Kukla's Korner

Morning news: On the NHLPA rookie showcase, Filip Hronek, Alexander Kadeikin and Franzen golfing

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of brief Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. Evgeny Svechnikov will represent the Red Wings at the NHLPA Rookie Showcase in Toronto next Monday and Tuesday, engaging in photo shoots and other activities with the NHL's trading card partner, Upper Deck;

2. According to the Saginaw News's Hugh Berenreuter, Saginaw Spirit manager Craig Goslin expects defenseman Filip Hronek to play for the Spirit this season;

3. In the playing-games department, in the KHL, Alexander Kadeikin didn't play in Lokomotiv Yaroslavl's season-opening 1-0 victory over Amur;

4. And Johan Franzen engaged in a little golf tournament with his buddies recently:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Jamie Benn’s Top Priority Is The Dallas Stars

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

Given the choice, Jamie Benn has decided to focus on silver and not gold right now.

The Stars captain has decided to the skip possibility of a gold medal at the prestigious World Cup of Hockey tournament in order to completely heal from summer surgery so that he can be 100 percent healthy for the start of the Stars season -- a campaign in which Benn and his teammates are fully focused on the shiny silver Stanley Cup.

"Giving everything I have to this organization is my main job, and I want to be ready to go when the season starts," Benn said. "I'm 100 percent committed to the Stars. That's why we made the decision."


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jamie+benn

Alden Hirschfeld’s comeback hits high gear

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe reports that Alden Hirschfeld is well on his way back from a seizure that required brain surgery to correct this past March:

Just five months after undergoing brain surgery, Alden Hirschfeld believes he’s back and better than ever.

The 28-year-old forward had his pro hockey career put on hold after he suffered an unexpected seizure during a game on Jan. 8. On March 14, the Sylvania native had surgery to remove a tangle of arteries and veins in his brain that had caused the seizure.

Just five months later, Hirschfeld is back skating full-tilt. Hirschfeld's remarkable recovery hit a new high point when he received clearance from his doctors to resume all contact late last week.

“I'm back to playing regularly, skating with contact,” he said. “It's awesome. I've been waiting a long time for this. It's finally here. Post-surgery, I'm super healthy. Now it's just great to still be able to play and move on.”

Hirschfeld, who has played three seasons for the Toledo Walleye, is champing at the bit to put an exclamation point on an amazing journey.

“I'm hungry and excited,” Hirschfeld said. “If the season started tomorrow, I'd be ready to go.”

Monroe continues...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Kulfan ponders 10 Wings ‘issues’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan has penned a list of 10 issues facing the Red Wings with training camp "approaching," and among them:

2. Is the defense — or can the defense be — improved?: The search for a top-four defenseman to strengthen the unit resulted in no trades or free agent signings.

So the only real change was letting free agent Kyle Quincey walk — Quincey has yet to sign with another team — and Xavier Ouellet (out of minor league options) likely replacing Quincey.

The Red Wings will need to improve from within. Defensemen Jonathan Ericsson, Niklas Kronwall and Mike Green all had sub-par seasons and need to rebound. Brendan Smith, Danny DeKeyser and Alexey Marchenko must continue to improve and take on greater roles.

This unit still has the look of a question mark, and a trade could happen early in the season. But improvement must likely come individually.

Kulfan continues...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

AWood40 posts a set of 2002 Wings-Avs highlights

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

AWood40 on YouTube offers quite a gem this evening, posting 54 minutes' worth of highlights from the 2002 Red Wings-Avalanche series:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Beat writers tour 3D-printed Little Caesars Arena in miniature, share the big details

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Free Press's Helene St. James, the Windsor Star's Bob Duff and Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples and Stefan Kubus (among others) got a tour of the Ilitches' 3D-printed model of Little Caesars Arena and its surrounding development. They came away impressed, as St. James notes...

During a special preview of Little Caesars Arena on Tuesday, held at nearby Comerica Park, president and CEO of Olympia Entertainment Tom Wilson led a group of media members on a tour highlighting LCA, which is scheduled to open for the 2017-18 season. Situated in the budding Detroit District, the inside of the arena was inspired by Montreal’s Bell Centre, considered one of the most intimidating arenas in the NHL because of the lack of outside light.

“That became the model,” Wilson said. “It’s very steep — I mean, people are right on top of you. The difference is in Canada, there’s no leg room, and they don’t have ADA restrictions. So, we had to take all that into account, and even with that, this building is tighter than Montreal.”

New seats are 21 inches wide, compared to 17-18 at Joe Louis Arena.

“The lower level has 9,000 seats for hockey, 11,000 for basketball,” Wilson said. “The Joe has 6,000 in the lower level. So, as an average fan, my view is going to be much better — 3,000 more people are going to be closer to the action. And then the suites, we brought down to about 24 rows up, and there’s two levels of them.”

St. James continues, and Duff picks it up from there:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Tales Of NHL Referee Frank Udvari

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Stubbs of NHL.com,

For his poise in the heat of action, Udvari was assigned by Voss to many of the NHL's toughest games between the League's fiercest rivals, powder-keg contests that were in constant danger of explosion.

"Guys in the game today have no idea how tough players were in those days, like Rocket Richard and Lindsay," Udvari told Irvin. "In the warmup, Lindsay would tell guys on the other team he was going to cut their (expletive) head off. I mean, he was mad already, and the game hadn't even started. The ferociousness and the way they focused on the game was unbelievable."

There were light moments -- sort of. Udvari recalled once giving the Red Wings five consecutive penalties and having the great Howe skate over to sneer at the No. 1 on his referee's back, saying that Udvari still was only second-best. Asked who was best, Mr. Hockey replied, "Everybody else is tied."


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: frank+udvari

Afternoon Line- Raffi Torres

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“It’s kind of up in the air right now. I’ve just been training, pretty much for 4-5 months, getting my body to where I need to be. I’m feeling good.”

“To be honest, I’ve never been one for Plan B’s. I’ve been telling everybody (who asks about my future), it’s probably going to be The Show or no.”

-UFA Raffi Torres.  John Matisz of the Vancouver Province has more.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: raffi+torres

Cody Ceci And The Ottawa Senators Agree To a Two-Year Contract

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

OTTAWA – Ottawa Senators (@Senators) general manager Pierre Dorion announced today that the club has agreed to terms with defenceman Cody Ceci to a two-year contract which will run through the end of the 2017-18 National Hockey League season. The average annual value of the contract is $2.8 million ($2.25M, $3.35M).

Ceci, 22, established new NHL career highs in goals (10), points (26) and penalty minutes (18) while matching his career high for assists (16) over 75 games with the Senators during the 2015-16 season. Upon the conclusion of the season, he also skated with Team Canada at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Moscow/St. Petersburg, Russia. In 10 games with Team Canada, he scored one goal and earned five assists while helping the team to a gold medal.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cody+ceci

Numerous Factors In Play When Deciding If The NHL Will Participate In The Winter Olympics

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jonas Siegel of the CP at the Globe and Mail,

A new wrinkle in advance of the next Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, centres around out-of-pocket payments the International Olympic Committee and International Ice Hockey Federation have covered, a practice the IOC has suggested stopping under president Thomas Bach.

Adding additional costs is viewed as a potential bridge too far for both the league and the union.

“It’s not good to shut down, the question is whether or not it’s worth it to go to the Olympics,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told The Canadian Press in a recent interview. “You need to satisfy yourself that it’s worth it.”

Bettman said a variety of factors had to be taken into account, from the players’ desire to attend to the location of the Olympics to the “opportunities that come from it.”

NHLPA president Donald Fehr reiterated in a separate interview that the players want to continue attending the Olympics, depending on the circumstances.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHLPA, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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