Kukla's Korner

Wings Showing Improved Compete Level

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

“We’ve had, for the most part, a real good compete level,” coach Jeff Blashill said today. “And you have no chance of winning if you don’t have a real good compete level. We’ve continued to not give up lots of chances, not giving easy opportunities up.

“We’re making progress in our forecheck game, which will, hopefully, give us some more O-zone time.”

One of the most encouraging developments from Tuesday's 3-1 victory over Dallas and Saturday’s 2-1 overtime loss to Montreal was that Mrazek looked like he has regained his form after four straight starts in which he surrendered four goals.

“When he is playing his best hockey, the puck sticks to him well,” Blashill said. “He also had a high, high compete level around the net, where he just seemed like there was no way the puck was going in unless it was a backdoor play. He certainly looked like he was on top of his game.”

During the past four games, the Wings have gotten offense from every line, reflecting combinations that are clicking even as two of the fastest forwards, Andreas Athanasiou and Darren Helm, are injured. Anthony Mantha has looked at home with Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Tatar. Same with Frans Nielsen with Justin Abdelkader and Luke Glendening.

more

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Articles from practice: Marchenko, Athanasiou make progress

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings practiced at Joe Louis Arena today ahead of tomorrow night's game against the Florida Panthers, with Tomas Tatar and Niklas Kronwall taking "maintenance days" per MLive's Ansar Khan.

The Wings' beat writers also reported that the team welcomed Andreas Athanasiou (knee) and Alexey Marchenko (sprained AC joint) back to practice, but the gents are still a ways from returning.

The Free Press's Helene St. James was first out of the chute with a practice report...

Continue Reading »

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Brian Burke On All The Dougie Hamilton Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Where have you been Brian Burke?

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke, dougie+hamilton

Ryan Sproul’s Twitterview ‘transcript’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the Red Wings:

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Practice Tweets: Marchenko joins the fray; Tatar, Kronwall take ‘maintenance days’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 2x at 1:30 PM: The Detroit Red Wings took to the ice at Joe Louis Arena just before noon EST today, hoping to build upon last night's 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars as a surprising nemesis comes to town Thursday in the Florida Panthers.

MLive's Ansar Khan reported in with a note about Alexey Marchenko...

Tatar not skating today but expected to play tomorrow. Kronwall also not skating. #RedWings.

...

#RedWings Marchenko (upper body) now practicing with right-handed stick. Seems to be moving puck well.

...

#RedWings practice lines:
Miller (for Tatar)-Zetterberg-Mantha
Abdelkader-Nielsen-Glendening
Nyquist-Larkin-Vanek
Ott-Sheahan-Jurco

...

#RedWings defense pairs:
DeKeyser-Green
Marchenko (for Kronwall)-Ouellet
Ericsson-Sproul

The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa said, "Hello"...

Continue Reading »

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Wings named 8th-most-valuable franchise by Forbes

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Forbes annual NHL Team Valuations have hit the wires this morning, and the Red Wings are listed as the 8th-most-valuable franchise...

8. Detroit Red Wings
Current value: $625 million
1-year change: 4.2%
It was announced this spring that the official name of the $627.5 million home of the Red Wings will be Little Caesars Arena and the naming rights of the venue are worth $120 million over 20 years.

And Forbes suggests that the Red Wings are the 8th-best NHL fan base.

Update: Here's more from Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea:

Forbes estimated that the Red Wings generated $6.1 million in operating income last season (17th in the NHL) on $137 million in revenue (12th). NHL clubs averaged $15 million in operating income, Forbes said. It defines operating income as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

The team does not comment on its finances.

To calculate team worth, Forbes attributes value to the franchise's portion of shared league revenues; its city and market size; its arena; and its brand. How much a team would actually sell for can vary wildly from Forbes valuations, and is ultimately determined by what a buyer is willing to pay.

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Multiple Lists From Forbes Including Most Valuable NHL Teams

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Ozanian of Forbes,

Pittsburgh Penguins’ owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle had a mixed 2016: their team captured the franchise’s fourth Stanley Cup but the owners—exploring ways to raise equity–did not get anything close to the $750 million valuation for their team they reportedly were looking for.

Consolation prize? The 13 playoff games at PPG Paints Arena enabled the Penguins  to generate $26 million in operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), seventh-most in the NHL and 27% more than the team raked in the prior season.

continued

Also from Forbes:

Best Teams for the Money

NHL's Best Fans

Highest Paid Players In the NHL

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A ‘full rebuild’ just doesn’t make sense for the Wings

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

NHL.com's Dan Rosen issued a logical response to one of the many Red Wings fans who believe that the team is best-served by "selling off its stars" and tanking this season:

At what point to the Detroit Red Wings go full rebuild and either commit to youth or sell, sell, sell? -- @DuboisAD

Who are they selling? They're not an ancient team. Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall are their only 35-and-over players. They wouldn't get much for players like Steve Ott, Thomas Vanek, Drew Miller and Jonathan Ericsson. They just signed Frans Nielsen to a six-year contract, so he's not going anywhere. Mike Green's salary cap charge of $6 million makes him hard to trade. They probably could get something for Jimmy Howard, but it's tough to trade a goalie nowadays, especially when the selection of teams in need of a 32-year-old goalie signed for two more seasons after this one are limited. Maybe they expose Howard in the expansion draft and the Vegas Golden Knights take him. But Marc-Andre Fleury also could be available, so it's debatable.

Players such as Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Justin Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin, Riley Sheahan, Danny DeKeyser and Alexey Marchenko shouldn't be traded; they should just start playing better.

When you're looking to rebuild, the first thing you look for is players you can trade who can bring back significant value either in draft picks or prospects. I don't know that the Red Wings have enough of those players to warrant a fire sale.

Plus, the other thing to note here is that they're moving into a new building next season, and I would imagine the last thing the Red Wings want is to go into rebuild mode when they're trying to sell what they just built.

There's no way that the Red Wings are going to go into a new barn to absolutely stink, and as we all already know, Ken Holland isn't a fan of dismantling the machine and rebuilding for 5-7 years.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

The Calgary Flames Still Have A Shot At The Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Francis at Sportsnet,

The Calgary Flames returned from their longest road trip of the season Tuesday morning just two points out of a wild card spot.

Despite a horrific start that has seen the club struggle to find any sort of identity or consistency under Glen Gulutzan, just one win separated them from the west’s top eight. And while history suggests those outside the playoff bubble by U.S. Thanksgiving are long-shots at best to play in the spring tourney, it says here the Flames will be in that playoff mix come April.

Here’s the logic:

If this team can remain that close to the pack without the help of any of its top five players, surely things will turn when the stars start showing up. It’s unconventional thinking from a columnist, who over the years, has been called everything but an optimist when it comes to the Flames.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Would You Like To See An All Canadian Division In The NHL?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

Sure you might lose one of hockey's greatest rivalries -- a Montreal-Boston playoff series, unless both meet in what would be the conference finals. Toronto would say goodbye to Buffalo and Detroit, but that's about it really.

The Maple Leafs are making their annual trek west -- they picked up a win in Edmonton in a building that seemed filled with Leafs fans -- and head to Calgary tonight for the second of back-to-backs.

Leafs-Oilers (Matthews-McDavid, or Kadri-McDavid, or Rielly-McDavid) seems like a rivalry that would grow if they'd only play each other more. Ditto Leafs-Jets, where Patrik Laine seems built for the spotlight of showing up the team that passed over him. Really Leafs-AnyCanadianTeam. Same goes for the Canadiens and the Canucks, with cross-country followers, and Oilers, as long as McDavid is healthy.

Yoiu've got to think networks on both sides of the border would love it. There'd be more big American games for NBC to show. They could ignore us completely.

And don't worry about the travel. They fly in really nice planes. And your opponent for the first two rounds of the playoffs (as I see it, anyway) would be from the same division, with the same travel schedule.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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