Kukla's Korner

Connor McDavid Fever Is Upon Us

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

They came, they saw, they were entertained by the Oilers’ newest star Connor McDavid.

Nearly 3,000 curious fans flocked to Rexall Place Friday for the Edmonton Oilers orientation camp to see the No. 1 draft pick in the flesh for the first time. Though McDavid only went through a few on-ice drills, fans let out raucous cheers when he casually shot the puck into an empty net.

The 18-year-old centre, who signed his entry-level contract with the Oilers Friday morning, wore a bemused grin as he described the attention for a simple practice, coming through the tunnel from the dressing room to the ice and hearing cheers from scores of fans in McDavid jerseys and T-shirts.

“It was awesome,” McDavid said. “Just a normal practice. We weren’t doing anything too special.”

Awesome, but a little different for McDavid to have so many people turn out on a blistering hot summer day to watch a teenager, along with fellow draft picks such as Darnell Nurse and Leon Draisaitl go through their work outs.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: connor+mcdavid

Joel Ward Signs With The San Jose Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

 

added 5:33pm, San Jose release is below....

added 5:41pm,

 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joel+ward

Roose: Red Wings sign Vili Saarijarvi to help control his playing future

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 2x at 10 PM: Via RedWingsFeed, and per DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:

The Wings took Saarijärvi in the third round of last weekend’s NHL draft, and on Friday the club signed him to a three-year-, entry-level contract. On Tuesday he was selected by the Flint Firebirds of the Ontario Hockey League in the CHL import draft.

Now he has a decision to make: where will he play next? While it would be great for Saarijärvi to train and play in Flint, just north of Detroit, he’ll first need to get out of his contract with a top men's league team in his native Finland.

Asked if he believes that the 5-foot-10 right-handed shooting defender will wind up in Flint, Jiri Fischer, the Red Wings’ director of player development said, “That’s where it’s going.”

However, Fischer is aware that plans can change.

“He has a contract in Oulun (Kärpät) and essentially it’s going to be his decision where he wants to play next year,” Fischer added. “Now there is another option by obviously being a very-high CHL import draft pick for Flint.”

It appears that Saarijärvi has his mind made up. He’d like to play in Flint. The Wings would like to see him play in Flint. But Friday, he still wasn’t clear on the legalities and any subsequent ramifications.

“I signed with the Finnish team last summer,” he said. “Now what happens next? Well, I’m here. I don’t know. I’m heading back to Finland after this and practice there, probably under-20 tournament, summer camp, and after that probably coming back here and then going to Flint. We haven’t talked that much yet, so I’m going to find out soon.”

Roose continues, and Saarijarvi definitely wants to play in Flint instead of Karpat, where he told me he'd expect to play as the team's playing seventh defenseman (teams are allowed to dress 20 skaters in the Liiga). Signing with the Wings gives Detroit the leverage to play Saarijarvi wherever they want him to play.

Update: As the Free Press's George Sipple notes, the Wings support Saarijarvi's line of thinking...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

A Seven-Year Contract Extension For Ryan O’Reilly In Buffalo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

BUFFALO, N.Y. (July 3, 2015) --- The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has signed forward Ryan O’Reilly to a seven-year contract extension.

The Sabres acquired O’Reilly (6’0”, 210 lbs., 2/7/1991) from the Colorado Avalanche with Jamie McGinn on June 26 in exchange for Nikita Zadorov, Mikhail Grigorenko, J.T. Compher and the 31st pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Prior to joining the Sabres, O’Reilly played in Colorado for six seasons, recording at least 50 points in each of the last three full NHL seasons. The Clinton, Ontario native tallied 55 points (17+38) in 82 games last season as a member of the Avalanche.

added 2:56pm,

 

added 2:57pm,

 

added 3:00pm,

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+o'reilly

Brandon Prust On Being Traded To Vancouver By Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,

“Did I have any idea I’d be traded? No, no. I had no clue. I know on July 1 there’s a lot of action and I’m going into the last year of my contract. But after the playoffs I had (a postseason career-high goal and three assists in 12 games, and some industrial-strength work), I didn’t think there was any way they’d trade me.

“A few of the boys texted me,” Prust said of his now former Canadiens teammates. “Their reaction was quite the same for everybody – they were in shock. ‘What the hell?’ that was basically the reaction.”

There was more pragmatic feedback coming from Prust’s parents, Kevin and Theresa.

“Their first reaction was, ‘Oh man, now we have to stay up late to watch all your games,’ ” he said with a laugh. “They don’t miss a second of a game. People were telling them, ‘PVR it and watch it the next day,’ and they’re saying, ‘Yeah, right, like we’re going to do that.’ ”

Some observers were suggesting that Prust was on thin ice with the Canadiens the minute he ran afoul of referee Brad Watson in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinal vs. Tampa Bay.

He was thrown out of the match, then fined $5,000 for having alleged in post-game comments that Watson had insulted and sworn at him, remarks for which he later apologized.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brandon+prust

A Six-Year Extension For Brandon Saad In Columbus

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed left wing Brandon Saad to a six-year contract through the 2020-21 National Hockey League season, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.  As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.  Saad was acquired by Columbus from the Chicago Blackhawks along with center Alex Broadhurst and defenseman Michael Paliotta on Tuesday.

Saad, 22, has posted 52 goals and 74 assists for 126 points with 44 penalty minutes and a +44 plus/minus rating in 208 career NHL games and added 15-19-34, 16 penalty minutes and is +16 in 67 career playoff games, helping Chicago win a pair of Stanley Cup championships in 2013 and 2015.

“Adding a player of Brandon's caliber is exciting for the Columbus Blue Jackets organization and our fans and we are extremely pleased to have reached this long-term commitment that assures he will be an important part of our team for years to come," said Kekalainen.

added 2:42pm,

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brandon+saad

Future Hall Of Famer Martin St Louis Retires

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Whenever a player that I consider a future Hall of Famer retires, I write a career bio for him.  With yesterday's retirement of Martin St Louis, I will be writing about his career.

Martin St Louis was born on June 18th, 1975 in Laval, Quebec.  He was first noticed by hockey scouts playing in the Quebec Amateur Athletic Association at age 16.  He played for the Laval-Laurentides Regents and scored 103 points in 42 games.  In order to further his chances for an NHL career, he decided to play in English Canada for the Hawksbury Hawks in the Central Canada Hockey League.  He scored 87 points in 31 games.  He had been very successful but was playing in lesser leagues.  His next step was to play in the US college system at the University of Vermont.  He was quite successful there but as a smaller player listed at 5'9" 185 pounds, he didn't attract enough attention to be drafted into the NHL.  He made the All-ECAC hockey rookie team in his first NCAA season and made the All-ECAC hockey first team in his remaining three years in college.  He was an AHCA East First Team All American three times.  In 1994/95 he was named the ECAC Player of the Year.  In 1996, he made the ECAC Hockey All Tournament Team and the All-NCAA All Tournament Team.  He expected that this achievement might earn him significant NHL offers but this did not happen.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Will Any NHL Team Take A Chance Signing Andrei Kostitsyn?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

It’s a long shot.

It might even be longer than that.

But the odds haven’t kept Andrei Kostitsyn from clamouring for an opportunity to return to the NHL. He isn’t picky about where it happens. He’s willing to sign a cap-friendly, one-year deal. All he’s really asking for is a chance.

“I’m ready,” Kostitsyn told Sportsnet from Minsk, Belarus on Thursday night. “I want to say when I come there again I’ll be excited like it’s the first time. I’m doing my best — training hard and working hard.

"I'll try to score lots of goals like I know I can."

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrei+kostitsyn

Audio from the first day of the Red Wings’ summer development camp, 2015

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings' prospects were put through their paces during the first day of the summer development camp this morning in Traverse City, Michigan, and Todd Nelson's camp was a little different than Jeff Blashill's, emphasizing fundamentals and skill development over the Red Wings' system of play--though it was also the first day thereof.

And let me tell you, it was a "first day" and a half. Evgeny Svechnikov was the highest-profile member of the, "My new equipment = sometimes I fall over" club, passes were off at times, the pace of play was staggered and the returning players looked to be at least three or four steps ahead of even the most-heralded newcomers.

I spoke with several players during the media availabilites, as well as coach Nelson and Wings director of player development Jiri Fischer, and here's the audio from said interviews:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Anaheim Ducks Name Dave Nonis As Special Assignment Scout And Consultant

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Anaheim Ducks announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has named Dave Nonis as a special assignment scout and consultant to Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray.

Nonis was most recently the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2013-15. He originally joined the Maple Leafs staff as senior vice president of hockey operations on December 6, 2008. Prior to joining the Leafs, he was the Ducks’ senior advisor of hockey operations from June – Dec., 2008.

A native of Burnaby, British Columbia, Nonis was the senior vice president and general manager of the Vancouver Canucks from 2004-08. He joined the Canucks in 1998 as senior vice president, director of hockey operations after four seasons as the National Hockey League’s manager of hockey operations. Working at the NHL office, Nonis helped create the 1994 Collective Bargaining Agreement and worked with the league’s arbitration team.

Nonis played hockey for the University of Maine (1984-88) and was team captain for two seasons. He led his team to back-to-back NCAA tournaments and graduated with a B.A. in 1988. He played one season professionally in Denmark before returning to the University of Maine in 1989 to join the coaching staff.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dave+nonis

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