Kukla's Korner

Sakic Officially Retires

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

DENVER – Colorado Avalanche captain Joe Sakic announced today that after 20 seasons and 1,378 games with the same organization, he has played his final game in the NHL.

“After having the privilege of playing for 20 years, I’m leaving the game of hockey with nothing but great memories and a sense of accomplishment,” said Sakic.  “The game has given me more than I ever dreamed of, and for that I am truly grateful.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+sakic

Radim Vrbata Available

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Critodero of Lightning Strikes at the St. Peterburg Times,

Rich Evans, agent for Lightning right wing Radim Vrbata, said his client “100 percent” wants to return to the NHL next season. That leaves Vrbata in a bit of a pickle as Tampa Bay GM Brian Lawton said Vrbata does not fit into the team’s plans, and Vrbata will end up in AHL Norfolk if he cannot be moved to another team.

Toward that end, Lawton said he has given Evans permission to search the league for a team that will pick up Vrbata’s contract that pays $3 million for the next two years.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: radim+vrbata

Never In The NHL World

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I am so thankful we don’t see trades like this in the NHL….

from Chad Ford and Marc Stein of ESPN,

The deal, according to sources, calls for the Mavericks to acquire Marion and Kris Humphries from Toronto and Greg Buckner from Memphis, with Marion to receive a five-year contract worth an estimated $39 million. Buckner has had two previous stints with the Mavericks but is likely to be released, sources said.

The Grizzlies will land Jerry Stackhouse from Dallas and a substantial cash payment to buy out Stackhouse’s contract. Only $2 million of Stackhouse’s $7.25 million salary next season is guaranteed, as long as he is waived by Aug. 10.

The Raptors will receive Devean George and Antoine Wright from the Mavericks, while also preserving their $5.9 million mid-level exception for the coming season by turning their acquisition of Turkoglu—who is getting a five-year deal worth an estimated $53 million—into a sign-and-trade as opposed to an outright signing.

We’d all have to be fluent in capology.

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

David Krejci Satisfied With His Contract

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

The Bruins locked up their version of Jason Spezza (Krejci is more competitive and well-rounded) for less than half the Ottawa playmaker’s $7 million annual payday.

Even if Larry Kelly, Krejci’s agent, believed he could have done better, his client made it known that $3.75 million per season will do quite well, thank you very much.

“Larry thinks I could get a little more,’’ said Krejci, who was rehabbing at Ristuccia Arena yesterday following hip surgery June 4. “But this is good money for me. I never even dreamed about this much money. I think it was a good deal for me, even if I could get a little more. I’m very happy with the money I got.’’

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: david+krejci

Blues Sign Hannu Toivonen

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today the club has agreed to terms with group II free agent goaltender Hannu Toivonen.

Toivonen, 25, played in 52 games last season with Ilves in Finland, posting a 19-23-9 record along with a 2.68 goals against average and three shutouts.  The 6-2, 200-pound goaltender has played in 61 National Hockey League games, recording an 18-24-10 record, one shutout and a 3.37 goals against average.

The Kalvola, Finland native was acquired by the Blues from Boston in exchange for Carl Soderberg on July 23, 2007.  Toivonen was originally drafted by Boston in the first round, 29th overall in the 2002 Entry Draft.

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink
  Tags: hannu+toivonen

The Latest On Trades & Free Agents

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector’s Hockey,

Updates on Sergei Zubov, Anton Babchuk, Tuomo Ruutu and Antero Niittymaki, and the latest on the Maple Leafs and Blue Jackets.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Javier Serna reports Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford hopes to re-sign RFA forward Tuomto Ruutu to a two-or-three year contract, which could be announced as early as today, but he’s less hopeful of re-signing Anton Babchuk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Babchuk doesn’t have arbitration rights so if Rutherford cannot get Babchuk under contract in the coming weeks the blueliner may very well be dealt, provided he doesn’t head to the KHL for more money.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

What’s Going On With Marty Biron?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters,

We’ve hardly been kind to Martin Biron in this forum.

We’ve allowed our bitterness towards his former team wipe out any objectivity we might display in our little corner of the Internet.

But despite our bias against the Flyers, we have to admit, he’s an above average goaltender. We’ll even say he’s a good goaltender.

He’s not someone who will help you win a Stanley Cup. The past two seasons have established that. But he’s definitely good enough to get you to the playoffs and he can even win a round or two. You could do far worse than having Martin Biron in between the pipes.

That’s what makes his continued unemployment a little bit startling to us.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marty+biron

Watch The Sakic Press Conference

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club has scheduled a press conference, which will take place on Thursday, July 9, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. MT.

At this time, Avalanche captain Joe Sakic will make a special announcement regarding his hockey career.

ColoradoAvalanche.com will provide a live video stream of the press conference, so be sure to check back on Thursday.

added 2:05pm, The NHL Network will also be broadcasting the press conference.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+sakic

Play Hockey In Sault Ste. Marie & Get Married Too

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ben Leeson of the Sault Star,

Mark Matier is one of only nine players to skate for the Soo Greyhounds throughout an incredible run that included Ontario Hockey League championships in 1991 and 1992 and a Memorial Cup in 1993.

But he’s one of many players who found much more more than success in Sault Ste. Marie.

He also found love, marrying Sault native Stacey Fleming….

Craig Hartsburg, a Stratford, Ont. native and a Greyhounds defenceman from 1975 to 1978, went on to a play 10 seasons in the NHL. But Hartsburg, who married Sault native Peggy Hill, maintains a home in nearby Echo Bay, has twice served as head coach for the Hounds and has a minority stake in the major junior club.

Detroit-born goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck, a Hound from 1980 to 1983, also returned to the Sault following his 17-year NHL career, as part owner and head coach of the Hounds during the 2002-03 season.

Later, several Mark’s contemporaries, including Kevin Hodson (born in Winnipeg), Aaron Gavey (Sudbury), Jeff Toms (Swift Current, Sask.), Denny Lambert (Wawa) and Jeremy Stevenson (San Bernardino, Calif.), married Sault women and adopted the city as their home.

read on

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

Erik Johnson Returning To Form

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Norm Sanders of the News-Democrat,

Playing before an overflow crowd of more than 1,000 at St. Louis Mills on Wednesday at the team’s pro orientation camp, (Erik) Johnson gave fans a sneak preview of what they can look forward to in 2009-10.

He’s bigger and stronger, having added 10 pounds onto his 6-foot-4 frame. So now he’s back on the ice with rookies, prospects and tryout hopefuls trying to regain the form that made him the first overall pick in the 2006 draft.

“It’s part of my journey I guess, to hopefully becoming an elite NHL player and an elite NHL defenseman,” Johnson said. “I’m having a lot of fun. Not that I can say I expected to be back here, but I feel fortunate to be back here, being a leader and a mentor to some of the younger guys and also getting some quality ice time for myself.”

He also had no negatives to report on his surgically repaired right knee following Wednesday’s practice session.


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: erik+johnson

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