Kukla's Korner

Donald Fehr Talks About Growing The Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Andrew Podnieks of IIHF.com, BARCELONA –

NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr spoke to the Hockey Forum crowd this afternoon and sounded nothing but enthusiastic about the possibility to grow the game in Europe and around the world – and he indicated NHL players have every desire to be a part of such a plan.

“The first reason I took this job,” Fehr began, “was that, because of some restructuring in the NHLPA, players asked me to help them with various projects. I did that for a year.

“I really liked the players but there was another reason. There is an enormous opportunity in this sport internationally that doesn’t exist in other sports. The NFL is primarily watched in the U.S. Basketball has made tremendous inroads abroad but is still primarily U.S. Major League Baseball is American except for some presence in Japan.

“Hockey is different. It has an audience in North America and across Europe. There is an opportunity to create cross-Atlantic events of various sorts that could create audiences on both sides. I don’t know of another sport that can do that. That’s pretty exciting to me.

“All things being equal, the players tell me that they want to play the best in the world,” Fehr said, starting to bring the NHL players into the discussion.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: donald+fehr

Out the door Red Wings and NHL quickies

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I’m about to embark upon a “three hour tour” of Metro Detroit’s freeways thanks to the fact that the trip between South Lyon and my mother’s doctor’s office in Sterling Heights is 95-mile round trip, so I’m heading out of the office for a couple of hours. Paul will cover anything that’s particularly important, but before I go, here are some mid-day “quickie” stories:

• First and foremost, MLive’s Ansar Khan, via RedWingsFeed, profiled the Red Wings’ “Plan B” if they don’t land Ryan Suter in Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Matt Carle:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Top 20 Adjusted +/- Ratings

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

With the season complete I am beginning my summer series on sabermetrics and hockey.  I begin by looking at the top 20 players by adjusted +/- ratings.  There are a few methods to do this.  Today I am looking at a method first publicized by Jeff Klein and Carl-Eric Reif in the Hockey Compendium.  The idea is that expected +/- ratings for teams are calculated and this value is used as a baseline for players on a team. 

Here are the top 20 players in the 2011/12 season by adjusted +/- rating:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Player Agent Larionov Says Oilers Should Take Yakupov

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Morreale of NHL.com,

Igor Larionov believes the Edmonton Oilers could regret it if they don’t select right wing Nail Yakupov with the first pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, June 22 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

Larionov, the Hockey Hall of Fame player turned agent for Yakupov and Sarnia teammate Alex Galchenyuk recently sat down with NHL.com to discuss his two prized prospects. Yakupov is NHL Central Scouting’s top-rated North American skater, while Galchenyuk is No. 4.

“To me, I would go for Nail to get that whole lineup of great players for the next 10-plus years with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall and Nail Yakupov,” Larionov told NHL.com. “I know it’s a tough decision, but if I were GM, I would take Nail and enjoy this young group grow and develop for many years.

“It would be like [Mark] Messier, Jari Kurri and [Wayne] Gretzky all over again. Another generation of great players … it would be fantastic to see the new Oilers of a new era with that talent and speed.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nail+yakupov

Video- Dustin Brown And The Stanley Cup Appeared On Jay Leno Last Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dustin+brown

Can The Blackhawks Make The Right Tweaks?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,

Still sporting perhaps the best core of players in the league in Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, the Hawks are again in a position where seemingly tweaks more than an overhaul are needed to catch the Kings.

Any comparison between the Hawks and the new champs starts with the goaltending. If Corey Crawford had had the kind of postseason Quick had in capturing the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs, it could have been the Hawks amassing ticker tape and plotting a parade route.

Quick was among the best netminders in the league during the regular season and as a result is a candidate to win the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goalie. He didn’t let up in the postseason and was the difference as he out-dueled future Hall-of-Famer Martin Brodeur.

Crawford, on the other hand, was wildly inconsistent and gaffes during overtimes against the Coyotes helped sealed the Hawks’ fate. It’s not likely the Hawks will look to replace him. Instead, they likely will focus on getting better in front of Crawford and counting on the Montreal native to take another developmental step to turn into an elite goalie.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The accident which nearly claimed Vladimir Konstantinov’s life was a hockey tragedy, too

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

As the 15th anniversary of the Red Wings’ 1997 Stanley Cup win gives way to the Free Press positing a Mitch Albom story recalling the tenth anniversary of the Cup the Wings won in 2002, MLive’s Ansar Khan reminds us that, fifteen years ago today, a tragic event occurred that the franchise has never really recovered from.

On a muggy June night, Igor Larionov, Slava Fetisov, Vladimir Konstantinov and team masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov had done the right thing in choosing to take a limousine ride home from a golf outing, but their driver fell asleep at the wheel and collided with a tree. The crash paralyzed Mnatsakanov below his waist and left him partially paralyzed on the left side of his body, and it left Konstantinov permanently cognitively impaired.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

A Review Of The SCF

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

For it was apparent in dramatic fashion this season more than any time since the end of the lockout that referees, presumably operating under the NHL office’s imprimatur, became increasingly reluctant to cite obstruction infractions as the year evolved.

And as a by-product, the playing field already leveled to a great degree by the hard cap in conjunction with a growing number of coaches preaching inside-out defensive-zone packing, became as flat as the surface of the ice.

The Kings and Devils were pretty good teams that played up in the tournament, each knocking off three teams they had finished behind in the regular season, each taking out their respective conference’s first seed, with L.A. dispatching Vancouver in a routine five-game first-round series and the Devils taking care of the Rangers in six in the conference finals by winning the final three games, during which they never trailed.

This was, by the way, the first time in modern NHL history two bottom-half seeds reached the Final (Kings 8, Devils 6). But if the league adopts the four-conference format in which the opening two rounds of the playoffs will be intramural affairs, then teams lower overall in the standings will as a rule have an easier time of getting through as powerhouse conferences — e.g., the Atlantic including the Devils, Rangers, Flyers and Penguins — cannibalize their own early.

That’s another reason — if not the primary one — for the NHLPA to continue to oppose the league’s proposal.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Red Wings overnight report: In which we are all free agent palm-readers

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

On a day when, in theory, anyway, Red Wings fans received more than enough substantiated, source-cited and credible news to sustain a day’s worth of discussion in Detroit’s front office’s show a little loyalty to Tomas Holmstrom by delaying their decision on his future to July—a courtesy the Wings have only extended to Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan, Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby since the salary cap was introduced—and perhaps offering an understated cheer that Chris Conner’s European agent told Jnytt.se that his client wants to remain in North America…

Morning, noonish and in the afternoon/evening, we speculated about free agent possibilities.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Oilers Sign Klefbom

Blog: Oil Patch By Lisa Brown

We’ve know it was coming, but we didn’t know it would take this long. Steve Tambellini made the trip to Sweden seemingly to sign Oscar Klefbom nearly two months ago, but it wasn’t until Tuesday afternoon that the deal was made official. Drafted 19th overall in the 2010 NHL entry draft Oscar Klefbom is now signed to a three year entry level contract with the Oilers and will count against next season’s (if it happens) list of 50 professional contracts.

But don’t get too excited yet Oil Country, Klefbom has another year on his contract with Färjestad of the Swedish Elite League and has always said that he intends to play out his contract.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Edmonton Oilers, Prospects, Oscar Klefbom, | Oil Patch | Permalink

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