Kukla's Korner Hockey
added 8:36pm, Sabres press release is below...
I tweeted this earlier and should have posted it too, but honestly I am sick of the John Scott talk.
As you know, I follow hockey all day and part of the night and the hottest topic in the media including web, TV and radio has been John Scott.
Instead of discussing the great hockey which is being played,....
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
February 18, 2011, was supposed to be the day that the world changed for the Buffalo Sabres.
That was the day Terry Pegula, an owner with buckets of cash who loves hockey, officially assumed control of the team that the Knox Brothers founded.
No more poverty. No more bankruptcy. No more getting by on the cheap. No more being the feeder squad for the rich boys.
Instead, it’s pretty much been all bad. The team is off to the worst start in franchise history and has become a yet another case study on how money doesn’t always cure all in pro sports.
NEW YORK (October 24, 2013) -- Commissioner Gary Bettman today upheld the 10-game suspension that was assessed t oBuffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta by the Department of Player Safety for an illegal check to the head o fColumbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson in NHL Game No. 49 in Buffalo on October 10.
Commissioner Bettman heard Kaleta's appeal of the original decision, assessed Oct. 15, at a hearing in New York on Monday.
Kaleta is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, will forfeit $152,439.00. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
The incident occurred at 3:08 of the first period.
Read Bettman's complete ruling here.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
It’s easy to forget now, but for years (Jeremy) Jacobs was viewed as a villain in Boston. Fans who called him a tightwad thought he was the primary obstacle between the Bruins and the Stanley Cup. They complained about him living in Buffalo, claiming he didn’t care about Boston and wasn’t committed to winning.
Once they grew tired of crying, they stopped buying....
See where this is going?
The Sabres could build the same success if a similar message was received at the top. Fans can continue whining about Darcy Regier, suffering, a lack of entertainment, a lack of leadership. It starts in Buffalo where it started in Boston, with the owner. He’s the one man who can make changes in a snap of his fingers.
Terry Pegula can run the Sabres how he chooses, but fans can spend their money how they choose, too. It’s not as if Pegula is shaking down unsuspecting victims on a street corner and demanding their money. They’re willfully donating a couple hundred bucks when the tickets, parking and beer are added up.
It’s not my place to tell people how to spend their money, but to me it seems ludicrous when some shell out more on season tickets than property taxes. They’re enabling the very problems they’re whining about. They may be showing up and chanting “Fi-re Dar-cy,” but they’re still showing up.
from Damien Cox of The Spin,
There are goons, and there are rats.
Rarely do you get both in one hockey player. But the Buffalo Sabres, a franchise fallen on very hard times, have such a player.
A goon rat in Sabres clothing, as it were.
A player, quite simply, who needs to have his membership as a player in the NHL revoked for a considerable period of time, an exceptional case even these days when there seems to be a suspension-per-day and NHLPA members seem more determined than ever to cause each other serious brain injuries.
People complain that we in the media only want to talk about this stuff.
How can we not? There's a new sensational violation every day.
Below, some video reaction to the hit...
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Talk to players who regularly face Steve Ott and Brad Marchand and one thing you'll hear is their skill sets are as impressive as their mouths are loud.
"The most important thing is they can play," Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher told NHL.com. "If they weren't able to play the game, no one would pay attention to them. They're important players for their team, and they play an important role. You add in the fact they can play that agitator role, they can get under the skin of their opponent, and that is a skill as well. They both have that ability, and I guess they're both pretty good at it."...
Ott had 24 points in 48 games last season and averaged more than 38 points over the prior four seasons. Marchand had 18 goals and 36 points in 45 games last season after putting up career highs across the board in 2011-12 with 28 goals, 27 assists and 55 points.
They know they're on their game and at their most annoying when the opponent is trying to talk back at them. Ott said he regularly hears it from players on the bench and even opposing coaches. He smiles and keeps talking because he knows whatever he's saying is making an impact and helping his team.
"When you're not effective is when the other team is quiet toward you, no one is saying a word out there," Ott told NHL.com. "Those awkward situations, that's the telltale sign that you're not effective. But when guys on the bench are yelling at you, opposing coaches, then you're doing your job."
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
A decade ago, some of the files currently crossing Shanahan’s desk wouldn’t have been considered for supplementary discipline. They would have been dismissed as hockey plays, nothing more and nothing less.
The NHL is trying to change behaviour and it is proving to be a tough slog, in part because every hit is different and there is no one-size-fits-all disciplinary solution. And the learning curve is proving difficult for some players to absorb.
It wasn’t always this way with Kaleta. He scored 10 goals in an NHL season once (2009-10, you can look it up), reasonable production from a bottom-six forward in 55 games, provided he gives you reasonable in-control, two-way play – the way a handful of reformed serial offenders are doing now (from Matt Cooke to Steve Downie).
Kaleta needs to figure that out, too. Sadly, if his suspension gets reduced in any meaningful way, it will send the absolute wrong message to him – and to every NHL player.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The Buffalo Sabres’ Ryan Miller will be linked to all sorts of teams as trade speculation continues to swirl, but maybe the best landing spot for him would be Long Island, with the young New York Islanders, a team that has a lot of good prospects in the pipeline but is relying for the moment on 38-year-old Evgeni Nabokov as their No. 1 man. Nabokov has been a serviceable addition for the Islanders since they claimed him on waivers in January of 2011, but Miller would be a far more secure long-term answer. He is just 33 and about the only reason the lacklustre Sabres are competitive most nights.
more hockey topics...
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Out of shape, out of practice, and already out of the playoff picture. That describes a Philadelphia team that is naked, searching for a blanket that can only come from two places this early in a season: within, or from some other flailing franchise like Buffalo and Edmonton. And that’s where the fun begins.
You have to go back, like, 25 years to find 10 impactful trades conducted in the month of October, but this year could be different.
In Edmonton, where the Oilers are similarly mired at 1-6-1, GM Craig MacTavish promised bold moves when he took the job, and has all kinds of roster needs. The Oilers have the scoring wingers that Philadelphia GM Paul Holmgren seeks—Ales Hemsky, Nail Yakupov—and a shopping list that includes size and grit (Wayne Simmonds), a defenceman (Braydon Coburn), or a young centreman with some size (Sean Couturier).
In Buffalo, Sabres fans are literally showing up at games and chanting for GM Darcy Regier to be fired. Regier has a pending UFA in Tomas Vanek who could be the Flyers’ short-term fix, and his Sabres are 1-7-1. He’d take some youth, even if it meant taking a few more dollars back in the bargain.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org