Kukla's Korner

A Competitive Camp For The Detroit Forwards

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

I am nt mentioning the forwards who are expected to be a sure-lock to make the team.

- Pontus Andreasson: A Swedish undrafted free agent, Andreasson, 23, scored a career-high18 goals in the Swedish Hockey League last season and has made steady improvement in his career. Andreasson (5-foot-10, 185 pounds) will get a chance in the exhibition season, but appears destined to start in Grand Rapids.

- Jonatan Berggren: Berggren, 22, certainly showed in Grand Rapids (21 goals, 43 assists) he's close to being NHL ready. But with Yzerman's free-agent additions, and the deep forward corps, it's difficult to envision Berggren being on the opening night roster unless there's injuries.

- Adam Erne: Coming off a disappointing season, it appears Erne will be battling for playing time heading into opening night. Erne, 27, can be an unrestricted free agent next summer and his future in this organization is far from certain.

- Givani Smith: Smith, 24, is in the final year of his contract and his future in the organization is cloudy. It's difficult to envision Smith being more than a healthy scratch, at this point, given the crowded lineup. Smith hasn't been able to carve a regular role in the lineup.

- Elmer Soderblom: The 6-foot-6 Soderblom, 21, is likely going to need seasoning in Grand Rapids, but he'll be a player to keep an eye on in training camp. Soderblom scored 27 goals between two teams last season in Sweden, and his improvement since being drafted has been eye-opening.

- Joe Veleno: The former first-round pick isn't assured of a roster spot, and will have to impress in training camp to hold off the likes of Erne and Smith, among others, in the lineup. Veleno, 22, has shown flashes of being an NHL contributor, but there's going to be a lot of competition within the organization in the near future.

- Filip Zadina: This is an important season for Zadina, 22, who has yet to become the offensive force projected to be when drafted in 2018. Can playing for a new head coach and understanding the organization's patience with him is dwindling suddenly spark a Zadina turnaround? The Wings are hopeful.

more ($)

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Wings Top A Summer List

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic,

Here’s how much each team has changed this offseason, from most value added to most value subtracted.

Detroit Red Wings, Wins Added: 6.0 wins, Salary Added: $24.2 million

Up front, David Perron and Andrew Copp are legitimate top-six talents that should immediately provide some depth scoring beyond the top line. Detroit has long depended on Dylan Larkin and his linemates to do it all. Now it doesn’t have to. Perron and Copp aren’t stars, but they move the needle and provide strong support. Add Dominik Kubalik to the mix and the top nine looks the scariest it has in a long time.

On defense, the changes aren’t as exciting but there’s hope. Mark Pysyk is an analytics darling that should do just fine on the team’s third pair, while Olli Maatta bounced back well last season. He has top-four potential if he can keep that up. Considering the money they’re giving him, the Red Wings are likely hoping Ben Chiarot is the big top-four piece needed to take this team to a higher level. The model is incredibly skeptical of that, but it’s nice knowing the team added six wins anyway despite Chiarot’s projected value dragging it down. If he can be as good as some suggest he is, that’s another win or so in Detroit’s ledger.

The team’s biggest add though comes in net with Ville Husso. Detroit took a calculated risk last offseason with Alex Nedeljkovic and it’s doing something similar with Husso. It’s another young goalie who got hot and showed starter potential. The duo has tremendous upside, but the small sample risk remains real for both. As long as one of them hits it’s a good bet though, giving Detroit some stability in net for the first time since the last time Jimmy Howard was good. Incidentally, that was the last time the team was any good. It’s been a long time coming, but the Red Wings are back on the rise.

more (paid) plus other teams...

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Simon Edvinsson Has A Shot To Make The Big Club

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

As the hockey world has veered into August, there's no question the Red Wings' blue line has undergone a distinct facelift.

It's a crowded back end right now with 10 defensemen with NHL experience — and one potential rookie who could be quite impactful....

Can Simon Edvinsson make a similar impact?

Edvinsson, like Seider, is a first-round draft pick who dominated in the Swedish Hockey League — as Seider did before breaking into the NHL — and will arrive in September with a chance to make the NHL.

"Meeting him in person for the first time since we drafted him he's thicker in a good way," Yzerman said after seeing Edvinsson during last month's development camp. "He's very strong, his skating is excellent. We'll give him an opportunity.

"If he's ready to play and play a regular role, that would be great for us. We'll let the whole thing play itself out."

It appears the Wings will give Edvinsson every chance to make the opening night roster — yet it wouldn't be shocking if Edvinsson gets a bit of pro seasoning in Grand Rapids, which Seider had during the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season.

read on ($$$)

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Afternoon Line- Max Pacioretty

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I mentioned that at the end of the year that no one is really holding us accountable,” Pacioretty explained. “If we have a bad year like this, the city would be half on fire in Montreal. Here in Vegas, it’s 80 degrees, and it’s sunny. We’re getting our car washed and getting our organic food, and going to play golf.

“I was kind of like, ‘we’ve got to police this thing a little better amongst each other.’ I don’t want to say it was a country club, but you have no one from the outside holding you accountable.”...

"A lot of these guys haven’t played somewhere else so they don’t know really what it’s like," Pacioretty said. "I’ve felt myself personally it always gets the best out of you when my coach or someone else are demanding and hold you accountable and I found myself almost missing that a tiny bit when things went wrong this year."

Thomas Hall of Yahoo has more from Pacioretty...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vegas+golden+knights

Video- Talking With The GM

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

27 minutes to watch.


Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

NHL Releases Composite Preseason Schedule

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (August 3, 2022) -- The National Hockey League announced today the 2022-23 composite preseason schedule, a 15-day, 108-game slate played across 45 NHL and neutral-site venues in North America and Europe from Sept. 24 to Oct. 8.

Continue Reading »

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

It’s All About Goaltending In Washington

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

What Washington Has: A fully-signed lineup; a legitimate, if aging, superstar scorer in Alex Ovechkin; a brand new goaltending tandem in starter Darcy Kuemper and Charlie Lindgren; two nifty-off-season acquisitions in former Senators and Maple Leafs forward Connor Brown and former Blackhawks center Dylan Strome; a deep group of forwards; an elite-level defenseman in John Carlson; decent depth signings in veteran forwards Marcus Johansson and Henrik Borgstrom, and D-man Matt Irwin.

What Washington Needs: Salary cap flexibility; a quick return to health for injured forwards Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson and Carl Hagelin; a much-improved home record (they went 19-16-6 last season)....

...the biggest gamble Caps are taking this coming season is in goal. Last year’s duo of Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov both are no longer with the organization, replaced by former Canadiens and Blues goalie Charlie Lindgren and former Colorado starter Darcy Kuemper. Capitals GM Brian MacLellan gave the 32-year-old Kuemper a five-year, $26.25-million contract, making him Washington’s No. 1 guy in net for the foreseeable future, while the 28-year-old Lindgren will spell off Kuemper in preparation for a playoff run. The Caps’ offense should give Kuemper more than enough support to win more games than he loses, but make no mistake – the pressure is squarely on Kuemper to prove his Cup-winning season with the Avs this past year was no fluke.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Yzerplan Is Gaining Steam

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Tony Ferrari of The Hockey News,

The Yzerplan is in full effect.

The Detroit Red Wings went from making the playoffs in 25 straight years to missing the playoffs every year since that streak ended in 2016-17. General Manager Steven Yzerman has been working his magic on this roster since 2019, managing to build an impressive young core.

His moves have often gone against consensus and have looked outstanding in hindsight. That begins with defenseman Mortiz Seider at sixth overall from the 2019 NHL draft. Since that pick, Seider has been a force in the AHL, SHL, and NHL, winning the Calder as the NHL’s top rookie in a runaway vote.

The Red Wings have gone from grasping at straws to make the playoffs towards the end of the Ken Holland years to building up one of the deeper prospect pools in the league. The Red Wings have used their top picks on players out of Europe in every draft that Yzerman has been a part of, and it's hopeful that pays off.


Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Top 2023 UFAs

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

Ryan Dixon of Sporfsnet takes a look at the top UFA in 2023;  One of them is...

Dylan Larkin, Detroit Red Wings

Would the Michigan boy and team captain bolt just as things are starting to turn around? At some point, the guy who grew up cheering for Cup-winning clubs in Detroit is going to want some playoff action of his own beyond the five-game taste he got as a 19-year-old in 2016.

Larkin, who just turned 26 on July 30, would command all kinds of attention on the open market given what he’s achieved playing for subpar squads in Detroit. Still, it’s tough to imagine he doesn’t re-sign banking on the next chapter being far more enjoyable than the first seven years of his career.

the other names...

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Video- Top 5 Andrew Copp Goals From Last Season

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

Under two minutes to watch.


Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

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