Kukla's Korner

Players To Watch At The Trade Deadline Approaches

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Here's a look at seven players we're watching closely heading toward Monday's 3 p.m. ET deadline.

Chris Stewart, Buffalo Sabres

Teams have been talking about the big Buffalo Sabres winger since the opening days of the regular season. And he's going somewhere. But for how much and to where? In our minds, anything higher than a third-round pick is too risky given Stewart's uneven play. So, what about the Chicago Blackhawks, who need help up front? We're not comparing Stewart to Patrick Kane, other than he is a human being who plays hockey. But Stewart is attractive to a number of teams -- the Boston Bruins would be another -- because he has shown in pretty small sample that he has an 'A' game, which means crashing the net, scoring and generally banging around in the offensive zone. One executive told us he doesn't care that Stewart isn't likely a long-term option given the wild fluctuations in his game, but playing for a contract over a short period of time, like the playoffs, he would be interested in his services.

Antoine Vermette, Arizona Coyotes

Vermette is undeniably the top pure rental forward available. He can play center, wing, in the top six, top nine. But let's not overstate Vermette's potential impact. He is not, for instance, going to replace the kind of production the Blackhawks lost when Kane went down.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Fragile Team In San Jose

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,

The Sharks have won just three of their last 12 games, but there have been specific moments of mental weakness during the run of futility that are perhaps even more concerning than the record.

Take the last two losses. Against the Kings outdoors on Saturday, most of the Sharks seemed to disregard the pregame warning that they would have to play a simplified game on bad ice. They managed to do it in a strong second period, but after Marian Gaborik’s third period goal gave the Kings a 2-1 lead after a misread by Brent Burns, the team sagged emotionally and didn’t generate much of anything until the final minute with the goalie pulled.

Against the Red Wings on Thursday, the start of the game was the best they’ve had in weeks. Instead of maintaining that level of play that earned them a 1-0 lead after the first intermission, though, they were outclassed by Detroit the rest of the way in a 3-2 defeat, their seventh straight on home ice. There were warnings from the coaching staff that the Red Wings were going to regroup, but Luke Glendening's game-winner late in regulation occurred after back-to-back unforced turnovers by Burns and Joe Pavelski.

After the game, coach Todd McLellan didn’t seem to disagree that his team is a fragile one. “The belief system is not as high as it needs to be,” he said.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

An LTIR Fraud Trade

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

One trade made yesterday was the Toronto Maple Leafs trading David Clarkson to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Nathan Horton.  Clarkson has been a major disappointment for the Leafs since he signed a seven year $36.25 million contract in the summer of 2013.  So far in this contract Clarkson has scored 26 points in 118 games played.  The Leafs want out of this contract.  It was assumed by many that they would undertake an expensive buyout to get out of the contract.

Nathan Horton also signed a big contract to join the Columbus Blue Jackets.  He signed for $37.1 million over seven years in 2013.  He hasn't played an NHL game since last season due to a degenerative back injury.  It is expected that he won't play another NHL game in his life.  

Both players have big contracts.  Neither player will live up to his contract.  David Clarkson is going to play in the NHL.  Even if he doesn't come close to the value implied in his contract, merely because he can play he will have a bigger value than a player who cannot play at all.  Right?  Not in the NHL.

The problem is the way players are treated on the long term injury list.  There are LTIR frauds.  These are players who are no longer attempting to play in the NHL who are effectively retired except they cannot retire.  This list of players includes Chris Pronger, Marc Savard and Mattais Ohlund.  These players have not played an NHL game since 2011, yet are considered active NHLers.  They have taken jobs that are not related to playing in the NHL, but they cannot retire.  If they retire their team has a large salary cap hit.  If they don't retire, their contract doesn't *#$%@& toward the cap.  Thus they do not retire and the only reason they do not retire is to circumvent the salary cap,

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Sharks’ Couture fined $5K for slew-footing Brendan Smith

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Brendan Smith is listed as "Day to Day" by Red Wings GM Ken Holland (per the Free Press's Helene St. James and MLive's Ansar Khan) after this vicious slew-foot by San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture...

Smith somehow earned a penalty as well as a bump on the noggin for being slew-footed (he will probably play on Saturday), but today, the NHL's Department of Player Safety set things right:

Couture didn't get a major penalty or a suspension for a wrestling move--and there were lots of "wrestling moves" by both sides in what was a horrifically-refereed game last night--but this is better than nothing.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

If the Wings are interested in Dion Phaneuf after all, trade must make financial and personnel sense

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I'm going to be as blunt as possible here as I'm catching up late (stupid medication adjustment issues thanks to my Abilify dosage being doubled; stuff works great, but the miligram change = blogging has been limited recently):

Many of you have been very passionately debating the concept of the Red Wings somehow adding Dion Phaneuf to the lineup after TSN's Darren Dreger brought up the concept for the third or fourth time over the past 24 hours.

Dreger's been hammering this particular topic for the past three weeks, and given that I'm not the only person who feels that TSN's lack of TV rights has resulted in a staggering overload of Leaf coverage...

From a pure "gut feeling" perspective (as many of you have pointed out, his "fancy stats" are not very good):

1. You know how I feel about the concept of adding a player who is not a long-term upgrade--that, barring a defenseman going back the other way, whoever comes to Detroit would simply be a roadblock for Alexey Marchenko and Xavier Ouellet's deserved full-time NHL promotions next season.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

St. James: Red Wings’ rally like no other team

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings are departing California to spend the day flying to Nashville, so the team's not practicing today, and tomorrow's 3 PM EST start = it's highly unlikely that the team will hold any sort of morning skate, so we shouldn't expect any news about Henrik Zetterberg for a couple of days...

But the Wings did discuss their 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks with the Free Press's Helene St. James in the light of the team's resiliency when "down but not out":

That improved the Wings to 8-11-2 when trailing after two periods, a league-best winning percentage of .381. Newcomer Teemu Pulkkinen already has picked up on what happens when it's late in a game and the score isn't in Detroit's favor. "Even when we are losing," he said after the Sharks game, "we keep playing like we are going to get a goal."

St. James continues, discussing Brendan Smith's status (probably OK), Kyle Quincey's status (not yet) and Henrik Zetterberg's status (not playing until next week) before concluding with the following:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Why Hockey Fans Want Salary Cap Numbers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lyle Richardson of Spector's Hockey,

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman doesn’t believe hockey fans are interested in salary information regarding teams and players. He couldn’t be more wrong.

Since the NHL imposed its salary-cap system nearly a decade ago, there’s been growing interest among fans regarding the cap payrolls of NHL teams and of the salaries of each player. Given the financial implications for teams when signing free agents or acquiring players via trades or waivers, salary data is worthwhile information for die-hard hockey fans. It provides a better understanding of the limitations in building and maintain rosters. It’s also invaluable for participants in fantasy hockey, especially those which use a salary-cap system.

It’s easy to simply dismiss these fans as merely a nerdy number-crunching sub-set of NHL followers, just as it was to mock those who tracked those supposedly weird-ass puck possession stats with funny names like Corsi, Fenwick and PDO. Except now those “fancy stats” are called analytics, which the league has finally fully embraced by posting puck-possession numbers (albeit with different names) on its site. A growing number of pundits and commentators now cite analytics in their coverage of the game.

continued

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

Teemu Pulkkinen Learning To Find The Open Ice

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Teemu Pulkkinen is learning what it takes to create space at this level, to maximize opportunities to unleash his tremendous shot.

Thursday's game, Pulkkinen's best in his brief NHL career, was a step in the right direction. The young sniper recorded a career-high six shots, scored a goal and came close to netting another in the Detroit Red Wings' 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center.

"He's a guy who's a real shooter," coach Mike Babcock said. "It's very clear in the National Hockey League that you've got less opportunity to shoot the puck. You've got to learn to shoot it off a bad pass, or a good pass or no pass. You've just got to find a way to create your own offense. He's a work in progress like all kids."

continued

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Morning Line- Mark Spector

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Watching The Trade Deadline

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (February 27, 2015) – NHL Network, NHL.com and NHL Social™ will offer fans the most comprehensive coverage of the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline™. From now through the 3 p.m. ET deadline on Monday, March 2, NHL Network™, NHL.com and NHL Social will provide breaking news, exclusive interviews, insider information and official player transactions.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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