Kukla's Korner

Big Loss For The New Jersey Devils, Travis Zajac Out 4-6 Months

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Newark, NJ - New Jersey Devils Executive Vice President/General Manager Ray Shero provided the following update on center Travis Zajac.

"This morning, Travis Zajac underwent successful surgery to repair a torn left pectoral muscle that was suffered last week during off-season training. The procedure was performed by the club's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jonathan L. Glashow. Zajac's expected recovery time is approximately four to six months."

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: travis+zajac

Afternoon Line- Joe Sakic On Matt Duchene

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I will be listening to offers. Right now it’s quiet on all fronts. But I’ll listen to offers on how we can get better. I’ll never name names but I’ll sit there and if something makes sense for the way we want to go, with our team, we’ll really look at that.”

-Joe Sakic on Matt Duchene.  More on the Avs from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+sakic, matt+duchene

We Have Ice

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

St. James on Mantha’s outlook

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Free Press's Helene St. James penned a 2017-18 season outlook for Anthony Mantha:

Looking ahead: Mantha, 22, seems be figuring out how to be a good pro, from diet to working out to realizing just how much effort it takes to be a factor on a regular basis in the NHL. Management and coaches have hammered home to Mantha that he needs to skate, and use his 6-foot-5, 221-pound body to be a nuisance in front of the net. Mantha saw spotty power play time last season and wasn’t on either of the units that had the power play at nearly 25% the last 30 games of the season, but if there is an injury to power play net-front men Justin Abdelkader or Riley Sheahan – or if either unit ends up needing retooling, Mantha will get a chance for special-teams minutes.

Beyond salary cap space, part of the hesitancy to re-sign Thomas Vanek, in fact, is that while Vanek has shown he’d make Andreas Athanasiou a better player (their line with Frans Nielsen had excellent chemistry), Wings management wants Mantha to play a bigger role. That means more minutes; minutes that Vanek would eat into if he were in the lineup. Mantha’s among the most intriguing Wings to watch in 2017-18 – he flirted with the 20-goal mark last season, and seems to be growing into the player the Wings hoped they’d get when they drafted Mantha 20th overall in 2013.

St. James continues, and Mantha needs to churn those legs in the direction of the opposing team's net to succeed. Thankfully, he knows that now.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

WXYZ: Octopus sighting at Little Caesars Arena

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

WXYZ's Max White reports that the ice is being laid down at Little Caesars Arena, and as part of the process, an octopus was tossed onto the "Hockeytown" logo:

Update: Of miscellaneous Twitter-related note this morning:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Why Not The Flyers?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of the Phillynews,

The club president isn’t predicting that the Flyers’ four-plus decades without a Stanley Cup are about to end. That, he knows, would be foolish. But he likes the direction in which the team is headed under general manager Ron Hextall. He thinks the likely injection of several rookies will complement the core that features Wayne Simmonds, Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek, and Ivan Provorov.

“Obviously, our plan is to make the playoffs this year and see what happens,” Holmgren said Wednesday in his Wells Fargo Center office. “I think what Ron is doing, and has been doing, is put our team in a position where we can make multiple playoff runs with the hopes of winning Stanley Cups along the way. That was his goal when he took over three-plus years ago. I think if you look at our team now and where we are from this moment out, that’s kind of where we’re at.”

Holmgren, who recently had cornea surgery to try to improve the almost-lost sight in his right eye, said the Flyers are a “team that’s setting ourselves up for multiple playoff runs with the idea of winning a Stanley Cup or two along the way. … I think we’re a team that’s poised to take some steps forward over the next number of years. Could it be this year? Yeah, why not?”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+holmgren

The Russian Plan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jared Clinton of The Hockey News,

... And Marchenko’s signing, just like that of Markov, Nesterov, Grigorenko and so on, is simply another part of the plan the Russian Hockey Federation has had since the NHL announced it wouldn’t be sending players to the 2018 Olympics. Following the NHL’s early April declaration, the RHF released a statement saying it would attempt to keep its top talent in Russia and persuade top Russian free agents to play in the KHL, giving them the opportunity to suit up in Pyeongchang — an opportunity they seemingly won’t have in the NHL cut.

Russia hasn’t medalled at the Olympics, let alone stood atop the podium, in more than 15 years. Not since 1998 has Russia won a silver medal. And it’s been more than two decades since a gold medal was awarded to the nation. Russia is planning on changing that in February, though, and it’s starting with bulking up by brining any and all potential national team members home.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Future Is Now The Present In Edmonton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

Draisaitl, in his round of phone interviews that began at noon with rights holder 630 CHED, was adamant about his long-term desire to be an Oiler. The only question to most was whether Draisaitl might have to do a bridge deal if general manager Peter Charelli was going to balk at a number more than the $7 million or so suggested by contracts of comparable players.

“For me there was never even a thought to go anywhere else or to think about going anywhere else,” Draisaitl made it clear.

“You look at options, but for me personally, I just want to be with this group as long as possible. We have such a good group and I really do believe we have something special coming up in Edmonton,” added the NHL’s eighth top scorer with 77 points during the regular season and Oilers top producer in the playoffs with 17.

The ecstasy is that the modern day dynamic duo equivalent of Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier are both signed far enough into the future to take them through their prime time years of most careers.

McDavid’s eight-year extension, keeps him here for the next nine years. The captain has one year remaining on his entry-level deal. Draisaitl’s new deal kicks in this season. And there’s something to be said with both deals not ending at the same time.

Bottom line?

The future is now!

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: leon+draisaitl

Dylan Larkin Ready For His 3rd NHL Season

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

Dylan Larkin, Detroit Red Wings third-line center.

"Right behind Henrik Zetterberg and Frans Nielsen," Larkin, 21, said.

For how long depends on Larkin's production.

That Larkin pictures himself as the Red Wings' No. 3 center behind Zetterberg and Nielsen isn't all that surprising considering he regressed in his second NHL season and has about 30 games of experience playing in the middle in the League....

Blashill said he saw signs of Larkin coming of age when he coached him in the 2017 IIHF World Championship after last season. Larkin was second on the United States with 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in eight games.

"What happens when a coach is pointing out a lot of mistakes or you might be sitting out shifts because of mistakes is you lose your confidence. It's just part of the process of developing, it really is," Blashill said. "I think as last season went along, he learned to play that complete game that is going to make him successful and he regained his confidence. I really saw that at the World Championship, so I expect Dylan to hit the ground running this year."

more

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

The Outlook For Riley Sheahan

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

2017-18 outlook: Sheahan got off to a bad start which snowballed into a historically poor campaign. He had finished strong in 2015-16, when he began utilizing his big frame to go to the net and stay there, resulting in better production.

But it didn't carry over and he seemed to quickly lose confidence.

It was a puzzling season, since he was productive his first three years as a third-line center (36 goals in 202 games).

Coach Jeff Blashill continued to show faith in Sheahan, keeping him in the lineup and on the power play as a net-front presence. He should have been sat sooner and more often, and other alternatives should have been explored on an ineffective power play to which Sheahan did not contribute (one goal, two assists).

Blashill cited Sheahan's responsible defensive play, but his plus-minus rating suggests otherwise.

Was it an aberration? The Vegas Golden Knights apparently don't think so, passing on Sheahan in the expansion draft in favor of Tomas Nosek, another third-/fourth-line center, but with only 17 NHL games on his resume.

more

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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