Kukla's Korner

Trade Shea Weber

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Josh Cooper of Yahoo,

We give five reasons why Nashville should trade Weber, at least at some point within the next year.

1. The offers will be ridiculously in Nashville’s favor

His $7.857 million salary cap hit, while less awful in today’s post 2012-13 lockout world, is a lot. Also, some teams have the money, and the lunacy, to part with multiple good, young NHL-ready forwards Nashville needs. Weber is a physical speciman and cornerstone defenseman, but his perceived value, especially amongst old boys GMs, may be greater than his actual worth. Many probably still drool over this 2010 Olympics shot where the puck went through the net on a goal.

The Oilers under former general manager Craig MacTavish always seemed to be hot after Weber. And he’s the type of player the current Edmonton group could use with Connor McDavid coming in. Wait, how would Weber ever allow a trade to EdmonHoth? Oh yeah, the Predators didn’t give him any no-trade clause. So they can deal him to whatever team they want.

And new Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli has seemed OK with dealing good, young forwards at points of his career. If you’re going to trade the face of your franchise, you need to make sure you get the right pieces back. There are teams that have the type of NHL-ready young talent who can step in and score right away – like again, Edmonton. 

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: shea+weber

Savage: Slava Fetisov makes an election promise to keep KHL’ers from leaving for the NHL

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The KHL's offseason is like election season in the U.S.--many promises are made and bluster issued by both candidates for seats on the Russian Hockey Federation's board of directors, and everything from starting a KHL team in China to playing by NHL rules and sealing off KHLers' routes to the NHL have been bantered about over the past two weeks, with Slava Fetisov--who was recently reelected to the KHL board after several years off--leading the charge on the latter two issues.

At this time of year, it's really bluster as opposed to fact, and Fetisov was all but obligated to talk about cutting off the Russian window to the NHL after Phil Esposito suggested to the Russian press that such a course of action would be a "return to communism," so this Tweet from Sport-Express's Slava Malamud, provided by MLive's Brendan Savage (via RedWingsFeed), is really par for the course:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Mid-day news: It’s a Twitterpalooza

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Twitter-related Red Wings note today:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

All Jakub Voracek

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from PhiladelphiaFlyers.com,

Q: A lot of the Flyers roster is in tact from last year, but can you talk about the additions of your countrymen Michal Neuvirth and Radko Gudas

“I know Michal very well. I played with him on the national teams growing up. He’s a great goalie and I think that was a great pick up by the organization. The last two years I’ve been the only Czech here by myself so it’s good to have two guys. I’m very excited to be able to talk every once in a while in Czech to someone. Sometimes it was hard when I called home and I tried to talk Czech with my mom. She would ask me if I was sleeping because I talked like I couldn’t speak Czech anymore.”

Q: On Gudas…

“I said this before… I think he’s going to be one of the favorite players on the team to the fans next year because he leaves everything on the ice and plays with a lot of grit. It’s very good to see that we have a player like him in our organization.”

Q: Finally, your thoughts on your new head coach, Dave Hakstol. Is it true he flew to Czech Republic to meet with you in person?

“Yes, it says a lot that he flew all the way to Czech Republic to meet with me, and he had some Czech food so that’s a good sign! I’m very excited for him coming in here and a new system. We spent a lot of time talking about everything from everyday life to what he’s expecting from us, as well as myself and I think it went very well.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jakub+voracek

Habs GM Bergevin holds high hopes for Alex Semin

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Via Pro Hockey Talk's Mike Halford, Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin issued a list of high hopes for Alexander Semin to the Montreal Gazette's Stu Cowan:

When asked what led him to sign the enigmatic Semin, who was bought out by the Carolina Hurricanes this summer after scoring only six goals in 57 games last season, Bergevin said: “He’s high skilled … he brings something that not a lot of players do have. Obviously, things didn’t go his way in Carolina. He’s going to have a chance to prove that he is a player that he once was and he’s still young at 31 years of age. So we hope he’ll bring his skill and his compete level to Montreal.”

The Hurricanes gave Semin a five-year, $35-million contract extension in March 2013 after he had averaged a point a game in his first 30 games with Carolina (eight goals and 22 assists) after signing a one-year, $7-million free-agent contract. The buyout will cost the Hurricanes $14 million spread over the next six years.

Bergevin told reporters in Foxboro that the 31-year-old Semin, who was selected by the Washington Capitals in the first round (13th overall) at the 2002 NHL Draft, needs to show more consistency in his game.

“That was the downside that he had in Carolina and that’s what we’re looking for,” the GM said. “If you don’t score — (and) it’s hard to score in today’s game — you have to bring something else to the table. So it’s either backchecking or stripping pucks or playing solid hockey … that’s what I expect from you if you don’t score.”

Continued...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+semin, marc+bergevin, montreal+canadiens

Blue Jackets, Ehrhoff engage in ‘slow dance’ courtship

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Via the Hockey News's Jared Clinton, this is a little bit strange:

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Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: christian+ehrhoff, columbus+blue+jackets

Are The Ottawa Senators Playoff Bound Again?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

So are the Senators, as is, good enough to go back to the post-season tournament next April?

Perhaps, as long as they don't screw around by winning only 17 of 41 games in the first half of the season again.

Other than Ottawa, the aging Detroit Red Wings and maybe the New York Islanders, it's difficult to imagine any of the Top 8 finishers from 2014-15 falling out.

Certainly not Tampa Bay, Montreal, the New York Rangers, Washington or Pittsburgh.

Of the teams that failed to qualify, the Columbus Blue Jackets appear to have the best chance at earning a playoff spot next season. They would have been there in 2014-15 if not for a rash of injuries seldom before seen with another franchise.

After them, the Philadelphia Flyers, Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins (despite their remodelling) are sure to make a strong push as well. Then there's the possibility New Jersey and Carolina are better than they look, while we have a sneaky suspicion Buffalo and yes, even Toronto, will surprise a lot of people.

more on the Senators...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

‘Three Things’: On Dylan Larkin, Stadium Series concepts and Zetterberg in Orangeville, ON

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose penned a Q and A with Dylan Larkin, and it's preceded by these statements from Larkin regarding his decision to turn pro with the Grand Rapids after his World Championship experience, as well as his goals for this fall:

“It was a major step up from college to the World Championship with the skill and speed and then coming back to the AHL was another step, jumping into the playoffs,” Larkin said. “It was a physical series and it was on a smaller rink and things happened a lot more fast. It was a long year but it was a good year.”

The Wings will take no fewer than 15 NHL-experienced forwards to camp in a few months. Many believe Larkin is ready for the challenge of making the jump to the NHL. But he’ll have to take someone’s spot, which won’t be easy.

“I want to make the jump (to the NHL),” Larkin said. “ I signed for a chance to play in the NHL and my time in Grand Rapids, I’m more than comfortable spending time there. The coaches they brought in and the players we have we’re going to have a good team again. I’m just going to training camp and having as much fun as possible and playing some games and having fun.”

As for the difficult challenges that await him in September, Larkin said he only focuses on what he can control.

“I just kind of worry about myself,” he said. “I know my game. I’m pretty confident with my game. I’m more worried about how I play.”

Roose continues with a lengthy Q and A...

2. In artistic news...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

‘Spotlighting’ Tyler Bertuzzi

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Grand Rapids Griffins posted a short video discussing Tyler Bertuzzi's past season and summertime activities as Bertuzzi prepares for the 2015-16 season:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Rasmus Ristolainen Has The Worst Raw Corsi

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

My last post was to list the worst 20 players in 2014/15 by their raw Corsi rating.  The worst player in the league was Rasmus Ristolainen of the Buffalo Sabres.  He posted a -618 Corsi rating which is over seventy points worse than any other player in the NHL.  Let's look at why Ristolainen does so badly.  Why does he have the worst Corsi in the NHL?  Why is his puck possession so bad?  Why does the opposition team take the majority of the attempted shots when Ristolainen is on the ice?

The first reason is that Ristolainen plays for the Buffalo Sabres.  They are the worst team in the NHL.  They have the worst puck possession in the NHL.  Since puck possession is a team based concept, it is logical that the player with the worst Corsi is a Buffalo Sabre.  Why is Rasmus Ristolainen that player and not some other Sabre?  He is not ready for the NHL.  He was Buffalo's first round draft pick in 2013.  He came to the NHL immediately.  In his first season he split time between the NHL and the AHL.  His NHL time was not memorable.  He played 34 games scoring four points and posting a -15 +/- rating.  Buffalo is a weak enough team that he stayed in the NHL the next season.  He played 78 games last year.  He was a defenceman who was easily beaten by his opponents.  He scored 20 points and posted a -32 +/- rating.  Ristolainen had the worst +/- rating on the Buffalo Sabres.  He was the ice time leader in Buffalo as well.

Buffalo is such a bad team that their top player by ice time is a young player who isn't ready for the NHL at all.  His development is probably being stunted by being forced into a situation where he is failing.  If you have a player who is such a poor NHLer leading a bad team in ice time, he should have the worst puck possession numbers in the NHL and Ristolainen does.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

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