Kukla's Korner

Has Keenan Changed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,

Everywhere he’s been in the NHL, people say Keenan has changed; he’s mellowed; he’s a new Mike. And then he gets into a feud and a good player (Hull, Wayne Gretzky, Trevor Linden) leaves town. At 57, is Keenan really that different than he was with the Philadelphia Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues, etc.?
“Like good wine, you age and get better,” Keenan said. “Maturation brings changes. The experiences, both positive and negative, you learn from those. Hopefully, everyone changes. I’ve changed and if I hadn’t I wouldn’t have lasted or coached in the league as long as I did.
“It’s important to take stock of what you’ve done and where you’re headed.”


Filed in: Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink

All Things Equal, Smyth Should Choose Detroit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

-If Ryan Smyth is smart and gets the same sort of money to sign in either Detroit or Colorado, it’s a no-brainer. He should take the Wings.
They’re always in the playoff hunt and he talks about winning being important. It should be at 31. Plus, does Smytty want to play for the Avs, which means playing against the Oilers eight times a year in the Northwest Division? That might be a little uncomfortable.
-Chris Pronger apparently offered up $5,000 to any Ducks’ player who got the winning goal the night he was suspended in the finals against Ottawa. Dustin Penner was the lucky recipient.

much more NHL talk…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Decision Time For Sens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

If, in the end, it comes down to a choice between the 73-year-old Muckler and the 64-year-old Murray, it isn’t hard to imagine why Melnyk would opt for the latter.
It doesn’t reflect negatively on Muckler’s ability to steer the Senators’ ship through the new restrictive salary-cap waters either. It just means Ottawa didn’t get the job done in the Stanley Cup and now faces a series of interesting personnel questions in the weeks and months ahead.
Melnyk may still be a relative neophyte as a hockey owner, but he surely understands this business is no different than the pharmaceutical industry on one important level: If you want to get to the top, everybody needs to be on the same page philosophically.
And if they’re not, then some hard decisions need to be made in order to remedy the situation.


Filed in: Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Late Sunday Afternoon Drive

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

About this time of day, usually on a Sunday, my father would tell my sister, my mom and me to get into the car, we were going for a drive.
We would hop into the 1967 Ford LTD, roll down the windows and take in some of the sites around the Detroit area.
Gas was around 33 cents a gallon and we didn’t have a care in the world.  We would drive around for about an hour or so, just taking in the sites and sounds of metro Detroit.

On occasion, my dad would take us by Gordie Howe’s home in Lathrup Village.  I would always strain my neck out the window in hope Gordie would see me and say hi, but it never happened.
Today, on Father’s Day I still wish my dad was around so I could take him for a drive, just to see the sites.
It’s not too late to reach out to your father, do so and just reminisce about the old days, it will be good for both of you.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

What To Do With Zinovjev

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Telegram,

“He can play in the NHL,” Chiarelli added, “but circumstances dictate that he probably won’t.”
At least not now, because even Chiarelli — a lawyer who rarely rules out anything — insists that Zinovjev, despite his rock-star status in Russia, isn’t worth $5 million in the NHL right now.
“No, he’s not, because he’s unproven,” Chiarelli said. “He’s proven himself over there and makes a lot of money, but he’s unproven over here.”
Assuming they can’t sign Zinovjev, the Bruins still would like to get something in return before their NHL rights to him expire on July 1, 2008. That could mean packaging the rights with an established player — goalie Hannu Toivonen comes to mind, especially if the B’s are as certain as everyone else about the bright future of 20-year-old Finnish sensation Tuukka Rask — and get a proven NHL talent in return from a rival team.

more on the Bruins…

Filed in: Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Two Weeks Before The UFA Frenzy Starts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Spector at his Fox Sports Blog has all the talk regarding the big time UFAs.
On a sidenote and my one prediction per year is Drury is a lock to go to the LA Kings.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Balsillie Has A Lot To Learn

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Loose Change at the Hockey News,

This Jim Balsillie is really starting to become a pain.
How dare he attempt to bring his maverick money into the staid old National Hockey League (twice) and dictate how things are done?
How dare he recklessly disregard due process and try to circumvent the rules?


Filed in: NHL Talk, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Nigerian Born Aliu Shoots For The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Akim Aliu isn’t the most-gifted prospect available in the NHL entry draft that starts Friday and continues Saturday.
Or the fastest. Or—even though he checks in at a chiseled 6 feet 2, 200 pounds—the largest.
But he likely is the most intriguing.
In large part because Aliu, a center-right winger who plays for Sudbury in the Ontario Hockey League, is a native of Nigeria who did not skate until he was about 10 years old and is fluent in English, Russian and Ukranian.
Aren’t many guys in the Class of 2007 who can claim that.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Rangers Dream Of Gomez & Drury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The Rangers’ Plan B in the event of a Nylander defection - a hypothetical the front office never envisioned even as Glen Sather knew he would need No. 92’s agreement on the three-year, $11.25 million deal the GM struck preliminarily with since-fired agent Paul Theofanous - will be to try to convince Scott Gomez and Chris Drury to each accept less than they could get elsewhere to join forces on Broadway.
It won’t be an easy trick to pull, not with ravenous hordes set to pounce on Gomez and Drury both, which is something Sather might want to seriously consider whenever it is he sits across the table from Nylander’s new agent.

much more NHL talk, Larry is all over the hockey map…

Filed in: NHL Talk, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Cup Is Popular In SoCal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Miller of the OC Register,

“It’s like running face-first into a celebrity,” said Mike Bolt, who works for the Hockey Hall of Fame and currently is accompanying the trophy. “This is still the best part of the job — the reactions.”
Some people rejoiced Saturday and others recoiled. Stanley stopped traffic and started paparazzi. He touched many while even more touched him.
The Stanley Cup certainly is a pop star, like Prince. Only taller.
“Dude, I’m standing next to the Cup right now!” Patrick McGaughan shouted into his cell phone. “Dude, I’m touching the Cup right now! This is insane!”
McGaughan, a surfer who lives in Aliso Viejo, came here to check out the waves. He ended up taking a completely different sort of ride.
Stanley was photographed standing atop the lifeguard tower at San Clemente Pier, reclining in a lounge chair on Laguna Beach and riding the carousel at Fashion Island.


Filed in: Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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