Kukla's Korner

From A Fantasy Point Of View, The Trades During The NHL Draft

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Collins of Dobber Hockey,

What trades had the greatest fantasy impact? Not including players selected in the draft through traded draft picks, here are the top 10 players that were impacted in deals this past weekend.

 10. Antti Niemi

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Niemi. I wanted him to win the Vezina in 2013, and thought the Sharks threw him under a bus by not starting him in Game 6 of the first round series a couple of years back when the Kings made their historic comeback. Niemi is also pretty underrated fantasy-wise. Despite his struggles this past year, and a Sharks team that didn't give him much help, Niemi still ranked 19th in Yahoo rotisserie and head-to-head leagues (ahead of Ryan Miller, Craig Anderson, Sergei Bobrovsky and Kari Lehtonen). Now, if he signs with Dallas, he gets a chance to be the number one goalie on a team that scored the second-most goals per game last year. The only reason he isn't ranked higher is because of the uncertainty he signs in Dallas, and if he does, whether he splits starts with Kari Lehtonen. If he goes into next season as the certified number one, he jumps up to number one on this list.

 9. Mikhail Grigorenko

Probably no player has ever been as happy to get away from a team than Grigorenko is to get out of Buffalo. It may be too hasty to say the team ruined him, but it would not be surprising for a 21-year-old to very dejected after his few years there.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, | KK Hockey | Permalink

UFA Day Not What It Used To Be

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

Remember not so long ago when teams were camped out outside the Newport Sports Offices on July 1 like college recruiters, trying everything and anything to woo then-prized free agent Brad Richards to sign on their club’s dotted line?

Richards would end up giving the nod to the New York Rangers on July 2, 2011, over fellow bidders such as the Flames, Kings and Maple Leafs but not before Los Angeles went as far as presenting a video that included a cameo by Kobe Bryant on what a great place La-La-Land was to live.

Times have certainly changed since then.

No longer does Canada Day come with the splash associated with the arrival of free agency as the market is no longer saturated with the same level and depth of available talent.

Teams now are more intent on inking their foundation players to long-term deals, with the Ducks setting that trend with the lengthy mega-pacts signed a couple of years ago by Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. What’s resulted is mammoth deals such as those of Chicago’s dynamic duo of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, whose matching $10.5 million US cap hits next season will chew up 29% of the 2015-16 cap limit of $71.4 million US.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Toronto Maple Leafs Won’t Make Big News With A UFA Signing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

“We’ll be active, but we might have a different set of targets than other teams,” Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said as the NHL draft wrapped up Saturday, “But I don’t know if we’ll be the headline stealers.”

Shanahan then caught himself.

“We’re Toronto, so somehow there’ll be headlines,” he said with a laugh. “So let me re-phrase that, I don’t think we’ll shake the hockey world.”

Names and salaries that might have enticed interest in the pre-cap era have little allure in 2015. Martin St. Louis and Sergei Gonchar are long in the tooth. If looking at players under 30, the list includes defenceman Mike Green, Toronto-born right winger Chris Stewart, left winger Michael Frolik, centre Derek Stepan, defenceman Andrej Meszaros and a couple of goalies, including Michal Neuvirth. Green would be taken quickly, though he’d need to be part of a dynamic team as he was with the Washington Capitals.

If you look deep enough, there’s even a few former Leafs who could be looking for homes this summer, led by Nashville’s Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli — both let go in trade deadline deals four months ago. And at the end of the season, 36-year-old Eric Brewer was dropping hints that he wanted to return full-time after playing out the schedule in T.O.

But that was Nonis, this is now. In the absence of a full-time general manager, Shanahan has his own visions and his unorthodox quartet making the personnel decisions now features himself, Mark Hunter, Kyle Dubas and Brandon Pridham. Two recent junior hockey execs, a capologist and his own acumen from years on the ice and as a league exec.


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

It’s A Retool Of The Boston Bruins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CSNNE,

What a weekend it was for the Boston Bruins, who dealt away Milan Lucic and Dougie Hamilton for a bunch of draft picks.

To an onlooker it looks like the B's are setting up for a rebuild. But Kevin Paul Dupont maintains that they are simply "retooling."

"If you stay on Twitter all day or listen to the fans all day, this is death and destruction," said Dupont. "They still have a handful of very good guys who frankly, some of them are overpaid. I still like Rask, I still like Chara, I still like Bergeron. There's a lot of teams out there that don't have that.

"I don't call it a rebuild because they're still going to end up with five core guys who are here. So it's retooling around those guys."

continue, includes video...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Buffalo Sabres Looking For A Veteran Defenseman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,

After improving his forward and goaltending situations, Murray’s next challenge is rounding out Buffalo’s roster with a defenseman.

“I probably need a veteran UFA defenseman or I have to trade for one,” Murray said. “I’ve been talking to teams about a left-shot D.”

The Sabres are scheduled to enter the 2015-16 season with Zach Bogosian, Josh Gorges, Rasmus Ristolainen, Mike Weber, Mark Pysyk and Chad Ruhwedel on the blue line, with Jake McCabe looking to graduate from the minors. Pysyk and Ristolainen are 23 and 20, respectively, while Ruhwedel has just 32 games of NHL experience.

Though this summer’s class of unrestricted free agents is underwhelming, a highlight is actually among left-handed defensemen. Here’s a look:

• Johnny Oduya: After winning two Stanley Cups in three years with Chicago, the 33-year-old would bring a championship attitude into the dressing room. He just completed a contract that paid $3.375 million per season.

A reliable defender, Oduya wouldn’t help the Sabres’ offense. He had two goals and 10 points in 76 regular-season games and recorded five assists in 23 playoff appearances. He averaged 20:17 of ice time and blocked 123 shots.

read on

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

The Goalie Trades

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The NHL goaltender market got unstuck Saturday, the annual game of musical chairs producing seven trades in a 48-hour period, with the two most-watched teams at the entry draft, the Edmonton Oilers and the Buffalo Sabres, both landing the netminders they hope will move them up the standings next season....

Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli went into the weekend with a shopping list that included both help on the blueline and between the pipes. Ultimately, he landed Cam Talbot as his next goalie, surrendering second- and third-round draft choices, plus a swap of seventh-round picks, to acquire his rights from the New York Rangers. Chiarelli was in there swinging on Robin Lehner, too, but Lehner ended up going to the Sabres on Friday, a high-risk, high-reward talent that Buffalo hopes can do for it what Ben Bishop did for Tampa – stabilize a young team as it moves through its formative years.

Other goalies moving on include Martin Jones (to Boston from Los Angeles); Eddie Lack (to Carolina from Vancouver); Anton Khudobin (to Anaheim from Carolina); Antti Niemi (to Dallas from San Jose); and Antti Raanta (to New York from Chicago). Additionally, the Minnesota Wild took Devan Dubnyk off the market in signing him to a six-year, $26-million (U.S.) contract extension.

Only the Sharks were left looking for a bona fide No. 1 goalie. The Sabres were still in the market for a backup, with Michal Neuvirth and Karri Ramo possible candidates. Both players hit the open market July 1.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Booing Of Bettman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Fans in South Florida brought the heat Friday night, doing their presumed duty and echoing boos throughout BB&T Center when the NHL commissioner took center stage to open the annual showcase for hockey's future.

Gary Bettman smiled, as he always does, before pointing to a packed upper concourse. He shouldn't have had to say another word. That point was enough.

On the last Friday of June in a sun-soaked city, Floridians had come inside to watch unknown teenagers take their NHL baby steps.

For Bettman, the full house in South Florida surely was more enjoyable than a private round of golf at a nearby club. If the Florida Panthers' run to the 1996 Stanley Cup Final marked the South Florida market's equivalent of a hole in one, the support South Floridians showed for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft was at least a double-eagle.

Bettman doesn't play to a golf crowd. His is hockey, a crowd equally rough and unreasonable.

Certainly, hockey fans everywhere are justified to hold a grudge against Bettman for the three work stoppages that stain the first page of his resume. But that resume is thick with other accomplishments, too.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Top 25 UFAs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

 A look at the top 25 unrestricted free agents:

1. Defenseman Mike Green (Washington Capitals): Several teams are looking for an offensive defenseman and Green is the best one available. He's 29 and he could be a 50- to 60-point defenseman if he signs with the right team. Good fit: New Jersey Devils. Having a puck-mover like Green would make them more dangerous.

2. Center Antoine Vermette (Chicago Blackhawks): With centers in short supply, Vermette, 32, should have a number of suitors. When he was traded by the Arizona Coyotes to the Blackhawks, he had trouble adjusting last season. But he scored two game-winning goals in the Stanley Cup Final. He's a strong two-way center who can win a big faceoff. Good fit: Coyotes. Vermette played his best hockey there.

3. Center Mike Ribeiro (Nashville Predators): Considering the Predators gave Ribeiro a chance after the Coyotes dropped him because of off-ice behavior, it was assumed he would re-sign with them. But it hasn't happened yet, and Ribeiro, 35, might end up as a free agent. He had 62 points last season. Good fit: Carolina Hurricanes. They need an offensive spark.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The District Detroit And New Arena Preview Center

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

Updated significantly at 9:33 AM:

DETROIT, MICH. – Olympia Entertainment and Olympia Development have opened a state-of-the-art Preview Center in the northeast corner of Comerica Park. The Preview Center features three dimensional-printed scaled animated models of The District Detroit and the new arena to provide a fully immersive experience of the transformative project.


“The new Detroit arena is going to offer one-of-a-kind fan experiences and reflect the excitement and energy associated with all that is going on in our hometown,” said Tom Wilson, President of Olympia Entertainment. “The Preview Center is equally amazing, redefining how experiences like this are shared prior to the opening of the arena.”

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

St. James: Datsyuk unlikely to return until November, so Stephen Weiss remains a Wing

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

You may take this report from the Free Press's Helene St. James for what you will:

Off-season surgery for Pavel Datsyuk renders it further unlikely the Red Wings will buy out Stephen Weiss.

The window to do so closes Tuesday. Weiss hasn't performed as expected since joining the Wings on a five-year, $24.5-million deal in 2013, but the reasons to give him one more season expanded with weekend news that Datsyuk is doubtful for the start of the upcoming season.

He underwent an operation for ruptured ankle tendons Friday, and while his agent, Gary Greenstin, told the Free Press that Datsyuk will be ready for October, the Wings aren't expecting Datsyuk back before November. The doctor wants to evaluate Datsyuk after three months, which would be the end of September. The Wings open the season Oct. 9 against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Joe Louis Arena.

As such...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

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