Kukla's Korner Hockey
I can finally access KK after almost 9 hours of down time.
The problem was not with our host, but something much more major than that.
Numerous ISPs had issues today and it was hit or miss if you could get to a website or now.
Things seem to be ok now, so on with the show...
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
Who's the goalie? -- Niklas Backstrom, Josh Harding, Darcy Kuemper, Ilya Bryzgalov and John Curry (who won his lone late-season start) all had at least one victory in a season of tumult for Minnesota goaltenders . Harding was 18-7-3 with an NHL-best 1.65 goals-against average, but he didn't play after Dec. 31 because of the effects of his battle with multiple sclerosis. Backstrom struggled all season and played a total of 22:25 after Jan. 11 before season-ending abdominal surgery. Minor-league call-up Kuemper (12-8-4, 2.43 GAA) and Bryzgalov (7-1-3, 2.12 GAA), acquired in a trade on March 4, got the Wild to the playoffs.
The question now is who fits where this season. Fletcher and coach Mike Yeo said they are content to go into training camp without a designated starter and see what happens in a competition between Backstrom, Harding and Kuemper (Bryzgalov remains a free agent).
"We have three guys who are quality goaltenders, three guys who at points in the season have been our starting goaltender and played very good hockey," Yeo told NHL.com. "We're expecting some good competition in camp."
more on the Wild...
ESPN's Katie Strang held a chat on ESPN.com today, and the first two questions of said chat touched upon meaty topics:
Ed (Queens Village): If you had to pick 1 this season Kings repeat as Cup Champs or Red Wings miss playoffs for 1st time this century?
Katie Strang: Well, I really do not like ever doubting the Wings. That record speaks for itself and the club has a well-earned reputation for its winning culture. That said, I think the chances of them missing are far greater than a Kings repeat. Winning a Cup takes so many elements beyond great personnel and a bevvy of talent. It takes grit, depth and yes, some luck. Especially during the salary-cap era, dynastic teams are harder to come by. Anything can happen in the East though I am banking on Wings making it again this year,
Michael (Minnesota): If you were Chuck Fletcher, what would you do with your goalie situation? Are you tempted to sign Brodeur?
Katie Strang: If I were Chuck Fletcher I'd be extremely concerned about my goaltending situation. I know he said publicly that there will be training camp competition with Harding, Backstrom and Kuemper but I wouldn't feel too confident with that. That's why, since the trade deadline, many assumed Brodeur would be a great fit there. His sons also play at famed hockey prep school Shattuck St. Mary's in Fairbault, MN. Makes a lot of sense. But I think Brodeur is holding out for potentially an injury situation that opens a spot up.
This is a press release about a media availability, but the NHLPA's "Rookie Showcase" is one of the more interesting events of the summer. The NHLPA and Upper Deck, the league's hockey card rights-holder, picks a gaggle of top prospects to take part in photo shoots and autograph-signings in Toronto, and the players enjoy the meet-and-greet-and-hang-out aspect of the event:
2014 NHLPA ROOKIE SHOWCASE
TORONTO, ON (August 12, 2014) – Thirty-three of the top NHL® prospects/rookies will gather in Toronto at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (site of the former Maple Leaf Gardens) on Saturday, August 23rd for the 2014 NHLPA Rookie Showcase. Now in its sixth year, this unique event provides Upper Deck – the official trading card partner of the NHLPA and the NHL – with an exclusive opportunity to photograph many of the game’s top young prospects/rookies in their official NHL team uniforms, in shots that will be used for upcoming trading card and memorabilia launches.
The prospects attending include the following players...
NHL.com's Tal Pinchevsky takes a look at the latest...do we call it a charitable trend?
With so many charitable causes seeking much-needed donations, who knew a series of videos showing people dunking ice water over their heads could make such a difference.
But the exponential growth of the Ice Bucket Challenge through social media has helped raise overall awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, with the hockey world making sure to do its part.
"It's really unprecedented. I've worked in the non-profit world for a number of years and I can't think of anything that's been like this in the past for any charity," said Carrie Munk, a spokesperson for the ALS Association. "It's so amazing that ALS is a part of this. It's a disease that we need to shed a spotlight on to find treatments and a cure."
NHL.com's Dan Rosen asked San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan 5 questions, and the first one got right to the heart of the "rebuilding" matter:
People are curious about what's going on in San Jose when Doug Wilson brings up the term rebuild. Can you explain the philosophy regarding what this offseason is about for the Sharks?
"We want to reset the hierarchy and culture in the organization, and that's really where the term rebuild came from. We feel we have a tremendous talent pool. We feel the players that are with our organization are part of the solution and not the problem now. As a staff, we talked about the ability to push and win as much as we can while we get younger, while we adjust the roles a little bit and give some of the younger players more responsibility. The term or the word used like that can be confusing at times. I think a lot of people, especially in the media, immediately went to, 'Well, they're going to trade Thornton and Marleau.' That's not the case. We believe that those two are part of the solution, not part of the problem. That got a lot of play media-wise. That's not what we were about. We think we have a very good hockey club and we think we need to tinker with a few things and continue to push forward."
KK is running a little slow today as I (George) am getting back on my feet and Paul is dealing with this:
LiquidWeb customers in the US are experiencing outages Tuesday morning as part of a widespread issue impacting major network providers including Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner, and Verizon.
LiquidWeb is keeping customers in the loop on Twitter as to what is going on, and said it is currently communicating with a number of major providers to get more information on the outages across the US. LiquidWeb is directing customers to downdetector.com to see which connectivity providers are affected.
While some customers asked LiquidWeb if the outage was connected to the flooding in Michigan on Monday night, where the company is based, it has confirmed that that is not the case and that the issue is way more far-reaching than Michigan.
This effects more than a few KK readers as well, so we're crossing our fingers that full access to KK is restored as soon as humanly possible.
The Edmonton Oilers have signed forward Leon Draisaitl, the third overall pick in the 2014 draft, to a three-year entry level contract.
Draisaitl had 105 points (38 goals, 67 assists) in 64 regular-season games for the Western Hockey League's Prince Albert Raiders last season. He also had a goal and two assists on four playoff games.
The six-foot-one, 209-pound centre from Cologne, Germany, has represented his country several times, most recently at the 2014 World Hockey Championship, where he had four points (one goal, three assists) in seven games.
He joins a young Oilers team that includes recent first-overall picks Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov.
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
A source with knowledge of Krug’s negotiations told CSNNE.com that there’s been a sizeable offer made for the defenseman’s services by an unidentified KHL team. The offer, according to the source, included a good chunk of money up front as a signing bonus.
When contacted by CSNNE.com, Krug’s agent, Lewis Gross, wouldn’t confirm, or deny, that the KHL offer existed, and instead offered an apologetic “no comment.”
The KHL offer is certainly plausible given Krug’s high profile after finishing fourth in Calder Trophy voting, and could be part of the KHL’s ongoing determination to cherry pick disgruntled NHL players for the Russian Hockey League. It also wouldn’t be unprecedented this summer as former B’s forward Vladimir Sobotka bolted St. Louis for the KHL after becoming unhappy when the Blues offered him arbitration rather than a big money multi-year deal.
It’s highly, highly unlikely Krug would eschew both the NHL and the Bruins to hop in bed with a volatile KHL outfit that hasn’t always turned out to be the greatest fit for American-born hockey players. Krug doesn't really fit the profile of NHL players that bolt for Russia.
It may be, however, the one very long shot option for Krug if negotiations don’t turn out well between his camp and the current B’s front office that has always treated their players fairly in the past when given the chance.
from Barbara Ross of the New York Daily News,
New York Islanders owner Charles Wang was clocked with a $10 million lawsuit Monday by suitor Andrew Barroway for backing out of their deal to make a trade for $420 million.
In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Barroway’s corporation, NY ICE claims the parties “shook their hands on an agreement” and NY Ice started to line up NHL approval and financing.
However, Wang “without notice, abruptly refused to proceed to close the transaction and honor the terms of their 70-page purchase agreement but instead “improperly sought to renegotiate the already agreed upon price” in March.
In midsummer, according to court papers, Wang demanded $548 million for the team. When Barroway refused, Wang notified him on Aug. 1 that he had sold the team to other bidders.
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