Kukla's Korner

KK- Another Push For The KK Donation Drive

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The latest information is we are just over 76% towards the goal of $10K.

Thanks again go out to all who have donated and any of you who still plan to do so.

The new design will be a big upgrade for us but understand, it will still be easy to navigate, no more down server issues and the loading of KK will be much quicker.

More information coming as we get a little deeper into the summer.

Filed in: KK Website Business, | KK Hockey | Permalink

How About An NHL Team In Proctor, Minnesota?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fox21,

At Monday’s city council meeting, Proctor City Counselor Travis White introduced two resolutions. The first included bringing an NHL franchise to Proctor, the second addressing the need to build a stadium for that franchise.

Back in May, White made a similar proposal, that time hoping to bring an NFL team to Proctor.

He said much of the skepticism surrounding that idea was followed up with suggestions that hockey would be a better fit for the area than football.

And then fate nearly fell into White's lap.

The Board of Governors and Commissioner of the NF(H)L announced that beginning Monday, July 6, through Monday, August 10 they will be accepting applications for an expansion team.

White says an NHL team would bring in tourism, revenue and create jobs, and most importantly, the fan base is already here.

“You look at Grand Forks, the University of North Dakota, their hockey team brings in about 11,600 fans to each home game, while the lowest NHL team brings in 11,200. That's part of the market for an NHL team up here,” explained White.


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

Flawed Front Office In Vancouver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

We understand we set impressive new standards for back flipping last week — give Jim Benning a chance; he did what? GAWWWKKKK — but there was something about the cumulative effect of the Canucks’ moves that didn’t exactly inspire confidence.

There’s no need to recap them here. But, one after the other, it seems the team was either trading assets for 70 cents on the dollar or firing capable and devoted Canucks. It could be Benning is right in all his judgments. It could be this is the start of a newly imagined organization. But sitting here in July 2015, it’s hard to see where this is the start of anything except more disappointment.

Two things stand out after all the dust has settled. The four most influential positions in the hockey department now belong to Trevor Linden, Benning, John Weisbrod and T.C. Carling.

Of those four, Linden has held his position the longest.

There’s also something troubling about the construction of that front office. Loyalty is one thing but you wonder who’s going to stand up and say, “This is a bad idea. Let’s think about this.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Morning news: On Jakub Kindl and prospect profiles/highlights

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Among this morning's Red Wings-related news items:

MLive's Ansar Khan penned an article discussing Jakub Kindl and the possibility that Kindl might re-set his career under coach Jeff Blashill...

"His strengths for me are he's good on the power play; he's another guy that's going to compete for power-playopportunities," Blashill said. "When he's playing his best he's a great puck-moving defenseman.

"He's going back for pucks. He's seeing through the forechecker, making the proper passes. I think for me that's the No. 1 ingredient for defensemen to be great, their ability to break the puck out of their own end so you're not playing in the D-zone and you're playing in the other team's end. That's a formula for winning."

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

The Connor McDavid Hype

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Connor McDavid of Sportsnet,

There have been plenty of great players over the years, but what always separated them from the merely good one was their ability to sense the moment. The intelligence to know when it was time for a truly superior performance, and the wherewithal to be the best player on the ice that night — that’s what set the Gretzkys, Messiers, Lemieuxs and Crosbys apart.

Connor McDavid is not there yet, OK? No one is saying that he is.

But, in his first scrimmage as an Edmonton Oiler, with about 7,300 people who came out on a beautiful July evening solely to see him play a 4-on-4 game for 40 minutes, then 3-on-3 for another seven minutes, all McDavid did was score five goals. His team won 8-6.

It was, as his GM would say later, a “a 3-on-3, 4-on-4 no-hitter.” But there was one player who had the puck on a string, one player who emphatically showed that he was head and shoulders the most dynamic, highly-skilled player among the 31 prospects.

The stage, however small, was his and he owned it.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: connor+mcdavid

TMR Evening Line: ‘I never thought skill would be a part of my game’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings didn't draft Tyler Bertuzzi to become a second-line goal-scoring, playmaking forward, but a series of concussion and neck injuries--and a whole lot of maturation on Bertuzzi's part as a player and young man--have yielded an intriguing prospect turning pro full-time with Grand Rapids this upcoming season, as the Free Press's George Sipple notes:

Bertuzzi said his game began to evolve after his season in the Ontario Hockey League. He said he had spent his time "hitting, fighting, doing the little things like that. I never thought skill would be part of my game."

Bertuzzi, 20, said the development camp has helped him a lot and he has worked hard to improve his offensive skills. He said the grinder is still there, though.

"I can score goals now, I can get points and help contribute offensively, too," Bertuzzi said. "Growing up I was always a playmaker. I could make my passes. I got a lot of assists here and there. Goal scoring — I wasn't that much of a goal scorer when I was younger. Now I know I can put the puck in the net and now have a good shot. Just working on it more and more."

Bertuzzi (6-feet-1, 190 pounds) is preparing for his first full season in Grand Rapids (American Hockey League). He said he wants to be an "offensive force" and "a guy that's hard to play against."

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

What to expect when you’re Dylan Larkin

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples penned an article in which he spoke with Dylan Larkin about "managing expectations"...

Fans would rather he start the season in Detroit instead of Grand Rapids. But the only one who sets the expectations for Larkin is Larkin himself.

“He is the one that’s managing the expectations, and that’s through his performance,” Red Wings Director of Player Development Jiri Fischer said. “When he got drafted last year, since then, he has evolved in a way that impressed a lot of people, including us.”

Larkin has guided himself through the frenzy. He’s his own biggest critic, and uses it as motivation. His work ethic, which Fischer raved about, comes from within. It helps manage the sky-high expectations he has for his future.

“I probably criticize myself the most, and I think that is what drives me to be the player I want to be,” Larkin said. “I try to focus on what’s next in my training right now. (Red Wings coaches) have told me to stay on track and work as hard as possible.”

And the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness penned an article regarding the Red Wings' expecttions for Larkin...

“My take on Larkin would be he’s got to be in our top 12,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “Coach Blashill’s got to say to me, ‘I want him in the lineup.’ He’s not going to be our 13th, 14th forward. Realistically, just to put him on the fourth line and play eight minutes, I think he’s a real good young player with a lot of potential.

“He’s going to be real important to our franchise as we go forward,” Holland continued. “We want to make sure we do what’s right for him and us. If he comes and is a legitimate top-nine forward we’re going to find a way to get him in the lineup. If he’s less than that then we’ll sit down as an organization and decide.”

Update: The Traverse City Record-Eagle's' Brett A. Sommers penned an article about Larkin as well:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

To trade, to trade?

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I don't believe that he Red Wings are going to trade Jimmy Howard, as Ken Holland has told us all as much, and I don't believe that the Red Wings should simply trade their prospects because they have "too many," because--and get this, I'm saying this from a development camp--not everyone develops into a superstar, but the Free Press's Jamie Samuelssen believes that Ken Holland's summer is not over until Jimmy Howard is not on the roster and one of the Wings' forward prospects is no longer a Wing:

Here are two modest proposals about moves he should or could consider between now and September when the team heads north to Traverse City.

First, find a taker, any taker for Jimmy Howard. That's easier said than done and the Red Wings would have to take on a chunk of Howard's salary if he played elsewhere next season. But Petr Mrazek established himself as the Wings best option in goal in the playoffs. He was the biggest reason that the series even went seven games and the biggest reason that the Wings had a chance to win Game 7 in Tampa Bay. Mrazek will make $738,000 next season. Howard will make 5.5 million. You know this. I know this. Holland knows this. Every team in the NHL knows this.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

A Two-Year Contract For Evgeny Kuznetsov In Washington

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

ARLINGTON, VA. – The Washington Capitals have re-signed center Evgeny Kuznetsov to a two-year, $6 million contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.

Kuznetsov, 23, earned 37 points (11 goals, 26 assists) in 80 games with Washington last season, marking the most points a Capitals rookie has registered in a season since John Carlson (37) in 2010-11. The 6’2”, 204-pound center also became the 13th rookie in franchise history to earn 25 assists in a season. Kuznetsov registered five multi-point games last season and scored on four consecutive shootout attempts in 2014-15, matching the longest streak in the NHL. He led all Capitals rookies in goals (11), assists (26), points (37) and games played (80) and ranked eighth among NHL rookies in assists (26) and ninth in points (37). Kuznetsov was selected by Washington in the first round, 26th overall, in the 2010 NHL Draft.


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeny+kuznetsov

Impressions from the fourth day of the Red Wings’ summer development camp ‘15

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I had a conversation with Grand Rapids Griffins equipment manager Brad "Dogg" Thompson that was really enlightening today: Brad and I talked about the players that have impressed us both at the camp and the level of the try-outs' play, and we both agreed that the truth of the matter regarding those who've received short shrift in this blog is simple:

There simply is no vast gulf between the try-outs and the pro prospects any more. Everybody attending the Wings' summer development camp, which wraps up tomorrow with an 11 AM scrimmage, is really good. Everybody can keep up with both the team systems drills and Jiri FIscher's skating drills, no matter how difficult they might be.

Nobody taking part in this camp has stood out in a negative manner, and whether you're talking about 6'9" Jarret Meyer or Korean "exchange prospects" Won-Jun Kim or Jin Hui Ahn, each and every participant has acquitted himself very, very well.

The difference between the tryouts and the pro prospects is simple: they have at least some aspects of their game that are elite, not just professional, but elite, and through a combination of natural gifts and hard work, they can bring their skill levels to heights that are truly at or near AHL or NHL levels.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

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