Kukla's Korner

Ten Players To Watch This Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at The Hockey News,

The 2014-15 NHL season opens Oct. 8. Here are 10 players fans should keep an eye on:

P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens Subban starts a US$72-million, eight-year contract hoping nothing changes in the way teammates and coach Michel Therrien looks at him. But that price tag comes with lofty expectations, whether or not the 2013 Norris Trophy-winning defenceman is a captain or an alternate for the Habs.

Ryan Miller, Vancouver Canucks If the Canucks are going to make last season a blip instead of the beginning of a downward spiral, Miller will be at the centre of the revival. After struggling with the St. Louis Blues, Miller should be back in his element facing more shots behind a weaker Vancouver roster.

Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche The Avalanche waved goodbye to Paul Stastny, who went to St. Louis, knowing full well they could replace him with the Calder Trophy-winning MacKinnon. Matt Duchene doesn't hurt either, but MacKinnon is the one who could raise his game the most.

continued

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Best (NHL) Against The Best (Europe)?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rick Westhead of TSN,

How about getting the hockey juices flowing with the Stanley Cup final teams touring Europe for a September series against Europe's top clubs?

As the NHL and the NHL Players' Association work to finalize an agreement to bring back the World Cup of Hockey in September 2016, a tournament of the top eight hockey nations to be held in Montreal and Toronto, officials with the league and players' union are already musing over other plans to spur revenue.

The NHL has rich, long-term TV contracts in both Canada and the U.S. and it generates billions of dollars from corporate sponsorships, ticket sales and merchandise sales. Several NHL team owners told TSN that the league's biggest unrealized source of revenue is income generated from abroad. North America, after all, represents less than five per cent of the world's population.

"The timing has never been better for the NHL to look at international rights," said Ken Yaffe, a former executive with the NHL who oversaw the league's international business.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Report- NHL Increases Their Credit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Shoshnick of Bloomberg,

The National Hockey League closed a $1.4 billion credit facility, which is more than double the previous amount, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

The person requested anonymity because the league didn’t disclose the lending pool, which was led and structured by Citigroup Inc. (C) and closed yesterday. The facility includes 20 banks and 20 investors, the person said.

NHL spokesman Frank Brown and Citi spokeswoman Natalie Marin declined to comment on the facility.

Among the 11 teams that tapped the facility are the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks and New Jersey Devils, the person said, adding that three so-called parking spots are being reserved for other potential borrowers.

continued

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

Afternoon Line - Dave Nonis

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

"He's gotten better and more consistent, but if he's truly going to be a top guy and he wants to fall into that high-end category, those players don't go for swings where they are not competing, preparing and being prepared."

-Dave Nonis, GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nazem Kadri.  More on Kadri from Dan Rosen of NHL.com.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dave+nonis, nazem+kadri

Dreger: Red Wings’ Holland, Babcock to talk contract turkey shortly

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

When I tried to make a joke about analytics at training camp, I got an, "I'm sick of talking about it; you're done" from Mike Babcock, and given his most recent comments to the press, I'm guessing that he's going to cut off questions about his contract that way quite shortly. Thankfully TSN's Darren Dreger reports that there's a reason he and Ken Holland have been quiet on the contract front--because the gents apparently plan on negotiating closer to the time period between the end of the exhibition season (Saturday night) and the start of the regular season (Thursday, October 9th):

[Edit: More Dreger: sounds like this is gonna be a get 'er done situation:

/end edit]

Update: The Hockey News's Adam Proteau's addressed Babcock's supposed "lame duck" status:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Red Wings Tuesday practice post in progress: Nyquist progressing

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 13x at 5:17 PM: The Grand Rapids Griffins have actually "broke camp" with a roster of mostly AHL-contracted and ECHL-bound players, but the Red Wings won't split up the "A Team" and "B Team" exhibition game rosters until Thursday or Friday, so a pair of "teams" are still practicing at Joe Louis Arena.

MLive's Ansar Khan reports that the "A Team" includes two injured players who may play against the Boston Bruins tomorrow (7:30 PM on FSD) but excludes a third...

Gustav Nyquist (knee) on the ice as first group practices for Wings, those who didn't play last night.

...

Jonathan Ericsson not practicing for second day in row due to groin/hip flexor. Listed day to day. Helm skating again.

And the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness confirms:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Ryan Miller In Vancouver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Nancy MacDonald of MACLEANS,

Miller, in some ways, is an anti-athlete: complex, loquacious, cerebral. He’s an amateur photographer. He reads. He loves playing the guitar. He drives a hybrid. But he also makes pains to establish that he’s no hermit, conscious, perhaps, of his position’s stereotypes: “I’m trying to be a little more social, to be around friends and not be the weird goalie who sits in his house all day and wears the cushions out on his couch,” he’s said.

His loyalties lie with his family, his “pit crew” of core pals, and his wife, television actress Noureen DeWulf.

He spent the summer training and clearing his head. Conscious of the strain that travel exacts on players in the Western Conference, Miller put together an off-season regimen carefully designed to ramp up as the season approached. “Every year, you have to prove yourself,” he says. “You’re not handed a job.”

Although a popular narrative says Miller is fading with age, his numbers tell a different story. He hasn’t posted a save percentage under .915 in six seasons, while topping the league in shots against for the past two. He’s done this almost exclusively while propping up a basement dweller. The truth is, Miller is a difference-maker. And he’s hungrier than ever.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+miller

Petr Mrazek’s ‘fish story’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Last week I was sitting in the "press area" at Centre Ice Arena, and a gentleman wearing camouflage from head to toe happened to be editing pictures next to me. I asked him about his pictures and he informed me that he was actually a fishing guide for the Wings' players, and we got to talking about their fishing preferences.

He said that some of the pictures we've seen of Pavel Datsyuk or Jordin Tootoo involved catch-and-release efforts, but the Europeans preferred to eat what they caught (i.e. no "trophy fish").

Today, the Midland Daily News's Jake Vanhouten offers a fish story regarding the Wings' training camp endeavors, which were slowed but apparently not fully doused by the rainy weather at the time:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Previewing The San Jose Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Grigg of Sportsnet,

Biggest story line to watch: There’s really only one thing people are waiting to find out: What happens with deposed captains Thornton and Marleau? (That’s right. Did you forget that Marleau wore the “C” from 2004 to ’09?) Will management get its way and be able to move them. And will Wilson and McLellan have the cojones to play their veterans less if it helps make that happen? If they do, San Jose is sunk, because while they’re on the downside, Jumbo Joe and Marsie (or whatever Marleau’s nickname in the room is) are still effective players who’d be top six on just about any team in the league.

A secondary story here is goaltending. If Stalock continues to push Niemi, who will end up the starter?

Finally, is Hertl the real deal? A possible Calder nomination was scuttled by injury last year, but he scored the fifth-most goals in the league per 60 5-on-5 minutes last season. Can the 20-year-old keep that kind of production up?

2014-15 prediction: Anaheim, Dallas, L.A., Minnesota and St. Louis will all be stronger this season, while Chicago remains a standard—that’s six Western teams better than San Jose. You do the math.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Good news!

Blog: Oil Patch By Lisa McRitchie

The Edmonton Oilers sent another five players to their AHL affiliate team the Oklahoma City Barons Monday. Sent down were Martin Gernat (D), Curtis Hamilton (LW), Kale Kessey (LW), Iiro Pakarinen (RW), and Jason Williams (C). Why is this good news? It means that the Oilers feel confident enough in their defence that there is no need to rush Martin Gernat through the system and have him play in the NHL just quite yet.

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Filed in: Edmonton Oilers, | Oil Patch | Permalink
  Tags: kale+kessey, martin+gernat, oscar+klefbom

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