Kukla's Korner

Our Game Is Getting Great

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Daryl Reaugh of Razor With an Edge,

Coaching seems to be more interested in schemes for possessing the puck, and making plays of skill with it, than they are dumping and chasing, crashing and banging, pinging and ponging.

Players are the most media-savvy ever to enter the NHL.

The sport feels ‘modern’.

Hockey appears to be pretty good at social media.

Other leagues are copying NHL initiatives (video replay, speed of play, rule changes to protect players).

Goaltending: Still very important, and excellent, but despite being the most coached position in sports, it is no longer dominating the sport at the level it once was. (Chicks dig offense)

TV deals in Canada and the US are guaranteeing major exposure.

continued

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

Red Wings prospect catch-up post: on Hicketts, Nastasiuk, a pair of trades, Jensen and Nestrasil

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I'm still updating the practice post--slow day for the beat writers, but the Penguins are apparently already in town ahead of tomorrow night's game (7:30 PM on FSD)--but my first day back after any illness (and this time it was the Training Camp Sinus Bug of Doom, and was it ever one of those, "The one time you don't Purell your hands after shaking hands with somebody, blammo! bugs) involves catching up with the Wings' prospects.

The Grand Rapids Griffins are actually holding training camp in Western Michigan, but their roster is very smalll because the Wings are going with two "teams" at least until tomorrow night's game, if not Friday's in Toronto.

In terms of prospect news, the biggest story obviously involved Joe Hicketts signing with the Wings a week ago Thursday, and the not-so-diminuitive blueliner spoke with the Victoria Times-Colonist's Cleeve Dheensaw about signing with the Wings:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Hockey Chat Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Craig Custance of ESPN with a chat today...

Craig, what do you see the Caps doing with Mike Green? Trotz says he wants him around, but he's in the last year of his deal, makes too much money, and the Caps need a #2 center. Is there a deal out there that you could see them making?

Craig Custance  Yeah, I still wouldn't rule out a Mike Green trade. But the Capitals are in a good spot, they don't need to deal him. They can wait for another team to get desperate and come calling. Also, keep in mind, everyone thought the Penguins were going to trade Matt Niskanen at this point last year and then they got crushed with injuries and he rescued the defense. If Washington starts getting banged up defensively, Green isn't going anywhere.

With the addition of Spezza centering a solid 2nd line and if Nichushkin makes a big jump in his 2nd season how dominant can the top line of Seguin, Benn, and Nichushkin be? Top 2 or 3 in NHL?

Craig Custance  I love that line. I wish I liked Dallas' defense better. Spezza and Hemsky now gives opposing teams something to think about. The Seguin line always saw the best d-men last year. If Nichushkin makes a jump in year two, that's definitely a top three line.

Which teams in the East and the West do you see as having a closing window in the next two - three years? I have delusions as a Sabres fan of seeing the playoffs again, as does a buddy of mine who's a Flames fan. Yes, we're heavy drinkers.

Craig Custance  Haha, Bill. Lay off the sauce, Sabres aren't making the playoffs. The Sabres are much better off being a lottery team this year. I think Boston's window is closing for the simple reason that Chara is on the back end of his career. He's such an important piece that if his game declines, they are less imposing. Out West, it's the Marleau/Thornton Sharks. I'm starting to think they take one more kick at it this year with a big year but after that it closes. I think Vancouver and the Sedins may have another good year left too.

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- All Connor McDavid

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

Bob McKenzie sits down with top prospect Connor McDavid where they discuss the draft, the perceived competition with Jack Eichel, the upcoming World Junior tournament and his superstitions.

You can watch the 16:35 minute interview below or at TSN.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: connor+mcdavid

Need An NHL Team To Cheer For?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Simmons of Sportsnet,

Are you new to hockey? A disgruntled Leafs fan? Looking for a new team to root for this season? You’re in luck.

In our first edition of Icebreakers, we’ll provide the reasons why and why notto support NHL franchises. And for additional perspective, we’ll even compare NHL teams to other North American sports franchises....

Why this team? The Lightning have become a trendy Stanley Cup pick in the East. They have an up-and-coming head coach, a deep core of young players and a true superstar in Steven Stamkos, who may be the most likable player in all of hockey. Just think what could happen if Drouin lives up to expectations.

Why not? If you’re a sports hipster, this won’t work for you. The Lightning are already big in the mainstream, despite the non-traditional hockey market. There are tons of writers and publications banking on this team to make a deep playoff run.

Other sport comparison: Carolina Panthers — Both expansion clubs from the 1990s have star players that were drafted first overall. Stamkos and Cam Newton have vaulted their teams into immediate contention, even after losing iconic franchise staples (Steve Smith and Martin St. Louis) over the past year.

more on the Lightning plus seven more Eastern Conference teams...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The GoPro As A Training Tool

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,

The NHL put GoPro cameras on the front of officials’ helmets to record that perspective twice last preseason (both in Toronto) and twice this preseason (in Buffalo and Detroit). It wasn’t for promotional purposes. It was for internal training.

The officials don’t like wearing the cameras – mounted with adhesive, blacked out with gaffer tape. But the cutting-edge footage is for education and improvement.

“You never really know what you’re going to get from it,” said Tom Masters, video manager, NHL officiating. “But hopefully there’s some teachable moments in there you can use going forward.”

read on

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

Ten Players To Watch This Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at The Hockey News,

The 2014-15 NHL season opens Oct. 8. Here are 10 players fans should keep an eye on:

P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens Subban starts a US$72-million, eight-year contract hoping nothing changes in the way teammates and coach Michel Therrien looks at him. But that price tag comes with lofty expectations, whether or not the 2013 Norris Trophy-winning defenceman is a captain or an alternate for the Habs.

Ryan Miller, Vancouver Canucks If the Canucks are going to make last season a blip instead of the beginning of a downward spiral, Miller will be at the centre of the revival. After struggling with the St. Louis Blues, Miller should be back in his element facing more shots behind a weaker Vancouver roster.

Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche The Avalanche waved goodbye to Paul Stastny, who went to St. Louis, knowing full well they could replace him with the Calder Trophy-winning MacKinnon. Matt Duchene doesn't hurt either, but MacKinnon is the one who could raise his game the most.

continued

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Best (NHL) Against The Best (Europe)?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rick Westhead of TSN,

How about getting the hockey juices flowing with the Stanley Cup final teams touring Europe for a September series against Europe's top clubs?

As the NHL and the NHL Players' Association work to finalize an agreement to bring back the World Cup of Hockey in September 2016, a tournament of the top eight hockey nations to be held in Montreal and Toronto, officials with the league and players' union are already musing over other plans to spur revenue.

The NHL has rich, long-term TV contracts in both Canada and the U.S. and it generates billions of dollars from corporate sponsorships, ticket sales and merchandise sales. Several NHL team owners told TSN that the league's biggest unrealized source of revenue is income generated from abroad. North America, after all, represents less than five per cent of the world's population.

"The timing has never been better for the NHL to look at international rights," said Ken Yaffe, a former executive with the NHL who oversaw the league's international business.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Report- NHL Increases Their Credit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Shoshnick of Bloomberg,

The National Hockey League closed a $1.4 billion credit facility, which is more than double the previous amount, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

The person requested anonymity because the league didn’t disclose the lending pool, which was led and structured by Citigroup Inc. (C) and closed yesterday. The facility includes 20 banks and 20 investors, the person said.

NHL spokesman Frank Brown and Citi spokeswoman Natalie Marin declined to comment on the facility.

Among the 11 teams that tapped the facility are the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks and New Jersey Devils, the person said, adding that three so-called parking spots are being reserved for other potential borrowers.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Afternoon Line - Dave Nonis

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

"He's gotten better and more consistent, but if he's truly going to be a top guy and he wants to fall into that high-end category, those players don't go for swings where they are not competing, preparing and being prepared."

-Dave Nonis, GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nazem Kadri.  More on Kadri from Dan Rosen of NHL.com.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dave+nonis, nazem+kadri

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