Kukla's Korner

We may be getting close to the release of Stadium Series jerseys

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

WXYZ's Brad Galli and WDIV's David Bartkowiak Jr. have Tweeted/written articles about this, so:

Chris from IceThetics posted these Tweets last night:

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Cap Issues May Return Next Year For The New York Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Andrew Gross of The Record,

Not to be an alarmist, but next summer also promises to put the squeeze on the Rangers.

The Rangers and Stepan avoided arbitration on Monday as the No. 1 center agreed to a six-year, $39 million deal with an average cap figure of $6.5 million that leaves the team with approximately, $400,000 in cap space under the $71.4 million ceiling.

There are no projections yet what the cap will be for 2016-17.

But with Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes and J.T. Miller slated to be restricted free agents, next summer also figures to be a costly one for the Rangers, especially with all three arbitration eligible.

Keeping a core group together in the financial minefields of a salary-capped NHL is a tough tightrope to walk and there are casualties. This summer, it was Carl Hagelin, an RFA dealt to the Ducks in order to free space to re-sign Stepan.

Team president Glen Sather, still the general manager at the time of the trade, told the speedy left wing it was a sad day for the organization in having to deal him.

A likely departure next summer will be defenseman Keith Yandle, who cost Sather a first-round pick and top prospect Anthony Duclair on March 1. Yandle is working on the last season of a five-year, $26.25 million deal with a cap hit of $5.25 million. The Rangers can afford him now because only half of his cap figure counts against the Rangers, the other half is charged to his previous team, the Coyotes.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line- Ken Hitchcock

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“You don’t just bring in six fast skaters, it doesn’t work that way. The ‘faster’ we wanted was more ability to bring it from the back end, that’s where we wanted the speed coming from. I keep using that word ‘reckless,’ more reckless speed from the back end. That’s what (Petteri) Lindbohm does ... (Robert) Bortuzzo is not afraid to do that. We want to play our defense in a much more active role with the puck and a much tighter gap without the puck.

“The quickness is in the kids (Rattie and Fabbri). Some team isn’t just going to give you a really quick player, you’re going to have to develop that. But you can still play quicker, which is what we want to do. We have to play quicker. We need to get back to where we were before, in that we had the ability to play a little bit reckless in joining the play. We need to get back to that element of our game again.”

-Ken Hitchcock, head coach of the St. Louis Blues.  More on the Blues from Jeremy P. Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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  Tags: ken+hitchcock

Ryan Smyth Would Like To Get Involved With The Edmonton Oilers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

Ryan Smyth, who bled Edmonton Oilers orange and blue for close to 1,000 games before retiring as a player, is keen to get back to hockey.

After taking a season to decompress and spend time with his family following his final game in the spring of 2014, Smyth said Monday he’s interested in reconnecting with the Oilers.

“I would like to sit down with (Oilers Entertainment Group chief executive officer) Bob Nicholson and see what they’re thinking,” Smyth said. I want to be involved in hockey but I don’t know in what capacity.”

The Oilers aren’t commenting, but there are options they could consider in the short term.

Having the heart-and-soul Smyth at Oilers’ training camp as, say, a guest instructor could help the young forwards learn about getting position in front of the net and along the boards — an area that’s been lacking.

The Oilers also have to increase their team battle level, which was always Smyth’s best trait through 970 games as an Oiler, as well as his stops on Long Island, Colorado and with the Los Angeles Kings.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+smyth

Wise words from Jeff Blashill precede Q and A with Anthony Mantha

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose penned a Q and A with Anthony Mantha that's preceded by the following:

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill likes what he sees in Mantha, who has the tools to be a top-six forward in the NHL. He just needs to continue to work hard and overcome some of his inconsistencies.

“The biggest message that Anthony and I have talked about it just the idea that this is a journey,” said Blashill, who coached Manthan in Grand Rapids last season. “He’s run both sides of the gamut where a year ago the expectations were extremely high. There’s a lot of deserved media hype about him, hype within our own organization about him, and then he went through some things, he got injured twice at critical moments of the year. There where different times he had some struggles and it probably wasn’t as easy as he thought it was gonna be coming in. But this is not the end, it’s just part of the journey. Let’s keep coming. Let’s keep working. Let’s keep finding ways to improve and get better.”

Eventually, Mantha produced 15 goals and 33 points in 62 regular-season games with the Griffins. He also chipped in with two goals and two assists in 16 playoff games.

Mantha will return to Traverse City for the annual prospects tourney and Detroit’s main training camp with hopes of making the club’s 23-man roster. It won’t be easy, but this will be the time for the big winger to prove himself in front of the coaching staff.

“Inner drive and perseverance are the two biggest factors for individual success, in my opinion, and he’s going to have to persevere,” Blashill said. “He’s shown that at different times. He’s gonna have to go to work this summer with that inner drive.”

Roose continues with the aforementioned Q and A...

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‘Roughly Translated’: Another interview with Tomas Jurco

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Tomas Jurco's been in the news lately--the Slovak news--and here's his second interview of the day, a discussion with Kosice Dnes (Kosice Today). I'm going to provide a very rough translation of the interview as this one was particularly difficult to work out and is really rough, and one of our KK readers will provide a more precise one tomorrow morning:

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WDIV posts aerial footage of follow-on rink construction

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

WDIV posted a video of aerial footage showing the Red Wings' follow-on rink's construction. It's a little jittery at times, but it's intriguing nonetheless:

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Brad Richards will have his ‘Day With the Cup’ tomorrow

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the CBC Prince Edward Island:

The small eastern P.E.I. village of Murray Harbour is preparing for a slew of visitors on Tuesday as NHL hockey player Brad Richards will parade the Stanley Cup downtown.

Richards won the cup this year with the Chicago Blackhawks. The win is the second of his career, having won with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004.

Carol White helped organize the first celebration 11 years ago, as well as Tuesday's event.

"It's really comparable, because last time it was the first time, but I mean, we were so excited, and it was such a big, big day for us," said White.

"But,you know, as it gets nearer and nearer, it's building and the excitement in this little village is really, it's just awesome. It's phenomenal that we're having this Stanley Cup in this little tiny village twice."

White says they expect close to 7,000 people to attend.

Continued, and I'm not going to cover Richards' day with the Cup as he won it as a Blackhawk, but this entry's letting you know that tomorrow is the big day.

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The Glendale ‘Extortion’ Plan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darrell Preston and James Nash of Bloomberg,

Hockey was probably always going to be a longshot in the desert. But nobody expected what’s playing out in sunny Glendale, where the city’s done the unthinkable to the Arizona Coyotes.

Tired of doling out $15 million a year in subsidies, the Phoenix suburb last week abruptly cut its payments to the National Hockey League franchise by more than half. The move, pretty much unheard of in professional sports, was the latest blow for the Coyotes, the league’s third-lowest in attendance last season, holder of the worst win-loss record in the western conference and the butt of jokes.

What Glendale did “is almost the exact opposite of what happens in these extortion situations,” said sports economist Victor Matheson of College of the Holy Cross. “Typically the team extorts more payments out of the taxpayers.”

The city canceled its stadium lease contract with the Coyotes in June, done with funneling so much to them as part of the deal even as it was cutting municipal services and raising the sales tax.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Mitch Callahan’s Goal Is To Make The Red Wings Team

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Peter J. Wallner of Mlive,

This year, he wants to avoid a return to the AHL. If he doesn't make the Red Wings, he will have to clear waivers before he would return to the Griffins.

"There's always been talk that some teams would be interested if I was on waivers, but it all depends on the timing on everything," he said. "I just want to go in and try and make Detroit.

"As much as I love Grand Rapids, I don't want to play in the AHL next year. So I'm trying to do everything possible to play with them (Red Wings) or have a good enough camp for someone else to take me."

more

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