Kukla's Korner

Previewing The Tampa Bay Lightning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

Biggest story line to watch: While it will be interesting to see if so many of the core Lightning players coming off career seasons—Palat, Johnson, Bishop, Hedman, Valtteri Filppula—can continue their upward trajectory, the greater topic of conversation will surround the one guy coming off a nightmare campaign. Despite coming back toward season’s end and producing, Stamkos admitted his displaced right leg was still not quite at 100 per cent power in April. Can hockey’s most dangerous sniper return to his 60-goal form and give Sidney Crosby a run for the NHL scoring title?

2014-15 prediction: A surprising runner-up to Boston for the Atlantic crown last season, don’t be shocked when Cooper’s crew learns from its playoff humbling, plays a more balanced game and goes as far as the Eastern Conference final.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

KK- The Kukla’s Korner Office Pool

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Kukla's Korner has established a partnership with Officepools.com to create a KK pool.

Now this pool is different, no salary cap, you can only pick three players from the same NHL team, you are allowed four transactions a month and this is a season pool.

You also pick nine forwards, five defensemen and two goalies and if you have any questions they are answered here.

The scoring, we keep it simple and basic...

Scoring:

F/D : G = 1, A = 1

G : A = 1, W = 2, OTL = 1, SO = 1

Let's have some fun, sign-up for the season long pool right here.

Filed in: Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Ryan Johansen Has A Decision To Make

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

Is Johansen ready to say, “I’m a Blue Jacket. The regular season starts in a week. My teammates need me. Do a deal.”?

Or, is Johansen hurt enough, and angry enough, to sit out until Dec. 1, at which point he must sign or miss the entire season?

Is he ready to turn his back on $3 million plus, on principle?

Such questions must be considered in a worst-case scenario.

Maybe Johansen caves and comes back out of shape and has an awful season. Or, maybe he demands a trade. Why play for a team that is stubborn enough to make an example out of its best offensive player? What star, or future star, would want to play for such a team?

The Blue Jackets are saying, “We’re adhering to small-market budget practices to ensure our long-term health. We have other centers. Joey can sign for whatever we put on the table or he can sit for as long as he wants, and we’re not trading him.”

Of course, none of this will have any impact on the team’s on-ice fortunes. The players don’t even talk about it in the locker room. Naaaah, of course they don’t.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+johansen

Morning Line - Jonas Hiller

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I’m definitely excited to have a fresh start. Talking to the coach [Bob Hartley], talking to management, they want me to have success, and that definitely makes your life easier. It keeps your mind free to just go out there and play as good as you can, instead of worrying about giving up bad goals and having to prove yourself every night – not just to the public, but to the coaching staff and everybody else. That’s definitely a nicer way to feel comfortable, if you know they have your back.”

-Jonas Hiller of the Calgary Flames.  More on Hiller from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonas+hiller

Hockey Thoughts On The First Day Of October

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

- One exec, watching to see what Chicago does, on Stan Bowman: “Just like Scotty, he believes you’d rather trade a player a year early than a year late.”

- Boy, that Stars’ power play. It had some sensational moments Monday against Florida. There were times we saw three right-hand shots on the left (Ales Hemsky, Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza) and two left-hand shots on the weakside (Jamie Benn, Trevor Daley). Seguin scored once on a one-timer from the middle of the ice and a second when he went backdoor as Benn moved higher in the slot, taking the defence with him. Benn barely missed another after a ridiculous pass from Spezza to the crease. Coaches say you have to decide which two things you want to take away from your opponent’s powerplay. Good luck with that.

- One scout on Stephen Weiss: “The biggest question will be his stamina. He’s played 43 games in two years. I’ve seen him start strong and slow down in later periods. Can he get up to speed?”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Key Question For Eastern Conference Teams

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Kreiser of NHL.com,

Boston Bruins

Who will replace Jarome Iginla's 30 goals? -- Iginla was a perfect fit in his one season with the Bruins, tying Patrice Bergeron for the team lead in goals. Ironically, his success wound up triggering his departure; Iginla earned more than $3 million in bonuses that cut down on the space available under this season's salary cap. He wound up in Colorado, and general manager Peter Chiarelli had to do a lot of juggling to get Boston under the cap. Loui Eriksson, who averaged more than 29 goals in his last four full seasons with the Dallas Stars but struggled in his first season with Boston, could get the first chance to take Iginla's spot with David Krejci and Milan Lucic.

Buffalo Sabres

Where do they go from here? -- The Sabres brought back Matt Moulson, and added Brian Gionta and Josh Gorges, but any future success rests with their core of talented young players and the slew of high picks they'll have in the next two drafts. However, after finishing a distant last in the overall standings in 2013-14 and scoring fewer goals than any team since the mid-1950s, the Sabres have a long way to go. The Sabres hope top draft pick Sam Reinhart can make the jump to the NHL and young players like Mikhail Grigorenko and Zemgus Girgensons are ready to become impact players. There's nowhere to go but up, and though the Sabres figure to be improved, they're still likely to be a lottery team.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Oilers lose prospect Vladimir Tkachev due to technicality

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

This certainly sucks for Edmonton. From TSN:

Vladimir Tkachev's entry level contract signed with the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday has been ruled ineligible by the National Hockey League.

According to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, Tkachev wasn't qualified to sign a contract as he is still eligible for June's NHL Entry Draft.

Players who go undrafted are eligible to sign only if they played a full year in North America. While waiting for his transfer, Tkachev played two games with Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League and spent the remainder of the season with the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Tkachev will go back into the draft after this season.

The 18-year-old appeared in three preseason games with the Oilers, posting three assists and a plus three rating.

Update: The Score's Thomas Drance has more on the situation:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: edmonton+oilers

Red Wings early overnight report: on Smith, the Wings’ young defensemen, Alfredsson and Callahan

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated with stories and well, art from SlapShotgoal...At 1:24 AM: The Red Wings play the Pittsburgh Penguins in their final home exhibition game on Wednesday night (7:30 PM, FSD/97.1 FM [edit: also ROOT and the NHL Network U.S. /end edit]), and according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Jason Mackey, we shouldn't expect to see Robert Bortuzzo, Evgeni Malkin or Olli Maata in tomorrow's game, but Sidney Crosby will play in the game after attending his grandmother's funeral in Nova Scotia.

The Penguins were in town a day early as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Minnesota Wild on Monday, and I know that Darren Dreger's report about Mike Babcock's contract negotiations received the most comments today (and yes, TSN's Dreger and ESPN's Pierre LeBrun addressed the report in the latest Insider Trading video)...

But there were some stories in the practice post in which Babcock made some telling remarks, and the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan noted that Babcock issued significant praise in regards to Brendan Smith's performance during last night's 3-0 win over Toronto:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

The Influence Of HNIC On Rogers/Sportsnet

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Stinson of the National Post,

This is the curious thing about “the new home of hockey,” as Scott Moore, president of Sportsnet and NHL Properties, described it: It’s a lot like the old home. The CBC’s influence is everywhere, including a production staff of about 20 that will work on Rogers-produced hockey broadcasts. There are even red armchairs for Strombo. All of this familiarity is by design. And it speaks to a broadcaster in Rogers that spent an extraordinary amount of money on NHL rights — the $4.5-million invested in the new studio is 0.086% of what it paid to lock up Canadian broadcasts for a dozen years — and is very aware that its audience might not care for a great deal of change.

“We’re not going to do a glowing puck,” as Moore told me in an interview, standing on a studio floor that can light up like a video wall, allowing analysts to demonstrate tactics on the virtual ice. Some degree of continuity for Hockey Night viewers, he says, was always part of the plan.

“I’d like to think we’ve kept that in the back of our heads from day one,” Moore says. “From the first discussions with the NHL, we talked about how could we keep the Saturday night tradition? How could we keep the CBC involved?”

“I think you’ll see us advance storytelling, advance the technology, but not wipe the board clean of what’s been done in the past.”

more

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rogers+sportsnet

Waiting On Malkin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

The injury keeping Evgeni Malkin out this preseason is one the franchise center suffered in the United States — not Russia — according to Penguins coach Mike Johnston.

And with four scheduled practices left before the Penguins' first regular-season game Oct. 9, Malkin doesn't have a lot of time left to prepare....

On Thursday, Sept. 18, the day before the first camp practice, Johnston said he expected Malkin's absence from an undisclosed injury to be “fairly short.”

Johnston said a week later that no additional tests or evaluation had been required; they're simply “waiting it out.”

On Friday, Johnston amended the original timetable, setting it another four to five days.

It has now been five days since that point, and Malkin is showing no signs of a return.

read on plus more on the Penguins...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+malkin

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