Kukla's Korner

Afternoon news: An unusual UFA rumor, ‘fantasy Green,’ an ECHL award for Toledo & prospect profiles

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Among this afternoon's Red Wings-related news stories:

You'll have to pardon me for raising an eyebrow at this note from the Fourth Period:

Unrestricted free agent forward Alexander Semin would like to find a long-term home in the NHL, but as his agent explains, he's open to a one-year contract.

Mark Gandler, Semin's agent, told Russian media outlet Sport Express that "we have no problems signing up for one year."
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings have reportedly expressed some interest in Semin, who was bought out by the Carolina Hurricanes last week.

In fantasy hockey news, NHL.com's Eric Goodman suggests that poolies pick up a certain new Red Wings defenseman:

Continue Reading »

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Wings Need More Size And Grit

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Pat Caputo of the Oakland Press,

There are other ways for the Red Wings can move among the NHL’s elite other than adding size. Waterford Township’s Dylan Larkin is an outstanding talent, who is unlikely to blink at the move up in level of competition. He is on the fast track to contribute more significantly than imagined when he was taken in the first-round in ‘14.

There have been vivid flashes suggesting Petr Mrazek is special, and a truly top-end goalie can carry a team a long way.

But size and grit – the Red Wings haven’t had nearly enough of it the last few years.

It’s time to use their deep pool of developing players, and/or perhaps goalie Jimmy Howard, to acquire it via trades.

Doing so would make an encouraging off season so far even better.

more

Personally, I feel Caputo should have wrote this a few years ago.  Look at the Blackhawks and Lightning, lack of size and grit were not an issue for both teams.

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Off-Season Topics

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

In reality, the NHL offseason is painfully short once you get through free agency, factor in development camps and count down the days to rookie camps.

That said, there's a lot of stuff percolating to keep hockey on the front burner as we head into the dog days of summer.

1. Will Steven Stamkos sign an extension?

Is there anyone who doesn't expect a long-term deal to get done to keep the Stanley Cup finalist Tampa Bay Lightning intertwined for the long haul with their dynamic captain, Steven Stamkos? OK, Leafs fans put your hands down. Still, the last thing general manager Steve Yzerman wants to do is have this become a "thing" by stretching it into training camp or beyond. Surely this will get done, but the longer it doesn't, the longer there will be rumblings that somehow Stamkos might consider an exit plan.

2. How will Mike Richards situation resolve itself?

The Los Angeles Kings are charting dangerous territory here by looking to dissolve Richards' contract rather than buy him out, especially as they continue to wait out Slava Voynov's situation in the face of domestic abuse charges. We get that it's a business, but the Kings' reputation, already on the rocks given the multiple off-ice issues in the past year, has the potential to take a real hit depending on how this plays out. 

continue for 8 more topics...

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Jarett Meyer Is The Big Guy At Camp

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

Nobody has stood out more at the Detroit Red Wings development camp more than defenseman Jarett Meyer.

That's what happens when you stand 7 feet tall on skates.

The 18-year-old defenseman is easily the tallest player at Centre I.C.E. Arena after being among 22 invites for the 45-player camp.

Meyer came to the Red Wings attention last season, when director of player personnel Jiri Fischer was keeping tabs on Detroit draft pick Zach Nastasiuk, who was captain of the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League. It didn't take long for him to spot Meyer in the Attack lineup.

Meyer spent his first OHL season in Owen Sound and Fischer immediately took notice of his size.

continued

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The Boston Bruins Signed Three Players Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

BOSTON, MA - Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, July 6, that the club has signed forward Jimmy Hayes to a three-year contract through the 2017-18 season worth a cap figure of $2,300,000, forward Brett Connolly to a one-year contract through the 2015-16 season worth a cap figure of $1,025,000 at the NHL level and forward Brandon DeFazio to a one-year, two-way contract through the 2015-16 season worth a cap figure of $575,000 at the NHL level.

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Audio from the fourth day of the Red Wings’ summer development camp ‘15

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings' prospects  went through their final day of skill development and systems drills at the Wings' summer development camp: tomorrow, the teams will scrimmage at 11 AM, and that will conclude the activities in Traverse City.

Today's drills were intense and focused on very Detroit-like systems of play, and after watching Jiri Fischer take his skating drills to their game-level conclusion and the Griffins and Walleye's coaches work on one-on-one battles, breakouts and regroup drills, I spoke to several prospects and coach Blashill:

Continue Reading »

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Can The New York Rangers Afford Derek Stepan?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sean Hartnett of CBSNewYork,

Initially, it was thought that the Rangers would be able to lock their 25-year-old alternate captain into a long-term deal slightly above $6 million annually. Buffalo giving a comparable center in O’Reilly crazy money raises Stepan’s asking price.

Stepan is an upward-trending star who is just breaking into his prime years. He has averaged 0.78 points per game over the past three seasons and has scored his share of memorable playoff goals. The question is: How far do the Rangers go to satisfy Stepan?

He is definitely worth between $6 and $6.5 million million per year. Anything above $6.5 million is an overpayment. He’s not worth Nicklas Backstrom or Anze Kopitar money. A demand of a long-term deal above $7 million AAV could force the Rangers to do the unthinkable — trade Stepan away.

Finding takers for third-pair defenseman Kevin Klein (three years, $2.9 million AAV) and/or fourth-line winger Tanner Glass (two years, $1.45 million AAV) could help alleviate the cap squeeze. Demoting Glass to the minors would force the Rangers to carry $500,000 in dead cap space, but would free up $950,000 of cap room.

more

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  Tags: derek+stepan

Video- Mike Babcock On The Nazem Kadri Signing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock has high expectations for Nazem Kadri, who has this next year to prove he’s an elite player before he gets paid like one.

 

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The Hockey Hall Of Fame Debate For Chris Osgood

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Longtime Detroit Red Wings netminder and owner of three Stanley Cup rings Chris Osgood might be one of the great Hall of Fame bubble cases of all time. His statistics, were they taken in a vacuum, would guarantee him a spot in the Hall of Fame, as he ranks statistically with some of the game's greatest goaltenders, including a bevy of netminders already enshrined. Yet there is a perception in many circles that he was simply an average-to-good goaltender who won the hockey lottery backstopping a dynastic team coach by one of the greatest coaches of all time in Scotty Bowman. How perception will ultimately reflect or influence reality in the coming years vis a vis voting for the Hall of Fame promises to be one of the most interesting Hall of Fame debates of all.

The Case For

Where to start? Well, as of this writing, Osgood ranks 10th all time in wins among all NHL goaltenders with 401 (Roberto Luongo will pass him shortly, and Luongo will no doubt become the subject of an interesting Hall of Fame debate in the coming years). Osgood won three Stanley Cups -- two as a starter -- and came within two wins in 2009 of winning a fourth Cup as Detroit was defeated by Pittsburgh in Game 7 at Joe Louis Arena. His 74 postseason wins are eighth all time, and he managed to collect 15 shutouts in the playoffs (fourth all time). 

continued

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Almost One Week Into The Free Agency Period

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sean McIndoe of Grantland,

So while the free-agency market isn’t done, it’s cooled off enough that we can start handing out some report cards. According to long-standing hockey bylaws, all free-agency summaries must be presented in a winner/loser format.1 So let’s take a look back at the first few days since the market opened to see who came out ahead and who’s having a rough start to the summer.

Winners: Andrej Sekera and Michael Frolik. That Sekera and Frolik signed two of the biggest UFA deals in terms of overall money pretty much says all you need to know about this year’s market — i.e., it wasn’t very good. Both are solid players; neither would be considered a star.2 But when there’s not much available, teams pay for what they can get, and that’s what the Oilers and Flames did here. Edmonton has needed a top-pairing defenseman forever, and while Sekera may or may not actually be that, he’s as close as it was going to get this year, and that’s why he’ll make $33 million over the next six years. And a good young Flames team that was looking for some veteran help up front figured Frolik was worth $21.5 million over five years.

Those are big deals, although that doesn’t necessarily make them bad deals.

much more

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