Kukla's Korner

If The Wings Decided To Move Jimmy Howard, Would Edmonton Be A Fit?

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

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

If we go by overall save percentage, he does not rank in the Top 20 best NHL starters from 2012-15. He has an overall save percentage of just .915. He’s been average, in other words, but that’s not an average pay cheque he will be pulling down. And Detroit, it’s worth noting, allowed even a lower percentage of high-danger chances last season than New York, just 33.5 per cent of their overall shots total. For what it’s worth, Howard’s numbers are not good on high danger chances.

The final point against a team like Edmonton trading for Howard is that he’s 31 years old. Many goalies in their 30s can play strong hockey, but if you look at that list of top goalies from 2012-15, I’m only see three or  four who were in their 30s. Goalies in their 20s are a better bet if you want a top starter.

Of course, Howard might play like a goalie god this year, which would make him a better bet. And despite his most promising numbers, Talbot may not pan out here. As it stands now, though, even if Talbot were to fall flat, it’s unlikely Howard would be the best answer for the Oilers. He’s an average NHL goalie, likely at or past his best before date, and he’s paid a high amount.

This isn’t to say that Howard is destined to failure. He’s not. He could defy the odds and earn every penny of his contract and then some for the Red Wings. That said, he’s not a good bet to do so.

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What To Do With Dustin Byfuglien

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Byfuglien is scheduled to be a UFA on July 1, 2016.

from Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet,

... they were swept aside in four first-round games by the Anaheim Ducks last spring, but that’s precisely how things went for the Tampa Bay Lighting in 2014, one year before the team advanced to the Cup final. The circumstances don’t perfectly align, but it’s a comparison worth making given Winnipeg’s trajectory and the increasingly wide-open nature of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

With that in mind, the best plan for Winnipeg might be to sit tight and see how the first quarter of the season plays out. If things are coming together, hang on to Byfuglien and see if he can’t help you win a playoff round or two. How nice would that be for a city that hasn’t seen its team on the right side of a handshake line since 1987? Yes, you run the risk he leaves for nothing, but with 21-year-old Trouba, 25-year-old Tyler Myers and prospect Josh Morrissey in the blueline mix, the Jets are positioned to withstand that worst-case scenario.

On the flipside, if watching 20 games reveals goalies Ondrej Pavelec and Michael Hutchinson aren’t up to the task or sees the return of that nasty injury bug that ripped through the Jets’ defence last year, put Byfuglien on the block and see what you can get. It won’t be as much as you would land right now, but that’s not the end of the world for a team with a sturdy prospect pipeline that’s about to spit out forwards like Nikolaj Ehlers, Nic Petan and the aforementioned Morrissey.

In other words, Winnipeg should do what Byfuglien would: take a little gamble and worry about the next move when you must.

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  Tags: dustin+byfuglien

Ferris State newspaper publishes Q and A with Blashill

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

My apologies for the overabundance of Wings entries...It's just been that kind of day.

Anyway, the Ferris State University Torch's Keith Salowich conducted a Q and A with Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill, and it mostly focuses on Blashill's ties to Ferris State, but it does include one Wings-related question:

Question: Given the Wings’ playoff streak, are you feeling any additional pressure to make it to the postseason in your first year?

Answer: “First of all we take everything year by year. The significance of the playoffs for me is that in order to compete for the Stanley Cup you have to get to the playoffs. Our focus will be on the day-to-day work that we’ll have to put in to ultimately become a contender for the Stanley Cup.”

Q: Your coaching career has seen a lot of stops around the state and beyond. Do you still find time to keep up with Ferris hockey?

A: “Absolutely. I keep very close tabs on Ferris and Ferris hockey. I’m very good friends with the coaching staff. It’s the longevity of Bob Daniels’ career here and the job that he’s done that’s been a really prideful thing for we alums, so I’m checking in with him all the time.”

Salowich continues...

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Red Wings release prospect tournament roster

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the Red Wings:

Red Wings release Prospect Tournament roster
First-round picks Mantha, Larkin and Svechnikov among 25-man roster

The Detroit Red Wings today released their 2015 NHL Prospect Tournament roster, a group of 25 recent draft picks, free agent signees and tryouts who will compete against seven other NHL prospect teams for the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup from Friday, Sept. 11 to Tuesday, Sept. 15 at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City, Mich.

Highlighting Detroit’s roster are the team’s three most-recent first round draft picks in Anthony Mantha, who was the 2014 CHL Player of the Year before joining Grand Rapids last season, Dylan Larkin, the 2015 Big Ten Rookie of the Year, and Evgeny Svechnikov, the Red Wings’ top pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft who had 32 goals and 78 points as a QMJHL rookie with Cape Breton. Other standouts include Andreas Athanasiou, who led Griffins’ rookies in goals last season; Tyler Bertuzzi, a 2013 second-round pick who produced 98 points in the OHL in his final season of major junior; Joe Hicketts, who attended the camp as a free agent last year, earned an NHL contract and went on to win a gold medal with Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship as the only defenseman on the roster who was not a first- or second-round draft pick; and Robbie Russo, a former New York Islanders’ draft pick signed by the Red Wings in August who was the NCAA’s second-highest scoring blueliner in 2014-15.

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Octopus Thrower discusses Ken Holland’s summer

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Octopus Thrower's Nate Francis conducted a roundtable discussion attempting to "Grading Holland's Summer Work," and as you might expect, I issued a lengthy opinion:

George Malik of The Malik Report
Grade: B+/A-

So we’re asking whether Ken Holland has accomplished all he needs to do this summer, and whether he’s done a “good job”…And that’s a question that doesn’t have a definitive answer as far as I’m concerned.

Holland knew prior to free agency that he needed a coach to replace Mike Babcock, but it wasn’t like he went out and signed a marquee free agent. He simply elevated the person who’d been #1 in the Mike Babcock Succession Plan for three years, and Holland did what he could to keep more people around than he did when Jim Nill not only left but also snagged the Wings’ director of amateur scouting with him.

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Al Arbour Passes Away At Age 82

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The hockey career of Al Arbour...

from the Hockey Hall of Fame, 

Alger Joseph Arbour was one of the most successful head coaches in NHL history. As of 1996 his career totals of 1,606 games behind the bench and 781 victories trailed only Scotty Bowman in the record books. Arbour's guidance contributed significantly to the New York Islanders' rapid ascent to competitive status and subsequent run of four consecutive Stanley Cups from 1980 to 1983.

Born on November 1, 1932 in Sudbury, Ontario, Arbour played defence on the junior Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey Association. He distinguished himself as a junior and was signed by the Detroit Red Wings. Arbour gained his professional baptism of fire with the Edmonton Flyers of the Western Hockey League in 1952-53. He split the next four years between Edmonton, Detroit and Sherbrooke of the Quebec Senior League.

In 1957-58 Arbour enjoyed his first full NHL campaign in the red and white of the Wings. Following that season he was claimed by the Chicago Blackhawks where he toiled for three years including a Stanley Cup triumph in 1961. Arbour next played four seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs and earned his second Stanley Cup ring in 1962. After spending the 1966-67 season off the ice, he returned to add experience and stability to the defence corps of the expansion St. Louis Blues in 1967-68. Early in the 1970-71 season,he retired as a player with in excess of 600 games played and almost fourteen years of service to his credit.

Upon retiring, Arbour was immediately hired to stand in as the coach of the Blues for the remainder of the 1970-71 campaign. Over the last 50 games of the schedule the team responded well by posting a 21-15-14 mark before losing to the Minnesota North Stars in the Stanley Cup quarterfinals.

continued

added 12:25pm, via the New York Islanders...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: al+arbour

The Mike Richards Case

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,

Prosecutors in Manitoba could proceed summarily, a course of action for less-serious offenses, or by indictment, reserved for more serious matters.

"This is an offense for which there is a huge [sentencing] range," said University of Manitoba law professor Debra Parkes. "It will all depend on the seriousness. I've seen examples of people getting discharges for possession of Oxycodone. There are some examples of that across Canada, if the person is an addict, if it is a relatively low amount, no record, that kind of thing. It could be a fine, or could possibly be imprisonment.

"Without a record, and assuming if it was a small amount, it would be possible to argue even for a discharge. But we don't know enough about the facts."

Less than two weeks after Richards was detained at the border, the Kings moved to terminate his contract, citing "a material breach."

The Kings declined to comment on the legal developments in Manitoba, citing the ongoing litigation regarding the contract grievance. Richards' agent also declined to comment.

But when the Kings terminated Richards' contract, they said in a statement: "We are not prepared to provide any more detail or to discuss the underlying grounds for the contract termination at this time."

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+richards

Meanwhle, at Joe Louis Arena…

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Update:

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Forbes: Wings’ home opener 3rd-most expensive on secondary market

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

According to Forbes' Jesse Lawrence, the Red Wings' season-opener vs. Toronto is the third-most-expensive ticket to snag on the resale market presently:

10/9/2015 – Detroit Red Wings vs. Toronto Maple Leafs at Joe Louis Arena | Avg: $955.80 | Get-in: $80

The Red Wings are a perennial contender despite not hoisting the Stanley Cup since 2008, and their fans pay for it when it comes to tickets. They don’t mind it, though, as their team is amongst the most celebrated in all of hockey, as they compete for the Stanley Cup year-in and year-out. Red Wings fans will certainly have to pay a pretty penny if they want to attend the home (and season) opener this season, which comes against the just-as-storied Toronto Maple Leafs. The get-in tag of $80 isn’t so bad when you factor in the usual inflated prices of Red Wings tickets, while games at Joe Louis Arena just aren’t going to drop much in price, no matter the opponent.

That’s so true, in fact, that we had to shave Detroit off the rest of this top-three list, as they would have otherwise dominated our most expensive NHL games breakdown. It’s crazier than you think, as that list runs 20+ deep, with Detroit dominating the NHL tickets landscape going into 2015. That being said, with so many expensive games on the docket for the Red Wings, their home opener against a beatable opponent is a fine bargain.

Lawrence continues, and as you might expect, the Blackhawks' season-opener is the most expensive ticket to snag right now...

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St. James: Outlook for Gustav Nyquist is positive

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Here's the Free Press's Helene St. James' 2015-16 "outlook" for Gustav Nyquist:

Looking ahead: Nyquist should be good for somewhere in the 30-goal range. He began last season with goals in four straight games and stayed pretty consistent -- the most he went without a goal were a few six-game stretches, and the longest he went without a point were a few three-game stretches. After a good showing (five points in 14 games) as a third-line player in the 2013 playoffs, Nyquist hasn't been visible as a top-six forward in two straight playoffs. To be fair, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg also were critiqued in their mid-20s for not being productive playoff performers — but those two always were terrific two-way players. Nyquist doesn't bring that element.

At the very least, Nyquist by now must know how much harder it is to produce in the playoffs (he saw another great example of that in Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos), and maybe it will help next spring to have Brad Richards as a teammate, as Richards is a bona fide springtime contributor. Nyquist has the skill to get it done.

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