Kukla's Korner

Earning His Chance

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the PJStar,

Do not worry about Nikolay Lemtyugov.

The St. Louis Blues and Peoria Rivermen prospect is not among the Russian players who in the past have left North America - or refused to come at all - once an NHL roster spot was not guaranteed….

“If I wanted to earn money, if that was my goal, I would stay home in the Super League,” Lemtyugov said. “I came over here to play at the world’s best level. I will work in the AHL, wait for my chance, earn it.”...

“If it’s clear I can’t play at the NHL level, I’ll go back home,” Lemtyugov said. “But finding that out could take two or three years. The AHL is the third-best league in the world (behind the NHL and Russian Super League). I understand it’s part of the process in getting to the NHL.

“Too many players don’t have patience.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ahl, nikolay+lemtyugov, russian+super+league, st+louis+blues

Open Practice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Columbus Dispatch,

The NHL, unlike other major sports leagues, does not have lucrative national television contracts. The Blue Jackets rely heavily on gate receipts and recognize the value of letting fans attend free practices in the Ice Haus adjacent to the arena.

“We’re not in a position to be losing fans,” left winger Rick Nash said.

Fans can learn a lot about the sport, Hitchcock said, by attending practices. Former Tampa Bay Lightning coach Terry Crisp used to run one session a season wearing a microphone to educate the crowd.

“To me, the most fun is watching how a team performs in practice and how the coach yells and how many swear words he uses,” Hitchcock said.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: columbus+blue+jackets, fans, ken+hitchcock, rick+nash

Avs Memories

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Just thought you’d like to know that Adrian Dater of the Denver Post is…

absolutely amazed at the size of Ray Bourque’s thighs.

read on...

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

Penguins Need Help - Not Just In Goal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

The most fascinating aspect of the Penguins’ struggle is that it provides us the first opportunity to gauge what kind of administrator general manager Ray Shero will be. Because this is his first GM job, we have no history to review.

But my hunch is Shero will be able to walk the fine line between aggressiveness and panic. I believe he will continue to look for scoring wingers, and I believe he will continue to be patient with Fleury. I believe he will be more patient with Fleury than his coach seems to be. I think if Shero believed Fleury needed an older goalie playing beside him, he would have acquired one last summer.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc-andre+fleury, pittsburgh+penguins, ray+shero

New Yorkers Watching

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Watchdog at Newsday,

For their eight games on FSNY, the Islanders are up spectacularly, from 0.07 percent of area homes last season at this point to 0.32.

The Rangers are up 102 percent on MSG compared to last year.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: media, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, television+ratings

NHL ASG Voting Begins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Make your selections for the NHL All-Star Game in Atlanta!

image

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all-star+game

All Ryan Miller

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Amber at ESPN,

In this week’s Facing Off, the All-Star goalie tells us why he’s sick of talking about the departures of Chris Drury and Daniel Briere, what it was like watching his brother win the Stanley Cup last season and how he’s trying to make life better for cancer victims in his community.

Q: Is it hard to deal with (losing Drury & Briere)?

A: As a team, I’ve been trying to get rid of this built-in excuse that is kind of lingering over us. It can be a crutch to explain why we are losing. What it really comes down to is the guys in the locker room. We as a group need to step up and play. When I talk about those guys leaving, I think we need to move on. I still have a lot of respect for both of them. I learned a lot from them, even little things in practice. They are great leaders and have competitive spirits. I think having played with them will help me out in my career.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: buffalo+sabres, goalies, ryan+miller

Bloggers In The Press Box

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Christian Science Monitor,

Many sports fans have long believed that anyone could be a sportswriter – that anyone could sit up on press row, forgo cheering, and type up a few deep thoughts and pithy observations about the games professional athletes play.

These days in Washington, D.C., that widespread belief is being put to a test. To many sportswriters, it’s a scandal. To the owner of the Washington Capitals, it’s the future….

“Because of the way blogs are produced they can provide instant information and reactions that papers won’t publish until the following day,” Henschel says. “People want their information fast and, until recently, the bloggers were the only ones providing that service. I think it’s extremely telling that the Caps’ beat writers for the two major papers in D.C. have recently created their own blogs that can be updated as needed.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hockey+blogging, media, washington+capitals

Gaborik Apologizes to Your Fantasy Hockey Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Sportsnet.ca,

In an unprecedented move, Minnesota Wild forward Marian Gaborik has apologized to fantasy hockey owners for playing in a defensive system.

“When developing this team it is obvious that management paid no attention to fantasy owners, but instead selfishly decided that winning games was more important,” Gaborik said in a “prepared statement.”

The Slovak scorer has 13 points in 12 games this season, including a game-winning goal against the Calgary Flames. For his efforts the Wild are off to a 9-6-2 start, but fantasy owners are frustrated that Gaborik is not a Top 5 in every offensive category.

“I will continue to help you out when I can,” Gaborik explained. “But I am afraid management is obsessed with giving Minnesota fans a Stanley Cup.”

continued… plus video. Fantastic.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: fantasy+hockey, marian+gaborik, minnesota+wild

Blue-Chip Defensemen Coming to the 2008 Entry Draft

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Brad Holland at NHL.com,

NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary rankings for the 2008 Entry Draft are out and, as expected, Sarnia Sting forward Steven Stamkos heads the list of Ontario Hockey League prospects. Belarussian forward Mikhail Stefanovich of the Quebec Remparts heads the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League list, while power forward Kyle Beach is ranked as the Western Hockey League’s top skater.

Each of the three, Stamkos especially, is expected to be a huge part of whichever team is lucky enough to nab him at this summer’s Entry Draft in Ottawa. But while the top player from each league is a forward, the 2008 Entry Draft will likely be remembered as the year of the blue-chip defensemen.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Prospects, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: 2008+entry+draft, mikhail+stefanovich, nhl+scouting, steven+stamkos

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