Kukla's Korner

Trade Options For The Edmonton Oilers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

MacTavish knows he has to make a trade, but what is his No. 1 priority? It’s tough to finger Ben Scrivens or Vitkor Fasth completely for their .887 and .890 save percentages because the team defence gives up so many chances. Against the Hawks, there were so many 3-on-2 breaks it looked like a normal morning line-rush practice. Is that the goalie’s fault? Do they need a 26 to 30-year-old centre with a 500 to 700-game pedigree and 500 or so NHL points to help No. 1 centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins? They aren’t getting a Giordano or a Doughty or a Weber or a PK Subban. Normally you have to draft them. They thought Justin Schultz could be that guy, but he’s struggling mightily.

Here’s what the Oilers could be looking at:

Goal: Antti Niemi, 31, (San Jose). He’s played 293 games and is an unrestricted free-agent July 1, and his halcyon days in Chicago when he won the Cup in 2010 seem light years away. He does have good numbers since then in regular-season (2.38, 2.42, 2.17 and 2.39) but he is 20-20 in the playoffs in those four yeas. This year he’s 7-6-3 with a 2.58 average and .915 save percentage and the Sharks feel Alex Stalock can be as good, and they have young Troy Grosenick, who got a shutout in his first NHL game, coming. Would they take back, say, Fasth, also UFA and a young forward or D-man? Niemi’s cap hit is $3.8 mil, Fasth’s is $2.9 mil.

Centre: Patrik Berglund (St. Louis). He’s the third centre there behind Paul Stastny and Jori Lehtera, the first-year Finn. His cap hit for this year and next is $3.9 million. He’s having a poor year (four points) and he’s only a 47.2 face-off guy, but he’s only 26 and he’s 6’3″, 217 pounds. Scouts say he may be more comfortable on the wing; he’s got a very good shot. The Blues are short of depth D-men after their top six, especially trading Jordan Leopold to Columbus, although they do have Chris Butler, who played in Calgary last year. If the Oilers wanted Berglund, they’d have to give up more than one piece.

more with other options at the positions mentioned...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Why The World Cup Of Hockey Is A Good Idea

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Abraham D. Madkour of SportsBusiness Journal,

During recent appearances by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and COO John Collins, it’s obvious this is getting a great deal of their attention. Bettman summed up the appeal succinctly: “We control it. We control the media, the presentation and it’s out of season.” All of those are underlying frustrations that the league has with its participation in the Olympics.

In a recent interview in Toronto, Bettman was asked why global sponsors pay hundreds of millions of dollars to be associated with the Olympics, yet the NHL seems nonplussed by it. “They [sponsors] get to market and promote their association with the Games,” he said. “We have to fight to get access to footage of our players playing in the Olympics. At one time, we even had to fight to get access to a press availability I was having. They’ve loosened it up a little bit, but face it, if you’re a TOP sponsor, you get to market and promote your brand. We don’t.”

With that said, you can see why the league is bullish about re-creating the World Cup, which sources believe has the ability to generate more than $100 million in revenue for the league and players, and it’s revenue that sits outside of the league’s definition of Hockey Related Revenue, meaning the 50/50 joint venture would be split.

I don’t believe it’s an “either/or” on having a World Cup or whether the NHL participates in the Olympics. But there is little appeal of playing in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018 and likely either Almaty, Kazakhstan, or Beijing in 2022. Daly, asked in Toronto about the league’s pending decision to play in 2018, said, “There are some things we still need to learn, such as the mindset of the South Korean Organizing Committee and where it puts hockey in its priorities.”

more plus other hockey topics...

Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

After Montreal’s 5-0 Loss To The New York Rangers Last Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Boone of Hockey Inside/Out,

It’s the last week of November, but the winter of our discontent is starting early.

And there is cause for concern.

In their six regulation losses, the Canadiens have been outscored 30-3.

They’ve been shut out four times. Only Buffalo, with five, has had more goose eggs....

A few themes:

• David Desharnais is not a top-line centre.

• Dressing 11 forwards and seven defencemen doesn’t work.

• P.K. Subban is not earning his $9 million.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Mike Smith With The Bad Goal Of The Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The video explains it all and the Ducks won 2-1.

 

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

Video- Review Of The NHL Games On Sunday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Four games yesterday, almost three minutes of highlights...

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Wings After 20 Games And Roster Decisions Ahead

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Helen St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Red Wings have reached the quarter pole of their season and have several positives to take into a hectic schedule in which they play every other day for the next two weeks.

They host the Ottawa Senators tonight with a 10-5-5 record, good for 25 points, the same amount as Stanley Cup favorite Chicago. All 10 victories have come in regulation or overtime (a positive come playoff time, as it's the first tiebreaker). A goal differential of plus-six is in the middle of the pack, close to that of defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles.

One of the brightest spots is Jimmy Howard, who has responded to off-season pressure from management to rebound from last year's subpar performance. After 16 games he has a 2.03 goals-against average that ranks seventh in the NHL and a .922 save percentage that ranks 11th.

The penalty kill — 4-for-4 in Saturday's 4-1 loss at Toronto — ranks first in the league at 90.1%. Much of the time, the skaters are so efficient the goaltender doesn't have to make a save.

continued

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Viktor Tikhonov Dead At Age 84

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Martin Merk of IIHF.com,

MOSCOW – One of international hockey’s most successful coaches of all time, Viktor Tikhonov, died this morning in a hospital in Moscow after long illness. He was 84. The funeral will take place in Moscow on Thursday.

With Tikhonov the international hockey family lost its most decorated coach ever. During his era as the head coach of the Soviet Union and Russia, the Moscow-born coach led the national team to three Olympic gold medals and eight World Championship titles between 1979 and 1992 and the 1981 Canada Cup. He also won one Olympic silver medal, one World Championship silver medal and two World Championship bronze medals.

Born in Moscow in 1930, Tikhonov played bandy, football and ice hockey. He started his hockey career at the top level as a defenceman with VVS MVO Moscow and Dynamo Moscow and won four consecutive championships (1951-1953 with VVS, 1954 with Dynamo) but is mostly remembered for his extraordinarily successful coaching career. 

continued

added 7:24am, Below, a YouTube user submitted tribute video of Tikhonov....

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: viktor+tikhonov

Reto Berra Not Living Up To Expectations In Denver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

His often-shaky play has done little to quiet the fears that Colorado made mistakes both when it acquired him at the trading deadline on March 5 from Calgary, and — perhaps even more important — signed him to a three-year, $4.35-million contract extension only nine days later....

Berra has had solid games this season, and at least didn't reprise his shaky showings in his cameo appearances down the stretch last season. But with Varlamov out, this is his latest chance to win over the skeptics, and so far, he's failing. After Roy pulled him when Carolina took a 3-1 lead late in the first period Saturday night, Pickard shut out the Hurricanes the rest of the way in a 4-3 Colorado victory.

Berra's save percentage is below the Astrom Line, at .895, his goals-against average is 3.16.

Also at stake here is Avalanche organizational goaltender evaluation credibility. And that's a very strange thing to have to say about a team that has Roy as its head coach and Francois Allaire, renowned if occasionally a bit controversial as a goaltending whisperer, as its goaltending coach.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: reto+berra

What Do You Think Of The Play Of Xavier Ouellet?

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

It's a small sample, two games last week, on top of the five games Xavier Ouellet played in the NHL last season.

But Ouellet, in this brief appearance, sure looks as if he's ready for the NHL.

Ouellet, 21, was called up from Grand Rapids when Brendan Smith (infected hand) was placed on the seven-day injured reserve list.

In two games, Ouellet looked every bit the prized prospect the Red Wings thought he was.

"He's a good hockey player," coach Mike Babcock said. "He plays like a veteran."

continued with more Detroit topics...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Video- How Bad Is It In Edmonton?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

After losing 7-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks last night.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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