Kukla's Korner

Are The Vancouver Canucks A Playoff Team?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,

Barring a game-changing trade, the Canucks’ 2016-17 roster looks pretty set.

Questions, of course, abound. Will Anton Rodin’s skills translate in the NHL? Is Erik Gudbranson an improvement on Dan Hamhuis? Is Bo Horvat really best-suited in a defensive role after leading the team in scoring in last season’s second half? Is there enough playing time on defence for three players most slotted for a third pairing, Luca Sbisa, Nikita Tryamkin and Philip Larsen? And where exactly is Alex Burrows going to fit in?

But there is one question that trumps all. At least for the Canucks’ front office, and the sub-section of fans who can’t stomach a rebuilding team. Is this Canucks roster good enough to make the playoffs?

Management sure hopes so. Moves like trading futures for Gudbranson and signing Loui Eriksson, the best 31-year-old winger available, to a six-year deal, are transactions you make in an attempt to get back to the post-season sooner rather than later. But when last season ended, Vancouver had a long way to go.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Wings’ practice rink continues to take shape at Little Caesars Arena

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From WXYZ's Kacie Hollins:

Little Caesars Arena is starting to take shape, but a lot of the progress being made is happening underground.

Red Wings Director or Minor Hockey Operations Darren Eliot took 7 Action Sports reporter Kacie Hollins 40 feet below street level to what will be the new practice facility for the Wings and the home of Little Caesars Triple A hockey.

Having a designated practice rink in their new home means the Red Wings don’t have to share nearly as much.

“Last year even they were displaced because of concerts and stuff at The Joe. [It’s a] very busy venue,” explained Eliot.

Superintendent Chris Clark explained that to get the practice ice perfect, and evenly frozen, they’re using a system of pipes laid under the playing surface. In total, there will be 12 miles of pipes under the ice.

Continued, and it appears that a video report will be up soon...

Update: Here's the video:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Interviewing the director of a documentary on the Russian 5

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I've recently started a blog on Gold Star Hockey's website, and I spoke with Joshua Riehl, the director of a documentary about the Russian 5 regarding his film. Here's part of the interview:

I asked Joshua to share the story of Vladimir Konstantinov's departure from Russia, or at least a part of it. The part where the Red Wings had to bribe Russian doctors into giving Konstantinov a fake cancer diagnosis with sacks of money and a 1992 Chevrolet Caprice was understood as “part of the process”:

“In the fall of 1989, the Red Wings tell Vladdie and Sergei, 'Hey, you've been drafted.' Sergei comes over next summer [of 1990], in July, and Vladdie comes over with the Russian Red Army team in December of that year for the Super Series.”

“They orchestrate a secret meeting at the Joe, they sneak him out of the Pontchartrain hotel, Jimmy D brings him into his office, and the way Jimmy D tells the story, Jimmy D has two bags of money, and he says, 'Vladdie, these are for you, next door, at the Riverfront, I've got you an apartment next to Sergei's, and we want you to leave your team and join the Red Wings.'”

“And Vladdie says, 'I want to, but I have a wife and daughter, and I cannot leave my family.' A couple months later, Jim Lites, Bryan Murray and Nick Polano are in Turku, Finland; they're orchestrating Nick Lidstrom's contract, to get all that situated, and they meet the guy who helped the defection with Sergei, they run into him, and he says, 'Do you want a meeting with Vladdie?'”

The story continues at the Gold Star Hockey website..

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

NBC and NBCSN to air 14 Red Wings games

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

As Paul noted, NBCSN has released its broadcast schedule for the upcoming season, and in addition to airing the Centennial Classic between the Red WIngs and Maple Leafs, the league will air Red Wings games on the following 14 afternoons and evenings:

Date   Away   Home   Network Time (ET)

Wed., Oct. 19 Detroit N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 8 p.m.

Wed., Nov. 2 Detroit Philadelphia NBCSN 8 p.m.

Tue., Nov. 15 Tampa Bay Detroit NBCSN 7:30 p.m.

Sun., Jan. 1 Detroit Toronto NBC 3 p.m.

Wed., Jan 18 Boston Detroit NBCSN 8 p.m.

Sun., Jan 22  N.Y. Rangers  Detroit  12:30 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 12 Detroit Minnesota NBC 3 p.m.

Wed., Feb. 15 St. Louis Detroit NBCSN 8 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 19 Detroit Pittsburgh NBC 3 p.m. on Hockey Day in America

Wed., Mar. 8 Detroit Boston NBCSN 8 p.m.

Sun., Mar. 12 N.Y. Rangers Detroit NBC 12:30 p.m.

Wed., Mar. 15 Detroit Colorado NBCSN 10 p.m.

Mon., Mar. 20 Buffalo Detroit NBCSN 7:30 p.m.

Sun., Mar. 26 Minnesota Detroit NBCSN 7 p.m.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

All About The NBC Sports Group NHL Schedule For The Upcoming Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

STAMFORD, Conn. – July 21, 2016 – Coming off of the most-watched full NHL regular season on cable in 22 years, NBC Sports Group is scheduled to present 106 NHL regular-season games during the 2016-17 season – the most ever across NBC Sports Group heading into a season – featuring 14 games on NBC and 92 games on NBCSN. All games will be streamed live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app to authenticated users via TV Everywhere.

Continue Reading »

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

Waiting on DeKeyser and Mrazek

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I'm still all but literally on the edge of my seat regarding the Red Wings' unfinished summertime business: the team has to re-sign Danny DeKeyser and Petr Mrazek before their arbitration hearings, as CBS Sports' Chris Peters notes in an article discussing NHL teams' to-do lists:

Detroit Red Wings: Two big RFAs that the Red Wings have to get under contract are defenseman Danny DeKeyser and goalie Petr Mrazek. Both are going to be key players for the foreseeable future for the club, but finding a way to get reasonable deals done with both is going to be easier said than done. That's especially true if Mrazek wants to be paid like a No. 1 goalie on his next deal. Both have arbitration hearings set on consecutive days, July 27 for Mrazek and July 28 for DeKeyser.

The Red Wings haven't had to go through salary arbitration since Jiri Hudler filed the year he bolted for Moscow Dynamo, so it's highly likely that DeKeyser and Mrazek will be re-signed before next Wednesday and Thursday, but we neither know the salary range that they'll land (presumably in the $4-5 million range for both players) or when exactly they'll be re-signed.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Red Wings re-sign Mitch Callahan

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Good signing:

Here's the press release:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Auston Matthews Signs His Entry-Level Contract

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

added 1:35pm,


added 1:43pm,


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: auston+matthews

Are The New York Islanders Planning Another Move?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg,

The New York Islanders are in talks with the owners of baseball’s New York Mets about building a hockey arena adjacent to Citi Field in Queens, people with knowledge of the discussions said.

Willets Point is emerging as a persuasive alternative to the team’s current home at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center if the Islanders’s owners and arena officials can’t agree on a series of hockey-specific improvements, said the people, who asked for anonymity because the negotiations are private.

The team’s first season at Barclays Center, which is owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, was marred by poor reviews from fans, who complained about obstructed view seats, and from players, who who said the quality of the ice was sub-par. The team’s owners also realized they couldn’t make as much money as their league counterparts, most of which play in bigger arenas.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Patrice Bergeron Has The Top Forward Team Adjusted Corsi

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Yesterday I posted the top 20 players by team adjusted Corsi.  Atop this list is Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings but since he led the league in raw Corsi as well I have already written about him.  I thought I would take this time instead to look at the top forward by team adjusted Corsi.  Since defencemen get more playing time than forwards, it is harder for a forward to lead in any counting stat.  Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins having the fourth highest team adjusted Corsi of +250.2 is quite an achievement.

Corsi is a puck possession stat.  It measures the difference between attempted shots between a team and their opponents when a given player is on the ice in 5 on 5 situations.  This number is team adjusted much like I adjust +/-.  Basically a team "zero point" is found so that players on differing teams can be better compared.

Bergeron is well-established as a top puck possession player.  For example here is a post I wrote about his puck possession a few years ago.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

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