Kukla's Korner

The real bottom line regarding the NHL-KHL ‘Memorandum of Understanding’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Both myself and Alanah mentioned the document authored by the KHL to supposedly achieve a better measure of “understanding” between the leagues who fight hockey’s version of the Cold War, but the reality of the situation remains the same—Jiri Hudler-like poaching of restricted free agents may or may not continue, and, as Yahoo Sports’ Dmitry Chesnokov notes (in a fantastic and lengthy analysis of the “Memorandum of Understanding”), this agreement has more to do with the KHL’s desire to establish a player transfer market that delivers high-dollar monetary compensation for any top prospect who plans on leaving Russia to play either Major Junior Hockey or the NHL as the KHL’s still furious that it didn’t earn “millions” in compensation for Alex Ovechkin or Evgeni Malkin.

The KHL’s also attempting to close any loopholes in terms of losing talented players it’s already witnessed disappear (Alex Galchenyuk and Nail Yakupov are good examples) by mandatorily drafting them into the KHL, and in the long run, what it wants is both money and the kind of prestige that comes with forcing a rival hockey league to pay tens of millions of dollars for the right to negotiate with a superstar in-the-making:

In conclusion, player poaching is not what this agreement is targeting. From the KHL perspective, it is more geared towards retaining their young talent. Only recently the news emerged that Mikhail Grigorenko, a highly touted Russian prospect who was chosen second overall in the CHL draft, is set to leave Russia to play in North America. The KHL may consider him to be under contract. And next year, if drafted in the NHL and willing to come and play in North America, the KHL may block this move citing the most recent MOU.

Continued, and it’s worth your time.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

It’s now in Mike Commodore’s hands as to whether the Red Wings defenseman will wear #64

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

After the morning session at today’s summer development camp wrapped up, the Free Press’s George Sipple asked if he could interview Wings equipment manager Paul Updated at 2:10 PM: Boyer about the groundswell of support (courtesy in no small part due to Puck Daddy) for Mike Commodore choosing to wear #64 for the Red Wings, and Boyer’s response was simple, as noted by the Wings’ Twitter account:

Equipment Manager Paul Boyer says that if @commie22 wants to wear 64, it’s all his.

Boyer said that the coolest accommodation he made for a player involved Brett Hull wearing #80 [edit: for a pre-season slate of games] when Herb Brooks passed away, but this is pretty darn close. And, sadly, Boyer has never played, “Law of the West,” so he’s not a Commodore 64 fan (the computer)...

Update: Here’s the Free Press’s George Sipple’s story:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

It May Be Time To Move The Coyotes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The mayor of Glendale feels this could be the last year of the Phoenix Coyotes.

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

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I want to thank all of these players for their commitment. We’re changing the culture here. These players have a…The thing they all have in common is their desire to play…Today marks a new day for the Panthers. We should be excited, and here are your new Panthers.

-Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon at a press conference introducing all the new players.  Read the full transcript via Harvey Fialkov of the SunSentinel.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Red Wings morning report: more about the team’s new assistant coaches

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

A for the record update at 9:27 AM: FYI if you are in Traverse City: Per the rink, the Wings’ prospects will conduct an intra-squad scrimmage at 3 PM on Sunday.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock made an unorthodox move in choosing to hire Western Michigan coach Jeff Blashill, who’s all of 37, and Rockford IceHogs coach Bill Peters, who can boast the only pro experience among both coaches—to the tune of three years as an AHL head coach—but Babcock told the Wings’ press corps that, to some extent, anyway, he very specifically chose to go with “younger legs” behind the bench instead of tapping into the half-a-dozen or so former NHL head coaches or assistant coaches without a job.

Babcock told the Windsor Star’s Jim Parker that an extensive search which included consultations with the game’s power brokers yielded his surprising decision:

“I’m looking for new ideas, new thoughts,” said the 48-year-old Babcock, who is entering his seventh season as head coach in Detroit. “We’re trying to evolve our game, get better. The way to do that is change. (The players have) heard the same voice for a long time.”

Windsor Spitfires president Bob Boughner, who was an assistant coach in Columbus last season, was rumoured to be a candidate for the job. Babcock would not say what other candidates he interviewed and Boughner did not respond to a request for comment.

“I went through a long process, talked to a lot of people, went back and forth,” Babcock said. “I talked to the heads of the OHL, Quebec (Major Junior Hockey) League, the Western (Hockey) League. I looked at college, looked at U.S. juniors. I tried to find guys who’ve won and made a difference everywhere they’ve been.”

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Evening quickies from day two of the Red Wings’ summer development camp

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 2x at 9:32 PM: The second day of the Red Wings’ summer development camp concluded after a spirited workout by “Team Lidstrom,” which engaged in the same drills Team Zetterberg took part in this morning. Again, for reference purposes, here are the participants…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“The bottom line for me, I would have rather invested my money with Bernie Madoff than invest in Edmonton’s word.”

-LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi on the Smyth/Fraser trade with Edmonton.  Fraser is injured and Lombardi is not happy with that.  More at Helene Elliott’s twitter account.

added 9:13pm, David Staples of the Edmonton Journal with his opinion,

My take is there’s plenty of room for medical specialists to disagree about an injury, and to do so in good conscience. If Lombardi has a real complaint, he can take it to the NHL. Until he does, this comes off as something of a snit fit from a GM not used to having a star player holding a gun to his head and demanding a trade to a single specified location.

more

added 9:15pm, Helene’s story just made it at The Fabulous Forum, where the story gets a little more in-depth.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dean+lombardi

Mike Babcock says the Red Wings’ new assistant coaches are just what the team, and he need

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated with a video interview with Blashill at 8:06 PM: The Detroit Red Wings raised more than a few eyebrows when the team announced that Mike Babcock chose Western Michigan University coach Jeff Blashill and Rockford IceHogs coach Bill Peters to flank his shoulders for the next three seasons. Neither of the Wings’ new assistant coaches have any coaching experience at the NHL level, and Peters is the only coach with any professional experience whatsoever—to the tune of three years behind the IceHogs’ bench.

According to Babcock himself, however, given that he’s been the Red Wings’ coach for over half a decade, fresh perspectives were necessary to keep both his and his players engaged and exposed to new perspectives, as he told MLive’s Ansar Khan:

“I’ve been in Detroit six years and after a while you start to sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher—womp, womp, womp!” Babcock said. “I’m looking for new ideas, new thoughts. We’re trying to evolve our game. The way to do that is change. (Players) have heard the same voice for a long time.”
...
“I’m looking for young, excited workers are are willing to challenge the head coach,” Babcock said.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

UFA List Dwindling

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Johnston of the CP at the Winnipeg Free Press,

The list of players still looking for NHL work includes a goaltender who once took a team to the Stanley Cup final, a former 68-point defenceman and a Selke Trophy winner.

While Ray Emery, Bryan McCabe and John Madden might not be the players they once were, they could each help a team in the right situation.

The NHL’s free-agent market has cooled considerably after a scorching opening few days and any further signings will likely be spread sporadically throughout the summer.

Emery is the most intriguing name remaining among the unrestricted free agents — assuming Teemu Selanne is either staying in Anaheim or retiring — because he’s relatively young and showed strong form in a small sample size after returning from serious hip surgery.

continued with more names mentioned…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Capitals Trade Eric Fehr to the Jets

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From NHL.com:

Eric Fehr, who scored 43 goals over the past three seasons for the Washington Capitals despite playing mostly on the third and fourth lines, was traded to the Winnipeg Jets on Friday for minor-league forward Danick Paquette and a fourth-round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft.

The trade is conditional on Fehr—who was born in Manitoba and continues to make a home there during the offseason—passing a physical with Winnipeg by 5 p.m. ET on Monday.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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