Kukla's Korner

Jeff Lerg leaves Walleye for European opportunity

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe:

Jeff Lerg, who holds nearly every goaltending record in Toledo Walleye franchise history, has signed to play next season with a team in Denmark.

Lerg, 30, from Livonia, Mich., had played a prominent role the last two seasons with the Walleye. He signed today with a team based in Rungsted, a suburb of Copenhagen.

Lerg, who was named runner-up for ECHL goaltender of the year last season, posted a 28-11-3 record. He set single-season franchise records with a 2.17 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage.

Update: Here's more from the Toledo Walleye:

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Morning news: on Dylan Sadowy, jobs at the Joe, interactive events and a Dan Watson interview

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. MLive's Brendan Savage penned a profile of Wings prospect Dylan Sadowy:

He registered a hat trick in the first development camp scrimmage while also scoring during a shootout. In the second and final scrimmage, he had a goal and assist.

"It's just going to the net hard," said Sadowy, who will almost certainly start this season with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins. "That's my game, just going to the blue paint, taking the crap from the defenders and just getting those greasy goals.

"I'm hoping to put up a couple numbers in Grand Rapids first and then hopefully get the call. Just keep playing my game, keep going to the net hard and hopefully they'll see something and give me a shot.

"Obviously I have personal goals and team goals as well. Personally I want to make that big jump to the big league next year. If I get the opportunity, just run with it. If not, just keep working hard, going at it every practice and see how next year goes."

Savage continues...

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Gary Bettman Talks MLBAM Partnership

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,

Almost one year into a landmark digital media rights partnership, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Wednesday they believe the deal has benefited both sides.

The six-year contract, which was signed Aug. 4, 2015, allows Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), the technical arm of Major League Baseball, to serve as the host of all of the NHL's digital properties, among them NHL.com, NHL.TV and NHL Network.

"[MLBAM] has been extraordinary," Commissioner Bettman said during an appearance with Manfred at Paley Center for Media in Manhattan. "Bob Bowman (MLBAM president and chief executive officer), who not only created but presided over it since its inception … has made it the leading enterprise for streaming live sports. They're cutting edge, extraordinarily professional. They're great at what they do."

Commissioner Bettman said a review of the NHL's digital-media presentation led him to MLBAM. There also was a comfort level professionally and personally with Bowman, whom Commissioner Bettman said he's known for almost 25 years.

"We were reviewing all of our options both on the strictly vendor side and also what other more integrated solutions or possibilities were there for us," Commissioner Bettman said. "Based on our knowledge and understanding and respect for what [MLBAM] had accomplished, we thought that this would be the best opportunity for us to provide the best experience for our fans to connect to the game using technology both today and into the foreseeable future.

continued

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

Caples: The Eastside Elite Hockey League All-Star Game is sold out

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

If you aren't already aware of this Saturday's Eastide Elite Hockey League All-Star Game in Mount Clemens, Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples spoke with Steven Oleksy regarding the event:

“It’s a little bit bittersweet,” said the Eastside Elite Hockey League founder, professional hockey player and Chesterfield native. “Obviously it’s great to have the guys and have everybody involved and so much going on, but in the other sense, I want to play well, too. It’s always hard for me to shut off the business side when I’m out there and just play. I’ve got a great staff, I’ve got a lot of people helping me with everything, so that will be good, and hopefully it will allow me to relax and have some fun and play some good hockey.”

The Eastside Elite league has been up and running for nine seasons now, but 2016 will mark the first time the prestigious summer league holds an all-star game. The inaugural Eastside Elite All-Star Game, with a puck drop scheduled for 5:30 p.m., will feature the top vote-getters from the 10 Eastside clubs, along with some special invitees. Former Orchard Lake St. Mary’s captain and Eastside alum Cooper Anstett, now a musician pursuing a career in Nashville, will be in town for a special concert after the game, as well. Proceeds from ticket sales ($10 per person, children under the age of 5 get in free) will benefit the Mount Clemens Hockey Club. MiHockey is sorry to let people know, however, that ticket sales have been put on hold due to capacity concerns for the Mount Clemens Ice Arena. Four hundred tickets have already been sold.

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Still No Contract For Auston Matthews

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

Toronto Maple Leafs top draft pick Auston Matthews remained without a contract on Wednesday, the sticking point apparently over performance bonuses that GM Lou Lamoriello has historically avoided in his time as an NHL executive.

There is no reason to panic yet, with hockey still two months away.

But some find it a curious way to do to business for a team that has invested heavily in building through youth, and spent so much time selling the pain of losing to land a player of Matthews calibre.

“This one, to me, feels foolish,” an NHL source not involved in the talks told The Star. “I don’t know what Lou’s reward is if he wins for the amount of risk you take by going this direction.”

The Leafs not only risk alienating Matthews and his camp — souring future talks when Matthews will have more leverage — but they may be sending a negative message to players around the league about how the team treats stars, he said.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: auston+matthews

No Four-On-Four OT Hockey In NCAA Games

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Shipley of the Pioneer Press,

The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee decided Wednesday to table a proposal for four-on-four overtime and a sudden-death shootout that would have been required for all NCAA regular-season games, the NCAA announced.

The proposal would not have affected postseason tournament games, including conference and NCAA championships, which would continue to use a five-on-five, sudden-death overtime format played in 20-minute periods.

However, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel did approve use of an experimental rule allowing a 3-on-3 overtime period followed by a sudden-death shootout if a game is tied after a 5-on-5 OT period. Any conference interested in using the experimental rule may do so, the NCAA said.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, College Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

‘Three Things’: On Howard, Vanek and a Ted Lindsay signing on Thursday

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. The Free Press's Helene St. James examines Jimmy Howard's pluses and minuses...

Looking back: Head coach Jeff Blashill started the season alternating between Howard and Petr Mrazek until Howard began to struggle in December. Howard’s woes dragged on as he saw sporadic backup duty, although his starts did also come during the second game of back-to-backs. When Mrazek went into a free-fall, Howard was able to play well enough that he took over as starter by season’s end. Howard started the first two games of the playoffs, then was pulled as part of the response to going down 2-0 in the series against Tampa Bay.

Looking ahead: Attempts to trade Howard, 32, were unsuccessful, as the few teams needing goaltending help found solutions elsewhere. If Howard is traded, the Wings would also need another veteran goalie, as there isn’t a goaltending prospect in the organization capable of jumping in. The Wings would need to acquire someone very trustworthy, because there is still uncertainty regarding whether Mrazek can handle a full NHL season. In sum, for the time being, it makes sense to hang onto Howard — he bailed them out this season when Mrazek stumbled, and the playoff losses had more to do with uninspired play from teammates than goaltending. Spending in the $10 million range on goaltending is costly, but doable. It’s always possible a team will suffer an injury once the season begins and a trade scenario materializes. If not, Howard can be exposed in the expansion draft next summer.

2. ESPN's Tal Pinchevsky penned a list of players who are already "playing for their next contract," and Thomas Vanek is among them...

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The “Culture” Trade

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Josh Lile at WFAA,

The discussion that will never die keeps…not dying. This time we can blame Marc Bergevin of the Montreal Canadiens for lighting the cigarette near the gas leak by trading P.K. Subban for the probably washed up Shea Weber. (Special shout out to the man who traded Tyler Seguin for also trading Taylor Hall at almost the exact same time. What a stroke of good fortune for Peter Chiarelli.)

Today’s choose-your-own-adventure is built around the word “culture.” Culture is important. Culture isn’t important. Maybe culture is important, but overrated. You can’t measure culture, so leave the narrative-building to the neophytes. Narrative, analytics, culture, character, suffering, hammer, thumb, pain: the rabbit hole has no recognizable end point.

What do we actually know about culture?

We know culture as this mysterious “other” dimension that somehow dictates the inner-workings of major organizations. It’s often portrayed as something that just exists. “Hey the culture is here guys. Wait…you. You’re messing it up. Go away.” Culture is grossly oversimplified or misunderstood often, I think, largely because most people will never have to actively think about how to establish or tweak an environment for a large group of rotating people.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: p.k.+subban, shea+weber

Afternoon Line- Jeff Petry

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the MontrealCanadiens,

With the Canadiens spending half of every season on the road, we decided to ask the players for their take on what’s hot and what’s not across the NHL’s 29 other destinations in Canada and the United States.

FRIENDLIEST MEDIA?

Jeff Petry- Probably Dallas. There’s just one guy (laughs).

more short questions and answers from Petry...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jeff+petry

Brad Richards Ends His NHL Career After 15 Seasons

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

via a release from the NHLPA,

Brad Richards is announcing his retirement today from the National Hockey League (NHL), following a decorated career that spanned 15 seasons.

Richards played a total of 1,126 career NHL games with five different teams: Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars, New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings. The talented and highly skilled forward notched 298 goals and 634 assists for 932 points over the course of his career. He also eclipsed the 100-point plateau in career playoff scoring, registering 105 points in 146 postseason games.

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