Kukla's Korner Hockey
“I don’t know if I’m in the minority, but I’m hesitant; there’s no accountability for these random people making these predictions the cap is going to be $80 million. I might be wrong. I think there’s folly. There’s so many factors that go into the salary cap.
“Because there’s a new television deal, I’m not going to assume it’s going to be $80 million. I don’t operate that way. If you base your assumptions on predictions and you’re wrong, I can’t say, ‘They said it was going to be $80 million.’ I’m going to wait to see where it goes. I think it’s safe to say it’s going to go up. It’s think it’s a little bit irresponsible to say where it’s going to be unless you have intricate knowledge of the cap.”
-Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman on the future of the salary cap. Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago has more from Bowman on the cap in regards to siging Toews and Kane.
from Christopher Botta of SportsBusiness Daily,
A look at the past week in the NHL and a glimpse at what’s ahead:
• The Numbers
104,173: That’s the Guinness World Records-certified attendance mark for a hockey game the NHL hopes to top at Michigan Stadium for the Winter Classic between Detroit and Toronto. The league office will be working with Guinness staff to verify the more than 106,000 fans they believe will attend the Jan. 1 game. The current record also was established at Michigan Stadium, for the “Big Chill at the Big House” between Michigan and Michigan State on Dec. 11, 2010.
2: As in, are two games too many for Yankee Stadium? Tickets went on sale two weeks ago, and plenty of seats remain available for the pair of games at Yankee Stadium during Super Bowl week that make up part of the NHL’s Coors Light Stadium Series. The Rangers play the Devils on Jan. 26 and the Islanders on Jan. 29. One challenge could be team performance: The Islanders are in last place in the Metropolitan Division, while the Rangers and Devils have hovered around the .500 mark so far this season. High prices also could be a problem: As of Wednesday night, it was not difficult to find eight seats together via Ticketmaster in the $198, $238, $288 and $308 price ranges for the Islanders-Rangers game.
from the IIHF,
With two months to go until the opening ceremony of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, representatives of the International Ice Hockey Federation, the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association held a site visit in the Russian city on the Black Sea.
While there are still some diggers and cranes in and around the Olympic Park, they are mostly there to work on the final details and roads....
In total five ice sheets will be used for ice hockey. The Bolshoy Ice Dome, which includes 12 dressing rooms, an entry for bigger vehicles such as busses and a ring road under its roof, has a practice rink that was also used for local kids during the site visit. For many of them it is their first ever hockey season since there haven’t been ice rinks before in the city that used to be known mainly as a summer resort.
Just across the Shayba Arena, a third hockey building includes two practice sheets that will be used by the hockey teams at the Olympics.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Back to the season opener -- which happened to coincide with Seth's 19th birthday -- when Amy found a fridge magnet shaped like a beer and presented it to Seth because he's not of legal age to drink.
"He didn't think that was very funny," Amy admitted and Seth offered merely another rueful shake of his head.
There is an easiness between mother and son, and while she admits to tearing up at emotional moments -- like discussing Seth's departure for Ann Arbor when he was just turning 16 -- she is quick to laugh as they discuss Seth's seeming inability recall any or many of the events in his past. There is good-natured debate at what age he was when certain things happened, which teams he played for, the order in which things have unfolded. Seth makes a point of noting that although some reports have had him doing figure skating before he started playing organized hockey, he learned from a skating instructor who was a figure skater, a subtle distinction perhaps but one about which Seth feels strongly.
"I did not figure skate," Seth said.
Regardless, he learned very quickly the nuances of the game and Amy recalled parents and coaches talking in awe about his skating ability when Seth was just six. Ask Nashville GM David Poile about how this has all unfolded, from the moment he realized at the draft they were going to get a chance at whom they had ranked as the top player available in the draft, to his play, to the fact his mother has moved to the area to be with Seth, and well, it could hardly have worked out better.
“When you hit rock bottom and work your way back up, it makes you appreciate what you have. I’ve gone through so much to get to here and worked so hard to get to this point. You don’t want to waste your second chance.”
-Steve Mason of the Philadelphia Flyers. Much more from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo.
CROSBY REACHES MILESTONE, LIFTS PENGUINS OVER SHARKS
Playing in his 500th NHL game, captain Sidney Crosby recorded a trio of assists to lift the Penguins to their fifth consecutive victory overall and fifth straight win at CONSOL Energy Center. Crosby has 253-453—706, including 31 game-winning goals, in his NHL career. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the sixth-highest point total by any player in League history through his first 500 regular-season games:
MOST POINTS IN FIRST 500 GAMES, NHL HISTORY
1. Wayne Gretzky: 1,186
2. Mario Lemieux: 971
3. Peter Stastny: 759
4. Mike Bossy: 757
5. Jari Kurri: 730
6. Sidney Crosby: 706
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
The cities change, the arenas and the opponents change, but the Islanders' inability to play well on the road has stayed constant.
The Islanders allowed the game's final four goals in a 5-1 loss to the Blues, the Isles' eighth straight loss away from home (all in regulation) and their eighth straight game without a win (0-6-2).
"There should be some pride in here," John Tavares said after another exasperating night dropped the Islanders to 8-16-5, the furthest they have been below .500 since finishing the 2010-11 season at 30-39-13.
"We need to have a lot more pride," Tavares said. "You're playing in the NHL . . . We proved a lot last year, but that doesn't mean you're going to just keep climbing. We're not earning it."
Craig Custance of ESPN answers some email...
Where do you suppose the Kane and Toews deals come in at next summer money wise? Stan Bowman has done a good job of getting guys to take a tad less money to stay in/on a good situation/city/roster in Chicago. Also, if Kane and Toews do want to break the bank, does that screw the up the whole plan?
Great question. I recently went to Chicago to chat with both of them and they talk about their next contract at length in the next ESPN The Magazine. Make sure to grab a copy when it hits newsstands. But it’s a fascinating negotiation.
One of things we talked about was whether or not they needed to have the exact same deal and they pointed out that we’ve seen teammates like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf all take different amounts of money to get long-term deals done. In the case of Kane and Toews, they’re both represented by Pat Brisson, which might make things easier in that regard. But those are the deals I’d look at when figuring out their potential value. You have to throw out Sid’s deal because it was done before the new CBA. But Perry, Getzlaf and Malkin are certainly fair comparables so we’re talking something in the annual range of $8.5 to $9.5 million. Malkin had KHL leverage, which Kane and Toews don’t, so I’m not sure Stan Bowman has to go as high as the Malkin deal. Also, I don’t know how you do anything less than eight years for these two considering their age (25). So let’s split the difference and say they get $9 million per season, for the sake of answering your final question. That’s an extra $2.7 million per season cap hit for each player, for a total of an additional $5.4 million compared to their current deals. A healthy raise but not debilitating to Chicago’s future cap.
It doesn’t screw up the long-term plan at all because most salary cap projections have it continuing to grow in the next couple years, especially considering the billion dollar Canadian television deal. I don’t think it’s a reach at all to think that the salary cap will be north of $70 million when the new deals kick in for Chicago. Even if the cap just gets to $70 million for the 2015-16 season (the first year of a new Kane/Toews contract), which I think is conservative, that’s a $5.7 million increase from the cap this season, covering the $5.4 million raise we’re giving those two annually. If you look at the cost certainty Bowman has already built into the equation with his other long-term deals, the Blackhawks should be able to keep the band together.
more Q and A (paid subscription)
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
It’s very difficult to get your head around what the Sabres should do with Miller. I used this space a scant three weeks ago to say Miller should be traded immediately after he stood on his head to make 43 saves and then beat the Los Angeles Kings in shootout.
Of course, everything in Sabreland spun on its axis the next day with the firings of Darcy Regier and Ron Rolston.
Now you wonder. I’m open to the Sabres making Miller an offer and letting him decide his fate rather than just simply dumping him. But only a limited offer.
Remember, the Sabres aren’t clearly tanking anymore like they were under Regier. They’re just not very good. Big difference. The mood in the locker room is better and Pat LaFontaine means instant credibility in hockey circles.
Then antennas went up everywhere Wednesday when interim coach Ted Nolan said he wanted to build around Miller and not use him as an asset to deal.
The Sabres have been built from the net out for basically the last 20 years. And you can’t say it hasn’t gotten them places with Miller or Dominik Hasek.
Still, I don’t entirely agree with Nolan either. How about building with guys who can actually put the puck in the net? And I’m talking a couple of real NHL players, and not just kids out of the draft.
Montreal sent Patrick Roy and Mike Keane to Colorado for Jocelyn Thibault, Andrei Kovolenko and Martin Rucinsky.
Below, watch video highlights from Roy's last game as a member of the Montreal Canadiens.
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.
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