Kukla's Korner

The Final Years Of Lou Lamoriello In New Jersey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Chere of NJ.com,

Lamoriello should be applauded for what he did in his 28 years with the Devils, including five trips to the Stanley Cup Final, but he paved his own way out the door once ownership changed.

Here's why:

1. He stonewalled upper management's marketing attempts

As long as he was winning Stanley Cups and has past owners' support, Lamoriello was allowed to refuse attempts to market the team through use of players, fan events and alternate jerseys. However, once the team became an also-ran four out of the last five seasons and dollars-conscious owners moved in, he was a roadblock.

Ownership tried to ease Lamoriello into the modern world, but he fought it and continued to keep practices closed, argued against marketing ideas and even handcuffed the organization's own website from covering the team more extensively.

2. Stumbled as a general manager

Age wasn't the reason Lamoriello was nudged out as GM. It was because he seemed to lose his touch. His recent track record of free agent signings was not good, signing several players for more than they were worth. He also created roster situations that hamstrung coaches like John MacLean.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: lou+lamoriello

‘Roughly Translated’: Tomas Jurco says he’ll sign a 2-year contract shortly

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Update: Oh fun:

Update #2: From MLive's Brendan Savage:

Forward Tomas Jurco, the Detroit Red Wings' final unsigned restricted free agent, told a website in Slovakia that he's closing in on a two-year contract agreement with the club.

But a source says Jurco and the Red Wings aren't close to striking a deal.

Slovak is a difficult language to translate, so this is very, very rough, but Tomas Jurco spoke with Hokejportal.net's Pavol Rajtar regarding his status as a restricted free agent and his new contract with the Wings, which will apparently be a 2-year deal pretty close to his previous salary.

Here's a very, very rough translation of Rajtar's article:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Will Any NHL Coach Understand Alexander Semin’s Game?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Shannon Valerio of Hockey VIPs,

Alexander Semin will not be a free agent much longer, according to his agent Mark Gandler.

“We have offers,” he said in an interview with Sovsport.ru. “We are reviewing them, but have not yet made a decision.”

While he did not give any hints as to where those offers might be, he confirmed Semin is only considering options in the NHL and is not interested in returning to Russia any time soon.

“Sasha Semin is 31 years old. He still has a number of years ahead of him,” Gandler said when asked about the likes of Alexei Yashin and Ilya Bryzgalov whose buyouts essentially ended their NHL careers.

“[Semin’s] career can only go up. He is still young. His buyout was under unique circumstances and the (Hurricanes) coach did not understand Sasha’s game.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+semin

Live Stream- Lou Lamoriello Introduced As GM Of The Toronto Maple Leafs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The press conference is scheduled to begin at 2:00pm ET, watch it below....

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: lou+lamoriello

Agreement Reached With The Arizona Coyotes And The City Of Glendale

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- The Arizona Coyotes and the City of Glendale announced today that the two parties have agreed on a resolution to their ongoing legal dispute. The City of Glendale will release details of the proposed amendments to the existing arena management agreement this morning on the city’s website, http://www.glendaleaz.com/. The Glendale City Council will vote on the amendments to the agreement on Friday, July 24 at Glendale City Hall. Details of that city council meeting are also posted on the city website.

Continue Reading »

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

Afternoon Line- Craig Morgan On Coyotes/Glendale

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

added 12:45pm, via Morgan tweets,

If Council approves amendments, city & team will reach settlement that will keep Coyotes at Gila River Arena for at least next 2 seasons.

Per terms of deal, Coyotes would collect all hockey-related revenue that previously went to COG (naming rights, tix surcharges, parking rev)

City would pay $6.5M a year to Coyotes to manage arena. Out-clause that was part of the original 15-year, $225M agreement would be removed.

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

Among the East’s ‘Also-Rans’: Have the Panthers improved?

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

SI's Allan Muir looks at the Eastern Conference's "also-ran" (i.e. non-playoff) teams, determining whether their summertime moves have improved the respective 8 non-playoff finishers or whether the teams are just treading water, and he discusses a team not talked about very much in the Florida Panthers:

Florida Panthers (91 points, 10th)

You have to give them credit. The Panthers proved to be surprisingly competitive last season, far exceeding expectations for a roster that relied so heavily on youth and fading glory. They’ll go with a similar formula next fall, hoping that youngsters such as Aaron Ekblad and Jonathan Huberdeau continue to progress and veterans like Jaromir Jagr have more than fumes in the tank.

The team’s one major move of the summer saw it ship out one inconsistent forward in Jimmy Hayes for another in Reilly Smith. The former Bruin is the more established of the two with 33 goals and 91 points during the past two seasons, and he fills a need at right wing created by the buyout of Brad Boyes. As far as upgrades go, it’s not going to get Florida over the hump. Unless GM Dale Tallon has something else up his sleeve, it looks like the Panthers are hoping for significant internal growth. That should keep them in the hunt, but they’ll need to catch a few breaks to make the cut.

Muir continues...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: aaron+ekblad, dale+tallon, florida+panthers, jaromir+jagr, jimmy+hayes, jonathan+huberdeau, reilly+smith

Babcock on Lamoriello: ‘This was a home run for Mike Babcock’

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock spoke with NHL.com's Dan Rosen regarding the Leafs' hiring of Lou Lamoriello as their general manager:

"Lou has been about winning," Babcock told NHL.com in a phone interview Thursday. "Lou is a guy who has pushed himself to get better every single day. I think a senior management guy joining our team, understanding what the vision and what the plan is, is a home run for all of us. Everyone concerns themselves with the team on the ice; the team off the ice precedes the team on the ice. I think we're set up very good."

Babcock said Lamoriello's experience and history of winning, including three Stanley Cup championships with the Devils (1995, 2000, 2003), will be especially important for Maple Leafs assistant general manager Kyle Dubas, director of player personnel Mark Hunter and assistant to the general manager Brandon Pridham.

Babcock said he has been impressed with Dubas, Hunter and Pridham since he was hired on May 20, but adding Lamoriello will give those young executives a sounding board.

"To bring in a guy like Lou, that gives those guys someone to talk to, someone to mentor them, someone to ask, 'Hey Lou, you've been through this 100 times, what do you think?'" Babcock said. "You have an experienced guy who is still passionate and still fired up about it and still wants to work. That's Lou. He loves hockey."

Babcock said he first met Lamoriello during the 2003 Stanley Cup Final, when he was coaching the Anaheim Ducks against the Devils. New Jersey won the series in seven games.

In the 12 years he's known Lamoriello, Babcock said every time he has spoken to him he has come away impressed. Babcock said he has gotten only positive reviews from the people who have worked for Lamoriello, including a recent review from former Devils coach Peter DeBoer.

"Every coach I've ever talked to about Lou, and most of them have been fired by him, love him," Babcock said. "I talked to Pete DeBoer the other day about him. He raves about him. Lou has got a way of doing things, but Lou is a smart, smart guy and just like all of us who are in the pursuit of knowledge and the pursuit of winning, we're sure willing to adjust to somebody who has a better idea. This was a home run for Mike Babcock."

Rosen continues...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kyle+dubas, lou+lamoriello, mark+hunter, mike+babcock, toronto+maple+leafs

‘Two Things,’ Quickie Version

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

As I watch the Lou Lamoriello Twitter reaction cascade for Paul...

1. Winging It in Motown's SlapShotgoal wrote a MASTERFUL rebuttal to those of you who believe that Anthony Mantha's washed up...

2. And MLive's Brendan Savage spoke with Jerome Verrier regarding his desire to earn an AHL or ECHL contract with the Wings despite his status as a summer development camp and prospect tournament try-out.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Audio/Video- Lou Lamoriello’s Job In Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

Chris Johnston joins Jeff Blair to speculate how new GM Lou Lamoriello might fit into the current Maple Leafs management group, and whether he’d be willing to embrace a lesser role than he’s used to.

Listen/watch below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: lou+lamoriello

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