Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,
Goaltender Cam Ward was the first off the ice Thursday at Raleigh Center Ice, soon to be followed by Eric Staal.
Ward and Staal have been two constants for the Carolina Hurricanes for more than a decade. They’re the two remaining members of the Canes’ 2006 Stanley Cup champions, a reminder of better times.
Each will be entering the final year of long-term contracts this season. Both have said they want to remain a part of the organization, indicating the desire to sign contract extensions.
“Right now, I’m just going about my business and making sure I’m ready to go,” Ward said after an informal skate. “Obviously, it’s no secret I love being here and there’s nowhere else I want to be.”...
“In a perfect world I’d like to have something done, but there’s no pressure,” Ward said. “I’ve just got to prepare myself for a great year, not just for myself but for the team. It’s team first. We want to be ready.”
Since the Cup run in 2006, when Ward was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs MVP, the Hurricanes have reached postseason just once, in 2009. The past six seasons have ended with Hurricanes players and coaches facing longer summers than they wanted, with their fans disappointed.
RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with forward Elias Lindholm on a two-year contract extension. The deal will pay Lindholm $2.5 million in 2016-17 and $2.9 million in 2017-18.
“Elias played well last season, nearly doubling his offensive numbers from his rookie year,” said Francis. “We expect he will be a very important part of the Hurricanes as he continues to develop as a professional.”
Lindholm, 20, established career highs in goals (17), assists (22), points (39) and games played (81) in 2014-15, and ranked third on the team in goals and points, and tied for third in assists. The Boden, Sweden, native has now played in 139 NHL regular season games with Carolina, scoring 26 goals and earning 34 assists (60 points). The Hurricanes drafted Lindholm (6’1”, 192 lbs.) in the first round, fifth overall, in the 2013 NHL Draft.
from Michael Smith of CarolinaHurricanes.com,
In the corner of a shared office on the fourth floor of PNC Arena, you’ll find a small desk with enough surface area to house a laptop and an extra screen, a keyboard, a mouse and a pair of books about statistical analysis. It’s the unassuming – and temporary, as a much more appropriately sized desk is en route – home to one of the more incredibly bright and insightful minds in the hockey analytics community: Eric Tulsky.
Tulsky recently joined the Carolina Hurricanes full-time as a hockey analyst, a role in which he will provide and analyze data to assist the hockey operations department and coaching staff.
“In a really broad, general level, my job is to make use of any data we can get and figure out how we can use it to improve our decision making,” he said. “On a daily basis, my job is to collect, assemble and analyze that information to provide useful input to people.”
from Russia-Hockey, RU (translated),
Very much surprised that you were able to find me in Krasnoyarsk - the world champion in 2014 and silver medalist of the World Championship-2015 immediately took the initiative in their hands. - But in fact, this beautiful Siberian city - my second homeland. On the one hand is a graduate of Ust-Kamenogorsk and Magnitogorsk schools. On the other - from Krasnoyarsk my mother, three hundred kilometers in the direction of Irkutsk live other relatives. So I decided, one might say, here to settle down, to build a house. Forest, river, sea, hunting, fishing, Siberian expanses - an amazing place! Paradise!
Many of your fans are hoping that last season would be a breakthrough season. And you're in the "Carolina" is the first number, replacing veteran Cam Ward, who in the spring of 2014, you clearly outplayed. Alas, it turned out ...
I agree with you. Perhaps you can blame himself. But by and large I was not given a full chance to prove himself. The first half of last season was crumpled. Then, the situation has changed - but it was not the normal playing time, mostly sitting in reserve. As they say, it did not grow together.
A recent exchange became a surprise for you?
Yes, they marveled. Exchange - it's always an exchange, it is not fun much. Although generally more pleased.
"Anaheim" - one of the leaders of the NHL in recent years, a constant contender for the Stanley Cup in the "Ducks" can solve the high goals. Plus I really like California. As I say, California - it's not even America, it is a separate state (laughs).
thanks to Hockey VIPs for the pointer....
via Justin Bourne tweets,
So, the last-in-Metro Hurricanes game plan to make it work next season is more or less "have the same players just like, do better," hey?
They should have about as many lottery balls as anyone next season, I'd guess. Probably AZ/BUF back in that mix too?
(Prepares for the [wrong] "actually I don't think Buffalo will be bad" responses.)
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
The Carolina Hurricanes have a big hill to climb if they hope to return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2009.
The Hurricanes are coming off a season when they finished last in the Metropolitan Division, 14th in the Eastern Conference and 26th in the NHL. They were among the League's lowest-scoring teams, and their playoff hopes were essentially gone before the first month of the season ended after a 0-6-2 start in October.
It was a nightmarish first season for general manager Ron Francis and coach Bill Peters, and with several teams in the conference making major improvements this offseason, avoiding a seventh consecutive non-playoff season won't be easy.
Can Jeff Skinner rediscover his scoring touch?
The Hurricanes scored fewer goals in 2014-15 (183) than all but three teams despite being among the top 10 in 5-on-5 shot attempts. Eric Staal was Carolina's only forward to finish with more than 40 points (54; defenseman Justin Faulk was second with 49). Carolina made no major additions up front and bought out Alexander Semin, a seven-time 20-goal scorer who had six goals and 19 points last season. For the Hurricanes to improve, Skinner has to return to the form that made him a two-time 30-goal scorer before his 22nd birthday. He dropped from 33 goals and 54 points in 2013-14 to 18 and 31 last season. "We need to find a way to utilize him properly and get him to bounce back to the level he's been at before," Peters said. "If he's done it once, he can do it again."
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
In September, Noah Hanifin will try the hardest thing he’s done as a hockey player. The Norwood native will report to Traverse City, Mich., to play in the Red Wings’ annual eight-team rookie tournament. The 18-year-old will then graduate to Carolina’s main camp.
The two components will help determine whether Hanifin will make his NHL debut on Oct. 8. Most 18-year-olds are still asking their mothers to wash their dirty socks, not battling men with mortgages.
“If he’s ready to play, he’ll be in our lineup come October,” said Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis. “If he needs more time, we’ll do what we have to do to help in that regard, as well. We want what’s right for Noah.”
Hanifin, who left three years at Boston College on the table by turning pro, will have to fight for his first NHL paycheck. He’ll be competing for ice time against older teammates such as Ron Hainsey. In 2002, when Hainsey made his NHL debut, Hanifin was five years old.
But if anything ensures Raleigh as Hanifin’s landing spot instead of Charlotte, the Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate, it is the way he moves.
continued plus more hockey topics...
from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Carolina owner Peter Karmanos offered a blistering critique of the way the Penguins do business during a meeting with Raleigh-area media Wednesday.
He took numerous shots – some subtle, some not – at the franchise, with general manager Jim Rutherford the primary target. Rutherford was the Hurricanes’ GM for two decades until he was replaced by former Penguins center Ron Francis in 2014, shortly before Rutherford was hired here.
Among Karmanos’ observations:
On the large contract Rutherford gave to winger Alex Semin, who was bought out this week – “Ultimately, I take responsibility for everything. I do not have to take responsibility for Pittsburgh signing [Phil] Kessel, however. [The Penguins actually traded for Kessel, who has seven years left on his contract.]”
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
Perhaps flush from his election into the Hockey Hall of Fame, Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos did something so out of character Tuesday it was earthshaking. He authorized the $14 million buyout of Alexander Semin’s contract.
And just like that, Jim Rutherford’s $35 million mistake became a $28 million mistake, and Semin will have to slouch around somewhere else not scoring goals next season. And the season after that. And the season after that.
Paying a player that much money to go away is not in the Hurricanes’ DNA. In fact, it pretty much represents the opposite of everything Karmanos and the Hurricanes have done over the years, which is to try to operate on a tight budget while other teams throw money at problems.
That’s one measure of how badly the Hurricanes wanted Semin out, wanted him away from their impressionable young players. After trying to find a less expensive solution at the draft – swapping bad contracts, or sending Semin and an asset to a deep-pocketed team that would then pay to buy him out – they were left with no choice.
via Michael Smith of CarolinaHurricanes.com,
The Carolina Hurricanes placed forward Alexander Semin on unconditional waivers Tuesday with the intent of buying out his contract.
Semin was notified of the club’s decision Tuesday, per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and he will need to clear waivers at noon Wednesday prior to being bought out.
Semin, 31, signed a five-year, $35 million extension with the Hurricanes in March 2013, and he has three years remaining on his contract.
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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