Kukla's Korner

Don’t Be Ashamed Of Fighting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,

Imagine if the ice in front of an NHL net were a place where the rules of the game were different. Players could hack and whack like the old days, before the league decided a tug on a jersey was obstruction. Lightning coach Barry Melrose can only hope….

How do you feel about the league’s long-term crackdown on fighting?

I think toughness is leaving our game, and I hope that people realize it’s wrong. I hate to mention this, but the fastest growing sport in the world is ultimate fighting. We’ve got that as part of our game. To act ashamed of that has been wrong of the NHL for a lot of years. You can say you don’t like fighting or you love fighting, but it creates conversation. It creates energy and excitement.

read on for more of the Q & A with Melrose…

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: barry+melrose

Babcock Lets His Hair Down

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette via the National Post,

It has been 15 long years since the Montreal Canadiens last won the Stanley Cup, but there is a small group of Montrealers who can boast that they drank from Lord Stanley’s mug this summer.

John Harris, Dr. Jay McMullan, Mike Nelson and Earl Zukerman were among the invited guests when Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock had his opportunity to spend 48 hours with the Cup last month in his home province of Saskatchewan….

Zukerman says that Babcock, despite his fame, has remained the same fun-loving guy he was during his university days.

“He’s a little more self-conscious maybe when people are around,” Zukerman said. “But when he’s with his old gang, he hasn’t changed a bit. It’s just like it was 25 years ago.

“I thought he might send someone to pick me up at the airport, but he showed up himself in shorts, just like any ordinary Joe. The same old ‘Babs’.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+babcock

A Dying Breed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ted Wyman of the Winnipeg Sun,

We come to you today to express concern for an endangered species.

We are talking about the Winnipeg Jet, a creature once beloved and abundant in these parts.

Now, 12 years after the local NHL team became extinct (or at least packed up and flew south to Phoenix) they are truly a dying breed.


With the retirement of former Jet Stu Barnes Thursday, a month after Dallas Drake did the same thing, there are now only seven ex-Jets with the potential of playing in the NHL this coming season.

read on

image

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winnipeg+jets

Meszaros Wanted Too Much Money

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

“It got to the point where the dollars were just too much for us,” Murray said in a conference call last night. “We thought it was at a point where we weren’t going to be able to do it. I wasn’t able to make the adjustment with my salary structure.

“The last two years, (Meszaros’ play) has left a lot to be desired. I know Filip Kuba well and he’s really going to help us. I know he’s excited about this change. As for Picard, he’s local guy with a lot of potential. We feel good and the first-round pick is also going to help us.”

Murray said Kuba, Chris Phillips, Anton Volchenkov and Jason Smith will be club’s top four blueliners this season.

more

added 2:25pm, from the Tampa Bay Lightning,

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Andrej Meszaros to a six-year contract today, executive vice president of hockey operations Brian Lawton announced.  Meszaros was acquired from the Ottawa Senators yesterday in exchange for defensmen Filip Kuba and Alexandre Picard as well as a first-round draft pick in 2009 (previously acquired).

“The acquisition and signing of Andrej is a strong statement to our players and our fans that the Lightning ownership group is committed to putting the best product on the ice now and for years to come,” Lawton said.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrej+meszaros

No Way To Treat The ‘Irish”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette,

The city of Tampa, Fla., is scheduled to host the 2012 NCAA men’s hockey Frozen Four at the St. Pete Times Forum.

But the NCAA better rethink that in the wake of what the new ownership group of the Tampa Bay Lightning pulled on Notre Dame and the Lightning College Hockey Classic.

The NCAA should rescind Tampa’s right to host the Frozen Four after the Lightning told the Notre Dame just last Thursday that it wasn’t welcomed to have its tournament Jan. 2-3 in the St. Pete Times Forum….

Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson didn’t mince words in criticizing the Lightning’s new ownership group, which is headed by Oren Koules and former NHL player Len Barrie.

“I am extremely disappointed in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s decision to not continue the tournament,” Jackson said in a statement. “We had a verbal agreement to continue this for two more years, and as hosts of the Frozen Four in 2012, I’m not sure it’s the best message to send to the college hockey community by cancelling the tournament at such a late date.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Non-NHL Hockey, College Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: notre+dame

Meszaros Traded To Tampa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

The Ottawa Senators have traded defenceman Andrej Meszaros to the Tampa Bay Lightning for defencemen Filip Kuba, Alexandre Picard and a first round pick (previously acquired from San Jose).

Update 8:39pm ET (alanah): Also noted at the TSN link is this contract info—

Sources add that Meszaros is expected to sign a six-year contract with the Lightning averaging $4 million a season.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexandre+picard, andrej+meszaros, filip+kuba

A Lite KK Weekend

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Everyone from KK hopes you have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!

We will be in ‘lite’ mode until Tuesday but will be updating throughout the weekend but maybe not as quickly as we normally do.

Time for us to re-charge our batteries and when we return, hockey season will be that much closer.

We have been working behind the scenes again this summer and expect some major developments around September 15th!

Filed in: KK Website Business, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

No Urgency Yet

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

NHL training camps were reduced from 27 days to 20 days as part of the last collective bargaining agreement. For another, the official opening of the regular season has been pushed back by six days, year over year, to appease the growing number of U.S.-based franchises, many of which draw poorly in the opening month of the season and would just as soon start near the beginning of November.

It’s also why Mats Sundin’s indecision — or Teemu Selanne’s or Brendan Shanahan’s — about their plans for the upcoming season do not have the same urgency as years past. It’s not as if training camps are even around the corner. They have the better part of three weeks to decide if they’re in or out…

read on and many other topics discussed like McCabe, Selanne and Sundin.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Meszaros Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,

Two high-ranking NHL sources confirmed to THN.com Friday that the Lightning are extremely interested in bringing the restricted free agent defenseman to Tampa Bay, but because they currently do not have their own 2009 third round draft pick that would allow them to sign Meszaros to an offer sheet, Tampa’s attempts at acquiring him may have hit a roadblock.

From there, the picture gets a little less clear….

Lightning management has been completely rebuffed by Pens GM Ray Shero, who does not wish to be even remotely associated with an RFA offer sheet.

Because of Shero’s reticence, the source said, Tampa Bay has been attempting to finalize a trade for Meszaros with Senators GM Bryan Murray that would not include the first, second and third round picks necessary for an offer sheet to work. But, according the source, Murray currently has “no impetus” to work out a trade for the 23-year-old blueliner.

but wait, there is more...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrej+meszaros

Conklin Skates With New Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Caples of DetroitRedWings.com,

(Ty) Conklin joined Kris Draper, Tomas Holmstrom, Nicklas Lidstrom, Kirk Maltby, and Brian Rafalski as the only Wings who participated in the first optional skate before training camp.
Conklin, a native of Anchorage, Alaska, said that he thought it was important to get onto the ice as soon as possible to start meeting his new teammates.

“Anytime you can get in here and get familiar, I needed to make sure I can get in here and get prepared for camp,” he said. “That’s what I do every year; you come to camp with the idea that you’re going to play your best from day one.”

more from Conklin and also joining the Wings in their skate was the Oilers Shawn Horcoff who lives in Michigan.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ty+conklin

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