Kukla's Korner

More Rankings Of Detroit’s Prospects

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Today, a look at Nos. 11 through 15.

12. Filip Larsson, goaltender

Height/weight: 6-2/195

Drafted: Sixth round 2016 (No. 167)

2019-20 club: Grand Rapids (AHL)/Toledo (ECHL)

2019-20 stats: Grand Rapids 7 GP, 2-5-0, 4.01 GAA, .843 save percentage; Toledo 10 GP, 4-6-0, 2.72 GAA, .910 save percentage.

Touted as the franchise’s potential goalie of the future following outstanding seasons in the USHL (Tri-City) and college (Denver), Larsson’s pro initiation was rough. He struggled with the Griffins before being demoted to Toledo. He fared better in the ECHL, but the season showed how difficult a transition goalies can have from juniors/college to the pros. It will take some time to develop him, which is not unexpected. He is on loan to Swedish club Almtuna due to the pandemic.

11. Robert Mastrosimone, left wing


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Playing With Pain

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

Playing through injury, sacrificing your body, blocking a shot, fighting to stand up for a teammate. Hockey players are praised for their courage and willingness to withstand pain, and doing whatever it takes to win no matter the cost. Here is the TSN Original: The Problem of Pain.

Watch the 30 minute feature at TSN.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul


Dallas nearly erased a three-goal deficit in their Game 2 loss, but look to rebound and gain a series edge in Game 3. The Stars are 6-2 in games following a loss during the 2020 postseason, with Anton Khudobin between the pipes for six of those contests (5-1).

* Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point (19 GP) and Dallas’ Joe Pavelski (23 GP) each scored their 10th goal of the 2020 postseason in Game 2. The 2020 Stanley Cup Final is just the third time since 2011 that both finalists each feature a player with 10 more goals.

This marks the 30th time in NHL history – and third consecutive year – that a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final has been tied 1-1.

Continue Reading »

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The Dallas Stars Could Really Use Tyler Seguin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

Technically, Tyler Seguin has been healthy for this entire post-season. You just wouldn’t know it by watching the games.

Seguin has two goals and eight points in 22 games. He has one assist in the past 12 games. The last time he scored was in Game 3 in the second round. That was almost a month ago.

Fifty-eight players in this year’s post-season have more points. Ninety-nine have more goals.

That includes Connor McDavid, whose team was eliminated in the qualification round after playing just four games. Including the round robin, Seguin has played four rounds.

Sure, Dallas will gladly take Seguin’s output over McDavid’s if it ends up leading to a Stanley Cup. But it’s hard to imagine the Stars winning three more games against the Lighting unless their leading scorer in the regular season can find a way to contribute more than he has already.


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Still No Decision On Early Training Camp For The Wings And Other Teams

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

The seven teams that didn’t take part in the post-season, including Detroit, Los Angeles, San Jose, Anaheim, New Jersey and Buffalo, have all appealed to the league to at least be allowed to have a longer training camp than the other 24 teams that took part in the post-season.

The word amongst league executives is the initiative is being led by Anaheim GM Bob Murray and he’s been the one dealing with the NHL head office about the possibility. All seven teams have made it clear they feel it’s important because of the length of time between games for their players.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly indicated in an email Monday afternoon that teams like the Senators, Wings, Kings, Sharks, Ducks, Devils and Sabres could be granted a longer camp if the NHL Players’ Association agrees to it.

“Yes, we have been talking with the union about giving the seven clubs additional days of mandatory training camp period prior to the opening of the main camp,” Daly wrote to Postmedia from Edmonton. “Timing would be tied entirely to the opening of training camp so remains uncertain.”


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Watching The Stanley Cup Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe Lucia of Awful Announcing,

With playoff games also taking place in the middle of weekdays, there’s also going to be a natural drop in reach for those games. Despite all those caveats, it’s stunning to see the overall drop in NHL playoff viewership for the first three rounds.

Per Sports Media Watch, the NHL averaged just 844,000 viewers for its playoff games in rounds before the Stanley Cup Final. Not only is that a 28% drop from a year ago, it’s the lowest since NBC’s networks began airing all playoff games as part of the NHL’s TV deal with the network that started in 2012. Of the 11 conference final games, just one (Game 4 of Golden Knights-Stars) saw an increase from 2019 – and that was a game that aired on NBC as opposed to NBCSN (which the comparable game did a year ago). That matchup was the most-watched of the round, with a paltry 1.68 million viewers.

The trend was not reversed for the start of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday. Game 1 of Stars-Lightning series drew a jarring 2.12 million viewers (on NBC!) Saturday night, per ShowBuzz Daily. That finished fourth among the six live sports contests airing in primetime on Saturday, ahead of just an MLB on Fox national window and a Louisiana Tech-Southern Miss college football game on ESPN2.


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Bob Boughner Named Head Coach Of The San Jose Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

SAN JOSE, CA - The San Jose Sharks announced today that the organization has selected its coaching staffs at both the National Hockey League (NHL) and American Hockey League (AHL) levels.

Bob Boughner has been named the ninth head coach in Sharks history after serving as the interim head coach for 37 games during the 2019-20 season. Along with Boughner, the Sharks have named Rocky Thompson as associate coach and John Madden as assistant coach.

Continue Reading »

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They Lived Inside The Bubble

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Emily Kaplan and Greg Wyshynski of ESPN,

ESPN debriefed with nine players -- five from the Western Conference and four from the Eastern Conference -- who, on the condition of anonymity, answered dozens of questions about what life was really like inside the bubble, from playing in empty buildings to being trapped in hotels to food, drinking and drugs....

One Eastern Conference player said the testing made him feel "at ease," which was reinforced by "mask police everywhere" inside the bubble.

Another Eastern Conference veteran said mask culture, which was prevalent, was about "internal respect" as well as "optics."

"When you're at the rink, they're taking pictures of you walking in and walking around. If you're walking around with no mask on, that's not sending the right vibe," the player said. "Yeah, it was annoying. But we're still representing kids that are watching it. All a kid has to say is, 'Hey, Auston Matthews isn't wearing a mask to the rink, so I don't have to.'"...

"The fence that boxed us in, that made you feel like you were in more of a prison, kind of like an animal," he said. "Just the feeling of it. There's no other way to separate you from the outside world in a safe way, but it was an eye-opener when guys pulled up to the hotel."...

Many players thought the NHL exaggerated about the comforts of life in the bubble -- "Frankly, to get us all to agree to come out," an Eastern Conference player said. As one Western Conference player put it: "I would quote it as 'not as advertised.'"

"Once you got into the pattern of playing every other day, the amenities were less important," another Western Conference player said. "But they oversold what was delivered."

much more

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Darcy Kuemper One Of The Players Mentioned In Trade And UFA Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic,

The ink is barely dry on the GM contract Bill Armstrong signed in Arizona and his phone undoubtedly has already exploded.

The word is out on the Coyotes needing to cut payroll, and of course, needing draft picks....

The 30-year-old is a popular target for teams looking to upgrade in goal. I mentioned Carolina last week but you can add Calgary among the other teams who have called the Coyotes on him. The Flames are doing their rounds looking at the whole goalie market. Which is not to say Calgary has closed the door on pending UFA Cam Talbot. In fact, both sides remain in contact and it’s not out of the question the Flames make him a contract offer.

But there are several teams who have Kuemper on their radar. He’s got two years left on his deal at a bargain $4.5 million AAV and he’s been one of the top goalies in the league the last few years.

While you hate to trade him if you’re Arizona, and perhaps Armstrong will choose not to do so, but there’s no better opportunity to get much-needed draft picks and/or prospects into the pipeline than putting up Kuemper for auction. I feel confident the Coyotes can recoup a first-round pick, albeit a low one, in a Kuemper deal, plus another asset or two.

more players mentioned (paid subscription)

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Ranking The Players In Detroit’s Organization

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

This week, MLive ranks the organization’s top 20 prospects.

To be considered a prospect, a player must meet one or more of these criteria: not assured of an NHL roster spot in 2020-21, exempt from waivers, 20 or fewer NHL games, under age 25.

Today, a look at Nos. 16 through 20.

20. Chase Pearson, center

Height/weight: 6-2/200

Drafted: Fifth round 2015 (No. 140)

2019-20 club: Grand Rapids (AHL)

2019-20 stats: 59 GP, 8 G, 14 A, 22 PT, 17 PM

The Red Wings hope Pearson develops into a fourth-line NHL center who can check, provide energy, kill penalties and be hard to play against. He has been in the organization’s development pipeline for five years, described as a trustworthy player who was learning to bring intensity on a nightly basis.

19. Keith Petruzzelli, goaltender

more players

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