Kukla's Korner

Development Camp Time

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

The majority of picks from last weekend’s draft will attend, as well as 2018 first-round picks Filip Zadina and Joe Veleno, signed free-agent prospects and undrafted free agent invitees from college, junior or European leagues.

“We get to know the kids a little bit and try to set them up and educate them if they need it,” general manager Steve Yzerman said. “They all have varying experience as far as training and eating properly, so they are at different stages from different countries and backgrounds. We want to educate them on what they need to be doing on and off the ice this summer.

“For the ones we do get to bring back in September (junior league players), make sure they have a real good summer, and for the ones we don’t get back that are in college or have to play in Europe, make sure they understand what they need to do — the lifestyle and dedication, the work ethic, the training to get to the NHL.

more

added 1:32pm, Wings release camp news below.

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Video- Slowing Down Big Hits From The Stanley Cup Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Under 4 minutes to watch.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Winnipeg Jets Have Salary Cap Decisions To Make

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press,

Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor, Andrew Copp, Neal Pionk, Nathan Beaulieu and Joe Morrow are all restricted free agents who need new deals. In the case of Laine and Connor, could another NHL club try to take advantage of Winnipeg’s financial woes and sign them to an offer sheet the Jets would either be forced to match or lose the player in exchange for draft pick compensation?

That could happen as early as July 1, so buckle up.

Tyler Myers, Brandon Tanev, Ben Chiarot and Par Lindholm are the key unrestricted free agents who are now able to speak with other possible suitors about signing with them beginning next Monday as well. Myers, for example, met Sunday with the Vancouver Canucks. The clock is ticking, their time in Winnipeg likely coming to an end.

To get all the RFAs signed and have any hope of retaining a UFA, or two, some salary is going to have to be shed. Mathieu Perreault and Dmitry Kulikov are two names being talked about as potential victims of the cash crunch.

more

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What Kind Of Build In Buffalo?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

There are a lot of reasons the job of an NHL general manager is a tough one. Here's the latest one to add to the list: How do you know what kind of team to build these days?

It sure seemed like the NHL was going back to a speed game when the Pittsburgh Penguins won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017. Last year's Washington-Vegas Cup final certainly highlighted speed but both of those teams were "heavy" as well.

This season seemed to be all about speed when you consider teams like Tampa Bay, Toronto and Calgary that roared to success over 82 games. Then the playoffs started. Upsets were everywhere. Columbus, Carolina and St. Louis were among the teams advancing. Boston forged on. The Lightning, Leafs and Flames were doused.

By the end, the final was between the Bruins and the ultra-heavy Blues. Speed seems to be what you want in the regular season. Brawn seems to answer the call in the postseason. What's a GM to do?

"It's always trying to find out do you have enough skill to go through it but is that skill willing to get into the hard areas and compete in certain areas?" Sabres GM Jason Botterill said here in the hours leading into the NHL draft. "What both organizations showed is that they faced injuries throughout their runs and they had the depth to step in. Guys could come in who had been out of the lineup and contribute right away.

continued

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UFA Decisions For The New York Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Regarding the Rangers, who will be doing their due diligence on the impending free-agent market while keeping their eyes on the blue-chip heavy prospect camp that opens Monday.

1. The most critical, far-reaching decision is this as the unrestricted free-agent interview window opens ahead of July 1: Attempt to extend Chris Kreider for somewhere around $6.75 million per for six years, or attempt to sign Artemi Panarin for probably at least $11.5 million per for seven years.

Or, alternately, neither, which would mean trading Kreider and declining to make the 27-year-old (28 in October) impending free-agent winger the second- or third-highest paid player in the league.

No one is suggesting Kreider can match Panarin’s elite skill. Funny thing, though, each scored 28 goals last year, though the Columbus winger notched 59 assists to Kid K’s 24. Everyone gets it. All things being equal, you choose Panarin every time.

continued

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A Look At Detroit’s Draft

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings’ previous four draft classes feature five players who have played a combined 185 NHL games thus far.

Several more are certain to enter the league in the next few years, but it takes time.

So it will be a while before Steve Yzerman’s first draft as Red Wings general manager can be evaluated.

“The danger is we all want our draft picks playing as soon as possible; it helps justify the picks a little bit,” Yzerman told media at the draft. “Ultimately, you really have to make sure you’re doing what’s right for these kids, that they’re playing at a level that they can be competitive and improve and excel at.

“There is stress. Very few 18-year-olds play in the NHL today. Now that they’re in the fold, we’ll try to set them up as best as we can, educate them and provide them with resources to develop and then we’ll see. If it’s one year, two years, three years … some of these kids will be five years. It doesn’t mean they’re not going to be good players. But it’s going to take five years for some of them.”

Here is a look at the 11 players the Red Wings selected over the weekend at Rogers Arena in Vancouver:

continued

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

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Afternoon Line- Don Cherry On This Year’s Draft By The Toronto Maple Leafs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Maple Leafs team who needed jam and sand paper last year drafted; 1 Russian, 2 Fins and 3 Americans all described as rather on the small size 5’9 to 5’11. The Leafs have gotten smaller and gentler… this team sits among 40000 kids who love the Leafs… it really does boggle the mind.

-Don Cherry.  Read more on this.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+cherry

Defense Addressed

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

The Red Wings addressed that over the weekend at the NHL Draft. Of their 11 picks overall – they acquired an extra pick Saturday in Buffalo – they selected five defensemen, including three of their first four overall selections.

The five defensemen collectively have good size – something, it appears, many organizations took account of watching St. Louis’ and Boston’s big bodies in the Stanley Cup Finals.

“As a staff, we identified this as being a pretty deep draft defensively,” said Tyler Wright, the Wings’ director of amateur scouting. “I don’t think we’re quite in a position where we have to start really picking by position. It just happened to be that defense was kind of top-heavy in this draft.

“You watch the playoffs and you see the size of these guys with St. Louis and Boston being in there – that doesn’t mean they’re just big.”

Meaning, size with skill. And the Wings are optimistic they picked some big bodies who can do a variety of things.

read on

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

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Backup Goaltender Needed In Philadelphia

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Cam Talbot and Brian Elliott, veteran goalies who can become unrestricted free agents July 1, are among the candidates to be Carter Hart’s backup with the Flyers.

But the Flyers are also exploring other options.

The Flyers may try to sign a free-agent goaltender like Curtis McElhinney, or general manager Chuck Fletcher could venture into the trade market.

“There are a couple balls in the air right now. We’ll see here in the next little while,” new coach Alain Vigneault said at the NHL draft Saturday when asked about the backup goalie.

continued

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From the Dub: So It Begins

Blog: Above the Glass By Samantha

You know you've had a really bad year when someone asks midway through the Stanley Cup Final, "so who's winning?" and your answer is "uuuummmmm." Not that I would ever say such a thing, but if I did, I'm just sayin; it's a good thing I have a chance to reboot the system with the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. The Western Hockey League did well this year, with seven players taken in the first round and 21 picked up in rounds two through seven. They're not Jack Hughes, but this year's WHL draft class has a lot to offer. Among the players I'll be watching more closely in the 2019- 2020 season are hidden gem Sasha Mutala, old-school hockey defenseman John Ludvig and goalie Dustin Wolf. 

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