Kukla's Korner

Red Wings overnight report: on offensive balance, roster issues, Alfredsson and Olympic Z

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings may not be able to move any of their "surplus" players at present, but Ken Holland and Mike Babcock sounded optimistic tones about the state of their team on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM on Tuesday. This morning, the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan kicked off a slate of 3 articles looking at the Wings' forwards, defense and goaltending by talking to an optimistic general manager who believes that Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss give the Wings a much more balanced offensive outlook:

“We felt we had some needs we wanted to fill,” Holland said. “We wanted to get more scoring. We were challenged last season to score some goals.”

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No system of heart testing can prevent tragedies like the passing of Jordan Boyd

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Between the death of Alexei Cherepanov, Jiri Fischer's career-ending incident and the death of Windsor Spitfires forward Mickey Renaud, the NHL and its developmental leagues have worked very, very hard over the past half-decade to improve preventative heart testing, with the NHL, AHL and CHL attemtping to ensure that congential heart defects are discovered before players are subjected to further risks.

But no system of testing can totally prevent the kind of tragedy that occurred on Monday, when Acadie-Bathurst Titan try-out Jordan Boyd collapsed and died at the team's rookie camp. The Globe and Mail's Alan Maki and Sean Gordon note that the science of ECG's and EKG's is not exact:

The Quebec Remparts consulting cardiologist, Paul Poirier, said he’s spent several hours in the past two days reassuring parents of QMJHL players and other athletes (he also works with college and Olympic competitors).

“No system of testing is ever going to be perfect, and I think we have to be careful about escalating the screening regime, because that raises other questions: Who’s going to do the testing? Who’s going to interpret the results?” Poirier said. “It’s tricky. Some athletes might have electrocardiogram results that look like a red flag if the person examining them doesn’t know they’re a high-level athlete. A detailed medical history is sufficient to detect the vast majority of cases, which are rare. In 15 years, I’ve only had to prevent one player from going out on the ice.”

Continued

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AHL’s Rochester Americans and Lake Erie Monsters will battle in the ‘Frozen Frontier’

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

At some point after the AHL's regular season schedule comes out later this month, the Grand Rapids Griffins and Toronto Marlies will discuss and promote their December 30th game at Detroit's Comerica Park.

On Tuesday, the AHL announced that another outdoor game will take place in Rochester, New York:

The Rochester Americans announced today the details of the Frozen Frontier presented by Rochester Area Honda Dealers, an outdoor hockey festival taking place at Frontier Field this December 13-22.

It was also announced that the Lake Erie Monsters will be the Amerks’ opponent in their regular-season outdoor game at Frontier Field on Friday, Dec. 13.

“This will be an exciting week for the city of Rochester, the state of New York and, of course, the game of hockey,” said Ted Black, president of the Rochester Americans. “With more than 10 teams coming from all corners of the state -– and from all levels of the game -– to play hockey, this will be a tremendous event to showcase the exceptional hockey teams we have in this region. More importantly, it will be a fun and different way to experience hockey. Whether you’re a player or a fan watching your favorite team, these games will be the games you’ll never forget being a part of.”

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The Nilan/Bulger confusion

Blog: The Upper Canadien By The Upper Canadien

It's been a quiet month for Habs fans, but the Whitey Bulger trial in Boston has involved the Habs, to some extent, so I thought it would be worth addressing. The 'news' stems from the fact that Bulger apparently possesses a 1986 Stanley Cup ring, and pictures of him with the Cup have also surfaced. Bulger is known to be a huge hockey fan, and more recently is known to have travelled to Vancouver to watch the Canucks and the Bruins battle for the Cup while he was under FBI surveillance. 

Bulger's son-in-law for a time was former NHLer and current radio host Chris Nilan, which has led many to report that Nilan gave his 1986 Canadiens Cup ring to Bulger. This is not true, as anyone who saw 'The last Gladiators' knows, as during the film Nilan emotionally desribes giving the ring to his father. Nevertheless, the rumours persist, and Nilan was on TSN 690 yesterday in Montreal with the always entertaining Mitch Melnick to discuss his history with Bulger. During the interview he addresses the rumours, and clears up any confusion. 

As always, Nilan and Melnick are worth a listen. Oh, and only a month to pre-season hockey!

Enjoy.

http://iphone.tsn.ca/tsnpodcasts/tsnradio/Nilan-%20Aug%2012.mp3

Filed in: | The Upper Canadien | Permalink
 

Devils’ New Owners Will Face Issues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stu Hackel of Sports Illustrated,

There's no denying that the New Jersey Devils have been a very successful organization for most of the past two decades, with president Lou Lamoriello building three Stanley Cup championship teams and two other finalists. Few other NHL clubs have played that well during that time, but the Devils are now at a crossroads, drowning in red ink and attracting the interest of what could be a very significant ownership group.

if the reports are accurate and the buyers are the owners of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers, the Devils will have abundant resources at their disposal and lots of brainpower for using them. They're going to need all of it to solve the problems that have long plagued the franchise.

As well as the Devils have done on the ice, they've remained a low-profile operation in the shadow of the nearby New York Rangers, a far less accomplished club since the Devils' first Cup, in 1995. Unlike its cross-river rivals and many other consistently good NHL teams, New Jersey has not been able to sustain a fan base that can fill its arena night after night, year after year, regardless of how well the team plays. Other than when playing heated rivals like the Rangers or Flyers (and enemy fans buy up the unsold seats), the Devils have only sporadically been a "hot ticket," despite the hugely loyal fans they have. Some of that is because, even when they've won, the Devils have done so mostly by playing exceptional defense, not the kind of hockey that regularly brings fans to their feet or packs the building.

continued

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Chris Nilan says that Whitey Bulger’s Stanley Cup ring isn’t his

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Former Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens forward Chris Nilan told the Montreal Gazette's Stu Cowan that, yes, renknowned Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger is his father-in-law, but Nilan insists that he did not give Bulger one of his 1986 Stanley Cup rings:

“I have both rings here … I have my father’s ring, because I’m getting it re-sized,” Nilan said. “He gave it to my son (Christopher). And I have my other ring.”

Nilan has three children: Christopher, 27, Colleen, 30, and Tara, 23. When asked about his reaction to the reports in Boston about the Cup ring, Nilan said: “To be honest, I was kind of dumbfounded because I don’t know where he got it. All I can think is that he had one made … he commissioned someone to make it or someone else gave it to him.

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Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

When is the NHL going to repay Gretzky? I brought it up several time in interviews on the 25th anniversary story. All that expansion money owners got when they expanded to Anaheim, San Jose, Florida, Tampa and Nashville, for instance.  Thanks, Gretz. But, the thanks goes a little deeper. Gretzky, by reports, is still owed about $8 million in apparently deferred salary from the Phoenix Coyotes when trucking magnate Jerry Moyes walked away, leaving the NHL holding the bag. They idn’t want Blackberry founder Jim Balsillie buying the club and moving it to southern Ontario, and folks like Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf and businessman Matt Hulsizer looked at the books and backed away.

-Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal where you can read more on this topic.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wayne+gretzky

Avalanche to retire Adam Foote’s #52

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

From the Colorado Avalanche:

The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the organization will retire former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote’s number 52 jersey on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013. The Avalanche will raise Foote’s No. 52 to the rafters prior to the game against the Montreal Canadiens at Pepsi Center (8:00 p.m. puck drop). Details on the ceremony will be announced closer to the event.

Foote’s No. 52 will be the fifth sweater number retired in the 18-year history of the Colorado Avalanche, joining Joe Sakic (#19), Peter Forsberg (#21), Patrick Roy (#33) and Ray Bourque (#77).

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On shifting blame and the Senators and Red Wings’ ‘odds’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The "Why did Daniel Alfredsson leave Ottawa for Detroit?" blame game keeps shifting. First, we were told that Alfredsson was presented with a "blank check" but chose to leave anyway. Then, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk repeatedly suggested that the team chose to acquire Bobby Ryan over retaining Alfredsson's services because the team could not accommodate both players' salaries (at least with Alfredsson not taking a hometown discount).

This afternoon, via RedWingsFeed, Senators GM Bryan Murray claimed to NHL.com's Apron Basu that the Senators could have afforded both players if they really wanted to do so--seemingly shifting blame back onto Alfredsson's shoulders ahead of his press conference with the Ottawa media on Thursday:

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Griffins offer ‘puck pass’ payment plan for season tickets

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Grand Rapids Griffins are employing a unique installment plan for season-ticket packages:

The Grand Rapids Griffins and Lake Michigan Credit Union have partnered for the 2013-14 season to bring back the LMCU Puck Pass, allowing fans to buy season tickets now and pay later.

The option is available to both new and renewing season-ticket holders. Fans can purchase their full-season, 20-game or 10-game ticket plans and delay payment with a low interest loan over equal monthly installments.

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