Kukla's Korner

Red Wings’ possible changes involve conference, players, blueprint for the future

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Detroit Red Wings’ timing of the team’s locker-room clean-out was…convenient. The team understandably wants to get down to the business of preparing its returning players for the off-season, tending to the injured and determining what changes the team has to make systemically (that’s Mike Babcock and the coaching staff’s department), what the team plans on doing in terms of re-signing players or making renovations via free agency or trades (Ken Holland, capologist Ryan Martin and the pro scouts’ areas of expertise) and how the team’s long-term outlook will influence both its moves at the NHL Entry Draft in June (Jim Nill, Hakan Andersson and the amateur scouts’ department) and the shape the Grand Rapids Griffins will take, call-up pecking order included (Griffins GM Bob McNamara, coach Curt Fraser, assistant coach Jim Paek and Jiri Fischer and Chris Chelios are in the player development business).

In short, the Wings’ front office has a lot of work to do and its players need to get a few weeks of rest and recuperation in before sinking their teeth into their off-season training regimens and/or scheduling any necessary surgery dates…But scheduling the locker room clean-out for a weekend date meant that the local media could stuff its sound recorders, Flip cams and video cameras with the necessary quotes, stock up for the weekend sports wrap-up TV shows, Monday’s newspaper columns and sports talk radio segments, and then shift focus to the Tigers (and, inevitably, the Lions). Do it on a weekend, get it over with, and maybe hope that the media and fans move on to the next thing as the team goes about addressing some very real questions not involving Nicklas Lidstrom’s return without much hassle.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Saturday Night NHL Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

Two amazing things about the redoubtable Antti Niemi. 1) He’s played in six Stanley Cup playoff series and won all six; 2) His quest to win back to back Stanley Cups with two different teams remains alive.

Strange, there are five coaching openings, in Dallas, Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey and Ottawa, and not one hiring to date. What’s everybody waiting for? And still don’t understand why Colorado didn’t fire Joe Sacco? There should be six coaching vacancies.

Department of boy was I wrong: When the Tampa Bay Lightning entered the playoffs, I told anyone who listened: This is one of those just happy to be there teams. They won’t last long.

more points, including why Toronto may not want to welcome Detroit to the Eastern Conference…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Odds Galore

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

All the odds you want, provided by Bodog.

Odds to win the 2011 Stanley Cup
Vancouver Canucks 17/10
Boston Bruins 5/2
San Jose Sharks 3/1
Tampa Bay Lightning 7/2

What will be the Matchup in the Stanley Cup Final?
Boston Bruins vs. Vancouver Canucks 9/5
Boston Bruins vs. San Jose Sharks 5/2
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Vancouver Canucks 5/2
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. San Jose Sharks 7/2

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Larry Brooks Reports on Boogaard

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Larry Brooks of the NY Post, on Twitter:

Post has learned that Derek Boogaard was receiving counseling through NHL/NHLPA Behavorial Health/Substance Abuse Program at time of death.

Moments later, he followed it up with:

Story that will appear in Sunday’s editions will be posted on NYPost.com….No inferences should be drawn as to cause of death.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: derek+boogaard

Western Conference Verbal Wars Have Started

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at TSN,

The NHL Western Conference final hasn’t even started but Kevin Bieksa has thrown the first hit.

The sharp-tongued Vancouver Canuck defenceman took a few verbal shots at former teammate Kyle Wellwood, who now plays for the San Jose Sharks.

Bieksa was asked Saturday about some comments Wellwood made earlier this year when he questioned the Canucks’ ability to win in the playoffs.

“I don’t even remember what that weasel said,” snorted Bieksa.

continue for more from Bieksa…

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Custance: Red Wings still hope to move East

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

There’s basically no way that the NHL would realistically move the Red Wings to the Eastern Conference given Columbus and Nashville’s statuses as ahead of the Wings in the pecking order and the Wings’ status as the Western Conference’s “anchor tenant,” but the Sporting News’s Craig Custance reports that the Wings would still like to move East if the Thrashers re-locate at some point in the future:

According to Jimmy Devellano, Detroit’s senior vice president, a move won’t be happening next season for the Red Wings. “We’re going to be right where we are next year,” he said on Saturday. “Beyond that, I can’t comment. Next year we’re right where we are.”

Moving East would mean money and time saved on travel for the organization, not to mention reasonable start times for fans in Detroit when the Red Wings are on the road. That’s why Devellano is holding out hope that it could still happen as soon as the 2012-13 season. “Fingers crossed, toes crossed, saying prayers,” he joked.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Red Wings locker room clean-out updates: Lidstrom to decide on future by July 1st

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated at 15x at 7:34 with Babcock on Modano: Via the Detroit Red Wings’ official Twitter account, as of noon EDT, the team’s taken its team picture and its players are addressing the media as they prepare for a long summer:

Rolling out the red carpet for the team photo. http://yfrog.com/h4ho4gcej
Lidstrom said he expects to make a decision on next season by July 1.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Jagr Makes Sense For Penguins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Connecting the various dots, it would appear that the Penguins are interested in mending fences with Jaromir Jagr , and that Jagr is interested in returning to the NHL. Add into that his hat trick Wednesday against the United States in Slovakia and, man, that sure sounds to me like a connection worth making.

In fact, it sounds like a win-win-win.

But let me start with this: No, this would not be an Alexei Kovalev type of situation. Jagr long ago adjusted his game away from beating guys one-on-one to more of a stationary shooter. He started that with the Rangers and carried it over to Russia. And, from watching him up close in Vancouver last winter at the Olympics, I can offer that there is absolutely no question he would continue to be an impact player in the NHL, even if he is not the mullet-headed, stickhandling wizard so many of us recall. There were many hockey executives there shaking their heads that he was wasting his time in Russia rather than adding to his points and legacy in the NHL.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jaromir+jagr

A Different Look At The Late Derek Boogaard

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

I don’t know where I’m going to go with this blog to be honest. In fact, my cursor has been flickering in this spot for about three hours, it’s 3 a.m. and I’m still sickened.

Even as I start typing now, my eyes are watering. So maybe that’s my answer.

I’m supposed to be a professional, but I’m also human. In my role, you cover players professionally, but you get to know them personally.

Like many of you, I was floored and saddened by tonight’s tragic news. But I’ve thought about this a lot the last few hours, and I want to do my best to not make this a tear jerker.

I want to give you a different perspective to Derek Boogaard from someone who covered him.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: derek+boogaard

Keep An Eye On…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

As the conference finals get underway, hockey reporters Paul Hunter and Kevin McGran offer up a dozen glorious things to keep an eye (and ear on) on — some subtle, some not so much — as the playoff field narrows.

Joe Thornton’s passes

Jumbo Joe has the body of one of those elephants about to be shipped out of Toronto but he also has the hands of a jeweller. The San Jose centre makes precision passes the way pachyderms pop peanuts.

Milan Lucic’s body-slams

With Niklas Kronwall out of the post-season — much to the relief of a battered Dany Heatley — the Bruins winger will take over as the designated hitter an opponent least wants to meet and greet along the boards.

Roberto Luongo head snaps

Is he a goaltender or is he a bobblehead doll? The Canucks puckstopper morphs into a soccer player every time an opposition forward nears his crease as he tries to draw penalties.

Steven Stamkos’ one-timers

Though he’s yet to get fully untracked in these playoffs, the Tampa sniper’s ability to set up in the left faceoff circle and bury any pass close to his wheelhouse is an art form unto itself

more from the Toronto Star….

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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