Kukla's Korner

Mats Zuccarello Takes A Hometown Discount

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Once was the time, and not so very long ago at all, the Rangers had to bribe players to come to play for, and then stay with, their Original Six team in the world’s greatest city.

But those days are history. Blue bloods are willing to take less in order to remain a part of the culture club that has been constructed in midtown Manhattan.

Mats Zuccarello became the latest to spurn his chance to become a free agent and maximize his value on the open market — just as Henrik Lundqvist, Dan Girardi and Marc Staal had done over the preceding 15 months — by signing the Rangers’ take-it-or-leave it (and town) offer of $18 million over four years.

There’s no doubt the Norwegian could have commanded more on the market in July, perhaps a significant amount more when factoring in the difference in taxes from one locale to the next, but the promise of additional riches did not sway No. 36.

“I told [my agents] enough is enough, I’m happy with the offer and it’s important for me to stay here for a long time,” Zuccarello told The Post following Monday’s two-assist performance in the Rangers’ convincing 4-1 victory over the first-overall Predators at the Garden.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+zuccarello

Future Looks Bright For The Arizona Coyotes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

Is it to early to conceive of an Arizona Coyotes’ line of Connor McDavid in the middle with fellow world junior teammates Anthony Duclair and Max Domi next season?

Not now, not after the Desert Dogs, who have very little bite left, losers of nine in a row and close to the worst team in the league today, shipped their second-best defenceman, Keith Yandle, Sunday afternoon to the New York Rangers. Glen Sather’s team has no interest in any lottery picks, only the Stanley Cup after getting to the final dance but falling to the Los Angeles Kings last June. So they sacrificed tomorrow for today, giving up gifted young winger Duclair, along with first (2016) and second-round (2015) draft choices.

It’s the biggest close-to-trade deadline deal so far because Yandle is only 28 years old.

Duclair, who plays for the Memorial Cup host Quebec Remparts, and Domi, the MVP of the world junior who plays for Dale Hunter’s London Knights, were starry linemates at the world junior over Christmas.

continued

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

TSN And Sportsnet On Trade Deadline Day

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

TSN was the clear winner over Sportsnet in the annual battle for best telecast on the NHL’s trade-deadline day. But it was not simply a case of having the funniest and most insightful broadcasters.

TSN’s presentation on a deadly dull day as far as the trades went, with the biggest ones made in advance of Monday afternoon’s deadline, was a clear artistic success. The network did make the biggest mistake of the day in allowing a moronic, vulgar tweet about a couple of Toronto Maple Leafs players to flash across the screen but its panelists were funny, frank and irreverent with former Leafs head coach Ron Wilson leading the way. More on him later but Wilson has either just signed a long contract with TSN or has his retirement income set because his comments on tanking to get the Connor McDavid draft pick ensure it will be a long time before he is hired to coach in the NHL again.

Sportsnet, on the other hand, played it straight. There were some light moments and some decent insights, such as former Pittsburgh Penguin Colby Armstrong talking about how he learned from his mother that he was traded off Sidney Crosby’s line to the sad-sack Atlanta Thrashers in 2008 and how emotional it was to watch from the stands as they played the Stanley Cup final. But for the most part it was the standard stuff from their panels as they waited for the blockbuster deals that never came.

However, this was not the fault of the Sportsnet broadcasters and producers. Their hands were tied once their corporate masters handed over $5.2-billion for a 12-year contract to become the Canadian national broadcast “partner” of the NHL. Being a partner of the NHL means never offending the league and never poking serious fun at it.

continued

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tsn

Who Won Trade Deadline Day?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

The real answer to the perennial question, who won the trade deadline, cannot be fully known for months and, in some cases, years. It will not, however, stop us from at least providing some discussion about which way the scales will tip for teams around the NHL. Here's a look at the buyers and sellers, and which ones might have swung the balance of power in their direction as the 2015 trade-deadline period comes to a close.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks' poor play and the long-term loss of Patrick Kane combined to force a change of thought for GM Stan Bowman, who responded with two bold moves. First, he acquired veteran defenseman Kimmo Timonen from the Philadelphia Flyers for a second-round pick and another pick that could become a second-rounder, depending on how far the Blackhawks go in the playoffs. Then, Bowman sent a first-round pick in 2015 and defensive prospect Klas Dahlbeck to the Arizona Coyotes for forward Antoine Vermette. The price for both was high, but Bowman sees a team that came within a goal last May of advancing to a second straight Stanley Cup finals berth and likely back-to-back Stanley Cups, and would not let this period pass without giving this squad all the tools to get back to the promised land....

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Detroit Red Wings

After exploring a deal for Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf, GM Ken Holland went to Plan B and acquired veteran defenseman Marek Zidlicky from the New Jersey Devils for a third-round pick that becomes a second-round pick if the Wings go to the Cup finals. Zidlicky is the right-handed shot the Wings have been looking for the past couple of years and is a good fit because he won't have to do too much to be effective. The Wings already own the league's top power play and Zidlicky will only add to that. The move came less than 24 hours after Holland acquired Erik Cole and a third-round pick from the Dallas Stars for a second-round pick and two prospects. And in doing so, Holland brought in a player who should help spread out the Wings' scoring depth, especially five-on-five. A good Detroit Red Wings team is more fully formed today than it was before the deadline.

more on each conference...

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Recap Of The Three NHL Games On Monday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Just over two minutes of highlights...

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Kris Draper delivers a superb interview on The Fan 590

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

This is worthy of stand-alone entry status: Red Wings executive Kris Draper spoke with The Fan 590's Sportsnet Tonight's Jeff Samut and Ben Ennis fourteen minutes, discussing the Red Wings' deadline moves, and around the 2-minute mark, he very delicately dances around any possible discussions regarding one Dion Phaneuf, suggesting that the Wings had to move a roster player and a top prospect to acquire...a certain left-shooting defenseman:

This is really fantastic stuff. Draper talks about the financial aspects of the Cole and Zidlicky trades, Marchenko's play and the Wings' blueline depth, the Wings' West Coast road trip as it determined the course of the Wings' trade decisions (as a statement to the locker room that the Wings' players merited reinforcements) and the thought processes involved in making trades. There's a cursory amount of praise for the passion of the Toronto market and fans as well.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

The overnight report: The Red Wings suitably improved themselves at the trade deadline. Now what?

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos said that the Maple Leafs asked for Anthony Mantha and a 1st round pick, and that's why the Wings didn't make a trade for Dion Phaneuf.  Earlier this evening, the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch said that the Leafs not only weren't willing to take on Stephen Weiss's salary, but that they also wanted a "core player off Detroit's roster" that wasn't Jakub Kindl (apparently part of the Wings' offer) to consummate the transaction.  Most recently, the Toronto Star's Rosie Dimanno suggested that the Wings were offering Brendan Smith as the key part of the trade, and that the Leafs weren't interested in Smith and whatever else Detroit was offering in exchange for eating part of Phaneuf's salary.

Whatever happened or did not happen, we know that the Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs were talking about bringing Mr. and Mrs. Cuthbert to the Motor City, and we know that, as the National Post's Michael Traikos suggested, the Wings and Leafs will revisit their conversation at the NHL Entry Draft or at some point after both teams' seasons have ended (Toronto's hopefully much earlier than Detroit's), when the stakes for both teams aren't nearly as high as they are presently, and the Leafs don't have to save as much face while extricating themselves from 6 more years of a $7 million Phaneuf cap hit that the Wings seem willing to absorb if the price is right.

Instead, the Wings snagged Erik Cole from Dallas and picked up the slow-footed but slick Marek Zidlicky from New Jersey, both to robust approval.

Now what?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Quick Trade Deadline Analysis

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The trade deadline came and went today.  It was relatively uneventful.  That is not to say there were not a lot of spare parts changing hands, but no top flight players were traded.  I think it is clear that nobody in the top 75 players in the NHL today changed hands.  The biggest name player traded was Jaromir Jagr.  He is still good enough to lead a weak team like New Jersey in scoring.  At age 43 his NHL days are clearly numbered.  Perhaps the best player changing hands was Keith Yandle.  He is the tenth highest scoring defenceman in the NHL.  His defensive skills do not measure up to his offensive skills but he clearly has a value.  In terms of top prospects traded, there was nothing earlier than a late first rounder.  I think the best prospect traded was likely Anthony DuClair who went from the New York Rangers to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Yandle.  He was a top scorer in the QMJHL and a significant player in the World Junior Championships.  He hasn't succeeded yet in his 18 NHL games played before returning to the QMJHL this year.  He did have seven points in that time - in limited ice time. 

I usually list the team with the biggest improvement and dropoff in the short and long term in analysis of the trade deadline.  The New York Rangers made the biggest improvement with the biggest longterm cost from their Yandle trade.  Arizona has the biggest longterm gain and short term dropoff due to that same trade.  That makes for simple analysis today.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Garrioch discusses Phaneuf dealing and more trade deadline ‘almosts’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

If you're not one for Nick Kypreos' take on, "Why the Phaneuf deal didn't happen," the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch offers the following...

Make no mistake the Detroit Red Wings had serious talks with the Leafs about Phaneuf but they couldn't make the deal work. The word is Jakub Kindl would have been in the trade and it's believed that the Wings would have insisted the Leafs take back Stephen Weiss as part of any trade.

The Leafs wanted a core player off Detroit's roster to make the deal happen.

Naturally, it didn't happen. Why? The cap hit of $7 million through 2020-21 is a big issue for every team and the Leafs were trying to make a hockey deal even if they're going to rebuild. The Ducks and Kings also investigated the possibility of bringing in Phaneuf but couldn't do it either.

That could have been the deal that saved the day. It, and a lot of others, didn't happen. Instead, fans had to be happy there was some small stuff to chew on.

And he continues, discussing non-Wings-related "Almosts" galore...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

24 Trades Made Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (March 2, 2015) -- NHL clubs made 24 trades involving 43 players today prior to the 3 p.m., ET, trade deadline. Following is a list of the transactions:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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