Kukla's Korner

Three-Year Contract For Robin Lehner In Ottawa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

OTTAWA - Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray announced today that the club has agreed to terms with goaltender Robin Lehner on a three-year contract.

Lehner, 23, set a new career high in playing 36 National Hockey League games last season while establishing a new personal best in victories with a record of 12-15-6. He also set a personal and franchise high with 53 saves in a 5-4 shootout setback to the N.Y. Islanders on Nov. 1, and then became the first goaltender in franchise history to face greater than 50 shots in one game and earn a victory in a 5-4 shootout win over the Blues on Feb. 4 in St. Louis, which was ultimately the first shootout win of his NHL career.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: robin+lehner

UFAs Jeff Halpern And Paul Bissonnette Waiting For A Phone Call

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,

Halpern was issued the same clue when the Coyotes signed depth center Joe Vitale earlier this month, but the 38-year-old isn't closing the door on his NHL career. When he was younger, Halpern's criteria in free agency included playing for a contender, setting his family up financially and playing where he lived.

"My views on free agency now, personally, are completely different," he said. "I basically wait for a phone call and then if somebody says we have a contract, I say, 'Whatever your offer is, I'll take less.' "

Both players have been in talks with teams and are optimistic they'll be back in the NHL. Bissonnette, 29, said "things are looking positive" with one team but would consider playing overseas if nothing is resolved by the end of August.

"I definitely think I have a lot more hockey in me," Bissonnette said.

Halpern is just as confident. Time will tell if the NHL agrees.

"It's where I want to be," he said, "so I'm trying to do anything possible to get to that point."


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jeff+halpern, paul+bissonnette

Red Wings early overnight report: on building a strong coaching team, stats and prospects

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I know that the hiring of assistant coaches doesn't strike most as "big news," but I was both very satisfied with and hugely relieved by the news that the Red Wings had indeed hired Jim Hiller as Babcock's second assistant coach and Andrew Brewer as the team's video coordinator.

Between a seasoned NHL hand with head coaching experience in Tony Granato, an "analytics-friendly" WHL coach looking to cut his teeth in the NHL in Hiller and a 28-year-old with significant international experience in Brewer, Mike Babcock's found himself a superb set of assistants who provide a good combination of "new voices" and strong resumes--as well as "bad cop" (the Penguins' "bad cop" at that, and a "bad cop" who's going to be coaching Dylan Larkin at the U.S. World Junior summer camp next month) a "players' coach" (who might rejuvenate the Tom Renney Power Play) and someone who's familiar with Babcock's methods and the Hockey Canada system of play (which isn't far removed from the Wings' style of play).

If Babcock and Holland could get down to talking contract extension turkey before training camp, I'd feel more comfortable with the situation as a whole, but especially given the later-in-the-summer timeline Babcock had to work with, he can go back to "the lake" in Saskatchewan knowing that he's built a strong coaching team.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

"Marty and I have come to an agreement that is best for both himself and the organization, and there's nothing negative about that. Marty knows what it is to be a No. 1 goalie and to have that feeling, and that's what he wants. Cory (Schneider) feels the same way.

"I think it's time to move forward, but never negate what Marty has brought [to the Devils], nor was the door ever shut. It was a mutual understanding of what was best for both parties. Marty will always be a Devil and the communication with him is still there, even recently."

-Lou Lamoriello, GM of the New Jersey Devils on Martin Brodeur.  A bit more from Mike Morreale of NHL.com.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: lou+lamoriello, martin+brodeur

Time To Pay Subban

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet,

Now it’s time for Montreal to forgo the gamesmanship and pay.

Because of the aforementioned tough-love approach the coaching staff has taken with Subban at times and because his last negotiation resulted in a brief holdout before a team-friendly, two-year deal was signed, there’s always a seed of doubt when assessing No. 76’s future in Montreal.

That no deal has been struck yet makes speculation easier to spread, though Habs GM Marc Bergevin could well just be doing his due diligence in trying to ink Subban for as palatable a number as possible. When push comes to shove, however, does anybody doubt the best outcome for Montreal is a maximum-term deal that locks up the young superstar?

Of course, that can’t come at any cost, but even if Subban’s demands push up to $9 million per on an eight-year pact, aren’t the financially flush Habs better off shelling out than scrounging around for a doomed plan to replace their best skater?


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: p.k.+subban

Top Defensive Zone Starters

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I continue my summer sabermetrics and hockey series by looking at defensive zone starts.  This is the opposite of offensive zone starts.  These are players who are on the ice for more defensive zone faceoffs than offensive ones.  These players are chosen by their teams to play tough defensive roles.  They are often the unsung hero of their team who does the dirty work with little recognition.  Some of these players should be Selke Trophy candidates.  The context of excess defensive zone starts is useful to make Corsi into a more individualized ranking as it helps to show which players play a more defensive role on their team and will thus suffer in terms of their puck possession.

Here are the top 20 players in the 2013/14 season by excess defensive zone starts:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Long-Term Extension For Andy Greene In New Jersey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

The Devils have signed defenseman Andy Greene to a "long-term" contract extension, team president and general manager Lou Lamoriello announced during a media conference call this afternoon.

Terms of the contract were not released.

Greene, who will turn 32 on Oct. 30, is entering the final season of a four-year contract that pays $3.5 million in 2014-15 ($3 million salary cap hit). He would have been eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2015.


added 5:42pm,


Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andy+greene

Red Wings mid-day news: Jim Hiller discusses role; Detroit’s ‘Franchise’ player and Tatar’s stats

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated at 2 PM: The Red Wings confirmed the "little birdie's" report and hired Jim Hiller and Andrew Brewer as assistant coaches today. The Wings' beat writers Tweeted out some Hiller conference call highlights (as and Brewer Tweeted, too)...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Trevor Linden On Fighting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Thomas Drance at The Score,

On Tuesday afternoon, Linden co-hosted the mid-day show on Team 1040 sports talk radio in Vancouver for two hours alongside regular host Matt Sekeres. During the show, Linden was asked about his stance on fighting in hockey and responded thoughtfully and at length. Here's are his comments via Dimitri Filipovic of canucksarmy.com (full disclosure, I am a contributor at canucksarmy.com):

I think that our game is such a great one. It's built around speed, and skill, and hard-hitting, not unlike the NFL.

Can you imagine an NFL game where a linebacker puts a good lick on a running back and the linemen get in there and drop their helmets and start bareknuckle punching each other in the face. It seems rather odd. And you can see why there are some fans in the States that have a tough time with that. They say 'I watch the NFL on Sundays and they hit hard, play hard, and pop up after hits and run back in the huddle'. That's part of the game.

Hockey has a different culture, of course. I think there are a lot of fans that don't care for the needless fighting. The staged "I'm supposed to fight, you're supposed to fight, so let's fight. We're not really mad at each other, but that's our job" type of thing. I tend to agree with (that).

I think the NHL (is) moving forward - whether it be a Steve Yzerman or various others - have come out and had significant stances (against fighting).


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: trevor+linden

The Montreal Canadiens Have Hired Rob Ramage As Player Development Coach

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

MONTRÉAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, announced Wednesday the appointment of Rob Ramage as player development coach with the Club.

“We welcome Rob Ramage as part of our hockey personnel. Rob is a dedicated and competent hockey person who will contribute to our player development group. Our entire organization, and particularly our young defensemen will benefit from his experience and his knowledge”, said Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rob+ramage

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