Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
The National Hockey League and its Players’ Association have failed to agree on the new, streamlined goalie equipment, and it seems almost certain that the new gear will not be worn for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Worse yet, insiders are openly questioning whether the new gear, promised to be in use for the 2016-17 season, will be used at all this coming season.
“It’s still a work in progress,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said at a WCOH news conference Wednesday. “I know our people in hockey operations are working very hard with the players’ association. I am hopeful that we can get it in place because I think it’s important.”...
Sources tell Sportsnet that despite unprecedented cooperation by the NHLPA, a small cadre of NHL goalies have managed to stall the process long enough that not a single NHL goalie has received gear fitting the hoped-for standards for the coming season.
The World Cup appears out of question, and it is believed enough goalies will make a case that they will be unable to adjust to the new equipment without a summer to assimilate, that the new standard could well be pushed back to September of 2017.
A linesman in Sweden lost a finger after a collision along the boards in a preseason game.
Tweet and video below...
The NHL and NHLPA are set to host a media conference Wednesday in Toronto.
The conference will take place at 12 p.m. ET and will showcase several planned fan and community outreach events as well as announce business and technological innovations planned for the September tournament.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr will be in attendance, along with other special guests.
Watch below or click the Sportsnet link above...
from Nathan Gerbe at The Players' Tribune,
I presently stand five-foot-four and weigh 175 pounds. And I would never have sniffed NHL ice if it weren’t for my parents. I know that for a fact.
I don’t worry too much about being smaller than everybody else because that’s not what matters. What does matter is my work ethic, and I’ll always be thankful to my parents for that.
Even before I had hit puberty, I was waking up at daybreak to go skating and get some shots in. There were also times when I only left when they were locking up the rink because I had stayed late to run through drills. I’d burn the midnight oil if that meant I’d be better than the kids I was playing against.
Being small out on the ice wasn’t always fun. I mean, my own teammates and their parents doubted me. But trying to show them why I belonged fueled my competitiveness.
Bigger kids would lock in on me from the get-go thinking that they were going to be able to get a big hit to impress their friends and teammates. But after I took a few of those shots, I figured out how to use my speed to evade them.
“I think we have to put the centre red line (passing rule) back. (To prevent) injuries and because the game is being played the same now. You can pass from your zone all the way to the other line, deflect it in, go get it and shoot it out. Back and forth. If the centre line were back in, a lot of guys couldn’t play the game.
“If you have to carry that puck out of your end and make a pass, skate with it, it makes it different. I don’t think (removing the line) has increased the offence, nor has the trapezoid. It’s made it a dangerous game, guys flying out of their end, looking for that long stretch pass and bang, they’re being hit. These guys are so much bigger and faster than when I played.
“If you’re good enough to get to the NHL and they put the centre line back, don’t worry, they can adjust. Minor coaches watch NHL teams play and they want to coach like that. The kids aren’t skating with the puck or working on the fundamentals.”
-Bobby Orr. Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun has more from Brian Burke on changing the width of the rinks and also Brendan Shanahan on wooing Jimmy Vesey.
from Robby Stanley at NHL.com,
The Predators have plenty of talent and are a team on the rise, but will they be able to break through in a competitive Central Division?
Here are four reasons for optimism entering this season:
Top four defensemen could be special
Subban adds to a top four that is arguably one of the best in the NHL. Subban, Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis excel in moving the puck quickly and are sound defensively.
"I think the game is definitely trending in that direction where mobile, puck-moving defensemen are, first of all they're hard to find," Subban said. "To have four of them on your [defense] corps, I mean it's tough. You don't see that in very many teams in the National Hockey League. It always seems that Nashville has been able to produce and have great defensemen, and I'm just happy to be a part of that [defense] corps."
Full season with Ryan Johansen
For the first time in Predators history, they will enter a season with a true No. 1 center. That's been a hole they've had annually had in their lineup, but Johansen has the talent to be a difference-maker.
Johansen had 34 points in 42 games with the Predators last season after being traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets for defenseman Seth Jones on Jan. 6. Johansen, 24, had instant chemistry with forward James Neal, and that could be a potent combination for Nashville this season.
from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,
How do you react when you hear reports of the Isles moving again soon, from Brooklyn to Queens?
Those things are out of our control as players. Having certainty on where you’re playing is important. Ownership has said they’re committed to Brooklyn. If things change, we’ll see. Obviously there are reports. I know the organization doesn’t comment on rumours, so if it happens, it happens.
Is the Barclays Center ice really as bad as its reputation?
Yeah, it had its moments. To be dead honest, I think the worst ice I skated on all year was in Toronto. It was so hot the one game [on March 9], I couldn’t believe how warm it was. We were playing there on a back-to-back, and by the end of the third period we couldn’t even move. We lost [4-3 in a shootout]. There are some hiccups in being in a new arena, in a rink that technically wasn’t build for hockey. There were hurdles to overcome early on, but I think as the year went on it got better and better. The ice was at its best in the playoffs, to be perfectly honest with you. If they continue to work at it and make improvements, it’ll get better.
much more including World Cup talk and a few players who left the Islanders...
“I hear a lot of bad things about Michel Therrien, obviously, being a fan of Montreal I still read some of the stuff and see it on TV. That’s really disappointing to hear because I have nothing but good things to say about him. From a guy like me, I had to grind and fight my way to get into the league and when I got there he could have just thought that about me and never gave me an opportunity. But from the day I got there, he said: ‘You know what, this is a good opportunity for you. Show me what you can do. I’m not looking into your past, I want to see what you can do in the future. We believe in you.’ So just from a personal standpoint, obviously, I have wonderful things to say about Michel Therrien.
-Dale Weise of the Philadelphia Flyers on Montreal head coach Michel Therrien. Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette has more from Weise.
from the CP at Sportsnet,
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal continues to call out NHL commissioner Gary Bettman over the league’s stance on concussions.
Bettman recently penned a 24-page letter in response to questions from Blumenthal, stating, above all, that no definitive link had been made between concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known as CTE.
"Common sense and mounting scientific evidence show there are warning signs and clear links between brain trauma and concussions and degenerate neurological disease later in life, including CTE," Blumenthal said Monday, according to comments published by the Hartford Courant.
"I’m here to call on the NHL to be on the right side of history and health and to show a sustained and serious care for their players in addressing this problem."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org