Kukla's Korner

The Chicago Blackhawks Are What They Are At This Point

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,

Bowman is “really optimistic” about the coming season, but didn’t exactly insist that he’s put together a playoff-caliber roster. He’s content with the moves he’s made, but sounded like he’s come up empty in making any bigger ones. He left the door open to a late-summer or early fall trade — once teams learn in the preseason what they have and don’t have — but acknowledged that he might not be able to make immediate use of the cap space opened up by the Hossa trade.

So here the Hawks sit — still counting on Corey Crawford to be healthy and his old self, still counting on Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad having monster bounce-back seasons, still counting on Duncan Keith to find the fountain of youth, still counting on a shaky defense to find its footing.

“We’re looking forward,” Bowman said. “We’re really optimistic about the group. We know that we have some really motivated players who have accomplished quite a bit already in their careers, but [who] haven’t had the recent success that they would like. When you’ve been there and you’ve been able to reach the ultimate, you know how great that feeling is, and you know when you’re not there, it’s not a fun time. We’re very excited to get back to the playoffs.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Is Andreas Athanasiou About To Have A Breakout Year?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

Rory Boylen of Sportsnet lists a few players who could have a breakout season, including Andreas Athanasiou.

There is some speculation that the Red Wings could still trade Athanasiou before the start of next season as their group of forwards gets a little more crowded with the additions of Filip Zadina and Thomas Vanek. His explosive speed makes him exciting to watch and the offensive upside is still there — the question is whether Athanasiou’s defensive game will become strong enough that a coach can comfortably make him a top-six player.

In Athanasiou’s first two NHL seasons, his shooting percentages were 17 and 15, but that dropped to 9.4 in 2017-18 as he registered 16 goals. It’s fair to say that over a full season he should be at least a 20-goal scorer with the possibility for more.

Remember, too, that the 23-year-old missed training camp and the first 10 games in 2017 due to a contract dispute and that often leads to an underwhelming season. Now he’s locked in with a two-year, $6 million deal so should get off to a better start. On top of that, only three of his 33 points came on the power play despite averaging 1:44 PP minutes per game, so there could be an uptick there as well. The crux of Athanasiou’s breakout candidacy is in how much ice time the Red Wings (or an acquiring team) give him.

If his goals come up as expected, can his assists and ice time rise to a level that allows him to have a true breakout?

read on for a chart comparing him to other Detroit players and also read about the five other players he mentions from around the league...

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Audio/Video- Top Radio Calls From The Past Season In The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Watch and listen to the best radio calls from the 2017-18 NHL season.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Report- Arizona Coyotes Owner Wants To Sell 49% Of The Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Ozanian of Forbes,

Andrew Barroway, the owner of the Arizona Coyotes, is looking to sell 49% of the National Hockey League team at a $500 million valuation, according to multiple sources.

Barroway became the majority owner of the Coyotes in December, 2014 and the sole owner of the hockey team in June, 2017.

The fact that Barroway is now seeking cash for his team is not surprising. When he bought out his partners I wrote: "Barroway's buyout of his partners is the riskiest deal I can recall in recent memory...Barroway and the Coyotes are now leveraged to the hilt. As of now, the Coyotes have $250 million of debt. There is $100 million of NHL credit facility debt and two loans from MGG Investment Group; one for $100 million with about a 10% interest rate and a payment-in-kind loan for $50 million that would be redeemed in six years for $100 million."


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Rebuild

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Adam Gretz of the Sporting News,

The Red Wings had 11 draft picks in 2017, including six in the first three rounds.

They made 10 selection in 2018, including seven in the first three rounds (with four of the first 36 picks in the draft).

They already have stockpiled 11 more for 2019, including three in the first two rounds.

Detroit accumulated those picks by trading the likes of Brendan Smith, Tomas Junco, Vanek, Steve Ott, Jakub Kindl, Scott Wilson, Petr Mrazek and Tomas Tatar, not to mention picking up an extra second-round pick from the Coyotes in exchange for moving back four spots and sending Pavel Datsyuk’s contract the other way.

That means over a three-year stretch between 2017 and 2019, the Red Wings could potentially add 32 young players to the organization, including as many as 14 in the first three rounds. That is a lot. They also increased their odds at finding an impact player or two by loading up the picks.

Not all of them are going to turn into NHL players, and once you get beyond the first half of the first round the odds of selecting an All-Star-level talent drop significantly. Those picks can be nothing more than lottery tickets. The best way to win in that drawing is to give yourself as many chances as you can possibly get.


Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

How Much Is Tom Wilson Worth To The Washington Capitals?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post,

Although there has been steady dialogue, a new contract isn’t “done or close,” said Wilson’s agent, Mark Guy. Washington owns Wilson’s negotiating rights, so it’s not a matter of if there will be an extension, but when — and how much. And because Wilson didn’t elect for arbitration, it’s unclear how late into the summer negotiations might last.

MacLellan’s preference is a long-term deal, and Guy said discussions so far have explored “something north of four years.” Wilson, 24, has already played five full NHL seasons, making that potential term at least two years beyond when he’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent....

Wilson is coming off a career season in which he spent the majority of his minutes on the top line with captain Alex Ovechkin. He had 14 goals and 21 assists while playing an average of 15:59 per game — all career highs. He was again one of Washington’s top penalty killers, averaging 1:44 of shorthanded time per game. Although his physical style while playing a top-six role makes him stand out, it also led to three suspensions, one of which caused him to miss the season’s first four games and another that sidelined him for three playoff contests. The fear he instills in opposing players is part of what makes him effective.

That’s also hard to quantify and likely why Wilson didn’t elect for arbitration, typically a small bit of leverage for more experienced restricted free agents....

Washington has roughly $8.2 million in salary cap space with 20 projected roster players under contract, according to CapFriendly.com. Wilson’s previous contract was for two years at $2 million per season, and several industry insiders have ballparked the average annual value for his next deal at between $3.5 million and $4.5 million, depending on its length.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tom+wilson

Wings Needed A Defenseman Like Jared McIsaac

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

With nifty footwork, Jared McIsaac navigated the Power Edge Pro system obstacles like a pro during Detroit Red Wings development camp.

Grand Rapids Griffins coach Ben Simon, who was putting 40 or so prospects through the paces at the Belfor Training Center inside Little Caesars Arena, was impressed.

"Some guys have trouble doing that and it's tough, not just physically with your feet but mentally just to remember this stuff," Simon said. "That was one thing you notice with him, phenomenal footwork. He did a great job with his mobility.

"He does a lot of good things. He's put together well as a hockey player. I think his feet are one of his biggest attributes."

McIsaac was the first defenseman the Red Wings selected in this year's draft, at No. 36, after they grabbed three forwards who were too good to pass up.

Red Wings director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright described the 6-1, 193-pound left-shooting McIsaac as steady and hard-nosed, a good skater who can play against the opposition's top line.

"With McIsaac, we liked the defense," Wright said.


Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

The Winnipeg Jets And Jacob Trouba Face A Salary Arbitration Case This Friday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun,

With an arbitration date set for Friday in Toronto, the clock is ticking for the two sides to get a deal done before the case is heard.

Although each one is different, historically speaking, arbitration cases have been known to cause friction and hard feelings – either in the short term and/or the long term – since the shortcomings of the player are often brought to light by the team in an effort to keep the salary at a more manageable level.

Speaking of history, the fact Trouba sat out the early portion of the 2016-17 season during a contract dispute is something that can’t be ignored, though both sides simply see it as water under the bridge.

Plenty has changed since Trouba, unhappy with his role and the prospect of having to play on the left side, asked to be traded.

He’s taken on a much more prominent role alongside Josh Morrissey, embracing his duties on a shutdown pairing.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacob+trouba

Adam Henrique Signs A Five-Year Extension With The Anaheim Ducks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Anaheim Ducks announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has signed center Adam Henrique to a five-year contract extension through the 2023-24 NHL season.

Henrique, 28 (2/6/90), owns four career 20-goal seasons, including a career-best 30 in 2015-16. The 6-0, 195-pound center has collected 142-151=293 points with a +4 rating in 512 career NHL games with Anaheim and New Jersey. Among players selected in the 2008 NHL Draft, Henrique ranks tied for fourth in goals and ninth in points.

Acquired from New Jersey with Joseph Blandisi and a 2018 third-round draft pick in exchange for defenseman Sami Vatanen and a conditional draft pick on Nov. 30, 2017, Henrique combined for 24-26=50 points with a career-high +11 rating in 81 games last season with Anaheim and New Jersey. He ranked third among NHL leaders with eight game-winning goals (GWG) following his Ducks debut (Dec. 1-Apr. 7). Henrique finished the regular season leading Anaheim in GWG, ranked tied for second in goals, and tied for third in power-play goals (4).

The Ducks went 33-15-9 in Henrique’s 57 games, in which he recorded 20-16=36 points with a +17 rating and 14 PIM. Henrique posted the second-longest point streak to start a Ducks career at five games (3-3=6), behind only Teemu Selanne’s 15-game streak in 1995-96.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: adam+henrique

A Six-Year Deal For Elias Lindholm In Calgary

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul



added 12:38pm, Calgary relese is below.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: elias+lindholm

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