Kukla's Korner

Blue Lines and Bowman

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

So I guess the stress train we all rode last May is kind of a rental, eh?  I’m thinking that while we had it bursting at the seams a few times, they may have to add a couple cars to fit all the Tiger fans aboard.  If you’re finding the other Ilitch organ-I-zation to be a cause of current (and hopefully temporary) sorrow, all I can offer you is a little hockey news to distract you for a few minutes. 

We start with the D. Markov Dilemma, a continuation of it.  Last week Khan(!)‘s wisdom prompted us to finally come to this conclusion

...public overtures to Markov may be for show.  As it stands right now, there’s just no room for the guy.  There’s no animosity there, just the reality of a stacked blue line and a bit of a bind where Meech is concerned.  It would seem, and it’s kind of embarrassing that it’s taken me this long to figure it out, that the day Rafalski signed Markov’s ticket out of Detroit was stamped.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Bettman’s ABC Plan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pat Connolly of the Daily News,

The National Hockey League’s recent second rejection of Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie’s bid to purchase an ailing American franchise in Nashville and move it to Canada has revived a familiar alarm in this country - we’re losing top-level control of our national game to the southern neighbours.
Spare the hand-wringing, folks. That was lost nearly nine decades ago and we won’t be getting it back in the present NHL that is structured around 24 American and six Canadian teams. Simple arithmetic dictates that the torch carriers from the north won’t win many votes on important issues, such as expansion to Canada. Not even when that makes perfect business sense, as in Balsillie’s proposal to move the terminally ill Predators to Hamilton….
For now and the immediate future, it’s Bettman’s ABC plan: Anywhere But Canada.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Whalers Meet Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Harford Courant,

Thirty-five players and management types returned to Connecticut for a lobster bake at the farm Friday night and a golf tournament at nearby Willow Brook Golf Course Saturday before a barbecue that included a band playing under one of two tents.
The player gathering was a who’s who of the franchise’s 25 seasons in Boston, Springfield and Hartford, starting with Hall of Famers Ron Francis, who will be inducted Nov. 12, and announcer Chuck Kaiton (2004). Francis, Dineen, Rick Ley and Randy Ladouceur were former captains on hand. Francis, Dineen, Ley and Ulf Samuelsson are four of the six players to have their retired numbers hanging in the Civic Center rafters.

read on

thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…

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

Head Case

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

by George James Malik

from the St. Petersburg Times:

Imagine not being able to watch your kids in a school play because being in a crowd plunges you into a cold sweat.
Imagine not being able to drive at night because shining headlights cause dizziness and headaches, or having to walk away from your children because, for whatever reason, they are on your nerves and the patience of which you always were so proud has just about run out.
Imagine, then, you are Rob DiMaio.
It has been 11 months since DiMaio sustained a Grade II concussion in a Lightning preseason game. Eleven months and he still is waiting for life to get back to normal.
“I don’t even know how to explain it properly so somebody can understand it,” DiMaio said by phone from his Toronto home. “It’s frustration, and it’s frustration to the point where you wish you can just take a pill and fix it and it’s not there.”

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Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

Juneau Hopes To Make A Difference In Kuujjuaq

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Journal,

Joe Juneau has taken up a coaching job in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, where he will lead a push to improve hockey facilities, and to provide education to Inuit children plagued by poverty, criminality and dropping out of school.
“It’s going to be a great adventure, not only for me, but also for my family,” says Juneau, who ended his 12-year NHL career at the end of the 2003-04 season as a member of the Montreal Canadiens.
Juneau first went to Nunavik for a vacation last spring. “I really fell in love with the extraordinary beauty of the place. And with its people,” he says.
But he was struck by the neglected state of hockey facilities and the lack of hockey organization in the Inuit villages he visited.

read on

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

No Quick Fix For Columbus

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Columbus Dispatch,

All indications are the Blue Jackets are done shopping for the summer.
Don’t they want to win?
“What would I say to that? I’d say we’re trying to build a championship club, and build it the right way,” Howson said. “I don’t believe a team like ours—where we’re at right now—can go for the quick fix and expect it to work.
“You don’t miss the playoffs by (23) points one year, add a high-priced free agent and make that leap. That just doesn’t happen. We’re at the point where this club needs to grow and needs to develop from within.”


Filed in: Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Bruins Searching For Consistency

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette,

The most surprising part is how many player changes were made again this offseason in the wake of the virtual housecleaning before and during last season. The Bruins spent all of last season searching for consistency, and now they’re going to have to wait again while the latest newcomers — goalie Manny Fernandez (trade with Minnesota for Petr Kalus and a draft pick), center Carl Soderberg (trade with St. Louis for goalie Hannu Toivonen), and wingers Shawn Thornton (free agent from Anaheim) and Peter Schaefer (trade with Calgary for Shean Donovan) — find their spots in the mix.
And that doesn’t even take into account the complications that could be thrown into the batch at training camp by minor leaguers David Krejci, Martins Karsums, Jeff Hoggan, Bobby Allen, Ben Walter, Matt Lashoff and Mark Stuart, plus rookies Tuukka Rask, Byron Bitz, Adam McQuaid, Wacey Rabbit and Memorial Cup MVP Milan Lucic, just signed last week.

read on...

Filed in: Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

GMs Doing Their Jobs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

General managers who employ the Group II offer sheet approach are not, “poachers.” They are not creating inflationary spirals in the NHL’s salary structure. They are, rather, simply doing their jobs.
Brian Burke makes me laugh, and not with him. Burke’s all about huffing and puffing about integrity. He’s all about lecturing. He’s all about telling us that Penner is going to be playing for a “grossly inflated salary” when he himself is going to be paying Vancouver lug Todd Bertuzzi $4M a year for the next two seasons.

read on... and some hockey related revenue talk too…

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Bowman Reconsidering Leafs Job

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

Scotty Bowman has once again been offered the position of president of the Toronto Maple Leafs and this time is leaning toward accepting it, according to a source.
The source said Bowman was offered the job by the board of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and was given a week to make his decision. An answer is expected by Thursday or Friday and, the source said, Bowman may finally let MLSE catch him after a pursuit that began in the late spring when he spurned the company’s initial offer….
A second source said if Bowman takes the job with the Leafs, there will be a complete housecleaning. This would include Ferguson, head coach Paul Maurice and others in the hockey department, according to the source.


added 7:44am on 8/5/07, As George pointed out in the comments, TSN is reporting…

“I have not received an offer from the Leafs, and I don’t expect one either,” Bowman told TSN in an e-mail.


Filed in: Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Nothing On Cammalleri

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings was informed by the Kings that a ruling on Cammalleri probably won’t come down until Monday.

Filed in: Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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