Kukla's Korner Hockey
The "Royal Exalted Grand PooBah" suggested that KK's little daliance with a "Casual Friday" might yield an open post for KK members to discuss hockey talk that might not make the blog at this time of year, and so here is that open post for your enjoyment. Gab away, and I'll start with this:
Wings summer camper Matej Machovsky spoke to the CTK News Agency about his time at the Wings' summer development camp, and Machovsky stated that the Wings offered him an AHL deal, but he turned it down, hoping to earn an NHL contract after this season playing for HC Plsen. The Grand Rapids Griffins then signed Calvin Heeter from Medvescak of the KHL to fill their goaltending pipeline with Jared Coreau, Jake Paterson, Eddie Pasquale and Heeter battling for spots with the Griffins and Toledo Walleye.
From the Associated Press:
His time on the ice done, John Chayka would turn to the tape, spending up to 25 hours to break down the game just played.
He tracked every player on the ice, every possession, touch of the puck, calculating the impact of every decision or movement on the ice.
The attention to detail, to making himself and his teammates better, led Chayka to co-found his own hockey analytics company. Now it's helped him become the youngest general manager in NHL history, a meteoric rise even he didn't see coming.
''It would be silly to suggest it wasn't a little surprising,'' said Chayka, named GM of the Arizona Coyotes on May 5. ''It's like anything in life; good fortune, good timing, a lot of that plays into it. I always just try to better myself every day, learn every day.''
Yahoo Sport's Josh Cooper profiled Murray Craven, whose role with the Las Vegas NHL franchise is...Well, complicated:
Murray Craven doesn’t have an official title with the Las Vegas NHL team but that’s because he doesn’t have one specific role in one specific area.
He’s helping the team design their locker room. He’s working on the Summerlin-area construction of the practice facility, which also includes the team’s office space. He guided billionaire owner Bill Foley to hire George McPhee as the team’s general manager.
“At this point I just do the work,” said Craven who played 1,071 games in his NHL career between the Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Hartford Whalers, Vancouver Canucks, Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks. “I know what’s out there. I know what needs to be done and that’s what I do.”
The 52-year-old Craven is a living, walking embodiment that timing can help in the successes of life. If he hadn’t met Foley while playing golf in Whitefish, Montana in the early part of last decade, he may not have had this opportunity – to help mold and create the first major pro sports team in Las Vegas.
But his ability to successfully do his job is more than just luck. Through those trips to the golf course and personal time with Foley the two have built up a level of trust and understanding where Craven has quickly become one of the few people who can help build this team in Foley’s image.
The Colorado Avalanche and Tyson Barrie went through the arbitration process on Friday, and the Hockey News's Ken Campbell discusses the ramifications thereof:
Barrie had his case heard by arbitrator Elizabeth Neumeier Friday morning and has until 48 hours after the completion of the hearing to render her decision. The two sides have until that time to come to a contract resolution, however. If they do prior to the decision, the arbitrator’s decision will not be made public. It’s expected that if Barrie goes the distance he’ll receive somewhere between $4 million and $6 million a season on a two-year deal. Barrie asked for $6 million on a one-year deal, while the Avalanche requested salaries of $4 million and $4.25 million on a two-year deal. Since the Avalanche were the party taken to arbitration, they had the option of selecting a one- or two-year deal. That forced Barrie to come up with a salary figure for the second year of the deal in arbitration, a figure that is not available.
The Avalanche have the option of walking away from the ruling, which would immediately make Barrie an unrestricted free agent, but it would be shocking to see them take that course of action. What is more likely if the Avalanche are not happy with the ruling is they could trade him. There are no limitations on trading a player who has been taken to arbitration and since Barrie does not have a no-trade clause in his contract, the Avalanche would be free to trade him anywhere in the league.
There has been a lot of talk of a potential trade to the Edmonton Oilers, where Barrie would be a very good fit as a puck-moving defenseman who can produce points. The Oilers have talented forwards, but what they’re missing right now is a defenseman who can get the puck to them.
From the CBC's Tim Wharnsby and the AP's Stephen Whyno:
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop engaged in a Q and A with ESPN's Joe McDonald:
ESPN.com: How is your leg injury and where are you with your offseason workouts?
Ben Bishop: It's going good. The leg is feeling better and it's getting stronger every day. I'm getting ready to start skating soon ... and get back on the ice and doing that side of things. We have about a month until we go, so I'll start off slow and pick it up in the next month and be ready for training camp for the World Cup.
ESPN.com: Now that you're focused on your preparation for the World Cup, what does this opportunity mean to you?
Ben Bishop: It's a great opportunity. Obviously, it's not new but it's a little bit newer with the World Cup coming back and I think everybody is excited that it's going to be on ESPN. It's a whole different feel to it; it's not another NHL season, or the Olympics, it's a brand new thing coming out again and I think everybody is excited. Everybody's going to be fresh, it's going to be good hockey and it's in a great market in Toronto. There are so many good things coming out of it and I'm excited to be a part of it.
The Coyotes finished the regular season 35-39-8, fourth in the Pacific Division and nine points out of the final wild card playoff spot. [Max] Domi believes the team is ready to take the next step and reach the postseason for the first time since 2012.
“There’s no reason we can’t,” said Domi. “We came out of the gates pretty hot this year and we beat some high-end teams but when the nitty gritty comes down to it, you gotta be able to win after the All-Star break — that’s when it really matters. Finding a way to find that consistency and manage that throughout an 82-game season will be pretty clutch for us and there’s no reason we can’t do it.”
The Coyotes promising start last season included opening 13-9-1 and a 24-20-5 record at the All-Star break. However, the young team limped to the finish line with an 11-19-3 record in their final 33 games to end the year.
Sensing a need for help blueline, Coyotes general manager John Chayka added defencemen Alex Goligoski and Luke Schenn during the off-season, two players Domi believes will have an immediate impact on the team.
“It’s amazing,” Domi said of the additions. “I mean our D core is pretty solid. Goligoski is unbelievable, I had to play against him quite a bit when he was in Dallas and Luke Schenn, I watched him when he was with the Leafs and played against him a little bit this year too in L.A. Both of those guys are going to be outstanding and the other new guys we got are going to be awesome too.”
Via NHL.com, St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo spoke with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jesus Ortiz regarding the possibility of Pietrangelo succeeding David Backes as the Blues' next captain:
“Yeah, I would welcome the responsibility,” he said. “I think being so close with Dave over the five years he was captain, I’ve learned a lot from him just kind of sitting back and seeing how he operates on a daily basis. Not only on the ice but off the ice, which is a big part of it trying to keep the locker room together and doing the off-ice stuff.
“He was always trying to help me through that. I think he knew this opportunity might come some day for me. He was always willing to answer my questions, and I was always eager to ask him. So if there is a guy that I was lucky to learn from, it was him. Being such good friends of his made it that much easier.”
Blues GM Doug Armstrong tipped his hand ever-so-slightly as well:
I lost you just a few days ago, and I already miss you a lot.
Even though I had a chance to say goodbye, there are still a few things I’d like to tell you.
Plenty of people are familiar with our family’s story. They know about how dad assaulted you when I was a little kid and how our family ended up moving to California and changing our names so he could avoid going to jail. They know about how he was eventually caught and how you and I had to figure things out on our own. And they know about how I ended up making it to the NHL despite all that. Yes, plenty of people have asked us about that story, but I don’t think enough people know about your story.
I was 12 when dad got caught and had to go away. Before that, he was very much the head of the family. Everything kind of revolved around him. But after he was gone suddenly, you had to take on more than you probably ever thought you would — more than any parent should have to. You didn’t panic, though. You always seemed to be in control, even though you might not have felt like you were. And you did such an amazing job. Just, such an amazing job.
When I think about you, I don’t think about what Dad did to you. I don’t think about how scared we were when he was caught. I don’t think about any of that. Instead, the first thing that comes to mind, of all things, is California Pizza Kitchen.
I know you’re smiling right now at just the mention of that. California Pizza Kitchen was our place.
I'm not sure if this is what it looks like, but patient The Emperor has been ill for several days now, and he's well-taken care of, but he's going to need a few more days of rest to get back to work, and your thoughts and prayers are welcome...
(For you kids too young to remember, Dr. Bob was the Muppets' resident physician)
And that's where my situation becomes a bit of a wrench in the system. I'm supposed to be going up to Grand Marais for my family vacation tomorrow, and my family will only be up in the U.P. for the next week, so rescheduling the vacation would kind of take its purpose away. I feel guilty about doing so, but I'm pretty sure that I'm going to head Up North tomorrow, and that means that it'll be a very quiet weekend for both Kukla's Korner and the Malik Report.
Mostly, I'm worried about Paul right now, though he's OK, but complicating that is a shit-ton of guilt about leaving KK and TMR in the lurch. It may be a quieter time of the year, but news is still happening, and there's a really strong desire on my part to be behind the laptop screen...But it kind of takes away the whole purpose of going up to be with my family...
So I'm all sorts of conflicted, and in the end, this ain't about me, it's about KK and TMR and making sure that Paul gets as much rest as possible.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com