Kukla's Korner

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Video- Sidney Crosby Turns 30 Today

The NHL put together a video package of the best of Sidney Crosby on his 30th birthday.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sidney+crosby

Alex Ovechkin Hoping To Be Allowed To Play In The Olympics

from  Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post,

While the NHL has been firm on its position to not participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is still hopeful he can represent his native Russia in PyeongChang, South Korea.

“We’ll hope I’ll be allowed to participate,” he said in Russian to Sport-Express. “There’s always a chance.”

Ovechkin added that there hasn’t been any change in his status, and he also hasn’t contacted players from other NHL teams about their intentions for the Olympics.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin

Top Players At The World Junior Summer Showcase

from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,

The players, coaches and executives at the World Junior Summer Showcase know that summer hockey results have little bearing on how a season could unfold.

"It's summer," United States coach Bob Motzko said. "All the athletes here, you're not in midseason shape."

However, many players stood out during the eight days of games and practices at USA Hockey Arena and made strong first impressions in their goal of playing at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be held Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Buffalo.

Here are NHL.com's top 10 players from the World Junior Summer Showcase, in alphabetical order:

Lias Andersson, F, Sweden (New York Rangers)

Andersson scored three goals in five games, including two in a loss to the U.S. on Wednesday. He played a role at the 2017 WJC but has the look of someone who wants to be a leader in 2018.

"Lias was here last year and he was good but he didn't make the same impression he does now," coach Tomas Monten said. "Lias is a player that leaves everything on the ice every time. That's a big key factor for your team. We need the leadership, that kind of work ethic on the ice."

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Early August Hockey Notes

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- The Forecaster has Auston Matthews going from 40 to 42 goals — I think more — and from 69 to 75 points. That 75 points would tie him with William Nylander for the Maple Leafs lead in scoring ... One surprise to me, the Forecaster has Connor McDavid going from 100 points to 97 — I’m thinking 110 is more likely. But the magazine loves Leon Draisaitl in Edmonton and has him going from 77 points to 91 ... The scoring champ prediction is not Sidney Crosby or McDavid, the likely choices. It has Evgeni Malkin winning the Art Ross.

- Peter Karmanos is asking for $500 million US for the Carolina Hurricanes, who have trouble selling tickets. Good luck to him. Bill Foley paid $500 million for the Vegas franchise and many wondered why the price was so high.

a few more hockey notes, remember it is early August...

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

Afternoon Line- Larry Brooks On John Tavares

Maybe this all works out for the Islanders. Maybe they get their rink. Maybe they get through the season in Brooklyn without anyone suffering an injury owing to poor ice conditions. Maybe the very young guys on the cusp make it. Maybe the young guys who have underachieved the past couple of seasons will thrive with Doug Weight behind the bench from beginning to end. Maybe the Jaro Halak-Thomas Greiss tandem in nets is more efficient than it was a year ago, and maybe general manager Garth Snow will be emboldened to yield a couple of assets for shorter-term help when the opportunity arises.

Maybe then, Tavares will put his signature where his heart is. The truth is, he has had five weeks to do it and has not.

-Larry Brooks of the New York Post where you can read more on Tavares.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+tavares

Nate Schmidt Awarded A $2.25M Contract For Two Years

 

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nate+schmidt, vegas+golden+knights

David Backes Working To Improve His Game

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

The 6-foot-3-inch, 221-pound Backes is 33 years old, not always a kind age to power forwards. Legs that once propelled Backes through puck carriers did not fire with their previous velocity. By the time he closed on opponents, the puck was long gone.

The feedback started midseason from the bosses: president Cam Neely, GM Don Sweeney, and then-coach Claude Julien. It was not the kind that makes players comfortable.

“Just honest evaluation of, ‘Hey, this is where my game’s lagging perhaps, the way the game’s trending, and how we need to keep up,’ ” Backes said. “We need to be honest in order to improve ourselves. That was a recognition, probably in January in conversations with Cam, Don Sweeney, and a little bit with Claude. This was the way I needed to improve myself. I’ve really taken that to heart and put the time in this summer.”

Backes has been training to emphasize agility, quickness, and explosiveness over bulk and power. He wants to accelerate to cruising speed quicker to help him keep pace with linemates and be more a bother to other teams.

Backes has something to prove: that he is not an overpayment. A $6 million annual price tag is a premium to pay for 38 points. The Bruins, however, aren’t the only club feeling buyer’s remorse on 2016 purchases.

Consider the deals signed by Kyle Okposo (seven years, $42 million), Milan Lucic (seven years, $42 million), Andrew Ladd (seven years, $38.5 million), Loui Eriksson (six years, $36 million), and Frans Nielsen (six years, $31.25 million). So far, they look inflationary.

more plus other hockey topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Team USA Announces Management And Coaching Staff For The 2018 Olympic Hockey Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Hockey today named the management and coaching staff for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team.

On the management side, Jim Johannson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey, has been named general manager, while Ben Smith (Gloucester, Mass.) will serve as director of player personnel.

USA Hockey also named Tony Granato (Downers Grove, Ill.), head coach of the University of Wisconsin men’s ice hockey team, as head coach of Team USA. Joining Granato behind the bench will be assistant coaches Keith Allain (Worcester, Mass.), Chris Chelios (Chicago, Ill.); Ron Rolston (Fenton, Mich.) and Scott Young (Clinton, Mass.).

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Mad In Montreal

from Brendan Kelly of the Montreal Gazette,

I love the passion of the Habs debate, but this is crazy. I feel like there’s a level of bitterness to the discussion of the Canadiens this summer that’s unprecedented and, honestly, most of that anger is coming from the fans in the pro-Bergevin camp.

They simply cannot accept any criticism of Habs general manager Marc Bergevin or his team. It is downright bizarre.

I have been a journalist for a very long time, mostly writing about arts and culture. Yet, I have never seen anything like the abusive commentary that has been tossed my way since I started writing What the Puck in this space at the beginning of 2016. I’m a big boy and can handle it, but still....

Whatever happened to civilized debate? Let me just say this loud and clear, once and for all: I am a Habs fan. You can’t take that away from me. You can say I’m an idiot — as you often do — but you can’t say I don’t love the Canadiens.

What is odd is this notion that you can’t be a Habs fan and be vehemently opposed to the direction the team’s going in. Some claim I have invented this division amongst Habs fans. But that’s absurd.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Do You Want The NHL Back On ESPN?

from Adrian Dater of BSNDenver,

Hockey fans that have lamented the day in 2005 when the NHL and ESPN ceased to be broadcast partners, take heart; In an interview on the BSN Avalanche Podcast on Thursday, ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor and part-time hockey broadcaster, John Buccigross, said he believes his network and the NHL will become partners again within the next three years, when the league’s current U.S. television contract with NBC expires.

“I’m real optimistic that we’ll be a part of the NHL plan next time,” Buccigross told BSN Denver. “I’m not in the negotiations or decisions, but the negotiations open up in two years, and the (NBC) deal ends in three. There’s no doubt ESPN (was) very aggressive last time trying to get the package, and we’ll be very aggressive this time.. and I feel good about our chances to get some.. to have games in the next package.”

Buccigross, who recently signed a new five-year contract to stay at ESPN, called it his “long-term goal” to be a regular play-by-play man for NHL games.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | 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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