Kukla's Korner

The Subban Trade And Reaction

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,

It’s time to chill out, take a deep breath, keep things in perspective. After all, we didn’t just vote to leave the EU and hurl an entire continent into chaos.

What happened in Montreal late Wednesday afternoon is that a hockey player was traded. A great hockey player, much loved by a significant portion of the fan base was traded for another great player.

The sad part is why P.K. Subban was traded. He is gone today because the Canadiens always wanted Floyd Patterson — and they got Muhammad Ali. They wanted shy and humble, they got brash and confident. I remember when Subban first showed up at camp as a second-round pick, talking like a cross between Ali and Johnny (the Ordinary Superstar) Rodgers.

Even then, the Canadiens seemed uncomfortable with their young prodigy. And even then, you could sense that, like Ali and Rodgers, Subban was going to walk the walk.

But the Canadiens spent the past six seasons trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. They stuck him with some of the most conservative coaches in the business and when (predictably) it didn’t work out, it was Subban who was gone, not the coach.

In hockey terms, it might work in the short term — but no one wanted to hear that on Wednesday. It was all about P.K. Subban departing for Nashville, not about Shea Weber coming to Montreal.

read on

Habs fans react...

from John Meagher of Hockey Inside/Out,

Continue Reading »

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

Two (or three) Wings-related ‘thoughts’ from Friedman

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of note from Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts:

18. The Pavel Datsyuk deal with Arizona freed up Detroit to do a few things, and the Red Wings will take advantage. After looking through the finances, there’s some indication — in addition to drafting Jakob Chychrun — as to why the Coyotes did it. Datsyuk costs them no real money. Joe Vitale did. Sadly, Vitale’s injuries make it unlikely he will play again and his contract is $1.3M cash for 2016-17. I don’t think it was insured, which is normal for one that isn’t among the highest-paying deals on a team. For Arizona, that’s real money. Detroit can flex its financial muscle and eat that. I’m not sure it’s going to make a few other teams feel better since the Red Wings are now in the game, but I see why it happened.

I'm sorry for Vitale--genuinely so--but his $1.16 million in cap space + Franzen's $3.95 million in cap space = $5.11 million for the Wings to spend in addition to Datsyuk's $7.5 million hit, or about $12.61 million to spend in addition to the $10 or so million allocated to re-sign Petr Mrazek, Danny DeKeyser, Alexey Marchenko and the various restricted free agents the Wings want to keep.

Now whether Ken Holland should spend all or part of that $12.61 million in discretionary spending space is a completely different story...

19. There was plenty of talk on the floor New Jersey was going to benefit from Detroit’s need to clear space if Arizona didn’t.


And this is a "thought" I believe is important not only becaus the Wings chased Radulov, but because Shipachov/Shipachyov is now available:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Friedman: Why not PK for Hall instead?

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Leading off a 1 AM-posted edition of "30 Thoughts" (I guess it's been that kind of day for Elliotte Friedman, too):

On a crazy day where Steven Stamkos signing in Tampa Bay could arguably be the third-biggest hockey story, the most unanswered question has to be: “Why couldn’t Montreal and Edmonton work out a Taylor Hall-P.K. Subban deal?”

The Oilers sure could’ve used Subban. We knew they were talking last week. Montreal initially asked for Leon Draisaitl, the No. 4 pick at Friday’s draft and more. That “more” included either Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse, plus something else. I can’t nail down what that “something else” was, but it was not insignificant. It was a big price to pay, and Edmonton did not want to do that.

According to several sources, there was another possibility — without Draisaitl. Was Hall there? I can’t say for sure. But I do think he’s got fans in the Montreal organization. So, why didn’t it happen?

Here’s a quote from a GM on a different team: “How much are you paying Connor McDavid in two years? If you’re budgeting for $10M-11M, that’s $19M-$20M for him and Subban. Can you do it under this tighter cap?”

I would suspect that’s the reason.

With McDavid’s next contract potentially massive, Peter Chiarelli looked elsewhere. The Hall-for-Adam Larsson deal saves Edmonton more than $1.8M in cap room. No doubt that’s why it was a one-for-one trade. New Jersey GM Ray Shero could say, “I’m adding salary, I’m not giving up anything else.” He took a hard line.


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: adam+larsson, edmonton+oilers, leon+draisaitl, montreal+canadiens, new+jersey+devils, oscar+klefbom, pk+subban, pk+subban, steven+stamkos, taylor+hall

The sad story of the mismanagement of Gordie Howe

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

This is hard to read, and it's rather depressing, so you've been warned. Fox 2 Detroit's M.L. Elrick tells the story of "Gordie Howe's final victory," a lawsuit against his former business manager:

Will Rogers used to say "I never met a man I didn't like." Gordie Howe sure seemed to have that same love for his fellow man. Unfortunately, Gordie's goodness left him vulnerable to business partners with their own agenda.

ML Elrick: "Will you just stop and answer some questions, sir? We want to give you a chance to have your say. You've been accused of ripping off one of the greatest hockey players of all time."

Del Reddy: "God bless you."

Well, I certainly appreciate the blessing, but what I could really use is some answers.

Answers to questions like these:

Why did you betray Gordie Howe?

Why did you start a charity in the Howes' name?

What happened to the charity's money?

When are you going to pay the $3 million you owe Mr. Hockey?


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Rifts between Subban, Canadiens had been building

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

From an article titled, "Canada might be the loser on seismic NHL day," by the Toronto Star's Bruce Arthur:

It was the Canadiens who registered the most seismic day, though. In Montreal, it’s been an open secret that coach Michel Therrien never meshed with Subban. He would tell people that he believed he could never win a Cup with P.K., and the snubs — some ice-time battles, the triple high-five controversy, giving the captaincy to Max Pacioretty, the way teammates voted for Pacioretty over Subban for the community-minded King Clancy award this year — piled up. GM Marc Bergevin is said to be very close to Therrien; they are not just colleagues, but great friends, down to their families. Bergevin wanted to go to arbitration rather than pay Subban, but was overruled by the owner. Not this time, though.

“Too much personality,” a former Canadiens teammate said. “Saw it firsthand. They hated how much fun he had. The fact that he never sulked and pouted, win or lose, just bugged them, I guess. It made no sense to me, either.”

“I think it was blown out of proportion because of Montreal, the market we’re in,” Bergevin said. “We always look to make a story where there isn’t any. Yes, P.K.’s different, we’re not going to hide that, but there was never an issue, never a problem. I fought with my teammates in practice. It happens all the time.”

Not many believed him.


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc+bergevin, max+pacioretty, max+pacioretty, michel+therrien, montreal+canadiens, nashville+predators, pk+subban, pk+subban

NHL preparing to ensure that first openly gay player can focus on the game

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

The Chicago Tribune's Chris Hine spoke with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and the You Can Play Project's Patrick Burke about the inevitable moment that the NHL welcomes an openly gay player to the fold:

The NHL is preparing. It backed up its words of encouragement with action in that direction in April when it suspended former Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw for a playoff game after Shaw was caught on camera directing a homophobic slur at an official. Bettman said he was hoping to send a message to the rest of the league that his office would not tolerate the use of that word.

"You want to eliminate the use of the word, but the fact is, what you do in response to set the right tone in terms of what's acceptable is more important than the word itself," Bettman said. "So making clear, in a strong, clear prompt way that this is not acceptable I hope transcends the use of the word itself. I mean, the word is symbolic and the suspension was symbolic, but what I'm hoping the suspension relayed to people was that type of belief, that kind of culture is not acceptable in the NHL."

Bettman said he has not heard from any closeted players in the league, but Burke said the You Can Play Project has heard from some. As for the theories about why no former or current players are out, one holds water with Burke.

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Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman

Goodbye, Detroit Sports 105.1 FM

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Earlier this afternoon, while hockey Twitter was imploding, the Detroit News's Tony Paul reported some unsettling news if you're a hockey fan starved for hockey talk under the Flagship Station's reign: Detroit Sports 105.1 FM got the axe, and with it went the possibility that sports talk radio listneers' ears might hear hockey talk outside WDFN's Matt Sheppard show and late night Pat Caputo on 97.1 (to be fair, when they do make hockey a priority on The Ticket, they do it very well, but they don't do it often).

The Detroit News's Paul broke down DS 105.1 FM's demise:

Around 6 p.m., oldies started to play on WMGC and the station’s website, app and Facebook page were deactivated or replaced with other content.

The news comes after Detroit Sports 105.1 failed to take any significant chunk of WXYT-FM 97.1 The Ticket’s audience since launching in August 2013.

Greater Media officials have said the sports format would be a long-term play of at least five years, but decided to change in recent weeks after firing their second program director, Dave Shore, in May, and, after some initial replacement feelers halting the search.

“Quite honestly, what changed is that we didn’t see the growth coming,” said Steve Chessare, vice president/market manager for Greater Media Detroit. “It’s a business, obviously, and my job is to deliver revenue to the bottom line, and we think we gave it a good shot and I’m proud of every single person at that radio station. I thought we did a great job as far as delivering content. ... It didn’t take hold in Detroit.”

Paul continues, and for someone who was listening to Sean Baligian and Darren McCarty interview USA Today's Kevin Allen on podcast Tuesday...This is a real bummer.

Author's note: It appears that Paul was not the person who "broke the story," as it were. No offense was intended toward the person who did so by posting Paul's story.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

You can laugh, you can cry, you can scream, but then you, me, and the Wings move on

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated at 12:17 AM with some bummer tweets: The reactions to Steven Stamkos' decision to remain with the Tampa Bay Lightning have ranged from disappointed and angry to just plain old angry in the comments sections of more than a few blogs, this one included, and ESPN's Pierre LeBrun's revelation that the Wings were never invited to make an in-person pitch to Stamkos' agents just pours some salt in the wound...

But my gut feeling was always that Stamkos was probably going to stay in Tampa Bay as his best opportunity to win was always already around him, so while I'm very disappointed that the Red Wings were unable to add a superstar to the mix, I wasn't pinning my hopes and dreams on someone other than Sergei Fedorov being the last player to wear #91 in red and white.

I'm not in the mood to question whether there's an indictment on Ken Holland, who's gone back from genius to moron (again) in the eyes of most Wings fans, now that the Wings' sales pitch (remember the draft? They were able to make one; the team just couldn't technically discuss term or money, which was probably hinted at regardless of the rules) didn't work.

Now it's about finding the right "Plan B," and with Kyle Okposo, David Backes, Andrew Ladd, Mikkel Boedeker, Loui Eriksson, Frans Nielsen, Troy Brouwer, Milan Lucic (assuming he doesn't sign with Edmonton), Eric Staal, Matt Martin, Jason Demers, Kris Russell and a host of other free agents available (including bought-out players like Fedor Tyutin), the Wings need to crunch the numbers, crunch stats both advanced and conventional and out-smart the competition to snag the right player at the right pri...

What's that, you want to get the anger and disappointment out of the way? Well, 97.1 the Ticket's Pat Caputo provides for your needs:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Steven Stamkos Signing Is Official

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed captain Steven Stamkos to an eight-year contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Stamkos, 26, played in 77 games with the Lightning last season, recording 36 goals and 64 points to go along with 38 penalty minutes. He ranked first on the Bolts for goals and was second for points. Stamkos also ranked tied for seventh in the NHL for goals and was tied for fourth for power-play goals with 14. He led the team for shots on goal with 216 and led all Lightning forwards for average time on ice (19:45).

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steven+stamkos

Paying Seth Jones For His Potential

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

Wednesday afternoon, a couple of hours after the Blue Jackets signed defenseman Seth Jones to a six-year contract worth $32.4 million, general manager Jarmo Kekalainen and Jones met the media at Nationwide Arena. To look at the podium was to see the very picture of the Jackets’ dilemma, and what management prays is the solution.

Jones’ new contract, worth $5.4 million per, is only a bad deal if the kid plays like he did last season. Was he bad? No. Did he have moments of brilliance? Yes. Did he play like he was worth top-pair money through 2021-22? That is a good question.

This is not to suggest Jones lacks potential. It is to say that, as yet, he has yet to reach his potential, with two teams.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: seth+jones

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