Kukla's Korner

A Look At The Detroit Red Wings

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,

After the NHL Draft, free agency and other offseason moves, NHL.com is taking a look at where each team stands. Today, the Detroit Red Wings:

The Detroit Red Wings have not gone into a full rebuild while building a new rink.

Their goal is to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs in their first season at Little Caesars Arena while laying the foundation for future Cup contention, after missing the playoffs for the first time since 1989-90 in their final season at Joe Louis Arena....

Here is what the Red Wings look like today:...

On the cusp

Tyler Bertuzzi, F: Expect Bertuzzi to bring grit and skill to the fourth line after winning the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as most valuable player of the Calder Cup Playoffs last season. The 22-year-old, selected in the second round (No. 58) of the 2013 NHL Draft, had 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) in 19 games during Grand Rapids' run to the American Hockey League championship. He had three shots on goal in seven games with the Red Wings in November. … Evgeny Svechnikov, F: The 20-year-old likely will start the season in the AHL but could get some NHL time this season. The 19th pick of the 2015 draft, Svechnikov had 51 points (20 goals, 31 assists) in 74 games for Grand Rapids last season, his first as a professional. He also played his first two NHL games in April. … Filip Hronek, D: The 19-year-old, a second-round pick (No. 53) in the 2016 draft, is headed to Grand Rapids for his first full pro season. He had 61 points (14 goals, 47 assists) in 59 games for Saginaw of the Ontario Hockey League last season and looked good in 10 regular-season and two playoff games for Grand Rapids. Skilled and competitive, he needs to fill out (6-foot, 163 pounds) and gain experience.

What they still need

Superstars. The Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 1997, 1998 and 2002 with defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, forwards Sergei Fedorov and Steve Yzerman, and more. They won the Cup again in 2008 and came within a win of repeating in 2009 largely because they still had Lidstrom and had unearthed forwards Pavel Datsyuk (No. 171, 1998) and Henrik Zetterberg (No. 210, 1999) late in the draft. Now Zetterberg is the only one left, and he turns 37 on Oct. 9. The 25-season playoff streak was incredible but came at a cost: no top-10 picks for a quarter-century. Can Athanasiou, Larkin or Mantha reach that level? Or prospects like center Michael Rasmussen, the No. 9 pick of the 2017 draft, the Red Wings' first top-10 pick since forward Martin Lapointe in 1991? They need difference-makers to contend for the Cup again.


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Hockey Topics Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

- This, too, on (Tyler) Johnson and (Ondrej) Palat, both of whom are eminently movable before their respective no-trade clauses kick in next July 1:

Am I the only one envisioning both of them being part of the package the Lightning would offer the Islanders in exchange for John Tavares at some point this season if No. 91 remains unsigned?

I know the Islanders say (and likely believe) they are committed to riding out the entire season, if necessary, in order to get the captain under contract just the way the Lightning did through 2015-16 when Steven Stamkos was on the cusp of unrestricted free agency. And of course, the Tampa Bay organization’s patience was rewarded when their No. 91 agreed to an eight-year contract extension two days before he could have hit the open market....

- According to a well-placed source, there has been no communication between the NHL and NHLPA regarding the league’s anticipated ruling on which classes of players, exactly, will be barred from participating in the Olympics.

The league unlikely is to prohibit players in the NHL or AHL from going, but Sixth Avenue’s intentions are unclear regarding athletes under contract playing in Europe or in the Canadian junior leagues.

Slap Shots has been told the PA views this as a matter under which individual owners should be permitted to grant permission to their respective team’s players to go to Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Indeed, the union would be expected to grieve or otherwise contest blanket prohibition of players under NHL contract from participating in the 2018 Games.

more topics

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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.”


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

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