Kukla's Korner

The Season Outlook For Jonathan Ericsson

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

Ansar Khan of Mlive with his outlook for Jonathan Ericsson,

2016-17 outlook: Ericsson's performance declined for the second year in a row, after he appeared to be trending in the right direction the previous few seasons.

He continues to commit too many turnovers, particularly when pressured. He's not a punishing player, or particularly physical, despite leading D-men in hits, but someone his size could be harder to play against. He needs to play with more intensity. He could box out better. He could move his feet more and not get caught flat-footed as much.

After playing on the top pairing with Niklas Kronwall for much of the past few seasons, Ericsson's role might diminish, unless he shows marked improvement. He could be on the third pairing, not playing against top lines as much. He'll likely continue playing regularly on the penalty kill.

Ericsson has been bothered by hip issues the past few seasons.

Key question: Will Ericsson significantly improve his puck management?

more

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The overnight report: ‘93 playoff goals, fantasy camp at the Joe, Marchenko’s hazing and fundraising

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. For me, this qualifies as "too soon." AWood40 posted a clip of the Red Wings' goals during their 1993 first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but all it takes is the word Borschevsky for me to break out in a cold sweat remembering how the Leafs stole Game 7 at the Joe. The Wings sure as hell scored enough goals in the series to out-duel the Leafs, but Detroit's defense was spotty throughout:

People forget how good Bryan Murray's teams were, and this series yielded Murray's ouster as coach and GM and the hiring of Scotty Bowman. As AWood40 notes, eventually some eight members of this Leaf team would end up playing for Detroit, too.

2. There were no blue-and-white linings to the Red Wings' fantasy camp, as DetroitRedWings.com's Joshua Berenter noted:

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The New York Islanders Are Finally Honoring Their Past

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,

For the past few decades, the Islanders organization has floated further and further away from the traditions and the team that made up the greatest run in sports history. The dynasty of the four straight Stanley Cups, starting in 1980, and the players who made up those teams, were becoming forgotten by the younger generation of the fan base.

But on Monday, at the team’s sparkling new practice facility on Long Island, with whip-smart new owner Jon Ledecky leading the show, and with one more memorial to beloved coach Al Arbour, who passed away one year and one day ago, things are beginning to look stabilized.

Finally, it seems this is a franchise that isn’t just talking about honoring its history, but is doing it in as many ways as possible. And that starts with bringing back Islanders alumni and having them as engaged as possible, as seen in their teary eyes as they once again shared memories of their coach, who died last Aug. 28 and continues to set the standard for integrity in a sometimes wayward organization.

“When you look at a world of [salary] cap and free agency, and you look at the discussions people have about teams, having an engaged alumni base is a terrific, positive mark for people deciding where they’re going to play,” said Ledecky, who is becoming the face of this front office.

continued

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Evening news: A Walleye signing, coach Homer, spearing Datsyuk and pessimism/optimism

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of very, very disparate Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. The Toledo Walleye have signed Brighton, MI's Jacob MacDonald, who was an ECHL All-Rookie last season:

2. Also in the prospect department, Alexander Kadeikin didn't play in Lokomotiv Yaroslavl's 3-2 loss to Dynamo Moscow;

3. In the alumni department, part 1: According to Pitea-Tidningen, Tomas Holmstrom is coaching an Under-16 team representing Norrbotten in the TV Pucken league, and his team won its first tournament;

4. In the alumni department, part 2: According to Sovetsky Sport, Pavel Datsyuk was fined for spearing Sergei Moyzakin during his second KHL game. You can see the spear in the 4th video on this Russian KHL page;

5. In the, "Hey, cool gear" category, via Pro's Choice:

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Not Optimistic Views

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rory Boylen of Sportsnet,

Time to rain on your parade. Here are reasons to be pessimistic about each of the 30 NHL teams heading into 2016-17....

CHICAGO
Patrick Kane’s ridiculous 106-point MVP season won’t be duplicated (will anyone get to 100 points this tear?). Duncan Keith — now 33 years old — had to pull out of the World Cup because he’s still recovering from a 2015 injury. And last year was the first time since 2007-08 that the Hawks weren’t top-six in corsi for percentage (they finished 15th).

Everyone’s Cup window eventually closes…

COLORADO
Bad-alytics. The Avs had such a poor corsi percentage last year that the difference between their 30th-ranked mark and New Jersey’s 29th was roughly the same as the difference between the Devils’ and 21st-ranked Columbus.

At least they didn’t trade Tyson Barrie, but that defence is pee-yew, and will be crushed by the Central Division.

COLUMBUS
Sergei Bobrovsky’s injury and poor numbers last season were alarming, and backup Joonas Korpisalo won’t keep posting better numbers in the NHL than any other pro league he’s played in. Nick Foligno had an awful first year of a contract paying him $5.5 million against the cap (a.k.a. David Clarkson money).

Scott Hartnell ($4.75 million) waived his no-trade clause, but the Blue Jackets couldn’t find any takers for a player who looks to be in decline. They will continue to struggle with shots against. Seems a lot could go wrong here again.

27 more teams...

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Khan on the outlook for Luke Glendening

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

MLive's Ansar Khan offers a 2016-17 season outlook for Luke Glendening:

2016-17 outlook: Glendening has become a fixture as the fourth-line center, a player coaches trust because of his defensive awareness and knack for doing the "little" things.

He can be matched up against top centers. He is a good skater who brings an element of grit by playing physical and agitating opponents. He's one of the team's top penalty killers and shot-blockers. He has made significant improvement in the faceoff circle since breaking into the league midway through the 2013-14 season.

He is respected for his work ethic on and off the ice and has become a mentor for younger players like Dylan Larkin and Riley Sheahan.

He can provide some offense by going to the net and seems to score many of his goals on backhand shots.

Key question: With Henrik Zetterberg likely playing more on the wing, will Glendening and his line be used more often against top centers?

Khan continues, and I'm hoping that Glendening isn't used as a match-up guy. He's at his best when he's a fourth-line grinder:

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Ted Lindsay continues to go above and beyond the call of duty for fans

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From Today's Slapshot's Monica McAlister, regarding a "one-of-a-kind" performance from Ted Lindsay during the rain delay at the Joe Kocur Foundation's charity softball games this past Saturday:

Part of Lindsay’s legacy as a hockey icon is his devotion to going above and beyond for the sport and its fans. He lobbied for the NHLPA to be formed and even lost his spot on the Red Wings roster over it in the 1950’s. He was the first to take the Stanley Cup for a victory lap around the rink, skating right up to the boards so that fans could see the cup up close.

Ted Lindsay is one of a kind. He has proven this over and over.

This past weekend was no different. As he sat signing autographs for the fans that lined up to meet him, the rain moved in. It started off light and Mr. Lindsay brushed it off as no big deal. Then the rain steadily came down harder. Event staff came to close down the signing but Mr. Lindsay brushed them aside.

If the fans were willing to stand in the rain, then he was willing to sign.

As the weather front continued to move through the area, the rain came down harder, the wind started to blow, yet the man known as Terrible Ted wouldn’t be driven inside. Instead, he sat on a bench inside of a dugout doing his best to keep the fans’ memorabilia dry.

Continued

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Red Wings’ website on the Joe Kocur Foundaton’s charity softball event

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From DetroitRedWings.com's Joshua Berenter, via RedWingsFeed:

Rain also didn’t stop a record number of people from attending the event in support of the Joe Kocur Foundation for Children, which gives back to the local community through a collaboration with children's charities throughout Southeastern Michigan.

The softball event is the foundation’s signature event and is championed through the efforts of an all-volunteer committee and through the kind donations of local sponsors and donors.

And while the fans were beneficiaries of coveted autographs and photos with their favorite NHL stars, the biggest beneficiaries were the charities that received the proceeds from Saturday’s event, which eclipsed an estimated $100,000, adding to the $200,000-plus already raised this year by the Joe Kocur Foundation for Children.

The benefitting charities included Wings of Mercy East Michigan, F.A.R. Therapeutic Arts and Recreation, The Huron Valley Special Olympics, Play Like Jackson Foundation, Team Kendal Kidz, Lakeland High School Public Service Scholarship and this year’s special honoree, Jackets 4 Jackson.

“When we started our foundation eight years ago we wanted to find a way to give back to the community,” Kocur said to West Oakland news outlet, Spinal Column. “We had friends, we have businesses, we had everything that we felt we needed to give back to the community. We are raising money for families that are going through some hard times.”

Continued

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Wallner: Paetsch, Nelson address the Griffins’ changing of the veteran guard

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Grand Rapids Press reporter Peter J. Wallner spoke with Griffins defenseman Nathan Paetsch and coach Todd Nelson regarding a changing of the veteran guard in Grand Rapids, especially with former captain Jeff Hoggan moving on:

"Change is tough but it is a constant in this league," [Paetsch] added. "We all know that Hoggie was a great, great captain and we'll miss his presence, for sure, and it will be strange for me because he's been a teammate for so long."

The Griffins also did not bring back longtime goalie Tom McCollum and lost leading scorer Andy Miele (signed with Philadelphia Flyers), but the organization restocked veterans in the offseason that will crowd the roster again when camp opens next month.

There are six on the roster, and that could expand to eight and does not include the uncertain status of Daniel Cleary.

Continue Reading »

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Morning news: Prospect rankings, single-game tix on sale and golf tourney Tweets

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of brief Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. ESPN's Corey Pronman ranked every team by its prospect pipeline in an Insider-only entry:

18. Detroit Red Wings
Previous rank: 7

The Wings' farm team has quite a few guys who are on the bubble of being NHL players; Detroit will have to make decisions on them soon, otherwise they risk losing them on waivers. The top part of their system is pretty good, with several players who have a chance to be quality NHL players, even if there's no "star" prospect in this system. The big slide in the rankings is two-fold: Dylan Larkin graduated, and players like Evgeni Svechnikov and Axel Holmstrom didn't have quite the seasons I expected from them in 2015-16.

2. The Red Wings' single-game tickets are on sale presently, but if you're looking for the home opener or last couple of games at the Joe, they're already sold out frown

3. Both the Grand Rapids Griffins and Ilitch Charities are holding their charity golf tournaments today:

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