Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Sportsnet's YouTube page,
Take a listen to some raw sounds of hockey straight from the mouths of players, refs and coaches...
SNEAK PEEK AT WEDNESDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Nashville @ St. Louis, Game 1, 8 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, TVAS
Edmonton @ Anaheim, Game 1, 10:30 p.m., NBCSN, SN, TVAS
WESTERN CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS OPENING NIGHT OF SECOND ROUND
The Second Round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs begins tonight with Game 1 of both Western Conference series: Predators at Blues and Oilers at Ducks. Per Elias, teams that win the first game in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoffs series hold an all-time series record of 453-207 (68.6%).
* The Predators and Blues upset higher seeds to advance to the Second Round, where they will meet in the postseason for the first time. Nashville held a slight edge in the regular-season series, compiling a 3-2-0 record against St. Louis (2-3-0). Both teams were buoyed by strong goaltending performances in the opening round: Nashville’s Pekka Rinne went 4-0 with a 0.70 goals-against average, .976 save percentage and two shutouts vs. CHI, while St. Louis’ Jake Allen went 4-1 with a 1.47 goals-against average and .956 save percentage vs. MIN.
* The Oilers visit the Pacific Division-champion Ducks in the second all-time playoff meeting between these clubs. Edmonton earned a 4-1 series win over Anaheim in the 2006 Conference Finals – the Oilers’ last postseason appearance and series win prior to the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Edmonton held a slight advantage in the regular-season series, with a 3-2-0 record against Anaheim (2-1-2). Both teams were led offensively in the First Round by their captains: Edmonton’s Connor McDavid (2-2—4 in 6 GP) and Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf (3-2—5 in 4 GP).
NEW YORK -- New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic and Philadelphia Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds are the two finalists for the 2016-17 NHL Foundation Player Award, which is presented to "an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey - commitment, perseverance and teamwork - to enrich the lives of people in his community," the National Hockey League announced today.
STAMFORD, Conn. – April 25, 2017 – On the strength of a record 18 overtime games, dazzling performances by young stars like Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid, and side-by-side coverage for the first time in local markets, NBC Sports Group’s Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of the first round of the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs averaged 742,000 viewers, up 4% vs 2016 (713,000 viewers).
from Robert Tuchman at Forbes,
The NHL is hoping to use its own talent to promote the sport in China. In 2015, Canadian-based Andong Song was drafted by the New York Islanders and became the first Chinese-born player to be drafted in the NHL.
Commissioner Bettman is hoping that the NHL will see the same boom the NBA experienced after China embraced basketball as a new national pastime. In 2015, the NBA signed a five-year online streaming deal in China worth up to $700 million....
But Gary Bettman is not the only person excited about the prospect of expanding the NHL’s realm into China. Team owners in smaller markets are keen on raising revenue to become the most popular team in China. Many owners are interested in the idea of having Chinese investors claim stakes into teams that are interested in expanding their brand or may be struggling to stay competitive due to a low market value....
The future of hockey in China is looking bright and the NHL is poised to breathe life into a market hungry for new competitive endeavors.
from the CP at Sportsnet,
The Toronto Maple Leafs are trying to keep expectations in check for next season.
The Leafs leaped from last-place in the NHL to an unlikely playoff spot and near upending of the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington Capitals in the first round. But the organization appears to be guarding against expectations jumping too high too fast for a young team led by 19-year-old Auston Matthews.
“It’s a step,” Lou Lamoriello, the Leafs general manager, said of the team’s surprisingly positive 2016-17 campaign. “(But) it’s going to get more difficult. Teams are going to look at you a little different — the way they approach you. Teams are going to know your tendencies as a player and how they can stop you. So there’s a lot that has to transpire. That’s why it’s just a step.”
The Leafs posted some videos today too, you can watch them all here.
“I had a couple fractures in my face from the injury, that’s why I was obviously wearing a cage to begin with, just to let my face heal a little bit longer, they’re not fun.”
-Logan Couture, via Paul Gackle of the Mercury News.
Couture posted an Instagram picture, view it below...
from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
- Calgary GM Brad Treliving is scheduled to meet with ownership some time this week. The word around the league is he wants to stay. That’s always a positive, because without a willingness to make a deal, it becomes exponentially harder.
There’s a real sense of, “They’re not seriously going to get rid of him, are they?” But I think it comes down to the Flames’ offer. If it’s market value, everything’s OK. If not, there’s trouble. And if it doesn’t work out, I wonder if Calgary will take a long look at Craig Conroy. His time is coming.
- In the aftermath of Buffalo firing GM Tim Murray and head coach Dan Bylsma, there were strong rumours the NHL would “advise” Sabres owner Terry Pegula to put a more experienced person at the top of the organizational food chain. “I would say that’s probably a safe assumption,” Pegula said Friday. “Experience is going to be key.”
But another word I’ve heard in the past few days is “progressive,” so there’s a mix at play. Pegula has a blank canvas, so there are several routes he can go. It allows for the possibility of multiple people, which would let him check both the “experience” and “progressive” boxes if one person can’t do both....
more, including John Tavares talk and additional Sabres stuff...
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
Thornton is 37 years old. He will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. But after putting his knee on the line for his team, he underwent surgery Monday afternoon to repair the damage.
Which means: Any team that was thinking about signing Thornton to a free agent deal would surely want to see how his knee recovers from the surgery–but with a six-month recovery and rehab period ahead of him, no one will know for certain about his status until October, which is when the NHL season starts.
Which almost surely means: Thornton is likely to receive no free agent offers this summer–or at least no multi-year offers, which he’s said to prefer.
Which furthermore means: Thornton’s unfortunate injury could benefit the Sharks. They have exclusive rights to Thornton regarding a contract extension until July 1. It’s a safe assumption that the team wants him back. But if general manager Doug Wilson wishes, he could use the situation as leverage for terms that are more favorable to the team. That could include less money or a shorter contract term.
Which calculatedly means: Thornton is not in the best negotiating position, despite being one of the NHL’s all-time top 25 point scorers.
A bit over four minutes long....
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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