Kukla's Korner

A fluffy little story about a cat at the Joe

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

This is quite the unique story from WDET's Sandra Svoboda:

A stray kitten scored a new home after Joe Louis Arena workers caught it on the ice. ”Josie” is likely the last visitor to play in the Detroit stadium.

She’s going to live with a Red Wings team staff member.

WDET’s Sandra Svoboda talked with Art Regner, editorial assistant for DetroitRedWings.com about the cat. Click on the audio link above to hear their whole conversation.

Click away...
 

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St. James’ mailbag feature: on DeKeyser, goal-scoring and Frk

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Free Press's Helene St. James posted a mailbag feature today, and here are some of her answers to reader questions:

Regarding Danny DeKeyser, and Jonathan Ericsson's trade value...

HSJ: DeKeyser was solid for USA at the World Championship, surrounded by a more talented defense corps than he is in Detroit. DeKeyser is two seasons removed from a career year in 2014-15, when he put up 31 points in 80 games and was a plus-11. He was among the many Wings who underperformed this past season, with a paltry 12 points, and a minus-22 in 82 games. In fairness to DeKeyser, the decline of Niklas Kronwall has forced DeKeyser into a top-pairing role when he really should be slotted as a no. 3. If the Wings can turn some of their plethora of wingers into an upgrade on defense, I think DeKeyser will thrive as a second-pairing guy. He’s only 27, just coming into his prime. As for Jonathan Ericsson, I don’t see a trade there, and I’d expose him in the expansion draft to protect Nick Jensen.

Determining which player will lead the Red Wings in goals during the 2017-18 season:

HSJ: Tomas Tatar surged from nine goals at season’s midpoint in January to lead the Wings with 25 goals. I doubt he’ll repeat as off-season shoulder surgery leaves him iffy for the start of next season – and then that’s a tough injury for a goal scorer to bounce back from right away even when he does start playing. I’ll go with Anthony Mantha. The message seems to be sinking in with him that he has to exert himself every game to stand out in the NHL. If Mantha plays to his size, skates and goes to the net (especially on power plays), he should light it up.

St. James continues, discussing Martin Frk's chances of making the team...

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Soon The Busy Off-Season Begins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rory Boylen of Sportsnet,

Although the on-ice season is nearing its close, the off-ice season will be as busy as ever. Here are some important dates and events ahead, and some related storylines to keep an eye on.

BUYOUT WINDOW: OPENS JUNE 15 OR 48 HOURS AFTER STANLEY CUP FINAL

Any general manager tied to a terrible contract they'd prefer to escape from has an option to rid himself of it, for a price.

From the time the window opens to when it closes on June 30, general managers can buy out a player. The cost of a buyout is paid out over twice the number of remaining years on the contract and the rate is one-third of the remaining salary for players younger than 26, and two-thirds for players 26 and older. Any player who is still recovering from a regular season injury, however, cannot be bought out, and players can only be bought out after clearing unconditional waivers.

After a player is bought out, they will still count toward the team's salary cap. CapFriendly.com explains how you calculate that cap hit and you can always use their buyout calculator to run a simulation of your own:

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Red Wings sign Czech defenseman Libor Sulak to entry-level deal

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 5x at 2:22 PM: From the Red Wings:

According to Elite Prospects, Sulak is a 6'2," 190-pound defenseman who played for Orli Znojmo this past season, posting 10 goals, 18 assists and 28 points in 54 games played. He's 23 years old, and is supposed to play for the Lahti Pelicans in 2017-18.

More from the Wings:

Continue Reading »

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Red Wings name Delaware North Sportservice as food/beverage/retail partner for Little Caesars Arena

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings have chosen their foodservice provider for Little Caesars Arena, and it's a company owned by Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs. Delaware North Sportservice is an established foodservice company that handles the food and beverage needs of many sports facilities around the country:

Here's the press release:

Olympia Entertainment Puts Emphasis on Unique Fan Experience, Naming Delaware North Sportservice as food, beverage and retail partner for Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena
Industry leader will deliver innovative fare and traditional favorites within the state-of-the-art entertainment district

BUFFALO, N.Y. and DETROIT (May 24, 2017) – Delaware North Sportservice – a division of global hospitality and foodservice provider Delaware North – has been awarded the contract to serve as the food, beverage and retail partner at Little Caesars Arena. The soon-to-be-opened arena in downtown Detroit will be the home of the National Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings and National Basketball Association’s Detroit Pistons and is the centerpiece of The District Detroit entertainment district currently under development.

Continue Reading »

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Saving the Spitfires

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Windsor Spitfires are hosting the Memorial Cup this week at the WFCU Centre, and Sportsnet's Gare Joyce shares the story of Spitfires owners Bob Boughner and Warren Rychel taking over and ultimately "saving" the Spitfires:

The Memorial Cup opened in Windsor on Friday night but it would surely have landed somewhere else were it not for Rychel and Boughner’s decision to find a way to stay in the game. It might be a bit much to say that they saved junior hockey in Windsor. Major-junior hockey’s grip on most of its long-standing markets is pretty stubborn and when it takes root, it’s like a weed. That said, the Spitfires would have been worth more elsewhere than they were in Windsor circa 2004, and the city was in the process of losing bigger stuff than that, what with the auto plants being shuttered. Still, Rychel and Boughner didn’t think about another place. It had to be here. And it had to be now.

Joyce continues...

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NHL.com’s Rosen on the ‘rebuild on the fly’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

NHL.com's Dan Rosen answered mailbag questions this morning, and Rosen suggested that the Red Wings' "rebuild on the fly" shouldn't include a total tear-down of the Big Red Machine:

What's the first offseason move for a team like the Detroit Red Wings, who are just entering a rebuild? This includes anything at the draft. -- @J_ferns97

Let's talk realistically here. The Red Wings are not far off from being a playoff team, which is what they want to be at this point. They are not entering a rebuild like Buffalo, Toronto or the Arizona Coyotes. Detroit is entering a new arena next season and needs to put a team on the ice that will keep people in the seats. So there's no big rebuild in Hockeytown.

The Red Wings also have a number of quality players in place, but Detroit absolutely has to get better on defense, and I do think a change among the forwards could be in the offing if only to shake things up. The goaltending situation needs to be ironed out too. Jimmy Howard is the better of the two goalies, in my opinion. He should go into next season as the unquestioned No. 1, but he also might be exposed in the expansion draft if the Red Wings choose to protect Petr Mrazek, who at 25 is eight years younger than Howard. It makes sense to protect the cheaper, younger goalie.

To be a playoff team, the first thing they need to do is get a quality top-four defenseman. Again, I don't think they're going to go into full rebuild mode, so I do expect general manager Ken Holland to be on the lookout to make this team better, not shred it.

Rosen continues, and I think he's right--at least in terms of what's going to happen with the team.

Whether this team needs to fully rebuild is a question up for debate, but the Red Wings' front office isn't going to proceed with a full tear-down-and-rebuild situation. Holland stated as much during his end-of-season remarks.

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Why The Empty Seats In Ottawa?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

It must be Eugene Melnyk.

The only logical explanation for fans negatively stealing so much of the spotlight from the Senators unexpectedly wondrous ride through the playoffs has to be a growing, general contempt for the team’s owner, for one reason or another.

That must be the main reason why, in the hours leading up to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final, there were still so many tickets available.

It was sad how the prospect of empty seats at Canadian Tire Centre on Tuesday night was a hot topic that overshadowed the fact the Senators were one of just three teams still with a shot at winning the Stanley Cup heading into Tuesday night.

Can you imagine? The Senators still in contention for the NHL’s most prestigious hardware on May 23? They didn’t even make the playoffs last season. Not many thought they would this spring, either. Especially when they lost their No. 1 goalie for long periods of time while he helped his wife fight cancer, not to forget a likeable leader to an 18-month battle with concussion problems.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Nashville Predators, Really?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,

It was more than a decade ago that the NHL sacrificed an entire season and forwent the awarding of the Stanley Cup in the name of implementing a hard salary cap to ensure cost certainty and competitive balance.

And when the ugly lockout was finally over, one of the happiest sounding voices emanated from Nashville.

“We’re very excited and optimistic,” Predators general manager David Poile said back in 2005. “We’re much closer to having a fair playing field, and for us to be real competitive right out of the gate.”

It only took a dozen years, but the Predators’ presence in their first Stanley Cup final might be the ultimate demonstration of the grand design behind Gary Bettman’s hard slog of a lockout. A case can be made that the NHL has reached peak parity. Tiny Nashville, the last team to qualify for the playoffs, is the last team standing in the Western Conference. Bitty Nashville, the 16th seed in the league’s 16-team playoff tournament, is the first bottom seed to qualify for the final since the NHL expanded from six to 12 teams in 1967-68 (this according to research by Randy Robles of the Elias Sports Bureau).

And exactly nobody saw it coming. Hockey players have long boasted that the Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy to win in pro sports.

continued

from John Smallwood of the Philadelphia Daily News,

Continue Reading »

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Report- The Colorado Avalanche Have Interest In Kyle Dubas

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

...respected Toronto-based Sportsnet and NHL Network reporter Elliotte Friedman on Tuesday said that the Avalanche had asked for and received permission to speak with Maple Leafs assistant general manger Kyle Dubas, 30, about a job with the Colorado organization. Presumably that would involve something more than a parallel move for Dubas, with Sakic moving up in the Kroenke Sports hierarchy and-or a massaging of job titles in the hockey front office.

Team president Josh Kroenke three weeks ago said of Sakic: “Joe’s leash hasn’t changed at all. Nobody wants to get the Avalanche back to where they were, where we all expect them to be, more than Joe Sakic. We’re going to continue to give him every resource at his disposal and I’m going to help him in any ways he sees that I can. At the end of the day, Joe wants what’s best for the Colorado Avalanche. Whether that’s him in his current role or something else, it doesn’t matter. Joe Sakic is committed to making the Avalanche better.”

On Tuesday night, Avalanche vice president Jean Martineau said, “We will not comment on rumors.”

more on the Avalanche...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kyle+dubas

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