Kukla's Korner

KK- Donation Drive Update

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Thanks to some very recent donations, the KK GoFundMe Dontation Drive is now over $8000.

Your donations will help make KK a much better place moving forward and I cannot thank you enough.

Do remember, anyone who has donated in the past and does so again, any amount over $20 will get the majority of ads removed on KK to make your browsing experience that much better.

If this is your first time donating, anything over $25 will also to the trick.

Again, thanks to all who have donated.

Filed in: KK Website Business, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Evening news: Justin Abdelkader discusses his impending UFA status, and a bunch of promotional stuff

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Among this evening's Red Wings-related stories:

Michigan State University's pro camp wrapped up yesterday...

And Justin Abdelkader spoke with the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan about his status as going into a contract year and facing unrestricted free agency (next summer) coming off the best statistical season of his career:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Statement From Gary Bettman On The Passing Of Al Arbour

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (Aug. 28, 2015) -- National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman today released the following statement regarding the passing of Hockey Hall of Famer Al Arbour:

“The National Hockey League deeply mourns the passing of Al Arbour, revered head coach of the dynastic New York Islanders.

"A four-time Stanley Cup champion as a player and a brilliant motivator and tactician as a coach, Al Arbour directed the Islanders' rapid transformation from expansion team to NHL powerhouse -- guiding them to four straight Stanley Cup championships, five consecutive appearances in the Stanley Cup Final and an astounding 19 consecutive playoff series victories. As it grieves the loss of a profound influence on coaching and on the game itself, the NHL sends its heartfelt condolences to Al's family and friends, to his former teammates and to all the players he mentored."

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

Paul Gaustad Leads In Defensive Zone Starts

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

When I posted the league leaders in 2014/15 by excess defensive zone starts (defensive zone faceoffs - offensive zone faceoffs) when a player is on the ice, Paul Gaustad of the Nashville Predators leads.  Gaustad has 457 excess defensive zone starts.  This makes him the player who had the role most defined by zone starts.  Mike Ribeiro, the offensive zone start leader, has 302 excess offensive zone starts.  Since both the offensive and defensive leaders play on Nashville, it is clear that they were the strongest users of the strategy of getting offensive players into offensive zone starts and defensive players into defensive ones.

Gaustad played a tough role defensively.  This showed up in his puck possession numbers.  His team adjusted Corsi rating is sixth worst in the NHL last year at -248.8.  That doesn't make him one of the weakest players in the NHL.  It means that his Corsi shows the context of a tough defensive role.  If he starts his shifts in the defensive zone, he is more likely to face a shot attempt against.  In order to better use Corsi to single out the best and worst puck possession players, it is necessary to correct for zone starts.  I will do that soon.  In fact despite Gaustad's poor Corsi, I would have given him a fourth place Selke vote as best defensive forward because his role is so tough defensively.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

A Four-Year Extension For Cody Eakin In Dallas

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

FRISCO, Texas - Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has signed center Cody Eakin to a four-year contract extension. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Eakin, 24, finished tied for fourth on the Stars in 2014-15 with 40 points (19-21=40) in 78 games played. He finished tied for the team lead in game-winning goals (6) and finished with career highs in goals, assists and points. His average of 1:57 of shorthanded time on ice per game was second amongst team forwards and he led the team with 1,292 faceoffs taken, winning 50.8%.

Following the season, he represented Canada at the World Championship, helping the team to a perfect 10-0 record and a gold medal finish. He appeared in nine of those contests, posting six points (4-2=6) and a +7 plus/minus rating.

In four NHL seasons with Washington and Dallas, he has produced 107 points (46-61=107) in 237 games played. He has appeared in six career playoff games, posting five points (2-3=5) and a +2 plus/minus rating.

"Cody is a well-rounded player and has the versatility to play in a number of roles," said Nill. "He has the ability to shutdown opponent's top players, win faceoffs and kill penalties, all while producing offensively. Cody has been an important part of our team and will continue to be a part of our core for the next five seasons."

 

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cody+eakin

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.

more

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  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...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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