Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post,
With arbitration hearings in the NHL being rare occurrences, Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson appears poised to enter the unique process. Players or teams have filed for arbitration 307 times since 2006, but a hearing has been needed just 42 times, according to generalfanager.com, as a deal between player and team is usually reached before the mediation is needed.
Johansson was one of three players last summer who was awarded his contract through an arbitration, and if he and the Capitals don’t negotiate a deal prior to his July 20 hearing, he’ll become the first player since 2006 (as far back as the arbitration tracker goes) to go through the process twice. With both sides still apart on terms less than a week before the hearing, it seems likely that Johansson’s next contract will again be determined by an arbitrator, barring an 11th-hour settlement.
General Manager Brian MacLellan “and I have tried quite a few times to see if we can talk about something longer term,” said Johansson’s agent, J.P. Barry. “We really haven’t been successful on any attempts of sort of a longer-term negotiation. It could be just be the cap and different views of what’s going. So then obviously, we have to turn around and deal with our arbitration case.”
“I love Montreal. I’ve always loved the city, and when it really comes down to it, I never envisioned myself playing for any other team.”
In his first television appearance since being traded to the Nashville Predators, former Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban sat down with Sportsnet's Eric Engels for a two-part interview to talk about the trade, his time in Montreal, and his career so far.
Below, watch the full one hour interview and you can read Engels' column here from two days ago.
from Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald,
Out went the foursome of Brian Campbell, Willie Mitchell, Erik Gudbranson and Dmitry Kulikov.
In came the trio of Keith Yandle, Jason Demers and Mark Pysyk. The first two are a pair of veterans with 17 combined years of NHL experience. The third is an up-and-coming 24-year-old who has shown flashes of potential over the last four years with the Buffalo Sabres and their AHL counterpart, the Rochester Americans.
“We felt these were three guys that we wanted to go after aggressively so they could complement the pieces we had up front,” Panthers General Manager Tom Rowe said.
Rowe said the vision for the Panthers’ blue line features players who aren’t afraid to be offensive-minded. It’s a transition to a style similar to that of the Tampa Bay Lightning and San Jose Sharks, two teams that have reached the Stanley Cup Finals within the last two years.
They aren’t just defensemen anymore, Rowe said. When the opportunity presents itself, they need to take hold of the puck, drive up the ice and make the play, whether that’s passing it to a forward or taking their own shot.
from Matt Dolloff of CBS Boston,
Not to frighten you, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney has some big decisions to make soon. And if the Bruins land their prize in pending free agent Jimmy Vesey, those decisions will only get harder.
That’s not to say that the Bruins should not sign the Hobey Baker Award winner, who still has the Bruins on his short list and sounds like he really, really wants to play for his hometown team. They clearly need to make a run at the Massachusetts native. It’s just that their cap space is already dwindling and major sacrifices may ultimately need to be made to keep him and other core players intact.
The Bruins now have just over $6.7 million in cap space for the 2016-17 season with 12 forwards, seven defensemen, and two goalies under contract, according to General Fanager on Twitter. They have two open spots on the active roster, and Vesey would obviously fill one of those – but at what cost?
To figure out the price for landing Vesey, who would immediately be a top-six forward for them, it helps to look at a similar player who entered the league in a similar situation. For Vesey, an uncannily similar comparison is New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes, younger brother of Bruins winger Jimmy Hayes.
from Travis Yost of TSN,
One of the elements every team seems to be searching for at some point in time is a forward with net-front presence.
There’s some mysticism surrounding this type of player, but they do exist. An effective guy in and around the crease area can make quite the difference for an offence at both 5-on-5 and with the man advantage. The guys who can win pucks back after a primary attack and generate secondary attempts from premium scoring areas will find the back of the net at relatively high rates. The trick is finding the player who has this skill and isn’t an anchor for the team in other facets of the game.
The $42-million Milan Lucic contract – and make no mistake, his ferocity as a player and ability to win puck battles in those hotly contested areas is a prime reason why he was paid handsomely by the Edmonton Oilers this summer – had me wondering about the players who most frequently exhibit this talent, and the dividends they have paid to their team’s offence as a result.
Let’s look at rebound leaders on a per-60 basis over the last four seasons, and we’ll do so in both game states – 5-on-5, where players spend most of their time, and 5-on-4, where players score the highest frequency of goals.
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
This summer has been like no other for Harvard hockey standout and North Reading resident Jimmy Vesey. He’s had Buffalo Sabres GMs and coaches fly to Boston in order to pitch him on signing, and he’s got a score of NHL teams just waiting to get a chance to sign him when he becomes an unrestricted free agent on Aug. 15.
The 23-year-old said it was “comfortable” and a “very good meeting” with the Sabres contingent of GM Tim Murray, coach Dan Bylsma and former Harvard assistant coach/Sabres scout Jerry Forton last week when they flew to Boston to make their pitch to Vesey. But the Hobey Baker Award winner and his camp are insistent on getting to the Aug. 15 date when he’ll become a free agent, and talk to “a short list” of teams.
“I think it would be a little crazy to meet with all 29 teams,” admitted Vesey to CSN in an exclusive interview prior to his weekly Wednesday night appearance in the summer pro league at the Foxboro Sports Center. “We have a little bit of a short list going that I’ve worked on with my agents and my family. We’re going to narrow it down as best as we can, and get through it as quickly as we can on Aug. 15.”...
The sense at this address: the Bruins, Sabres, Maple Leafs and New Jersey Devils are the teams on Vesey’s short list with the Pittsburgh Penguins as a possible dark horse candidate after winning the Stanley Cup last spring. There’s little doubt the B’s could use him to step right into a top-6 wing role after losing Loui Eriksson in free agency. Vesey’s presence might also free up Don Sweeney and the Bruins to trade another talented young forward for the puck-moving defenseman they’ve needed for more than a year.
from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
“I think he was a young man when he got that job. Now he’s got white hair,” Ledecky said of Snow. “He cares deeply about the Islanders, and he cares deeply about putting a winner on the ice, and he cares deeply — we talk about it — I want, and he wants, and Scott wants John Tavares lifting that Cup over his head. That’s the purpose every single year. Now there are no excuses. In the past, you could say: salary cap, because of Nassau [County politics], constraints with this, that, and the other. We’re sending a clear message: He has the resources.”
“We like the progress that they’ve made, but there is a performance test, right?” Ledecky said. “They have to keep performing, and we define performing as progressing. We won our first playoff series in 23 years, we made it to the second round. If the puck bounced a couple ways differently, we would have made it to the semifinals. But we’re eighth in the league in points over the last two years, we made the final eight, and that’s the standard now. They have to progress. You have accountability. There is accountability for performance. The fans demand that.”
The fans also have demanded accountability from their new urban home, which was met with a significant amount of surliness at the start of their inaugural Brooklyn season. Yet as the playoffs progressed, the atmosphere got better, much to the delight of Ledecky and Malkin.
But the out-clause in the team’s contract with Barclays still looms heavy in the air, making it easy for the Islanders to leave after the 2018-19 season....
"Our mission here is clear: We're going to build an organization and a team that people in Nevada and Las Vegas will be proud of, and we're going to do it quickly and we're aiming at the Stanley Cup, it's that simple."
-George McPhee, GM of the Las Vega franchise. More on the hiring from the CP at TSN.
George McPhee was named the first general manager of the Las Vegas NHL expansion franchise on Wednesday.
McPhee, 58, who was serving as special adviser to New York Islanders GM Garth Snow, will begin his new job immediately. The Las Vegas team will begin play in 2017-18.
McPhee was GM of the Washington Capitals from 1997-2014. Washington advanced to the Stanley Cup Final in his first season but lost to the Detroit Red Wings in four games. During his tenure, the Capitals won seven Southeast Division titles, had eight seasons of 40-plus wins, and won the Presidents' Trophy in 2009-10, when they set their record for most points in a season (121).
Prior to joining the Capitals, McPhee was vice president and director of hockey operations for the Vancouver Canucks from 1992-97. The Canucks won the Smythe Division in 1992-93 and made it to the Stanley Cup Final in 1994 (a seven-game loss to the New York Rangers).
from the Pittsburgh Penguins,
The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed defenseman Justin Schultz to a one-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
The deal has an average annual value of $1.4 million.
Schultz, 26, was a key member of Pittsburgh’s defensive core during its 2016 Stanley Cup championship run, contributing four assists and a plus-1 in 15 playoff appearances. He helped set up Brian Dumoulin’s opening goal in the Penguins’ Cup-clinching victory in Game 6.
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