Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
- All David Bolland did in Chicago was his job.
Ask him to check, he checked. Ask him to scrap, he scrapped. Ask him to occasionally score, he would occasionally score.
That included a bang-bang, last-minute, Stanley Cup-winning goal with Chicago, his last game with the Blackhawks.
That was three years ago. Now Bolland, at age 30, has become something of a punchline, not a person or a player of any consequence in hockey, just salary cap space. That’s how he’s looked at by too many in the hockey world. His rather large contract was dealt from Florida to Arizona, not because anybody wanted him, but because the Coyotes would take prospect Lawson Crouse and the price of doing so was to accept Bolland’s contract. The value of salary cap space in today’s NHL....
- Wasn’t sure why Team Sweden left Dallas defenceman John Klingberg off their initial World Cup roster. Now not sure why they haven’t added him as an injury replacement to their very strong defence. Sweden ended up inserting Anaheim’s Hampus Lundholm to take Niklas Kronwall’s spot. On a scale, this is equivalent to Canada leaving P.K. Subban off its roster.
a bit more on Bolland and a few more nockey notes...
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The Avalanche last week broke the syndrome of hiring recycled NHL coaches, opting to fill their late-summer bench vacancy with Jared Bednar. If you’ve been too buried in beach reading to pay attention, the job opened unexpectedly when Patrick Roy abruptly resigned Aug. 11, convinced that his view from the bench was not in focus with the rest of Denver’s front office cognoscenti.
Unlike Roy, the sometimes tempestuous Hall of Fame goalie who backstopped Cups in both Montreal and Denver, the 44-year-old Bednar lacks any “Q factor.” Even in Cleveland, where he led the AHL franchise this spring to the Calder Cup championship, he was a virtual unknown. A defenseman, he was undrafted after three years of junior (Western Hockey League), then kicked around the minors for eight seasons before breaking into coaching as an assistant with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays in 2002-03.
Some 14 seasons later, including three with the Springfield Falcons, voila, Bednar hit the big time Thursday when Joe Sakic and friends picked him to lead them out of their protracted tailspin. The Avs missed the playoffs for a second season in a row in 2015-16 and have DNQ’s five of the last six seasons. Roy’s bench had gone flat, despite some young, high-end talent up front (Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog).
continued plus more hockey topics...
Exploring one of the most controversial and provocative positions in the history of sport, ‘Ice Guardians’ journeys into the lives of those who perform what is undoubtedly the toughest job within the National Hockey League today, the enforcer. Very few understand this position and even fewer appreciate what is involved in becoming one. It’s a punishing profession unlike any other, holding little mercy for its candidates on or off the ice. Born out of self policing a game where 200 pound men fly towards each other on metal blades with sticks, the role now finds itself facing the scrutiny of national newspapers, on-line blogs and TV news casts. Due to its violent nature, it has drawn opinions from both fans and critics alike. But what do we really know? What led to its spectacular rise? What purpose does it serve in the eyes of its beholders and what drives them forward in the face of adversity? Ice Guardians steps beyond the hype and heads directly to the source of the debate… the players themselves. Through their eyes, tough exteriors are shed to reveal the humanity behind a role that struggles to maintain its existence.
much more and it premieres in mid-September...
Watch a trailer below...
BUFFALO, N.Y. (August 26, 2016) --- The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has capped season ticket sales for the 2016-17 season at more than 16,000 tickets. The cap is designed to ensure the availability of Mini-Packs and individual game tickets for all fans.
The Sabres had 97 percent of season ticket holders renew their tickets for the 2016-17 season, marking the 11th consecutive season featuring a renewal rate higher than 90 percent. More than 2,000 fans remain on the Blue & Gold Club season ticket waiting list.
“A 97 percent season ticket renewal rate is a remarkable achievement for any professional team,” Sabres president Russ Brandon said. “We’re lucky to have a fan base that consistently provides so much support and we look forward to rewarding our fans’ passion by building on last season’s improvement.”
from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen,
Just in case you haven’t been paying close attention to the paper trail, the Coyotes’ highest paid forwards are now Bolland and former Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk.
Bolland, who scored one goal in 25 games for Florida last season, has three years and $16.5 million remaining on his contract. Before the swap with Arizona, the Panthers were seemingly stuck with that financial headache, unable to buy him out of that deal because of injury.
Datsyuk, who has left for St. Petersburg in the KHL, has one year and $5.5 million left ($7.5 million salary cap hit) on the contract he signed with Detroit. The Coyotes secured Detroit’s first-round pick at June’s NHL draft as part of the deal for taking on Datsyuk’s salary, using that selection to choose defenceman Jakob Chychrun.
On defence, the Coyotes also boast the salary of the long ago retired Chris Pronger. Pronger, who owns a $4.935 million salary cap hit and $575,000 salary next season, was acquired, along with Nicklas Grossmann, in last summer’s trade for Sam Gagner.
Add it up and the Coyotes will be paying an eyebrow-raising $11.575 million next season for a trio of players who may never play a game for them.
None of the above is meant as a shot at John Chayka, the 27-year-old general manger of the Coyotes. He was hired largely because of his analytical abilities, looking for creative solutions to financial puzzles while aiming to build the most competitive team possible. He is doing that.
from Brian Hedger at NHL.com,
After trading Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad last summer, the Blackhawks have traded Andrew Shaw, Teuvo Teravainen and Bryan Bickell this offseason. The lone forward addition was fourth-line right wing Jordin Tootoo, and the most significant acquisitions were free agent defensemen Brian Campbell and Michal Kempny, a 25-year-old rookie from the Kontinental Hockey League.
The message is clear: Chicago's system needs to produce some NHL-caliber forwards this season.
"A lot of these guys have been with our system for several years, and in the past, it's been tough [for them]," general manager Stan Bowman said at the Blackhawks' annual fan convention in July. "We've had fewer [NHL] openings. So, I think right now our mindset is to go with the group that we have under contract right now. I think I want to give these guys a chance to show us they belong."
It's a group that includes rookies Vincent Hinostroza, Tanner Kero, Kyle Baun and Mark McNeill, who each made his NHL debut last season. Also included are highly touted rookies Tyler Motte and Nick Schmaltz, who each excelled in college last season. The most pressing question is whether the Blackhawks have enough talent among that group to replace what they have lost.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
With the opening of NHL training camps only 17 days away, here are five story lines worth following:
Hampus Lindholm negotiations: The Anaheim Ducks still haven’t been able to re-sign the two-way restricted free agent defenseman, and what happens with the situation could affect another team.
While Lindholm is essential to the Ducks, they have eight NHL defensemen on their roster, plus prospects Shea Theodore and Brandon Montour who are close. When Lindholm is re-signed, the Ducks are expected to trade a veteran defenseman.
Top-pairing defenseman Cam Fowler’s name has been mentioned in trade rumors all summer. The Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, among others, have been looking for defensive help.
from Chris Pinkert of St.LouisBlues.com,
The Blues officially introduced Pietrangelo as the club’s new captain during a press conference Thursday afternoon at Scottrade Center. The 26-year-old native of King City, Ontario will join an exclusive list of former Blues to wear an embroidered ‘C’ on the front of the jersey. That group that includes such legendary names as Al Arbour, Brian Sutter, Brett Hull, Al MacInnis, Wayne Gretzky, Bernie Federko, Chris Pronger and Barclay Plager.
“When you look at the guys who wore the ‘C,’ those are some big shoes to fill,” Pietrangelo said. “Not just good leaders, but good people that have represented themselves and their teammates in a great way. It’s my job now to carry on that tradition.”
The decision to name a captain came less than two months after the previous captain, David Backes, departed for the Boston Bruins via free agency on July 1. Backes had served as the Blues’ captain for the better part of five seasons from 2011-16.
“Being a top draft pick and watching him grow into an elite player in our game, Alex is the perfect age to take the leadership role for this group,” Armstrong said. “We have turned into a younger nucleus of a team, and he can guide that through the next number of years. We’re excited to have him as a captain.
added 3:47pm, St. Louis press release is below...
Update: Here's the Avs' press release:
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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