Kukla's Korner

Prospect news: Griffins snipe shootout win; Walleye take K-Wings; another Hicketts profile

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Grand Rapids Griffins have lost 1st line center Andreas Athanasiou's services for the next 7 weeks, Mattias Backman's gone back to Sweden, both Petr Mrazek and Tom McCollum are in Detroit and Xavier Ouellet's days with the Griffins are numbered, but a team that struggled so very mightily for the first month-and-a-half of the season is still finding its stride.

Grand Rapids built upon Friday's 7-1 win over Toronto by taking a tightly-fought 4-3 shootout decision from the Lake Erie Monsters, and new 1st-line winger Landon Ferraro scored a goal (Tomas Nosek, the 1st line's center, had an assist), Teemu Pulkkinen posted yet another marker (as well as the shootout winner), Anthony Mantha got into his first professional fight and Jared Coreau stopped both 34 of 37 shots and 4 of 5 shootout shooters to extend his record to 6-and-0.

The Griffins' website posited a game recap...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

An aside: the KHL isn’t going away and its players aren’t going to ‘defect’ en masse

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

This is not Red Wings-related, but I feel it's worth both an entry and the KK bandwidth to posit this set of observations:

As I continue reading stories about the KHL's mighty financial struggles as the Russian ruble loses 40% of its value, stories of players and coaches not getting paid in said rubles (more than usual: the KHL relies upon sponsorships to pay player salaries, and when sponsorships fall through, in true Soviet and post-Soviet fashion, employees are expected to continue to show up for work and eventually either get partially paid or sue for back wages, and this usually happens to 2-4 KHL teams per year), and I've read Dmitry Chesnokov's explanation of the situation (as well as commentary from Russian media outlets)...

Some media types and NHL fans are getting super excited about the prospect of, say, an Ilya Kovalchuk or Alexander Radulov bolting to the NHL.


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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Garrioch delivers holiday trade rumors

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

The NHL's roster freeze may be in effect until December 27th, but the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch brings trade rumor gifts to the hockey holiday tree via his Sunday column.

First, Garrioch discusses Nick Foligno's future with the Columbus Blue Jackets given his point-per-game form...

Making $3.08 million in the final year of his contract, some wonder if a five-year, $25-million deal would get it done for Foligno. Probably not — the thinking is he’d be able to eclipse that number on the lucrative free-agent market.

You have to think Foligno is looking at the seven-year, $36.75-million deal that David Clarkson signed with the Leafs at $5.25 million per season in 2013-14 as a benchmark. The Jackets aren’t sure if Nathan Horton will ever return from his back issues, so they want to keep Foligno badly.

These quips aren't surprising...

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Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrej+sekera, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, chris+stewart, columbus+blue+jackets, don+maloney, jarmo+kekalainen, keith+yandle, nick+foligno, phoenix+coyotes, ron+francis, tim+murray, tyler+myers

Expect the NHL’s outdoor-game overload to return…During the 2015-16 season

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

The Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger penned a column containing "six things to watch in the NHL" during/going into 2015, and #5 involves a "rumbling" that's become something of a roar:


With the cash cow known as the Winter Classic continuing to pad the pocketbooks of the NHL, the Capitals and Blackhawks will face off in Washington on New Year’s Day, followed by an outdoor clash between the Sharks and Kings at Levi’s Stadium, home of the 49ers.

Just two games in the great outdoors this season? Is this a sign that these events are becoming a passing fad?

Guess again.

In reality, the league is suspected to be looking at four outdoor contests in 2015-16, with the Winnipeg Jets playing host to one and Denver, Minneapolis and Boston in line to do the same. There is talk the Bruins would host the Montreal Canadiens at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, a game that undoubtedly would attract plenty of attention north of the border.

Expect the league to make an announcement regarding details in the coming weeks.

Zeisberger continues...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

Canucks’ Jannik Hansen OK despite collapsing on bench

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

NHL.com's Kevin Woodley needs to explain this before you see it:

Vancouver Canucks forward Jannik Hansen left the game after collapsing briefly on the bench shortly after taking a hit early in the second period against the Calgary Flames on Saturday.

Hansen was conscious and on his feet moments later but had to be helped to the locker room by medical staff.

CBC reported that Hansen was being observed in the Canucks dressing room and was not taken to a hospital. It later said he was walking to the Canucks' workout room.

Hansen took a hit from Calgary defenseman Dennis Wideman in the corner and was hunched over as he skated straight off. He remained hunched over as he sat on the bench while play continued, then slumped forward, his body appearing to go limp as teammates caught him and banged their sticks on the boards to get the attention of referees, who stopped play while medical staff rushed out from behind the Canucks net.

Hockey Night in Canada's Scott Oake was the one who reported that Hansen was walking on his own, but, via Yahoo Sports' Josh Cooper, that's pretty damn amazing:

I can only make a speculative and educated guess here: if Hansen was concussed or otherwise "had his bell rung" by the Wideman hit, it could've taken some time for his body to process that reaction and wooziness to hit.


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: calgary+flames, dennis+wideman, jannik+hansen, vancouver+canucks

Cox, Friedman dish NCAA-to-CHL rumors, diving chatter, trade talk and more

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

This Saturday, Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman got six minutes' worth of time to discuss hockey headlines, and they stated that:

  • Boston University forward and top 2015 draft prospect Jack Eichel may or may not bolt from NCAA hockey to join a Canadian Hockey League team, with the Saint John Sea Dogs owning his rights. Cox points out that Charlie Coyle, Adam Tambellini and Sonny Milano have all committed to NCAA teams and then joined CHL teams instead, so it is possible that Eichel may be on the move after he plays for Team USA at the World Junior Championships--and BC goalie Thatcher Demko might also exit stage CHL;

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Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: boston+bruins, dallas+eakins, doug+armstrong, edmonton+oilers, jack+eichel, james+neal, mike+fisher, nashville+predators, reilly+smith, st.+louis+blues, tj+oshie, torey+krug, toronto+maple+leafs

AHL Scoring Race

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Last week I wrote about the AHL scoring race.  Charles Hudon of the Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal Canadiens AHL affiliate) had taken over the scoring lead.  His lead didn't last long.  There is a new scoring leader in Brian O'Neill of the Manchester Monarchs (Los Angeles Kings AHL affiliate).  He has 35 points and has a three point lead over teammate Nick Shore and a four point lead over Hudon.  O'Neill scored nine points in two games this week to take the scoring lead.

He is an undrafted 26 year old.  He played in the NCAA for four years at Yale University before coming to the AHL. He is in his third full season in the league.  His offence has continually increased in that time.  He went from 15 points in his rookie year to 47 points last season.  He has made a significant jump this season.  The fact he hasn't been able to score at a league leading rate in the past and scored more than a quarter of his points this season in two games implies that his scoring lead probably will not last.  He does have a bigger scoring lead than any other player has achieved so far this season.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Video- Coach’s Corner Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The three main topics Don Cherry and Ron MacLean disusseed were the mumps, sort of, the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+cherry, ron+maclean

Hockey Talk On The Saturday Before Christmas

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- If I’m MacTavish, I don’t hire a coach so quickly. I wait to see what happens in St. Louis or San Jose come playoff time. Both Ken Hitchcock and Todd McLellan, if available, would be fascinating candidates for the Oilers job.

- Of the 16 defencemen drafted before P.K. Subban in 2007, the list includes: Alex Plante, Nick Ross, Nick Petrecki, Taylor Ellington, Tommy Cross, Josh Godfrey and Kevin Marshall. Combined NHL games played: 21. Combined NHL points: Two.

- More than one NHL GM laughs about all the hot news about hockey analytics. “We’ve been doing a lot of this stuff since the mid-’80s,” said a GM. “So have most teams. I don’t know what everyone is so excited about.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Oliver Ekman-Larsson Hit On Marian Gaborik

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Oliver Ekman-Larsson with a big hit on Marian Gaborik.

Then Kings scored on the play to make it 4-2 late in the game.

Gaborik did not miss a shift but in my opinion he should not have come back at that point with LA up by two goals.


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+gaborik, oliver+ekman-larsson

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