Kukla's Korner

All Barry Trotz

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

You went to Las Vegas when Alex Ovechkin was there for the NHL Awards to sit down with him, have dinner with him, get to know him. Why was it important for you at the time to sit down with Ovechkin, and what did you learn from the meeting?

"You're not going to go to battle with someone you don't know. It doesn't matter what walk of life it is, whether it's business or in war. In sports it's usually a coach and player, so he understands where I'm coming from and at the same time the player recognizes where you're coming from so you get a comfort level and you can work together better. If we're going to be successful in Washington, [Ovechkin] has to be a big part of that. It's not only him, but he's a main component, a big personality, and I have to sell my vision of the team to him because he's one of the top players. In today's sport, coaches are in a partnership with their top players.

"I think it went OK. I learned a lot from that, how he thinks and how he sees the world. I know he comes from a different culture and I learned about how he views himself, how he views his job with the team. It was good. I told him what I expected. I had a bunch of questions written down and we sort of went through them. I didn't know if there would be a language barrier so I made him read the questions and try to answer them. We had some dialogue. I learned about his family, who is important in his life.

"Every player is wired differently. Some players you know exactly where they're headed, where they're going and what they're thinking. There are other guys wired differently. It allowed me to understand the personality of Alexander Ovechkin. He's been the face of the Caps for the past eight or nine years, since he's been drafted. He gets a lot of the credit when they do well and he gets a lot of the blame when they don't, but that's the responsibility for a top guy in the National Hockey League now. If you want to be the elite guy those are the responsibilities that go with it. It was good. We spent probably four hours together, and I've talked to him a couple of times on the phone as well. I think not only coaching the player but coaching the person is very important."

read on, four more questions...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: barry+trotz

Red Wings overnight report: on ‘roster continuity,’ Tatar, DeKeyser and the Walleye’s Winterfest

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings checked an extremely important item off their offseason to-do list in signing Tomas Tatar to a 3-year, $8.25 million contract (at present, Capgeek only knows that Tatar's contract's cap hit is $2.75 million per season), and you and I found that the team has yet another assistant coach to replace as the Free Press's Helene St. James reported that video coordinator/assistant coach Keith McKittrick's leaving to join the WHL's Portland Winterhawks.

So, in terms of player personnel, the Red Wings have a Capgeek-estimated $5.75 million in cap space, which the team will use to re-sign restricted free agent Danny DeKeyser and to possibly sign Daniel Alfredsson to a moderate-base-salary-and-bonuses deal if his back's feeling up to snuff in September...

And in the coaching department, at the NHL level, Mike Babcock now needs to find both an assistant coach to replace Tom Renney and a video coordinator to replace McKittrick, and at the AHL level, Jeff Blashill has to find a pair of assistant coaches to replace departing Grand Rapids Griffins assistant coaches Jim Paek and Spiros Anastas.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

James Reimer Is Now Happy In Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

Perhaps the realization on both sides that the market for goalies is limited — there are still a number of unrestricted free-agent netminders available — and the return for Reimer would be small.

Perhaps it was the realization by Reimer that the opportunity to be a starter would be no better anywhere else.

Perhaps it was the realization by the Leafs that they don’t have much depth and another injury to Bernier without an adequate backup could paralyze the team.

So the conversation changed. The Leafs told Reimer they needed him. The Leafs told Reimer he could unseat Bernier for the top job if he plays well enough.

“That’s pretty much what I’ve been told,” said Reimer. “That’s all a guy can ask for. All you want is a chance, and I intend to make the most of it.

“My goal is to go in there and be the No. 1 guy. Worst-case scenario: Me and Bernier push each other and we get great goaltending.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: james+reimer

Red Wings evening news: on DeKeyser and the cap, McKittrick’s departure and Shirley Temples

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated with a Mattias Backman interview at 7:32 PM:

So Tomas Tatar has been signed to a 3-year deal at an average value of $2.75 million per season (that particular blog entry's been updated with quips and quotes, and it's a solid "bridge" contract for someone who will, per Winging It in Motown, remain a restricted free agent after this deal expires), the Red Wings expect to have no issues re-signing Danny DeKeyser, as DeKeyser told Fox 17 and Ken Holland told MLive's Brendan Savage...

"I don't see any problem," Holland said. "We're going to want to get him signed. I talked 3-4 times with his camp in June and a little bit shortly after the draft. We haven't talked in a little bit. But again, I'm motivated to get him signed.  I think Danny wants to get signed. Once you get into early July, everybody's focus is free agency for a couple of weeks. Going forward, now we can find a solution. I'm confident we can get him done."

And with--as Savage noted in an earlier article--22 players signed, the Wings now have $5.27 million in Capgeek-estimated cap space, which should be enough money to re-sign DeKeyser (I'd estimate that DeKeyser's going to get a $2.5-3 million deal, but the Free Press's Helene St. James believes that DeKeyser could get a Quincey-like $4 million AAV deal) and possibly give this guy a decent base salary:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Not Much Of A Cultural Change In San Jose

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

Despite loud promises of impending change, tomorrow is starting to look an awful lot like yesterday in San Jose. That's not sitting too well with the Sharks' fired-up fans, but once they get past their anger and frustration, they just might realize that stability isn't the worst thing.

Granted, the team isn't getting the rebuild the fans were promised by GM Doug Wilson in the aftermath of the team's opening round meltdown against the Kings.

The culture that many saw as a problem remains virtually unchanged.

The big free-agent signing of the summer has been John “Fifth Line” Scott.
San Jose chose not to re-sign Drew Remenda, one of the best analysts in the game.

And yes, the team has crossed the moral line for a small but vocal group of fans who are offended by the idea of adding cheerleaders to the game presentation.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

All Jay Feaster

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jake Becker of The Fischler Report,

HOW SOON DO YOU THINK TORTS WILL RETURN TO THE NHL?

I think time heals all wounds. I don’t think for a minute that Torts was anything other than what people knew he was. I think Mike Gillis knew the issues, the positives and the negatives. In my mind the issue really came down to that infamous day when he decided to try to get in the locker room when [Calgary head coach] Bob Hartley was antagonizing.

Bob is the godfather to my son Ryan, and I consider Torts to be one of my best friends, too. It was ironic, but I believe that John will get back. General managers in the league know he’s a good coach, and you take the good with the bad. Part of what makes him a good coach is that he does not have the political correctness gene. He is not worried about what you or me or what anybody else thinks about him – he’s going to do what he thinks is right. I think some time away, so time to decompress, I think that’ll be good for him.

I don’t have any doubt that at some point in time, a team is going to be struggling and a team is going to need some discipline, some structure, and a general manager is going to say, “This is a guy that can provide it.”

more

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jay+feaster

Daniel Winnik Signs With The Toronto Maple Leafs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Toronto Maple Leafs,

David Nonis, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Monday the hockey club has signed forward Daniel Winnik to a one-year contract.

Winnik, 29, played 76 games for the Anaheim Ducks in 2013-14, registering career highs in assists (24) and points (30) while adding six goals, 23 penalty minutes and a plus-six rating. He also posted an assist and two penalty minutes in nine playoff games with the Ducks last season.

The 6-2, 207-pound centreman has accumulated 150 career NHL points (49 goals, 101 assists) and 226 penalty minutes in 490 games with Phoenix, Colorado, San Jose and Anaheim. A native of Toronto, Ontario, Winnik was originally selected by Phoenix in the ninth round, 265th overall, in the 2004 Entry Draft.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+winnik

Red Wings ink Tomas Tatar to 3-year contract extension

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 3x at 5:05 PM:


From the Red Wings...

Here's the press release:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Red Wings afternoon news: Griffins release latest ‘Between the Benches’ video; Weiss on Ice

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 3x at 1:49 PM: "Slow?" Yes. "Dead?" Far from it. This afternoon's crop of Red Wings-related news stories isn't deep, but it's still worth watching and reading:

First, the Grand Rapids Griffins posted their 4th video chronicling the Griffins' 2014 playoff run, and there's over 32 minutes' worth of content across three videos now. Here's part 4...

And here are parts 1...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

It Is Still Very Slow

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I am back but really nothing to report from the hockey world.

Last night I lost power around 6:15pm after a major storm.

Power came back around 1:15am and when I woke up this morning, Comcast internet was down.

Just came back up and hopefully the bad weather is behind us.

With things being so slow, I just may have to find Pavel and join him...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pavel+datsyuk

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