Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,
Some of these stars will move on due to salary cap restraints, younger talent and decreased playoff hopes. Others will be retained at any cost (but, y'know, within reason) and subjected to rounds of Twitter rumours.
The Capitals, Sharks and Flames, in particular, are about to face some tough choices.
Here is a look at the NHL's Top 17 unrestricted free agents of 2017, plus a list of the other household names whose next job is on the line.
more, Kevin Shattenkirk is #1 on the list followed by T.J. Oshie...
NEW YORK (March 27, 2017) – Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov, Dallas Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen and Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending March 26.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The head of the International Ice Hockey Federation remains hopeful for an NHL Olympic resolution but again made it clear that skipping the tournament in South Korea in 2018, then coming back to play in Beijing in 2022, is not the way to go.
"We have previously stated that the NHL can't just pick and choose which Olympics to participate in," Rene Fasel said in a statement to ESPN.com from the IIHF on Monday. "Our discussions are focused on going to Pyeongchang, and any discussion about Beijing can wait until this has been settled.
"Building ice hockey's profile in Asia is one of the top mandates of my current presidential term. There is a rising interest in the sport within Korea, and we would miss a huge opportunity to grow the game if we didn't have a best-on-best showcase in this country."
Three plus minutes of slow motion action from the past week in the NHL.
Markov is in the final season of a three-year contract that pays him $5,750,000 per season — a much-maligned deal when he signed that now looks like a bargain. Given his level of fitness and his stellar play, he has surely earned at a two-year deal that will likely be signed in the off-season. Markov has made it clear in the past he doesn’t want to play anywhere else, and the Canadiens don’t want him playing elsewhere, not with Mikhail Sergachev a couple of seasons away from top-pairing duties and Nathan Beaulieu still wildly inconsistent.
At the end of that contract, Markov should be a solid contender for a spot in the Hall of Fame. And I, for one, can’t wait to hear what he has to say the day he’s elected.
-Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette where you can read more on Markov.
No penalty on the play and Dumoulin went the the dressing room but did return.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
If Henrik Lundqvist wanted to be tested in order to prepare for the playoffs upon returning from a seven-game absence covering nearly three weeks, The King surely was that here on Sunday in a 6-3 empty-net abetted defeat to the Ducks.
“It was a challenging game,” Lundqvist said with a wry smile after surrendering five goals on 33 shots in 58:37. “You hope for maybe a little easier game, but there are no easy games in this league.”
It is impossible for there to be an easy game with the Rangers making it as difficult as possible on themselves and their goaltender. Despite being tied 3-3 entering the third, the Blueshirts were guilty of a multitude of bleeps, bloopers and blunders in their decisions, puck-movement and coverage all night long.
“Too many guys brought their ‘C’ game and that’s not good enough,” coach Alain Vigneault said following the defeat that prevented the Rangers from clinching a playoff spot. “It was not an easy game for Hank, but if I know him the way everyone does, he’s going to get better.”
Below, watch Corey Perry and Brendan Smith go at it...
Home Team in Caps
DETROIT 3, Minnesota 2 (OT)
Dallas 2, NEW JERSEY 1 (OT)
Philadelphia 6, PITTSBURGH 2
WINNIPEG 2, Vancouver 1
ANAHEIM 6, NY Rangers 3
DUCKS CLAIM SOLE POSSESSION OF FIRST PLACE IN PACIFIC DIVISION
Ryan Getzlaf collected a season-high four assists to help the Ducks extend their point streak to seven games (6-0-1), including four straight wins. Anaheim (41-23-11, 93 points) moved ahead of idle San Jose (42-26-7, 91 points) and Edmonton (41-25-9, 91 points) to claim sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division.
* Getzlaf, who leads the Ducks with 14-52—66 this season, eclipsed the 50-assist mark for the seventh time in his NHL career (all w/ ANA) to extend his franchise record.
* Patrick Eaves (27-18—45), who was acquired by the Ducks on Feb. 24, scored twice to extend his single-season career highs for goals and points.
* Jonathan Bernier (25 saves) improved to 8-0-1 in his last nine appearances dating to March 7 (1.64 GAA, .944 SV%, 1 SO).
from Kristina Rutherford of Sportsnet,
It never really occurred to the kid teammates call “Paddy” that he might do anything but play hockey. He claims to come from “a normal hockey family,” but there’s nothing normal about one that has produced — so far — a pair of first-round NHL picks, in his dad, Steve, who played 250 career games, and uncle James, now an assistant coach with the Dallas Stars after a more than 20-year career in the league. A second uncle, Rich Chernomaz, played 51 games in the NHL. Patrick’s older sister, Madison, 21, just won a national collegiate bronze medal with her UBC Thunderbirds, and younger sister, Amy, 14, plays Bantam AA for the Titans in Winnipeg. And then there’s the contingent outside of hockey: Patrick’s mom, Carrie, played volleyball for Team Canada, and Grandpa Stephen played in the CFL. So, you get what Patrick means when he says, “I didn’t know anything different.”...
Patrick’s hockey career began a very flat two-and-a-half-hour drive from Brandon, first on the backyard rink Steve made every winter for his three kids, and then on his first team, the Heritage Victoria Hawks, where he played alongside Madison and other eight-year-olds when he was only six. “Even then you could tell he could keep up with everyone,” says Madison, a defenceman for the Thunderbirds. “And he knew where to be.”
That’s saying something for a six-year-old. The year before that, at his first NHL game — to see the Buffalo Sabres, because Uncle James was on the coaching staff — Patrick remembers being curious about plays and players, a first hint of the cerebral quality and playmaking ability that define his game today. “I always watched more closely than the other kids,” Patrick says. And he had sounding boards for all his questions in his dad and uncle, who, when it comes to hockey, taught him “just about everything I know,” he says. That includes how to train. Patrick’s dad turned the family garage into a heated indoor shooting area (there was no space for cars; in the winter, those stayed outside in the snow). It’s now a gym for the whole family, and there’s a shooting pad in the backyard. Patrick also worked out with his uncle every off-season starting at age 13.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
On Saturday, he pulled 24 minutes, 24 seconds of ice time as the Blue Jackets defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0 at Nationwide Arena. On Thursday, he pulled 26:47 and scored a goal in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Capitals in Washington.
It's not the ice time or the offensive aplomb or any other single facet of Jones' game that grabs attention. It is his burgeoning hossification. Jones is showing he has the ability and the desire to take control of games. That makes him a special defenseman, especially as the calendar turns from March to April.
"Our last two games, some guys just haven't played well and haven't been totally there," coach John Tortorella said. "I think it's probably the two best games I've seen (Jones) play. ...
"I cannot explain how many things he has done well, especially these past two games. It goes very unnoticed. He's also in charge of the kid next to him. But, man, the past two games, some of the things he has done ... it's really encouraging as we look forward to the real stuff."
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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