Kukla's Korner

Questions Facing The Vancouver Canucks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Woodley at NHL.com,

Can Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin be elite scorers again? -- The Sedins were so determined to prove they could be good defensively last season, and so irked by the belief their best offensive seasons were simply a product of starting so many shifts in the offensive zone, they sacrificed much of the scoring the Canucks long relied on them to provide.
"That was a little bit interesting, but it comes from just how proud they are to play defense," coach Willie Desjardins said of offseason meetings with the Sedins. "They have no problems blocking shots or playing against the other team's top line. It's not like, 'Oh, I don't do that.' They want to prove they can play in big situations defensively. They cherish those roles."

Last season, the twins embraced coach John Tortorella's request to kill penalties and play more minutes in the defensive zone, and for a while they managed to stay near a point-per-game pace offensively. But as injuries and those harder minutes appeared to catch up with them, their offense disappeared.

Henrik had 10 points in his final 24 games,...

Which Ryan Miller did the Canucks get? -- Vancouver is counting on Miller playing like he did for the Buffalo Sabres to start last season, when he had a .923 save percentage, earned a spot on the U.S. team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and became the hottest trade commodity in goal.
After signing him to a three-year, $18 million contract, the Canucks can't afford to have Miller perform like he did after a trade to the St. Louis Blues, where he finished with a .903 save percentage in 19 regular-season games and .897 after being knocked out of the playoffs in six games by the Chicago Blackhawks.

There are questions how Miller's aggressive style will fit with goaltending coach Roland Melanson's more passive preferences....

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Shannon Hogan Moving From FoxSports Detroit To MSG

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Neil Best of Newsday,

Shannon Hogan went to high school in Northville, Michigan, outside Detroit, so working for Fox Sports Detroit for the past four years covering the Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons was a comfortable fit.

But when her agent called during the Stanley Cup Final with news MSG was looking for a new Islanders reporter, she responded without hesitation.

"I said, 'Oh my God, absolutely; whatever I can do, I have to get in there,'" she recalled Monday, the day before the network officially was set to announce she will succeed Peter Ruttgaizer, who had held the job since 2011.

Turns out Hogan, 29, is a hockey true believer, a love affair sealed during her first exposure to the Red Wings upon moving to Northville for her freshman year of high school. (She was born in Syracuse.)

"This was Hockeytown," she said. "I will never forget going to Joe Louis Arena for the first time and saying, 'Oh, my gosh, this is such an amazing atmosphere.'"

continued

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

The Season Outlook For Tomas Tatar

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

He is coming off a breakout season when he provided some much-needed offense. That experience, and being in the lineup from the start of the season, should make him better and more productive this season.

He spent a good chunk of the season on the Kid Line with Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco. They had good chemistry and might remain intact, unless Jurco is forced to start the season in Grand Rapids due to a roster crunch.

Despite his small stature, Tatar goes to the net and has good hands in tight. He also flashes good open-ice moves. He should improve as he gains strength. He sometimes holds onto the puck too long in the offensive zone, leading to turnovers. He could be more productive on the power play, where he'll likely continue playing on the second unit.

He aspires to be a solid two-way forward in the mold of Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg but doesn't have natural defensive instincts. As long as he produces, the club will be happy.

more

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Pittsburgh Penguins Head Coach Mike Johnston Wants To “Lessen The Load” On Sidney Crosby

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Johnston talked with Crosby in Pittsburgh, and then again in Nova Scotia — Johnston is from Dartmouth, Crosby from Cole Harbour — and was impressed with how Crosby handles himself off the ice.

“Look, if you want to have a leader in sports, the first thing I think the leader has to do is set an example,” Johnston said. “He sets a great example.

“You don't ever question his work ethic. You don't ever question his commitment. For a guy his age coming into the NHL and carrying the load that he's carried, I believe he's done a phenomenal job.

“Do we have to lessen the load? Yes.”

Johnston pointed to the importance of veteran leaders such as forwards Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis and Craig Adams, as well as defenseman Paul Martin.

Another key part will be letting fellow franchise center Evgeni Malkin and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury be themselves.

“We just have to lean on those guys' ability to lead,” Johnston said. “And the guys with the Fleury- and Malkin-type energy and humor, let them balance the group out a little bit.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+johnston

Marcel Dionne Enjoyed Playing When He Did, Even Though The Financial Picture Was Different

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Katie Strang of ESPN,

Dionne, who amassed 1,771 points over the course of his 18-year NHL career, said he enjoyed his time playing, even if the financial landscape was such a contrast from the multimillion-dollar mega-deals players are signing now.

“When we played, it was for thousands of dollars; now it’s for millions of dollars,” Dionne said.

He holds no hostility toward current NHL players despite that disparity in pay, however. Dionne said he’s adapted to the game and its changing salary structure.

He credits the NHLPA with the help it has given former players, but said that some of his contemporaries still can’t get their mind around what the top players are making these days. Explaining why P.K. Subban deserves to be making $9 million on average per year isn’t always easy, but Dionne is content with the livelihood he earned during his playing days.

“Some guys don’t understand and think the game owes them something,” Dionne explained. “The game owes me nothing. It’s not what you make, it’s what you do with your money.”

the story is actually about the LA Kings so read more if interested...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marcel+dionne

Joe Kocur Foundation For Children 6th Annual Softball Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Monica McAlister

Over the weekend the 6th Annual Softball game to benefit the Joe Kocur Foundation for Children took place north of Detroit, Mich. Celebrities including NHL, NFL and MLB alumni along with radio and television personalities including: Joe Kocur, Darren McCarty, Kirk Maltby, Kris Draper (yes all of the members of the grindlines), Eric Hipple, Dino Ciccarelli, WRIF’s Meltdown, and Amy Andrews from Fox 2, hit the field for the all-day event to raise money for charity.

The Joe Kocur Foundation For Children was created in 2009 with a mission to assist needy families and charities with local events that allow interaction within the communities themselves. Just a few of the organizations that have benefited from the foundation over the years include: FAR Conservatory, The Huron Valley Special Olympics, Orchard Children’s Service, and The Wings of Mercy.  Along with the yearly softball event the Foundation also held a benefit for the family of Officer Patrick O’Rourke (West Bloomfield, Mich. Police Officer killed in the line of duty) in which $150,000 was raised.

The yearly softball event is more than just softball, it is a great day-long event for the entire family while helping those in the community.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Ottawa Senators Sign Craig Anderson To A Three-Year Extension

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

 

added 9:56am, Press release is below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Joshua Ho-Sang Getting The P.K. Subban Treatment From Hockey Canada

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,

Anyone who has followed the P.K. Subban saga from the beginning is suffering a little déja voodoo these days.

You know the story: exciting, charismatic, talented young hockey player is deemed a little too cocky by the hockey establishment, which is determined to take him down a peg or two.

The player falls into the category they call “visible minority,” although no one really knows what an “invisible minority” would be. He runs his mouth a little too much for the powers that be. His stock falls well below his talent level in the draft.

Then he isn’t issued an invitation to the world junior training camp by Hockey Canada, the ultimate hockey establishment.

Apart from that last bit, Joshua Ho-Sang’s story is P.K. Subban all over again. Brash young star rubs hockey people the wrong way despite his talent.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hockey+canada, joshua+ho-sang

Questions Facing The Calgary Flames

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Vickers at NHL.com,

Can the Flames take positive steps forward? -- The Flames finished 27th in the NHL standings last season with 77 points, but there were plenty of reasons for optimism. In the first year of a rebuild, the Flames fielded a competitive team which tied an NHL record for games decided by one goal (49).

Though new general manager Brad Treliving isn't necessarily measuring success in wins and points, progress remains a necessity.
"The expectation every day is we come out and we get better and we work," he said. "I think the demands that our coaching staff puts on the players is the expectation to get better. This isn't something we can sit here and say, 'Well, it was a great story last year and we did a lot of good things and we all felt good.' The fact of the matter is, we have to get better. It wasn't good enough last year.

"The expectation that we've put on ourselves internally and the demands we're going to put on people internally is not going to allow us to stand still because ultimately in this business, if you're standing still, if you think you're maintaining, you're going backward. If you're not moving forward, you're slipping."

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

How About A Steve Moore Night In Denver?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

Once a settlement is 100 percent confirmed, the Avalanche, which periodically honors its alumni, should schedule a Steve Moore Night during the 2014-15 season.

Since Patrick Roy was hired as coach, he often has spoken of partnerships, including between the team and its fans. Moore played 12 games with the Avalanche in the final two seasons before Roy's retirement, and 57 more in 2003-04 with Joe Sakic still as his captain.

A Steve Moore Night would not just be for Moore. It would be for the fans who have booed Bertuzzi every time he touched the puck at the Pepsi Center the past 10 years. It would be for those who consider loyalty to the Avalanche to include remaining disgusted by what happened to Moore in Vancouver, and perhaps even disappointed by the franchise's responses since. In the aftermath, Moore and his family thanked Avalanche executive Pierre Lacroix and the team for their support, but moves since have been befuddling.

Those responses include the 2005 signing of ex-Canuck Brad May; Sakic's 2008 acknowledgment that he had been part of a group vacation trip with Bertuzzi, a 2006 Canadian Olympic teammate, and that he considered him a good guy who made a mistake; and continued public silence about Moore. That all contradicted the much-touted hockey tenet of all-for-one and one-for-all.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+moore

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