Kukla's Korner

Looking Ahead To Arbitration

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,

Gustav Nyquist, Detroit – Coming off a two-year deal that paid him less than $1 million per season, Nyquist is definitely getting a bump. But if the Red Wings are canny, they’ll point out that his season was a bit of a step back from his insane 2013-14 campaign.

Stats matter a lot in arbitration and Nyquist’s were down this year. His relative Shot Attempts (aka Corsi) ranked 15th on the squad at -0.6, down from third the year prior (4.3). The sly Swede’s points per game also dropped and while the success he had in 2013-14 may have been unsustainable, it sure would have resulted in a bigger contract had it occurred this season instead of last.

Derek Stepan, New York Rangers – It would be easy for Stepan’s agent to start arbitration proceedings by simply stating, “Game 7, OT against Washington” and doing a mic drop, but unfortunately that’s not how the system works. Instead, Stepan’s reps can simply point to the stats, which indicate that the gifted center played some of the hardest minutes on the squad, placed near the top of New York scorers and was one of the most dangerous penalty-killers in the NHL with five shorthanded points, just one off the lead.

Then they can point to Ryan O’Reilly’s new contract in Buffalo and say “this.”

Of all the players listed here, Stepan’s situation may be the most contentious, since New York has limited cap space and Stepan could easily win $7 million, maybe even $8 million in front of an arbitrator.

more players...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Shawn Matthias Now A Member Of The Toronto Maple Leafs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

 

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Monday that the club has signed forward Shawn Matthias to a one-year contract.

Matthias, 27, skated with the Vancouver Canucks last season and finished tied for third in goals scored (18) while collecting a total of 27 points (18-9-27) and 16 penalty minutes. The Mississauga, Ontario native has appeared in 408 career NHL games between Vancouver and the Florida Panthers and has collected 131 points (69 goals, 62 assists) to go along with 137 penalty minutes. Matthias was originally drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the second round (47th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: shawn+matthias

Your 2019 Stanley Cup Champions

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

It helps that the Jets have a decent economy, new building and well-heeled bosses with an appreciation for the long term. “We have an ownership group that is extremely committed to doing things the right way,” Cheveldayoff said. “From Day 1, they’ve viewed drafting and developing as an investment, not as an expense. When you get into the boardroom and start dealing with budgets and things like that, the easiest thing to cut is something you don’t see. You barely see the amateur scouts because they’re on the road all the time and it’s an easy cut. But in that aspect, we’ve never been shortchanged.”

Everything is set for the Jets to have a future full of serious Stanley Cup runs. With a management team that has finally begun to address the present, while keeping an eye to the future, the Jets are on the precipice of something special.

We’re predicting a Stanley Cup in 2019. After all, when you’ve waited as long as Winnipeg has to get your team back, what’s a couple more years to bide your time for the top prize?

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Colorado Avalanche Had Enough Of Ryan O’Reilly

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of The Denver Post,

Last week, word came that the Buffalo Sabres signed former Avalanche forward Ryan O'Reilly to a seven-year, $52.5 million contract extension that kicks in after he make $6.2 million this season and takes him through 2022-23. The deal calls for him to make $11 million in 2016-17 and slide down to $6 million in each of the final four years. The annual cap hit is $7.5 million.

O'Reilly is respected for his work ethic, which stacks up with that of anyone in the NHL. Fans, media and, most important, the Avalanche "got" that his contributions go far beyond the simply quantifiable. (No, I'm not stooping to citing analytics, but offering conclusions reached by actually watching him play.) Yet the virtually universal reaction to his departure has been: Good riddance. I'm not sure I've ever seen a player so respected told so universally to not let the door hit him on the way out....

O'Reilly already had been inordinately rewarded for his contributions. The salary benchmark was raised when the Calgary Flames signed him to an offer sheet — that involved organizational spite as much as coldhearted evaluation — but the Avalanche willingly went along with it by matching and then reaching a two-year, $12 million deal with him last year minutes in advance of an arbitration heading.

The Avalanche finally had enough.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+o'reilly

Morning Line- Kevin Paul Dupont On Matt Beleskey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

"I really don't know what to tell you, [Matt Beleskey] has had one good year. Was it a great year? No. This reminds me in some ways of Marty Lapointe, when they gave Marty Lapointe five years, $25 million and were expecting a whole lot of Marty and he was a 'C' player. I hope this guy is a 'B' player."

-Kevin Paul Dupont via CSNNE where you can read more from Dupont.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+beleskey

Would You Trade Tuukka Rask For Ryan Nugent-Hopkins?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Staples of the Edmonton Journal,

This just in from Toronto Star columnist Bruce Arthur  from TSN’s The Reporters, a suggestion that the Edmonton Oilers can’t count on new acquisition Cam Talbot, so should have offered up Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in a trade for Boston goalie Tuukka Rask.

Here’s how the conversation played out as the sportswriters described the key moves at the NHL trade deadline:

Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons: “I like the move that sends Cam Talbot to Edmonton. Edmonton is now Canada’s team. They’ve become that. Connor McDavid is going there. Peter Chiarelli is there. (Todd) McLellan is there. They’re putting all the pieces in place. They had to trade for Talbot in New York. We don’t know what it’s like to go from playing behind one of the best defences in the NHL to playing behind one of the worst, but we’re going to find that out. We’re going to find out whether this guy is real or whether he’s not. Because if Edmonton has real goaltending, they’ve got  chance to do some business.”

“That’s a lot of pressure in Cam Tablbot,” countered Arthur. “We don’t know what he is really. He doesn’t have a huge NHL resume. If I was the Oilers, I would have called Boston, I would have said, ‘How much for Tuukka Rask?’ If it’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, I’d do it. Because that’s one of the five goaltenders you can depend on year after year. Cam Talbot?  They’re panning for gold a little bit. But the pressure is on Edmonton to produce while Connor McDavid is on an Entry Level Contract.”

Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated added:

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+nugent-hopkins, tuukka+rask

Morning news: On Smith’s ‘power,’ Howard’s numbers, Mantha and Athanasiou

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Among this morning's Red Wings-related news stories:

MLive's Ansar Khan ponders whether Jeff Blashill might finally choose to utilize Brendan Smith on the Red Wings' power play, unlike his predecessor:

"I think Brendan has that ability to do that (power play)," Blashill said. "You have to see where the whole puzzle fits at camp. He's somebody I know that's done that in the past because he's done that for me in the American League (for half the 2012-13 season)."

Blashill has a vision of how Smith can be best utilized.

"I think Brendan's best offensive ability is kind of roaming around below the tops of the circles," Blashill said. "If he's a weak-side guy on the power play, going to the net a lot, he can retrieve pucks because he's quick, he's strong, he's competitive. He's got good offensive instincts once he gets below the tops of circles. I know at Wisconsin he was on his off-side (right side) hitting one-timers. That's something we'll explore going into camp."

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Evening news: On Callahan, Svechnikov and the summer development camp

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Among this evening's Red Wings-related news stories and items: The Wings' prospects were busy attending the Cherry Festival this afternoon, after engaging in some wild skating drills (more on that in a minute). However:

Grand Rapids Griffins forward and hopeful future Wing Mitch Callahan is up in Traverse City with the Red Wings' prospects, taking his first steps back from a torn ACL, and he discussed his recovery with DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose as part of a "getting to know" Q and A...

“It’s nice that everybody is training coming into the season, but at the same time I would love to do all of this right now and skating in a full practice or scrimmage,” the 23-year-old Callahan said. “That’s the way it goes this time. I have to accept it and battle through it.”

It’s been a rough two years for Callahan, who underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL in February. Ten months earlier, the Red Wings’ sixth-round pick in the 2009 draft, suffered a fractured jaw and lost 10 teeth when he was struck by a puck.

Callahan is in Traverse City where this week he is working out with team trainers and skating on his own at the Wings’ development camp at Centre Ice Arena.

“Just skating on my own but no tight turns or stop and starting as of yet. That’s probably next week,” said Callahan, who expects to be ready for the Red Wings’ main training camp in September. Going to camp like everybody else trying to compete for a spot,” he added. “Just to be healthy and prove that – even though I had a knee injury – that my game hasn’t changed. There’s no setback in my game. … I’ll be 100 percent and ready by the end of August, so that’s right in time for camp.”

And Roose continues...

Evgeny Svechnikov isn't a man of too many words, but he discussed being drafted by the Wings and taking part in the development camp with the Windsor Star's Bob Duff...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

A Flawed Concussion Protocol In The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Hine of the Chicago Tribune,

When it comes to handling concussions, the NHL is miles behind the NFL — hardly the model on the issue. In the NFL, there is an independent injury spotter in the press box at every game, looking out for head injuries. If a spotter suspects one, he or she informs the team doctor and athletic trainers, who examine the player with an independent doctor present. And if a player is diagnosed with a concussion, an independent physician must clear him before the player returns to the field.

The key word there is independent. It doesn't appear in the NHL's protocol.

The NHL puts concussion diagnosis and return-to-play protocols solely in the hands of its teams and team physicians. This creates a conflict of interest for the team doctor and the player, who might appear weak to fellow teammates if he reports an injury. A heavy onus is on the player to report his symptoms to doctors, which is laughable given the backward macho culture that requires players to play through everything and teams to reveal nothing about injuries, especially in the playoffs.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Axel Holmstrom Preparing For The Next Step

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Holmstrom (6-foot-1, 198 pounds) had 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) in 44 games with Skelleftea, then exploded in the playoffs with 18 points (seven goals) in 15 games.

The way Holmstrom sees it, though, it was mainly being in the right place at the right time.

“I got good confidence from my coach and we had a real good team, good teammates,” said Holmstrom, who can play center or left wing. “We had a lot of good self-confidence in our group. Myself, I started the playoffs pretty good and got confidence from that and just kept going. I had some lucky bounces.

“I shot the puck more, my coaches told me to do that and I would get more goals. It was unfortunate we lost in the finals but both me and the team had a good team.”

Holmstrom will return to Sweden this season and plans on turning pro in North America after his Swedish season, joining Grand Rapids.

Given his inexperience and not having played pro in Sweden, a full season playing there would be a positive decision.

“I want to take the next step and be good the whole season, just take a bigger role with the team,” Holmstrom said. “I want to keep getting better.

“I have to get better in every (way. The NHL is) the best league in the world and I want to do my best and develop the best I can.”

more

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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