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Questions About The Edmonton Oilers

from Derek Van Diest at NHL.com,

There are a number of factors that will determine the Oilers' fortunes. Here are the three biggest questions for Edmonton heading into the season:

Will Connor McDavid live up to expectations? Not since Sidney Crosby has a player garnered as much attention entering the NHL. McDavid is considered a generational talent, and the focus heading into his rookie season will be on his offensive production. Crosby had 39 goals and 102 points as a rookie with the Pittsburgh Penguins, which might be lofty goals for McDavid.

"My expectations on myself exceed any of those put on me," McDavid said at the draft. "It's something I can't really worry about. Just have to worry about making sure I'm playing my game and doing all that. If I'm meeting my expectations, chances are I'll meet yours as well."

McDavid will have a strong supporting cast, including No. 1 picks Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov, which should take some pressure off him.

more

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Marcus Johansson awarded 1-year, $3.75 million contract

From the Washington Capitals:

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  Tags: marcus+johansson, washington+capitals

On A First Name Basis

from Sports Illustrated,

This inspired us to look at the most common and distinctive monikers in the NHL by generation, starting with team rosters as of the summer of 2015 and working our way back in 30-year intervals to the old tyme hockey days of 1925. The results were indeed revealing.

Although some names such as Mike, Dave, Bill and Bob have remained common, there have been distinct trends through the years. For example, you don't see many Gords, Dicks, Cecils or Wilfreds these days, but there are more Ryans, Jakes, Tylers and Brandons. And based on this year’s most popular names for babies, we’ll likely see more Liams, Noahs, Masons, Ethans and Logans skating around NHL rinks in coming years. Meanwhile the league’ ubiquitous nicknames of yore have given way to initials (P.K., T.J. etc.).

NOTE: For the sake of our tabulations, variations of a name (e.g. Mark/Marc/Marcus, Jon/John/Johnny, Nick/Nicholas/Nicklas) were lumped together. We’ve also included a nod to European, Scandavian and Russian players for they too provide a glimpse into the NHL's ever-changing demographics.

2015

TOP FIVE: Mike (26), John (25), Mark (22), Matt (21), Ryan (20)

PLUS/MINUS: John (+12), Matt (+21) and Ryan (+19) replaced Dave, Bob and Rich/Rick in the top five from 1984-85 when three Mats (Naslund, Hallin, Thelin) but no Matts or Matthews, and one Ryan (Walter), played in the NHL. In the iconic first names department, there is now one Wayne (Simmonds) and one Sid (Crosby) on NHL rosters but no Mario or Gordie. 

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Jack Campbell On His Workout Routine In Port Huron

from Paul Costanzo of the Times Herald,

Jack Campbell is entering a “prove-it” year with the Dallas Stars organization. So to prepare, he came home.

“I love being back home in Port Huron, it just helps my mind so much,” Campbell said. “It’s so relaxing. I’m never in a rush. I’m just kind of hanging out and enjoying the beautiful scenery, so it’s good.”

The 23-year-old goaltender said he’s spent more time in Port Huron this summer than he has since 2010, the summer before his first Ontario Hockey League season in Windsor. It’s not just about relaxing, either. He’s teamed back up with strength and conditioning coach Mike Pearson to prepare for the Stars training camp, which begins on Sept. 19.

“Every time I come out here, I’m getting stronger, faster, more flexible,” Campbell said. “I’ve been really working on my body this summer. More importantly, I come out and work with coach because it really helps my mind. I’ve never felt more at ease and confident at the same time. It’s been a great summer.”

continued

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  Tags: jack+campbell

South Korea’s Hockey Team In A Tough Group In The Olympics

from the Korea Times,

When it makes its Winter Olympic debut in men’s hockey in 2018 on home ice, South Korea will have to take on powerhouses Canada and the Czech Republic in the group stage.

Most hockey observers won’t give South Korea even a puncher’s chance, but count Rene Fasel, president of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), as among the more optimistic ones.

“I have a good feeling,” Fasel told Yonhap News Agency on Thursday in Kuala Lumpur, where he will attend the 128th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session as a member of its Executive Board. The IOC on Friday will vote on the host of the 2022 Winter Olympics between Beijing and Almaty.

“In sports, you never know. I think they will be competitive,” Fasel added. “We will help Korea the best we can (so) that they can have a competitive team.”

South Korea was awarded a spot in the men’s tournament as the host nation, with the eastern alpine town of PyeongChang set to stage the country’s first Winter Games. The IIHF seeds countries based on the final 2015 rankings, and the 23rd-ranked South Korea ended up with No. 1-ranked Canada, No. 6 Czech Republic and No. 7 Switzerland in Group A....

The IIHF is “still working” to make sure the world’s top professionals will be in PyeongChang, Fasel said.

“The Olympics are the best stage for promoting our sport,” he added. “I really expect and hope the NHL will be there.”

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Mike RIchards still being investigated by RCMP regarding drug charges

From TSN's Frank Seravali:

One month after the Los Angeles Kings terminated the contract of forward Mike Richards, no charges have been laid and the NHL Players’ Association has yet to make a decision on whether to file a grievance on the matter.

Sgt. Bert Paquet, a spokesman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Manitoba, said Thursday there is “still an active investigation” into Richards.

According to a Winnipeg Sun report from June 30, Richards is “under investigation for alleged possession of a restricted substance while attempting to cross the Canada-U.S. border." The Sun reported a man was “held in custody … for at least four hours after allegedly trying to import” prescription painkiller OxyContin on June 17.

The Kings placed Richards on unconditional waivers on June 28, then moved to terminate his contract on June 29, citing a “material breach.” They have yet to discuss the grounds for terminating his contract.

In the month since then, the NHLPA has continued to gather facts and information, but has yet to decide on filing a grievance. Richards and the NHLPA have 60 days to file a grievance contesting the termination, or until Aug. 29. Whether charges are laid could impact the NHLPA decision to move forward with a grievance.

“There is no guarantee charges will be laid,” Paquet, the RCMP spokesman, said. “There has been a lot of interest in this case. If charges were laid, we would likely announce the information publicly.”

Continued...

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  Tags: los+angeles+kings, mike+richards, nhlpa

The 2022 Winter Olympics Will Be Held In Beijing, China

from IIHF.com,

The International Olympic Committee has awarded the 2022 Olympic Winter Games to Beijing, China, and the 2020 Youth Olympic Winter Games to Lausanne, Switzerland.

Both event hosts were decided during the 128th IOC Session held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Beijing beat out the other bid from Almaty, Kazakhstan, by a close vote of 44-40.

"I congratulate Beijing on becoming the first city to host both a Summer and Winter Games, and congratulations to Almaty for putting forth an excellent bid," said IIHF President and IOC Executive Board member René Fasel.

"Both bids were very strong but I am happy to see Beijing as the 2022 host because it gives the IIHF a great platform to promote the sport of ice hockey in Asia. Now with the next two Winter Olympics taking place in Korea and China, we have a tremendous opportunity to open up new horizons for our sport and to showcase ice hockey to a new generation.” ...

An IIHF member since 1963, the status of China’s ice hockey teams regarding automatic host qualification is still to be determined. The men’s team has yet to qualify for an Olympic tournament, but the women’s team participated in three Winter Games in 1998, 2002, and most recently Vancouver 2010. The nation’s best result came in Nagano 1998, when the team put up big wins over Japan and Sweden in the first round, but ultimately lost 4-1 to Finland in the bronze medal game and finished in fourth place.

China’s men’s national team is 38th in the IIHF World Ranking, while the women’s team is 16th. 

more

In case you are wondering, Beijing, China is 12 hours ahead of EST.

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Deposition Day For Gary Bettman

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will be in the hot seat today.

Bettman will be surrounded by lawyers acting for players suing the league over concussions suffered while playing, who will be asking him all about what he and the league know or believe about repeated head trauma, and what he did or didn’t do to protect those players.

Bettman’s deposition promises to be the most significant development so far in the concussion lawsuit that is plodding its way through the U.S. legal system.

Like all that have been deposed before him — including Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan — Bettman’s testimony about what he knew and what the league knew about the effect of repeated head trauma on players will be sealed, hidden from public scrutiny.

U.S. district court judge Susan Nelson will rule — perhaps before NHL training camps begin in September — whether to unseal the depositions to allow the public to know fully what both sides have been arguing.

continued

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The Vancouver Canucks Took Advantage Of The Cap Issues In Pittsburgh

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,

When the Vancouver Canucks were able to augment their centre position through the Brandon Sutter trade this week, they hit upon one of the proven formulas of improving a team in the NHL.

The difficulty in pulling this off more often, of course, is getting yourself into the right position and then finding a team which has the assets you covet, and having stumbled into same the position the Pittsburgh Penguins found themselves in before this trade.

Positioning yourself to take advantage of teams that are over the salary cap and must pare down before the start of the season is something the Canucks have done successfully in the past, and other teams as well have found this a winning formula.

After all, when you are making a trade with a team that has to make a trade, the odds are very much in your favour that success will be forthcoming.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Arizona Coyotes Are “Kicking Tires” Of Potential Roster Players

from Sarah McLellan of azcentral,

The Coyotes still have a few items left on their wist list -- namely a puck-moving defenseman -- but General Manager Don Maloney doubts any more changes will hit the roster before it is set to debut at training camp in the fall.

"There are still a lot of players out there," Maloney said Thursday. "If anything, I can see maybe some tryouts coming our way. The good thing for us we still have roster flexibility. We have some payroll flexibility, but I'm just adamant not to shore up a roster with any more one-way contracts unless it's a very good deal."

After watching the talent brewing in the pipeline at the team's prospect development camp earlier this month, team brass is eager to see how many youngsters can legitimately contend for a job in the NHL. If the candidates become slim, the team isn't opposed to exploring outside options at that point.

But the possibility of prospects competing for roster spots is enticing; actually, despite also coveting another winger, Maloney said he'd probably rather add a mobile defenseman instead of a winger because of the exciting youth currently in the team's forward group.

Even so, the Coyotes are still keeping a pulse on the market.

"We're still talking, more kicking tires," Maloney said.

continued

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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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