Kukla's Korner

Red Wings overnight duality: A wonderful Gordie Howe story and worrisome labor talk

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings news seems to have reached an ebb with the Wings’ brass and amateur scouts occupied at the NHL’s draft combine in Toronto, but between the Stanley Cup Final cranking up with what might be the last Satellite Hotstove on Hockey Night in Canada and a Sunday’s worth of rumors and innuendo, things will crank up again as Ken Holland gets back to business working on contracts for the Wings’ free agents-to-be and tries to find out the status of Nicklas Lidstrom’s playing future ahead of the team’s organizational meetings in a little over a week from now.

In other words, welcome to the first intermission of the spring/summer. The last few days, Nicklas Lidstrom’s no-comment aside, have been relatively quiet, but it’s gonna get “interesting” real fast, and while there will be some lulls here and there, I don’t expect things to really “get quiet” until the middle of July, my hopes for a little excursion to prospect camp included…

So the Detroit News’s Gregg Krupa delivers a really wonderful story about a family which chose to donate Gordie Howe’s 700th goal puck to the Hockey Hall of Fame in the “good news” portion of this entry:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

NHL’s Lucractive Deal with Molson Coors in Jeopardy

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the AP via NHL.com:

The most lucrative sponsorship deal in NHL history is in doubt after an Ontario judge ruled in favor of Labatt’s claim that the league reneged on its agreement with the beer company.

The Ontario Superior Court ruled Friday in favor of Labatt’s, which claimed it already had a deal in place with the NHL before the league committed to a $375-million sponsorship agreement with archrival Molson Coors.

It was called “a monster deal” by NHL chief operating officer John Collins when it was unveiled in February.

continued…

Origins of this lawsuit are explained in more depth in this February 22, 2011 story in the Toronto Star.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: labatts, marketing, molson+coors, sponsorships

Does Chara Belong Down Low On The Power Play?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

What the Bruins are doing is disrespectful, when it comes right down to it, to those players who have spent a lifetime perfecting the art.

Take a big defenceman like Zdeno Chara, station in the low slot on the power play, and expect him to be as effective as guys like Tomas Holmstrom, Ryan Smyth and Dustin Byfuglien.

The Bruins’ sad power play numbers will tell you that there just might be more to the gig than standing in front of the goalie.

“You don’t just stand there,” began Smyth over the phone, who plans to watch Chara work the top of Roberto Luongo’s crease Saturday night in Game 2 of this Stanley Cup final. “You try to get in the line of sight of the goalies’ eyes.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Red Wings evening quickies and the TC trip fund

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of brief Red Wings-related note this evening:

• Alanah posted this earlier this afternoon, and I didn’t exactly take offense when Daniel Sedin told the Sporting news’s Nicklas Lidstrom that if Lidstrom were to retire, it wouldn’t surprise him because Lidstrom’s “old.” Lidstrom is 41—that’s not old in life terms by any stretch of the imagination, but yes, if you’re a professional athlete, 41 is “old”—and the only person who knows whether Lidstrom will retire is Lidstrom himself;

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Panthers Have To Make The Right Decisions

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

This is an enormous off-season for the Panthers. Almost 1,000 kilometres to the North, an NHL franchise is gone. Atlanta’s move to Winnipeg erased one trouble spot, but there are others. Phoenix remains uncertain, and there are big questions about this situation, too.

“This summer will be a game-changer for us,” (Michael) Yormark (Florida’s President) said. “You simply can’t attract fans when you haven’t been to the playoffs in 10 years. They showed loyalty when we were good ...We had 16,000 season-seat holders when we moved into our new arena ... If we can get back to that level, the fans are there. They will support us.”

No team enters the summer with more flexibility than Florida. The Panthers have just $18 million in salary committed for next season, which gives them about $30 million to the expected floor. There are ways to manoeuvre around that (like the Islanders do) if they choose, but it sounds like the team wants to make a statement.

more

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

Buffalo Signs Drew Stafford

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

BUFFALO, NY (June 3, 2011) – Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier announced today the Sabres have agreed to terms on a multi-year deal with forward Drew Stafford, who was set to become a Restricted Free Agent on July 1.

“It was important for us to get Drew locked up,” said Regier. “What we saw from Drew this season is exactly what we envisioned when we drafted him. Drew will continue to be an important part of our team in the coming years.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: drew+stafford

Odds on Game 2

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Bodog.ca, all the odds:

Boston Bruins           +1½  (-200)    +170   O 5 (-120)
Vancouver Canucks     -1½ (+170)    -200   U 5 (EVEN)

Team to score first in the game   
Boston Bruins                   +115
Vancouver Canucks             -145

Will there be a goal in the first 10:00 of the Game?
Yes             Even
No             -130

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: boston+bruins, scf, stanley+cup+finals, vancouver+canucks

Friday Bruins Transcript: Chara and Lucic

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Q.  Everyone is talking about creating more traffic in front of Luongo there.  You seem to present the size.  How much more help do you need of guys getting in his face?

ZDENO CHARA:  I think it’s got to be a commitment from everybody, be willing to do that job, not just on power-plays.  Obviously, five-on-five, whatever situation that is.

Q.  Z, can you talk about on the power-play screening the goaltender, talk about the specific skills besides blocking the view of the goalie?

ZDENO CHARA:  I think it’s a combination of being aware of where the puck is, obviously you have to be in the right position.  Really, it’s just basically having the right instinct, where your feel the puck’s going to be, kind of predict a little bit, too.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks, NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: milan+lucic, zdeno+chara

Goalie Contact Calls Getting Clarification Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail:

Burrows took four penalties in the opener and coach Alain Vigneault suggested one - a goalie interference call on Tim Thomas - was largely unwarranted. The contact, in that case, did appear to be incidental and the Canucks have said that between games, they have contacted the NHL to get a clarification about why those calls are made, if Thomas is always leaving the crease to stop the puck. Thomas’s counterpart, Roberto Luongo, changed his style this season, to play deeper in the net, and Vigneault implied it had to do with avoiding incidental conduct.

According to Burrows, the answers were expected to come later Friday.

“At the same, I’ve got to be aware, around the net, to make sure I can’t bump the goalie. That’s his ice if he’s already there. I have to be smarter and make sure I don’t put my team down a man.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+burrows, tim+thomas

Drew Stafford Has A New Contract

Blog: The Sabres Observer By @DaveDavisHockey

via Sabres tweet,

The #Sabres have signed forward Drew Stafford to a multi-year deal. Check back with Sabres.com later today for more details.

Details not available yet, but Buffalo successfully avoids having the forward go to salary arbitration. 

Stafford this past season: 31 goals, 21 assists, 52 points in 62 games played.  11 of his goals were on the power play and he was a +13.

Filed in: | The Sabres Observer | Permalink
 

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