Kukla's Korner

Pressure On Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

They’ve fired their coach. They traded Nazem Kadri, Connor Brown, Nikita Zaitsev, Patrick Marleau and Trevor Moore. They parted ways with a first-round draft pick and two third-round picks, as well as a conditional draft choice.

In total, they’ve turned over 40% of the roster that lost in Game 7 to the Boston Bruins.

And yet, heading into next week’s trade deadline, it’s difficult to imagine another GM who is under more pressure to further tweak a lineup that at times doesn’t look good enough to reach the playoffs — never mind win a Stanley Cup — than Kyle Dubas.

Then again, with apologies to the San Jose Sharks, it’s difficult to come up with a team that has underachieved as much as the Leafs have this season.

Remember, this is a team that is coming off back-to-back 100-point seasons. A team that, after re-signing Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner in the summer and luring John Tavares in free agency the year before, has three of the top-earning players in the league.

You say they were expected to qualify for the playoffs? Well, thanks, Captain Obvious.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Signs Point To Alex Martinez Joining The Vegas Golden Knights

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

added 5:00pm,

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alec+martinez, vegas+golden+knights

Thoughts Before The Trade Deadline

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

- It might come down to Nolan Patrick’s health, but I think Philadelphia is considering Jeff Carter.

- I do think Colorado checked out Corey Crawford. But Robin Lehner’s future ties into Chicago’s decision. Lehner’s performance during Chicago’s 5-3 loss to Edmonton raised eyebrows. Not because he was bad or anything, but because he was “quiet.” Lehner plays a “loud” game, both in terms of his voice and activity. The Blackhawks and his representatives are trying to find a match, but word is term is going to be a hurdle. Lehner has said that he deserves to be paid “fairly,” and it was so unusual to see him so placid that people were wondering if a lack of progress bothered him. He was back in goal for Saturday’s 8-4 win in Calgary, where he made a big save to preserve Chicago’s advantage when the game was still in doubt.

Carolina, meanwhile, has had a lot of interest in Lehner, and has that extra first-rounder.

- It is rare that top-six centres become available, but Florida’s Vincent Trocheck is generating attention. Age 26, two more years at under $5 million — teams can handle that. Won’t be inexpensive. Trocheck rushed back as quickly as possible from an ankle injury last season, and there is debate about how much mobility that may have cost him. But, again, guys like him aren’t often acquirable.

much more

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Montreal Trades Marco Scandella To St. Louis

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

MONTREAL - The Canadiens announced on Tuesday that they've acquired a second-round pick in 2020 and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2021 from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for defenseman Marco Scandella.

Scandella, 29, was acquired by the Canadiens from Buffalo on January 2 in return for a fourth-round pick in 2020. The Montreal native played 20 games for the Habs, recording three points (1G, 2A).

The 6-foot-3, 212-pound rearguard is a veteran of 569 NHL contests with the Minnesota Wild, Sabres, and Canadiens. He has 136 career points (42G, 94A) over 10 seasons in the League.

Scandella was Minnesota's second-round pick (55th overall) in 2008.

added 4:00pm, St. Louis release is below.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marco+scandella

Washington Capitals Acquire Brenden Dillon

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

added 3:51pm, San Jose release is below.

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have acquired defenseman Brenden Dillon from the San Jose Sharks for a 2020 second round pick (originally acquired from Colorado) and a conditional 2021 third round pick, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. In addition, San Jose has agreed to retain 50 percent of Dillon’s salary and cap hit.

“Brenden is an experienced defenseman who plays a solid defensive game with a high compete level and physicality,” said MacLellan. “We felt it was important for us to add a player of his caliber to our defensive group.”

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brenden+dillon

Targeting Chris Kreider

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

Tick tock.

While the New York Rangers remain in negotiation to keep winger Chris Kreider, but the Colorado Avalanche and Boston Bruins appear to have emerged as front-runners for his services on the trade market.

Kreider, 28, has been No. 1 on the TSN Trade Bait Board since December.

The Avalanche were in on Kreider well before right wing Mikko Rantanen went down with a reported collarbone injury in Monday night’s game against Tampa Bay. That injury may have only heightened the urgency to make it happen.

The Bruins have been in on the Boston College and Boxford, Mass., kid all along, as the team atop the NHL standings attempts to avenge last year’s crushing Game 7 loss to St. Louis on home ice in the Stanley Cup Final.

The Blues and, to a lesser extent, the Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals, are all believed to have inquired about Kreider’s availability.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+kreider

The Game Plan For Tonight

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Dana Wakiji of DetroitRedWings.com,

"One is we want to make sure we support the puck, that we want the puck, that we're able to have the puck out of our zone through the neutral zone so that we can play in the offensive zone more," Wings coach Jeff Blashill said after the team's optional morning skate Tuesday. "We had a number of really, really good chances last game. But we didn't have lots of sustained O-zone time. So if we can get more sustained O-zone time you're going to have a chance to score more of the dirty-type goals we have to.

"We have to get to the net a little more and try to score some of those dirty-type goals. We're not going to get better looks necessarily from our best players than we got last game. We had a number of looks with wide-open shots in the slot. If you get those every night, you're going to score for sure, but those are hard to come by every night, so let's make sure the nights we're not getting those we're still scoring dirty-type goals."

Andreas Athanasiou, who had 30 goals in 76 games last season, has eight goals in 44 games this season.

"I think when times are like that I think it's just overshooting the puck," Athanasiou said. "Not trying to get too fancy. It's been a little bit crazy. There hasn't been too many goals. I think we've had a lot of chances, they just haven't found the back of the net. I think at those points, you just have to work through it and kind of let your hard work take over and overshoot the puck."

more

added 1:32pm, Below, watch Dylan Larkin recap his first NHL game.  added 2:13pm, watch Athanasiou below.  added 2:16pm, 2 minutes of Blashill below.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Edmonton Oilers Announce Oscar Klefbom Out 2-3 Weeks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: oscar+klefbom

Morning Line- A College Hockey Player

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, College Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Statement From Jay Bouwmeester

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

(Feb. 18, 2020) – St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester issued the following statement this morning.

“I would sincerely like to thank all of the trainers from both the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks, as well as all of the first responders, the Anaheim medical staff and the team at the UCI Medical Center for their quick actions on Feb. 11.  Our family has felt the support of the entire National Hockey League family and the city of St. Louis during this time.  We have all been greatly comforted by your genuine concern.  On Sunday evening, I returned to St. Louis and I am on the road to recovery.  My wife and daughters are forever grateful for everyone’s support and we will continue to have a positive outlook for our future.“

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

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