.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: johan+franzen, marian+hossa

Rangers Will Have Cap Issues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

When the offseason arrives, personnel decisions will be based primarily on whether players fit into Tortorella’s vision for how he wants the Rangers to think and to play. The cap is a factor, and the Rangers may lose a player they would prefer to keep, but they are unlikely to sacrifice anyone Tortorella believes can be part of the core.

The number is $41.096M for the nine players under contract next season and there will be another $6.524M committed to Qualifying Offers for five more players. Combined, that’s a total of $47.62M. This will leave the Rangers with $7-10M to sign unrestricted free agents Antropov and Paul Mara and fill in the remainder of the club.

There will be tough calls to make, and it is all but certain that the Blueshirts will attempt at least one of the big-money contracts, but the change to Tortorella has provided management with the best prism through which to make their evaluations.

more Rangers talk…

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

From First Class To Bus Rides

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

He played 19 NHL seasons for five teams, and when his career wound up in 2004 with the Calgary Flames, Dave Lowry turned to coaching instead of endlessly pursuing a lower handicap.

Yes, coaching, that thankless undertaking of the hockey lifer.

For three years he worked as an assistant with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen. Now he is one of 19 former NHL players working as head coaches in the Canadian Hockey League. Lowry took over behind the bench when Kelly Kisio assumed the general manager’s duties full-time before the season.

After years of leading the lush life as NHL players — first-class hotels, charter aircraft, five-star restaurants — Lowry and peers are riding the buses across the Prairies in the WHL, and through the hinterland of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.

continued and make sure to check the left sidebar at the Globe and Mail for related articles…

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

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