Kukla's Korner

TSN Insiders Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Jack Eichel hasn't officially asked for a trade, it certainly sounds like the star centre would welcome a change of scenery. The TSN Hockey Insiders get you up to date on potential landing spots for Eichel. As well, with the offseason looming who are the top available free agents? All that and more in this edition of Insider Trading.

Watch and read the transcript at TSN.

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Waiting

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

The wait continues around Little Caesars Arena.

The regular season ended Saturday for the Red Wings, but a decision regarding the future of coach Jeff Blashill has yet to be announced.

Tuesday came and went with no word from general manager Steve Yzerman regarding a decision as to whether Blashill will return for a seventh season.

The delay is a mild surprise.

Yzerman said during his news conference after the trade deadline in March that he would meet with Blashill quickly after the season.

Maybe the two have met, but an announcement on Blashill’s future still hasn’t made public, leading to more speculation and guessing regarding Blashill’s job security with the Wings.

The lack of news surrounding Blashill comes at a time while other NHL teams already have made decisions.

continued (paid monthly subscription)

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Dougie Hamilton Tops The List Of Upcoming Free Agents

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

The Carolina Hurricanes know that tune, but they haven’t exactly been in rhythm with Hamilton’s camp over the past number of months on a contract extension, which is why the soon-to-be 28-year-old has emerged as the No. 1 free agent available ahead of the Frenzy.

Hurricanes GM Don Waddell told the DFO Rundown Podcast in late March that the two sides agreed to put off talks until after the season. Sources on both sides indicate there is a significant gap between what Carolina appear willing to pay and what Hamilton’s camp believes is market value.

To that end, it makes little sense for the Hurricanes to even re-sign Hamilton at the moment, with July’s Expansion Draft looming. Protecting the pending free agent Hamilton would mean the Hurricanes would also have to expose defenceman Jake Bean.

The Expansion Draft is just one complicating factor, ahead of a third consecutive off-season with the same $81.5 million salary cap due to COVID-19, that makes 2021 one of the largest and most intriguing free agent classes ever.

For the first time ever, TSN Hockey’s Top 30 Free Agents includes a coach in Rick Tocchet. The Arizona Coyotes and Tocchet announced their decision to part ways this week and Tocchet is expected to receive interest from multiple teams, including some that may opt for a coaching change specifically because the three-time Stanley Cup winner (once as Penguins player, twice as Penguins assistant coach) is up for grabs. Tocchet, 57, did more this season with less than almost any other coach in the league in Arizona.

It also includes an intriguing Group VI free agent in Arizona's Michael Bunting, who some teams think may be this season's Carter Verhaeghe or Jonathan Marchessault.

more with a list...

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Video- Saves Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

What a save, huge save, 2nd effort, etc.

 

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Video- Vladislav Namestnikov Wearing A Mic

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

A little over 2 minutes long and from a CBJ game on April 27th.

 

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Hockey Thoughts Before The Post-Season Starts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

- Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said he will take his time, which makes sense because his hire might be determined by personnel choices. Seth Jones said Monday, “I really have to take a step back and think about what I want.”

That’s the biggest question facing the franchise. Columbus has let him know a huge payday awaits, and likely the captaincy, too. Opposing players said the strain of the season, both on-ice and off, noticeably weighed on Jones, so taking time away isn’t a bad idea. The Blue Jackets also want clarity on Zach Werenski, eligible for an extension two years from unrestricted free agency. If both commit, the path is clear. If not, do you rebuild or deal for immediate help?

- Chris Drury is pretty popular. Not sure what he’s going to do with his front office, but there’s a lot of interest in working for him, and, by extension, the Rangers.

- The Boston-Washington kicks off the playoffs on Saturday night. Canadian teams are expected to begin next Wednesday. It might just be me, but do the North Division playoff teams need to wait for Calgary and Vancouver? I can see Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg annoyed at waiting and getting a tougher schedule.

It’s going to be weird without many late-night games, as Vegas is only Pacific time-zone team in the post-season.

many more Thoughts, including Jack Eicher...

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Video- Favorite Nicknames

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NHL players advise us on their favorite nicknames.

 

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Now What Buffalo?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

If you're the rookie GM of the 31st-place club trying to look good in front of ownership, it's probably a pretty easy sell that you're going to build your team around Rasmus Dahlin, Dylan Cozens, Casey Mittelstadt, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Jack Quinn, Mattias Samuelsson, Arttu Ruotsalainen, a re-signed Ullmark and whoever you draft in the top three in July.

As bad a day as Monday felt like, go read the previous paragraph again. It makes things look less dark. And that's before you add whatever players or picks they might get in any deals for Eichel, Reinhart or Ristolainen.

Maybe that's what they should do. The veterans didn't seem to go out of their way to throw any olive branches on Monday to Don Granato. Frankly, it doesn't look like they give a damn who the coach of this team is going forward. It's not like they perform for anybody who's been behind the bench here at all in recent years, their odd love for Ralph Krueger notwithstanding.

Remember, this franchise has won exactly nothing with those three guys. It hasn't played a single playoff game with a No. 8 pick in 2013 and guys taken No. 2 the two following years. Nobody can argue this trio hasn't given a lot over nearly 1,400 combined NHL games between the three of them. It hasn't meant a thing.

more

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Do You Want Jack Eichel?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

So to start to evaluate where Eichel could be traded, we asked The Athletic’s NHL staff to evaluate their team’s level of interest in Eichel and what they could offer in a package.

Detroit Red Wings: The Red Wings have the cap space, draft capital and farm system to put together a highly competitive offer for Eichel, who is a high-end No. 1 NHL center with elite scoring. That’s the kind of piece the Red Wings sorely need, and he fits their age range. But the cost to acquire him would be high, perhaps prohibitively so. The Sabres could reasonably ask for top defense prospect Moritz Seider, plus a high-lineup current NHLer and Detroit’s top 10 pick, at which point the Red Wings wouldn’t be much closer to contending than they are today. And Eichel wouldn’t likely be any happier, either. Yzerman should do his due diligence, but it’s not a great fit between two rebuilding teams. -Max Bultman

more (paid) teams...

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Waiting On Blashill And Looking At Scotty Bowman

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

What “very quickly" means to one person is not necessarily reflected in another person’s meaning.

The Detroit Red Wings’ season has been over since an overtime loss Saturday night in Columbus, and general manager Steve Yzerman still hasn’t shown his hand regarding Jeff Blashill’s coaching future. Last month, Yzerman said he’d sit down with Blashill “very quickly” after the season ended, but it has been two days and counting since the final horn.

Yzerman’s comments April 12 indicated he already knew what he was going to do: Extend Blashill’s contract, inform him his time with the organization is over — or perhaps tell Blashill there’ll be a new coach coming in, and offer him a different position, such as scouting.

continued

from Bill Dow at the Detroit Free Press,

As part of his series on former Detroit sports figures, Bill Dow caught up with former Detroit Red Wings coach and hockey legend Scotty Bowman....

Bowman on coaching players:

“When you go to a new team, it takes a while to get to know everybody. Some players, you cater to more than others. Some players have to be pushed and prodded and some you have to be quiet with. Some players you can’t get on them or they’ll pack it up.

"I never tried to sugar coat it with the players and I think they wanted you to be honest with them. You have to tell them what is truthful and what is not. But when it’s all said and done, to get the most out of the good players they needed someone to be pushing them and that’s how they got into the NHL.”

more ($$$)

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