Kukla's Korner

Cody Franson Is Still Available

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,

At the same time, on Oilers NowThe Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson said he didn’t think Franson would be a good fit for the Oilers as Franson had played poorly for Nashhville after being traded there by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Broadcaster Bob Stauffer of the Oilers said on his Oilers Now show that he doubted that the Oilers would or should go after a top free agent, though he said if the team could shed some salary it might well target Andrej Sekera. Stauffer’s speculation once against turned into the fact of the matter, which makes some sense given that Stauffer is obsessive in tracking down the facts and also works for the Oilers, making him not just a hockey insider, but an NHL employee.

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun speculated on Stauffer’s show that Franson would sign with his old team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Globe & Mail’s James Mirtle tweeted this would not happen, but the rumour resurfaced on free agency day.

On the morning of July 1, ESPN’s highly-connected Pierre LeBrun reported that the Oilers were indeed interested in Franson, along with Mike Green and Sekera.

Since then there’s been pretty much crickets on Franson.

While top UFA d-men like Sekera signed with Edmonton, Paul Martin with San Jose and Mike Green with Detroit, there’s been little smoke on the Franson front, let along any kind of fire. The same goes with free agent d-men Johnny Oduya and Christian Ehrhoff.

Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe still sees a market for Franson: “Age 28 (soon), 6-foot-5…I still bet he comes very close to $6.5,” he said Friday on Twitter.

more

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cody+franson

Happy 4th Of July

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Enjoy the day and the weekend everyone.

Weather here in southeast Michigan looks great for all kinds of activities.

But do be safe and don't think you are invincible when it comes to fireworks.

As a 14 year-old, had a 40 pack of Black Cats go off in my leg pocket due to high heat, spent the rest of the summer on my couch with 3rd degree burns.

I was lucky I did not lose my leg so again, please be careful.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Evening news: Prospect talk, Lidstrom on the Lidstroms and…power rankings?

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated at 9:59 PM: Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

Nicklas Lidstrom's sons, Adam and Kevin, are taking part in the Red Wings' summer development camp, but MLive's Brendan Savage duly noted that they're part of the try-out crowd for the present moment...

The two biggest names on hand weren't the Red Wings two previous No. 1 picks – Anthony Mantha (2013) and Dylan Larkin (2014) – but instead it was a pair of camp invites. They were the guys who had "LIDSTROM" on the back of their practice jerseys.

Forward Adam Lidstrom and defenseman Kevin Lidstrom – the sons of former Red Wings great Nicklas Lidstrom – are taking part in the camp for the first time.

"I just saw the one playing forward," [Grand Rapids Griffins coach Todd] Nelson said. "For some reason I didn't catch the other one. I'm not playing favorites by any stretch of the imagination. But when you're running a practice, you're trying to get the flow of the practice. I saw a few sequences. (Adam) moves up and down the ice pretty well and makes some pretty smart plays."

Nick Lidstrom, who was elected to the Hall of Fame Monday, is in Traverse City to watch his sons.

And instead, Savage noted that Nelson felt that Evgeny Svechnikov stood out:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Impressions from the first day of the Red Wings’ 2015 summer development camp

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings opened their summer development camp today in Traverse City, MI, and they "broke in" new equipment, "broke in" new coaches in Grand Rapids Griffins coach Todd Nelson and assistant coach Ben Simon, and the players got to know each other while taking part in a combination of getting-acquainted systems play (though Nelson was loath to call it such) and skill development drills.

As noted earlier this afternoon, the Wings' prospects were quite talkative, but now it's time for me to explain what I witnessed on the ice and do some initial player evaluations.

Here are the teams that participated in today's activities...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Connor McDavid Fever Is Upon Us

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

They came, they saw, they were entertained by the Oilers’ newest star Connor McDavid.

Nearly 3,000 curious fans flocked to Rexall Place Friday for the Edmonton Oilers orientation camp to see the No. 1 draft pick in the flesh for the first time. Though McDavid only went through a few on-ice drills, fans let out raucous cheers when he casually shot the puck into an empty net.

The 18-year-old centre, who signed his entry-level contract with the Oilers Friday morning, wore a bemused grin as he described the attention for a simple practice, coming through the tunnel from the dressing room to the ice and hearing cheers from scores of fans in McDavid jerseys and T-shirts.

“It was awesome,” McDavid said. “Just a normal practice. We weren’t doing anything too special.”

Awesome, but a little different for McDavid to have so many people turn out on a blistering hot summer day to watch a teenager, along with fellow draft picks such as Darnell Nurse and Leon Draisaitl go through their work outs.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: connor+mcdavid

Joel Ward Signs With The San Jose Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

 

added 5:33pm, San Jose release is below....

added 5:41pm,

 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joel+ward

Roose: Red Wings sign Vili Saarijarvi to help control his playing future

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 2x at 10 PM: Via RedWingsFeed, and per DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:

The Wings took Saarijärvi in the third round of last weekend’s NHL draft, and on Friday the club signed him to a three-year-, entry-level contract. On Tuesday he was selected by the Flint Firebirds of the Ontario Hockey League in the CHL import draft.

Now he has a decision to make: where will he play next? While it would be great for Saarijärvi to train and play in Flint, just north of Detroit, he’ll first need to get out of his contract with a top men's league team in his native Finland.

Asked if he believes that the 5-foot-10 right-handed shooting defender will wind up in Flint, Jiri Fischer, the Red Wings’ director of player development said, “That’s where it’s going.”

However, Fischer is aware that plans can change.

“He has a contract in Oulun (Kärpät) and essentially it’s going to be his decision where he wants to play next year,” Fischer added. “Now there is another option by obviously being a very-high CHL import draft pick for Flint.”

It appears that Saarijärvi has his mind made up. He’d like to play in Flint. The Wings would like to see him play in Flint. But Friday, he still wasn’t clear on the legalities and any subsequent ramifications.

“I signed with the Finnish team last summer,” he said. “Now what happens next? Well, I’m here. I don’t know. I’m heading back to Finland after this and practice there, probably under-20 tournament, summer camp, and after that probably coming back here and then going to Flint. We haven’t talked that much yet, so I’m going to find out soon.”

Roose continues, and Saarijarvi definitely wants to play in Flint instead of Karpat, where he told me he'd expect to play as the team's playing seventh defenseman (teams are allowed to dress 20 skaters in the Liiga). Signing with the Wings gives Detroit the leverage to play Saarijarvi wherever they want him to play.

Update: As the Free Press's George Sipple notes, the Wings support Saarijarvi's line of thinking...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

A Seven-Year Contract Extension For Ryan O’Reilly In Buffalo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

BUFFALO, N.Y. (July 3, 2015) --- The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has signed forward Ryan O’Reilly to a seven-year contract extension.

The Sabres acquired O’Reilly (6’0”, 210 lbs., 2/7/1991) from the Colorado Avalanche with Jamie McGinn on June 26 in exchange for Nikita Zadorov, Mikhail Grigorenko, J.T. Compher and the 31st pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Prior to joining the Sabres, O’Reilly played in Colorado for six seasons, recording at least 50 points in each of the last three full NHL seasons. The Clinton, Ontario native tallied 55 points (17+38) in 82 games last season as a member of the Avalanche.

added 2:56pm,

 

added 2:57pm,

 

added 3:00pm,

 

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

Brandon Prust On Being Traded To Vancouver By Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,

“Did I have any idea I’d be traded? No, no. I had no clue. I know on July 1 there’s a lot of action and I’m going into the last year of my contract. But after the playoffs I had (a postseason career-high goal and three assists in 12 games, and some industrial-strength work), I didn’t think there was any way they’d trade me.

“A few of the boys texted me,” Prust said of his now former Canadiens teammates. “Their reaction was quite the same for everybody – they were in shock. ‘What the hell?’ that was basically the reaction.”

There was more pragmatic feedback coming from Prust’s parents, Kevin and Theresa.

“Their first reaction was, ‘Oh man, now we have to stay up late to watch all your games,’ ” he said with a laugh. “They don’t miss a second of a game. People were telling them, ‘PVR it and watch it the next day,’ and they’re saying, ‘Yeah, right, like we’re going to do that.’ ”

Some observers were suggesting that Prust was on thin ice with the Canadiens the minute he ran afoul of referee Brad Watson in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinal vs. Tampa Bay.

He was thrown out of the match, then fined $5,000 for having alleged in post-game comments that Watson had insulted and sworn at him, remarks for which he later apologized.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brandon+prust

A Six-Year Extension For Brandon Saad In Columbus

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed left wing Brandon Saad to a six-year contract through the 2020-21 National Hockey League season, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.  As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.  Saad was acquired by Columbus from the Chicago Blackhawks along with center Alex Broadhurst and defenseman Michael Paliotta on Tuesday.

Saad, 22, has posted 52 goals and 74 assists for 126 points with 44 penalty minutes and a +44 plus/minus rating in 208 career NHL games and added 15-19-34, 16 penalty minutes and is +16 in 67 career playoff games, helping Chicago win a pair of Stanley Cup championships in 2013 and 2015.

“Adding a player of Brandon's caliber is exciting for the Columbus Blue Jackets organization and our fans and we are extremely pleased to have reached this long-term commitment that assures he will be an important part of our team for years to come," said Kekalainen.

added 2:42pm,

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brandon+saad

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