Kukla's Korner

All Glen Gulutzan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Flames report for main camp in mid-September. Postmedia’s Wes Gilbertson caught up with Gulutzan as he enjoyed the final few days of his summer vacation for a Q&A about the upcoming season …

Wes Gilbertson: What’s this time of year like for a coach, knowing another season is just around the corner?

Glen Gulutzan: “Your mind is starting to shift gears a little bit — to getting back to the office — and you’re starting to get excited. I know I am, and I’ve talked to a few of the players in the last couple of days and I know they are too. I think everybody is excited to get back and get going. But I guard against gearing up too quick. This is where I kind of take time to re-charge my batteries. I know what the season looks like, I know the workload involved, so here I try to spend as much time with my family as I can and just re-charge.”

WG: What’s the big difference now, as you prepare for your second season in Calgary, compared to when you were introducing yourself at training camp last fall as the new guy?

GG: “I think the biggest difference for me, going into it now, is that we made mega changes to the style of play last year, as you know. The beginning was, ‘Is this going to work?’ but we just stayed with it. I think for me, coming into this season, I’m going to have 12 or 13 other guys — whatever we have returning — with me that are going to be saying, ‘Yeah, this is the way we do things.’ So we’ve put the markings on creating a little bit of a culture here, of what our expectations are. For me, laying all that groundwork isn’t as important now as making sure we’re refining things right away as we come in.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: glen+gulutzan

Questions For Ansar Khan

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

Ansar Khan of Mlive is the answer man today...

Q: Do you think they would waive Jonathan Ericsson over Ryan Sproul if they have to waive a player as (general manager Ken) Holland has said they will only carry seven defensemen?

A: No. I think they would waive Sproul before Ericsson, even if it means losing a young defenseman for nothing. You can make a case for waiving Ericsson instead because it’s highly unlikely any team would claim him with three years remaining at a $4.25 million cap hit. If he was taken it would clear up significant cap space.

But as much as Ericsson has struggled and drawn the wrath of fans, the organization believes he is better than many make him out to be. They have a track record for favoring veterans over inexperienced players. They also have concerns about Sproul's defensive play. Waiving Ericsson would trim only $1.025 million in cap space, which still might be enough to solve their issue.

Q: The Wings should play (Xavier) Ouellet, create openings for Sproul, (Robbie) Russo, forwards (Tyler) Bertuzzi and (Evgeny) Svechnikov, (Luke Witkowski on defense). (Trevor) Daley, another 34-year-old, added, so it would appear Ericsson should be the odd-man out. Or put (Niklas) Kronwall on LTIR. The Wings “best options” not getting the job done, so how can they bust the clog on defense? And why do the Wings insist their development players must be better than guys on the downward slope, now overpriced? The cap imposes value judgments, and the Wings are not getting adequate value for the cap squeeze they are in.

read on for the answer and questions about Mrazek and McIlrath...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

The overnight report: Kulfan’s questions, prospect talk, Tweets of note and fundraising

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan notes that the opening of training camp takes place four weeks from Friday, and as such, Kulfan has nine questions for the Wings in the final full month before the preseason opens. Among them:

Will there be a spot for Tyler Bertuzzi or Evgeny Svechnikov? Depending on how the salary-cap situation evolves, there might be a spot for Bertuzzi, but it’s far from certain.

Luke Witkowski can play either forward or defense, which is a huge plus given the current salary cap crisis.

If the Red Wings keep only 22 players, and all eight defensemen are healthy, there isn’t any room for Bertuzzi (unless a forward is injured).

As for Svechnikov, he’s an exciting prospect, but he’s not quite ready for the NHL.

Kulfan continues at length...

2. On Thursday morning, we discussed ESPN's Corey Pronman's mentions of Red Wings prospects among his Top 100 NHL Prospects list, and later on Thursday, Proman penned an Insider-only take on each and every one of the NHL's 31 prospect pools. Here's his take on the Wings' 10 best:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Video- Workout Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

A few of the 'name' players in the NHL putting in some work.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Two-Year Contract For Zemgus Girgensons And The Buffalo Sabres

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

BUFFALO, N.Y. (August 17, 2017) --- The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has signed forward Zemgus Girgensons to a two-year contract with an average annual value (AAV) of $1.6 million.

Girgensons (6’2”, 200 lbs., 1/5/1994) will enter his fifth season as a member of the Sabres in 2017-18 after the team selected him in the first round (14th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft. In his first four NHL seasons, the Riga, Latvia native has totaled 86 points (37+49) and 77 penalty minutes in 277 games.

The forward, who has appeared in at least 61 games in each of his four NHL seasons, set a new career high with 75 games played in 2016-17 after signing a one-year extension in September 2016.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: zemgus+girgensons

Big Loss For The New Jersey Devils, Travis Zajac Out 4-6 Months

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Newark, NJ - New Jersey Devils Executive Vice President/General Manager Ray Shero provided the following update on center Travis Zajac.

"This morning, Travis Zajac underwent successful surgery to repair a torn left pectoral muscle that was suffered last week during off-season training. The procedure was performed by the club's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jonathan L. Glashow. Zajac's expected recovery time is approximately four to six months."

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: travis+zajac

Afternoon Line- Joe Sakic On Matt Duchene

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I will be listening to offers. Right now it’s quiet on all fronts. But I’ll listen to offers on how we can get better. I’ll never name names but I’ll sit there and if something makes sense for the way we want to go, with our team, we’ll really look at that.”

-Joe Sakic on Matt Duchene.  More on the Avs from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+sakic, matt+duchene

We Have Ice

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

Continue Reading »

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St. James on Mantha’s outlook

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Free Press's Helene St. James penned a 2017-18 season outlook for Anthony Mantha:

Looking ahead: Mantha, 22, seems be figuring out how to be a good pro, from diet to working out to realizing just how much effort it takes to be a factor on a regular basis in the NHL. Management and coaches have hammered home to Mantha that he needs to skate, and use his 6-foot-5, 221-pound body to be a nuisance in front of the net. Mantha saw spotty power play time last season and wasn’t on either of the units that had the power play at nearly 25% the last 30 games of the season, but if there is an injury to power play net-front men Justin Abdelkader or Riley Sheahan – or if either unit ends up needing retooling, Mantha will get a chance for special-teams minutes.

Beyond salary cap space, part of the hesitancy to re-sign Thomas Vanek, in fact, is that while Vanek has shown he’d make Andreas Athanasiou a better player (their line with Frans Nielsen had excellent chemistry), Wings management wants Mantha to play a bigger role. That means more minutes; minutes that Vanek would eat into if he were in the lineup. Mantha’s among the most intriguing Wings to watch in 2017-18 – he flirted with the 20-goal mark last season, and seems to be growing into the player the Wings hoped they’d get when they drafted Mantha 20th overall in 2013.

St. James continues, and Mantha needs to churn those legs in the direction of the opposing team's net to succeed. Thankfully, he knows that now.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

WXYZ: Octopus sighting at Little Caesars Arena

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

WXYZ's Max White reports that the ice is being laid down at Little Caesars Arena, and as part of the process, an octopus was tossed onto the "Hockeytown" logo:

Update: Of miscellaneous Twitter-related note this morning:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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