Kukla's Korner

Red Wings overnight report: Three stages of prospect camper’s careers

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

This morning we look at three prospects who’ve attended the Red Wings’ summer development camps who happen to find themselves at very different stages of their careers.

2011 2nd-round draft pick and Soo Greyhounds defenseman Ryan Sproul spent the better part of his first three weeks as a Wings prospect at the team’s development camp in Traverse City, and the “wow factor” hasn’t worn off yet for Sproul, who spoke to the Sault Star’s Peter Ruicci on Sunday afternoon:

After going through fitness testing in Detroit July 6, Wings hopefuls were bussed to Traverse City. There, they spent eight days working out both on and off ice. Focused on developing their prospects skills, the Wings placed an emphasis on power skating, stickhandling and rigorous practice sessions. Players scrimmaged only twice.

“Some of the little things we learned were incredible,” Sproul said. “They’ll really help me in the future.”

Former Wings defenceman Jiri Fischer, who went into cardiac arrest during a 2005 NHL game and was subsequently forced to retire from the sport, made an immediate impact on Sproul. Fischer, now 29, is the Wings director of player development.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard is NOT ‘jimmyhoward32’ on Twitter

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Via RedWingsFeed on Twitter, which happens to have created a very official list (to the point that it’s Twitter-approved and has a secure “https” address) of the Detroit Red Wings’ players and prospects who take part in “Tweeting,” but Jimmy Howard is not one of them. Someone pretending to be Howard claimed to have a Twitter account this past weekend, but that person is not in fact Howard, as the Red Wings’ goalie told the Portland Press-Herald’s Rachel Lenzi:

Saturday morning, Jimmy Howard’s phone wouldn’t stop chirping. He wondered if he’d gotten traded. He wondered if something happened. But when he finally got in touch with a member of the Detroit Red Wings public relations staff, they only had one question for him: “Are you on Twitter?”

Short answer? No.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Sakic Still Has It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Joe Sakic hit an eight-iron 162 yards for a hole in one at the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at Lake Tahoe today.

The shot was worth $1 million dollars with Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation receiving half of the check.

More from the AP at TSN.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+sakic

Verizon Center Offers Mini-Suites

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Thomas Heath of the Washington Post,

Sports mogul Ted Leonsis has installed 56 new “loge box” seats at the Verizon Center for the NHL and NBA seasons — assuming, of course, there is an NBA season, no certainty given the current labor impasse.

Essentially the loge boxes are hardwood-floor mini-suites, with six and eight tickets per box and priced at $125,000 and $150,000 respectively. There are eight boxes in all; four boxes have six seats and four have eight. They are good for all events — including concerts, Georgetown basketball, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, family shows and concerts, along with the Capitals, Wizards and Mystics games.

The target audience is small and medium-sized businesses that don’t want to buy 18-person suites.

Parking passes, waiter/waitress service, catered food and flat-screen televisions are included.

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

Fake Draft Pick Gets Trading Card

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Olds of ESPN Page 2,

If you know your NHL Draft history—or are a Buffalo Sabres fan—then you know the name Taro Tsujimoto.

He’s the real-life 183rd overall pick of the 1974 NHL Draft. He’s got a brand new card in the 2010-11 Score Rookies & Traded hockey set from Panini America.

And the catch? He’s not not even real.

The NHL’s version of Sidd Finch was a real-life punchline of Sabres GM Punch Imlach 37 years ago when the draft was plodding along at a snail’s pace. When his team’s spot came up in the 11th round, he picked a mysterious prospect in Taro, the center for the Tokyo Katanas—all fiction.

continued with a picture of the card…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Thrasher Fans Still Owed Ticket Deposits

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Atlanta Thrashers are no longer an NHL team.  However controversy still exists surrounding them.  Many fans are still owed money that they put down on tickets for the 2011/12 season.  Here is an article on the situation.  It seems that the Atlanta Spirit Group is delaying as long as possible to refund money.  People who put sufficient pressure on the group to force a refund have been recently paid, but many have not received their money yet. 

From the article:

A disgruntled Atlanta Thrasher season ticket holder told Channel 2 consumer investigator Jim Strickland that it’s been a big hassle trying to get his refund on next season’s deposit.

Strickland discovered gauging the scope of the problem was a hassle too.

“It’s just been one excuse after another. Where’s my money at? Where’s my refund? It’s been well over a month from the time it was guaranteed to be sent back to me,” complained fan Brad Lyons.

Strickland called Lyons’ ticket representative. James Desmond refused comment and hung up the phone.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Is The End Nearing For HNIC?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lyle Richardson of Spector’s Hockey,

While CBC’s current contract with the NHL lasts until the end of the 2013-14 season, it is expected CTV could make a serious push for the exclusive broadcast rights of Canadian-based NHL teams, which would then be televised on TSN.

In 2007, CBC successfully outbid CTV for full broadcast rights of all Canadian NHL teams , but the market has changed since then, and CBC could find it very difficult in three years time to top CTV.

The aging of Hockey Night’s top on-screen personalities could also become a potential problem.

While McLean and Cherry remain Hockey Night’s most recognizable faces, they’re also getting older, especially Cherry, who will be 80 when the show’s current contract expires in 2014.


Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink

R & D Camp Approaching

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Without Shanahan’s research and development festival, the process of effecting change would be more theoretical with ideas moving from GMs meetings to the competition committee to the board of governors. Experimentation of new changes may be imposed on the American Hockey League, but the R&D exercise allows the game’s top hockey eyes to see how things might look and if there is reason to pursue them.

“It’s a big leap to go from the boardroom to the NHL ice,” Shanahan said. “This is a smaller step.”

At last year’s inaugural event, a host of potential changes—from safety to technological to injecting more offense into the game—were introduced during scrimmages. This year’s effort will be somewhat more streamlined and will revisit some of the ideas explored a year ago for a closer look.

This seems to be the evolutionary path the R&D event will take—try new things; if you like some of them, try them again, and if you don’t, move on to something else.

For instance, Shanahan said he expects narrower nets will again get a hard look in August. While keeping the goal itself a consistent size, the reduced depth of the net will allow for more room to move behind it and a shorter travel distance for a player trying to attempt a wrap-around, thus putting more pressure on goaltenders and defenders.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Leafs Need Help

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

To determine just where the Leafs stand, you have to begin with numbers. Of the 16 teams that made the playoffs this year, only one team, Montreal, scored fewer goals than the Leafs’ final total of 218. And of the 16 teams that competed for the Cup, not one of them gave up as many as the 251 goals the Leafs allowed last season.

And no playoff team allowed more goals against than number of goals scored for: The Leafs, though, allowed 33 more goals against than they scored. To get into the playoffs, this is where it has to begin.

The Leafs, a minus-33 team in goals for and against last year, must be a plus-team this year. They probably need to add 20 goals to their total of 218 and reduce goals against by somewhere between 30 and 40.

In Ron Wilson’s three seasons coaching the Leafs, the team has been minus-43, minus-53 and minus-33 in goals scored/against. To have any chance at a playoff spot, that has to drastically change.

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

Teams Waiting On Arbitration Results

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

Boston GM Peter Chiarelli and his staff will keep a keen eye on which players might become available next month in the wake of arbitration decisions. The traditional buyout period is the two-week window leading up to July 1 free agency, but often a small number of players, usually vets, become available in August after the arbitration process. Clubs tagged with a pricey ruling have the option to keep the player at the mandated price, and buy out another roster player if they need to make room under the salary cap. If clubs find the arbitration price unsavory, they can refuse to pay, immediately rendering the player an unrestricted free agent. “I’d anticipate some buyouts and maybe some walkaways,’’ noted Chiarelli. “We try to stay close to that, and if there is someone there who interests us, we’ve got some [cap] flexibility.’’

more hockey notes

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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