Kukla's Korner

Blackhawks Still Learning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Greg Couch of the Chicago Sun-Times,

See Patrick Kane get a little uppity because someone checked him or elbowed him in the throat. Or smacked him in the head. See the Blackhawks learn how to go through their first little slump. See other teams testing the Hawks, hitting them in the mouth and into the boards to let them know that they’re not kings yet.

Truth is, the Hawks aren’t even grown up yet. We’re still in the early learning stages. They are the one bit of fresh air in Chicago sports now, what with the Bulls collapsing and Lovie Smith trying to figure out whom he can blame for his Bears.

continued

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

Kelly Says Lindros Reports Are Inaccurate & CBA Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal,

NHL Players’ Association Executive Director Paul Kelly acted to quell dissent within the union last week by publicly condemning recent press reports that criticized union ombudsman Eric Lindros and indicated Lindros would soon be fired.

But hockey sources question whether Kelly’s comments, which also expressed support for Lindros, will mend what has become a deepening rift within the union, at the same time NHL players are trying to decide whether to terminate the current collective-bargaining agreement.

As reported by SportsBusiness Journal in November, Kelly and Lindros, who were staunch and vocal supporters of each other when they were both hired in 2007, are increasingly at odds with each other, according to numerous sources.

continued and thanks to SBJ for releasing the normally paid subscription link to KK.

Also from Liz Mullen of SBJ,

The NHL Players’ Association board of player representatives will vote later this month on whether to end the collective-bargaining agreement this year or extend it another two years, and it is widely expected they’ll choose not to opt out.

Sources said an announcement of the players’ decision may be made the week of the NHL All-Star Game, set for Jan. 25 in Montreal. NHLPA spokesman Jonathan Weatherdon said in an e-mail that players would vote on the issue in mid- to late January.

continued

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

Nash Goes On IR

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have placed forward Rick Nash on Injured Reserve retroactive to January 6 and recalled forward Derek MacKenzie from the Syracuse Crunch, the club’s American Hockey League affiliate, Blue Jackets General Manager Scott Howson announced today.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rick+nash

The Lecavalier Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Dreger of TSN,

The big talk around the NHL’s water cooler right now is trade speculation surrounding Vincent Lecavalier.

There is a tug of war going on in the Lightning’s front office - some want the club to trade him and some don’t want him to be traded.

So general manager Brian Lawton’s job right now is to go out and collect information - collect the type of value you would expect in return for Lecavalier. And the Lightning’s expectations are extraordinarily high.

This is a player with an $85 million contract extension, so what does the team expect in return?

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vinny+lecavalier

Midterm Draft Rankings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,

As the race to the 2009 Entry Draft in June approaches the halfway point, one thing has become clear, there are two runners leading the pack, with everyone else fighting for third.

London Knights center John Tavares and Swedish defenseman Victor Hedman top the North American and European skater rankings, respectively, in NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings, released Monday.

Central Scouting ranked the top 210 North American skaters, the top 30 North American goaltenders, the 148 top European skaters and the 12 best European goalies.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHL Network Now Available On AT&T U-verse

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

NEW YORK / DALLAS (January 12, 2009) — AT&T U-verse hockey fans can now watch more action from the ice. NHL Network™ and NHL Network HD are now available to AT&T U-verse TV customers as part of the service’s growing channel lineup.

U-verse TV customers can enjoy NHL Network’s 24-hour, all-access hockey coverage, including live games, daily highlight shows, up-to-the-minute hockey news, and exclusive hockey programming and special events. NHL Network is available to all U-verse TV customers who subscribe to the U400 programming package or The Sports Package. U-verse TV customers can also watch NHL Network in spectacular High Definition (HD) with an HD service subscription. NHL Network is on channel 638 in Standard Definition and channel 1638 in HD.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink
 

Brule Just Wants A Chance To Show His Stuff

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Robin Brownlee at MetroNews,

Of all the questionable decisions the Edmonton Oilers have made with players this season, the handling of Gilbert Brule ranks up there in terms of head-scratchers.

Brule played his 152nd NHL game against St. Louis last night, meaning he is just eight games from having to clear waivers to move between Edmonton’s roster and the minors.

You’d think, seeing as Edmonton traded Raffi Torres to Columbus to get the talented speedster, there’d be some sense of urgency in wanting to assess Brule before that 160-game mark to see if he’s in the plans.

But there was Brule last night, stuck on the fourth line with Kyle Brodziak and Steve MacIntyre while Liam Reddox played alongside Dustin Penner and Shawn Horcoff.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gilbert+brule

Penguins Need To Start Winning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

The Penguins (20-19-4, 44 points) probably need to earn at least 60 percent of their remaining available points to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

They’ve earned only 51 percent through 43 games.

“We need to pick it up,” defenseman Ryan Whitney said before losses last week at Nashville and Colorado. “We needed to pick it up a while ago.”

They haven’t, of course, hence their status as one of the NHL’s worst teams for going on about two months.

Some of their putrid statistics from their 8-15-1 stretch dating to Nov. 22:

• 15.5 percent on the power play (16-for-103).

• 76.4 percent on the penalty kill (81-of-106).

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

According To Sources

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

Reports out of Columbus have said Foote not only threatened to be a bad teammate and not have his heart in it if he stayed with the Blue Jackets, but he had a plane set up to take him to his reunion with the Avalanche, even before the deadline deal was consummated….

Those who made charges about Foote while insisting on anonymity are gutless. This isn’t “a State Department official,” with tacit approval from above, discussing Mideast policy with the media. Neither is this something as benign as “sources” disclosing that the Jackets are set to hire John Doe as an assistant coach; this is “sources” making reputation-damaging allegations.

Granted, hockey journalism often doesn’t set the bar high for “sourcing.” A “source” can be not just a league or team official, but also an assistant trainer’s brother-in-law’s barber . . . or a dart board. I’m not saying it’s that bad in the Foote imbroglio, but the use of unnamed sources, likely with axes grinding, for much of the material undercuts the credibility.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: adam+foote

Winning A Home Game Brings Out The Testosterone

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Blackwell of the National Post,

Hockey players had much higher levels of testosterone after a winning game on home ice than after a similarly victorious match-up away from home, according to a study published in the American Journal of Human Biology.

It is not clear what triggered the hormone boost. But “a rise in status (i. e. competitive victory) in front of friends and family members may be an especially potent stimulus for the endocrine system,” the paper said.

Justin Carre, the PhD pscyhology student at Brock University in St. Catharines, who spearheaded the work, said more recent research, yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, makes an even more intriguing finding. In that study, players only watched a videotape of a game they won on home ice, but experienced a similar spike in testosterone.

read on

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

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