Kukla's Korner

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League Wide Observations

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

The annual NHL Draft remains a go, on the books for July 23-24 in Montreal, but some league GMs feel as if the annual talent pull would be better if rolled ahead to later in the year (November or December) or scrubbed entirely, in which case the Class of ’21 would fold into what everyone hopes will be a 2022 draft staged in June (per standard NHL programming).

The case for postponing: Many leagues — college, junior, and European — have had schedules disrupted or scrubbed this season because of the pandemic, leaving scouts challenged to get full reads on the incoming stock.

The case for going ahead as planned in July: Some portion of the 18-year-olds will have submitted solid work this season and they’re ready and eager to learn their destiny, even if only a handful have a shot at landing an NHL job in 2021-22.

As of Friday, of the 217 selections in the 2020 draft, only the Senators’ Tim Stutzle and the Rangers’ Alexis Lafreniere had played this season. Only seven picks in the 2019 draft had logged 10 games or more.

more topics... like this,

If the Sabres get serious about shopping Jack Eichel, the Canucks have the kind of assets to swing a deal, with Quinn Hughes or Elias Pettersson the starting point.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Morning Line- Mike Harrington

Now the GM needs to do something – anything – to fix a team that is nothing short of disgraceful.

That's the exact word I used with Ralph Krueger during his media call earlier Friday, and you can't argue it. Look at this roster with all these high draft picks. How is this team last in the NHL? How does it have fewer wins than Detroit and Ottawa?

Most of all, how is Krueger still employed?

-Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News where you can read more on the state of the Sabres.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink

More Patience Requested In Vancouver

from Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet,

Nearly seven years into his tenure, Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning asked Friday for more patience from fans. His request was not favourably received.

Halfway through the pandemic-shortened season as of Saturday’s home game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Canucks have regressed from last summer’s breakthough and almost certainly will miss the Stanley Cup playoffs this spring for the fifth time in Benning’s seven seasons in charge.

He said before the season that he did not expect the Canucks to take a step back....

As Benning noted during a 36-minute, mid-season virtual press conference that swerved between numerous topics, the GM has the support of owner Francesco Aquilini, coach Travis Green has the support of Benning, and with the border closed and quarantine requirements for travellers, it’s about impossible to make any kind of trade to help your team.

The Canucks can’t even practically recall players from their American-based farm team.

"I think we have to just keep trying to figure out how to get better from within and to make all of our players better," Benning said. "That's the mindset that we have, and that's the way Travis is attacking this whole thing.

"We're going to have to have patience when you talk about drafting, developing, and, when these players are ready to play, stepping in.

read on

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

NHL Short Notes


Kaapo Kahkonen became the first rookie goaltender in Wild history to string together six consecutive victories.

Blackhawks forward Alex DeBrincat reached the 100-goal milestone in fewer games than teammate Patrick Kane.

* Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom became the third active player to reach 700 career assists.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Videos- You Make The Call, Tom Wilson Hit On Brandon Carlo

update 11:42am on 3/6/21,



Carlo won't return and no penalty on the hit.



Then later in the game...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Mark Pavelich Found Dead

from Paul Walsh of the StarTribune,

Olympic "Miracle" hockey star Mark Pavelich was found dead Thursday in a central Minnesota residential treatment center, sources close to Minnesota sports legend said Thursday.

Pavelich, who turned 63 a week ago, died at Eagle's Healing Nest, where he was receiving mental health treatment for the past several months, the sources told the Star Tribune. At the time of his death he was under civil commitment for a violent assault on a North Shore neighbor nearly 1½ years ago,

Police said emergency personnel were called to the residence about 8:30 a.m. Thursday on a report of a death. Emergency dispatch audio disclosed that Pavelich had not been seen since 8 p.m. Wednesday. There is no initial indication pointing to what led to his death.


added 5:49pm, Statement from the NHL is below.

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Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Schedule Set For The IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey, in conjunction with the International Ice Hockey Federation and the host Dallas Stars, announced today the 28-game schedule for the 2021 IIHF U18 Men’s World Championship, set to take place April 26-May 6 in Frisco and Plano, Texas.

The 10-team championship is divided into two five-team groups for preliminary round play. Group B, consisting of the U.S., Czech Republic, Finland, Germany and Russia, will play its preliminary round games at Comerica Center in Frisco, while Group A, which features Sweden, Canada, Belarus, Latvia and Switzerland will utilize the Children’s Health StarCenter in Plano, Texas.

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Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Brent Seabrook Announces His Retirement

via the Chicago Blackhawks,

Statement from defenseman Brent Seabrook:

"I am so proud to have played my entire 15-year National Hockey League career in Chicago with the Blackhawks. It was an honor to play the game that I love, with teammates I love, in front of fans I love, in a city that my family and I have grown to love. After several surgeries, countless hours of rehab and training to get back on the ice at the level of my expectations, it will not be possible for me to continue playing hockey. This is what is best for me and my family. The love and support of my wife, Dayna, and my kids, Carter, Kenzie and Dylan has meant everything to me. My parents, Gary and Suzanne, and my brother Keith, have been behind me every step of the way and are my foundation.  

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Benching Of Mika Zibanejad

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

We’d say the last time something like this happened was when John Tortorella benched Marian Gaborik in the third period of Game 5 of the Rangers’ 2012 conference finals against the Devils, except doing such a thing was pretty much standard operating procedure for the coach.

Hence, no shock value there.

This, though, on Thursday night in Newark was different. This was different with David Quinn, who for the first time in his three seasons behind the bench brought down the hammer on one of the Rangers’ marquee players by dramatically reducing Mika Zibanejad’s ice time in the first period before sitting him for the first 10:46 of the second.

Finally, after weeks of giving Zibanejad the benefit of the doubt he had earned not only down the stretch last season, but through the entirety of the center’s work under Quinn, the coach had seen enough, following another period in which The Swede was a cipher on the ice.

And so he sat him. Sat him after a team-wide desultory opening 20 minutes, in which the Devils only could build a 1-0 lead thanks to Igor Shesterkin’s exceptional play in nets, and sat him through the midpoint of the second, by which time the Blueshirts had tied it 1-1 on Chris Kreider’s power-play goal.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Remembering Walter Gretzky

added 8:28am, Statement from Gary Bettman is below.

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Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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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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