Kukla's Korner Hockey
By Tim Dolan,
It all comes down to this; World Cup of Hockey host Canada will play Team Europe in a Best-of-Three format to determine the World Cup of Hockey Champion. Team Canada, a team that needed a big effort in the second and third periods against Russia, prevailed with a 5-3 victory in the semifinals. Brad Marchand scored two goals for the Canadian side, while Sidney Crosby added a goal and two assists. Team Canada’s opponent in the Finals, Team Europe, shocked Sweden, 3-2, in overtime. Tomas Tatar netted the game-winner in the extra period to emerge victorious. He was assisted by Mats Zuccarello and Anze Kopitar. Entering the Final series, fans should expect a home-ice advantage for the Canadian side, with all three games set to drop the puck in Toronto. Let’s take a look at how each contest is faring on the secondary ticket market, using information provided by TicketIQ.
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
With only days remaining in the World Cup of Hockey, National Hockey League players remain divided over how to split the event proceeds, with some players rejecting the idea of sharing money with those who didn’t play in the two-week tournament.
In the days leading up to the event, National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) staff travelled to World Cup team training camps and discussed the prospect of splitting the NHLPA’s share of the profits, two people familiar with the matter told TSN.
While the accounting on the World Cup probably won’t be finished for several months – meaning the NHLPA doesn’t yet know exactly how much money there will be to split between its members – NHLPA staff and players discussed the concept of 50 per cent of the union’s share of profits being split between players in the World Cup, with the other 50 per cent being split by NHL players not in the event.
As reported by TSN's Bob McKenzie, some players have bristled over how the World Cup proceeds should be split. An NHLPA spokesman declined to comment.
from Scott Cullen of TSN,
Here are some players that could be hard-pressed to match last year’s output:
Jaromir Jagr – It may be sacrilege to lower expectations for the 44-year-old workout warrior who was last year’s points-per-60 leader (minimum 500 5-on-5 minutes), but Jagr scored on 18.9% of his shots last season – his best rate since 1996-1997! As a result, the Panthers’ line of Jagr, Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau had an inflated on-ice shooting percentage, so all three could have some difficulty matching their outstanding 2015-2016 season and if one of them must be picked to have production fade, it might as well be the oldest player in the league coming off a near-miracle season.
Patrick Kane – It’s easy enough to look at Kane’s 106-point season in 2015-2016 and expect regression – his previous career-high was 88 points – but he also had points on 85.1% of the goals scored when he was on the ice at 5-on-5, after hovering in the 75-78% range for five seasons. He should still be one of the league’s top scorers, but expecting back-to-back 100-point seasons is a reach for anyone in the NHL right now.
read on for many more players...
added 2:38pm, below, press releas on Wayne Gretzky being named as the Centennial Ambassador
NEW YORK/TORONTO (Sept. 27, 2016) – With the incomparable Wayne Gretzky serving as the official ambassador, the National Hockey League will venerate its history, celebrate its present and anticipate its future with a year-long Centennial celebration in 2017.
The Centennial celebration will commence on January 1, 2017, in Toronto with the NHL Centennial Classic™ outdoor game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at BMO Field. It will witness the unveiling of the 100 Greatest NHL Players in history during All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles Jan 27-29. And it will visit every NHL market and dozens of other local hockey communities during a 12-month festival of events and content initiatives culminating with the anniversary of the League’s founding on Nov. 26 and first games on Dec. 19.
Gretzky, the League’s all-time leading scorer and holder of dozens of NHL records, will make appearances at various events throughout the calendar year in his role as Centennial Ambassador.
Commissioner Gary Bettman and Wayne Gretzky at a press conference to announce the NHL’s Centennial Anniversary plans.
The event in Toronto is expected to start at 2:00pm ET, watch the stream below...
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
There’s no doubt that the game is trending toward more speed and skill, and away from so-called grit and physicality (ask Team USA how John Tortorella’s throwback mid-90s-style team worked out in Toronto). The Hawks won the Stanley Cup three times with a team predicated on speed and skill, navigating their way past bigger, heavier teams with grace and finesse. And the slick-and-speedy Pittsburgh Penguins raced to the Stanley Cup this past spring. Just two years removed from their second Cup in three seasons, the lumbering Los Angeles Kings already look like hockey dinosaurs.
But NHL coaches aren’t about to unleash their players anytime soon. For all of his team’s skill and speed, Joel Quenneville still preaches defense first. It’s why talented but one-dimensional goal-scorers such as Brandon Pirri can never stick in Chicago. Babcock is one of the most defensive-minded coaches in the league, too, turning his ridiculously talented Canada team in Sochi into a remarkable — and borderline boring — defensive juggernaut that choked teams out in the neutral zone.
While fans and players love the end-to-end action, the NHL is all about “taking away time and space,” the favored catch-phrase of most coaches, who still cling to the “defense wins championships” model. And it’s worth noting that the only reason North America didn’t advance to the World Cup semifinals was a six-minute second-period stretch against Russia in which the young guns completely broke down defensively.
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
If Team Europe is ‘Cinderella’ as their World Cup fairy-tale run is being called, Canada is the Big Bad Wolf.
As they prepare to meet each other in the first game of their best-of-three final Tuesday, don’t expect a happy ending.
Yet even if the Euro pucksters are swept, which became a greater possibility when Marian Gaborik pulled out of the tournament Monday with a leg injury, it has been a pretty good story.
Almost a year to the day since Franz Reidl stood at the ACC with no team or hierarchy and said how great it would be for 200 million non-traditional hockey fans in Europe if his unknowns made some noise, they’ve now made it past the U.S., Czech Republic and Sweden.
“At the beginning, the belief was not there,” team president Reidl agreed. “It was all about (coming here), maybe having a couple of good games and c’est la vie. So now the impact is great. I’m receiving messages from small (hockey) countries; Georgia, Portugal, Mexico. The smaller nations have this hope that somebody can do with a united group what we did.”
Dustin Byfuglien on his World Cup experience and Jacob Trouba.
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