Kukla's Korner

Report- The New York Islanders Would Like A Big Name To Run The Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Arthur Staple of Newsday,

Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky have not said anything publicly during the Islanders’ dismal start to the owners’ first season in charge. But they have been busy.

Newsday has learned that Malkin and Ledecky have been meeting since the summer with a number of people in the hockey world, from former team chief officers to power agents to retired players, in hopes of finding a “big name” to step in and oversee the Isles’ operations.

Sources say that Malkin and Ledecky are not close to naming anyone to what would be a team president role — one of the two titles currently held by Garth Snow, who has been president and general manager since the summer of 2006. A team spokesman flatly denied that there is any search underway for a new team president.


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

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Home Team in Caps
CALGARY 3, Minnesota 2 (SO)
SAN JOSE 2, Montreal 1
Joe Pavelski (1-1—2) and Brent Burns each scored to help the Sharks improve to 6-1-1 in their past eight games overall and pick up their 10th consecutive home win over the Canadiens dating to March 12, 2001 (MTL: 0-8-2).
* Pavelski, who led the NHL and matched a franchise record with 11 game-winning goals in 2015-16, scored his third such tally this season. Burns, meanwhile, paces all defensemen in goals (10) and points (22) in 2016-17.
Martin Jones made 31 saves, including an acrobatic glove stop on Alex Galchenyuk, to improve to 5-1-0 in his past six appearances (1.17 GAA, .957 SV%, 1 SO).
Sharks forward Joe Thornton (379-977—1,356) notched two assists while playing in his 1,392nd career game to move past Brendan Shanahan (656-698—1,354 in 1,524 GP) and into sole possession of 25th place on the NHL’s all-time points list.
* Thornton, who ranks second in scoring among active players behind Jaromir Jagr (753-1,127—1,880 in 1,653 GP), now sits 13 points back of Johnny Bucyk (556-813—1,369 in 1,540 GP) for 24th place in NHL history.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The overnight report: Red Wings-Penguins set-up; on Sheahan and Nielsen

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings will begin a slate of 3 games in 3 cities to be played over the course of 4 nights when they face the Pittsburgh Penguins this evening (7 PM EST on FSD/ROOT/NHL Network U.S./97.1 FM).

Neither team practiced in full on Friday--Pittsburgh held an "optional" with its scratches serving as the only participants as they're wrapping up a set of 3 games in 4 nights--but Pittsburgh is coming off a 6-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

The Penguins have split their past 6 games, though Pittsburgh possesses a 14-7-and-3 record; Detroit is coming off a 2-1 overtime loss to Florida, and the injury-ravaged Wings sit at 11-10-and-3.

The Penguins will be honoring their 1991 and 1992 Stanley Cup Championship teams this evening.

While Marc-Andre Fleury back-stopped the Penguins' win on Thursday, the Penguins will probably go with Matt Murray in the nets tonight, as the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Jonathan Bombulie notes, because the Penguins give Murray more "run support":

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Prospect news: Griffins lose in a shootout; Saarijarvi warms up

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of prospect-related note: In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins dropped a 4-3 shootout decision to the Iowa Wild despite two goals and an assist from Martin Frk, a goal and two assists from Matt Lorito and a 25-save performance from Eddie Pasquale.

The Griffins' website filed a recap:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Wallner: With pair of recalls on the way, Griffins try to stay the course

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

According to the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner, the Red Wings will recall one forward and one defenseman from the Grand Rapids Griffins tomorrow morning.

While the Wings begin a 3-game road trip in Pittsburgh on Saturday, the team's AHL affiliate heads to Rockford, IL in a state of flux minus Andreas Athanasiou, Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi and Jared Coreau, as well as the soon-to-be pair of players that the Wings recall:

While the Red Wings have struggled, the Griffins have held up. They are 5-2-0-2 since Nov. 11 and remain second in the Central Division. Offensively, they lead the league in shots (36) and ninth in scoring (3.22).

Even though it is the nature of the AHL, the unusual amount of injuries in Detroit has been a challenge.

"Coming out of the gate there were injuries (in Detroit) so we've been behind the eight ball all year," said coach Todd Nelson. "You just try and make it fit. But some of the injuries up there are going to be awhile ... so we have to try and keep our head above water before guys get coming back."

Forward Eric Tangradi, last year's second leading scorer for the Griffins, will be back for Saturday's game at Rockford. He has been out three weeks with a broken finger.

But forward Ben Street and his wife have a baby due any day, so the team is preparing for his temporary absence.

"We're plugging away," Nelson said. "The guys are giving me an honest effort day in and day out. We're playing our system well. We may not have as much firepower as four weeks ago, but we're getting contributions from everyone."

Wallner continues...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Erik Karlsson’s Defence

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Erik Karlsson is the best offensive defenceman of the current generation.  Nobody would make a serious argument that he is the best defensive defenceman of the current generation.  Therefore his defence is a weakness.  That is the simple-minded way some people judge him. 

Erik Karlsson is a good defensive defenceman and that aspect of his game is continuously improving.  He will never be the best defensive defenceman in the league.  However I would argue that he is the best defensive defenceman on his team.  Because his talents are better served playing an offensive role but when the chips are down he is the defenceman the Senators turn to in an important defensive situation.  Ottawa isn't the only team in the league where Karlsson would be the best defensive defenceman.

People are noticing that Karlsson leads the NHL in blocked shots so far this season.  That is evidence of defensive play.  It is also evidence that Ottawa often plays without the puck as it is impossible to block a shot when your team has the puck.  Karlsson is seen by many as a newfound success in shot blocking.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Where Did The Goals Go?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

Boy, the NHL sure had us there for a while. During the first two weeks of the season, players were filling the nets like it was the Bill Clinton administration. The first three nights of this season, there was an 11-goal game, a 10-goal game, three nine-goal games and two eight-goal games. Rookie Auston Matthews turned in a record on the first night of the season by scoring four goals in his NHL debut and his team still lost the game.

Good times. Yup, good times. And like all good times, it inevitably had to come to an end. Because NHL. The orgy of scoring we saw early in the season has been replaced with what seems like a record number of loop passes from the defensive zone. And why are defensemen doing this at such a regular pace? Because trying to get the puck through the neutral zone along the ice is almost impossible.

Through the first 356 games of this season, NHL teams have scored a total of 1,880 goals. Those are real goals. The phony ones teams are awarded for winning the NHL’s skills competition are not included. That means teams are scoring at an average of 5.28 goals per game this season, which if it sticks, will mean scoring is at its lowest in the NHL since The Dead Puck Era™.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

NHLPA Says No To The NHL Regarding Olympic Participation/CBA Extension

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at Sportsnet,

The NHL Players’ Association has formally rejected the league’s proposal to allow players to participate in the 2018 Olympics in exchange for an extension to the current collective bargaining agreement.

NHLPA executive director Don Fehr says that the players, primarily the executive board, showed no interest in the idea.

He says he hopes “we’ll still be able to conclude an agreement to go to the Olympics.”

Fehr tells The Canadian Press in an exclusive interview that “we still think it’s (playing in 2018) important and we’ll go from there.”


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

Patrik Laine Keeps Impressing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler had heard all the stories and scouting reports last offseason about his team's new phenom from Finland, who could shoot a puck from everywhere and score at will.

Watching it firsthand, well, that's a whole other thing.

"It's pretty incredible," Wheeler told ESPN.com this week. That phenom -- 18-year-old forward Patrik Laine -- has 15 goals in his first 26 games.

"When we got the pick, everyone was excited at the prospect of having Patty," Wheeler said. "You heard all the stories about his shot and the dynamic things he could do. That's all well and good, but he's 18. You expect there to be a learning curve, you expect to be some speed bumps along the way.

"All of a sudden, he's leading the NHL in goals, and it's not by mistake. It's crazy. He gets the puck in areas [where] you don't really feel like [he has] a scoring chance. All of sudden, it's in the back of the net. You just kind of shake your head.''...

Laine is on pace for 47 goals. He has already had two hat tricks and, yes, he's earned a few nicknames already.

"That was the big thing: 'What do people call him?'" said Wheeler, 30, chuckling. "He started with 'Patty,' and then he got more comfortable and revealed that all his buddies back home call him 'Patsyuk,' obviously after Pavel Datsyuk.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrik+laine

Recognizing The Work Of Cam Cole

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of the PHWA,

Like he has so many times before in his copy, one line from Cam Cole left our jaws dropped.  

“Since someone spilled the beans: My last day at Postmedia is Dec. 16. Man, 41 years went fast,” Cam announced on Twitter.

With that, the tributes poured in.

Cam Cole is the guy every sports fan wants to read. He’s the guy every sports writer wants to be. He can outshoot you on the golf course and then outdrink you at the bar. And that’s after writing the 2,500 words everybody will be talking about at the rink the next morning. He’s got a great family too.

Actually, we should hate this guy.

But we don’t. We love Cam Cole.

If Bob McKenzie is the Godfather, Cam Cole is The Legend. That he’s leaving Postmedia on his own terms only adds to that legend.

Have a beer tonight for Cam. Then have ten more for the rest of us who aren't sure when we'll get to read Cam Cole again.

It was 41 years of excellence. What a run.

continue for the tributes...

Filed in: NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+cole

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