Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Monday that the club has signed forward Shawn Matthias to a one-year contract.
Matthias, 27, skated with the Vancouver Canucks last season and finished tied for third in goals scored (18) while collecting a total of 27 points (18-9-27) and 16 penalty minutes. The Mississauga, Ontario native has appeared in 408 career NHL games between Vancouver and the Florida Panthers and has collected 131 points (69 goals, 62 assists) to go along with 137 penalty minutes. Matthias was originally drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the second round (47th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
It helps that the Jets have a decent economy, new building and well-heeled bosses with an appreciation for the long term. “We have an ownership group that is extremely committed to doing things the right way,” Cheveldayoff said. “From Day 1, they’ve viewed drafting and developing as an investment, not as an expense. When you get into the boardroom and start dealing with budgets and things like that, the easiest thing to cut is something you don’t see. You barely see the amateur scouts because they’re on the road all the time and it’s an easy cut. But in that aspect, we’ve never been shortchanged.”
Everything is set for the Jets to have a future full of serious Stanley Cup runs. With a management team that has finally begun to address the present, while keeping an eye to the future, the Jets are on the precipice of something special.
We’re predicting a Stanley Cup in 2019. After all, when you’ve waited as long as Winnipeg has to get your team back, what’s a couple more years to bide your time for the top prize?
from Terry Frei of The Denver Post,
Last week, word came that the Buffalo Sabres signed former Avalanche forward Ryan O'Reilly to a seven-year, $52.5 million contract extension that kicks in after he make $6.2 million this season and takes him through 2022-23. The deal calls for him to make $11 million in 2016-17 and slide down to $6 million in each of the final four years. The annual cap hit is $7.5 million.
O'Reilly is respected for his work ethic, which stacks up with that of anyone in the NHL. Fans, media and, most important, the Avalanche "got" that his contributions go far beyond the simply quantifiable. (No, I'm not stooping to citing analytics, but offering conclusions reached by actually watching him play.) Yet the virtually universal reaction to his departure has been: Good riddance. I'm not sure I've ever seen a player so respected told so universally to not let the door hit him on the way out....
O'Reilly already had been inordinately rewarded for his contributions. The salary benchmark was raised when the Calgary Flames signed him to an offer sheet — that involved organizational spite as much as coldhearted evaluation — but the Avalanche willingly went along with it by matching and then reaching a two-year, $12 million deal with him last year minutes in advance of an arbitration heading.
The Avalanche finally had enough.
"I really don't know what to tell you, [Matt Beleskey] has had one good year. Was it a great year? No. This reminds me in some ways of Marty Lapointe, when they gave Marty Lapointe five years, $25 million and were expecting a whole lot of Marty and he was a 'C' player. I hope this guy is a 'B' player."
-Kevin Paul Dupont via CSNNE where you can read more from Dupont.
from David Staples of the Edmonton Journal,
This just in from Toronto Star columnist Bruce Arthur from TSN’s The Reporters, a suggestion that the Edmonton Oilers can’t count on new acquisition Cam Talbot, so should have offered up Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in a trade for Boston goalie Tuukka Rask.
Here’s how the conversation played out as the sportswriters described the key moves at the NHL trade deadline:
Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons: “I like the move that sends Cam Talbot to Edmonton. Edmonton is now Canada’s team. They’ve become that. Connor McDavid is going there. Peter Chiarelli is there. (Todd) McLellan is there. They’re putting all the pieces in place. They had to trade for Talbot in New York. We don’t know what it’s like to go from playing behind one of the best defences in the NHL to playing behind one of the worst, but we’re going to find that out. We’re going to find out whether this guy is real or whether he’s not. Because if Edmonton has real goaltending, they’ve got chance to do some business.”
“That’s a lot of pressure in Cam Tablbot,” countered Arthur. “We don’t know what he is really. He doesn’t have a huge NHL resume. If I was the Oilers, I would have called Boston, I would have said, ‘How much for Tuukka Rask?’ If it’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, I’d do it. Because that’s one of the five goaltenders you can depend on year after year. Cam Talbot? They’re panning for gold a little bit. But the pressure is on Edmonton to produce while Connor McDavid is on an Entry Level Contract.”
Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated added:
from Chris Hine of the Chicago Tribune,
When it comes to handling concussions, the NHL is miles behind the NFL — hardly the model on the issue. In the NFL, there is an independent injury spotter in the press box at every game, looking out for head injuries. If a spotter suspects one, he or she informs the team doctor and athletic trainers, who examine the player with an independent doctor present. And if a player is diagnosed with a concussion, an independent physician must clear him before the player returns to the field.
The key word there is independent. It doesn't appear in the NHL's protocol.
The NHL puts concussion diagnosis and return-to-play protocols solely in the hands of its teams and team physicians. This creates a conflict of interest for the team doctor and the player, who might appear weak to fellow teammates if he reports an injury. A heavy onus is on the player to report his symptoms to doctors, which is laughable given the backward macho culture that requires players to play through everything and teams to reveal nothing about injuries, especially in the playoffs.
TORONTO (July 5, 2015) – Twenty-three players have elected Salary Arbitration:
via the Toronto Maple Leafs,
The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Sunday that the club has signed forward Nazem Kadri to a one-year contract extension.
Kadri, 24, finished fourth among Maple Leaf skaters in scoring last season with 39 points (18 goals, 21 assists) in 73 regular season games. The London, Ontario native has appeared in 250 career NHL games – all with Toronto – and has collected 152 points (64 goals, 88 assists) to go along with 134 penalty minutes. Kadri was originally drafted by the Maple Leafs in the first round (7th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
from Jay Greenberg of PhiladelphiaFlyers.com,
... the Flyers have to make up the 14 points by which they missed the playoffs a year ago. Improvement is going to have to come from within, and here are the means by which it has to happen:
Heed The New Sheriff:
There would not have been a coaching change if Hextall had not felt a lot of young Flyers underachieved a year ago. These were mostly the same players who gave them seven 20-goal scorers in 2012-13, so talent unrealized in 2014-15 has to be realized again to 2015-16.
Dave Hakstol will get more out of some players than Craig Berube did. That’s inevitable in almost any coaching change and hopefully this one specifically raises the production of Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier, players that the organization remains committed to building around. But their usage has to change in some way to unlock more. That could mean linemates, roles, or ice time.
Prioritize Find A Center For:
Wayne Simmonds - Only 14 of his 28 goals a year ago were scored at even-strength, a waste of a big body with a finishing touch. There is ample evidence that Sam Gagner, who was the sixth player taken in a draft on his playmaking ability, has been much more comfortable at center than on the wing,
Could he be this year’s Michael Del Zotto, a lost soul reclaimed with a regular role and a fresh start? Perhaps, but Gagner can’t be a round peg in a square hole, which too often has been the case with Vinny Lecavalier during his two seasons in Philadelphia. The reality is that more of the organization’s future is invested in getting Schenn’s career on the upswing again, which is apparently why Hextall says the Flyers will go to camp thinking Gagner as a winger. But everything is subject to change.
from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,
Everyone knows Kings Coach Darryl Sutter loves to play youngsters. That is sarcasm — but Sutter might have no choice.
General Manager Dean Lombardi has noted that the Kings don't have a lot of cap space to make a big move, which is why they weren't able to keep "rental defenseman" Andrej Sekera, who went to the Edmonton Oilers for a six-year, $33-million deal, or veteran Justin Williams. The forward went to the Eastern Conference, joining the Washington Capitals for a two-year deal worth $6.5 million.
There are two problematic issues for the Kings, the first concerning center Mike Richards, whose contract has been terminated by the club. But the expectation is that the NHL Players' Assn. will appeal that move. Until the matter is resolved, the Kings won't know their options for sure. If worst came to worst, they could always put him in the minors indefinitely.
Equally problematic is the situation revolving around defenseman Slava Voynov. After pleading no contest to a misdemeanor in the wake of a domestic violence charge, Voynov has been sentenced to 90 days in jail, meaning there is a chance he could still be unavailable as the Kings prepare to start their regular season Oct. 7 against the San Jose Sharks.
Complicating matters, he is still recovering from surgery for a torn Achilles' tendon and the league still needs to conduct its investigation into the domestic violence incident.
So the uncertainty over the futures of Voynov and Richards will keep the Kings in limbo for the foreseeable future.
more on the Kings...
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 email@example.com