Kukla's Korner

Griffins’ ‘Tip a Griffin’ event to take place on October 25th

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the Grand Rapids Griffins, via RedWingsFeed:


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins’ popular Tip-A-Griffin fundraiser returns for its 10th edition on Tuesday, Oct. 25 from 6-8 p.m., when team players, coaches and hockey staff will trade in their jerseys for aprons to help serve and wait tables at all five Uccello’s Ristorante locations in West Michigan.

Each of the five locations will include a raffle and a visit from the team’s beloved mascot, Griff. Raffle items include Griffins memorabilia, ticket packages, various gifts from sponsors, and specially designed aprons that Griffins personnel will be wearing for the night, which will be signed and auctioned off at the end of the event.

Donations and raffle proceeds will benefit the Griffins Youth Foundation. In its previous nine versions, Tip-A-Griffin raised nearly $85,000 for various local charities.

The Griffins will be dispersed to each location as follows (lineups subject to change):

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Ken Holland receives award from Salvation Army

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From DetroitRedWIngs.com's Josh Berenter:

On Wednesday night, while Ken Holland watched his Detroit Red Wings defeat the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, community members gathered at the Detroit Athletic Club as Holland was presented the 2016 William Booth Award by The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division.

"The Salvation Army is pleased to present our organization's highest individual honor, the William Booth Award, to Ken Holland, general manager of the Detroit Red Wings," said Lt. Colonel John Turner, divisional commander of The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division. "Named after our founder, this award is reserved for individuals who demonstrate outstanding humanitarian efforts within - and service to - the community through the donation of time, expertise and energy.

"For the past 11 years, Ken has engaged the entire Red Wings team in our Red Kettle campaign, raising tens of thousands of dollars for those in need in Metro Detroit. Ken embodies the true spirit of the William Booth Award and it is our sincere pleasure to honor him with this year's award."

While Holland couldn't attend The Salvation Army's Annual Civic Awards Dinner on Wednesday night to personally accept the award, he made sure to properly thank The Salvation Army for the honor by sending an acceptance video which was played during the event.


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

NHL/NHLPA Launches Core Development Program

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK/TORONTO (Oct. 20, 2016) – As an extension of the National Hockey League (NHL) and National Hockey League Players’ Association’s (NHLPA) Player Development Program, the NHL and NHLPA today announced the launch of the NHL/NHLPA Core Development Program. Core Development Program (CDP) aims to help NHL Players become better professionals both on and off of the ice.

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

Blues In Trasition

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

This is a team, I would humbly opine, that is at an interesting crossroads.

After reaching the Western Conference finals last season and unburdening themselves of some playoff demons in doing so, the Blues finally turned a powerhouse regular season into a spring of substance.

But of interest to me now is where this team goes from here. Are the Blues taking that next step? Or is their window beginning to close? For one, this is Ken Hitchcock's last season behind the St. Louis bench -- with the team making the unusual arrangement that newly hired associate coach Mike Yeo will take over next season.

There's also the transition of leadership with longtime captain David Backes leaving via free agency, as did clutch playoff performer Troy Brouwer. And those departures came a year after star winger T.J. Oshie was traded.

This, more than ever, is now the team of new captain Alex Pietrangelo as well as Alexander Steen, one of the team's alternate captains and respected leaders.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Profiling Griffins captain Nathan Paetsch

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Griffinshockey.com's Mark Newman profiles Grand Rapids Griffins captain Nathan Paetsch this morning:

“The joke is that I’m the stepping stone to the NHL because all of my ‘D’ partners end up in the NHL. First there was Smitty (Brendan Smith), then Lash (Brian Lashoff), X (Xavier Ouellet) and (Alexey) Marchenko. For me to play with all those guys and then sit at home and watch them play for the Red Wings, it’s the best,” he continued. “As an older guy, I take great pride in being able to help these guys along. It’s like watching a little brother. It feels like part of me is out on the ice with them. I love it, and it’s been a real joy.”
With each prospect having his own strengths and weaknesses, it’s fallen to Paetsch to make sure that he keeps everything under control.
“My game changes more depending upon who I am playing with and what role they want me to do,” he said. “As an AHL veteran, I’ve got to be flexible because in the end, it’s all about the young guys and helping them get to Detroit.
“I just try to be who I am, even though there’s a different approach for every guy. Every ‘D’ partner is a different challenge. How do I make us the best pairing possible? It’s a challenge that I really enjoy.
“Young guys will ask a lot of questions and I think that’s great. This is my 14th season, so I’ve been through a lot of things in hockey and life in general, so I hope they pick my brain as much as possible. As a veteran, you’re a shoulder to lean on, a voice to calm them down. You’ve got to let them know things won’t always be the same.”

Newman continues...

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Morning news: Wings-Rangers highlights & post-game videos; praise for Howard and observations

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 2x at 11:58 AM: Among this morning's Red Wings-related videos:

1. AWood40 posted an extended clip of highlights from last night's game:

2. The Red Wings posted clips of post-game remarks from Henrik Zetterberg...

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Matt Murray Signs A Three-Year Contract Extension

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Pittsburgh Penguins,

The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed goalie Matt Murray to a three-year contract extension, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

The deal begins with the 2017-18 season and runs through the 2019-20 campaign, and it carries an average annual value of $3.75 million.

Murray, 22, backstopped the Penguins to the franchise's fourth Stanley Cup championship in June, becoming just the fourth rookie goalie in NHL history to lead his team to a championship. Murray racked up 15 postseason wins along the way, equaling the NHL record for wins by a rookie netminder.

The 6-foot-4, 178-pound netminder broke into the NHL last December, making his NHL debut against Carolina on Dec. 19, 2015, then earning his first win two days later against Columbus.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+murray

John Tavares The Actor

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Neil Best of Newsday,

The director had a question for John Tavares: “How do you feel about pineapples?”

The director had an instruction for John Tavares: “Be super-evocative!”

The director had a request for John Tavares: “Do you know any good Canadian jokes?”

Tavares responded to all of it with an assortment of quizzical looks while good-naturedly going with the flow on Wednesday at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow.

It was an Islanders off day, part of which their captain spent doing a photo and video shoot for his new endorsement deal with Vita Coco coconut water, doing his best to conform outside his comfort zone.


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

When The Russians Headed To The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Neil Paine of FiveThirtyEight,

In 1989, the Soviet hockey federation gave mid-level winger Sergei Priakin permission to pursue an NHL career. Other players soon followed (with or without government consent). From Fedorov to Mogilny and Bure, electrifying talent was up for grabs.

“I don’t know that this has ever happened [before] in any other sport, where the floodgates were opened to a new talent base,” hockey writer Gabriel Desjardins told me. “Teams jumped on it immediately.”

Chief among them was the Winnipeg Jets, led by a contrarian general manager who did not play professional hockey and held a doctorate in Russian studies: Mike Smith. Smith thought he could get Russian players under other teams’ radar (appealing for an American who felt excluded from what he described in an interview as the “boys club” of Canadian GMs) and believed more in Soviet-style possession hockey than the North American dump-and-chase strategy.

“You would ask a player who played for a coach that said ‘dump it in,’ [and] the player would say to his teammate, ‘We worked like hell to get the puck and then he wants to dump it in,’” Smith told me. “It just didn’t make any [sense], particularly if you had skilled players. … Why would you take a Rolls-Royce and make it into a battering ram?”


Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Winnipeg Jets Honored Names From The Past Without Bobby Hull

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gary Lawless of TSN,

Some say there would be no NHL in Winnipeg if not for Bobby Hull. Wednesday night they opened the Winnipeg Jets’ Hall of Fame and did it without the Golden Jet, his reputation bruised and his ego keeping him from taking part in the festivities.

The Jets honoured Hull and his Hot Line mates, Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson, culminating with the two Swedes embracing at centre ice as three banners carrying their names and numbers were unveiled. Hull was not in the building, the city or the province.

A summer announcement that the Jets would celebrate their WHA heritage and make the Hot Line the inaugural Hall of Fame honourees stirred up sentiment on a number of sides within Winnipeg. Hull, who has been the subject of domestic abuse allegations, became the focal point of opinion columns, sports radio discussions and dinner table arguments.

Hull was reviled by one side and respected by the other. He took offence that reports of past transgressions, never proven in court, would sully his name in Winnipeg of all places.

When the Jets extended an invitation for the weekend, he declined. The club waited some time and when he wouldn’t relent, released a statement saying he would be absent due to personal reasons.


Below, watch a short video of the ceremony....

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bobby+hull

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