Kukla's Korner

If The New York Rangers Want To Sign Brendan Smith

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Brendan Smith’s sights are not necessarily set on hitting the open market on July 1, but the impending free-agent defenseman’s agent made it clear Monday that while the 28-year-old could eschew free agency to remain with the Rangers, it would have to be for a fair market value deal.

“Brendan has told me that he enjoyed the entire experience of playing in New York and being with the Rangers and that he certainly would consider signing a new deal and going back instead of becoming a free agent,” Anton Thun told The Post. “But at the same time, I want to make it clear that he hasn’t told me, ‘Get a deal done with the Rangers.’

“He’s looking for a good fit with a good organization, and the Rangers certainly qualify. But to pass up free agency, Brendan’s going to need a contract that reflects market value.”...

It is difficult to project the Rangers’ cap space for next season until a resolution is reached regarding potential buyouts of Dan Girardi and/or Marc Staal and possible trades of core forwards. Suffice to say, however, it will likely take a deal of four or five years between $4 million and $4.5 million per to keep Smith from sniffing around the open market. The Blueshirts certainly should be able to afford that.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+smith

Videos- The Anaheim Ducks And Nashville Predators Talk Game 6 Before The Puck Drops

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

First up the Anaheim Ducks.



Below, Roman Josi and Pekka Rinne from the Nashville side.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Wrong Decision On Ryan Getzlaf

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Hey, NHL. Rainbow tape isn’t enough.

Anyone can tape up a stick with pinks and reds and purples, use it at a skills competition, and then fall right back into our black-and-white hockey culture the next day. What’s hard is to look in the mirror and ask, “Why?”

Why have the other sports’ experienced players come out, but not the National Hockey League? Or Canadian Major Junior Hockey?

Why do the NHL, the NHL Players’ Association, the Anaheim Ducks and Ryan Getzlaf look at the “C” word spoken in the heat of the moment by Getzlaf in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final and not hear the word the way a gay man would hear that word?...

When terms hurt people, common decency dictates we stop using them.

And so it is time for the hockey world to examine the word Getztlaf used, one that has been accepted inside its dressing rooms for decades, and decide if it is acceptable anymore. It is a Top 10 swear word in the hockey vernacular. Maybe Top 5.

Getzlaf is a product of the Western Canadian hockey culture, as am I. He grew up in Regina and played his junior hockey in Calgary. I’m an Edmonton guy. We have both been desensitized to the word, the same way a doctor does not get squeamish at the sight of blood.

That is why the NHL, the Ducks, the NHLPA and Getzlaf all missed a golden opportunity this weekend to actually walk the gay rights walk. To not just tape a hockey stick for the LGBTQ community, but to identify and admit to a metaphor for homophobia that exists inside hockey’s DNA, and start down the path to removing it.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+getzlaf

District Detroit posts two pictures of the Wings’ practice rink

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Via Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples, the District Detroit posted a picture of construction at the Wings' underground practice arena today...

And the District Detroit posted a second picture on its Instagram account:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

St. James on the Griffins’ offensive contributors

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

As the Western Conference Final series between the Grand Rapids Griffins and San Jose Barracuda shifts to Western Michigan for Games 3, 4 and 5, the Free Press's Helene St. James examines the offensive contributions made by the Griffins' top youngsters, focusing on Tyler Bertuzzi's play:

The Griffins are 8-2 in the playoffs and 4-0 at home. Several Wings prospects are playing big roles: Forward Tomas Nosek scored his fifth goal of the playoffs during Sunday’s 4-2 loss in Game 2 (the Griffins won 3-1 on Saturday to earn home-ice advantage). Goaltender Jared Coreau ended up stopping 36 of 39 shots faced, 20 of which came in the first period.

Tyler Bertuzzi and Martin Frk each had an assist Sunday – for Bertuzzi, that puts him at 11 points in 10 games this spring. His playoff numbers really are impressive: 31 points in 33 career AHL playoff games; his last year of juniors, he had 17 points in 18 playoff games for Guelph.

Bertuzzi, 22, has produced in all but two games this spring, and he has three multi-point games. He is all but guaranteeing himself a spot on the Red Wings next season, as they could use a smart, grinder-type player like him.

Nosek is another guy making noise, and he showed during a stint with the Wings the last month of the regular season that he will go to the net (and shoot the puck).

St. James continues, and as Nosek is no longer waiver-exempt next season, I'd expect the Wings to give the big Czech a shot at full-time duty before giving the big pest a regular shift.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

On Jonathan Ericsson’s ‘numbers’ from the 16-17 season

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Every Monday, the Red Wings are examining a player's 2016-17 season "By the Numbers," and today, DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji looks at Jonathan Ericsson's significant figures:

51 - Ericsson was limited to 51 games this season due to injury. On Feb. 9 at Washington, fellow Swede Nicklas Backstrom hit Ericsson behind the net at 15:51 of the first period. Backstrom was called for boarding and Ericsson had to undergo surgery for a broken wrist. It was the fewest games Ericsson played since the 2013-14 season when he had three separate injuries (shoulder subluxation, broken ribs, torn finger ligaments) and only played 48 games.

9 - In part because of the injury, Ericsson only had one goal among nine points this past season. Ericsson generally scored in the 10-12 point range per year. The last time he had fewer than 10 points was in 2008-09 when he had one goal and three assists in 19 games.

63 - Despite playing in just 51 games, Ericsson led the team with 63 penalty minutes. Some of that was from his three fighting majors, the most Ericsson has had in a season since the 2010-11 season when he had three fights in 74 games. He fought Tampa Bay's Ondrej Palat in the first game of the season Oct. 13, fought Ottawa's Dion Phaneuf four days later in the home opener and took on Philadelphia's Wayne Simmonds on Nov. 8. Ericsson has 13 regular-season NHL fights in his career.

Wakiji continues...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Wallner: PK problems plague the Griffins in Game 2 vs. San Jose

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Grand Rapids Griffins dropped Game 2 of their Western Conference Final series with the San Jose Barracuda last night, losing 4-2.

The Griffins struggled on special teams, surrendering 3 power play goals on 5 penalties taken, and Griffins coach Todd Nelson spoke with the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner about the Griffins' struggles on the PK:

The need to stay out of the box was stressed by Griffins coach Todd Nelson after Saturday's game, but it didn't happen as Evgeny Svechnikov's hooking call at 1:54 and Tyler Bertuzzi's roughing at 10:29 each led to Barracuda goals and a quick 2-0 deficit.


"Yes," Nelson said. "It's hard to explain, isn't it? That's pretty much the story of the game. They came out and scored three power play goals and, even though we played better after (the first period) that was the difference. You know, penalties are going to happen in a game. But you have unnecessary ones that are going to cost you and it costs us tonight."

The series now shifts to Grand Rapids for Games 3 (Wednesday), 4 (Friday) and 5 (Saturday at Van Andel Arena), and Matthew Ford told Wallner that the Griffins hope to swipe home-ice advantage from the Barracuda as the 2-3-2 series shifts back to Western Michigan:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Video- Part One, Best Of The Regular Season All In Slow Motion

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

A little over four minutes long...


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Anaheim’s Veterans Must Step Up Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Whicker of the LA Daily News,

If the Ducks don’t win tonight, the issue will be who, not where.

Rickard Rakell is the only top six forward with a plus-rating. He didn’t play in Game 5, might not play tonight.

The questions that Getzlaf seemed to escape in the first two rounds are gathering again. He has three assists and no goals in five games

But for all of Ryan Kesler’s purple hearts, he has one point in the series and hasn’t scored a goal since Game 3 of the Edmonton series.

Kesler usually compensates with defense, but Nashville’s top line has frolicked without much argument, and did so again Saturday with Johansen injured. In Game 4, Coach Randy Carlyle abandoned his custom of hunting line matchups, at the players’ request.

If all the Ducks had been as effective as 23-year-old Nick Ritchie and 21-year-old Brandon Montour, they’d be prepping for the Final by now.

The Ducks aren’t trailing because of goaltending. John Gibson’s save percentage is higher than Pekka Rinne’s, although Rinne has been his usual self in terms of puck-handling, whether it’s inside or outside the legal boundaries.

It’s Nashville’s bottomless jug of defensemen that is weighing heavily. Its top two pairs, Subban-Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis-Roman Josi, are averaging more than 20 minutes in this series in even-strength play alone. Those four play nearly five-sixths of the minutes and have totaled 11 points.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Hockey, Nashville Style

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Alex Prewitt of Sports Illustrated,

Soundcheck time atop the band stage at Bridgestone Arena, three hours until the puck drops on the first conference finals this city has hosted—in any pro sport—and the Small-Time Rock Stars are tuning up. By now, after 200-some gigs spanning roughly 15 seasons, the name probably warrants an upgrade. From their perch above the Zamboni tunnel between Sections 110 and 111, they have jammed live alongside the likes of Charlie Daniels, Alice Cooper and Carrie Underwood. Of course the last celebrity act wasn't exactly difficult to book, being the exponentially more famous half of team captain Mike Fisher and all. But everyone else was equally eager. Music...hockey…“it’s all part of the DNA here,” says lead guitarist Steve Mandile, slipping into a Predators jersey. “The lines are pretty blurred.” ...

How far have the Predators come?

Gone are the “Hockey 101” classes meant to educate new fans on rules and tactics. Forgotten are the concerns about relocation, persistent until local business owners assembled to buy the team in Nov. ‘07. At one time, Nashville modeled itself on the Red Wings. “We were just nervous of them all the time,” Poile says. “We wanted to be like Detroit and beat Detroit.” When they finally did at the right time—in five games in the first round of ‘11-12—the Red Wings promptly changed conferences. “We’ve been chasing you for 10 years and you leave,” Poile would joke with counterpart Ken Holland. So the target then switched to Chicago; this spring’s series ended in a sweep. “As we go forward,” Poile says over a recent lunch, “that’s probably the confidence, the shot that we needed to have that belief.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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