Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post,
Part of the reason for the wait is that Hextall wants to see if he can find a trade partner to make the decision of cutting or waiving a player easier.
“We’ll see what comes along, if anything, and go from there,” he said.
He still has 14 forwards on the roster with eight defensemen and two goalies. It would appear as though his final cut will come to a defenseman, especially considering he publically said he’d rather carry seven than eight “in a perfect world.”
His world is far from perfect looking at the roster and the salaries that go along with it.
The “extra” players in Saturday’s practice were Vinny Lecavalier, Sam Gagner, Andrew MacDonald and Luke Schenn. Together, those four total $16.3 million in salary cap space while the other 20 accounted for $54.88 million.
Salary isn’t everything in a determining factor, but it sure is important. Just look at the Edmonton Oilers, who Saturday played defenseman Nikita Nikitin and his $4.5 million cap hit on waivers. If he clears, the Oilers will send him to the American Hockey League and still have all but $950,000 of his cap hit on their books.
The Oilers did this because of roster space, but the Flyers might consider a move like that because they need the $950,000 of space. As it stands they have roughly $585,000, barely enough for one call-up depending on the player’s salary.
One hint- current NHL player.
- Best road city: Vancouver, Edmonton or Calgary.
- Pregame meal: “On the road, it’s usually chicken parm with some pasta and salad and thousand island dressing and croutons all mixed into a huge one big mess, which is kind of gross to some but OK with others. And then at home, eggs and potatoes. I’m so tired by pasta at this point that I have to mix it up.”.
- Favorite app: Yelp.
- First car: “1981 Toyota Tercel, an SR5 hatchback. Black with gold writing of SR5 on the bottom. I bought it from my cousins. Paid $1,000 for it, and my parents bought me new tires. No shocks, no struts, no gas gauge, no stereo but it got around. Standard, too, which is hilarious because no one can drive a standard.”
- Can’t-miss TV show: Modern Family.
The St. Lous Blues are in Ann Arbor, Michigan for a mini-camp atmosphere and did a feature on former player Red Berenson, who is in his 30th year as head coach at Michigan.
Here is the feature by Chris Pinkert at the Blues website and this is the video feature on Red Berenson.
from Rich Chere of NJ.com,
Opponents can write this Devils team off at their own peril.
Prognosticators may not be bullish on this team, but the re-designed Devils have used the preseason to develop a weapon that has made them both exciting and dangerous as the regular season approaches — speed.
"I think we came together pretty well. We learned how to play with speed," defenseman Damon Severson told NJ Advance Media. "That was one of the things I noticed big time. We never really played with speed last year. It was more of a chip and chase game.
"As anybody can see, we're getting speed through the neutral zone and holding onto the puck when we don't see a play. We're not just throwing it away off the glass or something like that. It's more fun to play like this. I think guys are enjoying it and we're looking forward to doing it all year."
from Joyanne Pursaga of the Winnipeg Sun,
Winnipeg Police Service Chief Devon Clunis said officers made the right call in providing a police escort to get an NHL team to MTS Centre on time.
Clunis told the Winnipeg Police Board Friday the Ottawa Senators paid for the escort after being delayed due to mechanical issues on a flight just prior to Tuesday's game. The decision involved no police overtime and occurred when resources were available, Clunis said.
"We are a city on the world stage. The NHL is a significant player. If we were not able to assist them to have the game occur on time for our citizens, for the national audience, I am certain we would have had a black eye in terms of the police service, the City of Winnipeg," Clunis told reporters after the meeting. "I thought it was the right decision for our city, for our citizens and it was at absolutely no cost to the city whatsoever."
According to the WPS website, police charge $825 plus tax per escort using one vehicle and two officers.
Coun. Ross Eadie (Mynarski) expressed concerns about the decision, given high demand for police resources. Eadie said he looks forward to reviewing the WPS policy on escorts.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
It was the first day of training camp and the question put to coach Bob Hartley fixed on the Calgary Flames’ complex three-way goaltending battle.
“I’m a coach, not a banker,” Hartley answered. “I’ll make the best possible decision for the organization.”
And that, right there, really summed up a discussion that will not be resolved until the conclusion of Saturday’s final exhibition game against the Winnipeg Jets.
Of the three candidates to play goal for Calgary this season, one – rookie Joni Ortio – is in a far different place, career-wise, than the other two. At 24, he is the youngest by far and at $600,000 a season, he is also the cheapest by far.
If the goal in Calgary is to continue developing this still wet-behind-the-ears team until it is a legitimate Stanley Cup contender, then keeping Ortio ahead either the 33-year-old Jonas Hiller or the 29 year-old Karri Ramo makes sense.
Complicating matters is that banking question Hartley raised. All three goaltending candidates are on one-way contracts and all three require waivers to get assigned to the minors.
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
Here's a look at a player from each of the 16 teams in the Eastern Conference who'll be under pressure to perform as soon as the puck drops:
Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins -- The 38-year-old defenseman began to look his age last season, finishing with eight goals and 20 points, his poorest full-season offensive totals in more than a decade. He also missed 19 games because of injury and looked slow for much of the season when he did play. With rising star Dougie Hamilton traded during the offseason, the Bruins need Chara to be a dominant force at each end of the ice, as he's been for much of his career, if they hope to return to the playoffs.
Ryan O'Reilly, Buffalo Sabres -- The Sabres, the NHL's worst offensive team in each of the past two seasons, hope O'Reilly can be the No. 1 center they've lacked for years. He didn't come cheaply; the Sabres traded three young players and the No. 31 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft to the Colorado Avalanche to get O'Reilly, then signed him to a seven-year contract. He's being counted on to spark the offense and take some of the pressure off rookie center Jack Eichel, the second pick in the 2015 draft.
from Damien Cox at the Toronto Star,
The reigning champion Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to chop payroll costs so aggressively you get the feeling half the team will play next week’s home opener against the Rangers with large “For Sale” signs across their nameplates.
The Los Angeles Kings, meanwhile, have had to endure a truly ugly post-season, one in which two veteran players were caught in drug-related snares while a third was convicted of domestic assault and decided to pack up and return to Russia rather than be deported.
So if you’re the Anaheim Ducks watching all of this from afar, knowing that you’ve fallen to those two teams in the last two post-seasons and then watched them go on to win the Stanley Cup, it would be hard not to get the feeling the path to a championship is being cleared.
Not to celebrate the struggles of others, but. . . .
It’s possible the Ducks were hockey’s second-best team each of those past two seasons, but have nothing to show for it. With a team that was already deep and talented with a nice mix of youth and veteran talent, GM Bob Murray went out with a to-do list over the summer and was able to put a check mark beside every item:
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
BY THE NUMBERS: 4 – the number of fighting majors for the Bruins on Friday night with Kevan Miller, Adam McQuaid and Tyler Randell all dropping the gloves to stand up for teammates, showing the Capitals that they won’t be pushed around. It could also create a little uncertainty in opponents where they hadn’t been any last season. If the Bruins are out to prove that last year’s soft, pale imitation of the Bruins wasn’t going to return this season, they did an effective job of expressing that on Friday.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "You saw tonight that guys are sticking up for each other, so that's also a good sign in my mind.” –Claude Julien, after watching his Bruins players standing up for each other in a fight-filled preseason game against the Capitals.
more on the Bruins...
"You can't control what people say. Sometimes it's tough when you hear it, things are so completely fabricated and not even close to the truth. But I think at the end of the day, you realize that obviously a lot of people don't know the situation because they're not part of it. They've got to make a story to get ratings for their show, or get reads on their blogs. You can't control it. So I've learned over time not to worry about it."
-Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning on all the rumors/talk surrounding his contract. More from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times.
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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