Kukla's Korner

Morning news: On Smith’s ‘power,’ Howard’s numbers, Mantha and Athanasiou

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Among this morning's Red Wings-related news stories:

MLive's Ansar Khan ponders whether Jeff Blashill might finally choose to utilize Brendan Smith on the Red Wings' power play, unlike his predecessor:

"I think Brendan has that ability to do that (power play)," Blashill said. "You have to see where the whole puzzle fits at camp. He's somebody I know that's done that in the past because he's done that for me in the American League (for half the 2012-13 season)."

Blashill has a vision of how Smith can be best utilized.

"I think Brendan's best offensive ability is kind of roaming around below the tops of the circles," Blashill said. "If he's a weak-side guy on the power play, going to the net a lot, he can retrieve pucks because he's quick, he's strong, he's competitive. He's got good offensive instincts once he gets below the tops of circles. I know at Wisconsin he was on his off-side (right side) hitting one-timers. That's something we'll explore going into camp."

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Evening news: On Callahan, Svechnikov and the summer development camp

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Among this evening's Red Wings-related news stories and items: The Wings' prospects were busy attending the Cherry Festival this afternoon, after engaging in some wild skating drills (more on that in a minute). However:

Grand Rapids Griffins forward and hopeful future Wing Mitch Callahan is up in Traverse City with the Red Wings' prospects, taking his first steps back from a torn ACL, and he discussed his recovery with DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose as part of a "getting to know" Q and A...

“It’s nice that everybody is training coming into the season, but at the same time I would love to do all of this right now and skating in a full practice or scrimmage,” the 23-year-old Callahan said. “That’s the way it goes this time. I have to accept it and battle through it.”

It’s been a rough two years for Callahan, who underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL in February. Ten months earlier, the Red Wings’ sixth-round pick in the 2009 draft, suffered a fractured jaw and lost 10 teeth when he was struck by a puck.

Callahan is in Traverse City where this week he is working out with team trainers and skating on his own at the Wings’ development camp at Centre Ice Arena.

“Just skating on my own but no tight turns or stop and starting as of yet. That’s probably next week,” said Callahan, who expects to be ready for the Red Wings’ main training camp in September. Going to camp like everybody else trying to compete for a spot,” he added. “Just to be healthy and prove that – even though I had a knee injury – that my game hasn’t changed. There’s no setback in my game. … I’ll be 100 percent and ready by the end of August, so that’s right in time for camp.”

And Roose continues...

Evgeny Svechnikov isn't a man of too many words, but he discussed being drafted by the Wings and taking part in the development camp with the Windsor Star's Bob Duff...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

A Flawed Concussion Protocol In The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Hine of the Chicago Tribune,

When it comes to handling concussions, the NHL is miles behind the NFL — hardly the model on the issue. In the NFL, there is an independent injury spotter in the press box at every game, looking out for head injuries. If a spotter suspects one, he or she informs the team doctor and athletic trainers, who examine the player with an independent doctor present. And if a player is diagnosed with a concussion, an independent physician must clear him before the player returns to the field.

The key word there is independent. It doesn't appear in the NHL's protocol.

The NHL puts concussion diagnosis and return-to-play protocols solely in the hands of its teams and team physicians. This creates a conflict of interest for the team doctor and the player, who might appear weak to fellow teammates if he reports an injury. A heavy onus is on the player to report his symptoms to doctors, which is laughable given the backward macho culture that requires players to play through everything and teams to reveal nothing about injuries, especially in the playoffs.

read on

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

Axel Holmstrom Preparing For The Next Step

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Holmstrom (6-foot-1, 198 pounds) had 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) in 44 games with Skelleftea, then exploded in the playoffs with 18 points (seven goals) in 15 games.

The way Holmstrom sees it, though, it was mainly being in the right place at the right time.

“I got good confidence from my coach and we had a real good team, good teammates,” said Holmstrom, who can play center or left wing. “We had a lot of good self-confidence in our group. Myself, I started the playoffs pretty good and got confidence from that and just kept going. I had some lucky bounces.

“I shot the puck more, my coaches told me to do that and I would get more goals. It was unfortunate we lost in the finals but both me and the team had a good team.”

Holmstrom will return to Sweden this season and plans on turning pro in North America after his Swedish season, joining Grand Rapids.

Given his inexperience and not having played pro in Sweden, a full season playing there would be a positive decision.

“I want to take the next step and be good the whole season, just take a bigger role with the team,” Holmstrom said. “I want to keep getting better.

“I have to get better in every (way. The NHL is) the best league in the world and I want to do my best and develop the best I can.”


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

LTIR Fraud Trades

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Among the recent NHL trades are two that highlight the problem of LTIR fraud.  Chris Pronger and Marc Savard signed longterm contracts that their teams regretted.  When they suffered injuries their teams found an out.  These players were placed on the longterm injured reserve.  Neither has played an NHL game since 2011 and under any normal circumstances would have retired.  The problem is their retiring would have cost their respective teams' salary cap space.  So Pronger and Savard have remained active on paper even though both have taken other jobs and have no interest in returning to NHL careers.  We have found a new level of silly to add to the story.  Both of these players have been traded.  A different team wants them even though they will never play another NHL game.

Chris Pronger was traded to the Arizona Coyotes along with Nicklas Grossman for Sam Gagner and a conditional draft pick.  Arizona wants Chris Pronger because their finances are troubled,  Pronger allows them to pay their team less.  His salary cap hit is his average salary over his contract of $4.935 million but he is only paid $525,000 per year over the next two years.  This allows Arizona to make the salary floor without actually paying players that amount of money.  It signifies that Arizona is in financial distress and will bend rules to pay their team less than they are formally allowed to.  It shows that Arizona is going to be a bottom feeding team this year.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Red Wings’ Gustav Nyquist files for salary arbitration

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From MLive's Ansar Khan: The NHLPA released the list of players who've filed for salary arbitration, and Gustav Nyquist is among them:

This should facilitate a contract agreement in short order.

Update: Khan confirms in article form...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

23 Players Have Elected Salary Arbitration

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

TORONTO (July 5, 2015) – Twenty-three players have elected Salary Arbitration:

Arizona Coyotes

Mikkel Boedker

Phil Samuelsson

Brendan Shinnimin

Buffalo Sabres

Phil Varone

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

Impressions from the third day of the Red Wings’ summer development camp ‘15

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings' summer development campers got back to the business of doing team drills and beginning to work on Red Wings' systems play during the third day of the development camp, and they engaged in some incredibly unconventional but effective skating drills as well. Team Howe and Team Lindsay are spending this afternoon watching the Thunderbirds loop, spin and soar through the air, but the players were doing some looping, spinning and soaring of their own during Jiri Fischer's skill drills today, which was right on the line between stunningly beautiful to watch and smirk-inducing, depending on the player.

Here are the teams that participated in today's activities...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Landon Ferraro With A New One-Year Deal With The Wings

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

added 4:26pm, Detroit release is below...

added 4:32pm,


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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

A One-Year Extension For Nazem Kadri In Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Toronto Maple Leafs,

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Sunday that the club has signed forward Nazem Kadri to a one-year contract extension.

Kadri, 24, finished fourth among Maple Leaf skaters in scoring last season with 39 points (18 goals, 21 assists) in 73 regular season games. The London, Ontario native has appeared in 250 career NHL games – all with Toronto – and has collected 152 points (64 goals, 88 assists) to go along with 134 penalty minutes. Kadri was originally drafted by the Maple Leafs in the first round (7th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

added 3:53pm,


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nazem+kadri

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