Kukla's Korner

Ken Kal Threw This Out Last Night

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

It forced me to think, who is #2-5?

Any Wings?



John Niyo of the Detroit News of the topic at hand...

Few owners in professional sports understood that better than the late Mike Ilitch, who spent hundreds of millions of dollars chasing big-name talent and box-office draws with the Tigers and Red Wings.

As ex-Tigers manager Jim Leyland often explained, “Mr. Ilitch always refers to ‘stars.’ Mr. Ilitch likes stars.” He liked them because he was as much a fan as he was a businessman, and Ilitch knew what resonated, packing Joe Louis Arena and eventually Comerica Park not just because his teams won, but also because he packed his lineups with high-profile players.

Those memories are starting to fade, though....

Dylan Larkin, a homegrown talent who made a big splash as a rookie All-Star and expects to sign a contract extension after an impressive 2017-18 campaign, is the best bet to grab the torch carried by Henrik Zetterberg the last several years. And the most recent first-round pick, 18-year-old Czech forward Filip Zadina, a goal-scoring winger brimming with confidence, probably carries the greatest hopes. 

more includes Lions, Tigers and Pistons...

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Alex Ovechkin And The U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team Earn Awards At The ESPYs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has been named the recipient of the Best Male Athlete at the 2018 ESPYS, becoming the first NHL player to win the award since the inaugural ESPYs in 1993. Ovechkin beat out Jose Altuve (Houston Astros), James Harden (Houston Rockets) and Tom Brady (New England Patriots).

Following a 49-goal season, Ovechkin won the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the NHL's top goal scorer for NHL-record seventh time. Ovechkin is tied with Bobby Hull for the most times a single player has led the NHL in goals in a season. This postseason, the Moscow, Russia, native captured his first Conn Smythe Trophy and became the first Russian player to captain a Stanley Cup champion. Ovechkin ranks first in franchise history in goals (607), points (1,122), power play goals (229), game-winning goals (102), overtime goals (22), shots (4,896) and multi-goal games (120). Additionally, since entering the NHL at the beginning of the 2005-06 season, Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals (607), points (1,122), power-play goals (229), power play points (436), game-winning goals (102) and shots (4,896). Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals since 1998-99 and shots since the 1994-95 season despite beginning his NHL career in 2005. Ovechkin, 32, became the second player since the 1967-68 expansion era to lead the NHL in goals at the age of 32 or older (Phil Esposito led the NHL twice in goals just before his 33rd and 34th birthday).

Ovechkin recorded his 1,100th career point (592g, 508a) on Feb. 15 against the Minnesota Wild and became the 61st player in NHL history to reach the 1,100-point milestone, reaching the feat in his 978th career game. Only 23 players required fewer games to accumulate 1,100 career points, with Jaromir Jagr (825 games, played on Nov. 30, 2001 as a member of the Capitals) the last to hit the mark in less than 1,000 games. Additionally, Ovechkin, who on Jan. 11, 2017, became the lone Capitals player to compile 1,000 career points (880 GP) and became the 26th player in NHL history to require fewer than 100 contests to move from 1,000 to 1,100 (98 GP).

LOS ANGELES – The gold medal-winning 2018 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team earned the 2018 ESPY for Best Game for its 3-2 shootout victory over Canada in the gold-medal game at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. The team received the honored here tonight at the 2018 ESPYs at the Microsoft Theater.

The ESPYs (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) is an annual award show that honors sports and athletic achievement, both on an individual and team basis.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin, usa+hockey

Evening Line- Jonathan Toews

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+toews

The Detroit Red Wings Plan Is To Build From Within

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

So, while veteran scouts and managers have left, Holland can hold out hope new, less-experienced personnel does better.

“It’s up to me and my people to prove that the plan that we’ve got is a good plan,” Holland said.

“How do we want to build our team?”

By moving Jiri Fischer from director of player development to director of player evaluation, and hiring Shawn Horcoff to direct development and Daniel Cleary to assist him, the Wings are hoping to improve the preparation of their prospects, Holland said.

After dispatching Jurco, Kindl, McCollum, Ouellet, Sheehan, Smith and Sproul, in recent seasons, development results clearly could improve.

“We’re trying to develop the skill of the players that we’ve drafted,” he said.

much more

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Will The Winnipeg Jets And Jacob Trouba Find Common Ground Before Friday’s Arbitration Hearing?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun,

The clock continues to tick for Jacob Trouba and the Winnipeg Jets to get a new deal done and with roughly 48 hours to go before Friday’s arbitration hearing, the filings are in.

According to a source, the Jets are offering $4 million, while the Trouba camp is countering by asking for $7 million.

The numbers were first reported by Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada.

Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, the Jets have the choice of electing a one or two-year award if the case is heard in arbitration.

Because Trouba is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 of 2020, the Jets are expected to choose a one-year award.


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

Dylan Larkin’s Next Contract And Trade A Depth Forward

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press answers a few questions today.

This question is regarding Larkin's next contract and should the Wings trade a depth forward for a defenseman?

HSJ: The Wings are working on a long-term extension for Larkin — they’d prefer five years, but may have to go to six. Of the young forwards who were restricted free agents this summer (Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou, Tyler Bertuzzi and Martin Frk), Larkin is the one who’s earned a big commitment because of the growth and character he’s shown since being drafted in 2014.

Regarding the second question, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Wings trade Athanasiou in exchange for a high draft pick/prospect. His skill and speed should hold appeal (especially if he gets hot for a stretch) and yield a good return. 


Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

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

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