Kukla's Korner

Saturday Headlines discuss coaches’ moves and Dubnyk

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

On Hockey Night in Canada, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman discussed the post-Babcock coaching dominoes (Todd Nelson of Edmonton "free to look around," Don Sweeney meeting with Claude Julien to discuss "personnel and style of play," Dan Bylsma's status, Ken Hitchcock's future) and Devan Dubnyk's desire to re-sign with the Wild:

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: boston+bruins, claude+julien, devan+dubnyk, don+sweeney, edmonton+oilers, ken+hitchcock, minnesota+wild, st.+louis+blues, todd+nelson

Red Wings fans, meet ‘Blash’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Free Press's Jeff Seidel has written what I can only describe as the definitive profile of soon-to-be Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill, and this column deserves its own entry and all sorts of praise because this is how those of you who don't already know someone who allows people to call him "Blash" who exactly "Blash" is:

Blashill is the perfect choice — and not just because he is basically a younger, less-experienced version of Babcock, minus the hard-edged personality. Blashill checks all of the boxes you want in a coach. Well, all of them but NHL head-coaching experience.

He is demanding, a hard worker, highly prepared, detail-oriented, intelligent, a tremendous communicator, able to motivate, confident, even-keeled under pressure, loyal, able to make adjustments on the bench, focused, a proven winner and a coach whose players would run through a sheet of Plexiglas for him.

Ask anyone who has spent some time with Blashill, and they all come back to the same phrase: He just gets it. All of it. How to handle players. How to prepare for games. How to deal with the media. How to talk to the front office. How to develop players. And how to treat those who work under him with respect. He even lets someone videotape his pregame speeches and put them online (Youtube.com/griffvision).

"He's awesome," said Grand Rapids Griffins equipment manager Brad Thompson, who has worked under 10 coaches. "He's just a good guy, a great guy. I probably respect him the most of any coach, just for the fact that he doesn't look at us as the schleps or the grunts of the team."

Other than a lack of head coaching experience in the NHL, what's Blashill's biggest weakness?

It might be his golf game. "His golf game is not as good as he thinks it is and that's what gets him into trouble," Ferris State hockey coach Bob Daniels said, with a laugh.

Seidel continues, and this is a must-read

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Prospect playoff news: Walleye rally again via Frk hat trick

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Toledo Walleye are trying to make some playoff history, and Martin Frk's lending them quite the hand. Two games after scoring a hat trick, Frk registered yet another as the Walleye rallied from a 4-2 deficit to defeat the South Carolina Stingrays 5-4 in overtime on Saturday.

The Walleye have rallied from a 3-games-to-none deficit to close to 3-games-to-2, with the teams playing Games 6 and possibly 7 in Toledo on the 26th and 27th; on Saturday, Frk scored a hat trick and added an assist on 8 shots.

The Walleye's website posited a game recap:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Video- Hockey In Chicago

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

Elliotte Friedman takes an in depth look at the resurgence of the Chicago Blackhawks in the Chicago sports scene.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Evening Line- Steve Simmons

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

(Dan) Bylsma was not a fan of Babcock as coach or person. He barely played in those two seasons in Anaheim. Now, oddly enough, Bylsma, who beat Babcock for a Stanley Cup, might end up coaching the Sabres because Babcock said no to Buffalo.

-Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun where you can read more hockey notes...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Brandon Saad’s Short-Handed Goal Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Not sure why ref Chris Rooney was where he was....

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brandon+saad

Open Post- Game 4 Western Conference Finals, Anaheim Ducks vs. Chicago Blackhaw4

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The game starts just after 8:00pm ET on NBC, CBC and TVA.

The Ducks can go up 3-1 in the series which would then give them a chance to wrap up the series at home on Monday.

The Blackhawks certainly need this game and should bring their 'A' game tonight.

Feel free to discuss.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

My Thoughts On Mike Babcock

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I have thus far stayed out of the Mike Babcock affair, but I thought I would say my piece. 

In the first place, I am not sure that Babcock's move to Toronto is the biggest off-ice personnel move that occurred that day.  Boston announced that Don Sweeney would be their new GM.  A general manager has more ability to set the longterm success of a franchise than a coach does and thus likely Sweeney will have more longterm importance than Babcock.

Mike Babcock is possibly the best coach in the NHL.  If he isn't the best, he is close.  I pick him as the Jack Adams Trophy winner this year.  He cannot win it because he isn't an announced finalist.  The voters tend to pick the coach of the most improved team instead of the best coach.

Obviously Toronto will be improved with better coaching.  Peter Horachek did not have a good run as the Leafs coach.  Replacing him with someone who is average will be an improvement and Babcock is well above that.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Afternoon Line- Larry Brooks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

... the NHL policy in which draft-pick compensation now can be attached to the hiring of coaches and front office personnel after they’ve been fired with term remaining on their contracts is a disgrace — immoral, or close to it, as labor relations go.

Imagine firing someone then stopping them from going somewhere else unless the hiring party antes up. The rebuilding Oilers likely will be forced to surrender two draft picks — either a second- and a third-rounder, or two thirds — to hire fired Boston GM Peter Chiarelli and fired San Jose coach Todd McLellan. Two steps forward, two steps back.

Where is Jimmy Devallano now that we need him to announce that coaches and managers are just cattle on the owners’ plantations?

-Larry Brooks of the New York Post where you can read more on this topic plus a look at the Mike Babcock hiring in Toronto.

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

Just How Much Can Mike Babcock Help The Toronto Maple Leafs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

During the course of a casual conversation a few years back, Marc Crawford was asked if the impact of an NHL coach could be measured in wins and losses.

Turned out Crawford had given this subject some thought. Without a lot of hesitation, the veteran hockey man said: “It’s seven to eight points a season.”

So there you go, Leafs fans. Your team just paid $50 million for a new coach and, if everything goes right, they’ll improve from 68 to 76 points next season. Surely that must be worth three hours of discussion on the panel.

The Leafs, of course, have become the newest test case for one of hockey’s enduring questions: Does a coach really make that much of a difference? In signing Mike Babcock to a groundbreaking eight-year, $50-million deal, they certainly made coaches all over the NHL happy. But is Babcock the man who can end half a century of misery in The Big Smoke? Can he, through his mere presence, alter the course of this cursed franchise?

You have to admit, it’s a helluva question. We just wish we could give you a helluva answer.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+babcock

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