Kukla's Korner

Scouting Bobby Orr

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

GANANOQUE, Ontario — The little kid with the brush-cut blond hair and the endearing smile strolled through the door of the restaurant here on King Street. His hockey team had just lost to the local Gan boys, a season-ending defeat in the provincial playoffs. But everyone, especially the scouts from Boston, was gushing about the 13-year-old sprite from way up north in Parry Sound.

A few years later, the same kid would be the talk of all the NHL, bringing fans across North America to their feet on nearly every shift. No one had ever seen the likes of Bobby Orr. And on this night, March 31, 1961, the hometown players from this picture-postcard hamlet along Thousand Islands rose and applauded as Orr, all 112 pounds of him, entered the Boston Cafe.

The Gan boys knew something. They had no idea exactly what would unfold in the years ahead, but it was obvious the kid with magic in his stick would be skating off to places far beyond small-town Canada.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bobby+orr

With Tomas Tatar Signed What Happens Next?

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Craig Custance of The Athletic,

According to CapFriendly.com, the Red Wings are $3 million over the salary cap with Tatar signed. They’ll eventually place Johan Franzen on long-term injured reserve, which will wipe that out and add an additional $900,000 or so in flexibility. That’s not going to be enough to get restricted free agent Andreas Athanasiou signed.

He is on deck for a contract.

“Nothing imminent,” texted one source close to Athanasiou on Friday night.

That the Red Wings are so squeezed against the cap would leave them vulnerable to an offer sheet on Athanasiou, if that sort of thing ever actually happened in the NHL. The reality is, if an offer sheet is going to happen, the best candidate is in Nashville where Ryan Johansen sits as a 24-year-old restricted free agent center, but that’s a debate for another day.

The other interesting thing is that the conversations continue between the Thomas Vanek camp and the Red Wings. That he hasn’t signed anywhere yet is an indication that he’s willing to wait this out a little and see how things play out in Detroit, although one source close to Vanek said there a “couple things” in play with him.

The Red Wings aren’t going to buy anyone out, so that leaves only a salary-clearing trade as a possibility if salary needs to be cleared.

more (paid subscription)...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

The NHL Tonight previews the Red Wings’ 2017-18 campaign

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Via Paul, on Friday, the NHL Tonight's Steve Mears, Kevin Weekes and EJ Hradek took part in an 11-minute discussion of and/or 2017-18 season preview for the Red Wings. It's a little "blabby," but solid nonetheless:

Also of Red Wings-related note this morning: we'll call this marginally-related. Via Championat, Evgeni Svechnikov spoke with NHL.com's Pavel Lysenkov regarding his brother, Barrie Colts forward Andrei Svechnikov, and the brothers' agent, Mark Gandler, suggested that a lot of things would have to go wrong--and right--for the brothers to play together in the NHL. There's not much there, but it's what's out there on a quiet late July morning.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

WXYZ’s Galli speaks with Dylan Larkin about the ‘learning curve,’ Wings’ outlook

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

WXYZ's Brad Galli spoke with Dylan Larkin (while at Larkin's hockey school in Waterford) regarding the state of his NHL learning curve and the Red Wings' literal and figurative prospects for the upcoming season:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Tomas Tatar On His New Deal

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

Updated at 10:14 PM: from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

“I can’t be more happy,” Tatar said during a conference call. “I’ve been on my phone talking to (friends) in the Detroit area and it’s just been real nice.

“I have a very special relationship with the Red Wings. I was a huge fan and it’s a really big relief for me to stay and continue my NHL career in Detroit.”...

“It’s really exciting that we found a way to get the deal done,” Tatar said. “It was a little stressful. We had a great relationship with (general manager) Ken (Holland) in arbitration. (Arbitration was) not even close to as bad as people were picturing. They (the Red Wings) were real nice and we were always finding a way to sign a deal without waiting for the arbitration.

“I’m real glad we did.”

Listening to the Red Wings state their case during arbitration didn’t leave a bad taste with Tatar.

“It’s a business,” Tatar said. “You just have to listen in one ear and out the other ear. It’s a business and I can understand it.”

more

Update: The Free Press's Helene St. James also weighed in...

Continue Reading »

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Tomas Tatar signs a 4-year, $21.2 million contract

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman:

The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan confirms:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Help With Shooting Percentage

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Travis Yost of TSN,

A couple of weeks ago, we tried to determine the NHL’s best individual shooting talent. The exercise was reasonably straightforward: observe the actual shooting percentages of forwards and measure it against the expected shooting percentages for those forwards based on shot distance, angles, type, game state, and so on. The forwards at the top of the list – names like Patrick Kane, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Nikita Kucherov – consistently beat expectations and added a bunch of wins for their team in the standings.

I had a series of follow-up questions from that post and one particularly stood out to me. A reader noted that while the above analysis measured an individual’s ability to consistently drive his own shooting percentage, it didn’t show whether a player had the ability to drive up the shooting percentages of those around him.

It’s a fascinating question – one that is really a measure of playmaking ability more than anything else. The tricky part here is that I think there are a lot of ways for a player to enhance the shooting percentage of his teammates. The obvious one is being a star distributor or passer. But what about the guys who are truly lethal 5-on-5 goal scorers? Surely defences shade their structure to suppress their open looks from time to time, but the offset is that the player’s teammates have more ice and room to work. These are two completely different skills, but both could lead to the same end result.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

‘Two Things’: On Cholowski and the Calder Cup’s busy schedule

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 3x at 1:53 PM: Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. MLive's Brendan Savage posted a profile of defenseman Dennis Cholowski...

The plan now is for Cholowski to get a shot in Grand Rapids but if the Red Wings don't think he's ready to join the Griffins, he could go the junior hockey route with Prince George of the WHL, according to assistant general manager Ryan Martin.

If he does go to Prince George, Cholowski won't be able to rejoin the Griffins until after the WHL season ends.

Cholowski began preparing for the 2017-18 campaign at this year's Red Wings development camp. One of the things Cholowski said he wanted to do last year was get bigger and stronger and he's taken a step in that direction during the past year after weighing in at 196 pounds in Traverse City.

"We drafted him and he was 170 pounds," said Tyler Wright, the Red Wings director of amateur scouting. "Some of it's just physically getting mature and growing into becoming a man but a lot of that also is the work that nobody sees and he's putting time and the effort in. You get excited with that and you get more excited because you know they're doing the work."

2. And the Calder Cup's Twitter accout lets us know that the Griffins have been enjoying their "Days With the Cup" recently:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Morning Line- An Eastern Conference Executive

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Asked Thursday about a report from a respected Russian journalist citing Russian players are claiming the league has behind closed doors put together a second 2017-18 schedule — this one featuring an Olympic break in case NHLers go to the Games — an Eastern Conference executive put it this way. “I can’t say anything on that other than the league has already committed the all-star game to Tampa for next January and a lot of the business and promotional deals will start coming together next week. So, if they are going to scrap the all-star game in favour of the Olympics — and I personally don’t think they are — they’re running out of time to do it”

via Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun who covered a few more topics at Dominic Moore’s sixth-annual Smashfest ping-pong charity tournament last night 

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

Time Is On The Side Of The New York Islanders Regarding A Contract For John Tavares

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brett Cyrgalis of the New Yorki Post,

It has been three weeks since John Tavares became eligible to sign a contract extension with the Islanders, and yet he still remains without a long-term commitment to the team.

With each passing day, anxiety rises that the superlative captain will leave the only organization he has known. The 26-year-old has one year left on his contract at a club-friendly $5.5 million salary-cap hit, and general manager Garth Snow likely knows it would be prudent to trade him sooner rather than later instead of letting him walk away next summer for nothing.

But a quick poll by The Post of people in and around the NHL came back with a consensus that this is a case where patience is a virtue, and there is no need to panic — not yet, at least.

It also has been considered not out of the realm of possibility that Tavares could play this year out with Snow listening to all the calls that come in. If no deal is made, then Snow will hold out hope to still re-sign Tavares before he can reach unrestricted free agency next July 1.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+tavares

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