Kukla's Korner

NHL Awards Announced

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Last night was the NHL awards ceremony.  In the past I have written about who I would have voted for if I had an award ballot and my thoughts after the nominees were announced.    The voting results are here and also at the end of this post.  As always there is no sign of Masterton Trophy voting results.  Should anyone have access to them please leave me a message.

If I had an award ballot, the voting results would not have changed anything significant but i would have made some minor differences.  I would have changed the Selke voting order as I gave Brad Marchand my third place vote.  He was seldom mentioned on a ballot as voters tend to select only centermen for this award, which is a more recent development since Bob Gainey, the man for whom this award was created, often played wing.  Marchand finished 25th in voting tied with Blake Wheeler.  My vote would have moved him up to 21st place.  This would move him past Mikko Koivu, Max Pacioretty, Andrew Cogliano and James Neal.  Machand played well enough to earn a spot on Team Canada in the World Cup, which the other players around his ranking in the voting did not.  This is a flaw in the voting.  I also picked Ryan O'Reilly with my fifth place vote and he was overlooked due to play on the wing.  He finished 33rd in the voting.  My vote would have put him in 29th spot and moved him past Carl Hagelin, Chris Kunitz, Ondrej Palat and Mats Zuccarello. 

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

How Many Players From The Draft Become NHL Players?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Doninik Luszczyszyn  of The Hockey News,

The draft is an exciting time around the NHL. It’s a day of promise and potential. It’s a day where big moves are made. Mostly, it’s a day where the future is shaped and crafted. We won’t truly know what that future holds until it happens, but we can get a sneak peek of it based on the picks that each team holds in the upcoming draft.

Each pick has a value attached to it, and finding out just how much it’s worth means we can get a brief glimpse into the future and see which teams might see improvements in the upcoming seasons. For this year’s draft, here’s how many players are expected to become NHLers for each team based on the picks they own and each draft pick’s past probability of finding an NHLer (200+ games played) from 1988 to 2007.

Seven teams will likely find at least two NHL players from this draft, while most teams probably end up with just one. Quantity matters a lot here as the more picks a team has, the more chances they’ll have to find NHL talent. At the top is Toronto, who’ll have a legit NHLer in Auston Matthews and then maybe one or two more from their next 10 picks.

continue for more and some graphs to prove the poiht...

On a side note, Dave Davis of The Sabres Observer at KK will be at the NHL Draft, so make sure to keep an eye on his reports...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Finding That Pick After The First Round Of The NHL Draft

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gare Joyce of Sportsnet,

The television lights will be shining on Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine and others Friday night. The stands will be filled with hopefuls and their families, friends and agents. The first phase of the draft, that first round that rolls through prime time, is an exercise in hockey management, the end product of a season’s worth of legwork. The video highlight packages with each selection are cued up and go to air, like the trailers for coming attractions. And so it goes through pick No. 30, the end of the first round.

Friday night is what people think about when it comes to the draft. Those who come in advertised as franchise-changers are what’s top of mind. People don’t think so much about Day Two—the roll call of picks from No. 31 overall through to the end of the seventh round. Stretching from morning into late afternoon, it’s essentially glamour-free and sort of heartbreaking, really—most players chosen on the second day won’t play in an NHL game or even wind up with a contract from the club that selects them.

While nothing is guaranteed on Friday, that’s true in spades on Saturday. By Day Two everything sort of rates as a longshot. In fact, the only thing on Saturday that’s guaranteed—and the thing that fuels the dreams of all in attendance—is that someone among those down the list is going to have a great NHL career. His name will make no impression at all when it’s called and mounted on the draft board, but he’ll wind up a star, maybe even an All-Star.

Submitted for your examination is the curious case of Jamie Benn.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Morning news: On the draft, ‘Traverse City Events,’ advanced stats and ECHL news

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with Red Wings GM Ken Holland regarding the imminent NHL Draft in Buffalo:

The young talent pool is up for grabs Friday and Saturday during the NHL draft. The Wings select 16th when the first round is held at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y.

“There’s a good crop available, and we’re excited about where we pick,” general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press.

With good reason: The most recent time the Wings had near this high of a pick, it yielded Dylan Larkin at 15th overall in 2014. He made the team a year later and led the Wings with 23 goals this past season.

This year, there is a strong possibility the Wings opt for a defenseman — the good ones really have to come from within these days, as they rarely hit the open market.

“At some point in time, we need to draft some defensemen, but if our scouts deem the best available player when we pick is a forward, we’ll pick a forward,” Holland said.

St. James continues...

[edit: MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with Wings director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright about the draft as well:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Murray’s Prowess Being Put To The Test

Blog: The Sabres Observer By @DaveDavisHockey

From Mike Schopp of WGR-550 radio,

Murray and the Sabres are going to court Steven Stamkos. The draft comes first on the calendar but that's your future; Stamkos is where the summer starts. Assuming Tampa doesn't sign him beforehand -- or trade him to another team that does so -- the Sabres on Saturday can approach Stamkos in an effort to find out what it would take to sign him.

If he wants to come here, or if he doesn't, that's that and you move on. If he's open to it, things can get tricky. The Sabres have other needs. Do they forsake another good free agent forward because signing Stamkos would render that player (Kyle Okposo?) unnecessary here, or unaffordable? Can they do what they want on defense with a $10M-plus player on the payroll, and might they need to trade Zach Bogosian to make room? A lot hinges on what Stamkos tells them, and at the risk of being naive I'm going to say that they don't know those answers yet.


Filed in: | The Sabres Observer | Permalink
  Tags: sabres+rumors, sabres+trade+rumors

The Steven Stamkos Watch

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

Saturday marks not only a date of significance for the Steven Stamkos saga in Tampa Bay, but also a date in which we could see some sort of resolution.

Teams can begin the courting process with unrestricted free agents on Saturday, a full five days before they are permitted to sign on July 1.

The next 48 hours will be crucial in the Lightning’s hopes to re-sign Stamkos, who at 26 is on track to become the youngest superstar ever to hit the open market after nearly a year of unfruitful negotiations.

Lightning GM Steve Yzerman hinted to the Tampa Bay Times this week that time is running out to make a deal - maybe even sooner than next week. With so many other pressing needs for the Lightning, it seems entirely possible that the Lightning could make a final “best offer” on Friday before wishing Stamkos well and moving in another direction.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steven+stamkos

Vegas Has Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal,

Vegas got hockey.

After decades of trying, Las Vegas skated into the major leagues Wednesday with the National Hockey League’s decision to award billionaire businessman Bill Foley an expansion franchise beginning with the 2017-18 season.///

“Well, Las Vegas, we did it!” Foley said at Encore. “We want everyone to be a fan and we’re dedicated to it.

“My obligation is to hold the trust of this team for the community.”

Gavin Maloof, whose family owns 15 percent of the Las Vegas NHL team, said: “We’re so excited. This community deserves it. They’re going to enjoy what this team brings to the city, to the fans and especially the kids.”...

Clark County Commissioners Steve Sisolak and Susan Brager, who attended the news conference, said Las Vegas joining the big leagues was a permanent game-changer.

“People will look at us differently forever,” Sisolak said. “We will be known for more than just gambling and entertainment. We’re a major league city now.”...

“We’re going to establish a culture of winning,” Foley said. “This is a team that will be built to win. And from that, we’ll have a team Las Vegas can be proud of.”


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Krupa talks player moves and organizational attitude

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa argues that while the Red Wings' roster may require some massive changes to truly rebuild--probably more than the UFA market could bear if the Wings had an unlimited budget due to its increasingly limited amounts of talent available--the Wings need to approach a Datsyuk-less, Gordie Howe-less future with both roster moves and something of an attitude adjustment:

The problems are various and big. The first step should be singular and small. The Red Wings should set as a goal a roster of players who will be happy with their tasks, who understand this is not their father’s Wings team, and that no small amount of rebuilding is occurring and likely to continue.

While so much focus is on Steven Stamkos — with multiple, reliable sources reporting the Rangers and Red Wings are likely among those in the running for the talented, high-powered Lightning goal scorer — a couple defensemen to shore up the back end would be enormously valuable.

The needs are varied and ample enough that something less striking than landing Stamkos might also be effective enough to improve their prospects next season.

But with so many teams targeting improvements along their blue lines, the Wings quest for defensive help is likely banging up against both intense competition around the NHL and their own problem with the salary cap.

And then there is the matter of trading a goaltender, presumably Jimmy Howard. With the potential availability of two big performers in net — Ben Bishop of the Lightning, and Marc-Andre Fleury of the Stanley Cup champion Penguins — Howard’s attractiveness to franchises willing to part with the talent the Wings desire to upgrade in goal (Flames, Stars?) is likely lagging.

Krupa continues, and with the Red Wings increasingly likely to make fewer roster moves, Krupa's arguing for something Jeff Blashill promised during his sometimes defensive, sometimes combative end-of-season media availability.

Blashill promised that the Red Wings' players would be happier in their assigned roles, whatever those roles would be, and that involves both better-assigned and better-defined roles for each and every Red Wings player.

Holland's dared to call Petr Mrazek his #1 goalie over the past few days, and I'm told he dropped the words "youth movement" on an NHL Live appearance. Those are slow but steady adjustments in team attitude, and they have to work their way from the top on down to a revamped coaching staff and player corps.

Just don't be too angry (I know there are a lot of angry Wings fans right now, and I promise, it's just reflexive, "Damn it what did you do now Holland/coach/manager!?!" anger, a natural response to front office remarks) if next year's Wings team looks a lot like this year's team. If it truly can adopt a more positive attitude, I s*** you not, they will be a better team because of it.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Panthers sign Keith Yandle

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Per ESPN's Pierre LeBrun:

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: florida+panthers, keith+yandle

All-Rookie Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

LAS VEGAS (June 22, 2016) – The National Hockey League announced today the 2015-16 NHL All-Rookie Team, including the three players voted as finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the League’s top rookie: forwards Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers and Artemi Panarin of the Chicago Blackhawks as well as defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere of the Philadelphia Flyers.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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