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UFAs Still Without Work

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

It’s Aug. 20th. Players are skating and getting in shape for National Hockey League training camps, which open on Sept. 11.

If your name is Daniel Winnik, P.A. Parenteau or Dennis Wideman, the deal your agent was hoping for hasn’t materialized. Now it’s a Professional Try Out, or nothing. Then there are the high-profile names, like Jaromir Jagr, Jarome Iginla and Shane Doan. Surely they wouldn’t stoop to attending a camp on a PTO….

Would they?

A delicious menu of unrestricted free agents remains, with some prime restricted free agents also unsigned late into August. Here is a look at some players without contracts, and what fate might befall them in the next month.

Top UFAs

Jaromir Jagr: You’d think someone would find room for Jagr’s 46 points, even if he does turn 46 in February. Maybe New Jersey, now that centre Travis Zajac is out long-term, will bring the big Czech back. We don’t see Jagr in a Canadian market, and we’re not sure a long playoff run and Stanley Cup hunt are his top priorities. Vegas? No chance. Still, he’s regular-season productive. And he’s still Jaromir Jagr. Somebody…? Anybody…?

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Five Day Road Trip Ends For The Vegas Golden Knights

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,

Remember that this is an expansion team within an expansion team. The media, social media and marketing folks came from different places and must come together to execute their game plan, not unlike the players, coaches and executives. This was a great bonding experience for them, as well as an outreach mission for the Golden Knights.

To this point, they had spent about 38 hours traveling 2,272 miles together on the bus since leaving Las Vegas on Monday, taking naps, watching movies, eating snacks, playing games. They'd been up before dawn at times. They'd eaten on the run at times. They'd checked in and out of a different place each day. They had worked hard, and they had also had fun seeing new places and getting to know each other better.

And they couldn't have been nicer and more welcoming to a writer from NHL.com who wasn't on the team, just along for the ride. I can't thank them enough.

Now it was time to go home to Las Vegas, for more hard work before the veterans report to training camp Sept. 14 and the regular season opens Oct. 6.

The bus pulled out for another seven-something-hour ride over another 430-something miles, and I stayed behind to write and fly home Sunday morning.

The hope is that they will make the Vegas Golden Knights Road Trip an annual thing, a tradition, not a one-timer before the inaugural season. I think I should cover it each year, because, you know, I have experience now and NHL.com needs to be on this story. Right, boss?

much more

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

The iBench System

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

During the 2017 playoffs, the first in which NHL teams used the iBench system, then-Pittsburgh assistant Rick Tocchet regularly used one of the team’s tablets in games to show Kessel what he, his teammates, and opposing penalty kills were doing on the power play. Coach Mike Sullivan does not believe it was a coincidence the Penguins scored on 20.5 percent of their power plays, or that Kessel led all playoff performers with 11 man-up points.

“The main areas where we probably gained the most use out of it was special teams, because you get immediate feedback,” the two-time Stanley Cup-winning coach said of the technology. “You can make subtle adjustments on the fly. In the playoffs, you might only get two power plays a game. So if you have the ability to make an adjustment that might lead to an opportunity to score or generate a scoring chance, that could be the difference between winning and losing.”

Just before the puck dropped on the playoffs, the NHL gave teams the green light to use iBench. It is a system powered by XOS Digital, the Wilmington-based company that provides video solutions to 25 NHL teams, including the Bruins. Based on the teams’ needs, iBench gave coaches like Tocchet and Sullivan any degree of video replay to show their players during TV timeouts or even while play was ongoing.

read on plus many more topic including a bridge deal may work best for the Bruins and David Pastrnak...

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

The Wrong Way To Build In Montreal

from Brendan Kelly of the Montreal Gazette,

When Bergevin signed Price to a long-term deal this summer, the Habs’ GM’s strategy was crystal clear. He’s hoping the Canadiens’ all-world netminder performs the kind of heroics he’s often showcased and bails out the middling team in front of him.

With Anahim Lake, B.C.’s most famous citizen signed through 2025-26 with an annual salary of US$10.5 million, the franchise’s next decade is going to be built around Price.

And that, in my humble opinion, is a big mistake. The big news in hockey this week was the Edmonton Oilers signing centreman Leon Draisaitl to an eight-year US$68 million deal. There was a lot of chatter about the fact that the Oilers are paying Draisaitl all this dough and will also be paying his teammate Connor McDavid a few Brinks truckloads of greenbacks (US$100 million over eight years) as well in the coming years.

But here is the $168-million question — would you rather have Draisaitl and McDavid locked-up to long-term deals or Price and Shea Weber? To ask the question is to answer it.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Mikko Koivu Statement On The Stabbing Attacks In Finland

About the attack....

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mikko+koivu

The Colorado Avalanche Will Have An Affiliated AHL Team Joining Them In Colorado

from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,

The Avalanche will announce an upgraded minor-league partnership with the Loveland-based Colorado Eagles next month, with the current ECHL team becoming the 31st American Hockey League franchise, according to two sources close to the situation.

Beginning with the 2018-19 season, the Avs’ top prospects and veterans on assignments will play for the Colorado Eagles out of the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland. The Budweiser Events Center seats 5,289 for hockey but likely will be renovated to accommodate larger crowds.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Bad In Colorado And Getting Good In Edmonton

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

When it all goes sour, no one remembers the flowery compliments, the strong words of commitment and belief.

That’s mostly because it was all hot air anyways, all public relations chatter designed to get people to buy tickets and invest their money and affections in the supposedly golden future of an NHL team.

Remember, for example, the words of Colorado executive Joe Sakic back in July 2013 when the Avalanche inked blue chip young forward Matt Duchene to a five-year, $30-million (U.S.) contract.

“Matt already is and will be a big part of our team’s nucleus for the long term,” said Sakic. “We all felt it was important to secure his rights.”

Well, four years later, the Avs are trying to get rid of him, and Duchene wants out. The team is terrible, and “locking up” the core of Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog (seven years, $39 million) and Nathan MacKinnon (seven years, $44.1 million) has led the Avs exactly nowhere....

The Oilers do appear set up better than any other Canadian team for a run at the Stanley Cup, and for those among us who would very much like to see the Cup back in Canada, this would be a fine thing indeed. At this point, after a quarter century of watching U.S. clubs from Carolina to California hoist the grand trophy, it hardly matters which of the seven Canadian teams manage to get the job done.

Both McDavid and Draisaitl are coming off terrific seasons. They might be Edmonton’s answer to Pittsburgh’s dynamic duo of Sidney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin. But the wealth they now have may change many things for them. Moreover, we live in an age when can’t just assess hockey players on their talent. You have to assess their impact on their team’s cap situation, among other factors.

more on both teams...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

All Glen Gulutzan

The Flames report for main camp in mid-September. Postmedia’s Wes Gilbertson caught up with Gulutzan as he enjoyed the final few days of his summer vacation for a Q&A about the upcoming season …

Wes Gilbertson: What’s this time of year like for a coach, knowing another season is just around the corner?

Glen Gulutzan: “Your mind is starting to shift gears a little bit — to getting back to the office — and you’re starting to get excited. I know I am, and I’ve talked to a few of the players in the last couple of days and I know they are too. I think everybody is excited to get back and get going. But I guard against gearing up too quick. This is where I kind of take time to re-charge my batteries. I know what the season looks like, I know the workload involved, so here I try to spend as much time with my family as I can and just re-charge.”

WG: What’s the big difference now, as you prepare for your second season in Calgary, compared to when you were introducing yourself at training camp last fall as the new guy?

GG: “I think the biggest difference for me, going into it now, is that we made mega changes to the style of play last year, as you know. The beginning was, ‘Is this going to work?’ but we just stayed with it. I think for me, coming into this season, I’m going to have 12 or 13 other guys — whatever we have returning — with me that are going to be saying, ‘Yeah, this is the way we do things.’ So we’ve put the markings on creating a little bit of a culture here, of what our expectations are. For me, laying all that groundwork isn’t as important now as making sure we’re refining things right away as we come in.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: glen+gulutzan

Video- Workout Time

A few of the 'name' players in the NHL putting in some work.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Two-Year Contract For Zemgus Girgensons And The Buffalo Sabres

BUFFALO, N.Y. (August 17, 2017) --- The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has signed forward Zemgus Girgensons to a two-year contract with an average annual value (AAV) of $1.6 million.

Girgensons (6’2”, 200 lbs., 1/5/1994) will enter his fifth season as a member of the Sabres in 2017-18 after the team selected him in the first round (14th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft. In his first four NHL seasons, the Riga, Latvia native has totaled 86 points (37+49) and 77 penalty minutes in 277 games.

The forward, who has appeared in at least 61 games in each of his four NHL seasons, set a new career high with 75 games played in 2016-17 after signing a one-year extension in September 2016.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: zemgus+girgensons

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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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