Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Brendan Kelly of the Montreal Gazette,
The real question is whether the Canadiens are a better team now than they were at the end of this disastrous season. I spoke to my buddy Simon Boisvert – a filmmaker and former QMJHL scout – and his take on the new-look Habs is that this is an “all-in” edition, as in Bergevin wants to win in the next year or two.
But Boisvert calls it a “semi all-in” because the team still doesn’t have the roster to compete with the best teams in the league.
We agreed that presumably the first line next season will be Max Pacioretty, Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk, which I suggested is a decent first line but hardly spectacular.
“It’s a second line at best on a championship-winning team,” said Boisvert. “But it’s not a top line on a championship team.”
Then the next line has to be Tomas Plekanec at centre, Radulov on the wing along with maybe Sven Andrighetto. The plus is you presumably have new pick-up Andrew Shaw on the third line.
“So your first line is actually a second line and your second line is actually a third line,” said Boisvert. “Then you have two fourth lines.”
from Arpon Basu of NHL.com,
The Ottawa Senators are built like a team that is ready to contend. The problem is, their recent history suggests they are in no position to do that.
The Senators have a veteran roster that has missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs in two of the past three seasons, but it is one new general manager Pierre Dorion said is ready to make a move and challenge the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
He made that clear by acquiring center Derick Brassard from the New York Rangers on July 18 in a trade for center Mika Zibanejad, getting a player who is better now but six years older and therefore likely with a lower ceiling than the player traded away. On top of that, Dorion included a second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, getting a 2018 seventh-round pick back.
"I think the message from management is pretty clear: Our time is now," Brassard told TSN 1200 the day he was traded. "I do think this team is mature now and we have to win next season."...
A team with so few young players has pressure on it to win immediately, and Dorion has no interest in alleviating that pressure.
"Why can't we be good now?" Dorion told TSN 1200 on the day of the trade. "We've been young and hungry. We've been the 'Pesky Sens.' Why can't we, first of all, make the playoffs and challenge the better teams?
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
Barring a game-changing trade, the Canucks’ 2016-17 roster looks pretty set.
Questions, of course, abound. Will Anton Rodin’s skills translate in the NHL? Is Erik Gudbranson an improvement on Dan Hamhuis? Is Bo Horvat really best-suited in a defensive role after leading the team in scoring in last season’s second half? Is there enough playing time on defence for three players most slotted for a third pairing, Luca Sbisa, Nikita Tryamkin and Philip Larsen? And where exactly is Alex Burrows going to fit in?
But there is one question that trumps all. At least for the Canucks’ front office, and the sub-section of fans who can’t stomach a rebuilding team. Is this Canucks roster good enough to make the playoffs?
Management sure hopes so. Moves like trading futures for Gudbranson and signing Loui Eriksson, the best 31-year-old winger available, to a six-year deal, are transactions you make in an attempt to get back to the post-season sooner rather than later. But when last season ended, Vancouver had a long way to go.
STAMFORD, Conn. – July 21, 2016 – Coming off of the most-watched full NHL regular season on cable in 22 years, NBC Sports Group is scheduled to present 106 NHL regular-season games during the 2016-17 season – the most ever across NBC Sports Group heading into a season – featuring 14 games on NBC and 92 games on NBCSN. All games will be streamed live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app to authenticated users via TV Everywhere.
from Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg,
The New York Islanders are in talks with the owners of baseball’s New York Mets about building a hockey arena adjacent to Citi Field in Queens, people with knowledge of the discussions said.
Willets Point is emerging as a persuasive alternative to the team’s current home at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center if the Islanders’s owners and arena officials can’t agree on a series of hockey-specific improvements, said the people, who asked for anonymity because the negotiations are private.
The team’s first season at Barclays Center, which is owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, was marred by poor reviews from fans, who complained about obstructed view seats, and from players, who who said the quality of the ice was sub-par. The team’s owners also realized they couldn’t make as much money as their league counterparts, most of which play in bigger arenas.
from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,
Almost one year into a landmark digital media rights partnership, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Wednesday they believe the deal has benefited both sides.
The six-year contract, which was signed Aug. 4, 2015, allows Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), the technical arm of Major League Baseball, to serve as the host of all of the NHL's digital properties, among them NHL.com, NHL.TV and NHL Network.
"[MLBAM] has been extraordinary," Commissioner Bettman said during an appearance with Manfred at Paley Center for Media in Manhattan. "Bob Bowman (MLBAM president and chief executive officer), who not only created but presided over it since its inception … has made it the leading enterprise for streaming live sports. They're cutting edge, extraordinarily professional. They're great at what they do."
Commissioner Bettman said a review of the NHL's digital-media presentation led him to MLBAM. There also was a comfort level professionally and personally with Bowman, whom Commissioner Bettman said he's known for almost 25 years.
"We were reviewing all of our options both on the strictly vendor side and also what other more integrated solutions or possibilities were there for us," Commissioner Bettman said. "Based on our knowledge and understanding and respect for what [MLBAM] had accomplished, we thought that this would be the best opportunity for us to provide the best experience for our fans to connect to the game using technology both today and into the foreseeable future.
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
Toronto Maple Leafs top draft pick Auston Matthews remained without a contract on Wednesday, the sticking point apparently over performance bonuses that GM Lou Lamoriello has historically avoided in his time as an NHL executive.
There is no reason to panic yet, with hockey still two months away.
But some find it a curious way to do to business for a team that has invested heavily in building through youth, and spent so much time selling the pain of losing to land a player of Matthews calibre.
“This one, to me, feels foolish,” an NHL source not involved in the talks told The Star. “I don’t know what Lou’s reward is if he wins for the amount of risk you take by going this direction.”
The Leafs not only risk alienating Matthews and his camp — souring future talks when Matthews will have more leverage — but they may be sending a negative message to players around the league about how the team treats stars, he said.
from John Shipley of the Pioneer Press,
The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee decided Wednesday to table a proposal for four-on-four overtime and a sudden-death shootout that would have been required for all NCAA regular-season games, the NCAA announced.
The proposal would not have affected postseason tournament games, including conference and NCAA championships, which would continue to use a five-on-five, sudden-death overtime format played in 20-minute periods.
However, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel did approve use of an experimental rule allowing a 3-on-3 overtime period followed by a sudden-death shootout if a game is tied after a 5-on-5 OT period. Any conference interested in using the experimental rule may do so, the NCAA said.
from Josh Lile at WFAA,
The discussion that will never die keeps…not dying. This time we can blame Marc Bergevin of the Montreal Canadiens for lighting the cigarette near the gas leak by trading P.K. Subban for the probably washed up Shea Weber. (Special shout out to the man who traded Tyler Seguin for also trading Taylor Hall at almost the exact same time. What a stroke of good fortune for Peter Chiarelli.)
Today’s choose-your-own-adventure is built around the word “culture.” Culture is important. Culture isn’t important. Maybe culture is important, but overrated. You can’t measure culture, so leave the narrative-building to the neophytes. Narrative, analytics, culture, character, suffering, hammer, thumb, pain: the rabbit hole has no recognizable end point.
What do we actually know about culture?
We know culture as this mysterious “other” dimension that somehow dictates the inner-workings of major organizations. It’s often portrayed as something that just exists. “Hey the culture is here guys. Wait…you. You’re messing it up. Go away.” Culture is grossly oversimplified or misunderstood often, I think, largely because most people will never have to actively think about how to establish or tweak an environment for a large group of rotating people.
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.
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