Kukla's Korner

Open post: hockey talk in late July

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

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.

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Radko Gudas And His Puck Possession

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Yesterday I posted the top 20 players by team and zone adjusted Corsi ratings.  This is a group of players who were puck possession starts in the 2015/16 season.  Perhaps the biggest surprise player on the list is Radko Gudas of the Philadelphia Flyers.  He is 17th with a +170.4 adjusted Corsi.  This leads the Philadelphia Flyers.

Gudas was in his first year in Philadelphia after spending the first three years of his NHL career with the Tampa Bay Lightning.  He was traded along with a first and third round draft pick in 2015 (the first rounder was traded to Columbus and Gabriel Carlsson was selected.  Majek Tomek was the third round selection) in exchange for Brayden Coburn.  This appears to be a very one-sided trade in favor of the Flyers.  Gudas returned from knee surgery at the start of the season.  He wound up the Flyer defenceman with the most total ice time last season.  Offensively he didn't make much of an impact.  He scored 5 goals and 9 assists for 14 points.

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Matt Cullen energized by Cup win, wants to play one more year

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

From NHL.com:

Matt Cullen spent his first day with the Stanley Cup this summer reiterating that he wants to play a final season in the NHL, even if it's not a return to the champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

"I want to play one more season. It's just a matter of figuring out that destination," Cullen told 970 WDAY radio in Fargo, N.D. "We'll see. It's a work in progress."

Cullen had the Cup in Detroit Lakes, Minn., on Friday and will take it to Moorhead, Minn., on Saturday. He also won the Cup in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes.

"It's fun to see how excited everybody gets around it," Cullen said. "There's just something special about it. We win it, we work really hard to win it ... It's really rewarding and it makes it a lot more special for all of us players, but especially me being able to bring it home and seeing how much people respect it and how much it means to everybody.

"You see that trophy, and it just kind of takes your breath away when you see it, so it's cool. It's fun to bring it home and it's really fun to see people's reactions and how much it means to everybody."

Continued

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  Tags: matt+cullen, pittsburgh+penguins

Legal news: NHLPA files complaint re: Wideman suspension; Predators’ ownership issues NHL’s problem

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Today's legal news comes from Reuters...

The NHL’s players union on Friday urged a U.S. court not to grant Commissioner Gary Bettman broad power to override arbitrators when deciding how severely to discipline players for improper on-ice conduct.

Citing a recent appeals court ruling against New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, the NHL Players’ Association said Bettman should not be allowed to restore a 20-game suspension of Calgary Flames defenceman Dennis Wideman for hitting a linesman, after an arbitrator cut the ban to 10 games.

The NHL had sued to revive the longer suspension on June 8, contending that the arbitrator reviewing the matter under the league’s collective agreement was not “neutral,” and ignored substantial evidence justifying the original ban.

But in a filing with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the NHLPA said Wideman’s 10-game ban should stand.

Citing the April 25 court ruling restoring Brady’s four-game suspension from the NFL for deflating footballs, the union said federal courts have only “narrowly circumscribed” authority to review labor arbitration decisions.

“A federal court may not require perfection in arbitration awards,” the union said. “The court must simply ensure that the arbitrator was even arguably construing or applying the contract and acting within the scope of his authority and did not ignore the plain language of the contract. There can be no credible dispute that this was the case here.”

And the Associated Press:

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  Tags: dennis+wideman, gary+bettman, nashville+predators, nhlpa

All about Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

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.''

Continued

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  Tags: john+chayka, phoenix+coyotes

Meet the Las Vegas NHL team’s Mr. Everything

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

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.

Continued

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  Tags: bill+foley, george+mcphee, las+vegas, murray+craven

On Tyson Barrie’s arbitration case

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

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.

Continued

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  Tags: colorado+avalanche, tyson+barrie

Discussing Teemu Pulkkinen’s pluses and minuses

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Free Press's Helene St. James discusses Teemu Pulkkinen's pluses and minuses this afternoon:

Looking back: Pulkkinen, 24, was off to a nice start with 5 goals in 16 games and had 11 points after 24 games when he suffered a dislocated shoulder. He returned mid-January but couldn't regain his early foothold, and ended up scratched most of the second half. Pulkkinen joined Finland for the World Championship, but he wasn't used once the games gained intensity.

Looking ahead: Pulkkinen underwent shoulder surgery in June, leaving him out 4-6 months. He might be able to skate during training camp (which doesn't start until late September) but contact practices and drills could be a ways off. It's lousy way to start a season for a young player trying to establish himself. Pulkkinen isn't a fourth-line grinder type, and his lack of size makes him unsuitable in the top six, where he'd see better defenders. Nor has he shown he deserves to play in a mix that can draw from Henrik Zetterberg, Dylan Larkin, Justin Abdelkader, Frans Nielsen, Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar. Pulkkinen is more suited to third-line duty, and the power play. He has a rocket of a shot – and he shoots right, which makes him stand out on the Wings.  If he can learn to get off his shot more quickly and regularly contribute offensively, he should find an opening in the lineup.

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Maple Leafs re-sign Martin Marincin

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

From the CBC's Tim Wharnsby and the AP's Stephen Whyno:

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  Tags: martin+marincin, toronto+maple+leafs

Wings, Detroit Parks and Recreation to paint a mural on Jack Adams Memorial Arena

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the Red Wings' community relations department:

RED WINGS PARTNER WITH DETROIT PARKS & RECREATION AND ‘SUMMER IN THE CITY’ TO TRANSFORM EXTERIOR OF JACK ADAMS MEMORIAL ARENA
… Online Voting Now Open for Fans to Choose Hockey-Themed Mural to be Painted on Exterior of Detroit Public Rink …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced a partnership with the City of Detroit Parks & Recreation Department and ‘Summer in the City’ to transform Jack Adams Memorial Arena and Adams Butzel Recreation Complex by painting large-scale, hockey-themed murals on the exterior of the building measuring more than 300 feet long and 18 feet high.

The Red Wings are encouraging fans and the local community to vote online for their favorite of seven mural design options at http://www.DetroitRedWings.com/MuralVote All d.esigns were created by Olympia Entertainment and local graphic artists.

The design with the most votes when the polls close on Friday, Aug. 5 at 5:00 p.m., will be painted on Jack Adams Memorial Arena on Friday, Aug. 12, by a team of community members and volunteers associated with ‘Summer in the City’ during the non-profit’s annual “Finale Friday” celebration. Red Wings fans and the local community are invited to participate in the “Finale Friday” activities, which include youth enrichment programming, mural painting, park beautification of the Adams Butzel Recreation Complex and a barbecue. Those interested in participating in the “Finale Friday” activities must preregister at finale@summerinthecity.com

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