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Skill Will Be On Display In The Return To Play Stanley Cup Playoffs

from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,

Winning the Stanley Cup usually takes equal parts will and skill. It takes 16 victories to hoist the Cup, and normally teams are banged up heading into the tournament grind.

While the reformated, 24-team 2020 playoffs might lead to more games played by the champion, each team will enter the fray at nearly 100% health due to the season being shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic.  So, from the outset of this unusual proposed summer series, it will be more about skill than will.

“It’s a grind, right? The silver lining in this situation is that most teams are going to be virtually healthy. When does that happen?” said former Avalanche analyst Brian Engblom, now with the Tampa Bay Lightning. “You get a team like Columbus and Colorado, who both were severely nicked up in March. They had a lot of guys hurting. Look at Columbus. Seth Jones is healthy again. Without Seth Jones how much chance do you give Columbus?”...

Avs defenseman Ian Cole, a two-time Cup champion with the Pittsburgh Penguins, has remained in Denver during the COVID-19 crisis. He, too, is excited to begin the playoffs in an unprecedented format.

“You’re going to have every team at full health, for the most part,” Cole told The Post. “Obviously, there are some extended injuries that you can’t take into account, but you’re probably going to have the healthiest playoffs the NHL has ever seen, which could lead to a pretty awesome product.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Canadian Fans On No Playoff Hockey In Canada

from Jim Bronskill of the CP at the National Post,

It looks like hockey fans will be able to cheer on their favourite NHL team this summer but Canadians have issued a collective shrug about whether the Stanley Cup is hoisted on their home ice.

Less than one-quarter of those who took part in a recent survey said it was very important that a Canadian city be host to some of the playoffs.

The web survey, conducted by polling firm Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies, found 47 per cent thought it wasn’t important that the puck drop in a Canadian arena.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Broadcasts Of Games Will Look And Sound Different

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

If and when the NHL is able to return from COVID-19 and the current rioting, Commissioner Gary Bettman has promised hockey fans that you are going to watch the Stanley Cup playoffs on TV like you have never watched them before.

“You have to see what you can do that will be a little different. I mean, one of the things our head of events and content Steve Mayer is focusing on when it comes to playing without fans is ‘What do we do so the experience conveys itself well on television?’” said Bettman.

“The number of things we have to check the boxes on other than simply playing is off the charts.”

The NHL is planning the TV presentation with the network people with the idea that, if nothing else, empty-seat games provide opportunity.

There’s unlimited choice, for example, where to place the TV cameras and the number of them that you’d be able to use would be virtually unlimited.

Then there’s sound.


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

The Talk On The Return

from Emily Kaplan and Greg Wyshynski of ESPN,

As players, executives and fans continue to adjust to the new normal, we will provide updates every week, answering all the burning questions about the various angles of the NHL's relation to the pandemic. Although on-ice action remains on the shelf, there have been some intriguing developments since last week's update. Get caught up on it all here:

What have players and coaches been saying about the 'return to play' format?

Greg Wyshynski: The 24-team, conference-based "return to play" format that was approved by the NHL and the NHLPA last week is being treated by some as a necessary evil and by others as the best the two sides could create in a season truncated by a global pandemic.

"I don't think it was anyone's first choice. I think the first choice was that we finish the regular season," said Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher, whose team went from being outside the playoff race to the 12th seed in the East under the approved format. "But this was really the only opportunity that works for the league and the players, in the sense of giving everyone that opportunity and not taking it away from teams with 10 or 14 games left to go. Giving everyone in that mix a chance, and then giving teams like ourselves a second life."

read on for more answers and additional questions...

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

Screwed Again In Buffalo

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

The Buffalo Sabres have become quite proficient at shooting themselves in the foot. They buy bad players, hire mediocre managers and inexperienced coaches, fail to draft and develop effectively, and in general provide a negative working experience for their players.

Ryan O’Reilly could tell you something about that.

As an organization, the Sabres are right there with the worst in sports. They don’t need any help to be lousy.

Every once in a while, however, every 20 years or so, the NHL helps out anyway by putting the screws to the Western New York Swordsmen. We won’t go through the 1999 Stanley Cup final all over again, but Brett Hull’s got a ring and so do the rest of the Dallas Stars and the NHL still hasn’t explained successfully why that Cup-winning goal on Dominik Hasek counted.

This spring, it was like Gary Bettman’s front office suddenly realized they hadn’t taken a tire iron to the Sabres recently, and got to it. When the league announced that 24 of the 31 teams would possibly resume play in late July or early August, the Sabres weren’t among those invited.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Statement From The NHL

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Late Afternoon Line- Michael Farber

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman

Video- So Close

via the YouTube page of the HL,

Part 2 of some excruciatingly close moments from around the National Hockey League during the 2019-20 regular season.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Will Th NHL And NHLPA Find Even Ground?

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

We’re not suggesting that an MLB-type public squabble is going to break out during the NHL’s negotiations with the NHLPA as the parties attempt to craft a safe, sane and equitable way to put hockey’s 24-team tournament on the ice this summer, but no one should expect the players to simply roll over and accept Sixth Avenue’s wishes as dictates.

This is going to apply to the big stuff, as in: A) How to design protocols that protect the players’ health and safety as much as possible through training camp then through the tournament; B) How to craft regulations that allow players to have some reasonable sort of independence while bivouacked in a hub city for up to 10 weeks for those who make it to the finals; and, C) How to manage what will be a 2019-20 escrow burden of an additional 14 percent if the tournament is indeed played to completion.

But it is going to apply to some of the small print stuff, as well, and may I say right at the top that disagreement between the two sides does not automatically equate to the NHLPA being obstructionist, greedy or selfish in the midst of a pandemic that has shattered the continent’s ecosystem.

Always remember. It takes two sides to fight over money. It takes two sides to fight over regulations that are included in the CBA. Being “collaborative” is welcome if the effort is mutual. Being “collaborative” is the means to an end, not an endgame unto itself.

continued plus more topics...

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

Hockey Notes On A Saturday

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- I don’t care where the NHL games will be played. I don’t care which cities are hub cities. This gets way too much conversation. I want to see games. I’m fine with playoff hockey on August nights and maybe afternoons, no matter what the format is, no matter what city they play in.

- The highest paid forward on the Blue Jackets, Cam Atkinson, makes less money than William Nylander.

- It will be at least eight months, maybe more, before we see Drew Doughty play hockey again. If we can’t see him, maybe it would make sense for a national network to hire him for this apparent hockey comeback so we can at least hear him


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | 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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