Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
The Panthers and Coyotes could have waited until Saturday, the opening of the NHL’s interview period, to speak with Keith Yandle and Alex Goligoski. It would have cost them nothing to do so.
Instead, rookie GMs Tom Rowe and John Chayka took proactive measures to enter exclusive negotiating periods with both defensemen by acquiring their rights. Their respective trades (a 2016 sixth-rounder and a 2017 fourth-rounder for Yandle, a 2016 fifth-rounder for Goligoski) were worthwhile assets for the freedom to get their claws on their pursuits before their competitors.
Whether their contracts will be worthwhile is another story.
Yandle is laughing all the way to the bank after netting a seven-year, $44.45 million blockbuster. The Milton native will be 36 years old in the final season of his contract. While Yandle should be a good offensive defenseman for the win-now Panthers, his deal may not be so team-friendly closer to its conclusion....
But Yandle’s five-on-five performance cannot be qualified as dependable. Like others in his segment of puck-moving defenseman, he makes risky plays that blow up in his face. In five-on-five action in 2015-16, according to http://www.corsica.hockey Yandl,e averaged 0.99 points per 60 minutes of play, the second-lowest rate of his career. It’s debatable whether Yandle has the defensive chops to execute the grunt work for Gerard Gallant, who insists on defensive accountability. Yet the Panthers had no trouble giving Yandle a higher average annual value than Brent Burns.
Goligoski did not strike it as rich as Yandle. The ex-Star signed a five-year, $27.375 million deal with Arizona, where he will complement No. 1 defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. But it is a fair valuation for the consistent Goligoski, who can provide some of Yandle’s skills and amplify others, albeit with less flair. Goligoski scored five goals and 32 assists while averaging 23:50 of ice time last year, including 2:20 on the penalty kill and 1:57 on the power play.
more plus numerous other hockey topics....
from Mark Whicker of the LA Daily News,
“One guy’s younger and has a lot better contract,” Murray said, referring to Gibson.. “I’m not concerned with what we have there.”
Ducks fans are permitted to be....
For the Ducks, it’s just a fact of life below the cap, as practiced by owners Henry and Susan Samueli. If the Ducks keep winning division titles over teams that spend more, it’s not likely to change. If their best-paid players are the ones who keep falling short of the moment, it’s even less likely.
It all depends on Gibson, who shut out the Kings in Game 4 of the 2014 second round and was anointed as the next top American goaltender years ago. Goaltenders have been lead actors in Anaheim from Day One, when Guy Hebert began assembling his career. For this to work, either Gibson or the Ducks must be better than they were, last time we looked.
added 5:08pm, Ducks release is below...
via the Anaheim Ducks,
The Ducks have signed defenseman Sami Vatanen to a four-year contract extension through the 2019-20 NHL season. Per club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Vatanen, 25 (6/3/91), has collected 29-69=98 points with a +25 rating and 78 penalty minutes (PIM) in 194 career NHL games with the Ducks. Vatanen, who ranks tied for fifth among NHL defensemen in power play goals (11) since the 2014-15 season, set career highs in points (9-29=38), assists (29) and appearances (71) last season. As Anaheim’s highest scoring defenseman since Lubomir Visnovsky (18-50=68) and Cam Fowler (10-30=40) in 2010-11, Vatanen led team defensemen in scoring, game-winning goals (2), assists, points per game (0.54) and power play points (4-15=19).
It is certainly possible that Carlyle can change, and that his methodologies will adapt to an NHL that emphasizes speed and lightning-quick puck movement above all else. But that’s a gigantic question mark.
What we do know is that Carlyle’s “modern era” teams have never been a credible threat, and if that continues, Anaheim is going to take a pretty emphatic step backward this season.
-Travis Yost of TSN where you can read more on Randy Carlyle.
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
In an attempt to sit atop hockey’s mountaintop again, the Ducks have turned back to the coach who made that climb the first time.
The team officially hired Randy Carlyle as its coach Tuesday, giving the Stanley Cup winner a second stint with the franchise. Carlyle succeeds Bruce Boudreau, who ironically took Carlyle’s place behind the Ducks’ bench in the fall of 2011....
Ducks general manager Bob Murray took six full weeks with his coaching search, ultimately going with someone he knows all too well that has a proven NHL resume instead of handing his team over to Travis Green, who had two impressive interviews but doesn't have experience at hockey's highest level.
"What we were looking for over that time was somebody to come in that has a winning record and a winning background," Murray said. "Somebody that will hold players accountable, and knows how to hold players accountable. Somebody that will have instant respect the minute he walks into the room. Going forward, we kept looking for that.
"I know, in my heart, this is the right move at this time for this hockey team. Randy is back, and I welcome him back."
via the Anaheim Ducks,
The Ducks have named Randy Carlyle head coach. Carlyle returns to Anaheim as the team’s all-time winningest head coach, earning a 273-182-61 record from 2005-11. He also won a club-record 36 playoff games during his Anaheim tenure, made two trips to the Conference Finals (2006 & 2007) and become the first coach to lead a California team to the Stanley Cup (2007).
“A proven winner and motivator, Randy has expertly managed the bench throughout his coaching career,” said Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray. “Our expectations are extremely high, and I believe Randy is the coach who can lead us to playoff success and our ultimate goal, the Stanley Cup.”
Carlyle, 60 (4/19/56), was originally named the seventh head coach in team history on Aug. 1, 2005 and led the Ducks to their first Stanley Cup championship, Pacific Division championship (2007) and five playoff appearances in six seasons (2005-09, 2011). Under Carlyle, the Ducks won 36 playoff games (36-26) and were 11-6 in playoff elimination games. Only one NHL coach had earned more postseason wins than Carlyle’s 36 from 2006-11 (Mike Babcock).
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to come back to Anaheim and rejoin the organization that gave me my first opportunity as an NHL head coach,” said Carlyle. “I’ve followed this team closely for the last couple of years and am familiar with the core group. I believe this team can win immediately and I can’t wait to get started.”
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
It is a big decision. The Ducks are an interesting blend of veteran leaders approaching or at the edge of their prime years and younger performers at key positions nearing theirs. This isn’t a growing team in a “plan-to-win-big-later” phase. They’re in “it’s-time-to-win-now” phase.
Being able to push this group fronted by the over-30 troika of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler is a central part of the job description. Holding grinders and headliners equally accountable is another. So is extracting higher levels of work out of the next wave of leaders and getting meaningful contributions from the most talented prospects.
And there is the tactical stuff. Going forward, who can match wits in the biggest of games with the Kings’ Darryl Sutter or San Jose’s Peter DeBoer, who got the Sharks to their first Cup Final? Or Nashville’s Peter Laviolette and Chicago’s Joel Quenneville, if it comes to that? Boudreau won a lot but putting the right people on the ice at the right times in those must-win contests he lost remains a criticism of his time in Anaheim.
Murray can’t hire Jon Cooper but the way he talked glowingly about Tampa Bay’s coach, he wouldn’t mind finding another like him. Travis Green, a leading candidate, fits closer to that profile and has 970 NHL games that give him added cachet among those he’ll guide....
But is he the right fit for these Ducks at this time? Or is it Carlyle, the Cup winner who’s under strong consideration for another turn to pull off what he did in 2007. He fits the mold of the old hand who’ll ruffle the feathers of his players if it means getting the most out of them.
As assistants, Paul MacLean and Trent Yawney know this team but the longer Murray goes, the more you wonder if they’re really in the mix. And with the assistant coaching shuffle going on around the league, Murray will likely whittle down his list so those who’ve interviewed can go after openings elsewhere. Mike Yeo, formerly of Minnesota, fits that scenario if he’s not the one.
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.
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