Kukla's Korner

On Al Arbour and his St. Louis legacy

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

These kinds of articles are so superb that you can only begin at the beginning, and this one from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Dan O'Neill is a helluva read:

The way Scotty Bowman sees it, three components turned the St. Louis Blues into Stanley Cup finalists during their first three seasons. One was goaltender Glenn Hall. One was a trade to acquire Red Berenson and Barclay Plager.

And one was Al Arbour.

“He was the toughest competitor, most courageous player I ever coached,” Bowman said. “He was the guy all the young players looked up to.”

Alger Arbour now leans on every bit of that resilience and fortitude. He is being treated for Parkinson’s disease and dementia near his home in Sarasota, Fla. He has difficulty with balance, with recollection and with words. He is in hospice care. The prognosis is dire.

But you can count on one thing. Arbour will battle, as he did as a defenseman for the Blues, as he did throughout a career in which he has been with teams that won the Stanley Cup eight times, representing four cities. The fact one of those locations isn’t St. Louis is a pockmark on a franchise that is without a championship 48 seasons into its existence.


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: al+arbour, scotty+bowman, st.+louis+blues

Prospect news: Holmstrom stars in Skelleftea win; Pope, UNO advance at NCAA regionals; Griffins win

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings' prospects are mostly engaged in playoff hockey at present, and one player stole the show on Saturday--early:

In the SHL, Axel Holmstrom scored two goals (click the link for the highlights) in Skelleftea AIK's 5-2, second-round-opening win over Mattias Backman and Linkopings HC. Holmstrom scored the 3-1 and 4-1 goals in only 13:01 in ice time, while the former Wings prospect Backman finished at -2 in 16:47.

As DRW Prospects on Twitter noted, Holmstrom's having a fantastic playoff run, especially given that he plays as Skelleftea's 3rd or 4th line center:

In the KHL, I get to be honest: because Alexander Kadeikin isn't playing, I'm rooting for Sergei Fedorov's team, CSKA Moscow, in the "Army Derby," and CSKA took a 2-0 series lead in via a 3-2 overtime win on Saturday.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Sabres, Coyotes’ tanking could yield change in draft lottery

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch offers his usual amount of rumors in a Sunday column discussing scoops from around the league, but on an evening that even the New York Times profiled Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, Garrioch's most interesting tidbit involves the "TankGate" situation. According to Garrioch, the league is pretty peeved by the Sabres and Coyotes' rather blatant attempts to finish lowest in the league:

“It’s embarrassing,” a league executive said.

The battle for No. 1 pick Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters has been one that teams have been watching all season. For the most part, the Sabres have been sitting in last place, but once the Coyotes cleared the deck at the trade deadline they’ve really gone downhill.

“You can’t blame the teams involved because there is a reward for failure and that’s the highest odds in the lottery,” said the executive. “Maybe you need to change the lottery to give all the teams that miss the playoffs an even chance at the No. 1 pick, or not weight it so much. Who knows?”

The league did change the lottery that gives the team that finishes last only a 20% chance at the No. 1 pick so there has been a major move. Now, they can’t fall below No. 2 so if they don’t win it’s not that big a loss. Perhaps, the league needs to take a second look.

Garrioch continues with a cornucopia of rumors...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: buffalo+sabres, connor+mcdavid, jack+eichel, phoenix+coyotes

Saturday Headlines include a note about the Red Wings’ ‘goaltender controversy’; Zach Hyman, UFA?

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Sportsnet's Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman spoke about Connor McDavid vs. Jack Eichel, the World Championships and other topics such as NCAA free agents during their "Headlines" segment, but Damien Cox spent a decent chunk of time suggesting that the Red Wings have a bona-fide goaltending controversy and a goalie with a very large contract (4 more years at a $5.3229 million cap hit) in Jimmy Howard, and it was strange to hear that out loud...

And for what it's worth, it was also intriguing to hear that a) the Panthers may not be able to sign free agent Zach Hyman and b) that Mike Green won't return to the Capitals.


Update: Here's Sportsnet's annotation of Cox's remarks:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Red Wings-Lightning wrap-up: When a statement is not a statement

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings boarded an early-evening flight to Long Island feeling a lot better about themselves thanks to Saturday's 4-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, but the Islanders will be coming off a 3-2 loss to Anaheim when the teams tangle tomorrow afternoon (5 PM EDT on FSD Plus), so things aren't going to get any easier for Detroit when Petr Mrazek taps the goalposts and prepares for the opening faceoff.

Regarding Saturday's game, the Lightning were incredibly upset at the Red Wings. They felt that Justin Abdelkader, who was involved in plays in which Jason Garrison and Cedric Paquette were injured, should have been penalized for his efforts, though the NHL referred everyone to this...

Regarding Garrison:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Saturday Night Hockey Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- The Leafs don’t care to share their wish list for a future head coach but here’s a decent guess of where they’re heading: 1. Mike Babcock; 2. Todd McLellan; 3. Bruce Boudreau; 4. Dave Tippett; 5. Ken Hitchcock; 6. Peter DeBoer; 7. Paul MacLean. Not necessarily on the list, for some reason: Dan Bylsma.

- Amazing how stuff turns out: Dallas GM Jim Nill wanted to sign Vinny Lecavalier before he ended up signing in Philadelphia. Now the Flyers want Vinny out, badly. Had Nill signed him, he never would have traded for Tyler Seguin.

- This is easy: Now that Chris Pronger is eligible for Hall of Fame voting, he’s a sure-thing for first-ballot induction this year. The Class of 2015 will include Pronger, Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov and if the Hall finally gets it right it will add the surprisingly forgotten Sergei Makarov.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Alexander Steen Out With Lower-Body Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul




Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+steen

Video- Coach’s Corner Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Topics discussed tonight by Don Cherry and Ron MacLean include....

Don Cherry was not happy with the refs in the first period of Toronto/Ottawa.

Next up was Cherry pointing out to young players to make sure you keep your stick on the ice, using the LA Kings as an example.

Cherry tells us why Scott Hartnell wears #43.

Up next was the play of "Jimmy Slater" of the Winnipeg Jets then Steve Ott was pointed out as being a momentum changer.

Then Don Cherry talked about the Leafs bringing in a college guy instead a top player from the Marlies.

Cherry closed with some OHL Cup talk.

Watch below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+cherry, ron+maclean

Waiting On Mike Babcock

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

While the spotlight entering the final two weeks of the NHL regular season is focused squarely on the enticing playoff races in both conferences, there are a handful of general managers and coaches who are primed for a blindfold and last cigarette.

And the reading of the last rites, of course.

Indeed, there is no shortage of men who are playing out the string over the next 14 days, all the while knowing that their tenure with their respective teams is coming to an inevitable end.

Whether it be the Leafs, Sharks, Flyers, Bruins, Devils, Sabres, Blues, etc., there are axes being sharpened throughout the league, poised to come down as part of various housecleanings going on from coast to coast.

And, according to one Eastern Conference executive, the catalyst for many of the ensuing moves could be Mike Babcock.

continued with a look at teams who could use Mike Babcock's services...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+babcock

Video- Tanner Glass Fined For Butt-End Hit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul


Watch the incident below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tanner+glass

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