Kukla's Korner

Afternoon Line- Steve Simmons On Mike Sullivan/Phil Kessel

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Mike Sullivan had a deal with Rick Tocchet when the two were together with the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Tocchet, the assistant coach, dealt with Phil Kessel. That way Sullivan, who didn’t want to talk to him, didn’t have to....

It’s not that he doesn’t care for Kessel. It’s that he truly doesn’t want to deal with him in any significant way. Tocchet was perfect for that role and for Kessel. The Hall of Famer, Mark Recchi, is assuming the role Tocchet had in Pittsburgh. He may be handed the Kessel portfolio. Sullivan needs someone to do what he doesn’t want to do himself.

-Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun where you can read more on Kessel and a few hockey notes too.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+sullivan, phil+kessel

#1 Draft Pick Nico Hischier Signs His Entry-Level Contract With The New Jersey Devils

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Newark, NJ - The New Jersey Devils today signed the first-overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, Nico Hischier, to the maximum three-year, entry-level contract for salary ($925,000 AAV) and performance bonuses. The announcement was made by Devils' Executive Vice President/General Manager Ray Shero.

Hischier was selected first overall by New Jersey at the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago, the first time the Devils had the number one slot in team history. He is the only Swiss-born player to be selected with the top pick in NHL history. In 2016-17 with Halifax (QMJHL), Hischier led all rookies with 38 goals and 48 assists for 86 points in 57 regular-season games and added three goals and four assists in six QMJHL playoff contests. He was named CHL and QMJHL Rookie of the Year, QMJHL Offensive Rookie of the Year, a member of the QMJHL All-Rookie Team, and was awarded with the Mike Bossy Trophy as the QMJHL's Best Professional Prospect. During Day 2 of the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago, Hischier was named the 2017 recipient of the E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence, which is given to the candidate who best exemplifies the commitment to excellence through strength and character, competitiveness and athleticism.  

The left-shooting forward finished New Jersey's 2017 Development Camp this afternoon. Born January 4, 1999 in Brig, Switzerland, Hischier has represented his home country on multiple occasions in international competition, including when he led his country with seven points at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championships in Montreal & Toronto. 

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nico+hischier

The Russians In Washington

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

Russians are welcome in Washington, a fact unrelated to the White House’s degree of hospitality.

Alex Ovechkin has made the District of Columbia his playground for a dozen seasons. He has had plenty of company.

Current Russian teammates are Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov. Like Ovechkin, they are among the better players at their respective positions of playmaking center and two-way defenseman. Other Russians who performed well alongside Ovechkin for the Capitals include Alexander Semin, Semyon Varlamov, Sergei Fedorov, and Viktor Kozlov.

Other franchises have been wary of investing in Russian players because of the KHL’s appeal. There is risk in using draft capital on Russian prospects who would prefer to stay home.

But Washington’s decision to invest in Russians, started by former general manager George McPhee and extended by Brian MacLellan, has served the organization well. It is a similar story in Tampa Bay, where Nikita Kucherov, Andrei Vasilevskiy, and Vladislav Namestnikov are three of the Lightning’s chain-pullers.

continued plus more NHL topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

‘Three Things’: On Vili Saarijarvi, Reilly Webb and a conversation with Jeff Salajko

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

1. The Free Press's Helene St. James penned an article in which she discusses Vili Saarijarvi's progress made since being drafted 2 years ago:

I think I have improved a lot, on the ice and off the ice, too, strength-wise,” Saarijarvi said. “I’ve gotten a lot stronger and put some weight on. I am not going to get so much taller, so it is about getting stronger. I know I am a good skater, that I can play the game.”

Saarijarvi stands about 5 feet 10. He said he was around 160 pounds when he was drafted, and is now around 175 pounds.

That Saarijarvi shoots right was part of the appeal in drafting him, as right-shot defensemen are rarer than left-shooting ones. Saarijarvi is mobile, makes good decisions with the puck, and has a knack for getting his shot through from the blueline. He’ll have a chance with the Griffins to show he can run a power play in the AHL, as he did in the OHL.

“It is going to be a lot harder to do at the next level but I want to take the challenge and work on it as much as possible,” Saarijarvi said. “I can do a lot of skill stuff.”

St. James continues, and she posted a video of Saarijarvi speaking during the Wings' summer development camp:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Video- Jonathan Drouin…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

... as Jonathan Drouin.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+drouin

Andrei Markov Still Unsigned

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette,

Andrei Markov got married last week in Russia, but the honeymoon will have to wait.

“There was no honeymoon. There’s no time for that … once he’s done playing,” said Sergei Berezin, the former NHLer who is one of Markov’s closest friends, an adviser and his off-season trainer. “He took three or four days off to get married, came back and boom! Back to work. That’s the kind of person he is.”...

The Canadiens sure look like they could use Markov back on the blue line after losing Nathan Beaulieu, Alexei Emelin and top prospect Mikhail Sergachev during the off-season, while adding defensive defenceman Karl Alzner. But as time goes by, it seems less likely Markov will be back in Montreal.

Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin — who has said “expect the unexpected” more than once since the end of last season — has 22 players signed to his 23-man roster and still has just over $9 million left in salary-cap space. Bergevin can afford Markov, but appears reluctant to give him a two-year deal with the GM saying he had given the defenceman a take-it-or-leave-it offer. Bergevin said the same thing about free-agent forward Alexander Radulov, who ended up signing with the Dallas Stars.

Berezin said he believes Markov wants to play longer than just two more years.

“It all depends on how he feels inside,” Berezin said. “You can see his eyes are still burning and he has the fire. I would imagine another, I don’t know, five, six years, easy. The way he works, the way he wants to work is just unbelievable … it’s amazing. I’ve never seen anybody like it. Nobody I played with, nobody I work with …. nobody I know.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line- Jeremy Roenick On Claude Giroux

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

"If I was sitting in front of Claude Giroux right here today, I would say, 'You need to make amends and you need to have a bounce-back season and show everybody why you have been one of the better players over the last five years and last year was just a bad-luck situation. This team is going to run on Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds and Jake Voracek.

"If Claude is watching right now, I love you to death, put it back together, show everybody why you're one of the best competitors in the game and get back up into that top-scoring aspect. And don't worry about slumps and don't worry about what people think of you, just be Claude Giroux. And if he does that, this team is going to prosper."

-Jeremy Roenick on Claude Giroux.  Jordan Hall of CSNPhilly has more.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: claude+giroux, jeremy+roenick

Evening news: Development camp-related videos and articles

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. In a strange turn of events for me, the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa and MLive's Ansar Khan confirm my report about Tomas Tatar's comments to Sport.sk's Prokop Tomas;

2. The Red Wings posted two videos in which the summer development camp's goalies were spotlighted, and then the viewer is taken to the Wings prospects' annual cooking class at Northwestern Michigan College with team nutritionist Lisa McDowell:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Ondrej Palat Signs A Five-Year Extension With The Tampa Bay Lightning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward Ondrej Palat to a five-year contract worth $5.3-million AAV, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced Friday.

Palat, 26, skated in 75 games with the Lightning during the 2016-17 season, posting 17 goals and 52 points to go along with 39 penalty minutes. The Frydek-Mistek, Czech Republic native ranked third on the Lightning for assists (35) and plus/minus (+8), fourth for points and tied for fourth for power-play goals with five. Palat's 19:07 average time on ice last season ranked second among all Lightning forwards.

The 6-foot, 188-pound forward has appeared in 307 career NHL games, all with the Lightning over the past five seasons, collecting 74 goals and 218 points to go along with 103 penalty minutes. Palat has also appeared in 46 Stanley Cup Playoff games, registering 14 goals and 29 points. During the Lightning's 2015 Stanley Cup Playoff run, Palat recorded eight goals and 16 points in 26 games, as the Lightning lost in the Stanley Cup Final to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ondrej+palat

Audio/Video- Elliotte Friedman On Issues Including The NHLPA And Future NHL Contracts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet's YouTube channel,

Elliotte Friedman joined the Jeff Blair Show to discuss the NHL’s decision to skip the Olympics, in relation to Donald Fehr, and what that could mean for his position and how McDavid’s recent contract will change the landscape of the NHL contract.

 

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

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