Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Who The Boston Bruins May Target At The Trade Deadline

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

While some Bruins fans might dream of the stars shipping Tyler Seguin back to the Hub, that’s not happening. But don’t rule out Sweeney and Gorton again swapping assets, as they did this time a year ago and then again on the eve of the new season when Adam McQuaid went down the Amtrak rails for Steven Kampfer.

All but assured they’ll miss the playoffs, the Rangers, in Boston Saturday with a 20-20-7 mark, likely will be active traders, which could mean McQuaid again will be on the move. He will be an unrestricted free agent July 1, and while his services have been appreciated on Broadway, he might bring back a mid-round draft pick and still be there to sign in July, if the Blueshirts so desire.

Two potential Rangers on the move who likely would be of greater interest for Sweeney: forwards Kevin Hayes, an ex-Boston College center, and Mats Zuccarello, a Norwegian right winger. Zuccarello is a proven scorer in the 55-60-point range with speed and a skill set that speak to an ideal fit for Krejci. Hayes, 6 feet 5 inches and 215 pounds, would be in a reduced role slotted behind Patrice Bergeron and Krejci, but his size and experience could help wring out more production from kids such as Danton Heinen and Ryan Donato. Like McQuaid, Hayes and Zuccarello are on course to be July 1 UFAs.

Elsewhere, the Hurricanes are said to be entertaining offers on ex-Flame Micheal Ferland, who came to Raleigh with Dougie Hamilton in the June 2018 swap that sent Noah Hanifin and Elias Lindholm to Calgary.

more plus other hockey topics...

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KK- Server Issue Today, Now Fixed

from my hosting service...

When attempting to reboot the server, we could see that an issue with the provisioning agent on the parent server is preventing the instance from rebooting.

We are currently working to resolve this issue and will update.

Sorry for the down time, at least it wasn't tonight.

Filed in: KK Website Business, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Different Views Of The CBA Talks

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

The current CBA is in place until 2022 but both sides have reopeners to terminate it this September. If either side does that and negotiations subsequently fail, we could be looking at a lockout in the fall of 2020.

The players want some relief from escrow payments they make on their salaries and want to keep generating new ways to grow hockey-related revenue. And there's no question they want a regular international calendar established that includes their participation in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The owners undoubtedly would like to push contract limits down from their current seven years for free agents and eight years for current players. Good luck to them on that front.

Still, as Bettman says, there's no contentious tone being set here. With the money being brought in by Vegas and another $650 million entering the coffers from Seattle, the industry has never had more money flowing. The salary cap is likely going to be pushing $90 million per team in the next few years, making plenty of money available to players as well.

The message here is simple: Figure it out. The CBA. The World Cup. The Olympics. All of it. The early words are encouraging and that's something unusual for the NHL given its history of negotiation with Bettman in charge the last 25 years.

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from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

This week’s failure by the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association to agree on keeping their collective agreement in place cast a big shadow on the prospects of avoiding another labour disruption by September, 2020.

This in turn threw a wrench into the major issue connected with this, the participation of NHL players in international events such as the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Unless you are a diehard fan of the World Cup of Hockey – and surely those are rare birds given how the event has only been held occasionally this century – this development was not a catastrophe, at least not yet.

But it does not bode well for labour peace in the NHL, even if both sides give the impression that they do not think there are any issues worth a strike or lockout.

continued

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

Be Wary Of ‘Tanks’

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

If you were laying out a blueprint for a tank job, you’d look at the model provided by the Buffalo Sabres over the last six seasons and think, “Yes. Genius.”

In that time, the Swordsmen have drafted first overall, eighth, eighth, second in back-to-back years, eighth and 12th. In two of those years, 2012 and 2013, they had two first-rounders, the lowest of which was 16th. They also had 12 second-rounders over that span.

The Sabres, in short, have been gifted resources of which the Canucks and every other NHL team could only dream. But here’s the cautionary tale provided by this franchise and everyone else who ventures down rebuild road. They haven’t made the playoffs in those six seasons, their highest point total is 81 and, in this, the seventh season of the rebuild, they currently sit in ninth place in the East.

I believe it was former Flint Generals coach Percy Shelley who wrote: “Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.”

continued

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What Arena Will Host The New York Islanders For The Playoffs?

from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,

It’s hard to exactly feel bad for the Islanders, as their situation is a making of their own past. So even with the fact that they are back on stable ground, from the top of ownership to the bottom of the on-ice product, the shockwave from decades of business failure still has not subsided.

That is why the NHL office, specifically the office of commissioner Gary Bettman, will be deciding where they might play home playoff games, The Backcheck has learned. The decision still has not been made, and won’t be until it’s necessary.

So there is no rush to make a declaration now and upset the fanbase. Because of course the fans want the games at the Coliseum, where the team has a distinct home-ice advantage. But of course the league wants the games at Barclays Center, where the potential for profits multiply substantially.

It’s a decision between money and competitiveness. We know how that turns out.

“When it’s time to make that decision, I’m sure we will be in contact with all relevant parties,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an email, “and a decision will be made that takes into account all of the relevant considerations.”

continued

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Connor McDavid Is Great, On The Other Hand The Edmonton Oilers Are Not

from Cathal Kelly of the Globe and Mail,

It’s still early days, but you are starting to get an ominous, Marcel Dionne feel from Connor McDavid’s career. His ability is undeniable. There is no serious argument over whether he is the best hockey player on the planet.

But McDavid, 22, has tied himself for the long term to a team that can’t figure it out. Some sports franchises couldn’t organize a two-car parade. Over the past decade, no one on the Edmonton Oilers' executive has a driver’s licence.

When Edmonton drafted McDavid three years ago, it was seen as a sort of architectural miracle – a club installing the foundation stone of their rebuild last.

From a personal-performance perspective, McDavid has lived up to his almost impossible promise – that he would be Bobby Orr- or Wayne Gretzky-good nearly from the off.

In return, the Oilers did the least helpful thing possible – go from being a very bad team with good future prospects to a middling one with none. They sit just outside the playoff picture, in no man’s land. Not good enough to matter; not bad enough to start again. Ask the Toronto Maple Leafs. They allowed themselves to be trapped there for the better part of 50 years.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: connor+mcdavid

Struggles Continue For William Nylander

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

William Nylander may not end up being the trailblazer we once thought he’d be.

For it’s hard to imagine any potential Group 2 free agent watching how these last few months have unfolded for the 22-year-old Swede and willingly choosing to skate a mile in his boots. It’s just been hard, plain and simple.

First the extended contract standoff with the Toronto Maple Leafs — which, for the sake of clarity, should be viewed just as much a failing of management as the player himself — and then the least productive stretch of hockey Nylander’s ever had.

And now, a stint on the fourth line during Friday’s 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers, which is about the last place Mike Babcock wants to put a talented winger who is pulling in more than $53,000 per day this season and due to receive an additional $8.3-million signing bonus on July 1.

“The bottom line is we don’t want Willy on the fourth line. We want Willy being a contributor for our hockey club,” said Babcock. “He’s an honest kid and usually puts in a good effort. He’ll continue to work at it. He’s never been through anything probably like this before, it’s tough catching up as you can see.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: william+nylander

The Arizona Coyotes Gain A Point To Remain In The Playoff Hunt

from Richard Morin of azcentral.com,

When NHL play wrapped up Friday night, the Coyotes found themselves still just four points out of a playoff spot despite earning just one of a possible two points in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday at Gila River Arena.

The Coyotes had a would-be tying goal disallowed early in the third period only to tie the game once again with just minutes left in regulation, but a Coyotes penalty in overtime led to a power-play winner for the Penguins in sudden-death overtime.

Still, the Coyotes keep pace in the wild card standings and took three of a possible four points from both the Penguins and San Jose Sharks in a brief, two-game homestand.

continued

Highlights of the game are below.

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

Thatcher Demko The Star In Vancouver’s Win Over Buffalo

from Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet,

A single credit short of a psychology degree, Thatcher Demko was told that he is still undefeated in the National Hockey League. The goalie-academic then pivoted in the Vancouver Canucks’ dressing room and touched the faux wood panelling behind him.

“Knock on wood,” he said. “Hopefully I play a couple more.”

Ah, so the psychologist, the man of the brain, is superstitious?

“No, not anymore,” he said. “I was very superstitious in college. But not in pro.”

Well, whatever he’s got going for him worked magnificently on Friday night when the 22-year-old NHL rookie made 36 saves in his first start this season and was easily the best Canuck when Vancouver beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 despite being out-skated and outplayed.

Including his free one-game trial last March during a fact-finding mission from the minors, the former Boston College star is now 2-0 as an NHL goalie.

continued

The game highlights are below.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: thatcher+demko

The New York Islanders Move Into First Place With A Win Over The Washington Capitals

from Andrew Gross of Newsday,

Barry Trotz waved to the adoring fans at Capital One Arena as they stood to applaud him, saluted the Capitals’ bench (with Alex Ovechkin leaning over to ask how he liked the video tribute) and then touched his heart during the first-period appreciation of his four seasons in Washington, culminating with the Stanley Cup celebration last June.

Then the Islanders put on a defensive clinic — keeping the shots to the outside and limiting the rebounds as a real homage to Trotz’s coaching skills — and beat Washington, 2-0, on Friday night to vault over the Capitals and into the Metropolitan Division lead.

“It was sort of an identity game for us,” said Trotz, who made his first return to Washington with the Isles. “We just talk about climbing. It just happens the Caps were the next team in front of us. Two weeks ago, we were talking about Buffalo and other teams like Montreal. I said just keep climbing and don’t look up. The guys have been good.”

The Islanders received third-period goals by Josh Bailey and Cal Clutterbuck and 19 saves from Thomas Greiss, who notched his second shutout of the season and 10th of his career.

Coupled with the Blue Jackets’ 4-1 loss to the visiting Canadiens, the Islanders are a point ahead of Columbus and Washington.

continued

Watch the game highlights below...

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

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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