Kukla's Korner

Red Wings afternoon news: Buckets for Babcock and ‘what it’s all about’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock spends a signifcant portion of his "free time" advocating for pediatric cancer charities like the Jeffrey Thomas Hayden Foundation, he hosts a family battling cancer at every home game, and it's rumored that Babcock tends to show up unannounced at Children's Hospital in Detroit and the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor to visit kids and parents, so it's no surprise that Babcock took up the Ice Bucket Challenge to help raise awareness of and funds for ALS research in the U.S. and Canada:

The video quality isn't particularly good, but Babcock's muscle definition is:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

New Jersey Devils still willing to employ Martin Brodeur…if he’s willing to wear a suit

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Via SI's Allan Muir, New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has every intention of employing Martin Brodeur should the legendary goaltender not find the "right fit" with a championship-contending team, but the Newark Star-Ledger's Steve Politi reports that Lamoriello's standing offer involves a front-office job:

What happens if Brodeur gets to a point where he realizes the right fit isn't there? Lamoriello has the answer. The longtime Devils GM said Brodeur has a job waiting for him with the Devils if he decides to stop playing.

"He knows that," Lamoriello said. "He knows he'll be a Devil for the rest of his life. What Marty has done and the type of personality he is, and what his experience is, it's a no brainer. He's a Devil."

But Lamoriello wonders: Does Brodeur want to work? He's been around enough great players to know that this is not always the case.

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Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: lou+lamoriello, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils

Are the Sabres ‘not that far off?’

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

NHL.com's "30 in 30" series focuses on the Buffalo Sabres today, with the team's top prospects, Anthony Stewart's presence and steps that need to be taken by both in-the-lineup players like Tyler Myers and top picks like Sam Reinhart faring significantly into the probability of the team turning itself around this upcoming season. The "hook" regarding today's articles comes in the form of surprising comments come from Sabres coach Ted Nolan and the aforementioned Stewart, who issue "We're not that far off" comments to NHL.com's Jon Lane:

Following what he called a "completely unacceptable" season, [Sabres GM Tim] Murray refused to buy into a five-year rebuild and accelerated the Sabres' reconstruction with the signing of five free agents on July 1.

"Probably the best couple of words I heard out of Tim's mouth was when he said 'five years,'" said Ted Nolan, who went 17-36-9 after taking over as interim coach and signed a three-year contract extension in March. "Who knows what's going to happen five years from now? I always, as a coach, just worry about now. My now is preparing this team to be the best we can. If we get the players like we did this summer, it could be a very short rebuild and we get to the point to where we're battling for what everybody wants, and that's the Stanley Cup."

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Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anthony+stewart, buffalo+sabres, ted+nolan, tim+murray, tyler+myers

The 2015 Winter Classic remains a ‘location to be determined’ event

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

The 2014 Winter Classic was marketed very strongly as a showdown at "The Big House" (a.k.a. Michigan Stadium), but the 2015 Winter Classic between the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks hasn't included, oh, say, a "Battle at RFK" angle.

According to the Washington Post's Alex Prewitt and Mike DeBonis, there's a good reason for the lack of location-specific marketing:

Since it was announced in December that the Washington Capitals would host the 2015 Winter Classic, it has been widely assumed the most natural venue for the game was Nationals Park.

NHL representatives visited Nationals Park, in addition to RFK Stadium and FedEx Field, a person with knowledge of the situation said at the time of the announcement, and had pegged the ballpark as the likely site for the annual New Year’s Day game.

But with one month left until the NHL preseason begins and with the Jan. 1 game between the Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks less than five months away, there has still been no official announcement where it will be held, and a source with knowledge of the negotiations said Friday there are hurdles left to clear.

Continued

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, washington+capitals

Red Wings overnight report: On Kocur’s charity softball game, ‘Show, don’t tell’ and Pulkkinen goals

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

After two days' worth of Ken Holland chatter and a Friday spent chasing down Holland interviews, I'd feel guilty to lead off with Sportsnet's posting of Holland's interview on the Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast--that'll be posted shortly--let's get away from GM-speak and Ice Bucket Challenge overload (again, going to http://www.alsa.org/donate in the U.S. or http://www.als.ca/en/donate in Canada and learning about the illness and helping the cause is far more important than any of these flights of fancy) to talk about charitable endeavors of the more direct kind for a moment.

Today, the Plymouth Whalers will hold an alumni game at Compuware Arena, with the 4 PM-faceoff game benefiting the Children's Miracle Network, and a week from today, the Joe Kocur Foundation's annual charity softball game(s) in Highland, MI brings together a cavalcade of Wings' alums and celebrities to benefit seven local charities (as well as the police and fire departments that provide opposition to Kocur's star-studded lineups).

If hanging out with fourteen former Wings isn't enough of a "hook" for you, the Free Press's George Sipple notes that Grind Lines 1 and 2 will be reunited at the pair of games:

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Sidney Crosby addresses state of his wrist, Penguins’ changes

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Paul and I scratched our heads regarding the Naples News' rather relaxed interview with Sidney Crosby, who was skating at Germain Arena in Esthero, FL (home of the ECHL's Florida Everblades) alongside Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, John Tavares and Kyle Okposo...But strength and conditioning coach Darryl Belfry's camp was supposed to be hush-hush from the get-go, so protocol ws followed.

The AP made sure to dispatch a correspondent to speak with Crosby before he left Southwestern Florida, however, and Crosby addressed the state of his not-surgically-repaired right wrist (albeit in classic Cliche Crosby mode)...

Pittsburgh Penguins star center Sidney Crosby's right wrist appears to be on the road to recovery. The reigning NHL MVP said Friday he's pleased with the way his wrist has responded to treatment over the summer and is anxious for training camp to begin as the Penguins try to recover from their second-round collapse in the playoffs.

"It's good," Crosby said. "You want to see how things progress throughout the summer once you start skating and get back to that regular routine. You want to see how it reacts so I'm happy with the way it's gone."

And Crosby addressed his team's roster, behind-the-bench and front office changes as well (and the AP reports that David Clarkson also attended the camp):

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Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby

Blackhawks and Kevin Hayes fail to reach contract agreement

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

If you're looking for a little mid-August drama, the Chicago Blackhawks have been unable to come to terms with 2010 first-round draft pick Kevin Hayes, and the team issued the following announcement:

Chicago Blackhawks Vice President/General Manager Stan Bowman released the following statement regarding Kevin Hayes:

“We offered Kevin what we believed was a generous and fair contract. Unfortunately, he felt it was in his best interests to become a free agent. We are looking forward to the compensatory draft pick we are receiving and are focused on the excitement surrounding the start of training camp next month.”

Per the National Hockey League’s Collective Bargaining Agreement Article 8.3(b), the Blackhawks will receive a second-round pick (54th overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Hayes is a 6'4," 216-pound forward who graduated from Boston College having registered 27 goals, 38 assists and 65 points over the course of only 40 games played, and as SI's Allan Muir noted on Friday morning, the Calgary Flames, Phoenix Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, Boston Bruins (the "local angle" for the Boston native) and Florida Panthers (for whom Kevin's brother Jimmy plays) are all in the mix...

But there are another 24 teams that will heavily pursue Hayes as well, and with the rookie cap-max deal and signing/performance bonuses being equal, the 22-year-old power forward can pretty much pick and choose wherever he wants to play based upon which team he feels will be the best fit.

If he's looking for promises of playing time, Calgary, Phoenix and Florida can probably deliver there, but you can be sure that each and every NHL team--including the spurned Blackhawks--will "wine and dine" Hayes and his representatives.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, stan+bowman

Buckets for Buckets and Friday night multimedia and/or fluff

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I have a suspicious feeling that the Red Wing in the following video ended up spraining his back and having to be hospitalized for a severe allergic reaction to ice and bad hypothermia, but that's just me (and high production values on this one here, look at Daniel Cleary walking without a limp, and only an ice bag on his head, must be summer! wink)...

Seriously, good on Cleary for sharing the Canadian ALS Society's website: http://www.als.ca/en/donate and in the U.S. it's http://www.alsa.org/donate This .challenge has gone off the rails in terms of its charitable initiative, and the whole dang point is to raise awareness of ALS (a.k.a. "Lou Gerhig's Disease," which so many people battle that it's scary--and not everybody has the kind of access to medical care that Stephen Hawking does).

It'll be interesting to see if Henrik Zetterberg does his challenge in a snappy suit like Henrik Lundqvist did. I'm sure the ice will be afraid of Kris Draper.

This is indeed "Friday Night Fluff," so I will give props to Dylan Larkin for donning a diving mask while engaging in the challenge...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

KK- A Mini Break For Me

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

My plan for the next two and a half days is to take it slow, real slow.  I am even thinking about taking the ice in a glass challenge, filled with a little adult beverage.

I need to step away from the computer, email, twitter, etc. to recharge my battery and catch up on a little R & R.

George Malik will try to fill in when necessary while I am away and I will return on Monday.

Have a good weekend and the countdown for hockey will begin soon enough.

Filed in: KK Website Business, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Sidney Crosby And Others Hit The Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Ryan Toohey of the Naples Daily News,

Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby and a handful other NHL players wrapped up a week of training at Germain Arena on Friday.

Rookie of the Year Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche, John Tavares and Kyle Okopso of the New York Islanders, and David Clarkson of the Toronto Maple Leafs also have been in town.

The star-studded group of players traveled to Southwest Florida to train with performance coach Darryl Belfry.

“The environment here is nice – it’s relaxed,” Crosby said. “You’re able to recharge a little bit here before the season starts."

Below, watch Crosby talk about the training the players went through. Of course, if the video does not play, just click the Naples Daily News link.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sidney+crosby

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