Kukla's Korner

Griffins coach Todd Nelson may be a candidate to replace Dave Tippett

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I'm a little late with this one, but Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman posted a Tweet last night that caused Grand Rapids Griffins fans' ears to perk up:

On the ice after the Griffins won their Calder Cup, Nelson said that he feels he has nothing left to accomplish in the AHL save winning more championships. It will be interesting to see whether Nelson feels that he's comfortable with the Griffins, or whether he chases any coaching openings that appear in the NHL. It would be a shame for the Griffins and Red Wings to lose him, but I know that Nelson's ultimate goal is to reach the NHL.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

The Athletic talks Wings draft pick ‘fits’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Athletic asked Future Considerations' Scott Wheeler to pick five prospects that represent "good fits" for the Red Wings' 9th overall draft pick, and one of the prospects is the one I believe is the best fit:

Elias Pettersson: LW, 6-foot-2, 164 Ibs, Timra IK (Allsvenskan)
FC Rank: 8

If [Owen] Tippett is one of the 2017 NHL Draft's most dynamic scorers, Pettersson is one of its most creative. He's an energetic, driven, light-on-his feet skater and creator (with and without the puck). Pettersson played in Sweden's second-tier pro league this season and was its best young player, posting 41 points (19 goals, 22 assists) in 43 games, finishing second on Timra in scoring to Jonathan Dahlen, good for first in league scoring among under-19 forwards by a wide margin (17 more than the next closest forward).

Pettersson excels most as a skater, with high-end top speed and quick acceleration to get there. With the puck, he cuts extremely well laterally, shifting directions one-on-one or easily navigating traffic. Pettersson makes up for a lack of puck strength and physicality with his elusiveness, navigating all three zones to create space for himself and make quick, decisive plays with the puck.

He's not shy either — Pettersson is aggressive with the puck and will take it to the net to make quick plays on net or corral and finish a rebound off with excellent stickhandling. Equally capable as a passer and shooter (though he scores with a quick release rather than an overpowering kick), Pettersson is one of the more versatile offensive players in the class.

Wheeler continues...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Trade Talk Before The NHL Draft

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

- Keep an eye on Washington Capitals defenceman Karl Alzner, who will be a unrestricted free agent on July 1. The Vegas Golden Knights didn’t waste any time reaching out to Alzner, who made $2.8 million in the final year of his deal with the Caps last season. The 28-year-old Alzner had three goals and 13 points in 82 games last year but he was a solid plus-23. You can expect four or five teams are going to take a run at Alzner.

- There’s a lot of talk the Rangers could move centre Derek Stepan, who has a $6.5 million cap hit that will run through the 2020-21 season. No, the Rangers haven’t been holding an auction by any stretch of the imagination, but the talk is GM Jeff Gorton is listening to see what teams might be willing to offer on Stepan.

- The Winnipeg Jets are still scouring the market for a goaltender. Don’t be surprised if they at least study the possibility of signing UFA Brian Elliott, who spent last season with the Calgary Flames.

- The word is GM Joe Sakic is having a hard time with the marketplace for Duchene because he struggled so badly last season with only 18 goals and 41 points in 77 games with the Avs. With two years and $12.5 million le...ft on his deal, there are only so many teams that can get involved in those kinds of discussions and Duchene doesn’t have the kind of value Sakic might be looking for in return.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Dave Tippett Moving On From The Arizona Coyotes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - Arizona Coyotes Owner, Chairman and Governor Andrew Barroway announced today that the Coyotes and Head Coach Dave Tippett have mutually agreed to part ways. A search for a new head coach will begin immediately.

"On behalf of the entire Coyotes organization, I would like to sincerely thank Tip for all of his hard work and the many contributions he made to our organization," said Barroway.  "Tip is a man of high character and we are very grateful for his leadership during his tenure as our head coach.   Ultimately, we have some philosophical differences on how to build our team.  Therefore, we mutually agreed that it is in everyone's best interest to have a coaching change in order to move our franchise forward."

"After some thoughtful discussions with Andy, we both agreed that it was best for me to move on," said Tippett.  "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Coyotes and wish Andy and the entire organization all the best in the future."

Tippett was named the 17th head coach in franchise history on September 24, 2009 and compiled a 282-257-83 record with the team. 

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dave+tippett

Bad Coach’s Challenge? Get A Penalty

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

What I said a few weeks ago.


added 6:37am 6/23/17, via the CP at TSN,

The NHL is considering issuing a minor penalty for a failed coach's challenge for offside.

The penalty would be instead of losing a timeout for a failed challenge under the current rules. The league's general managers discussed the possible change at a meeting Thursday ahead of this weekend's NHL draft in Chicago.

Replay reviews for possible offside have attracted attention in the playoffs the past two years. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan got a Nashville goal wiped out in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final in May. St. Louis star Vladimir Tarasenko had a playoff goal wiped out by a razor-thin offside ruling during a series against Chicago in 2016.

NHL executive Colin Campbell says the next stop for the possible rule change is the league's competition committee.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A trio of items of Griffins-related note

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Grand Rapids Griffins posted three items of note this evening:

1. First, the Griffins posted a video in which coach Todd Nelson shares his reflections upon the Griffins' Calder Cup championship from the coach's perspective...

2. The Griffins have also created a webpage that captures tons of Tweets, videos and Instagram posts sharing "Championship moments"...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Highlights of the Wings’ 2017-18 schedule

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings released their 2017-18 season schedule on Thursday afternoon, and I'm just getting back to work after an afternoon of errands, so: here are the observations of Wings beat writers who've had longer than a couple of minutes to look at the schedule:

1. From Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples and Stefan Kubus...

Little Caesars Arena will host 17 weekend home games (five Fridays, seven Saturdays and five Sundays) all the way until the regular-season finale at home on Saturday, April 7 against the New York Islanders.

Detroit will head on the road right after their debut at LCA for a four-game trip including a stop at Las Vegas to play the Golden Knights on Friday, Oct. 13.

It’s a road-heavy start, with only five home games in October for the Wings. Starting on Nov. 11 against Columbus, the Wings will have a stretch of five home games, one away game in New York, and then three more home games to round out the second month of the season.

Detroit has another five-game stretch in Dec. for their two longest home stands – they will be home from Dec. 5 through Dec. 15.

2. From the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Some Mrazek scuttlebutt from Kulfan

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan got an unusual response to a request that Ken Holland address the team's decision to expose Petr Mrazek, Xavier Ouellet, Riley Sheahan et. al. in the expansion draft...

Holland said he’ll discuss his decision not to protect certain players — particularly, surprisingly, Mrazek — this weekend at the entry draft.

And Kulfan's assessment of the Wings' salary cap situation (hint: the Wings will be tight to the cap again) precedes, well, this:

The Red Wings will look aggressively to trade a goaltender, likely Mrazek, 25, who has one year remaining on his contract at $4 million.

Mrazek had a poor statistical season, and his attitude and work ethic came into question in stories after his name was not on the protected list.

But several teams could be interested in upgrading their goaltending, and Mrazek remains a viable option.

Update: The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa also weighed in on the Mrazek situation:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

St. James: Wings to emphsize defense at the draft

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with Red Wings director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright ahead of tomorrow and Saturday's NHL draft in Chicago, and Wright told St. James that the Wings will look to bolster their defense as they prepare to pick 11 times:

“Defense is an area that we are targeting,” Wings director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright said in an interview with the Free Press this week. “It is deep at that position in this draft, throughout the draft.”

The draft begins Friday at United Center with Round 1, and the Wings hold the ninth overall pick, their highest since drafting Martin Lapointe at 10th overall in 1991. That’s what 25 straight seasons of making the playoffs — and four Stanley Cups — will do. The Wings missed the playoffs this season for the first time since 1990.

The Wings will select 38th, 71st, 79th, 83rd, 88th, 100th, 131st, 162nd, 164th, and 193rd on Day 2 of the draft.

As for the team's strategy with the 9th overall pick, it's the old standby, "Take the best player available"...

“We are basically talking over every scenario possible, what could happen, try to figure out the unexpected,” Wright said of the staff’s last-minute preparations. “It is pretty much set in stone as far as final rankings for us. With the luxury of having 11 picks, we have options now — plus we have  two seconds next year, as well, so whether that means we move up and spend some of those picks — there is a risk factor in doing that. Or we could move back and accumulate more picks and go from there.When you are talking top-10 pick, you should get good player, but you want to make sure you pick the right one.”

And St. James continues, with Ken Holland confirming that defense is the emphasis for this year's draft, and St. James posted some short draft profiles as well.

Update: The Windsor Star's Bob Duff also spoke with Wright:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

TSN Hockey Insiders Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

Hockey Insiders Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun discuss the Oilers parting ways with Jordan Eberle, have more on the Islanders shopping Travis Hamonic and which teams have interest in Alex Galchenyuk.

Watch at TSN...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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