Kukla's Korner

Party Time For The Washington Capitals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

If you can drink all forms of alcohol out of hockey’s Holy Grail, then does it fit to fill it full of water on a Washington Monday morning, and wash down an Advil out of the Stanley Cup?

And if we allow Alex Ovechkin that courtesy, can the metaphor extend to the indignant who have shared their outrage these past few days as Ovechkin and his Capital teammates have taken Big Stanley out on the town like an old college roommate?

So they’re havin’ a few. You try making it through two months of playoff hockey, with the constant, vice-like pressure and its accompanying abstinence, without releasing the steam valve upon its conclusion.

Swimming in the fountain? OK, that had a little bit of “Patrick Kane visits Madison, Wisc.,” to it. But so what? It was harmless, though admittedly a little crass.


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

Detroit’s Top Prospects

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

As the Detroit Red Wings begin their rebuild in earnest after missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season, they’re hoping to have anywhere between two and five young players on their season-opening roster who weren’t in the NHL at the start of 2017-18.

One will be Tyler Bertuzzi. A handful of others will be competing for jobs in training camp and the preseason.

Here is a look at 10 of the Red Wings’ top prospects, how they fared this past season and how far away they might be from the NHL.

Michael Rasmussen

Position: Center

Height/Weight: 6-6/221

Shoots: Left

Drafted: First round in 2017 (No. 9)

2017-18 season: He tallied 31 goals and 59 points in 47 games with the WHL Tri-City Americans in a season interrupted by wrist surgery. He was even more dominant in the playoffs, with 16 goals and 33 points in 14 games.

Timeline to NHL: The Red Wings are counting on Rasmussen to make the team in training camp. They plan to ease his transition to the NHL by starting him on wing, like they did with Dylan Larkin as a rookie in 2015-16. If Rasmussen isn’t ready for the NHL he will return to Tri-City for his final junior season. He is not eligible to play in the AHL in 2018-19.


Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Video- On The Ice For Game 5 Of The Stanley Cup Final

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Sights and sounds from Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final all under 5 minutes.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vegas+golden+knights

Sunday Hockey Thoughts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of Spotsnet,

- The Golden Knights came close to acquiring Erik Karlsson at the deadline. After seeing how the Capitals locked down the neutral zone and point men in the final, you can see how they might revisit something like this.

Word is one of the biggest hang-ups at the end was Cody Glass, drafted sixth overall last June. Vegas didn’t want to include him.

The Knights have just one pick in the top three rounds (a second), and since they’re still creating a prospect pool, a Karlsson deal could be very tricky. It’s why they’re being linked to John Carlson, because he only costs you money.

- I do think Montreal is a stealth destination for unrestricted free-agent-to-be Jack Johnson.

- Coaching stuff: It’s expected Lindy Ruff will stay with David Quinn in New York.

There are rumblings Dan Bylsma may return somewhere as an assistant coach if he’s not on the Islanders’ radar. A logical spot would be Detroit, since he and Jeff Blashill just worked together at the World Championships.

We’re all wondering about Trotz and the Islanders. Lou Lamoriello is a DJ Smith fan, too.

There’s little doubt Jacques Lemaire will join Lamoriello in New York, and I’m wondering if he suggests Michel Therrien for some kind of role. His teams tend to start well when he arrives.

much more...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Wings Talking Plans And Strategy

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

One last chance to get together and go over plans and strategy for the upcoming busy weeks in the NHL offseason.

That’s what the Detroit Red Wings’ front office will do for the next four days, as organizational meetings take place at Little Caesars Arena.

General manager Ken Holland, senior-vice president Jimmy Devellano, assistant GM Ryan Martin and coach Jeff Blashill, along with members of the pro scouting staff, among others, will meet and finalize a plan to attack the next several weeks.

The NHL Draft is June 22-23 in Dallas, the development camp for the team’s prospects and draft picks is June 26-30, and unrestricted free agency begins July 1.

“We bring the staff together and talk about what we are going to do for the next month,” Holland told The Detroit News. “We’ll go every player in our organization, then go through every player in other organizations.

“We’ll see if there are any opportunities (for trades).”

Holland talked with numerous general managers at last month’s draft combine in Buffalo, possibly laying the groundwork for possible trades at the draft.


Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Hockey Can Heal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lora Polowczuk of The Good Men Project

Seven other season ticket holders loved me like I was their own daughter. They bought me Dove ice cream bars when we were down a goal. We cheered together and threw popcorn at each other in fun play....

I hid my pain from these seven lovely souls. Deep inside I was a lonely, severely depressed young woman that was on the brink of suicide. I was Daddy’s little girl and felt abandoned by his death.

He was my first male connection. I lost the person that took me on school field trips, hugged me and smothered me with attention. I was only eleven years old when he died; when you are that young, you do not really know what depression is or how to cope with it.

I slowly withdrew from life. I did not want to play and found friendships difficult to maintain, especially as my hormones were also changing. I hid in my bedroom.

I became unfocused in school and my grades quickly plummeted in parallel. I isolated myself which only drew me deeper down into the spiral of depression.

I once took a swig of my mother’s Crown Royal whiskey; that sat on the kitchen counter next to the window. I was knocked out cold with a fast onset drunkenness and only to wake-up in time for dinner with a hangover.

I thought suicide was my way out of this deep pain that I could not describe. I would sit on my bed contemplating whether I should take a bottle of pills.


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

Video- Alex Ovechkin Needs To Have More Fun

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin

Notes On The First Saturday This Year Without Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- Memo to Leaf fans, Oiler fans, just about all hockey fans: It sometimes takes patience to win a Stanley Cup. Alex Ovechkin was drafted 14 years ago. Nicklas Backstrom was drafted 12 years ago. Braden Holtby and John Carlson were drafted 10 years ago. Evgeny Kuznetsov was picked eight years ago. All of them selected — the five most important Capitals — by general manager George McPhee, fired for not being able to win in Washington … The top three scorers in the Stanley Cup playoffs: Kuznetsov, Ovechkin, Backstrom.

- In Toronto, Lamoriello traded for Frederik Andersen, who was caught in a situation in Anaheim with too many goalies. In Jersey, Lamoriello traded for Corey Schneider, who was in similar difficulty in Vancouver. Now on Long Island, look for Lamoriello to make a play for Washington backup goalie Philipp Grubauer, who is a restricted free agent, and if Lamoriello gets him, look for him to sign Grubauer long-term with the Islanders.

- Brian Burke is writing a book, which should be fascinating. It won’t necessarily be the truth but it will be his truth.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Do The New York Islanders Have Interest In Jimmy Howard?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

via Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

It wouldn’t surprise me if the Islanders go after Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard, who has one year at just under $5.92 million remaining on his contract, rather than yield a No. 1 to get Washington backup Philipp Grubauer.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink


Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

- --- But though this time Ovechkin was able to survive his nemesis, Sidney Crosby, let’s not rush to rewrite history and airbrush The Great 8’s blemishes out of the picture. After losing last year’s second-round Game 7 to the Penguins, Ovechkin was told that he was fat by a player he respects. He reported this year in condition befitting a 32-year-old.

This time, the winner of the Patrick Ewing Lifetime Achievement Award for most failed postseason guarantees got it right....

- Once the glass skates ultimately proved a bit too tight for Marc-Andre Fleury and his Golden Cinderellas, the final round became a rather routine affair, the more talented squad winning decisively. The final might have been played at a higher level if the league’s best two regular-season teams, Nashville and Winnipeg, hadn’t been bracketed into a second-round matchup, but, hey, the core mission of the NHL is to give lesser teams their best chance at winning....

- So if Ilya Kovalchuk gets around $6 million per on what is expected to be a two- or three-year free agent deal, then didn’t the Devils have it exactly right at pegging his AAV at $6,666,667 on the 15-year contract for which they were prosecuted/persecuted by the NHL?

more on the first three topics plus other topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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