Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Talking Hockey On The Last Saturday In July

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

- Veteran NHL linesman Don Henderson, brutalized by Dennis Wideman’s blindside assault during a game on Jan. 27, three weeks ago required neck surgery to repair damage from the hit and friends of his worry that his officiating career may be finished.

Henderson, 47, was near the boards, with his back to Wideman, when the Flames defenseman skated into him, inexplicably lifting his arms and knocking Henderson to the ice. Typically not one to engage in rough stuff, particularly during his four-year stint with the Bruins, Wideman appeared to leave his feet when making contact — a move that usually would bring a charging call and/or game misconduct if it were perpetrated against another player....

- ... If Holland is convinced Mrazek is his No. 1, the most obvious salary “fix’’ would be to move Howard, the 32-year-old ex-UMaine Black Bear. Howard is on the books for three more years at $5.3 million per, a fairly comfortable number for a No. 1, especially with his solid résumé. One possible move would have the Wings retaining, say, a third of his salary. The acquiring team would have a proven No. 1 for roughly $3.6 million (cheaper than Mrazek) and the Wings would have to carry only $1.7 million of his cap hit.

- Once the Oilers moved Taylor Hall to New Jersey to acquire puck-moving defenseman Adam Larsson, it meant all of the top six picks in the 2010 draft were no longer with the clubs that drafted them.

No. 7 that year, Jeff Skinner, remains in Carolina, where GM Ron Francis has opted instead to move out virtually everyone else — notwithstanding the somewhat curious move to bring back struggling goaltender Cam Ward on a new two-year deal.

To recap the 2010 top six:....

more on each of the above topics plus other hockey topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Afternoon Line- Michael Arace On Gary Bettman And The Concussion Lawsuit

Bettman is doing the bidding of the NHL’s 31 owners and fighting the suit with everything he can muster. It might save money in the short term, but the long term is a different story. The NFL’s case is instructive. Litigation, discovery and the power of the federal government eventually directed king football to dedicate $1 billion to the health and welfare of its former players. Bettman has this case history with which to contend. What is more, he has a peeved U.S. senator after him. It cannot end well for the NHL.

Bettman is waiting for a scientific consensus for legal reasons. Meanwhile, he is telling 4,300 former players that the league does not care about them — and, by ignoring what is known, and by making only token efforts to improve player safety, he is telling 700 current players that odds are the vast lot of them probably won’t commit suicide. It is a craven message to the sport, its athletes and its fans.

-Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch on the class-action lawsuit the NHL faces on concussions.  Read more from Arace on this issue.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Back For Some Hockey Talk In Late July

First off, thanks to all for the kind words, thoughts and prayers will I was away with a few health issues.

I am feeling somewhat better but do need to take it easy the next few days in order to recover from a few medical procedures I had recently.

I will go into more detail early next week and I would also like to thank George Malik for pulling double duty the lasr few days.

Hopefully George can do some relaxing while on vacation because it is well deserved, meanwhile let me get my feet on the ground again which will allow me to continue to do what I do.

If you are looking for the sticky post which was at the top of KK recently, the post can be found here.

Filed in: KK Website Business, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Matt Cullen energized by Cup win, wants to play one more year

From NHL.com:

Matt Cullen spent his first day with the Stanley Cup this summer reiterating that he wants to play a final season in the NHL, even if it's not a return to the champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

"I want to play one more season. It's just a matter of figuring out that destination," Cullen told 970 WDAY radio in Fargo, N.D. "We'll see. It's a work in progress."

Cullen had the Cup in Detroit Lakes, Minn., on Friday and will take it to Moorhead, Minn., on Saturday. He also won the Cup in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes.

"It's fun to see how excited everybody gets around it," Cullen said. "There's just something special about it. We win it, we work really hard to win it ... It's really rewarding and it makes it a lot more special for all of us players, but especially me being able to bring it home and seeing how much people respect it and how much it means to everybody.

"You see that trophy, and it just kind of takes your breath away when you see it, so it's cool. It's fun to bring it home and it's really fun to see people's reactions and how much it means to everybody."


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+cullen, pittsburgh+penguins

Legal news: NHLPA files complaint re: Wideman suspension; Predators’ ownership issues NHL’s problem

Today's legal news comes from Reuters...

The NHL’s players union on Friday urged a U.S. court not to grant Commissioner Gary Bettman broad power to override arbitrators when deciding how severely to discipline players for improper on-ice conduct.

Citing a recent appeals court ruling against New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, the NHL Players’ Association said Bettman should not be allowed to restore a 20-game suspension of Calgary Flames defenceman Dennis Wideman for hitting a linesman, after an arbitrator cut the ban to 10 games.

The NHL had sued to revive the longer suspension on June 8, contending that the arbitrator reviewing the matter under the league’s collective agreement was not “neutral,” and ignored substantial evidence justifying the original ban.

But in a filing with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the NHLPA said Wideman’s 10-game ban should stand.

Citing the April 25 court ruling restoring Brady’s four-game suspension from the NFL for deflating footballs, the union said federal courts have only “narrowly circumscribed” authority to review labor arbitration decisions.

“A federal court may not require perfection in arbitration awards,” the union said. “The court must simply ensure that the arbitrator was even arguably construing or applying the contract and acting within the scope of his authority and did not ignore the plain language of the contract. There can be no credible dispute that this was the case here.”

And the Associated Press:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dennis+wideman, gary+bettman, nashville+predators, nhlpa

All about Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka

From the Associated Press:

His time on the ice done, John Chayka would turn to the tape, spending up to 25 hours to break down the game just played.

He tracked every player on the ice, every possession, touch of the puck, calculating the impact of every decision or movement on the ice.

The attention to detail, to making himself and his teammates better, led Chayka to co-found his own hockey analytics company. Now it's helped him become the youngest general manager in NHL history, a meteoric rise even he didn't see coming.

''It would be silly to suggest it wasn't a little surprising,'' said Chayka, named GM of the Arizona Coyotes on May 5. ''It's like anything in life; good fortune, good timing, a lot of that plays into it. I always just try to better myself every day, learn every day.''


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+chayka, phoenix+coyotes

Meet the Las Vegas NHL team’s Mr. Everything

Yahoo Sport's Josh Cooper profiled Murray Craven, whose role with the Las Vegas NHL franchise is...Well, complicated:

Murray Craven doesn’t have an official title with the Las Vegas NHL team but that’s because he doesn’t have one specific role in one specific area.

He’s helping the team design their locker room. He’s working on the Summerlin-area construction of the practice facility, which also includes the team’s office space. He guided billionaire owner Bill Foley to hire George McPhee as the team’s general manager.

“At this point I just do the work,” said Craven who played 1,071 games in his NHL career between the Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Hartford Whalers, Vancouver Canucks, Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks. “I know what’s out there. I know what needs to be done and that’s what I do.”

The 52-year-old Craven is a living, walking embodiment that timing can help in the successes of life. If he hadn’t met Foley while playing golf in Whitefish, Montana in the early part of last decade, he may not have had this opportunity – to help mold and create the first major pro sports team in Las Vegas.

But his ability to successfully do his job is more than just luck. Through those trips to the golf course and personal time with Foley the two have built up a level of trust and understanding where Craven has quickly become one of the few people who can help build this team in Foley’s image.


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bill+foley, george+mcphee, las+vegas, murray+craven

On Tyson Barrie’s arbitration case

The Colorado Avalanche and Tyson Barrie went through the arbitration process on Friday, and the Hockey News's Ken Campbell discusses the ramifications thereof:

Barrie had his case heard by arbitrator Elizabeth Neumeier Friday morning and has until 48 hours after the completion of the hearing to render her decision. The two sides have until that time to come to a contract resolution, however. If they do prior to the decision, the arbitrator’s decision will not be made public. It’s expected that if Barrie goes the distance he’ll receive somewhere between $4 million and $6 million a season on a two-year deal. Barrie asked for $6 million on a one-year deal, while the Avalanche requested salaries of $4 million and $4.25 million on a two-year deal. Since the Avalanche were the party taken to arbitration, they had the option of selecting a one- or two-year deal. That forced Barrie to come up with a salary figure for the second year of the deal in arbitration, a figure that is not available.

The Avalanche have the option of walking away from the ruling, which would immediately make Barrie an unrestricted free agent, but it would be shocking to see them take that course of action. What is more likely if the Avalanche are not happy with the ruling is they could trade him. There are no limitations on trading a player who has been taken to arbitration and since Barrie does not have a no-trade clause in his contract, the Avalanche would be free to trade him anywhere in the league.

There has been a lot of talk of a potential trade to the Edmonton Oilers, where Barrie would be a very good fit as a puck-moving defenseman who can produce points. The Oilers have talented forwards, but what they’re missing right now is a defenseman who can get the puck to them.


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: colorado+avalanche, tyson+barrie

Maple Leafs re-sign Martin Marincin

From the CBC's Tim Wharnsby and the AP's Stephen Whyno:

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+marincin, toronto+maple+leafs

Ben Bishop healthy, ready for the World Cup

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop engaged in a Q and A with ESPN's Joe McDonald:

ESPN.com: How is your leg injury and where are you with your offseason workouts?

Ben Bishop: It's going good. The leg is feeling better and it's getting stronger every day. I'm getting ready to start skating soon ... and get back on the ice and doing that side of things. We have about a month until we go, so I'll start off slow and pick it up in the next month and be ready for training camp for the World Cup.

ESPN.com: Now that you're focused on your preparation for the World Cup, what does this opportunity mean to you?

Ben Bishop: It's a great opportunity. Obviously, it's not new but it's a little bit newer with the World Cup coming back and I think everybody is excited that it's going to be on ESPN. It's a whole different feel to it; it's not another NHL season, or the Olympics, it's a brand new thing coming out again and I think everybody is excited. Everybody's going to be fresh, it's going to be good hockey and it's in a great market in Toronto. There are so many good things coming out of it and I'm excited to be a part of it.


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ben+bishop, tampa+bay+lightning, world+cup

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com


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