Kukla's Korner

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.”

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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…

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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.

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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
 

Ducks Sign Goalie Jeff Deslauriers

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Jim Matheson via Twitter:

former Oiler goalie jeff deslauriers signs with ducks, two years, first year two-way deal, second is nhl only contract. no dollars yet

(and)

deslauriers follows j.f. jacques, another oiler to the ducks as a free-agent. ex Oil goalie coach pete peeters works for anaheim now

Update 5:18pm ET: More from Matheson in the Edmonton Journal

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Hulsizer Looking at the Blues

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail:

Matthew Hulsizer is taking a serious look at buying the St. Louis Blues.

The Chicago businessman, who withdrew his offer to buy the Phoenix Coyotes last month when he tired of dealing with the political leaders in suburban Glendale, recently toured the Scottrade Center in St. Louis with Blues chairman and minority owner Dave Checketts.

A source familiar with the Blues situation said Hulsizer is discussing a price in the range of $165-million to $170-million (all currency U.S.) with Checketts. The Blues chairman said earlier this week he was given an extension on a $120-million loan with Citigroup Inc., that would give him more time to sell the team.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dave+checketts, matthew+hulsizer

Trying to Reach the Floor

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Scott Lewis at Houses of the Hockey on TheScore.com:

There are seven teams sitting below the NHL’s $48.3 million salary cap floor including: the Ottawa Senators, Carolina Hurricanes, Phoenix Coyotes, Winnipeg Jets, Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators and New York Islanders. Most of the aforementioned franchises are less than $6 million away from reaching the floor, with Nashville and the Islanders sitting around $9-10.5 million out. The Predators shouldn’t have much trouble reaching the floor once they lock up Shea Weber to a new deal and fill out the rest of their roster. The Islanders on the other hand, with approximately $37.8 million currently committed, have some work to do.

You know you’re in salary cap trouble when the $2.204 million owed to a bought out Alexei Yashin is being relied upon to help reach the floor. Once again, Mike Milbury’s greatest mistake actually provides some value to the Islanders, embarrassing as it is.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Mike Modano still uncertain about his playing future

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

ESPN Dallas’s Master Tefatsion spoke to former Red Wings forward and Dallas Stars legend Mike Modano about his status while Modano prepared for a celebrity-studded charity baseball game on Saturday in Frisco, Texas, and Modano still hasn’t decided whether he plans on continuing to play:

“I’ve just been taking it easy,” said Modano, the host of the event. “I’ve been on some vacations, kind of lying around playing some golf and not really in a rush to make a decision one way or the other about what’s going to happen.”

Modano, 41, played for the Red Wings last season after spending the previous 20 with the Stars in Minnesota and Dallas. Modano has talked about his decision to a few of his friends at the baseball event who have opposing stances on what Modano will ultimately choose:

“I think if the right opportunity came along for him I think he’d love to put the skates on for one more year because he was in was great shape this year before he got hurt up in Detroit,” said The Heroes Foundation founder Charlie McKinney, one of the charities that will benefit from the baseball game. “... I think he feels he’s got one more year in him.”

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