Kukla's Korner

Coaches Who Soon May Be Available

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The July 1 unrestricted free agent player pool this year leaves you quite cold, but luckily there should be action behind the bench that livens up the NHL offseason like rarely before.

This has the potential to be, quite frankly, one of the most intriguing and dramatic offseasons in the NHL coaching world in quite some time....

The question is whether Babcock has seen enough of the impressive next-generation core of the Red Wings this season and whether that’s enough to convince him to stay, albeit for less money than what he could make in a place like Toronto. Or Philadelphia? Or Buffalo? Or elsewhere?

The Wings will make a very good offer. His decision, either way, will have a domino effect.

The Boston Bruins are sitting out of a playoff spot as we write this and that can’t be good for head coach Claude Julien, at least if you go by the veiled hints made this season by the owner’s son Charlie Jacobs and team president Cam Neely. It seems crazy to me that Julien, one of the game’s most respected coaches and the guy who guided the Bruins to 2011 glory, could be fired. But that’s the feeling you get from the vibes coming out of Boston. And if he hits the market, holy moly, that’s another huge fish.

Media in Philadelphia over the past few days have deliberated at Craig Berube’s future as coach of the Philadelphia Flyers and speculated that he might be in danger of being fired. General manager Ron Hextall, after all, hasn’t had the chance to hire his own coach yet. The Flyers’ job would be a plum opening for sure, the kind of big-market job most coaches salivate over.

Which brings us to Toronto, of course, where the Maple Leafs will need a new head coach. Whether it’s Babcock or potentially McLellan or whomever, it’s doubtful it won’t be a marquis name. But the next Leafs coach also will know when he signs on the dotted line that there’s a long-term rebuild that he’s going to have to weather.

Does Dave Tippett stay with the Arizona Coyotes? He’s under contract for three more seasons and loves it in the Phoenix area where he’s built a home, but I don’t think he’s interested in a long, long rebuild. 


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Colorado Avalanche Have Learned A Lesson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Winnipeg has passed the Avalanche because the Jets have size and physicality to go with their skill players, even if MacKinnon, Landeskog, Duchene likely have a higher offensive pedigree than Winnipeg’s stars up front.

It’s not all about scoring. As Colorado learned this season, sometimes it’s about surviving with whatever lineup is left come game time. And just because you win one season, it doesn’t guarantee a damned thing next October.

“We all fall in it. The coaching staff and the players,” Roy said. “A lot of things came pretty fast. You have a tendency to think it’s going to be easier. Then you’re not as sharp when you come to camp. Then you start behind.

“I think the thing that I learned the most is, you always have to adapt to you group,” said Roy. “You have to deal with this. You have to learn to adapt to your team.”

Lesson learned. Too late, mind you, but with this lineup, the Avs will be back.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- How About Those Ottawa Senators

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The turnaround...


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

“This Is A Save He’s Got To Make”

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

That's ex-NHL player Tyson Nash, the color analyst for FoxSports Arizona on the OT goal by Arizona.

Yes Howard did not make the save in OT but what can you do.

We all know Howard needs to make saves to keep his team in the game and lately his performance has been average at best.

The most popular athlete in Detroit is the backup goaltender or backup quarterback for the Lions.

Mrazek has had some good solid games but he also has had some stinkers too.

There is no doubt in my mind Jimmy Howard has to start showing some consistency or else the Wings are in trouble.

Mrazek is not yet the answer and I believe Mike Babcock feels the same way.

You can watch ot OT goal below, Coyotes broadcast.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

‘Two things’: on Babcock and a DeKeyser Q and A

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

In lieu of a more formal mid-day news post, I find it ironic that even NHL.com's Dan Rosen's mailbag answer regarding a topic heating back up continues to ignore what Mike Babcock and Ken Holland suggested prior to the regular season--that it was more likely than not that Babcock would not sign a contract extension with Detroit after the regular season and playoff run are over so that the coach could focus on hockey instead of negotiating a salary...

How can these Mike Babcock "could" leave the Red Wings rumors continue? As rumors go, this feels incredibly daft? -- @Hoskinsauce

They can continue and will continue until Babcock signs a new contract to stay with the Detroit Red Wings or announces he is leaving Detroit to become a coaching free agent, which in my opinion would make him the most sought after free agent in the NHL this summer. Babcock hasn't discussed his future in Detroit beyond this season for quite some time. There might be quiet, behind-the-scenes negotiating going on between him and general manager Ken Holland, but it's more likely that they're focused on trying to win this season and will address the issue of his future at the end of the season. The longer it goes, the more the rumor will persist. Babcock will have plenty of options and a lot of money thrown at him if he decides to leave Detroit. The Toronto Maple Leafs certainly will court him, but would Babcock want to go into a rebuilding situation?


And MLive's Brendan Savage conducted a Q and A with Danny DeKeyser:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Wings-Coyotes quick-and-late-take: What an incredibly frustrating game

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Aside from Mike Smith's James Brown concert reenactment and Shane Doan attempting to smash opponents' knees into the boards and then twist/stomp to snap knee ligaments--and watching the officials sort of shrug the Smith-started-it-with-a-stick-to-Helm's-face, dude-humps-Helm's-stick and all the clutching and grabbing go--because the new "standard of officiating" is just hideously poor on all sides of the puck (and Mike Smith is nothing less than a disgusting actor who consists of 3-day-old human squaline)...

Taking in last night's Wings-Coyotes game as a fan was an incredibly frustrating experence, and that frustration didn't just stem from Jimmy Howard's crappy goaltending.

It was a game where the Wings simply played dumb hockey against a team that probably came into its road trip hoping to beat a Wings team it still despises (that was quite evident in the level of physicality last night, even if the personnel is different, the remaining Coyotes from the playoff series [plural] between the teams let the new guys know that this game was for all the marbles), it was a game in which the Wings took nearly 40 shots but refused to attack the net, it was a game where Niklas Kronwall's absence, Erik Cole having to duck out and Luke Glendening leaving for a short period of time seemed to paralyze the team...

And it was a game in which the Wings got the point they needed to make it very hard for the Senators or Bruins to gain ground, but in every other facet, the Wings laid several eggs on ice.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

The Latest On Ryan Miller

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,

The sight of Ryan Miller out early Tuesday in full equipment and working with goaltending coach Rollie Melanson was certainly encouraging — especially with the stopper going into the butterfly and pushing off to replicate reactions he would normally display in a game. However, it was just one of the obstacles Miller is facing before he’s ready to be battle tested after suffering a knee strain Feb. 22.

I asked former Canucks goaltender and current Sportsnet analyst Corey Hirsch what we should read into Miller skating and working on his movements. He suggested there is the initial testing of that inside knee ligament to see if Miller is enduring any pain and the process can also be a means to strengthen the ailment. If a defenceman or a forward suffers a similar injury, the rehab process can include wearing a brace upon returning to league play. Not goalies. The next step for Miller will be to practise with his club and that won’t occur until the second week of April because it’s doubtful he would travel on the upcoming four-game road trip with just one practice day scheduled.

Everybody has a theory about when Miller might be ready for prime time. The injury was significant because of the position he plays, putting tremendous strain on the knees through contact and groins through stretching and straining to make saves. And contact is going to be a huge issue because there’s going to be a tendency to be tentative and back up initially instead of playing aggressively.

more plus other Vancouver topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+miller

Sipple: Erik Cole to miss 3 games with ‘Upper-Body Injury’; Kronwall ‘day to day,’ Datsyuk ‘close’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 5x at 3 PM: Oh boy. Per the Free Press's George Sipple...


Update #2: The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness and MLive's Ansar Khan confirm that Erik Cole will be out until Tuesday at the earliest and that Kronwall and Datsyuk are "closer":

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Time For The Anaheim Ducks To Buckle Down

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,

-- It is time to get boring.

The Ducks’ penchant for one-goal games and comebacks might make them the entertaining bunch but the capacity for great theater doesn’t bring home a Stanley Cup. Strict, unyielding play (here’s looking at you, defending champion Kings), strong goaltending and timely scoring is the recipe that usually makes for a long playoff run.

In other words, they’ve got to win 2-1 or 3-2 games. Or 1-0. The Ducks have to get serious about playing a disciplined brand of hockey, not in the sense of staying completely away from the penalty box but sticking to their system, supporting each other on the ice and playing a simple, if unglamorous game.

They’re not doing that right now. An undermanned lottery-bound Columbus team repeatedly got prime scoring chances in the second period and cashed them in, turning around a 2-1 deficit after the first 20 minutes. And this came after the 7-2 shellacking by the Rangers on Sunday.

“I think that’s when it comes to the playoffs, when you play against good teams, it’s really who makes more mistakes and who’s going to win from that,” winger Andrew Cogliano said. “We’re beating ourselves. It’s pretty obvious what we’re doing.”

read on

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

Your New HHOF Chairman Of The Board

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

TORONTO (March 25, 2015) – Jim Gregory, Vice-Chair of the Hockey Hall of Fame, announced today that one of hockey’s most renowned team leaders, Lanny McDonald, will become the next Chair of the Board effective July 1, 2015.  This appointment to fill the vacancy left by the untimely passing of Pat Quinn on November 23, 2014, was confirmed at the Board of Directors meeting held this morning in Toronto with the effective date to occur following McDonald’s final meeting as a member of the Selection Committee in June.

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Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: lanny+mcdonald

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