Paul Kukla (Kukla's Korner)

Mike Milbury Wants To Stay Old School When It Comes To Analyzing The Game


from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe, Be it in the studio alongside Keith Jones in Stamford, Conn., or in a broadcast booth with the likes of Mike Emrick, ex-Bruins defenseman Mike Milbury is about to embark on his 13th season as part of NBC’s NHL coverage.... The ever-blunt Milbury, 67, fills a more versatile broadcast role than the more narrowly defined life he led on the Boston blue line for a dozen seasons (1975-87), which had him cast in a stay-at-home and slug-it-out role (1,552 penalty minutes in 754 games). During his tenure with NBC, Milbury has been the guy in the cast most likely to say whatever pops into his head, albeit with a tiny bit more self-restraint and censoring than his ex-coach, Don Cherry, who made a fortune the last 30-plus years as Canada’s premier loose cannon during NHL broadcasts. For the upcoming season, the NHL plans to mine a massive amount of player data through its new Puck and Player Tracking system. Just how NBC or any of the league’s other broadcast entities plan to integrate the data treasure trove remains to be seen. Milbury sounds like a guy who still would prefer to wrap his hands around an opposing forward’s neck than to, say, dive into a fresh load of numbers about puck possession or speed of the puck as it rockets off a player’s blade. “I have zero interest in it,” Milbury said this past week, reached by telephone at his home in the Boston suburbs. “I know they’re counting on it, but I’ve made my feelings known. No thanks. I mean, every move measured and calculated . . . what the [bleep] is the fun in that?! I guess I could be wrong, and there’ll be something in all of it that will catch my eye, but..." more plus other hockey topics...

Paul Kukla (Kukla's Korner)

The NHL Players Media Tour In Europe Starts Tomorrow


from Ian Thomas of Front Office Sport, As the NHL continues to build its reach in Europe, 23 players from teams across the league are dropping into the market to help further the cause. On August 15, the league and the NHLPA will hold its third European player media tour. The event is being held in Stockholm, Sweden at the headquarters of Viasat, which holds the NHL’s international media rights in Finland, Norway and Sweden.... When the NHL and NHLPA launched the event in 2017, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly admits that many of the league’s European-based rightsholders and media members – and even participating European-born players – had the same question: “Is this something that will just be one and done?,” he recalled.... Taking part in the event will be some of the league’s biggest European-born stars, such as Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak, Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog, Florida Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov and Washington Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom. Those players hail from the Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland and Sweden, respectively. “If I compare this event [to the one in 2017], there’s almost a night and day difference,” Daly said. “That comes from the fact that it’s well embraced by all the parties, including the players who are taking time from their summer break to be here – they all see that we have an interest in their markets, that we’re engaged and making bigger investments so that we have a regular presence over here.” more

Paul Kukla (Kukla's Korner)

NHL Network Names Their Top 20 Wingers


from David Satriano of, 1. Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning Kucherov tops the list for the second straight year. After leading the NHL with 128 points (41 goals, 87 assists) last season, the most since Pittsburgh Penguins forwards Mario Lemieux had 161 and Jaromir Jagr had 149 in 1995-96, Kucherov won the Hart Trophy voted as NHL MVP by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and the Ted Lindsay Award as most outstanding player in a vote by the NHL Players' Association. The 26-year-old right wing increased his points for a fifth straight season and has scored at least 30 goals in each of the past four. He led the NHL in power-play points (48) and was tied for fifth in game-winning goals (eight). Kucherov's 379 points the past four seasons are second in the NHL. "He does so many things out there and I like the fact that he has a little grit to his game as well," NHL Network analyst Mike Rupp said. "I think that's really important for a superstar. …I love his game, I love everything he brings, and he ain't going anywhere." 2. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks A finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award last season, Kane was third in the NHL with a career-high 110 points (44 goals, 66 assists) last season. The 30-year-old right wing's 381 points are the most in the NHL the past four seasons, and his 151 goals in that span are second. He has topped 100 points twice in the past four seasons (106 in 2015-16) and has scored at least 21 goals in each of his 12 NHL seasons. "When he started shooting the puck and scoring goals, it opened up an all-new way of life for him on the ice," Rupp said. "…When it's all said and done, he'll be the best -- hands down, the best -- U.S.-born player to ever play the game. 3. Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals Ovechkin scored 51 goals last season to lead the NHL for a record eighth time. It was the eighth season he scored at least 50 goals, trailing Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy (nine times each) for most in NHL history.... continued