Kukla's Korner

It’s Been A Bad Summer For The Sens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen,

By the dozens, Senators players, themselves, will soon be gathering for fall training camp. Not soon enough will the real game on the ice replace the head games of summer.

Have the Senators had a worse summer, the summer of Heatley/Mlakar/Kovalev and Balsillie-bites-Melnyk?

Emphatically, no, other than the offseasons eclipsed by labour interruptions, in 1994 and 2004—blackout periods for all NHL franchises.

The Senators haven’t had a summer quite like this one. Looking back, missing the Stanley Cup playoffs last spring turned out to be the least of the team’s worries after the 2008-09 season ended.


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

Wings Preparing For Another Run

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

“It was a tough ending for all of us, but I think we all got some time to think things through and also get re-energized,’’ defenseman Niklas Kronwall said Tuesday. “What bothers me the most is, I feel like we had a great team and we didn’t play as good as we could. That’s something you always have to live with.

“At the same time, we had some injuries to key players. That was a part of it, but all teams go through injuries. We were close to pulling it off but just couldn’t get there.

“When you win, people tell you how good you are. When you don’t win, people congratulate you for a good season. It’s almost like you get offended. There’s nothing but (a championship). No one counts the second guy.’‘


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Jason Smith Retiring

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Jason Smith is calling it a career.

The 35-year-old defenceman has called a news conference for 10 a.m. with team general manager Bryan Murray this morning at Scotiabank Place where he’s expected to announce his retirement after an NHL career that has spanned 17 years.


added 10:36am, from the Ottawa Senators,

“I have been fortunate to have played in the NHL for 16 years. I have played alongside many great teammates and for organizations that I was proud to have been a part of,” said Smith. “I would like to thank all of my teammates, owners, coaches, managers and staff that I have had the privilege of working with through the years and would like to recognize the fans for their tremendous support.

“It has been an honour and a privilege for me to have played in over 1,000 career National Hockey League games, and I would especially like to thank my wife, Wendy, my daughters, Britney and Jordan, my mother and father, my brother and sister, and my many loyal friends for their support through the ups and downs, and for always being there for me.”

more on Smith…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jason+smith

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I want to take some time to let my emotions settle before I talk about this.  Quite frankly, I’m still stunned and saddened at what has happened. I need a little time to figure out exactly what I want to say to the players and to the public.”

-Paul Kelly.  More from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail.

Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+kelly

Baum, Betteman & Balsillie In The Spotlight Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

From Ancaster to Stoney Creek, Hamilton-area hockey fans could see their dream of landing an NHL franchise dry up in an Arizona courtroom today.

Of course, Blackberry moneybags Jim Balsillie is not about to let that happen without a fight.

Both Balsillie and his arch-rival, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, are scheduled to be on hand in Phoenix when U.S. bankruptcy Judge Redfield T. Baum makes a key decision that will help determine if a seventh Canadian NHL team will, in fact, become a reality.

With Bettman sitting in the room, Balsillie will be available to answer any questions the court might have concerning his attempt to purchase the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes and move the team to shinny-starved Steeltown.

It now rests in Baum’s hands.


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

Phil Esposito Talks A Few Topics Related To Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Young at the Toronto Star,

“What he’s done is ridiculous,” Esposito says of Balsillie. “You’ve gotta go through the rules. Buy the team first, then follow their rules. That’s the way it works. That’s what we did in Tampa. They gave us a book and we followed the book.”


“I don’t think Hamilton’s the right place to put a team. Toronto can afford another team, I have no doubt, but not Hamilton. It’s too close to Buffalo, for one thing, and that arena (in Hamilton) needs $200 million of upgrades? Ridiculous. You can’t play there.”


“This is not a little business. This is a big business. Whether you like him or not, Gary Bettman is trying to do the right thing here.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+esposito

Canadian Goaltender Beaten In Russia

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Daphne Cameron of Cyberpresse (translated),

The goaltender Jonathan Boutin was savagely attacked in an alley in the city of Perm in the Ural Region, August 29. Before his departure he had signed a one year contract with the team who plays in the second division.

But upon his arrival in Russian soil this week, managers of the club told him that they finally had enough money to pay. The hockey player of 24 years then took steps to return to Quebec.

Visibly shocked, the victim’s father has refused to grant an interview to The Press of fear that the media coverage of the case would put the life of her son in danger

read on and you can read more on this topic at another Cyberpresse story (translated).

Thanks to a KK member for the pointer…

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+boutin

Gathering Of Rookies

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Upper Deck recently head a NHL Rookie Shoot.  Fourteen first-year players gathered for the shoot which you can watch below.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

When a three-year extension was announced with Versus in 2008, your commissioner was all smiles and claimed interest in the game would grow in the U.S. along with the Versus viewership.

Well, surprise, surprise, that looks to be yet another ruse in a long line of poppycock propaganda that insults the intelligence of hockey fans across the board whenever it’s shamelessly used.

It’s time the NHL got its hands dirty to ensure its investment with the Versus product pays off, rather than sitting idly by and telling the rest of us everything will be alright.

-Rory Boylen of The Hockey News.  More from Rory on this topic plus what else, the Phoenix situation.

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Ordinary Player, Great Broadcaster

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Hurley of NESN,

Indeed, it seems as though the best broadcasters were either average players or didn’t play at all. With that being said, here are the top 10 ordinary athletes who turned into extraordinary broadcasters.

8. Andy Brickley
Andy Brickley was the final pick in the 1980 NHL draft but still turned in a decent career. Once his playing days ended, however, Brickley found his true calling in life as a color commentator for the Bruins. Brickley, who registered 222 points in 385 career games, brings the know-how and attitude that only a hockey player can bring, while still maintaining a universal appeal….

3. Barry Melrose
Barry Melrose’s career stats are worse than bad. They’re horrible. In 300 games, he registered 33 points and an impossible plus-minus rating of minus-119. His 728 penalty minutes were his best stat, but that didn’t stop Melrose from essentially becoming the face of hockey for most American sports fans.

more, but no other hockey names mentioned.  Maybe you can come up with a few of your own?

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

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