Kukla's Korner

Sharks Fathers Join Road Trip

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the San Francisco Chronicle,

For all the 6 a.m. hockey practices, all the time spent erecting a backyard rink along with all the moral and financial support provided to chase an NHL dream, dads of Sharks players are getting something in return this weekend.
As San Jose embarks on a two-game trip against Phoenix tonight and Dallas on Sunday, a special group of 14 passengers are along for the ride, an improbable journey that actually started many years ago for members of this group.
“They’ll get a little taste of what we go through,” team captain Patrick Marleau said. “It’s a great thing that they’re doing it. It’s going to be great having them there on the road.”


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Just Say No, Jaromir

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

It was brought to our attention that Jaromir Jagr’s hair is growing long at the back again. Could this be the return of his once-famous mullet? “No,” the Rangers star deadpanned yesterday morning. “I just couldn’t find a hairdresser in New York.”

read on for a funny Shanny story…

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Yashin Thriving

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the New York Times,

Coach Ted Nolan, in his first season with the Islanders, recently put Simon on Alexei Yashin’s line anyway. Nolan wanted a grinder to play next to Yashin and Jason Blake, the right wing who has as much energy as a Chihuahua. Simon would be a peacekeeper.
Simon noticed something interesting playing beside Yashin — other than the fact that he was still an elite player. “He’s very positive,” Simon said Friday after practice. “If you don’t make the perfect pass, the perfect play, he’ll never get down on you.”


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Bolts Look for “Wiggle Room” by Waiving Two

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the Tampa Tribune via The Sports Forecaster:

One precursor to a bit of roster tweaking took place Friday when forwards Dmitry Afanasenkov and Andreas Karlsson were placed on waivers. The league’s other 29 teams will have a chance to claim either by noon today.
Tampa Bay general manager Jay Feaster said other teams had “tire-kicking” interest in recent trade discussions involving both players, but none were willing to trade assets. Feaster acknowledged that losing one or both to another team without compensation is a legitimate possibility, though if both players clear waivers they will not necessarily be sent to the minor leagues.

Afanasenkov’s only 26 and makes $738,000.  That untapped goal-scoring potential’s bound to attract a GM or two…


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Houston: NHL, We Have A Problem

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from William Houston of the Globe and Mail:

The NHL’s problems today started with expansion of the 1990s. The league now goes to the marketplace with 30 mediocre franchises and says: “Here we are.” To which the consumer says: “You’ve got to be kidding.” The NHL has too many teams and there isn’t enough talent to go around.
Just to ensure everlasting mediocrity, the league negotiated a collective bargaining agreement that makes it impossible for teams to keep their top players and build perennial winners. We’ll never again see the likes of the Montreal Canadiens of the 1970s, the Edmonton Oilers of the 1980s, or even the Pittsburgh Penguins of the early 1990s. And, because of the salary-cap limitations imposed by the CBA, trades have all but disappeared.
So, two basic elements that inspire interest and excitement in a sport — glamour teams and the potential for big trades — have been eliminated.
How do you fix the problem? You start by shrinking the league. When a team flounders, the NHL should buy it with the goal to reducing the number of teams to 28 (four seven-team divisions), and the long-term objective of getting it down to 24 (four six-team divisions).

Stay with him.  Houston’s argument has its merits…

read more

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KK- Plan For The Next Few Days

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I will continue to post through December 31st, but the posts will be a bit more sporadic.  Jan. 1st, expect very limited posts, then back to normal on Jan. 2nd.
I am not sure what Bill’s plans are, but I have heard he is taking his ship for a cruise.
Alanah I know is shopping for a tattoo artist.

Be safe folks, we here at the Kompound want everyone to return in one piece!

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Cleary’s Day In The Mainstream

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Woops. Look out. The mainstreamers are taking notice of our boy Buckets (Dan Cleary…A2Y glossary update this weekend).

Yet, lo and behold, GM Ken Holland and his staff have done another masterful job of keeping the Wings in the upper echelon of the Western Conference, doing so by signing guys like Cleary—a free-agent castoff by the Coyotes coming out of the lockout—and getting surprising returns.

More from SI.

Also, a nice article from The Hockey News. It would appear Cleary’s partying days are behind him, which has led to the success he’s enjoying now.

“To be honest, I don’t think I was any different than the majority of kids who play junior hockey.

“Let’s not beat around the bush, there were nights when we partied. But I don’t think I went overboard. I think the rumors got blown way out of proportion. And when you don’t play up to your potential, that just magnifies it.”

More from THN.


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Nolan Visits Buffalo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul


Ted Nolan will receive one of the friendliest greetings a visiting coach can have when he brings his New York Islanders to Buffalo on New Year’s Day.
“I’m really looking forward to going to Buffalo,” Nolan says. “I have a lot of good memories there.”...
“You have certain people in your life who help you through hard times,” Nolan says. “And certainly my family was there, but the support I had from the people of Buffalo was unbelievable. They were very special to help me get through it. So to go back and coach in that building, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

read on

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Time To Trade

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from The Spin, the blog of Damien Cox,

A number of factors have contributed to a super-slow season of trading thus far in the NHL, with the restrictions of the salary cap system probably the No. 1 reason.
But, with the league’s Christmas roster freeze over, you have to believe action will start to heat up heading towards the trade deadline.
That deadline, don’t forget, has been moved up this year to Feb. 27, a full 10 days earlier in the schedule compared to last season.

continued... some trade scenarios…

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Rivalries, Eastern Movement, 3rd Period Terror, Friction, Etc.

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Late start today. Hopefully this one's been worth the wait. There is so much to discuss today that my tummy aches. I tried to fill it with a block of pleasing cheese, but it didn't seem to do the trick. I ate some soup. Chicken dumpling. Ok. Let's begin with last night, then move forward. A few observations. You watched it, read the game stories, formed opinions of your own...so I'll try to give you something a little different.

Continue Reading »

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