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Notes On The First Saturday This Year Without Hockey

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- Memo to Leaf fans, Oiler fans, just about all hockey fans: It sometimes takes patience to win a Stanley Cup. Alex Ovechkin was drafted 14 years ago. Nicklas Backstrom was drafted 12 years ago. Braden Holtby and John Carlson were drafted 10 years ago. Evgeny Kuznetsov was picked eight years ago. All of them selected — the five most important Capitals — by general manager George McPhee, fired for not being able to win in Washington … The top three scorers in the Stanley Cup playoffs: Kuznetsov, Ovechkin, Backstrom.

- In Toronto, Lamoriello traded for Frederik Andersen, who was caught in a situation in Anaheim with too many goalies. In Jersey, Lamoriello traded for Corey Schneider, who was in similar difficulty in Vancouver. Now on Long Island, look for Lamoriello to make a play for Washington backup goalie Philipp Grubauer, who is a restricted free agent, and if Lamoriello gets him, look for him to sign Grubauer long-term with the Islanders.

- Brian Burke is writing a book, which should be fascinating. It won’t necessarily be the truth but it will be his truth.

more

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Shots

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

- --- But though this time Ovechkin was able to survive his nemesis, Sidney Crosby, let’s not rush to rewrite history and airbrush The Great 8’s blemishes out of the picture. After losing last year’s second-round Game 7 to the Penguins, Ovechkin was told that he was fat by a player he respects. He reported this year in condition befitting a 32-year-old.

This time, the winner of the Patrick Ewing Lifetime Achievement Award for most failed postseason guarantees got it right....

- Once the glass skates ultimately proved a bit too tight for Marc-Andre Fleury and his Golden Cinderellas, the final round became a rather routine affair, the more talented squad winning decisively. The final might have been played at a higher level if the league’s best two regular-season teams, Nashville and Winnipeg, hadn’t been bracketed into a second-round matchup, but, hey, the core mission of the NHL is to give lesser teams their best chance at winning....

- So if Ilya Kovalchuk gets around $6 million per on what is expected to be a two- or three-year free agent deal, then didn’t the Devils have it exactly right at pegging his AAV at $6,666,667 on the 15-year contract for which they were prosecuted/persecuted by the NHL?

more on the first three topics plus other topics...

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Now What Washington?

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

Trotz trouble: Coach Barry Trotz’s contract is expiring. Throughout the season, it seemed likely he was moving on. The Capitals didn’t extend his contract, but they did extend associate coach Todd Reirden’s deal. It seemed as if the Caps were prepared for Trotz's departure.

Now, the Capitals own the Cup and it is evident that Trotz’s bond with this group is strong. Did you watch how players reacted to Trotz during the celebration? He is well-respected by his players.

It now seems like the Capitals would like to re-sign Trotz. But the cost will be high. Mike Babcock (Maple Leafs) is the NHL’s highest-paid coach at $6.25 million per season. Trotz will have to be paid in that neighborhood....

Carlson’s potential freedom: Defenseman John Carlson is crucial to Washington’s success and will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He will be one of the hottest players in the market.

The good news is Carlson wants to re-sign in Washington. The problem: he could be worth $9 million or more on the open market. Will he give the Capitals a hometown discount?

more on each of the above and a few additional issues facing the Caps...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Don’t Trade Ryan O’Reilly

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

The Sabres are about to add Rasmus Dahlin to their roster and will almost certainly have Casey Mittelstadt on a full-time basis this season. Why in the world would they trade O'Reilly now? You have to be strong down the middle. A lot of teams out there would be pretty envious of a center group that reads Eichel-Mittelstadt-O'Reilly. If you trade O'Reilly, who is taking up all his minutes -- and who is winning a faceoff?

TSN has O'Reilly as No. 2 on its tradebait board heading into the offseason, behind only Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson. O'Reilly is coming off a 24-goal, 61-point season where he was the NHL's top faceoff man. And he's going to get traded for saying he hated losing and lost his passion for the game because he saw a locker room where too many guys didn't care? That makes no sense.

All O'Reilly is desperate for is a winning situation. Fans and media routinely crush players for speaking in cliches so now we're all going to turn around and demand O'Reilly's walking papers for being honest? The Sabres were a 62-point embarrassment in the season that just ended. How will trading O'Reilly make them better?

more plus other NHL topics...

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  Tags: ryan+o'reilly

Possible Big Name Trades This Summer

from Sean McIndoe at Sportsnet,

Phil Kessel, Penguins

Why a trade could happen: He’s been in Pittsburgh for three years now, which is about the maximum length of time Kessel can last anywhere before the trade talk kicks in.

Why there’s a chance it might not: You may recall that the Penguins did pretty well in two of those three years, and Kessel had a lot to do with that. Given his production, his cap hit (which the Leafs are already paying a chunk of) is fairly reasonable. In a league where every team could use at least a little more speed, skill and scoring depth, you’d think a team might want to hold onto a guy who brings as much of all three as Kessel.

And yet…: Those are all good reasons to trade for a guy, too, which means Jim Rutherford should be able to extract a decent return on a deal. Whether the Penguins are tired of Kessel behind the scenes or just see him as an asset that could provide a nice return, Rutherford has never been shy about making big moves.

10 more big names...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+kessel

Video- The Party Is Officially On In Washington

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Watching The Stanley Cup Final

STAMFORD, Conn. – June 8, 2018 – Last night’s series-clinching Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 6.714 million viewers on NBC, NBCSports.com, and the NBC Sports app, making it the most-watched Stanley Cup Final Game 5 in 16 years and up 51% vs. last year, according to Fast National Data by the Nielsen Company and Adobe Analytics. Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals won the first Stanley Cup in team history last night with a 4-3 victory over the expansion Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nbc+sports+group, vegas+golden+knights

Afternoon Line- Damien Cox

Signing a high-end UFA to be one of your core players, like Tavares or Carlson would be? That’s an iffy proposition. You could argue Chicago did it, and won, with Marian Hossa. But it’s not easy to find another good example in the recent past.

There will be a lot of pressure on certain teams to sign Tavares or Carlson.The hard part for teams is to resist the temptation. But when it all heats up over the next few weeks, the smart teams, the winning teams, probably will.

-Damien Cox of the Toronto Star.  More on this topic from Cox.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Top Plays From The Stanley Cup Final

Six minutes long.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vegas+golden+knights

Upcoming Key Dates On The NHL Calendar

June

20th 2018 NHL Awards presented by Hulu (Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nev.)

22-23rd 2018 NHL Draft (American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas)

July

1st Free agency begins (12 p.m. ET)

5th Deadline for player-elected salary arbitration notification (5 p.m. ET)

6th Deadline for club-elected salary arbitration notification (5 p.m. ET

20 – Aug. 4th Salary arbitration hearings held

August

6th Deadline for salary arbitration decisions to be rendered

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | 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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