KK Members Blog

KK Members Blog

Talent. Will. Want. Motivation. Chemistry.

01/05/2017 at 7:50am EST

Do teams that win have all of these traits? Some of them? A balance? No, this isn't rhetorical, I am actually asking. I am very interested to know. I haven't written a ton on Paul's site but for those who know I am a Red Wings fan a billion times infinity percent. I have started writing this right as the second period has ended with the Wings in Anaheim. I do my best to watch all Red Wings game as a hockey fan first and a Wings fan second. That never happens but I swear I try. So I watch this team and I see talent. Up and down the roster we have talent. Is it AHL talent? I do not think so but hey, I am very biased. So, let's save some time and talk about Will and Want.

Martin St. Louis Deserves Fans' Forgiveness as Tampa Bay Lightning Set to Retire His Number

10/10/2016 at 9:00am EDT

Former Tampa Bay Lightning forward Martin St. Louis will be the first player in franchise history to have his number retired, the team announced on Thursday.

St. Louis' number 26 will be raised to the rafters at Amalie Arena during a ceremony before a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets — a team coached by former Lightning bench boss John Tortorella — on Jan. 13, 2017.

As Lightning owner Jeff Vinik made the announcement over a conference call with the six-time All-Star, fan reaction began to pour out across the internet and social media. While many fans were excited to see the two-time Art Ross Trophy winner receive the honor, others were still upset with St. Louis for how his career with the Lightning came to an abrupt close when he was traded to the New York Rangers for Ryan Callahan on Mar. 5, 2014.

The circumstances surrounding the St. Louis trade, at least from some Lightning fans' points of view, was largely selfish. After being passed over by Team Canada general manager Steve Yzerman and his staff for the 2014 Winter Olympics, St. Louis was vocal about what he viewed as a snub from the roster and demanded a trade. The demand came as the Lightning were battling through the extended absence of an injured Steven Stamkos and fighting for a playoff berth.

5Hole Yahoo Fantasy Hockey League

09/13/2016 at 10:01am EDT

It's that time of year again! 5Hole Fantasy Hockey is back and ready for you to join its ranks. We have 5 openings in a 10 GM league, and as always, I would much prefer filling those with KK members than any random Yahoo riff raff.

Some of the league settings:

10 team Head to Head league
Live Draft on October 1, 2016 @ 9:00 PM (Start Time Subject To Change)
5 Max Aquisitions per week
3 Minimum weekly Goalie Appearances
All Trades Reviewed by League
Roster Add/Drop Deadline is Daily, and Changes Take Effect the Next Day
Positions: C, C, C, LW, LW, LW, RW, RW, RW, D, D, D, Util, Util, G, G, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, IR+, IR+, IR+
Scoring: G, A, +/-, PIM, PPP, SHP, GWG, Wins, SV%, SHO

All I ask of GMs is to please remain active throughout the season (Keep lineups active, answer trade requests in a timely manner, take care of IR and NA players). As stated above, we use a live draft, however you are able to submit a custom list for autodraft purposes if you are unable to be online at draft time.

If you are interested in joining the league, or have any questions regarding the details, please PM me or leave a comment and I will respond ASAP. Thanks for your consideration, and much appreciation to Paul for continuing to allow me to post this here.

Live Professional Hockey Available to Stream Today

08/16/2016 at 12:47pm EDT

The Champions Hockey Tournamnet opens today in multiple European cities. (fromerly known as the European Trophy, which was a fairer respesentation since all these teams are not champions)

48 teams, representing some of the oldest hockey clubs in the world, from 12 different leagues. With Liiga and the SHL accounting for 16 entrants.

There are a number of way to stream the events, The CHL gamecentre being the most official.

https://www.championshockeyleague.net/gamecentre

Marquette's Lakeview Arena (home to the real Hanson Bros.) a Kraft Hockeyville Finalist

04/24/2016 at 5:09pm EDT

Marquette’s (Mich.) Lakeview Arena is the Eastern U.S. Finalist to be named the 2016 Kraft Hockeyville arena (story here).

The winning arena has the chance to win $150,000 in upgrades, as well as an opportunity to host a preseason NHL game this September. The 48 hours of voting starts midnight tonight (Monday, April 25 at 12:00 through Tuesday, April 26 at 11:59).

Kraft Hockeyville has competing videos of the two finalists: Marquette's Lakeview and Rushmore, South Dakota's ThunderDome.

As you can see in the short videos, Marquette's rink is in dire need of repairs, while the relatively new rink in South Dakota (built in 1995) is busting at the seems and needs expansion. I'll let you decide which to vote for, but I'm all in for a new compressor, boards, glass and roof for Lakeview, the home rink for many years of my alma mater - Northern Michigan University. I wouldn't mind seeing the Red Wings play a pre-season game there either.

Notre Dame to Join Big Ten For Men's Hockey in 2017. What Now?

03/24/2016 at 9:21am EDT

Notre Dame announced on Wednesday that they have agreed to join the Big Ten conference for Mens Hockey in the 2017-18 season.

The FIghting Irish currently reside in Hockey East for men's hockey (where they joined after the dissolution of the CCHA), and as Chris Peters notes in the linked article on CBS Sports, travel has been an issue considering the Irish have to travel to New England for every conference road game. Joining their midwestern neighbors in the Big Ten probably makes a lot more sense for them in that regard, and it gives the struggling conference another good team. Peters also astutely notes that the presence of the Big Ten Network doesn't hurt either, both for exposure and revenue.

The Human Factor

02/29/2016 at 10:58pm EST

I don’t want to freak out anyone reading this but I am a human being. I am not a robot (or *bot* for you kids out there). I don’t have strings. I don’t get paid for my opinion although, in my opinion, I should. I am also a human male. Which, in general, means that if I am sitting in any kind of bar drinking any kind of ginger ale, I am watching the TV, commenting on any sport that is showing. For example, I was in Birmingham Michigan yesterday at a bar. I knew that the Red Wings were in Dallas and the Tigers were in Lakeland and the Lions were losing and the Pistons were playing a game soon. So I wasn’t looking around for Justin Verlander or Z. I was watching Golf and College Basketball. I like College Basketball but I have no emotional investment in any team that doesn’t have the word Michigan in it. And Golf? That’s the thing where they hit something and then walk after it right? But I watched it and I got into it. There was one drive where it landed near a bunch of people and this (I’m assuming) drunk girl tried to get the ball and was choke slammed into the green. Which actually means some polite lady asked her to back up a little.

It's OK

02/26/2016 at 10:56pm EST

Hello- How are you? I am fine. No, really. I am fine. I. Have. No. Twitches. Based. On. Anything. Red. Wings. Related. Background you ask? Well I am a four time Stanley Cup Champion. I have been to the playoffs 24 years in a row. I have won six conference Championships and the Presidents Trophy six times as well. What else? 16 Division Championships, Cool. March 26th 1997. Yea I was there, anything else you need to know about my background. Well I am 35 and have been a Red Wings fan since 1990. Was I a player or a coach or any part of the team during those years? No. The 19 people who are reading this understand. To be a Red Wings fan is to be......No not to be. It is life. I remember the Dead Wings. It wasn’t essential in my life at the time but I remember it. My first real memories are watching Steve Yzerman play on Play (Comcast Play?) Network. It was fuzzy. Maybe it was CBC. Rock 'em Sock 'em Hockey with Don Cherry. However, my first real emotion was 1995. The stupid lockout or strike or whatever. It sucked. I WANTED my Red Wings. I was 14. I got my wish and we destroyed the league. Awesome. And then we met the New Jersey Devils. Wow. 4 games, really? That was emotion to the 10th level. I won’t go through anything past '95 because once again, the 19 know it. When you fall in love with, well, anything at 14/15 it sticks with you for life. No matter how much it breaks your heart. Just ask the girl I was in love with at 15. I still talk to her even though she is married with three kids.

Happy 60th Amerks

01/09/2016 at 9:28am EST

Last night's game vesus the Hershey Bears celebrated 60 years of AHL in Rochester.

Kevin Oklobzija of the Democrat & Chronicle...

You can leave, but you can't forget. That's pretty much how it is for players who have worn the Rochester Americans sweater.

Not that they would want to let the memories fade, either.

Through 60 seasons of Amerks hockey, a multitude of special players have enjoyed truly special times.

Some came to town as first- or second-year pros and never left; Jim Hofford, Daryl Drader, Steve Langdon and Brian McKinnon still call the Rochester area home.

Others arrived later in their careers and kept signing contracts so they could stay, like Jody Gage and Chris Taylor.

The full story...

Your father fires your coach - Do you walk out with your teammates in protest? An open forum.

11/09/2015 at 5:16pm EST

As reported by The Malik Report and Puck Daddy there is a player revolt in Flint. The owner, apparently upset over his son's playing time, fired the entire the coaching staff immediately following an emotional come-from-behind victory. Included among the entire 24 player team roster who threw their jerseys on the floor of the front office symbolizing their united quitting of the the team was the owner's son.

Personally, I find the situation appalling, but apparently nepotism is fairly common in teenage sports and younger, as noted by KK members in the comments of the initial TMR report cited above. But what I find admirable is the owner's son is calling out his father's wish for special treatment by standing with his teammates. How many kids would have the courage to do that?

If you were in that same position, would you stand with your teammates and quit the team, or would you try to stay out of it and hope it all blew over quickly?

If you were on the team and your coach was just fired because of something like this, would you lead a revolt? Would you go along with the person or people who call for one?

What would you do? How would you handle a situation like this?

I'd like to think I would walk out with the team, regardless of potential consequences, that I'd have the courage to stand up for my coach(s). The person I am today would walk out with my team, that I can say for certain.

I yield the floor.

Is it time to eliminate hitting from the game?

11/02/2015 at 11:39am EST

With recent hits by Mark Stone and Dustin Byfuglien I think this is a good time to ask a question about body checking in general:

Should the NHL go back to the original rule?

In a recent Red Wings Broadcast Mickey Redmond pondered this very question. He spoke about eliminating the idea of finishing a check as most of those hits occur well after the puck has moved on and there is plenty of time to avoid the hitting the now puckless player. He stated the old rule was about separating the player from the puck, not simply throwing one's body around.

I searched for the NHL definition of a legal body check and found nothing. The NHL rule book is packed with infractions, but I could not find the official definition. I do remember hearing the definition ever since I became interested in the game, but I've never read the rule. I think that begs the question how can the NHL define an illegal hit if there is no definition of a legal one?

What was Once Old is New Again

09/28/2015 at 2:13pm EDT

Pittsburgh Penguins Slap Shot Remix Parody

My 2016 Team Canada

09/28/2015 at 1:11pm EDT

With less than one year until puck drop for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, I have decided to play every Canadian hockey fans favorite game: Creating Team Canada.

As per usual, the insane amount of depth in the Canadian system could assemble a “B” team that would contend for gold.
Therefore, I stuck to a formula: Like handed defenceman, Like handed wingers when possible, and a solid mix of offense, speed, special teams and grit.On the backend, I prefer good puck moving d-men that can also hold down the fort.

Ideally, I would have kept wingers on the wing and centers at center, but let’s face it; Canada’s depth at center make that impossible.

So here you have it, Canada’s 2016 World Cup of Hockey Squad:

Red Wings Prospect Tourney- View From the Cheap Seats

09/16/2015 at 5:09pm EDT

Well folks, I'm back from another entertaining Prospect Tourney in beautiful Traverse City. Gorgeous scenery, interesting people watching and ultra competitive hockey is the name of the game during the Red Wings yearly competition, and this time around was no different.

What was different this year, besides my wife, who is pregnant with our first, living in her own personal hell of being surrounded by wine and being able to drink exactly none of it, was some of the people we ran into around the rink. Family and friends of the prospects and staff alike were everywhere over the weekend, and we were lucky enough to spend some time with many of them. We were able to talk to Mrs. Blashill (Jeff's mother) while perusing the gift shop. We had the pleasure of watching a game with Dylan Larkin's mother, who gave us her insight into some of the pressure her son is dealing with since the draft. I came across Dan Hinote while waiting for the bathroom, and even though he was in enemy territory he was more than willing to talk hockey for a few. We even had the opportunity to watch the championship game with Evgeny Svechnikov's brother, who tried to tell us many things in heavily accented English, but mainly wanted us to know exactly how to pronounce his brother's name.

Now that the excitements over and my wife is busy thinking up ways to make me pay for her forced sobriety, I figured Id give my thoughts on some of the Wings prospects. These are just my personal rantings, so take them for what they're worth. You're mileage may vary.

5Hole Yahoo Fantasy Hockey League

09/07/2015 at 5:20pm EDT

It's that time of year again! 5Hole Fantasy Hockey is back and ready for you to join its ranks. We have 3 openings in a 10 GM league, and as always, I would much prefer filling those with KK members than any random Yahoo riff raff.

Some of the league settings:

  • 10 team Head to Head league
  • Live Draft on October 3, 2014 @ 7:00 (Start Time Subject To Change)
  • 5 Max Aquisitions per week
  • 3 Minimum weekly Goalie Appearances
  • All Trades Reviewed by League
  • Roster Add/Drop Deadline is Daily, and Changes Take Effect the Next Day
  • Positions: C, C, C, LW, LW, LW, RW, RW, RW, D, D, D, Util, Util, G, G, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, IR+, IR+, IR+
  • Scoring: G, A, +/-, PIM, PPP, SHP, GWG, Wins, SV%, SHO

All I ask of GMs is to please remain active throughout the season (Keep lineups active, answer trade requests in a timely manner, take care of IR and NA players). As stated above, we use a live draft, however you are able to submit a custom list for autodraft purposes if you are unable to be online at draft time.

If you are interested in joining the league, or have any questions regarding the details, please PM me or leave a comment and I will respond ASAP. Thanks for your consideration, and much appreciation to Paul for continuing to allow me to post this here.

European Teams Already on the Ice

08/29/2015 at 9:16am EDT

While much of the North American hockey news discusses off ice stories, Europe is alive with action.

The KHL kicked off its eight season on Monday the 24th with the opening day tradition of last year's finalists, remeeting to kick off the new season. CSKA took a 4 to 4 OT win over defending champion SKA.

There are four games on schedule today. en.khl.ru is the English language KHL site.

You can probably stream most games via onhockey.tv

The rest of Europe is participating in the Champions Hockey League (the morphed version of the European Hockey Trophy)

https://www.championshockeyleague.net/

Twelve different leagues/countries are represented, with plenty of games this weekend, and multiple ways to stream.

https://www.championshockeyleague.net/

Vegas, Seattle?

06/24/2015 at 5:51pm EDT

As someone who has lived in both these places, I feel I have a unique perspective worth sharing:

I moved to Las Vegas in '95 to play hockey, and, it seems equally absurd to me to place an NHL team there now as it did to play hockey there 20 years ago. I moved there straight out of high school and joined a league known as the WSHL, the Western States Hockey League. We referred to as Whatta S*$#%y Hockey League. It was junior, I don't think we even distinguished between A or B, but, it was decidedly B. We had fans in the single digits consisting mostly of our billet families.

Remembering Anatoly Tarasov - 20 Years Ago

06/24/2015 at 7:48am EDT

Twenty years ago yesterday, the legnedary Anatoly Tarasov passed from the hockey world.

Facebook post...

The Bing translation.

20 years ago the death of legendary Anatoliy Vladimirovich Tarasov. His contribution to the development of the domestic School of hockey is so huge that, so far, Tarasova remember and the players themselves, and of course, trainers. Under the direction of Anatoly Vladimirovich USSR national team nine times and won the World Championships (1963-1971) three times and became the champion of the Olympic Games (1964, 1968, 1972).

From the New York Times, 20 years ago.

Streaming coverage of Chicago Blackhawks Victory Parade.

06/18/2015 at 11:21am EDT

This link will allow you to view the vistory parade for the Hawks.

Or watch it below...

The Mighty Mite: Undersized, overlooked... and flat out dominant!

05/22/2015 at 3:53pm EDT

The Mighty Mite-

The undersized star that shouldn’t even be on the ice yet dominates play.

My introduction to this elusive player was none other than Theo Fleury. At 5’6” (some say that’s generious) Fleury could not be ignored as the undersized power forward. He was built like a semi truck with the speed and agility of a super car. In his prime he was the number one threat that had to be shut down in Calgary. Good luck with that. When he wasn’t scoring goals he was crushing players all over the ice. And when he got angry he may as well have been the Hulk’s Mini Me taking on players who towered over him and beating the living snot out of them. He was so memorable in my house that a conversation about jerseys turned into reminiscing about when Fleury’s jersey was too bloodied to allow him back on the ice after a cut. A fan volunteered to give him a team signed jersey to get back in the game. Fortunately the equipment manager found a spare jersey with another number on it and quickly added Fleury’s name to the back. I didn’t know number changes were legal during games, but the refs allowed it and back in he went.

What will Babcock do? Please place your predictions here!

05/18/2015 at 5:31pm EDT

Right.

I don't care about the circus, as entertaining as everyone has made it. I don't care about the result, as the Wings will survive and continue to rebuild into a contender regardless of Babcock's decision.

I do care about the record, and this everyone's chance to place your predictions. This is not a debate, merely the answer to a simple question

Is Babcock staying in Detroit?

For the record, I think Babcock has had his fun and will be re-signing with Detroit.

How about you?

Your team is out, the playoffs continue. Do you watch? An open forum.

04/30/2015 at 12:00pm EDT

I love hockey.

I love hockey no matter who is playing. I love this sport. I love anything to do with this sport because hockey truly is "the coolest game on ice." My team, the Red Wings, have exited the playoffs in the first round, again. Yet life goes on and so do the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

That's why I keep watching, no matter who is playing. I always have.

Sometimes I find a team to root for the rest of the way, or I already had another team I was watching and rooting for. Sometimes I dislike a team so I automatically root for the other one. Sometimes I'm going in with no reason to root for either team so I wait for one team to give me a reason to root against it. That inevitably happens, usually because of a goon, but sometimes because a player, coach or GM starts whining about something and makes me dislike them enough to want the team to lose. Sometimes a player catches my eye, or a line, or as I watch I like the entire team, so I root for them. Whatever reason develops, one always presents itself.

But the number one reason I keep watching? Simple: I love hockey. I always have, and I always will.

What do you do? Why?

Championships from Around the World - 2015

04/27/2015 at 4:59pm EDT

An annual post of Spring. Championships from around the world 2015.


The KHL Champion, SKA

Take Your Puck and Stay Home

04/14/2015 at 9:58am EDT

Canadian teams only! Go ahead use only Canadians, no dual citizenship. No First Nation Peoples,cmon Don Cherry don't be conflicted. Use only 100% pucks made from 100% home grown Canadian materials and that goes for sticks, ice making equipment and the tires on the Zamboni too.

Yep, sorry you can't. Mr. Zamboni is all American and has the patent too.

However, what this rant is really about is the Tampa Bay Lightning and their attempt to control people.

Sorry but please keep reading it does have some hockey content.

Remembering Don "Smokey" McLeod

03/18/2015 at 5:59pm EDT

From an era where goaltenders seemed more fee spirited than the current versions.

Don McLeod passed away a week ago today at the age of 68.

It could be argued, he was the first of the stickhandling goalies, the Calgary Sun article describes meoires of Smokey.

Don 'Smokey' McLeod remembered by former teammates

McLeod, who hailed from Trail, B.C., thus the nickname, won the Memorial Cup with the Edmonton Oil Kings in 1966, defeating Bobby Orr and the Oshawa Generals in the best-of-seven series.

He turned pro with the Detroit Red Wings organization, finally stepping into the NHL in 1970-71 before being claimed by the Philadelphia Flyers after that season and spending one year split between the big leagues and the minors.

He jumped to the WHA for its inaugural season, 1972-73, and the following year led the Houston Aeros, who featured Gordie Howe, to the Avco Cup championship, a year in which he was named the league’s top goalie and to the loop’s all-star team.

“One thing I know for sure is you don’t win a championship without a hot goalie, and he was darn good for our hockey club when we needed him,” said Mark Howe, Gordie’s son and a hall of famer who was part of the Aeros team as an 18-year-old rookie.

more from Randy Spartak

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