Kukla's Korner

Evening Line- Bill Peters

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I think it’s going to be a lot easier going into year two, just the comfort level they have with me and also myself with them. Now, as a coaching staff, we know what they’re capable of and should be able to put them in positions to succeed. … With the players, I think the comfort level will be higher and that’s the most important thing.”

-Bill Peters, head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes.  More from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bill+peters

They Put Their Mark On The Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

In this, the second installment of our three-part series, we take at look at the seven living men who, each in his own way, have left a unique and indelible mark on the game.

Scotty Bowman, retired coach

Here’s the thing you need to know about Scotty Bowman. Few of his players over the years liked him. In fact, many actively despised him. But as Ken Dryden wrote in his seminal book, The Game, that didn’t matter.

“What [made] Bowman work is an understanding, the understanding that must exist between a coach and his team,” Dryden wrote. “He knows the most important thing to a team is to win; we know he does what he does to make us win.”

In fact, few men ever did that one thing better. Bowman holds the NHL record for career wins in both the regular season (1,244) and the playoffs (223). No coach has won more Stanley Cups than Bowman's nine: five with the Canadiens; one with the Penguins and three with the Red Wings. He's also earned five more as a front office executive, including one this past season as a special advisor to his son, Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman.

It all adds up to a legacy unmatched in the history of the game and one that's made him the professor emeritus of the hockey community. If there’s a question asked, there's no one who can answer it with more authority than Bowman.

Don Cherry, broadcaster

read on

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

Afternoon news: Tweets, prospect tournament rosters and Instagram posts

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

This afternoon's Red Wings-related news is mostly of the Tweet-or-promotional variety, so I'm unabashedly and unashamedly posting what I will politely call a "fluff entry" from a news perspective:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

It All Starts With The Organization

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Dana Wakiji of the Wings' website,

What makes it work for the Wings is once the players are in the organization, there's a system in place to support them, starting with Jiri Fischer, the Wings' director of player development, and going up through when those players reach the highest level.

"I think that’s where the organization has an impact," Holland said. "The role models, the importance of your minor-league coach and the importance of Fischer and the importance of having good minor-league veterans in Grand Rapids. I know (former assistant general manager) Jimmy Nill and now (assistant general manager) Ryan Martin have worked hard to have a leadership core in Grand Rapids that are good role models, then having the same type of leadership and role models in Detroit in Zetterberg and Datsyuk to try to maximize the potential."

While the Wings expect Zetterberg and Datsyuk to maintain their high level of play, now they need the youngsters to elevate theirs in order to reach the team's goals.

"So our goal is to try to quality for the playoffs, to go on a Stanley Cup playoff run," Holland said. "Ultimately, we want to win another Stanley Cup. At the same time, we're trying to build and develop these players."

more

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Anze Kopitar Contract Talks Not Close

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider,

Anze Kopitar has been eligible to sign a contract extension with the Los Angeles Kings since July 1, but don’t expect an announcement on an extension for the star center in the immediate future.

The Kings and Kopitar are are “not even in the ballpark” in their discussions, Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi told LA Kings Insider over email when asked whether the two sides were “close” to reaching an agreement.

Kopitar has one year remaining on the seven-year, $47.6-million contract he signed in September, 2009. The nine-year NHL veteran will be paid $7.7-million in the final season of a contract that carries a $6.8-million cap hit. In 683 career games, Kopitar has 218 goals, 610 points and a plus-45 rating. The two-time Stanley Cup winner was a finalist for the Selke Trophy in each of the last two seasons and was a Lady Byng Memorial Trophy finalist in 2014-15, when he was an NHL All-Star for the third time. In 70 career playoff games, Kopitar has 18 goals, 60 points and a plus-22 rating.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anze+kopitar

The Rise Of Joe Hicketts

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

Mr. Hicketts wild ride began last summer, when he attended the Red Wings development camp as a free agent, hoping to get some experience and perhaps open a few eyes. He did that and a whole lot more.

Hicketts played so well at the development camp that he earned not only an invitation to play for the Red Wings in their annual prospects tournament but to attend training camp one week later with Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk & Co.

Hicketts showed so much promise during that two-week stretch in September that the Red Wings rewarded him with an entry level contract.

And just in case all that wasn't enough, Hicketts suited up for Team Canada in the World Junior Championship after not getting invited to the evaluation camp the previous summer.

Unbelievable indeed.

"It was all that and more," said Hicketts, who is preparing to play for the Red Wings in next week's prospects tournament in Traverse City.

read on

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Would You Want Patrick Kane On Your Team?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,

... Simply put, the Hawks are the model franchise, on and off the ice.

Which is why Patrick Kane might be done in Chicago. And why maybe he should be.

It’s still uncertain if the Hawks are seriously considering trading Kane in light of an ongoing police investigation in Hamburg, N.Y. But if they are, they won’t have any trouble finding any takers.

At least five teams contacted the Hawks once the Buffalo News first reported the investigation — which involves Kane and a woman at his Hamburg home — and said they’d be willing trade partners should the Hawks decide to cut ties with their superstar winger, according to a league source. The 26-year-old is entering the first year of a record-setting eight-year, $84-million contract.

Kane has not been charged with a crime — and that can’t be said enough — for the events of Aug. 2, which are being investigated by both police and the district attorney’s office. But another source said that Hawks brass had sternly warned Kane not to put himself in any more bad situations — and put the team in a negative light — after his much-publicized Cinco de Mayo escapades in Madison, Wis., in 2012. That was supposed to be his last strike.

Now this.

So regardless of the legal outcome of the investigation, Kane’s future with the team is murky at best.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+kane

Morning news: Why the Wings might (and might not) win the Cup; on McNulty and Paetsch

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated at 10:45 AM: Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. Last week, USA Today's Kevin Allen had this to say in an article titled, "Why your favorite Eastern Conference team won't win the Stanley Cup"...

Detroit Red Wings: Early question marks. The Red Wings are a legitimate contender if everything went their way, but Pavel Datsyuk will start the season on the injured list and there’s uncertainty about Johan Franzen’s future.  Can Brad Richards carry the load early for Detroit? Is Petr Mrazek or Jimmy Howard the No. 1 goalie? Can the defense be elite level? Too many questions for Detroit to win it all. ​(KA)

And today, Allen and USA Today's hockey staff look toward the positive for the Eastern Conference's 16 teams, Detroit included:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Will Joe Thornton Get In The Hockey Hall Of Fame?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Joe Thornton is going to be an interesting test case for the Hockey Hall of Fame even though he clearly should be a no-brainer. But no question there are those who will hold his lack of a Stanley Cup against him. Of course, he still has time to win one before his career is out. But even if he doesn’t, it would be ridiculous to make that argument against him. His career screams Hall of Famer.

The Case For

Thornton, a consistent top-end point producer his entire career, currently sits 36th all-time in regular-season points with 1,259 (358 goals-901 assists), ahead of Hall of Famers Michel Goulet, Bernie Federko, Joe Nieuwendyk, Mike Bossy and Glenn Anderson, among others.

And he’s still got a few more seasons left in his career. For example, say the 36-year-old center plays three more seasons and I’m very conservative here in projecting 60 points a year. That puts him on pace for 1,439 career points, which would rank him 16th all-time, sandwiched between Teemu Selanne and Bryan Trottier.

As it stands, his 901 career assists are 19th all-time already, one assist away from passing Bryan Trottier.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+thornton

A Shot At The Stanley Cup For Every Eastern Conference Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from USA TODAY,

A clean slate at the start of a new season provides optimism for every team: A look at the Eastern Conference teams' reasons for hope in ending the drought.

Disclaimer: This is not to say that each item is created equal, or that each one is the only component to a deep run. This list does not account for injuries, which could cripple even the strongest teams. These are simply plausible reasons why your favorite team could be in store for a deep run. It's only fair after discussing the roadblocks to success last week.

Boston Bruins: Four foundation blocks. Boston fans can moan about the loss of Dougie Hamilton and Milan Lucic, but that doesn’t change the reality that the Bruins have a first-rate center combination in David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron, a former Norris Trophy winner Zdeno Chara on defense and in elite goalie in Tuukka Rask. If you presume that coach Claude Julien will insist the Bruins play stingy team defense and hope that David Pastrnak blossoms into a 20-goal scorer, you can make a case that the Bruins are still a contender.

Buffalo Sabres: Timing could be right for Cinderella remake. Unquestionably, the Sabres are going to be the most improved team next season. Their forward group will include Evander Kane, Ryan O'Reilly, Tyler Ennis, Matt Moulson, Brian Gionta, plus super rookie Jack Eichel and prized prospect Sam Reinhart. The defense will be significantly improved, and the Sabres are also courting free agent defenseman Cody Franson. Remember that the 1990-91 Minnesota North Stars once stunned the hockey world by reaching the Stanley Cup Final with a losing record. The NHL is overdue for a Cinderella playoff story.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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