Kukla's Korner Hockey
A save and a goal on the same shift last night...
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
LaFontaine seems like a bright guy and he may have a bright future, but he’s hardly been put in a position to succeed here. It almost certainly would have been more beneficial to first give him a chance to get comfortable in a lower-profile role like Joe Sakic, Steve Yzerman and a slew of other former players did.
The timing of the move is also hard to understand and Pegula didn’t offer up much in the way of an explanation when he made it this week. There is little doubt that he was at least somewhat influenced by the fans who had taken to chanting "Fire Darcy!" while watching the Sabres lose all but one of their opening 10 games at First Niagara Center this season.
The locals seem much happier now. Nolan has returned promising a much more entertaining brand of hockey than what was played under Ron Rolston and it won’t be hard to deliver immediate results with Toronto visiting for a raucous blue-collar Friday night matchup.
"It’s going to be fun," Nolan said.
Yes, the glory days are here again – although it seems there’s a collective bout of amnesia involved for those painting the Sabres shakeup in that light. Even though Nolan won a Jack Adams Trophy during his first stint in Buffalo and LaFontaine piled up all kinds of points during six seasons here as a player, neither man was part of a Sabres squad that got past the second round of the playoffs.
via Luke Fox of Sportsnet,
The asking price for Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller (who's playing fantastic right now)? Two first-round and one second-round draft picks, according to Hockey Central's insiders.
Yikes. Granted, Miller is on top of his game and has the experience to take a team on a deep playoff run, but two firsts and a second for a player who can walk in July is too much to pay.
Also worth noting that contract negotiations between star defencemen Dion Phaneuf and P.K. Subban and their respective clubs is underway.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Building a winning environment at practice, in games, around the rink will fall to Nolan.
"Hopefully I can bring some credibility back into this organization," Nolan told reporters Wednesday in Buffalo. "I'm really looking forward to it."
Some immediately reacted with skepticism to the fact that Nolan was tabbed only as the interim coach. But after the disaster of replacing longtime coach Lindy Ruff (who actually took over from Nolan back in 1997) with Rolston and then keeping Rolston into this season, it's important to make sure Nolan is the right fit.
LaFontaine indicated whoever takes over as GM will have a say in the long-term coaching issue, which makes eminent sense. As for who will be the next GM, one has to imagine LaFontaine will reach out to Rick Dudley, another top hockey mind with long ties to the team, as well as highly regarded Claude Loiselle of the Maple Leafs and Tom Kurvers of the Lightning.
The bigger challenge of how to reset this franchise on the right track will fall to LaFontaine. He told reporters at a news conference Wednesday morning he will begin a search for a GM but it's LaFontaine, who arrives after a very brief stint with the league as a vice president of development and community affairs, who will ultimately set the tone and establish the identity of this team.
The conference is scheduled to begin at 10:30am ET,
Watch it below...
Both Regier and Rolston were informed last nigh of their dismissal.
update 11:22am, Press conference is over.
Elevator problems in Buffalo forced Jeanneret to call the game from ice level...
Elliotte Friedman of CBC spoke with Senior Vice-President of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy today regarding the missed goal in San Jose last night.
The league views this under the prism of Rule 78.5 -- the world-famous "Intent to Blow." If the referee intends to blow his whistle to stop the play, that supersedes everything.
Here is what Murphy said:
"We have in a week two, three or four plays when the puck goes in the net as the whistle goes. What we look for is how strong a referee's signal is, how committed he is to his call.
"We don't want to undermine the referee... have people watching saying, 'See, see, see, they don't agree,' so before we put him on the headset we're looking to see how strong he is on his call."
The one thing that drives the NHL crazy about these things is people judging it in slow motion. You'd be better off sword-fighting a swarm of gnats, because technology makes that too simple, but Murphy and his co-workers do try to work through this stuff at real speed.
Watch it here if you missed it...
I am sure the Buffalo Sabres are happy to get ouf of San Jose with a shootout win, but they may want to work on their defensivezone coverage...
View a screenshot of the same play below...
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
A few years ago I was in a press box in Los Angeles, kibitzing with an executive from a team that employed Daniel Carcillo. He, like Kaleta (and you can insert Raffi Torres in here as well), is 10 times more dangerous than any fighter—at least you know when the fighter is coming. The exec said, and I paraphrase because it was not a conversation to be written down, “I’d be happy if Carcillo wasn’t in the league. But if he is going to be, I want him on my team instead of having to play against him.”
Over the weekend, 29 GMs had a chance to snap up Patrick Kaleta under those same pretenses. Vancouver GM Mike Gillis could have replaced Tom Sestito with a swifter, harder-to-play-against Kaleta; any number of soft, push-over teams could have seen him as an inoculation against being too easy to play against; Ottawa, in need of a spark, could have found one in the rambunctious, totally unpredictable winger. But 29 GMs looked at the waiver wire, and passed. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the biggest sign of progress against on-ice violence that we have seen in some time.
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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