Kukla's Korner

The Life Of A Ref

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rory Boylen of The Hockey News,

It’s a job many onlookers think they can do better than the ones wearing the orange bands after a disagreeable call is made, but there is more to this job than meets the eye through a television screen or reverse replay angle.

Building off the popularity of last season’s ‘A Scout’s Life’ feature, every other week we will explore what it takes, what it means to be and what goes through the mind of an official to familiarize fans with this polarizing corner of the game. We’ll not only touch on NHL referees, but also the minor leagues, junior leagues, all the way down to the local minor hockey level where it all begins.

“I grew up not a great hockey player, so, fortunately, I learned at a young enough age I wasn’t going to go anywhere playing,” said pro referee David Banfield. “My dad was a ref himself, so I came home one day and asked him and I started minor hockey on the eastern shore in Cole Harbour.”


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

My Fantasy Draft Aftermath

Blog: KK Hockey By Hippy Dave

Good god nothing is so draining as crawling back from a 10 hour work day to throw a draft party, but damn it, I did it.  Now comes the deep introspective reflection… “Did I do well?”  I think so.. if only the Zamboners would have stopped talking my ear off during my picks…  “Could I have done better?”  Shoot after looking at WhoFarted IceMelted’s roster I sure know so; the guy drafted only players who score the most power play points, and with that strategy his team looks monstrous.  Though I believe beating the perennial favorite Filth and last year’s cup winner The Fargin Iceholes are well within my sights.

The important thing to realize here is not to have buyer’s remorse following a draft.  I don’t know about you but I love to work the wire, but you can’t go jumping ship after your draft trying to second guess yourself.  My league allows 30 wire moves during the season and I run out of all 30 about 2 weeks before the playoffs start.  That’s how I roll.  But bide your time and see how your instincts pay off for the first few weeks.

It seems there are three basic tacks you can take during a draft:  Pick up proven performers, pick up young guys who promise to bust out this year and next, or pick up guys who were injured last year and can be monsters this year if only they’ll stay in shape.  I took a mix of the first and the latter this year.  I feel about as confident as a Disney lemming right about now, but in three months, things will be different.

So, what do you think?  My fantasy roster for the year:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

Blackhawks Need To Adjust To Travel Schedule

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Len Ziehm of Inside the Blackhawks at the Chicago Sun-Times,

The Blackhawks might regret spending the last days of training camp and first two games of the regular season in Europe. It’s been a taxing trip on the players, what with the eight-hour time change between Chicago and Helsinki. It was a good project for team bonding and good for the NHL to expose its product beyond North America, but now the Hawks have to adjust their body clocks all over again for the return to the U.S. and still another road game in Detroit on Thursday.  This little stretch of three games is the first good measure of the Hawks this season.

added 2:08pm, from Mike Kiley of Blackhawks Confidential,

Shut up about the Stanley Cup finals being within reach. Shut up about One Goal. Shut up about Cup or Bust.

Once again, the Blackhawks have to learn a hard lesson from the Detroit Red Wings. Drop the puke and play.

read on

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

He’ll Be Back Soon

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Bill asked me to post this for him-

I’ll be back online tomorrow for a live blog and all is well.  Work has just taken a significant priority the last three weeks.

added 4:25pm (Paul), I am removing my name from this post since the author receives emails of all comments on the post.  It is not that I don’t enjoy the comments, but I think I deal with enough emails on a daily basis and really don’t want to read the through all of them.

I now turn them over to IwoCPO.



Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

The Goalies ‘Look’

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Lukas of ESPN Page 2,

Uni Watch reader Tyler Hull works for Bauer, and as part of his job, he keeps track of what goalies are wearing. So if you’ve never devoted much thought to goalie pads yourself, don’t sweat it—Hull has already done most of the thinking for you.

“Goalies mainly chose their pads based on their style of play,” Hull explains. “It’s the only sports equipment I can think of that’s based on the athlete’s style. I know baseball players use different gloves, but that’s more for position than style.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Hockey Equipment, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Shanahan Done In New Jersey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

Future Hall of Famer Brendan Shanahan has left the Devils and will not be on the team this season.

Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said Shanahan remains on the team’s 23-player roster for now, but a decision will be made on that later today.

Lamoriello said that because of the emergence of young players on the team such as Niclas Bergfors, Matt Halischuk. Rod Pelley and Ilkka Pikkarainen, there was no place for Shanahan on the team’s top three lines, which was a role that Shanahan desired. Lamoriello didn’t rule out completely that Shanahan won’t return to the team at some point this season, but it appears highly unlikely.


added 1:36pm, Tom has more information on this in a new blog post.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+shanahan

Canucks Hope To Answer All The Questions

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

Put it this way. When you look at the calibre of player who failed to crack the Canucks’ lineup this season, you know something out of the ordinary was going on.

Maybe that means those players weren’t good enough.

Or maybe it means the Canucks’ lineup was too good for them and that would speak volumes about this team.

“There’s a reason you have training camp and that’s to give everyone the opportunity to show what they can do,” said head coach Alain Vigneault. “Can veterans assume a bigger role? Can the kids play here?

“We were able to answer a lot of those questions.”


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

TSN Experts With Their Picks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

According to the hockey experts gathered by the NHL on TSN, the Stanley Cup champion is…tougher to pick than ever.  In trying to get a consensus pre-season pick from a panel of 13 experts, seven different teams earned votes. The defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers, however, attracted the most attention, earning three votes each.

“I like the Pittsburgh Penguins,” said Peter Laviolette. “There’s a lot of good teams, very good teams, in the National Hockey League, but the Penguins have the two best players in hockey in (Sidney) Crosby and (Evgeny) Malkin.”

Ray Ferraro picked the Flyers to beat the Vancouver Canucks for the Stanley Cup, and Pierre McGuire agreed.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tsn

Flu Hits Panthers In Helsinki

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,

Center Stephen Weiss, and defensemen Keith Ballard, Bryan Allen and Jordan Leopold all missed practice this morning because of the flu. All will be game-time decisions, Coach Pete DeBoer said.

“We just have to keep those guys away from the other guys and hope to get through Friday and Saturday without spreading it any more,” DeBoer said.

Not sure about the other three, but I’d be surprised if Weiss plays Friday. If he does, he deserves a tremendou s amount of credit for gutting it out. I saw him in the hotel elevator this morning as I was leaving for practice and he looked as awful as he said he felt.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

There Is Just Something About The Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chad Hermann of the Radical Middle at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

But there’s something about hockey. 

It’s a Canadian game, and many of the players have French or Russian names, so it’s not exactly an easy sell in the United States of Xenophobia. It’s the red-headed immigrant step-child of the American sporting world, dismissed, frowned upon, and condescended to by a great many people who do not understand it, have never seen it played in person, and are therefore in little position to judge. It barely registers on the radar of millions of so-called sports fans, with precious little print coverage and tv ratings somewhere between the abject boredom of bowling and the Kafkaesque torture of poker. It’s a bunch of guys in sweaters and shorts and ice skates, chasing a little rubber biscuit around a frozen parking lot.

But still. There’s something about hockey.


thanks to a KK reader for the pointer

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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