Kukla's Korner

Steve Yzerman And The Red Wings Way

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Cristina Ledra of The Sporting News,

Jim Nill and Ken Holland sat at the Detroit Red Wings table at the 2011 NHL Draft in Minneapolis and couldn’t believe what was coming from the nearby Tampa Bay Lightning camp and their protégé Steve Yzerman.

“Kenny and I were kind of sitting back-to-back to him and they were doing their picks and I think that year — and they were the right picks — he picked a bunch of Russians,” Nill said. “We kinda looked at him and said, ‘Stevie’s picking all these Russians.’ And that wasn’t his style all the time and here he was.”

MORE: Steve Yzerman's Hall of Fame career | Fedorov, Lidstrom among 2015 Hall of Fame class

Imagine that: The brain trust that put together something as unique and remarkable as the Russian Five, Yzerman’s former teammates in Detroit, was now nonplussed that the Lightning’s new general manager was gathering his own collection of Russians 20 years later when, similarly, teams just weren’t drafting players from that country.

This wouldn’t be the last time Yzerman borrowed from the Red Wings’ — and Holland’s — model, one that has produced a North American professional sports record 24 consecutive playoff appearances, four Stanley Cup championships and featured scores of Hockey Hall of Fame members.


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: stee+yzerman

‘Name’ Players Still Available

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

Cody Franson netted more points (36) last season than Beleskey (32) and he’s a big, in-demand, right-shooting defenceman still looking for a job. 

The Maple Leafs landed a first-round pick for Franson from the Predators in a February trade. That his numbers and minutes dropped off in Nashville is less indicative of his play and more about the overall depth of the Predators’ defence corps. He is still in the prime of his career and can instantly be plugged into almost any team’s top two pairings.

Then there’s Johnny Oduya, 33, who steadied the Blackhawks on two Stanley Cup runs in the last three seasons. Christian Ehrhoff, 32, struggled to stay on the ice last season in Pittsburgh but is still a capable of eating 20 minutes per night.

Then there is the third tier of defencemen, where a possible value buy like Jan Hejda is available. Hejda just turned 37, but he has only 627 games of wear on his tires.

Up front, former Hart Trophy winner Marty St. Louis is still waiting for the right fit. That may or may not come - with him hoping to stay close to his family in Connecticut. St. Louis, 40, posted 52 points in 74 games last season.

Chris Stewart, Eric Fehr, Jiri Tlusty and Joel Ward all drew significant interest on Wednesday, but weren’t able to settle on any terms.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

More Winners And Losers From Yesterday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at CTVNews,

Free agency day didn't have the wild money tossed around like usual, and trades overshadowed most of the signings. Yet there are still some clear winners and losers from July 1.


With the weakest free-agent pool in recent history, NHL general managers kept themselves from overpaying. No contract was longer than six years, Andrej Sekera's US$33 million with the Oilers was the most money and Mike Green's $6 million with the Red Wings the highest cap hit.

The Battle of Alberta
Edmonton continued its makeover by improving the blue line with Sekera, so the Calgary Flames brought back goaltender Karri Ramo at a reasonable $3.8 million and signed sought-after "utility tool" forward Michael Frolik. The next few seasons of this rivalry should be fun.

Phil Kessel
Traded to the Penguins, Kessel doesn't have to be in the spotlight on a team with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. At a cap hit of $6.8 million, Kessel just has to score 30 -- or more -- goals and go about his business in Pittsburgh.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Wings’ prospects get the new arena sales pitch

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji, via RedWingsFeed:

They came from all over the world yet there was a general consensus about what they saw – the Red Wings' new stadium looks fantastic.

The Wings' just-drafted players, prospects and invitees to their development camp got a private tour along with Jiri Fischer, director of player development, of the plans for the new stadium and District Detroit.

District Detroit is the vision of the Ilitch family for a state-of-the-art events center and surrounding areas that will comprise 50 blocks of the city, including Comerica Park, Ford Field and the Fox Theatre.

Wings general manager Ken Holland had mentioned that the experience at Montreal's Bell Centre, where the fans seem to be on top of the ice and the noise can be intimidating, so the Wings are looking to exceed that with what is expected to be the tightest bowl in the league.

As Ypsilanti, Michigan, native and Windsor Spitfires defenseman Jalen Chatfield said, "Who wouldn't want to play there?"


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

ESPN’s LeBrun discusses the ways the Green and Richards signings went down

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

ESPN's Pierre LeBrun provides a breakdown of the "how's" behind the Wings' signings of Mike Green and Brad Richards:

Holland has been after Green a for a long time, approaching the Washington Capitals a summer ago when it appeared Green might be available after the Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik signings overloaded the Caps' blue line. Instead, Green stayed put until his deal ran out.

That’s when Holland jumped on him, though not at all costs. The Wings made it clear to Green's representatives at Newport Sports early on that they weren’t going to do a long-term deal, so forget a five-year contract.

The conversation then came down to doing three years or four, average annual value (AAV) a bit higher on three years. The Wings chose the shorter deal, even if the AAV was higher at $6 million.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

A Look At The Secondary Ticket Market With NHL 2015-16 Schedule Released

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

By Mike Shackil,

Last week, the NHL released their full schedule for the 2015-16 season and tickets were placed on the secondary market almost immediately. With fluctuating ticket inventory at this point, prices are constantly moving, but it is still not too early for hockey fans to think about some of the premier matchups that are teed up.

 With secondary market ticketing information provided by TicketNetwork.com, below are some of the highest-priced games of the season in terms of average ticket price and their get-in price. It’s worth noting that the get-in prices in this early stage are more accurate projections of what the final prices will be.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tiqiq

Nothing like a good (building) implosion!

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Hotel Park Avenue has to be taken out to make way for the Red Wings' arena, and the Detroit News's Louis Aguilar reports that it's going to go down in the most awesome way possible:

A historic empty building that will soon become history to make room for the new hockey arena will be imploded, according to two sources familiar with the plans.

Implosion means explosive materials will be strategically placed in the 13-story former Park Avenue hotel so that the structure collapses on itself, usually within a matter of seconds.

The building to be imploded is the 91-year-old former Park Avenue hotel, on the southwest corner of Park Avenue and Sproat Street in the Cass Corridor neighborhood just north of downtown.

The implosion is scheduled for 8 a.m. on July 11.

The Italian Renaissance-inspired structure is being imploded because it stands in the footprint of the $450 million new venue that will be home to the Detroit Red Wings. In its place, an underground loading dock would be built to ensure the multipurpose venue can accommodate major concerts and other events.


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

A bit of a development camp teaser

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Consider this article by the Traverse City Record-Eagle's James Cook as something of a teaser for the Wings' development camp, which begins tomorrow at Centre Ice Arena and will continue until next Wednesday:

"It's exciting to see some of our returning guys from last year, Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha," said Anne Reeves, director of the Red Wings events in Traverse City. "Especially Dylan Larkin, and what an amazing season he's coming off of, to watch him become a leader of sorts for this group coming in."

The Red Wings will be holding an autograph session from 6-7 p.m. Sunday at the Cherry Festival Open Space.

The five-day event will include a cooking class, curling, nutritional and media presentations, meeting with the front office and coaches, as well as on-ice practice, drills and scrimmages.

Participants will have an off-ice session at Centre ICE on Thursday that is closed to the public before the camp officially starts Friday, lasting through July 7.

The camp also features two guest players from the Korean National Team — right wing Jin-Hui Ahn and defender Won-Jun Kim.

The Red Wings will also have all of their 2015 draft picks in attendance, something that isn't all that common. Svechnikov heads that class, followed by defender Vili Saarijarvi (third round), goaltender Joren Van Pottelberghe (fourth round), forward Chase Pearson (fifth round), defender Patrick Holway (sixth round) and forward Adam Marsh (seventh round).

Cook continues...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Khan: Wings’ moves illustrate ‘commitment to winning now’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

MLive's Ansar Khan penned a column discussing the Wings' free agency moves as a "commitment to winning now, while the Cup window is still open," and here are his takes on the Green and Richards signings:

Green, 29, was the key. He's been one of the league's premier offensive defensemen for a decade with the Washington Capitals. Other than Kronwall, the Red Wings don't generate much offense form the back end. Green also will boost an already strong power play (ranked second in the NHL last season).

Green has defensive deficiencies, but he'll be protected to some extent on the second pairing with Danny DeKeyser, who Babcock often referred to as "The Human Eraser" for his ability to clean up others' mistakes.

Richards might start the season as the No. 1 center, depending on Datsyuk's recovery. That's not ideal, but options are limited. He'll eventually settle into the second-line spot, where the Red Wings hope he'll mesh with either Gustav Nyquist or Tomas Tatar.

New coach Jeff Blashill has options, and depth. The Red Wings have 15 forwards, including Johan Franzen, whose status is uncertain due to a concussion, and nine defensemen.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Peter Karmanos On Fire

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Carolina owner Peter Karmanos offered a blistering critique of the way the Penguins do business during a meeting with Raleigh-area media Wednesday.

He took numerous shots – some subtle, some not – at the franchise, with general manager Jim Rutherford the primary target. Rutherford was the Hurricanes’ GM for two decades until he was replaced by former Penguins center Ron Francis in 2014, shortly before Rutherford was hired here.

Among Karmanos’ observations:

On the large contract Rutherford gave to winger Alex Semin, who was bought out this week – “Ultimately, I take responsibility for everything. I do not have to take responsibility for Pittsburgh signing [Phil] Kessel, however. [The Penguins actually traded for Kessel, who has seven years left on his contract.]”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: peter+karmanos

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