I first read this today in the daily news. I got a bit annoyed by what I read
Kukkonen on hold
Lasse Kukkonen, a healthy scratch for what seems like forever, was on the ice yesterday, skating hard with Joffrey Lupul and defense coach Terry Murray. He didn't look happy, but according to coach John Stevens, he is holding up and will be back "sometime."
"He's going to play here sooner or later," Stevens said. "Right now he's our seventh guy and I think he makes us better just by being here. It's never easy when you're out of the lineup for a length of time but we've had some continuity in our lines, some continuity in our pairs and if you look at the schedule coming up, it's just a matter of time before somebody gets banged up and [Kukkonen] comes back in.
"We need depth at that position. We've got one extra healthy body not playing right now and right now he's our seventh guy. But he's a valuable seventh guy in my opinion because he can play left or right and he's familiar with how we play.
"The negative side is we have a guy not playing. The positive side is he makes us better because he gives us depth at that position." *
This is really starting to get on my nerves, and despite many of you I think Stevens is a good coach and this is one of only flaws to this point. The guy is unhappy, the media cannot get a reason as to why he is not playing, and the coach can only say "he'll play sometime".
With that being said I was discussing this topic with a friend and we both wondered what would happen to Lasse? I think he is gone as he is not happy...via trade or he'll wait until after next year to sign somewhere else (unless he gets waived but thats dumb) What do you guys think???
I just found out that one of the WIP guys is my neighbor. He's a hockey guy, and I asked him (via email) what the deal was with Kukks. All he could say was that there was "internal issues", and that evidently it "seems as though he has had trouble with the "team" concept". He also acknowledged that Vandemeer is a Stevens "deciple".
So, be that as it may... I don't think we'll see Kukks playing for us. And, as much as I like him (and I really like him), maybe he can get us someone comparable in a trade. It's better than Stevens just sitting him.
All he could say was that there was "internal issues", and that evidently it "seems as though he has had trouble with the "team" concept". He also acknowledged that Vandemeer is a Stevens "deciple".
So, Kuks used to be a captain over in Finland and he has a problem with the "team concept"? Obviously they would not have given him that leadership role overseas if he didn't have a grasp of that "concept".
I will be the first to say that he's not a God-given gift: he's a solid 3rd pairing, bubble 2nd pairing stay at home D-man. But I think he was far more consistent than most of the blueliners that are playing now. He's no speed demon, but his positioning is sound and he makes smart, simple plays.
I think that Stevens doesn't like him, point blank. That blurb the OP posted points to it: Stevens is so aloof about it it almost pisses me off.
At this point, I'd be okay (alright, a little upset) if he gets traded. I just want to see him have the option to PLAY somewhere, even if it's not here.
I feel really bad for Lasse. He works so damn hard each and every game, and really does a damn good job, scarificing himself for the team every chance he has. It's criminal that he isnt at least inserted into the lineup every now and then
Kukkonen doesn't deserve the character assassination that he'll inevitably face in Philadelphia. Trade him. He deserves a legitimate chance, whether it be with Philadelphia or some other team.
Yup. It was just a matter of time before he goes from being the guy commended by Holmgren for his leadership skills when he re-signed over the summer to being the guy that is unwilling/unable to adopt the team concept.
Stevens said just two months ago when he was initially scratched for being injured that although he wasn't playing well recently he was a good kid and that they think a lot of him. When Vandermeer stunk up the joint against New York (?) and the media finally started asking why Kukkonen wasn't in the lineup they went mic in hand to Kukkonen and he had a chance to say 'I have no idea what the **** Stevens is thinking' but he didn't. He said he had to be patient, keep working hard and wait for his chance.
I hope he gets traded someplace where someone will give him a chance too. If not at the deadline then over the summer.
As long as Vandermeer and Hatcher are around Kukks is gonna be stapled to the pressbox.
Sad really, sad that one of our better defenseman has to sit in the pressbox because John Stevens appearantly has a mancrush on Vandermeer and Hatcher.
I really wish someone would slap some common sense into Stevens.
Yeah, this is dumb. He is better than Vandermeer, yet the Flyers will retain Vandermeer and let Lasse go for a 6th round pick.
The Flyers need to keep him past this trade dealine because they will need the depth for injuries should they make the playoffs. I am not thrilled with the idea of Picard being the call up over a player like Lasse (should he be traded). I also remember a few years ago when the Flyers traded Weinrich because of the glut of defensmen, and thne had 2 or 3 d-men get injured. They need to keep him.
Said it before and I'll say it again......Stevens has blinders on with his Phantom players. Kukks is much better than Van Demmeer and is willing to block shots( something that Stevens *****ed about the other night ) and still he doesn't play. Hatch and Coburn got smoked against the caps ( on ice for 3 of the goals) and still nothing. Now Stevens is splitting up Briere and Gagne not even 3 days after Briere said our line just needs consistency with who is on it> I really don't like Stevens and think we would be better with ( yes better ) someone else. JMO
Jones and Kukks are an ideal 3rd line d-men combination. Their job is to leave the ice with the same score as it was when they got on the ice. They did a good job there in the first couple of weeks of the season.
Bill Meltzer recently said the right thing: Return to the combinations at the start of the season. Timonen-Smith, Hatcher-Coburn, Jones-Kukks; We don't have a first line defensive d-man to pair with Timonen but I'd rather have Smith than Vandy. Hatcher-Coburn had some off nights recently but are a pretty decent second line. Jones-Kukks are just as good as any 3rd pairing in the league.
I don't know why Stevens is so sold on Vandy, he's not a first line d-man, he is a 7th guy, clearly. Not only is Kukks the better player but it's also a travesty to have Smith, Hatcher and Vandy in the same lineup. Our whole devensive corps needs work on puck handling (except for Timonen) but those 3 sometimes seem surprised that there is actually a puck in play.
Yeah, why doesn't everyone relax about the "team concept" thing? No offense to Jules, but that guy may have no clue what he is talking about. It's just more fuel for the speculation fire.
No one knows what the real story is....maybe Stevens has handled him poorly, maybe not. But to sit there and be so sure of the fact that Stevens is an idiot and it's all his fault is completely moronic. No one here has enough information to speak intelligently about it. It's a giant question mark, for everyone here.
My guess is Stevens simply prefers the play and presence of Jim Vandermeer over Kukkonen. If that's all there is to the situation, then I have a problem with Stevens because I think that's a poor decision. But there is likely more to it, and I'd be naive to act like I have an understanding of the whole thing.