Kukla's Korner

Dates For Stanley Cup Qualifiers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (July 14, 2020) – The National Hockey League today announced the dates and starting times for the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers, which begin Saturday, Aug. 1, with a slate of five games.



The schedule, which can be viewed in its entirety here, offers flexibility to maximize the viewing experience for fans. Games have been scheduled on a staggered basis, providing hours of continuous action.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

TSN Insiders Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Darren Dreger joins Glenn Shiiler to discuss the NHL coaches association working toward restoring full salaries, why preparation in the Hub Cities is intensifying this week and why it was a difficult task for many teams to get under the 52-person mandated cap for the bubble.

Watch at TSN.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

How About A Stay At Home Defenseman With The 4th Pick?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Max Bultman of The Athletic,

(Jake) Sanderson is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound defenseman for the NTDP, which plays a schedule featuring opponents in the NCAA and USHL as well as international tournaments. He was the team captain, and he had 29 points in 47 games this season.

The Athletic’s Corey Pronman did a full video breakdown of Sanderson last month, in which Pronman gave Sanderson’s skating a grade of 60 (on the 20-80 scouting scale), which translates to the top third of professionals, and called Sanderson “the best defender I saw this season among draft-eligible players and arguably among all NHL prospects.” On Pronman’s draft board, he also gave Sanderson’s hockey sense a 60 grade and rated his puck skills and physical game both above average. He ranked him 13th overall for this draft class, and The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler ranked him 19th.

The case to pick him

How’s this for the first line of a sales pitch: “He just smothers his opponent.”

That’s how Appert describes his captain’s defense.

“And it’s skating, but it’s (also) gap control … his lateral closing ability in the neutral zone on line rushes against is really impressive, and he can do it against the college players,” Appert said. 

more ($$$)

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Wings Have Money To Spend

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

The Wings only have $46.2 million committed to 11 players right now, with decisions pending on 12 restricted free agents. The Wings will bring back some of those restricted free agents but still will have plenty of money to add productive, proven players from cash-strapped teams.

Pittsburgh (15 players under contract, $13.2 million available cap space), Tampa Bay (15 players, $5.3 million cap space), St. Louis (20 players, $2.04 million cap space) and Toronto (16 players, $4.5 million cap space) are teams who will have to make deals.

With that in mind, here are some players who could interest the Wings this offseason:

- Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay, center: Johnson has a cap hit of $5 million over the next four seasons and his statistics have dropped over the last three seasons (14 goals, 31 points this season). But general manager Steve Yzerman is familiar with Johnson from his days in Tampa and at 29, Johnson would strengthen the Wings’ lineup.

- Yanni Gourde, Tampa Bay, center: With a cap hit of $5.16 million for the next five seasons, Gourde’s six-year, $31 million deal seemed generous as soon as it was signed, and it now haunts the Lightning. Gourde slumped from 25 and 22 goals in 2017-18 and 2018-19, respectively, to 10 this season. He might actually thrive with a bigger role on a team like the Wings.

- Alex Killorn, Tampa Bay, center: With three more years at $4.45 million, Killorn scored a career-best 26 goals this season. But at age 30, how much better will Killorn get? The Lightning need the cap cushion to sign several important restricted free agents.

more names

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Morning Line- Donald Fehr On The CBA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

"This is probably not something that a lot of people are going to call a perfect agreement. A lot of people are going to find faults with one thing or another. That's always the case. And I'm pretty sure there's going to be unanticipated events and perhaps even unintended consequences. But I do think this agreement meets the challenge, and the next challenge is going to be to implement it both in the short-term and in the long-term, and there's a lot in this agreement, I think, players can be proud of."

-Donald Fehr, executive director of the National Hockey League Players Association.  Emily Kaplan and Greg Wyshynski of ESPN have more from Fehr.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: donald+fehr

Your Ted Lindsay Award Finalists

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

TORONTO (July 14, 2020)  The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today the three finalists for the 2019-20 Ted Lindsay Award (TLA) are forwards Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers, Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche and Artemi Panarin of the New York Rangers. The TLA is presented annually “to the most outstanding player in the NHL,” as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA.

Each player is seeking his first TLA honour. MacKinnon is a TLA finalist for a second time (also 2017-18), while Draisaitl and Panarin are both first-time finalists for the award. All three players led their respective teams in scoring this season while helping reach the field of teams scheduled to return to play this summer.

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Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Jonathan Toews On COVID-19

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times,

“Does anybody really know how and when people catch this thing?” he asked rhetorically. “The best you can do is get good rest, eat healthy, take care of your body, do the little things that lower your chances. What else can you do?

“Sitting around and worrying about it is just going to drive you crazy. The NHL’s gone to great lengths to create a safe environment. It’s far from perfect, but everyone has their own beliefs in seeing where they stand with all this.”

Toews’ comments caused a stir on Twitter, with many fans pointing out studies indicating scientists actually have determined how COVID-19 is transmitted, and that social-distancing has proved effective in slowing that transmission.


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

NHL’s COVID Testing Plan Gets Approval

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at Global News,

Ontario’s top doctor doesn’t see COVID-19 testing capacity being an issue in the province once the NHL hunkers down in Toronto for its restart.

Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, expressed confidence in the NHL plan for testing in the province.

“They can go through private sources to get it done,” Williams said. “We just want to make sure that it is of quality and can be covered that way so that if there were any concerns, Toronto Public Health or the province can be informed of any issues.

“We’re looking at the volume of the testing, how much per day, with the players being tested. More at the beginning, I guess. As teams get eliminated at their playoff venue, they’d have less and less testing … Right now we feel we can handle that capacity but we will continue to monitor that and to be in discussion and dialogue with the NHL with Toronto Public Health throughout this process.”


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Audio/Video- More Disclosure Needed On Health Status Of Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the YouTube page of TSN.

Bryan Hayes and Mike Johnson are joined by TSN Hockey analyst Ray Ferraro to get his take on the terminology the NHL plans to use calling players ‘fit’ or ‘not fit’ to play and the negative connotations around that phrasing.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The UFA Negotiating Window Is Closed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Matt Larkin of The Hockey News,

NHL teams had a framework of what was and wasn’t allowed during the negotiation window. The intent was for an owner and GM to sit down with a player early, talk about the team’s vision and figure out if there was a fit, said Octagon player agent and co-managing director Allan Walsh, who represents the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Marc-Andre Fleury. Teams were told they could discuss the “general parameters” of a deal. But because the rules weren’t strictly enforced, the definition of “general parameters” was pretty open to interpretation, and teams started all but hammering out contracts in advance.

“It couldn’t be policed properly, so it was disregarded,” Walsh said. “So in effect, July 1 actually opened five to seven days before July 1. And it was the Wild, Wild West.”

Contracts couldn’t officially be signed, but Walsh estimates most were essentially done about 48 hours before July 1.

“July 1 in the morning, you talk to a GM, and he says, ‘I’m done,’ ” Walsh said. “You’re done? Free agency opens in an hour. ‘Yep, I’m done. I feel good about what I’ve done.’ ”

The murky guidelines of what was allowed meant every team perceived things differently and nobody knew exactly how far one could push a negotiation – or when to start discussing actual offers.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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