Kukla's Korner

The Season Outlook For Dylan Larkin

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

2016-17 outlook: Larkin was a bit of a savior last season for a team that struggled to score, stepping up big from the start as a 19-year-old. Perhaps the rigors of his first NHL season caught up with him after the All-Star break, when he produced just five goals and seven points in his final 28 games.

Larkin, who can play all three forward positions, was used mostly on the wing as a rookie. Now, he will have new responsibilities as the first-line center. He'll be playing head-to-head against a lot of top centers, so he'll need to be reliable defensively. He could also improve his playmaking skills. And, as is the case with all young player, he needs to get stronger.

He has elite speed, a motor that keeps churning and a terrific shot, so he has the ability to increase his production. Henrik Zetterberg, Larkin's center most of last season, is expected to start the season at wing on a line with Frans Nielsen. Larkin might play with Justin Abdelkader and either Gustav Nyquist or Tomas Tatar. Or perhaps Zetterberg will wind up back on that line.

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Hockey Notes On A Late August Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- All David Bolland did in Chicago was his job.

Ask him to check, he checked. Ask him to scrap, he scrapped. Ask him to occasionally score, he would occasionally score.

That included a bang-bang, last-minute, Stanley Cup-winning goal with Chicago, his last game with the Blackhawks.

That was three years ago. Now Bolland, at age 30, has become something of a punchline, not a person or a player of any consequence in hockey, just salary cap space. That’s how he’s looked at by too many in the hockey world. His rather large contract was dealt from Florida to Arizona, not because anybody wanted him, but because the Coyotes would take prospect Lawson Crouse and the price of doing so was to accept Bolland’s contract. The value of salary cap space in today’s NHL....

- Wasn’t sure why Team Sweden left Dallas defenceman John Klingberg off their initial World Cup roster. Now not sure why they haven’t added him as an injury replacement to their very strong defence. Sweden ended up inserting Anaheim’s Hampus Lundholm to take Niklas Kronwall’s spot. On a scale, this is equivalent to Canada leaving P.K. Subban off its roster.

 a bit more on Bolland and a few more nockey notes... 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

AWood40’s playoff goal highlights continue with the 1992 season

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

AWood40's playoff goal highlight reel continues today with the Red Wings' playoff goals from the 1992 season. This clip includes one of my favorite Wings goals ever--Sergei Fedorov's OT and series-winning goal over the Minnesota Wild, which was the first playoff goal to be confirmed via video review:

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Tweets of note: DRW promotions, the Kocur Foundation softball game and Wings fantasy camp

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Twitter-related Red Wings note this evening:

1. The Wings released their promotional calendar today:

2. The Joe Kocur Foundation's annual charity softball game took place today in Highland, MI, and a good time was had by all (despite the rain):

Continue Reading »

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Colorado’s New Coach

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

When Patrick Roy stepped down as Colorado Avalanche head coach, I predicted the Avs were in a tight place and would not get the man they would have picked as head coach had they started their search in April.  They were left to pick coaches from a group of people who were unproven and had not already commit themselves fully for the upcoming season.  That is exactly what happened.  The Avs hired their new coach Jared Bednar a couple of days ago.

Bednar is not an NHL name.  He was a hockey player but never made the NHL.  He was never drafted and never signed an NHL contract.  When he retired from his career in the ECHL he was named an assistant coach in South Carolina where he last played.  After four years as an assistant he became their head coach and within two years won the Kelly Cup as ECHL champions - though it should be noted that he took over a top ECHL team and didn't build it as head coach.

He then left for the AHL.  First he served as an assistant coach with the Abbotsford Heat and then as a head coach with the Peoria Rivermen.  After being fired in Peoria, he joined the Columbus Blue Jackets organization as an assistant coach in Springfield and later as their head coach.  When the team moved to Cleveland and became the Lake Erie Monsters, he remained head coach and was the coach of the Calder Cup winning team this year.

Continue Reading »

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Jared Bednar Is The New-Look Coach In Colorado

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

The Avalanche last week broke the syndrome of hiring recycled NHL coaches, opting to fill their late-summer bench vacancy with Jared Bednar. If you’ve been too buried in beach reading to pay attention, the job opened unexpectedly when Patrick Roy abruptly resigned Aug. 11, convinced that his view from the bench was not in focus with the rest of Denver’s front office cognoscenti.

Unlike Roy, the sometimes tempestuous Hall of Fame goalie who backstopped Cups in both Montreal and Denver, the 44-year-old Bednar lacks any “Q factor.” Even in Cleveland, where he led the AHL franchise this spring to the Calder Cup championship, he was a virtual unknown. A defenseman, he was undrafted after three years of junior (Western Hockey League), then kicked around the minors for eight seasons before breaking into coaching as an assistant with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays in 2002-03.

Some 14 seasons later, including three with the Springfield Falcons, voila, Bednar hit the big time Thursday when Joe Sakic and friends picked him to lead them out of their protracted tailspin. The Avs missed the playoffs for a second season in a row in 2015-16 and have DNQ’s five of the last six seasons. Roy’s bench had gone flat, despite some young, high-end talent up front (Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog).

continued plus more hockey topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jared+bednar

Video- The Fighting Debate In “Ice Guardians”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from IceGuardians,

Exploring one of the most controversial and provocative positions in the history of sport, ‘Ice Guardians’ journeys into the lives of those who perform what is undoubtedly the toughest job within the National Hockey League today, the enforcer.  Very few understand this position and even fewer appreciate what is involved in becoming one.  It’s a punishing profession unlike any other, holding little mercy for its candidates on or off the ice.  Born out of self policing a game where 200 pound men fly towards each other on metal blades with sticks, the role now finds itself facing the scrutiny of national newspapers, on-line blogs and TV news casts.  Due to its violent nature, it has drawn opinions from both fans and critics alike.  But what do we really know?  What led to its spectacular rise?  What purpose does it serve in the eyes of its beholders and what drives them forward in the face of adversity?  Ice Guardians steps beyond the hype and heads directly to the source of the debate… the players themselves.  Through their eyes, tough exteriors are shed to reveal the humanity behind a role that struggles to maintain its existence.

much more and it premieres in mid-September...

Watch a trailer below...

Continue Reading »

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

‘Three Things’: Al Sobotka’s favorite JLA memory, on ‘Ice Guardians’ and an interview with Ehn

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. Fox Sports Detroit's "The 313" spoke with Al Sobotka about his favorite moment at Joe Louis Arena...

2. In the "coming attractions" department, there's a movie coming out called Ice Guardians, which will chronicle the evolution of the enforcer, and Joe Kocur will appear in the film:

Continue Reading »

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‘Roughly Translated’: Niklas Kronwall discusses his troublesome knee

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Niklas Kronwall spoke with NHL.com/sv regarding his knee issues on Friday, and this morning, he addresses his knee problems in a conversation with Aftonbladet's Tomas Ros. Here's a rough translation thereof:

Kronwall: "Incredibly sad to miss"

On Tuesday it was announced. The veteran and captain at the Olympic Games, Niklas Kronwall, will miss the World Cup.

Now he speaks out about the disappointment.

"It will be one of the better tournaments played, and it had been an awesome experience. Incredibly sad to miss it," says Kronwall.

On Tuesday, Niklas Kronwall went on the ice in Segeltorp. It felt OK--for a few minutes. But after only 15 minutes, he decided to get off the ice.

It didn't work. His NHL-worn knees couldn't and didn't work as they should in the World Cup.

"I pulled back earlier in the summer, too, and knew all along that there was a risk that I would miss the World Cup. I've worked in the gym and was on the ice for 40 minutes on Monday, but on Tuesday, I couldn't go," says Niklas Kronwall.

Continue Reading »

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Early overnight report: On Q and A’s, events to come and a would-be vacuum salesman

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of very disparate Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. If you are interested in heading out to the Pure Michigan 400 in Brooklyn, MI this weekend, MLive's Taylor DesOrmeau reports that several sports luminaries will be holding Q and A sessions at the track...

Meeting your favorite driver

Numerous NASCAR drivers are making Q&A appearances throughout the weekend including Danica Patrick, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne and others. Detroit Red Wings head coach and Pure Michigan 400 grand marshal Jeff Blashill also is conducting Q&As throughout the weekend.

For a full list of events in and around the track for fans, visit http://mispeedway.com

.

2. In the "future events" category, the Michigan Warriors hockey team will take on the Red Wings Alumni at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth this November 19th;

3. In the "present event" and prospect news category, the Champions Hockey League has started up, and Julius Vahatalo played center on TPS Turku's 4th line as TPS defeated Bili Tygri Liberec 2-1 in a shootout on Friday;

4. In the land of mischief, Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples navigates you through Johan Franzen's latest Instagram caper;

5. In the, "Would'a, could'a, should'a" department, from InfoNews.ca's Charlotte Heston:

Continue Reading »

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