Kukla's Korner

Phoenix Looking At The Big Picture

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the East Valley Tribune,

After years of thinking it was only a few free agents away from the postseason, Phoenix has committed to a long- term rebuilding process to give it a solid corps of young players for years to come. Highly touted forwards Peter Mueller and Martin Hanzal, both first-round picks, have already arrived. The pipeline to the future also includes forward Kyle Turris, the No. 3 overall selection this year, and two other prospects, defenseman Keith Yandle and forward Blake Wheeler, recently rated among the league’s top 50 prospects by The Hockey News.

New general manager Don Maloney admits the franchise’s change in philosophy will lead to some long nights this October and November, but he believes the team will be much better in February and March and that progression will carry over into next season and for many years after that.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phoenix+coyotes

Dreams About To Come True For Edmonton Rookies

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Journal,

The tossing and turning started on Tuesday for Kyle Brodziak, and he has already played in 16 NHL games.

Andrew Cogliano didn’t know what to expect in the last hours leading up to his first NHL game. He didn’t know if he would be more jittery before he made the walk down the corridor, or during the anthem, or when he leapt over the boards for his first shift.

“This is what you dream of as a kid,” said Sam Gagner, the 18-year-old rookie forward with the freshly signed contract with the Edmonton Oilers.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: edmonton+oilers

Dear Coaches:

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Alan Ryder of the Globe and Mail has some advice for the coaches of the six Canadian teams…

Dear Mike:

I know you are new to Calgary. So I thought I might give you some insight into your Flames. You inherit a pretty good team, a playoff team. But the West is a tough conference, the Northwest is a tough division and it is important to get the most out of your guys to even ensure a playoff spot.

Something went wrong with the back end of the team last year. Goaltending is a fragile thing. Miikka Kiprusoff was not the same goalie as in prior seasons. I know this is a sensitive point, but he is no Roberto Luongo (who was the most valuable goalie in the NHL last season).

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: coaches

Gomez Now In A Different World

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Anchorage Daily News,

I got trapped by fans, and I basically got an autograph session going,’’ Gomez recalled, punctuating the story with his ever-present laugh. “I looked at my watch and it was 5:25, and I had to get hustling.

“It’s a different world here, man.’‘

But it’s the world Gomez has always craved.

Over most of his first eight years as a pro, he lived and worked and came of age in New Jersey. Continental Arena in East Rutherford is just an eight-mile drive from the Garden, but those rinks and the teams they house are worlds apart in terms of exposure and media buzz.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: new+york+rangers, scott+gomez

Trying To Get To Know Max

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Buffalo News,

Afinogenov is entering his eighth season with Buffalo, making him the team’s longest-tenured player. Yet most people, including his teammates, know next to nothing about him.

“Max is a bit of an enigma,” said Philadelphia Flyers goalie Martin Biron, who had been with the Sabres longer than anyone else at the time he was traded in February, leaving Afinogenov as the elder statesman. “He keeps things private. He doesn’t like to talk about his personal life.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: buffalo+sabres, maxim+afinogenov

All In the Family

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the LA Times,

You would have thought rookie Brady Murray would have grabbed the NHL schedule when it was released and circled this Saturday. Not only is it the home opener, but it is against the Blues, led by former Kings coach Andy Murray, Brady’s father.

“I didn’t really know,” Murray said. “I was more concerned about making the team.”

Consider that done.

Murray is one of the 14 forwards on the 23-man roster, and his mother is flying in for the game.

more… (*link may require free registration)

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: los+angeles+kings

Game 1 Impressions

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

You can see the post below for the whining, now for the good stuff.

Jiri Hudler needed that.  He needed to start with a jolt of confidence and it would appear that Uncle Mike has proven his genius once again by putting the kid in a prime spot to win the game. He set him up for success and that’s good to see.

Does the home team have a choice of shooting first or last during the shootout?  Because I’d,  you know, kinda rather shoot last. 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
  Tags: bertuzzi, drake, game+recaps, hasek, holmstrom, hudler, kopecky, lilja, maltby, rafalski, samuelsson, sasquatch

Sharks are the Best, IF…

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Mark Purdy at the Mercury News,

This should be the best Sharks season ever. Starting tonight.

If they keep remembering Detroit.

The Sharks have the size to intimidate other teams. They have a top goaltender to frustrate opposing scorers. Their young players should only keep getting better as the relentless 82-game schedule progresses.

If they keep remembering Detroit.

continued… (*and more on the SJ Sharks here)

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: detroit+red+wings, san+jose+sharks

Evgeni’s Year

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the AP via the Tribune-Review,

There’s no hiding Evgeni Malkin any longer.

Malkin, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 21-year-old Russian star, was forced to sneak away from his homeland pro team and make his way clandestinely to the United States last year to play in the NHL.

Once he finally arrived in Pittsburgh, it was evident very quickly what the Penguins had: A young scorer who not only complemented league MVP Sidney Crosby but often made him better. Malkin had 33 goals and 52 assists for 85 points, one of the best seasons for a first-year player in NHL history.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+malkin, pittsburgh+penguins

What’s Up in Nashville

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Michael Cass at the Tennessean,

The lease deal being negotiated between the city and a group buying the Nashville Predators calls for taxpayers to fund $7 million of improvements such as new “Fun Zones” at Sommet Center.

The capital projects would be in addition to the $4.2 million of tax money and seat fees per year that would be used for operations of the hockey team. 

The group purchasing the team in an effort to keep it in Nashville says the city would get the money back over time because of increased activity at Sommet Center and downtown.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nashville+predators

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