Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Teams know the Oilers have already drafted centres Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl from 2011 on, so why does he need another one?
Maybe they feel (and rightly so) the Oilers need a defenceman at the draft more. Maybe they’re even wondering if MacTavish also really likes McDavid’s centre teammate Dylan Strome, the OHL scoring champ who had four goals and six points in his final league game Sunday, and if he can get him later for a flip of picks, he’d take that.
There are lots of scenarios in play for the No. 2 pick, such as:
- What if the Nashville Predators called and offered defenceman Seth Jones and Finnish goalie Juuse Saros? The Preds don’t have their late first-rounder because they traded it to the Leafs for Cody Franson, which gums things up somewhat. But Jones can be a top-two defenceman. Saros played in the world junior and is in the top Finnish league right now, and Jari Kurri, the former Finnish national team GM, was raving about the 19-year-old at the 1984 Oilers Stanley Cup reunion last fall. We all know the Preds will be riding Pekka Rinne in net for years to come. All those years, the Predators had a terrific defence but couldn’t go deep in the playoffs because they had no first-line centre.
- What if the Toronto Maple Leafs call, with the cupboard bare at centre, and offers to flip their No. 5 selection for the No. 2 for defenceman Morgan Rielly, another player who most scouts feel will be a top-pairing defenceman in short order?
from Randy Miller of NJ.com,
Despite a feeling around hockey that Lecavalier is untradeable because of the length of his contract and declining offensive statistics, there does seem to be a way to work a divorce that will make both sides happy.
The Flyers, in fact, came very close to trading twice Lecavalier last summer, NJ Advance Media has learned. Lecavalier almost was moved to the Florida Panthers in June, and he twice almost was dealt to the Nashville Predators in July.
The reason neither trade was completed, according to sources, is that Panthers and Predators ownership called off the otherwise done deals.
"I think there are enough people in hockey circles that know that the deal was awfully close with Nashville," Kent Hughes, Lecavalier's agent, told NJ Advance Media in a phone interview. "I can't comment on specifics. Unfortunately, it didn't materialize for reasons other than personnel."
There's reason to believe that Lecavalier could be tradable this summer as well, despite very disappointing 2014-15 stats: seven goals, 17 points and a minus-10 rating in 51 games, almost all of them coming with the natural center playing right wing on the Flyers' fourth line.
from Tal Pinchevsky at ESPN,
Midway through a physical 4-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, Vancouver Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack was beckoned to center ice by opposing goaltender Jonathan Quick, who had just ignited a skirmish by throwing two right hands at Canucks captain Henrik Sedin. Lack made it only as far as his own red line, offering a sensible explanation after the game.
"I may have a reach [advantage on Quick]," the 6-foot-4 Lack joked. "I think he's a little meaner than me."
It was a classic moment of levity after a big win for the affable Swede. In a season that has seen Lack, 27, emerge as a force in the Vancouver crease, his teammates have used all kinds of words to describe the quirky goaltender. But "mean" definitely isn't one of them.
"He's goofy," Canucks winger Nick Bonino said in describing Lack.
"Easy going, fun loving, always happy," teammate Chris Higgins said. "Almost to a fault sometimes."
"I would say he's one of those interesting goalies," forward Radim Vrbata added.
NHL explanation of the suspension...
THURSDAY’S CLINCHING SCENARIOS
Three Eastern Conference clubs can clinch playoff berths today:
* If the Canadiens defeat the Jets in regulation or overtime, they would clinch a playoff berth if the Ducks defeat the Bruins in any fashion OR if the Bruins defeat the Ducks in a shootout.
* If the Canadiens defeat the Jets in a shootout, they would clinch a playoff berth if the Ducks defeat the Bruins in any fashion.
* If the Canadiens get one point against the Jets (overtime or shootout loss), they would clinch a playoff berth if the Ducks defeat the Bruins in regulation.
* The Canadiens cannot clinch a playoff berth if they lose to the Jets in regulation.
via Lou Michel of the Buffalo News,
Nick Boynton, a former defenseman with the Boston Bruins and other NHL teams, might be a little delayed in getting to the announcer’s booth to give his commentary of action at Thursday night’s Sabres-Coyotes game at First Niagara Center.
Boynton is accused of causing a disturbance at the Buffalo Creek Casino on Wednesday night and fighting with Buffalo police officers assigned there to provide security.
“He was abusive to the staff at the casino, and when officers tried to take him into custody, he bit one of them on the finger,” a police source said.
Boynton, a 36-year-old native of Nobleton, Ont., was detained by police and will be charged with assault, criminal mischief and harassment.
Boynton joined the Coyotes’ broadcast team prior to this season.
GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- The Arizona Coyotes have issued the following statement regarding Nick Boynton.
"Early this morning, Coyotes radio color analyst Nick Boynton was involved in a situation at a Buffalo casino. A police investigation is underway. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and until the continuing legal process is completed, we will have no further comment. Mr. Boynton has been placed on a leave of absence."
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
We've talked a lot recently about how the Calgary Flames had a more favorable schedule than their conference rivals down the stretch, soemthing that could perhaps be an edge in making the playoffs. But if there's one thing you always learn at this time of year, it's that there's no such thing as an easy game on the docket.
The Flames lost 4-3 in a shootout to the visiting Stars on Wednesday, and combined with last Saturday's 3-2 overtime loss to visiting Columbus, you wonder how much they might pay or not for those two lost points in the standings. Those were two very winnable games on paper, but Calgary got just two of four points.
The Flames are one point up on the Kings, but that's a razor-thing edge. The Stars, meanwhile, continue their desperate, late-season push. They're now at 82 points, six points behind Winnipeg for the final wild-card spot. Too little, too late I think, but stranger things have happened.
As for the Flames, they play six of their final eight games on the road, starting Friday at Minnesota. Suddenly that favorable schedule from two weeks ago doesn't look so good.
read on for more hockey topic from the ESPN staff...
via the Winnipeg Jets PR department...
The Winnipeg Jets are pleased to announce they have agreed to terms with forward Andrew Copp on a three-year, two-way, entry level contract with an average annual value of $958,300. Copp will now report directly to the Winnipeg Jets.
Copp, 20, recently completed his junior season with the University of Michigan Wolverines. The Ann Arbor, MI native has ended his college career with 81 points (40G, 41A) in 107 games over three seasons with the Wolverines. Copp was named Michigan’s team captain for the 2014-15 season. For his performance leading the Wolverines this season, he was recognized by the NCAA and earned All-Big Ten second team recognition. He previously led the University of Michigan in goals (15) during his sophomore year in 2013-14. That same season, he represented the USA at the 2014 World Junior Chamipionships where he recorded five assists in five games.
Copp was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the fourth round, 104th overall, in the 2013 NHL Draft
from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,
On Wednesday afternoon in Winnipeg, Price was soft-spoken, humble and a gentleman. He had chosen to take a day off from speaking with the Montreal media contingent but when word reached him that a Winnipeg reporter was hoping for a few minutes, he emerged from the trainers' room to talk.
Price turned every question about his individual greatness into an answer about his team. It would have been infuriating but for the manner in which he did it. An easy but small smile, patience with questions he'd likely heard a thousand times and when I clumsily dropped my recorder, he bent down to pick it up. He offered his hand when I'd exhausted my efforts to get a juicy quote and then shuffled off the team bus.
"It's just a cold hard fact that I wouldn't be where I'm at without these guys in the locker-room. It's just the reality," said Price. "This is the best our team has been. We've been playing pretty solid hockey all season long. Whenever you get to the 100-point mark, before the end of the season, it's definitely a feather in the hat."
During the Olympics, Team Canada coach Mike Babcock took to referring to Price as big, square and soft. Price smiled when reminded of the reference.
"If he's talking about me as a goalie, that's a compliment. If he's talking about my physique, then probably not," said the 27-year-old from Anahim Lake, B.C. "That's what you strive to do, is make yourself as big of a target as possible and try to give as few secondary chances as possible."
from Amy Moritz of the Buffalo News,
The motivation in the Buffalo Sabres locker room is clear and simple: Avoid finishing last.
That may ruffle the feathers of some in the team’s fan base who actively want the Sabres to finish 30th, thereby guaranteeing them at least the No. 2 overall draft pick. But athletes and coaches are wired to compete and at this point in the Sabres’ season, the most attainable goal they can compete for is 29th place.
“For sure you want to finish as high as you can,” Sabres captain Brian Gionta said Wednesday afternoon after practice in First Niagara Center. “In a season like this you gotta find little things to set your sights on and that’s definitely one of them.”
The stakes for 30th place are high Thursday night as the Sabres host the Arizona Coyotes.
The Coyotes are coming off an overtime win at Detroit, putting them five points ahead of the Sabres. Buffalo has nine games remaining, Arizona eight. They will meet again on Monday night in Arizona.
“Nobody wants to be in the position our two teams are in. Not one player,” Coyotes forward Shane Doan said. “You’re embarrassed. You have to be. Nobody ever wants to be considered the worst. Obviously, both teams are considered the two worst teams in the league. That’s not a good feeling.”
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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