Kukla's Korner

If The Edmonton Oilers Hit The Lottery Again Tomorrow Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

Do they really need another centre in Auston Matthews?

Do they need Matthews to saddle up with their other three young horses up the middle in Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins?

They’d have to shop the No. 1 pick, right? Or would they take Matthews and try to move King Leon instead for a ready-made defenceman?

Teams are calling more on Draisaitl than Nugent-Hopkins because he’s bigger.

There are other draft scenarios in play, of course.

There are three separate lotteries Saturday and the Oilers could get the No. 2 pick or the No. 3 and still take the left-shooting right-winger Patrik Laine, who is like the Finnish Flash Teemu Selanne only bigger at No. 2, or fellow Finnish winger Jesse Puljujarvi, who is more like an all-round Jari Kurri type at No.3 and be perfectly happy to keep either of those choices because they can play immediately, and either could play with McDavid.

The Oilers are the one team that could take Laine first overall and play him with McDavid and still have Draisaitl at centre, but Matthews would get them that sorely needed defenceman in a trade.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Do You Want Alexander Radulov On The Wings Roster?

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Russian star Alexander Radulov wants to return to the NHL and the Detroit Red Wings are on the short list of teams he is interesting in joining.

The Red Wings have spoken to his agent and are doing their due diligence, trying to determine whether to make the free-agent forward a contract offer, a source told M-Live.

The Red Wings have no doubts about Radulov's ability. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound winger turns 30 on July 5 and is coming off a strong season in the Kontinental Hockey League with CSKA Moscow (23 goals, 65 points in 53 games).

But there are concerns about his off-ice behavior and whether he would have a negative influence in the dressing room, especially with younger players. They are speaking with some of Radulov's former teammates and people who know him.

continued

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

The Matchup Game In The Dallas/St. Louis Series

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of ESPN,

The top two seeds in the Central Division get started tonight in Dallas, as the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues square off at 8 p.m. in Game 1. Here’s what to watch for as each team tries to get the early edge:

The Blues advanced in large part because they shut down Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews as they eliminated the Chicago Blackhawks in seven games. It doesn’t get any easier for St. Louis this round, as Stars captain Jamie Benn has been red-hot this postseason. Only the New York Islanders' John Tavares has more points in this postseason than Benn's 10. Stars coach Lindy Ruff said he’ll look for every opportunity to get Benn on the ice in a favorable matchup with the series starting at home.

“I’ve got options,” Ruff said Friday morning. “I can drop him on a different line, not tipping my hand. There’s different places I can play him … whether that means more offensive zone starts, less defensive zone starts, double shifting, not following a rotation, a lot of different things. It’s something we’ve been doing since day one.”

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock will attempt to get forward Alexander Steen on the ice as often as possible against Benn’s line.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Bob Murray Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Anaheim Ducks,

Ducks Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Murray discussed the dismissal of head coach Bruce Boudreau and the state of the franchise on Friday, April 29....

When did you first determine that this move had to be necessary?

I started worrying in Games 1 and 2. I started really worrying. We sort of rallied, although I didn’t think we played that well. I thought our goaltender played really good. And then we won three in a row. Game 6, we didn’t play well whatsoever. As I said, the right passion was there in Game 7.

It’s easier to replace a coach than it is to replace 20 guys, but when you look at your two best players – their performances in these Game 6s and 7s over the last three seasons, is it a matter of having to change the core in any way?

There are definite concerns in that area. The core has to be held responsible. They have to be better. Maybe I haven’t been hard enough in the last few years, but they’re going to hear some different words this time.

What are you looking for in your next coach, and when would you like to have one in place?

I’m not in any hurry whatsoever. Yesterday, I met with the family. We had talked the night before after the game. I went down to San Diego, and I just decided, in fairness to Bruce, that this happen now.   

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bob+murray

Afternoon Line- Jason Spezza On Jamie Benn

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

"You'll find that he's not as quiet and introverted as maybe he leads on. He's the leader in our room, he's one of the funniest guys in our room, he's involved in a lot of the stuff that goes on in our room...He's a big part of our room. He truly is a natural leader, the way he plays and the way he acts, we're lucky to have a guy like him, and you can see him grow into it even more. You go out and win the scoring title and then follow it up where he finished second this year. I think he has the inner belief that he is one of the best top five players in the game. Whether people talk about it or not, we know it and he knows it, and I think that confidence kind of rubs off on everybody."

-Jason Spezza of the Dallas Stars on Jamie Benn.  Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News has many quotes from the Dallas players before tonight's game agains the St. Louis Blues.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jamie+benn, jason+spezza

Tom Wilson Fined For Last Night’s Hit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (April 29, 2016) – Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson has been fined $2,403.67, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for kneeing Pittsburgh Penguins forward Conor Sheary during Game 1 of the teams’ Second Round series in Washington on Thursday, April 28, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

See the hit below if you missed it.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tom+wilson

Bruce Boudreau Done In Anaheim

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

 

added 12:29pm, Press release is below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bruce+boudreau

Players Who Can Be Exposed In The NHL Expansion Draft

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Important to note some of the information starting to come out regarding the expansion draft process.

via Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

Sometime this week, the NHL and NHLPA agreed on expansion draft rules. No-move clauses are protected, and teams will not be able to expose those players. What’s next? A meeting of the NHL’s Executive Committee, the most powerful group of 10 owners. It’s chaired by Boston’s Jeremy Jacobs. It’s expected that group will be called together in the next week or two. If they approve, the final hurdle would be a full Board of Governors meeting. We’re getting close to knowing one way or the other.

and...

 

 

so...

 

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

The Unpopular Team Playoffs

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

One way to get a quick idea how popular NHL teams are is to look at their attendance during road games.  This shows how many people care enough about a given team to go see them when they come to town.  This season the top three teams in terms of road attendance were Montreal, Chicago and Detroit.  None of these teams remain active in the playoffs.  The top team by road attendance that is still active in the playoffs is Pittsburgh who sit at number six.  The Penguins are the only team in the top ten by road attendance who remains in the playoffs.  Tampa Bay is the worst remaining playoff team with the 27th worst road attendance.

All of this means that this is a playoff of teams that do not excite many hockey fans.  Fans may support their home team but the remaining teams have limited support way from home.  This will hurt NHL TV ratings during the playoffs.  Fewer fans will watch the playoffs.  This is in addition to the fact that no Canadian team made the playoffs and this has hurt Hockey Night in Canada ratings.  Declining rating will lead to declining revenue for the NHL.  Since the salary cap is linked to NHL revenue this could be significant.  It could lead to reduced salary caps in the future.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Friday Morning Hockey Thoughts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

- While all of the SoCal attention is on Boudreau, there’s no clarity yet with Darryl Sutter and Los Angeles. His contract is up, and he’s said several times he will be back. The question — for anyone who may be looking — is whether or not he or anyone else on his staff becomes available. The Kings take pretty good care of them. John Stevens is believed to be the highest-paid assistant coach in the NHL and, if Sutter ever leaves, is assumed to be the heir apparent.

The evaluation in Los Angeles isn’t just why the Kings lost to the San Jose Sharks. It’s also why they blew what was a 12-point division lead on Jan. 6 and why, when they could have clinched the Pacific Division, they couldn’t hold a 3-0 second-period lead over the Winnipeg Jets on the final Saturday of the regular season.

- Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher received a vote of confidence from owner Craig Leipold during the playoff series against the Dallas Stars. Fletcher said he “needs to decompress,” but will meet with interim head coach John Torchetti, probably early next week.

Is the coaching job open?

“I think you could say it’s somewhat open,” Fletcher replied. “We haven’t had time to talk yet about his vision. He had to inherit everything. I want to hear his view on how he would push forward. He came in and did a good job, deserves a chance to explain why he should be the guy.”

- If there’s one thing Fletcher strongly disagreed with, it’s that his players lack character. While the GM admitted it was “a brutal year,” he is angry at suggestions they did not try.

“We had to fight to get into the playoffs, including win a big game at Colorado. We fought right to the end against Dallas.” What he does believe is “they did not buy in to how we wanted them to play.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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