Kukla's Korner Hockey
You never know who you will see when you pick up your tickets.
via the Anaheim Ducks,
The Ducks have signed right wing Devante Smith-Pelly to a two-year contract through the 2015-16 NHL season. Per club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Smith-Pelly, 22 (6/14/92), has scored 9-14=23 points with 18 penalty minutes (PIM) in 75 career NHL games with the Ducks. Smith-Pelly set career highs in assists (8) and plus/minus (+5) in his third NHL season in 2013-14, appearing in 19 games with Anaheim. The 6-0, 222-pound winger also made his Stanley Cup Playoff debut in 2014, leading the Ducks with five goals (5-0=5) and ranking third with 24 PIM.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Mike Richards, it sounds like anyway, kept his word to the Mad Professor.
Faced with the possibility of his contract being bought out by the Stanley Cup champions, the 29-year-old Richards vowed to Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi in June that he would be more committed to his workouts this summer to help bring back the Mike Richards of old. He would commit himself to trying to bring back the player that Lombardi traded for in the summer of 2011, the one that help transform the Kings from pretenders into winners.
"This summer, I put in the work," Richards told ESPN.com over the phone Monday. "Of course, injuries can happen, but at least going into the season right now I feel good and I’ve skated a lot more than I have in the past. I feel prepared and I’m excited for the year."
As Richards pointed out, who knows exactly how that translates to his on-ice performance once the season starts, but he says he feels much better at this point than he did a year ago.
First a little primer...
Now on to the odds via Bovada,
from Travis Yost of TSN,
Like never before, today's NHL has an insatiable appetite for competent even-strength hockey players. And there are a lot of factors at play here.
For one, the phasing out of enforcers and specialists has created a window of opportunity for a wave of skill players to take on larger roles at both positions. Front offices in Vancouver and Toronto have pointed to successful models in Los Angeles and Chicago - two franchises which have enjoyed reliable production from those bringing up the rear.
And teams are cognizant that first lines and first pairings win a lot of hockey games. But finding the appropriate balance between maximizing their ice-time and minimizing fatigue effects has led to further prioritization of back end guys who can pick up the slack as needed.
There's another factor at play – the creation of more even-strength ice time by the continued decrease in penalties.
NEW YORK (September 16, 2014) – Accomplished NHL executive Bill Daly and former player, coach, current Flyers executive Paul Holmgren have been named recipients of the 2014 Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.
The award, one of the most prestigious in hockey, was presented to the National Hockey League by the New York Rangers in 1966. It honors the memory of Lester Patrick, who spent 50 years in hockey as a player, coach and general manager and was a pioneer in the sport’s development.
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
What happens in a hockey-crazed market when a hot start quickly dissipates into a dramatic downward spiral, highlighting a questionable coaching hire in the polarizing John Tortorella?
You have yourself an offseason rife with upheaval, just like the summer of 2014 for the Vancouver Canucks.
The brash and fiery Tortorella was axed after just one season. Longtime general Mike Gillis was dismissed, as well. Star center Ryan Kesler was shipped out of town in a trade to Anaheim.
None of it is surprising, according to former Vancouver Canucks player Geoff Courtnall, who spent five seasons playing for the club from 1990-95.
“Well, I think the owners have high expectations and want to win. They weren’t satisfied with how last season went, so they made some pretty drastic moves," Courtnall told ESPN.com in a recent phone conversation.
ST. LOUIS - The Blues have invited unrestricted free agent forward Paul Bissonnette to a tryout at training camp.
Bissonnette, 29, has played in 202 career NHL games, registering seven goals and 15 assists (22 points). He has a plus-7 rating and 340 career penalty minutes.
Bissonnette spent the past five seasons with the Phoenix Coyotes. He made his NHL debut with the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2008-09 season.
from Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun,
As big a splash as Trouba made starting as a 19-year-old straight out of college, the Rochester, Michigan, product wants more of a role in Year 2.
“As big as I can get it,” a grinning Trouba said, Monday, after a pre-training camp skate at the Iceplex. “I want to play on the power play this year, for sure. That’s something you’ve got to earn. Playing in big spots is something I want to do. That again is something that’s earned, from your teammates and your coaches.”
Trouba says he’ll be searching for consistency this year. Playing a full season, too.
Injuries, including a scary neck injury, limited him to 65 games as a rookie. He still managed 10 goals and 29 points.
“That’s something I really want to focus on, is showing up every night and being the best I can,” he said. “Taking another step on this team to become more of a significant player and play in different spots... I want to have a big impact this year.”
The Jets hope head coach Paul Maurice can help
“Everybody thinks I’m going to turn him into a Selke-winner. People say he had a rotten year last year, but he still scored eight more goals than the nearest guy in the Rocket Richard race. I don’t want to disrespect his gift – the gift of scoring goals, which is one of the hardest things to do.
“I’m not going to get him to be that super-detailed Doug Jarvis type. I just need him to work defensively and have some pride in getting the puck back. That’s the way I’ve talked to him. Get the puck and score, but if we don’t have the puck, I want a plan to get it back quickly so we can go score again.”
-Barry Trotz, head coach of the Washington Capitals on Alex Ovechkin. More from Trotz by Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail.
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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