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Video- Coach’s Corner Tonight

Topics discussed by Don Cherry and Ron MacLean included: Matt Barzal, Sidney Crosby, Jeff Glass, Mike Smith, Steven Stamkos and a few more items.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+cherry, ron+maclean

Thomas Vanek Wants To Finish The Year With Vancouver, But Will He?

from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,

Given the choice, Thomas Vanek would be just fine staying home.

And home this season for the soon-to-be 34-year-old winger is with the Vancouver Canucks....

“Any time you start with a team, you want to finish the year with the same team.”

Vanek changes cities like he’s a 20-something au pair, juggling work and world travel.

He’s been on seven different teams since 2013. It hasn’t been by design....

Unfortunately for Vanek, the Canucks are now 10 points out of the playoffs and getting back in the race looks implausible — if not impossible.

If there’s no long, unexpected winning streak on the near-horizon, it backs the Canucks into a corner. They’ll have to trade him.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: thomas+vanek

Rumor Saturday

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

- While the Coyotes could hang onto Ekman-Larsson for the rest of this season and make a deal in the summer, when teams may be more willing to offer want general manager John Chayka wants in return, some teams are going to want the blueliner for two playoff runs, so Arizona will receive calls.

It’s believed the Toronto Maple Leafs are among the teams that have shown more than a passing interest in Ekman-Larsson. You can put the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers in that group, too, but league sources said Saturday the asking price was extremely high.

Not only do the Coyotes want two high-end players off a club’s roster, but they’re also asking for a first-round pick. ...

- Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman Jack Johnson will move close to the top of TSN’s Trade Bait list after a report Friday by The Athletic indicated he had asked to be dealt. An unrestricted free agent on July 1, Johnson, 31, has a cap hit of $4.375 million, but there’s talk the Jackets offered a long-term deal earlier this year worth less than $4 million per season. Since Johnson is looking for bigger money with that kind of term, he’d like to be dealt somewhere that’s willing to keep him on a new deal, but, at this point, he’ll likely be a rental....

more on each of the above plus additional talk...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- A Second Chance For Kevin Stevens

via Sportsnet's YouTube page,

Former NHLer Kevin Stevens was once on top of the world, but a horrific injury in the '93 playoffs sent his life spiralling downwards for two full decades, even contemplating suicide. Friends and family have helped rebuild his life piece by piece.

watch the 23 minute video below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kevin+stevens

Parity

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

The feel-good narrative about Vegas’ success on the ice in their first year has another side to it, of course, though you’ll not read much about it.

And that is, that the Golden Knights (who may have to change their name if they lose the trademark lawsuit brought against them this week by the Department of the Army) have benefited at the expense of the NHL’s other 30 teams, all of whom were weakened by the exceedingly generous rules attached to the expansion draft.

So even as remarkably talented teenagers enter the NHL on an annual basis, the product already harmed by the hard cap is further diluted. And just wait until Seattle, which will pay $650 million to enter the league as opposed to Vegas’ $500 million ante and is thus likely to benefit from even more liberal expansion draft regulations, gets its hooks into everyone else’s roster.

Gary Bettman and the folks on Sixth Avenue love the fact the NHL’s 31 teams are largely indistinguishable. That’s been the objective since the 2004-05 Owners’ Lockout II proposal that the league office be a central clearing house to disperse players to the then-30 clubs. They forever confuse parity with mediocrity, forever conflate close games with good games and tight standings with exciting races.

continued with more topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Saturday Hockey Notes

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- Sidney Crosby has two won Hart Trophies, two Conn Smythe Trophies, two Art Ross Trophies and three Stanley Cups: And if the season ended today, he would not be on my ballot for Most Valuable Player in the National Hockey League for the first time in years...

Crosby’s not alone with his team struggles. Connor McDavid’s Edmonton Oilers are nowhere near the playoffs, as are Erik Karlsson’s Ottawa Senators. When asked at the beginning of the season to list the top 50 players, those were basically a consensus top three....

- There has been no talk of firing Todd McLellan in Edmonton and most people believe him to a very sound coach. So we wonder, if McLellan is so adept at the job, why are the Oilers special teams so horrendous?

- The Leafs aren’t letting anyone know what their plans are for James van Riemsdyk in the future, which is typical of the way in which they choose to conduct their business.

Nothing wrong with that so long as they find a way to retain the scoring winger.

It won’t be easy and it won’t be cheap and here is where it may get a little complicated for the Leafs’ financial people. The team has already committed $6 million a year to Patrick Marleau for next season and the year after that....

more on the first and last topics plus other notes...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The New-School Way In The NHL

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

Some strategies had been around the NHL for a long time. Coaches instructed their wings to challenge the points. When a defenseman retrieved the puck in his end, his partner was taught to retreat and make himself available for a D-to-D pass. Goalies were supposed to scramble back to their feet after they dropped into the butterfly.

Evolution prompted coaches to scrub these time-tested tactics. Wingers collapse into the slot instead of marking shots from the point. One defenseman holds his ground or protects the net-front area while his partner wheels with the puck around the net to start the breakout. Goalies are taught to stay down on their pads and use tight, controlled pushes to patrol the crease instead of standing up, creating holes, and disrupting the angles of their sightlines.

The old mantra of not exiting the defensive zone up the middle may be the next casualty.

In some ways, it is a traditional rule worth following. A turnover in the middle of defensive zone is usually far costlier than a cough-up on the outside. The best scoring chances take place between the circles. Every defensive-minded coach emphasizes the net-front area as the real estate he wants to gum up with bodies and sticks. Benchings and healthy scratches await the player who commits a lazy turnover in the middle of his end.

more plus other hockey topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line- Mike Fisher

As you get older, you never want your identity to be caught up in hockey – especially for me, it’s all I’d ever done. There is so much more to life than that. When it all ends, you try to figure out, ‘Well, what am I going to do; what’s your purpose.

-Mike Fisher, retired NHL player.  Roy Lang III of the Shreveport Times has more from Fisher.  He was in Shreveport for the Shreveport Mudbugs’ “Pucks and Prayers” event.

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+fisher

The Expected Trade Return For Evander Kane

from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,

With the 26-year-old winger and his expiring contract almost certain to be moved as a rental by the Sabres before next month’s deadline, it’s unlikely he will fetch as much as some, particularly traditionalists who embrace the concept of a power forward, would imagine.

A first round pick? Maybe, but not in the top 10. A top prospect? Perhaps, but no more. a package something like Pittsburgh gave up for Phil Kessel (basically prospect Kasperi Kapanen, a late first rounder and a third rounder)? That sounds about right, although it doesn’t take into account the enormous cap savings the Maple Leafs got out of that deal, which is really what they were after....

Some teams, given Kane’s baggage, history of scrapes with the law and troubles with teammates, wouldn’t touch him in a deal. The latest controversy came Wednesday when he had a rather unpleasant exchange with teammate Justin Falk during practice. An upset Falk could be heard yelling things like “selfish” after the two were separated.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evander+kane

The Playoff Chances For The San Jose Sharks

from Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News,

Entering Saturday’s game against Arizona, the Sharks have 48 points, two behind the second wild card spot and four back of the Calgary Flames for third place in the Pacific Division. They have games in hand over every team in the west, but those only matter if you win.

“I’m not looking at the day-to-day whether we’re in, we’re out, above the line. With the games in hand, it’s not a real number,” Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said. “But what is real is we’re in the middle of things and it’s going to take a big second half from us to get in the playoffs.”

The Sharks play 42 times over the next 85 days. including eight times over the next 13 before the start of the NHL All-Star break starts Jan. 26.

“We’re going to pay the bill for the schedule we had in the first half,” DeBoer said.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | 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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