Kukla's Korner

Geoff Courtnall On The Vancouver Canucks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Katie Strang of ESPN,

What happens in a hockey-crazed market when a hot start quickly dissipates into a dramatic downward spiral, highlighting a questionable coaching hire in the polarizing John Tortorella?

You have yourself an offseason rife with upheaval, just like the summer of 2014 for the Vancouver Canucks.

The brash and fiery Tortorella was axed after just one season. Longtime general Mike Gillis was dismissed, as well. Star center Ryan Kesler was shipped out of town in a trade to Anaheim.

None of it is surprising, according to former Vancouver Canucks player Geoff Courtnall, who spent five seasons playing for the club from 1990-95.

“Well, I think the owners have high expectations and want to win. They weren’t satisfied with how last season went, so they made some pretty drastic moves," Courtnall told ESPN.com in a recent phone conversation. 

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: geoff+courtnall

Paul Bissonnette Will Attend The Camp Of The St. Louis Blues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

ST. LOUIS - The Blues have invited unrestricted free agent forward Paul Bissonnette to a tryout at training camp.

Bissonnette, 29, has played in 202 career NHL games, registering seven goals and 15 assists (22 points). He has a plus-7 rating and 340 career penalty minutes.

Bissonnette spent the past five seasons with the Phoenix Coyotes. He made his NHL debut with the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2008-09 season.

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+bissonnette

Brandon Robinson update

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I'm sitting up in the stands as the Wings' prospects practice, while MLive's Brendan Savage is closer to the locker room, and he has good news regarding Brandon Robinson:

added 10:20am, more from Savage...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

NHL.com profiles Red Wings prospect Ryan Sproul

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Red Wings prospect Ryan Sproul is fluent in...let's say that he's a little prone to indulging in the old hockey cliche, so NHL.com's Mike Morreale offers a perspective on the defenseman that's a little more insightful as the commentary comes from Ken Holland and Jeff Blashill:

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound defenseman, selected in the second round (No. 55) of the 2011 NHL Draft, has been one of Detroit's most impressive players on the back end in the Traverse City Prospect Tournament this week.

"He's big, mobile, can handle the puck and has a rocket for the shot," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. "He capped off a very good junior career [in 2012-13] by winning defenseman of the year in the Canadian Hockey League and then had a nice rookie year in Grand Rapids."

Blashill tells Morreale that Sproul's defnitely near-NHL-ready, but he's definitely still shaking off some Major Junior Hockey habits:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Red Wings morning news: prospect tourney talk and a ‘slide’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this morning, and mostly related to the Wings prospects' 5-1 win over the Minnesota Wild last night:

We're still waiting for an update on Brandon Robinson's status, but MLive's Brendan Savage took note of the coach and players' reactions to the injury...

"The one thing is right away word filtered that he was going to be OK from what we understand," said coach Jeff Blashill. "Once we heard that, it kind of relaxed everybody a little bit. Obviously, it's a scary few moments there and the guys were extremely concerned. But once word got back that he was doing OK, I think it allowed us to go out and play."

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Jacob Trouba Wants To Have “A Big Impact This Year”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun,

As big a splash as Trouba made starting as a 19-year-old straight out of college, the Rochester, Michigan, product wants more of a role in Year 2.

“As big as I can get it,” a grinning Trouba said, Monday, after a pre-training camp skate at the Iceplex. “I want to play on the power play this year, for sure. That’s something you’ve got to earn. Playing in big spots is something I want to do. That again is something that’s earned, from your teammates and your coaches.”

Trouba says he’ll be searching for consistency this year. Playing a full season, too.

Injuries, including a scary neck injury, limited him to 65 games as a rookie. He still managed 10 goals and 29 points.

“That’s something I really want to focus on, is showing up every night and being the best I can,” he said. “Taking another step on this team to become more of a significant player and play in different spots... I want to have a big impact this year.”

The Jets hope head coach Paul Maurice can help 

read on

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

Morning Line- Barry Trotz

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“Everybody thinks I’m going to turn him into a Selke-winner. People say he had a rotten year last year, but he still scored eight more goals than the nearest guy in the Rocket Richard race. I don’t want to disrespect his gift – the gift of scoring goals, which is one of the hardest things to do.

“I’m not going to get him to be that super-detailed Doug Jarvis type. I just need him to work defensively and have some pride in getting the puck back. That’s the way I’ve talked to him. Get the puck and score, but if we don’t have the puck, I want a plan to get it back quickly so we can go score again.”

-Barry Trotz, head coach of the Washington Capitals on Alex Ovechkin.  More from Trotz by Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: barry+trotz

Columbus GM Has Strong Words For Ryan Johansen

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

As training camp draws near, the heat is getting turned up under unsigned Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen.

General manager Jarmo Kekalainen, in his strongest words yet, warned against Johansen not being signed by the start of camp on Thursday, and he questioned the motivation of Johansen’s agent, Kurt Overhardt.

“Our success is going to come from being a team, not a bunch of individuals or stars, or whatever,” Kekalainen said during the NHL prospects tournament last night. “To me, it’s huge that you go through training camp together and get ready.

“When training camp starts, that’s it. After that, the focus is on the guys who are there on tryouts or guys who are under contract. That’s it. That will be the only focus.”

Asked whether that meant he would no longer negotiate with Overhardt, Kekalainen paused.

“Draw your own conclusions,” he said.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+johansen

Red Wings overnight report: reflecting on the Wings’ prospect tournament win over Minny; rink news

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings are crossing their fingers regarding Brandon Robinson, and Winging It in Motown's SlapShotgoal posted a video of Robinson going down in the Wings prospects' game against the Minnesota Wild (she also posted a video Wild defenseman of Guillaume Gelinas getting concussed; I was watching Gelinas come out of the trainer's room when I turned my head and saw Robinson go down)...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

THN’s Ken Campbell speaks with Ken Holland regarding Mike Babcock’s contract

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Hockey News's Ken Campbell is a very nice man. So is Ryan Kennedy. I know, because I met them this evening. But I happen to disagree with Mr. Campbell's suggestion that it might--emphasis on might--be time to worry given that the Red Wings will not simply back up a Brinks truck to Mike Babcock's house:

Babcock will almost certainly become the game’s highest paid coach, whether it’s with Detroit or someone else, but Red Wings GM Ken Holland doesn’t seem to be eager to be the one to set a precedent.

“That’s not the way I negotiate,” Holland said. “I use the word fair, but fair is different for lots of people. Otherwise you’d have coaches making $20 million. This is a business and I’m in charge of making business decisions and we all have responsibilities. That’s how the business runs. In the industry, when you’re charged with the responsibility of managing an operation, you try to make sure everyone is treated fair in the industry, fair in the organization.”

Campbell spoke with Holland regarding the reasons that the two haven't talked contract turkey...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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