Kukla's Korner

Injury Update Heading Into Camp

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now,

Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman said Wednesday that Top 6 forward Andrew Copp had offseason abdominal surgery and won’t return to action until the first week of the season.

He adds to a Detroit injury list that already includes defensemen Jake Walman (shoulder surgery) and Mark Pysyk (Achilles surgery), plus right wing Robby Fabbri (knee surgery).

Michigan native Copp signed a five-year contract with the Red Wings with a $5.625 million annual average value. He is projected to be Detroit’s No. 2 center this season and be a regular on the penalty killing unit.

“I don’t anticipate (Copp) participating in the preseason games but I expect him ready to go in roughly a week, if not sooner, into the regular season,” Yzerman said as he met with media to discuss the start of training camp this week.


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Stream- Steve Yzerman Before Camp

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

I am late with this but you can rewind.

added 11:38am, the stream is now archived, it starts from the beginning.


Below, coach LaLonde this morning.

Continue Reading »

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A Focused Kyle Dubas

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

Kyle Dubas doesn’t sound like a man on the hot seat.

In a rare, wide-ranging conversation on the eve of the opening of Maple Leafs training camp, Dubas comes across as composed and confident — believing in his hockey team that has so many questions; excited, like most of us, for the start of a new season and all that is about to unfold.

He isn’t consumed with winning a single round of the Stanley Cup playoffs the way so much of Toronto is after repeated post-season disappointments that have plagued this franchise for far too many years. This is his fifth season as general manager, his ninth year with the club — and some wonder if there will be a next year for him with his contract set to expire. But the team has grown by 15 points in his first four years — just not enough when it matters most in April or May.

“You want to win every year, that’s why you do these jobs,” said Dubas, the married father of two, no longer a kid GM. He turns 37 in November.

“You’re at that point where that’s our goal. To win. Not just win a round. Our goal is to win the Stanley Cup. Not to win a series, it’s to win the whole thing. That’s what we focus on.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Two Different Types Of Defensemen Retired Yesterday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox at the Toronto Star,

Could you have had two more different characters?

That Zdeno Chara and P.K. Subban chose to retire on the same day created common ground between the two superb athletes that for the most part, beyond their shared extreme competitiveness, didn’t otherwise exist.

Indeed, 50 years ago, they were characters that would have been unimaginable to North America’s hockey culture. A towering 6-foot-9 defenceman from Slovakia, a country that didn’t even exist back then, and an African-American blueliner from Toronto. The imagination of the sport has surely expanded since the days a tall hockey player was 6-foot-2, only Canadians played in the NHL and black athletes were simply not seen on hockey rinks. Still, even with somewhat more diversity in the sport today, Chara and Subban both managed to leave unusual, indelible imprints on the game in a way most players simply don’t.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

What can we expect from the 2022/23 NHL season?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Although summer can be a glorious time in many ways, it is often a period which hockey fans do not look forward to. This is because the NHL takes a break every summer, so the league can reset for a new season. The good news for hockey fans is that the wait for the 2022/23 season to start is almost over!

With the first game scheduled for October 7th, 2022, there really is not much time now until the action begins again for another year. To make the time pass a little quicker until your favorite team is back on the ice, it can be fun to look ahead to the 2022/23 season. But what might we expect to happen?

Continue Reading »

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One Big Question

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

To help get you ready for the next few weeks -- as teams decide on which players make the roster, and how their lines, D pairings and goalie tandems will shake out -- here are the biggest lingering questions for each club, courtesy of Ryan S. Clark, Kristen Shilton and Greg Wyshynski.

from Kristen Shilton of ESPN,

Big question: How good will Detroit be with its new additions?

Red Wings' general manager Steve Yzerman came to slay this offseason. He signed Andrew Copp, Dominik Kubalik and David Perron up front, added Ben Chiarot to the blue line and Ville Husso to complement Alex Nedeljkovic in net. Yzerman also made his first head-coaching hire in Detroit, replacing Jeff Blashill with Derek Lalonde. The new bench boss has plenty of fresh talent to start with. Where will it all take the Red Wings?

Last season, it was Detroit's defensive deficiencies that stood out. The Red Wings allowed the second-most goals against in the league (3.78 per game) and the fifth-most shots (33.7). Addressing and improving that area will be critical from the outset for Lalonde, and the new guys should be an asset in doing so. Perron and Copp are both solid two-way players who will lead by example on the defensive side. Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin will also want a return to form in that area, after posting a 2.95 expected goals against in 2021-22.

Then there's Husso. He was a stud in the regular season for St. Louis last season and now has a chance to be Detroit's No. 1 in a tandem with Nedeljkovic. Detroit had a cumulative save percentage below .900 a year ago (Nedeljkovic was at .901) and Husso should push that number up. If he does, and if those other new players come out firing, Detroit could be flying high.

more teams

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Shuffling The Regional Sports Networks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Josh Kosman of the New York Post,

MLB, the NBA and the NHL may orchestrate a buyout of the nation’s dominant owner of regional sports TV networks, whose shaky finances pose an increasing threat to their teams, The Post has learned.

The trio of pro-sports leagues are expected to soon begin talks with Diamond Sports, which operates 21 regional Bally Sports networks that account for more than half the local broadcast markets around the country, sources close to the situation said.

A prospective deal is looming as Diamond — owned by Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group — has been hemorrhaging cash and could be headed for a possible bankruptcy filing if it doesn’t find a white knight in the coming months, the sources claimed.

Sinclair in early 2019 won an auction to buy Fox Sports Networks from 21st Century Fox for $10.6 billion, giving it exclusive rights to broadcast the games of 42 teams. These included 14 MLB teams like the St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Padres; 16 NBA teams including the Miami Heat; and 12 NHL teams including the Detroit Red Wings.


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

Addressing The Issues

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Yzerman is expected to address the media Wednesday in a pre-training camp address.

Here are 10 key issues facing the Wings as they begin camp and the exhibition season:

► Chemistry: A new head coach and new assistant coaches would be an adjustment in itself. But how quickly will the players adapt to the new schemes, new voices, just a new way of doing things? Then, add all the new arrivals and maybe some rookies surprisingly working into the lineup, and you have a big issue of blending all these players into a team. Lalonde, too, has never been a head coach in the NHL. There will be a lot of people getting familiar with one another.

► Team defense: One of the biggest tasks confronting Lalonde is improving a team defense that got progressively worse as the season wore on, and ranked 31st out of 32 teams. Players like Copp, Perron and Chiarot and Maatta, specifically, are noted for their defensive work and should improve the lineup that way. Betting goaltending will also keep more pucks out of the net. But expect the defensive end of the rink to be a main area to be worked upon.

► Joe Veleno: The 2018 first-round pick (30th overall) played 66 games last season but still didn't put his stamp on a regular spot in the lineup. With the influx of new faces among the forwards, and the fact Veleno can be sent down to Grand Rapids without waiver ramifications, Veleno has to have an impressive camp/exhibition season and earn a spot on the roster.

seven more topics...

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Tyler Bertuzzi May Be Able To Play In Canada

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

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Face To Face With The Media Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joshua Clipperton of the CP at Global News,

Now with the league set to embark on what’s hoped will be a normal season without interruption, reporters and television camera operators, recorders and notepads are expected to be back waiting by players’ stalls at the conclusion of practices and games.

The way it used to be – and the format moving forward – was news to Zegras.

“I didn’t even know that was a thing, if I’m being completely honest,” the outgoing 21-year-old said with a smile. “I just figured you go into that other (press conference room).

“That’ll be a nice wrinkle.”

A number of of the game’s stars shared their thoughts on locker rooms reopening to reporters at last week’s NHL/NHLPA player media tour just outside Las Vegas.

Some were excited at the shift back to the old rules.

“It’s great,” Winnipeg Jets centre Mark Scheifele said. “I’m a big face-to-face guy.”


Filed in: NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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