Kukla's Korner

Examining the Wings’ OHL-playing prospects

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Via RedWingsFeed, OHL Prospects' Brock Otten examines the Red Wings' Ontario Hockey League assets this morning:

1. Vili Saarijarvi - Flint Firebirds (now with the Mississauga Steelheads): There were some very impressive components to Saarijarvi's game this year, but there were also some very unimpressive ones. Saarijarvi is an absolute offensive wizard. His skating ability gives him fantastic separation ability off the rush and allows him to gain entry into the offensive zone with ease. He also runs the powerplay very well, showcasing a great point shot and vision when moving the puck. Defensively though, he's a major work in progress. Flint struggled as a team defensively, but Saarijarvi was definitely one of the guys at the root of that. He needs to play with more jam in his own end, as he can tend to get pushed around and his defensive awareness (tends to chase the puck) also needs seasoning. Saarijarvi can also take unnecessary liberties with the puck and can be turnover prone. He needs to pick his spots better. But the potential is very, very high. After an offseason trade, Saarijarvi will be playing for Mississauga next year. The Steelheads should have a fantastic team next year and they've got some quality defenders to insulate him. I expect big things. A 60 point season (which would put him near the top of defensive scoring) is possible.

Otten continues...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Introducing Hockey To The Detroit Youth

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from James Hawkins of the Detroit News,

For Rick Robertson, the timing seems as good as ever.

With construction of $627.5 million Little Caesars Arena in full swing and the Red Wings’ selection of 18-year-old forward Givani Smith in the second round of the NHL Draft, the downtown Detroit resident believes there’s plenty of hockey buzz in the city.

So in an effort to promote hockey among urban youth, Robertson is launching an outreach called the Detroit Amateur Hockey Info Table.

Its purpose is to answer questions about the sport and sign up kids of all ages in Detroit for skating lessons and hockey teams. There also are plans for hockey watch parties and providing complimentary hockey tickets.

“What we are is an introductory platform for hockey,” said Robertson, a community activist and consultant of volunteerism. “The idea is to get out there in places where you don’t find much visibility of a relationship with Detroit players, urban players, black players, players of color here in the city of Detroit.”


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

The Season Outlook For Riley Sheahan

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Looking ahead: Sheahan, 24, can serve as a winger if needed, but he’s a natural at center. With either Henrik Zetterberg or Dylan Larkin expected to be the No. 1 center and newcomer Frans Nielsen slotted in the No. 2 spot, Sheahan could be a big asset as a third-line center. He’s good defensively (he became a key part of the penalty kill under coach Jeff Blashill), and his size makes him an ideal counterpunch, especially when the Wings face big centers. If Sheahan starts next season like he finished last season and sustains that level of play, there’s potential to have a really solid third line with possible wingers including Tomas Tatar, Thomas Vanek, Darren Helm, Tomas Jurco, Teemu Pulkkinen and maybe Anthony Mantha.


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Krupa: Richards represented the ‘wrong player at the wrong time’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa feels that the recently-retired Brad Richards represents a trend of the Red Wings signing the wrong types of veteran free agents at a time when the Wings should be giving younger players greater playing opportunities:

Criticizing the decision [to sign Richards] has less to do with whether [his contract] was about $1 million to $1.5 million too rich. It is more about the Red Wings’ continuing string of disappointments in the free-agent market and whether signing and playing Richards delayed the development of young talent.

Those are questions Holland and the Red Wings continue to face, as Frans Nielsen, Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott join the roster this season.

Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar still look for more ice time with top-six forwards. Andreas Athanasiou searches for more ice time anywhere. Mantha and perhaps others (Tyler Bertuzzi? Dylan Sadowy?) try to crack the lineup.

As a free agent, Richards performed better than Steven Weiss. He was healthier than Mike Modano or Erik Cole. But he did not match Daniel Alfredsson, who tied for the Wings lead in scoring with 18 goals and 31 assists in 2013-14, the last season of his outstanding career.

Alfredsson is the only free agent signed by the Red Wings in several seasons whose success approached the hopes of management.

Not a good report card.

Krupa continues, and one could argue that the Red Wings have had the most trouble trying to find a solid 2nd-line center over the past five or six seasons. Hopefully Frans Nielsen finally does the trick...

And we're at the point where any free agent class that's better than Mikael Samuelsson, Carlo Colaiacovo and Jordin Tootoo sounds impressive.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

MLive’s Mitsos examines Luke Glendening’s role

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Luke Glendening is a very good fourth-line center and utility forward, but he's tended to be in "over his head" when used as a second or third line match-up man. The eyeball test certainly confirms this, and, according to MLive's Tom Mitsos, advanced stats bear that out as well:

Last week, Michigan native Luke Glendening received a four-year, $7.2 million extension from the Detroit Red Wings.

Glendening, 27, had one year remaining on his three-year extension he signed in 2014. That cap hit was $628,333. The new deal will take him through the 2020-21 season and has a cap hit of $1.8 million that takes effect in 2017-18.

The Red Wings certainly have put a lot of value on his penalty-killing ability, defensive play and grit with the four-year deal. So, how does that compare to other NHL players with a cap hit of around $1.8 million on multiyear deals?

Mitsos continues, comparing Glendening to Eric Fehr, Trevor Lewis and Jay Beagle, and Glendening doesn't fare particularly well.

I certainly hope that Glendening continues to grow and succeed as a player, and I hope that the Red Wings see Glendening as the kind of player to build a strong fourth line around. He's not Kris Draper--and that's okay. He just needs to be utilized as his performance merits.

If he can hack it as a match-up third-line center, all the better for Glendening and the Wings, but it's still up to Glendening to prove himself as efficient in that role. That's the role the Wings appear to want to use him in, and he's got some improving to do there.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Kevin Hayes Reaches An Agreement With The New York Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul


Press release is below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kevin+hayes

About The NBC Sports Group NHL Schedule

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Peters of CBSSports,

Here are the five big things you need to know about the NBC NHL schedule for 2016-17, including how many times each team will be on:

1. Blackhawks will appear a league-high 21 times nationally, Flyers get 20 games

The league's most popular brand in terms of TV viewership, ticket sales and merchandise is unsurprisingly going to get a lot of run on NBC's platforms. On top of playing in their third Winter Classic next season - Jan. 2 against the St. Louis Blues at Busch Stadium - the Blackhawks will have 25 percent of their regular-season schedule visible to a national audience. They are the biggest ratings driver the league has and NBC is going to milk that for all it's worth. This is the same amount of Blackhawks games they ordered for last season....

The Philadelphia Flyers, however, also have an extremely robust national TV schedule. They'll be on 20 times next season.

It should be noted that both Philadelphia and Chicago have all of their non-nationally broadcast games broadcast on regional Comcast Sports Networks, which are under the same umbrella as NBC Sports. That allows NBC to pull their feeds without having to send a full broadcast crew to those games.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, , Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nbc

Worst 20 Players By Team Adjusted Corsi

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Today I am continuing my summer sabermetrics series by posting the 20 worst players by team adjusted Corsi in 2015/16.  A couple days ago I posted the top 20 and these are the players who most struggled in term of puck possession.

Corsi is the difference in attempted shots taken by a team and its opponents while a given player is on the ice in 5 on 5 situations.  This number is then team adjusted.  A baseline is found for each team that is used as a zero point for comparison between different teams.

In order to make sure the adjustment is sensible, I have limited this list to players who played 50 or more games with only one team in 2015/16.

Here are the 20 worst players by team adjusted Corsi:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

A bit more about Jeff Lerg’s decision to head to Denmark

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Toledo Walleye goaltender Jeff Lerg has decided to leave the ECHL in order to pursue his pro hockey dreams in Denmark, and Lerg spoke with the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe regarding his decision:

Jeff Lerg, who holds nearly every goaltending record in Toledo Walleye franchise history, has left the organization with a heavy heart but an eye on his future.

Lerg, who will play next season with a team in Denmark, continues to fight for an opportunity to play at the highest level. He signed with the team based in Rungsted, a suburb of Copenhagen.

“I loved Toledo. I enjoyed playing at home with all the fans. Everything about it was great,” Lerg said. “It’s just one of those things where I still want to play at the highest pro level. I’ve done as much as I can in the ECHL. I wanted to get rewarded for the high caliber of play. But I think it was proven I was not going to get one in the top leagues in North America.”

Lerg, a 30-year-old from Livonia, Mich., had played a prominent role in transforming the Walleye into championship-caliber organization the last two seasons.

Lerg backstopped Toledo to a Brabham Cup title for the best record in the ECHL during the 2014-15 regular season. He also led the Walleye  to back-to-back Eastern Conference championships.


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Report- Evander Kane Arrested On Misdemeanor Charges

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lou Michel, Jane Kwiatkowski Radlich and Dan Herbeck of the Buffalo News,

Three Buffalo Police detectives were seen meeting Kane outside the Central Booking Bureau in City Court around 11 a.m.. They put handcuffs on Kane and accompanied him into the City Court building. Kane turned and walked away from a Buffalo News reporter when she asked them if he had any comment.

Although Kane voluntarily turned himself in to police, he still proclaims his innocence and plans to fight the charges, his attorney, Paul J. Cambria, told The News.

“Without a doubt, he plans to defend himself against these charges,” Cambria said....

Sources familiar with the case told The News Kane will face one count of misdemeanor criminal trespass – for allegedly refusing to leave the bar.


added 5:27pm, The Buffalo News updated the story with this...

Buffalo Sabres forward Evander Kane was charged with criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and harassment today in connection with an incident at a downtown Buffalo bar last month.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evander+kane

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