Kukla's Korner

If Henrik Zetterberg Takes An Early Retirement

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Jared Clinton of The Hockey News,

The salary cap shouldn’t be the Red Wings’ only concern, however. It would be safe to say that, in a perfect world, Detroit would have had their succession plan in place for Datsyuk and Zetterberg before either were on their way out of the league, but that’s not the case.

Over the past several seasons, the Red Wings have built their offense around the likes of Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist and Justin Abdelkader, and veteran Frans Nielsen was also brought aboard to provide some stability up front, but it hasn’t allowed for a clear next generation to stand out. That’s not to say the four aforementioned forwards aren’t key contributors — they are, to be sure — but calling them out-and-out star leaders that can carry this franchise into the future is a stretch. For that, the Red Wings have to look to Larkin, Mantha and Athanasiou.

The trouble there, though, is that following a 23-goal, 45-point rookie season, Larkin was drilled by a sophomore slump, scoring 17 goals and 32 points and watching his ice-time take a cut. He did get a few more opportunities in certain areas — he slightly increased his penalty kill time, for instance — but, overall, it was a disappointing season for a player with as much promise as Larkin. And while true that Mantha, who scored 17 goals and 36 points, and Athanasiou, who potted 18 goals and 29 points, had upticks in production, neither are yet at a point where they can carry the torch for the Red Wings.

That’s worrisome for Detroit because this franchise’s success throughout the 25-year playoff streak was built upon succession plans.

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Video-When They Were Teenagers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Some of the NHL stars talk about their first job.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Season Ahead For Danny DeKeyser

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Looking ahead: DeKeyser showed growth his first two seasons in the NHL, but his numbers have taken a hit as his role has expanded. It will be interesting to see how DeKeyser is affected by newly signed defensemen Trevor Daley. The two are penciled in to start the season together, and Daley’s experience and skating ability should have a positive effect on DeKeyser. DeKeyser spent the majority of last season paired with Green, whose risk-taking can lead to the puck ending up in Detroit’s net.

DeKeyser has been slotted higher than he should be the past two seasons, a necessity borne out of Kronwall’s decline and the lack of a high-end defenseman on the team. He’s suited to be a second-pairing guy, but he has had to do much more because of injuries to teammates. Daley isn’t an elite defenseman but he does upgrade the Wings, and maybe DeKeyser can rekindle the growth he showed a couple of seasons ago. It’s worth remembering, too, that at 27, he is just coming into his prime.

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Video- Elliotte Friedman With The Latest NHL Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Elliotte Friedman was on NHL Live last night and discussed Jaromir Jagr, college UFAs, Drew Stafford still unsigned, Jack Eichel's contract situation and the latest on David Pastrnak.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Outlook For Darren Helm

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

2017-18 outlook: Helm, after signing a five-year, $19.5 million contact, got off to a strong start. His line, with Gustav Nyquist and Thomas Vanek, carried the club offensively the first few weeks. Then Vanek got injured. Then Helm suffered a dislocated shoulder, sidelining him for two months.

The club missed his speed and competitiveness. He plays hard consistently, a trait the team is trying to instill in some of its younger players.

Helm creates scoring chances but doesn't finish enough because he lacks scoring touch. His inability to slow the game down and realize he has more time with the puck has always been an issue because his motor is always running.

If he can stay healthy, he can be counted on for 12-to-15 goals.

A center most of his career, Helm is expected to play on the wing, possibly on a line with Frans Nielsen. He is versatile and could play in the top six if needed.

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The overnight report: On Trevor Daley, a tunnel closure, Zetterberg, the MSU Pro Camp and more

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of very disparate Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The Athletic Detroit is offering a "360-Degree View" of the Red Wings' 2017-18 roster, and Craig Custance kicks off the previews with an examination of free agent signing Trevor Daley:

View from an opposing coach: “I love him. I always liked him when he was in Dallas. He was the guy we would talk about because – either off the rush or in the offensive zone – if you did not know where he was, he was all of a sudden standing in front of your net. He was quick and he had the ability to make things happen offensively.”

“As you watched him play in the cauldron of the NHL playoffs [with the Penguins] over the last couple years, he battled injuries but he showed he can play a complete game. They’re getting a really good player. I don’t think the Mike Green experiment went particularly well for them and this is a better fit. He can play in all three zones and he logged some tough minutes in the playoffs. In Dallas, his game was more offensively inclined. I think his game evolved and he was pretty darn effective in all three zones [for Pittsburgh]. They’re getting a really good defenseman and they don’t have that in Mike Green. He’s more of a one-way guy. This guy, he can play hard minutes in a lot of different situations.”

Custance continues (paywall)...

2. In news you can use, especially if you're from Windsor, the Windsor Star's Dave Battagello reports that the Detroit-Windsor tunnel is going to close every weeknight from 9 PM to 5:30 AM for extensive repairs, starting in November and continuing until June, 2018:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

The ‘Rush’ To Get To The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allain Roy of the RoySportsGroup,

“What should I improve in my game to get to the NHL?” A question I answer almost every day in my job as an NHL agent… The answer may have varied a bit over my last 18 years of doing this job, but the constant theme that is resoundingly stressed and never going away is: “Find a way to do everything at a high pace, and when you get there, do it even faster”.  

Welcome to the new NHL, a game of fast paced action, filled with ever younger talent, and professionals that work on every meticulous detail 12 months a year.  The “clutch and grab” style that dominated the game until the late 90’s is gone, the “training camp is for getting in shape” mentality of the 80’s is far gone, this game is super-fast, and will only get faster.

With the new high paced game also comes a faster pace of churning through bodies. Where the NHL neophytes used to have a 3 to 5-year window to prove they belonged, now the clock has accelerated to about 18 months to get your passport stamped to the minors or Europe. Teams and management have less patience, younger players are better prepared, and the salary cap driven economics of the game have left only a sliver of the proverbial window open, slicing down like a guillotine every few seconds on a NHL hopefuls’ neck, before they even get a taste of the game in the “Show”.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Bad Year For Team Corsi

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Travis Yost of TSN,

One of the interesting debates following last season was whether or not team Corsi% – the percentage of shots in a team’s favour over a given period of time – was still a meaningful driver of game outcome.

This discussion, in part, started during the regular season. I think the genesis of this was a very tight distribution of talent across the league. Outside of Washington (great) and Colorado (terrible), it was often hard to discern which teams were legitimately good or bad. Creating a hierarchy of the other 28 teams was a difficult exercise – far more difficult than in years past.

The argument that team Corsi% had lost its predictive nature seemed to strengthen as the Pittsburgh Penguins ran through the Eastern Conference en route to a second consecutive Stanley Cup. Pittsburgh was a strong team all year, but a 51.5 per cent Corsi% over 82 regular-season games ended up as one of the lowest marks for a championship team in the modern era. And the other conference finalists – Anaheim and Ottawa in particular – weren’t world beaters here either. So, is something up?

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

‘Roughly Translated’: An interview with Libor Sulak and Tweets of note

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Red Wings prospect Libor Sulak took part in an interview with the CTK News Agency's Michal Kamaryt, and what follows is a very roughly translated:

Sulak's fairy tale: contract, a preparatory camp and praise from a legend

In mid-April, defenseman Libor Sulak debuted in the Czech REpublic as the first player from the [Austrian] EBEL league, and four months later, he'll appear again on the national team [for the Four Nations Tournament] in a completely different role. The 23-year-old native of Pelhrimov, who played for Znojmo, has participated in the World Championship in Paris and signed a contract with Detroit of the NHL.

In September, Sulak will fight in camp for a premiere in the world's best league. If he doesn't get into the Red Wings, he could return to Europe, where he'd previously agreed to play for the Lahti Pelicans in Finland. That would give him the hope to participate in the Olympics in February in Pyeongchang.

He's been enjoying his fairy tale in recent months. "Two years ago, when I was leaving Chomutov, I would have been laughing [if you told me] I'd sign a contract with the NHL, but it's about when you take the jump, and good luck turns to you," Sulak told reporters.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Francois Beauchemin Back With The Ducks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

 

added 3:33pm, Anaheim release is below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: francois+beauchemin

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