Kukla's Korner Hockey
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from Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
I have no problem with the Blues’ decision to trade forward T.J. Oshie to Washington for power forward Troy Brouwer plus a goaltending prospect and a third-round draft pick.
I never really understood Oshie’s elevated status here, and the star treatment that came with it. Not that this was all Oshie’s doing, but he personified the Blues’ celebrity culture, and the attitude of self-entitlement that permeated the locker room at times.
Oshie wasn’t the most disciplined player early in his Blues years. He matured off the ice but never reached his full potential as a player. The overrated Oshie had one 20-goal season here, missed nearly 20 percent of the Blues’ games over his seven seasons, never evolved into a leader, and fell into the shadows with teammates who vanished under extreme postseason pressure.
Though he dismissively plays it off now, Oshie criticized coach Ken Hitchcock late last season. This took some gall; I’ll give Oshie that. No one is saying that it’s easy to play for Hitchcock, but he did coach Dallas to a Stanley Cup and ranks fourth in NHL history for most career victories.
What has Oshie won?
At Monday’s city council meeting, Proctor City Counselor Travis White introduced two resolutions. The first included bringing an NHL franchise to Proctor, the second addressing the need to build a stadium for that franchise.
Back in May, White made a similar proposal, that time hoping to bring an NFL team to Proctor.
He said much of the skepticism surrounding that idea was followed up with suggestions that hockey would be a better fit for the area than football.
And then fate nearly fell into White's lap.
The Board of Governors and Commissioner of the NF(H)L announced that beginning Monday, July 6, through Monday, August 10 they will be accepting applications for an expansion team.
White says an NHL team would bring in tourism, revenue and create jobs, and most importantly, the fan base is already here.
“You look at Grand Forks, the University of North Dakota, their hockey team brings in about 11,600 fans to each home game, while the lowest NHL team brings in 11,200. That's part of the market for an NHL team up here,” explained White.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
We understand we set impressive new standards for back flipping last week — give Jim Benning a chance; he did what? GAWWWKKKK — but there was something about the cumulative effect of the Canucks’ moves that didn’t exactly inspire confidence.
There’s no need to recap them here. But, one after the other, it seems the team was either trading assets for 70 cents on the dollar or firing capable and devoted Canucks. It could be Benning is right in all his judgments. It could be this is the start of a newly imagined organization. But sitting here in July 2015, it’s hard to see where this is the start of anything except more disappointment.
Two things stand out after all the dust has settled. The four most influential positions in the hockey department now belong to Trevor Linden, Benning, John Weisbrod and T.C. Carling.
Of those four, Linden has held his position the longest.
There’s also something troubling about the construction of that front office. Loyalty is one thing but you wonder who’s going to stand up and say, “This is a bad idea. Let’s think about this.”
from Connor McDavid of Sportsnet,
There have been plenty of great players over the years, but what always separated them from the merely good one was their ability to sense the moment. The intelligence to know when it was time for a truly superior performance, and the wherewithal to be the best player on the ice that night — that’s what set the Gretzkys, Messiers, Lemieuxs and Crosbys apart.
Connor McDavid is not there yet, OK? No one is saying that he is.
But, in his first scrimmage as an Edmonton Oiler, with about 7,300 people who came out on a beautiful July evening solely to see him play a 4-on-4 game for 40 minutes, then 3-on-3 for another seven minutes, all McDavid did was score five goals. His team won 8-6.
It was, as his GM would say later, a “a 3-on-3, 4-on-4 no-hitter.” But there was one player who had the puck on a string, one player who emphatically showed that he was head and shoulders the most dynamic, highly-skilled player among the 31 prospects.
The stage, however small, was his and he owned it.
ARLINGTON, VA. – The Washington Capitals have re-signed center Evgeny Kuznetsov to a two-year, $6 million contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Kuznetsov, 23, earned 37 points (11 goals, 26 assists) in 80 games with Washington last season, marking the most points a Capitals rookie has registered in a season since John Carlson (37) in 2010-11. The 6’2”, 204-pound center also became the 13th rookie in franchise history to earn 25 assists in a season. Kuznetsov registered five multi-point games last season and scored on four consecutive shootout attempts in 2014-15, matching the longest streak in the NHL. He led all Capitals rookies in goals (11), assists (26), points (37) and games played (80) and ranked eighth among NHL rookies in assists (26) and ninth in points (37). Kuznetsov was selected by Washington in the first round, 26th overall, in the 2010 NHL Draft.
from Frank Seravalli of TSN,
Do you want to be the owner of an NHL expansion franchise?
If you and your buddies cobble together enough cash, you, too, could put in an application to own the league’s 31st or 32nd club.
You should probably have a sound financial plan in order, though. We’re not talking about beer money here.
The NHL began distribution of application materials for parties interested in expansion on Monday. They are due back to the league by August 10. The fee to apply for an expansion franchise is seven figures - north of $1 million U.S. - and only a portion is refundable.
On top of that, interested parties must demonstrate the ability to pay an expansion fee north of $500 million, prove the viability of their proposed market and evidence the availability of an arena for the team to call home.
Mike Heika, Dallas Stars beat writer when asked this question in an online chat today...
Which team in the West improved the most in the first 5 days of FA, and who took steps back? (cough STL)
Calgary is a team to be feared right now. Dougie Hamilton and Michael Frolik are big adds, and the team has plenty of young players getting better. The Blues are in a strange place, where the pressure will make them better or make them crack. But I think Vancouver is the team that could really slide this season.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
In reality, the NHL offseason is painfully short once you get through free agency, factor in development camps and count down the days to rookie camps.
That said, there's a lot of stuff percolating to keep hockey on the front burner as we head into the dog days of summer.
1. Will Steven Stamkos sign an extension?
Is there anyone who doesn't expect a long-term deal to get done to keep the Stanley Cup finalist Tampa Bay Lightning intertwined for the long haul with their dynamic captain, Steven Stamkos? OK, Leafs fans put your hands down. Still, the last thing general manager Steve Yzerman wants to do is have this become a "thing" by stretching it into training camp or beyond. Surely this will get done, but the longer it doesn't, the longer there will be rumblings that somehow Stamkos might consider an exit plan.
2. How will Mike Richards situation resolve itself?
The Los Angeles Kings are charting dangerous territory here by looking to dissolve Richards' contract rather than buy him out, especially as they continue to wait out Slava Voynov's situation in the face of domestic abuse charges. We get that it's a business, but the Kings' reputation, already on the rocks given the multiple off-ice issues in the past year, has the potential to take a real hit depending on how this plays out.
continue for 8 more topics...
BOSTON, MA - Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, July 6, that the club has signed forward Jimmy Hayes to a three-year contract through the 2017-18 season worth a cap figure of $2,300,000, forward Brett Connolly to a one-year contract through the 2015-16 season worth a cap figure of $1,025,000 at the NHL level and forward Brandon DeFazio to a one-year, two-way contract through the 2015-16 season worth a cap figure of $575,000 at the NHL level.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org