Kukla's Korner Hockey
“This season is not about me, not at all. It’s about the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’ll never be about me. I’m a sidebar. I’m the tsetse fly on the wall. This season is about the Maple Leafs. It’s about our team. It’s about our players. It’s about our organization.
“The reality is, we have to win more games. Simple as that. Winning cures pretty much everything.
“Losing is hard. This is why we’re bald and we’re grey and you ask yourself, ‘Why do I do this for a living?’ You carry the losses with you. And in this market, you carry it a little big longer and a lot louder.
“You have to have short-term memory. You have to be able to move on to the next practice, the next game, turn the page and keep your emotions so you make the decisions that are best for your group.”
-Randy Carlyle, head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. More from Carlyle by Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun.
from Rob Rossi of he Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
No team in this city is better at controlling its message than the Penguins, so I have to believe the messages management has been sending behind the scenes are the ones they want out there.
Crosby's been crushed by the burden of being Sidney Crosby.
Malkin needs to become a better leader.
Ray Shero was too close to his players.
Dan Bylsma ran a country club.
It's time to change the culture.
Now, that might be a fair point, but accountability is a tough sell from a franchise with owners who only take questions when they're trying to sound like they've been paying close attention....
I'm also pretty skeptical of the overly layered management structure working out the way the Penguins think it could.
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
With 23 men on the roster (that includes Joakim Nordstrom or Teuvo Teravainen), the Hawks are about $2.2 million above the salary cap of $69 million. Even if they broke camp with 22 players, they still would be above the cap. So between the time the puck drops for the first practice Friday in South Bend and the time the puck drops for the regular-season opener Oct. 9 in Dallas, general manager Stan Bowman has to make a move. There are plenty of possibilities.
Defenseman Johnny Oduya has one year and $3.375 million left on his contract, so he makes the most sense from a strictly financial standpoint. But he and Niklas Hjalmarsson make up the Hawks’ top defensive tandem, charged with stopping the opponents’ best players. That allows Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook to be more offensive-minded. And any deal might hinge on how healthy Oduya looks in the preseason after suffering a broken foot in Game 7 of the Western Conference final.
Defenseman Nick Leddy, who makes $2.7 million and will be a restricted free agent next summer, is a 24-year-old puck-mover and power-play quarterback and might fetch a nice prospect or two. He has lost coach Joel Quenneville’s trust in two consecutive postseasons, but Bowman and the organization remain high on thim. If Bowman can find a taker for 36-year-old Michal Rozsival instead, he likely would jump at it.
I don't expect many moves early in training camp. There is always the possibility a player gets injured, maybe placed on LTIR which would give a team some cap relief for a period of time.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Look, there’s dialogue between Rangers management and Marc Staal’s representation that is constructive. And talks will continue.
That’s all good.
But even as No. 18’s agent, Paul Krepelka, told The Post on Wednesday afternoon that “we’ve made some progress,” an agreement on a contract extension for the alternate captain is by no means imminent. There remains a substantial gulf between the parties....
“I’m not giving daily updates, not getting into ‘close or not close,’ ’’ Krepelka said. “The tenor of the talks has been good, so we’ll keep going and keep working on it. There’s certainly no deadline on our part for getting this done.
“If this becomes a distraction at any time for Marc, then we’d have to take another look at it. But it’s all been positive to this point.”
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
The Senators and Marc Methot are just $300,000 per year apart in negotiations on a contract extension.
It seems to be either a very workable gap or an excuse for Ottawa to solve its blueline logjam by trading the veteran defenceman.
Methot is beginning to think the latter.
"It's at the stage where I'm really not comfortable that the team wants to do anything (on a new deal)," a disappointed Methot told the Sun Tuesday.
Entering the final season on a contract that has a $3 million cap hit and pays him a $3.75 million salary, Methot, an Ottawa native, is willing to sign up long term for what he feels is a "hometown discount."
from David Pollak of Working The Corners,
Q: I won’t pretend to know exactly what goes on in the room, but there are outward signs the Sharks weren’t one big happy family last spring, what with talk of being co-workers, not teammates. Is there a rift?
(McLellan) “I think when people speak, you have to listen and Doug has listened. . . . When I hear comments such as we were co-workers, not teammates, if I’m a player and I sat within 10 feet of these individuals throughout the year, I’m mad.
“I think it takes a lot more courage to speak to your teammates when you’re in the locker room and try and fix things than to stand after in a closed room without any teammates around and go that route.
“My issue isn’t necessarily with Patrick and Jumbo as ‘C’ and ‘A.’ We’re forcing some individuals that have these opinions to step up and show us. We’re kind of telling them, go ahead, repair things.
Unfortunately, the focal point is on Joe and Patty. They suffer from being that focal point. But for me, a lot is on a lot of other players.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
When Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen took agent Kurt Overhardt to task for his handling of the Ryan Johansen negotiations on Monday, it turned out that was just the warm-up act. When it came to president of hockey operations John Davidson to take his turn, he turned both barrels directly on Overhardt.
This is getting ugly, folks. And personal. The organization has chosen to make the agent the villain in this tale and Overhardt, for his part, wants no part of the public mudslinging. And that’s probably the best plan of attack for him. If someone has to be vilified here, it’s better that it’s the agent rather than the player.
“It makes no sense, Davidson said. “When you see numbers that are thrown at us, we shouldn’t even respond. That’s how bad it is. It’s embarrassing. And if the kid sits out, he sits out. I wonder if the agent’s going to pay him his money back that he’s going to lose by sitting out.
“With the numbers they come back with…are so one-sided it’s nonsensical. It’s extortion is what it is. I don’t make this stuff up. I’ve been in this league doing this for a long time now and this one here, it’s baffling is what it is. This one’s baffling. Baffling.”
Maybe today we will hear from Urban Meyer?
Just imagine if Johansen does hold out for a few days after camp opens and has a slow start to the season. The CBJ fanbase will be all over him because both Kekalained and Davidson went public with the negotiations.
from Daryl Reaugh of Razor With an Edge,
Get ready for an onslaught of numerical algorithms and trends.
Computer geeks and calculus wiz’s have been the pop-hires this summer. All of a sudden every team has to have one, and there seems to be great fanfare from social media whenever another obscure number-cruncher is added to a hockey staff.
It’s ‘Revenge of the Nerds’, 200 by 85.
Over the past couple of seasons we’ve all been introduced to Corsi and Fenwick, at least the names Corsi and Fenwick if not what they actually mean. I’ll admit to only having a cursory knowledge of the statistical info they provide, and I’m fine with that.
Don’t get me wrong; stats have a place.
At their best they are illuminating and validating, but they have to be deployed in that manner - they have to enhance, not lead.
“It’s gotten to the point now, not just for myself but for every player on our team, if we’re going to get the recognition … our team has to be a better team than it’s been in the pas. When we see players vault to levels that they weren’t at before, it’s usually because of their playoff performance. Or the way they were able to get their team into the playoffs.
“The same applies to me: In order for me to get the recognition I want from Edmonton fans and outside sources … it’s going to have to be because our team is good.”
-Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers. More on Hall from Mark Spector of Sportsnet.
You never know who you will see when you pick up your tickets.
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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