Kukla's Korner

The Buffalo Sabres Cap Season Ticket Sales

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

BUFFALO, N.Y. (August 26, 2016) --- The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has capped season ticket sales for the 2016-17 season at more than 16,000 tickets. The cap is designed to ensure the availability of Mini-Packs and individual game tickets for all fans.

The Sabres had 97 percent of season ticket holders renew their tickets for the 2016-17 season, marking the 11th consecutive season featuring a renewal rate higher than 90 percent. More than 2,000 fans remain on the Blue & Gold Club season ticket waiting list.

“A 97 percent season ticket renewal rate is a remarkable achievement for any professional team,” Sabres president Russ Brandon said. “We’re lucky to have a fan base that consistently provides so much support and we look forward to rewarding our fans’ passion by building on last season’s improvement.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Lot Of ‘Dead’ Money In Arizona

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen,

Just in case you haven’t been paying close attention to the paper trail, the Coyotes’ highest paid forwards are now Bolland and former Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk.

Bolland, who scored one goal in 25 games for Florida last season, has three years and $16.5 million remaining on his contract. Before the swap with Arizona, the Panthers were seemingly stuck with that financial headache, unable to buy him out of that deal because of injury.

Datsyuk, who has left for St. Petersburg in the KHL, has one year and $5.5 million left ($7.5 million salary cap hit) on the contract he signed with Detroit. The Coyotes secured Detroit’s first-round pick at June’s NHL draft as part of the deal for taking on Datsyuk’s salary, using that selection to choose defenceman Jakob Chychrun.

On defence, the Coyotes also boast the salary of the long ago retired Chris Pronger. Pronger, who owns a $4.935 million salary cap hit and $575,000 salary next season, was acquired, along with Nicklas Grossmann, in last summer’s trade for Sam Gagner.

Add it up and the Coyotes will be paying an eyebrow-raising $11.575 million next season for a trio of players who may never play a game for them.

None of the above is meant as a shot at John Chayka, the 27-year-old general manger of the Coyotes. He was hired largely because of his analytical abilities, looking for creative solutions to financial puzzles while aiming to build the most competitive team possible. He is doing that.


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

Time For Chicago’s Prospects To Produce

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brian Hedger at NHL.com,

After trading Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad last summer, the Blackhawks have traded Andrew Shaw, Teuvo Teravainen and Bryan Bickell this offseason. The lone forward addition was fourth-line right wing Jordin Tootoo, and the most significant acquisitions were free agent defensemen Brian Campbell and Michal Kempny, a 25-year-old rookie from the Kontinental Hockey League.

The message is clear: Chicago's system needs to produce some NHL-caliber forwards this season.

"A lot of these guys have been with our system for several years, and in the past, it's been tough [for them]," general manager Stan Bowman said at the Blackhawks' annual fan convention in July. "We've had fewer [NHL] openings. So, I think right now our mindset is to go with the group that we have under contract right now. I think I want to give these guys a chance to show us they belong."

It's a group that includes rookies Vincent Hinostroza, Tanner Kero, Kyle Baun and Mark McNeill, who each made his NHL debut last season. Also included are highly touted rookies Tyler Motte and Nick Schmaltz, who each excelled in college last season. The most pressing question is whether the Blackhawks have enough talent among that group to replace what they have lost. 


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Season Outlook For Danny DeKeyser

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

2016-17 outlook: Niklas Kronwall's role and ice time likely is diminishing due to age and knee issues, Kyle Quincey is gone and no deal was made for a defenseman. That makes DeKeyser as important as ever on a blue line with many question marks.

DeKeyser will be the new workhorse, logging more minutes than anyone and matching up against top lines.

Entering the prime of his career, DeKeyser continues to be a strong puck-mover with good mobility and hockey senses. He makes good decisions.

He's not likely to see regular power-play duty and isn't relied on for offense but can contribute in that area (eight goals last season, 31 points the year before).

Coach Jeff Blashill planned on pairing Mike Green with DeKeyser at the start of last season before DeKeyser's injury scrapped that idea. Perhaps that idea will be revisited, as the defensively inclined DeKeyser would complement the more offensive-minded Green.


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

‘Roughly Translated’: Niklas Kronwall addresses knee issues in interview with NHL’s Swedish website

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

NHL.com's report regarding Niklas Kronwall's knee issue comes from a longer article posted on NHL.com/sv, and here is a rough translation of Janne Bengtsson's conversation with Kronwall:

Complications Disturbing Kronwall's Way Back

Niklas Kronwall had, as you know, say no to the World Cup of Hockey. His injured knee isn't holding up for the game against the world's best players.

"It is what it is. It was sad to have to make the decision not to play, but injuries are part of the sport. Right now I don't know how it will be for the start of the season with Detroit, but I hope and believe that I'll be ready then," says Kronwall to NHL.com/sv.

"I head over to Detroit as early as next week. Right now we're just waiting for my partner's visa to get ready. Then we'll travel and stay in Detroit until next summer. I'll have everything examined there, and we'll see what we come up with."

It was in January that Niklas Kronwall had an arthroscopy, a so-called "keyhole" surgery in his knee. He missed five weeks of the season. But the knee needed to be further-strengthened, and Kronwall's worked with it over this summer.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

The overnight report: Mrazek’s mask, on Joe Hicketts, a Holland profile and Tweets of note

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. Goalie mask artist David Gunnarsson has revealed Petr Mrazek's World Cup of Hockey mask:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

A Stretched Muscle Hampered Niklas Kronwall Over The Summer

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from NHL.com,

"It was sad to have to make the decision not to play [at World Cup], but injuries are part of the sport," the 35-year-old told NHL.com/sv. "Right now I do not know how it will affect the start of the season with Detroit, but I hope and believe that I'll be ready."...

Kronwall said he had a setback during offseason workouts.

"My knee has felt better and better over the summer, but three weeks ago I stretched a muscle in my thigh," he said. "That set me back three weeks of ice practice. Had I been able to practice those weeks, the chance to play would have been much better.

"I was really looking forward to the World Cup. But the first game is in about two weeks, and as of now I'm not in shape to play against the world's best players, regardless of how much I want it."

read on

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

From the Dub: Play On!

Blog: Above the Glass By Samantha

At first glance, Aussie Rules Football looks like really well-organized chaos. Stay past the first quarter and you'll begin to wonder "who invented this sport and how high were they when they did so?" If you're new to the sport, your perception of Australia's beloved national pastime probably goes something like this: Beer. Watch first half. Meat pie and another beer because obviously trying to understand this game while sober is an exercise in futility. Watch second half. Stumble home. But take a closer look and it's really a lot like hockey. And I'm not just talking about the beer.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Above the Glass | Permalink

Resolution Needed Soon

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

With the opening of NHL training camps  only 17 days away, here are five story lines worth following:

Hampus Lindholm negotiations: The Anaheim Ducks still haven’t been able to re-sign the two-way restricted free agent defenseman, and what happens with the situation could affect another team.

While Lindholm is essential to the Ducks, they have eight NHL defensemen on their roster, plus prospects Shea Theodore and Brandon Montour who are close.  When Lindholm is re-signed, the Ducks are expected to trade  a veteran defenseman.

Top-pairing defenseman Cam Fowler’s name has been mentioned in trade rumors all summer. The Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, among others, have been looking for defensive help.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Your New Captain Of The St. Louis Blues Is Alex Pietrangelo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Pinkert of St.LouisBlues.com,

The Blues officially introduced Pietrangelo as the club’s new captain during a press conference Thursday afternoon at Scottrade Center. The 26-year-old native of King City, Ontario will join an exclusive list of former Blues to wear an embroidered ‘C’ on the front of the jersey. That group that includes such legendary names as Al Arbour, Brian Sutter, Brett Hull, Al MacInnis, Wayne Gretzky, Bernie Federko, Chris Pronger and Barclay Plager.

“When you look at the guys who wore the ‘C,’ those are some big shoes to fill,” Pietrangelo said. “Not just good leaders, but good people that have represented themselves and their teammates in a great way. It’s my job now to carry on that tradition.”

The decision to name a captain came less than two months after the previous captain, David Backes, departed for the Boston Bruins via free agency on July 1. Backes had served as the Blues’ captain for the better part of five seasons from 2011-16.

“Being a top draft pick and watching him grow into an elite player in our game, Alex is the perfect age to take the leadership role for this group,” Armstrong said. “We have turned into a younger nucleus of a team, and he can guide that through the next number of years. We’re excited to have him as a captain.


added 3:47pm, St. Louis press release is below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+pietrangelo

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