Kukla's Korner

Evening Line- Jonathan Toews

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+toews

The Detroit Red Wings Plan Is To Build From Within

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

So, while veteran scouts and managers have left, Holland can hold out hope new, less-experienced personnel does better.

“It’s up to me and my people to prove that the plan that we’ve got is a good plan,” Holland said.

“How do we want to build our team?”

By moving Jiri Fischer from director of player development to director of player evaluation, and hiring Shawn Horcoff to direct development and Daniel Cleary to assist him, the Wings are hoping to improve the preparation of their prospects, Holland said.

After dispatching Jurco, Kindl, McCollum, Ouellet, Sheehan, Smith and Sproul, in recent seasons, development results clearly could improve.

“We’re trying to develop the skill of the players that we’ve drafted,” he said.

much more

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Will The Winnipeg Jets And Jacob Trouba Find Common Ground Before Friday’s Arbitration Hearing?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun,

The clock continues to tick for Jacob Trouba and the Winnipeg Jets to get a new deal done and with roughly 48 hours to go before Friday’s arbitration hearing, the filings are in.

According to a source, the Jets are offering $4 million, while the Trouba camp is countering by asking for $7 million.

The numbers were first reported by Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada.

Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, the Jets have the choice of electing a one or two-year award if the case is heard in arbitration.

Because Trouba is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 of 2020, the Jets are expected to choose a one-year award.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacob+trouba

Dylan Larkin’s Next Contract And Trade A Depth Forward

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press answers a few questions today.

This question is regarding Larkin's next contract and should the Wings trade a depth forward for a defenseman?

HSJ: The Wings are working on a long-term extension for Larkin — they’d prefer five years, but may have to go to six. Of the young forwards who were restricted free agents this summer (Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou, Tyler Bertuzzi and Martin Frk), Larkin is the one who’s earned a big commitment because of the growth and character he’s shown since being drafted in 2014.

Regarding the second question, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Wings trade Athanasiou in exchange for a high draft pick/prospect. His skill and speed should hold appeal (especially if he gets hot for a stretch) and yield a good return. 


Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

The Chicago Blackhawks Are What They Are At This Point

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,

Bowman is “really optimistic” about the coming season, but didn’t exactly insist that he’s put together a playoff-caliber roster. He’s content with the moves he’s made, but sounded like he’s come up empty in making any bigger ones. He left the door open to a late-summer or early fall trade — once teams learn in the preseason what they have and don’t have — but acknowledged that he might not be able to make immediate use of the cap space opened up by the Hossa trade.

So here the Hawks sit — still counting on Corey Crawford to be healthy and his old self, still counting on Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad having monster bounce-back seasons, still counting on Duncan Keith to find the fountain of youth, still counting on a shaky defense to find its footing.

“We’re looking forward,” Bowman said. “We’re really optimistic about the group. We know that we have some really motivated players who have accomplished quite a bit already in their careers, but [who] haven’t had the recent success that they would like. When you’ve been there and you’ve been able to reach the ultimate, you know how great that feeling is, and you know when you’re not there, it’s not a fun time. We’re very excited to get back to the playoffs.”


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

Is Andreas Athanasiou About To Have A Breakout Year?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

Rory Boylen of Sportsnet lists a few players who could have a breakout season, including Andreas Athanasiou.

There is some speculation that the Red Wings could still trade Athanasiou before the start of next season as their group of forwards gets a little more crowded with the additions of Filip Zadina and Thomas Vanek. His explosive speed makes him exciting to watch and the offensive upside is still there — the question is whether Athanasiou’s defensive game will become strong enough that a coach can comfortably make him a top-six player.

In Athanasiou’s first two NHL seasons, his shooting percentages were 17 and 15, but that dropped to 9.4 in 2017-18 as he registered 16 goals. It’s fair to say that over a full season he should be at least a 20-goal scorer with the possibility for more.

Remember, too, that the 23-year-old missed training camp and the first 10 games in 2017 due to a contract dispute and that often leads to an underwhelming season. Now he’s locked in with a two-year, $6 million deal so should get off to a better start. On top of that, only three of his 33 points came on the power play despite averaging 1:44 PP minutes per game, so there could be an uptick there as well. The crux of Athanasiou’s breakout candidacy is in how much ice time the Red Wings (or an acquiring team) give him.

If his goals come up as expected, can his assists and ice time rise to a level that allows him to have a true breakout?

read on for a chart comparing him to other Detroit players and also read about the five other players he mentions from around the league...

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Audio/Video- Top Radio Calls From The Past Season In The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Watch and listen to the best radio calls from the 2017-18 NHL season.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Report- Arizona Coyotes Owner Wants To Sell 49% Of The Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Ozanian of Forbes,

Andrew Barroway, the owner of the Arizona Coyotes, is looking to sell 49% of the National Hockey League team at a $500 million valuation, according to multiple sources.

Barroway became the majority owner of the Coyotes in December, 2014 and the sole owner of the hockey team in June, 2017.

The fact that Barroway is now seeking cash for his team is not surprising. When he bought out his partners I wrote: "Barroway's buyout of his partners is the riskiest deal I can recall in recent memory...Barroway and the Coyotes are now leveraged to the hilt. As of now, the Coyotes have $250 million of debt. There is $100 million of NHL credit facility debt and two loans from MGG Investment Group; one for $100 million with about a 10% interest rate and a payment-in-kind loan for $50 million that would be redeemed in six years for $100 million."


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

The Rebuild

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Adam Gretz of the Sporting News,

The Red Wings had 11 draft picks in 2017, including six in the first three rounds.

They made 10 selection in 2018, including seven in the first three rounds (with four of the first 36 picks in the draft).

They already have stockpiled 11 more for 2019, including three in the first two rounds.

Detroit accumulated those picks by trading the likes of Brendan Smith, Tomas Junco, Vanek, Steve Ott, Jakub Kindl, Scott Wilson, Petr Mrazek and Tomas Tatar, not to mention picking up an extra second-round pick from the Coyotes in exchange for moving back four spots and sending Pavel Datsyuk’s contract the other way.

That means over a three-year stretch between 2017 and 2019, the Red Wings could potentially add 32 young players to the organization, including as many as 14 in the first three rounds. That is a lot. They also increased their odds at finding an impact player or two by loading up the picks.

Not all of them are going to turn into NHL players, and once you get beyond the first half of the first round the odds of selecting an All-Star-level talent drop significantly. Those picks can be nothing more than lottery tickets. The best way to win in that drawing is to give yourself as many chances as you can possibly get.


Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

How Much Is Tom Wilson Worth To The Washington Capitals?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post,

Although there has been steady dialogue, a new contract isn’t “done or close,” said Wilson’s agent, Mark Guy. Washington owns Wilson’s negotiating rights, so it’s not a matter of if there will be an extension, but when — and how much. And because Wilson didn’t elect for arbitration, it’s unclear how late into the summer negotiations might last.

MacLellan’s preference is a long-term deal, and Guy said discussions so far have explored “something north of four years.” Wilson, 24, has already played five full NHL seasons, making that potential term at least two years beyond when he’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent....

Wilson is coming off a career season in which he spent the majority of his minutes on the top line with captain Alex Ovechkin. He had 14 goals and 21 assists while playing an average of 15:59 per game — all career highs. He was again one of Washington’s top penalty killers, averaging 1:44 of shorthanded time per game. Although his physical style while playing a top-six role makes him stand out, it also led to three suspensions, one of which caused him to miss the season’s first four games and another that sidelined him for three playoff contests. The fear he instills in opposing players is part of what makes him effective.

That’s also hard to quantify and likely why Wilson didn’t elect for arbitration, typically a small bit of leverage for more experienced restricted free agents....

Washington has roughly $8.2 million in salary cap space with 20 projected roster players under contract, according to CapFriendly.com. Wilson’s previous contract was for two years at $2 million per season, and several industry insiders have ballparked the average annual value for his next deal at between $3.5 million and $4.5 million, depending on its length.


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

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