Kukla's Korner Hockey
First about me. Had a tough 48 hours or so and was told to take it easy the rest of the day, but here I am with a quick update.
I have a small growth in my small intestine which causes all sorts of trouble. The good thing is most of the types of tumors are not cancerous and can be removed with a simple procedure.
I will probably face that soon but in the meantime, medication should help with the issues I was experiencing.
Thanks to all for the well wishes and I will be taking it easy the rest of the day.
Also this, hockey related...
RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that defenseman James Wisniewski will undergo surgery on his left knee after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Thursday night’s game in Nashville. Recovery time for the injury is estimated at six months.
Acquired by the Hurricanes on June 27 from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Anton Khudobin, Wisniewski skated just 47 seconds of his Hurricanes debut prior to suffering the injury. Wisniewski, 31, is in his 11th NHL season, after totaling eight goals and 26 assists (34 points) in 69 games with Columbus and Anaheim in 2014-15. The Canton, MI, native was originally selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the fifth round (156th overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. He has appeared in 552 career NHL regular-season games with Chicago, Anaheim, the New York Islanders, Montreal, Columbus and Carolina, totaling 53 goals and 221 assists (274 points) and 459 penalty minutes.
By Joe Sudberg,
There hasn’t been much to smile about since the Carolina Hurricanes’ Stanley Cup win during the 2005-06 season. The franchise has made only one playoff appearance since that campaign (2008-09), and are running on a streak six straight seasons of missing the postseason.
To go along with the streak of postseason absences, the Hurricanes took a step in the wrong direction last season, going from 36 wins in 2013-14 to 30 wins. Head coach Bill Peters is about to begin the second year of his tenure, a year the franchise is looking for a positive stepping-stone for future seasons.
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 goaltender Eddie Lack on a two-year contract extension. The deal will pay Lack $2.5 million in 2016-17, and $3 million in 2017-18.
“Eddie has been a great addition to our locker room,” said Francis. “We feel that we have a very solid tandem in net for this season and are excited that Eddie will remain a part of that picture beyond this year.”
from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,
On a team that was goal-starved most of last season, he realizes the need to be a bigger point producer.
“It’s there,” he said. “It’s just a matter of consistency and being willing to create offense by doing it the right way. I think for the most part in previous years I’ve leaned on the defensive part, but I think this year with the players we have, there will be more chance to create offense and be smart about it.”
Staal, 27, said at times he has felt snake-bit in the offensive zone. Good chances turn into near-misses. Pucks bang off the post or cross-bar.
“That’s been going on my whole life,” Staal said, smiling.
“But it is what it is. Hopefully it will change this year.”
No one will base Staal’s value to the team solely on his point production. He’s the Canes’ biggest player at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds and its best checking center. He can be used on the power play and penalty kill and is effective at both.
“He’s an important player, regardless, because he’s so big and strong,” Eric Staal said. “He’s really difficult to play against.”
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
Eddie Lack was perfect in his preseason debut, playing two unblemished periods against the Washington Capitals on Monday. Cam Ward gave up six goals in a period and a half in his preseason debut against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, but it’s unfair to draw any conclusions from either start.
That first preseason appearance is always a freebie for a goalie, often playing behind a patchwork defense of veterans still shaking off the rust and kids who will get no closer to the NHL. You can look good, as Lack did, but you can’t really look bad. Carolina Hurricanes coach Bill Peters certainly wasn’t making any conclusions of significance.
“We’ll leave that until closer to the end,” Peters said. “Too many Grade A chances in both games and a lot of breakdowns we’re not typically going to make. I thought Eddie was good in Washington, very athletic on the penalty kill. Wardo we just left hung out to dry, unfortunately.”...
Both goalies are in the final year of their contracts, and both can become unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. That makes this season essentially a referendum on the position among Peters and the front office, although General Manager Ron Francis holds the deciding vote.
The Canes could, conceivably, keep both, especially if they’re in postseason contention, but it seems likely one goalie will claim the position and the other will bring a considerable ransom at the trade deadline from a goalie-deficient contender, presumably in the Western Conference if the Hurricanes are still in the playoff hunt.
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
When the Hurricanes make the inevitable decision to move pending UFA Eric Staal, keep an eye on the Predators as a viable partner. Nashville’s current crop of centers—Mike Ribeiro, Mike Fisher, Cody Hodgson and Paul Gaustad—stands out as the weakest of any team with legitimate playoff aspirations. Ribeiro scored a respectable 62 points last season while Fisher chipped in 39 in just 59 games, but both players are now 35 years old, and it’s far more likely that their production will regress than match those levels....
Another team that might be looking to deal, maybe before the end of camp, is the Bruins. The upper-body injury that’s holding veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg out for a few days may turn out to be minor, but it exposes the wafer-thin state of Boston’s blueline. Best-case scenario: the team's top-six stacks up as Zdeno Chara–Zach Trotman, Seidenberg–Kevan Miller and Torey Krug– Adam McQuaid....
more on each of the above topics plus additional hockey talk...
“Alexander Semin was a very top-end player in the league when the game was played at a slower pace. It’s now played at such a high level if you can’t skate it’s hard to compete. Alex lost a step and he tried to play on the outside too much because he didn’t have the speed.
“And then he didn’t buy into the culture that our coach (Bill Peters) was trying to get in the locker room. When you go to practice and you have 22 guys doing things the way the coach wants and one who doesn’t, it usually doesn’t end well. … In simple terms, we paid him $14 million to go away. When we talk about ownership, you don’t do that unless you have a commitment to winning and Pete Karmanos certainly has that.”
-Don Waddell, president of the Carolina Hurricanes on Alexander Semin (now with the Canadiens), who was bought out this summer. Chip Alexander of the News & Observer has more from Waddell on the Hurricanes.
"I personally believe Eric Staal would benefit from a change, I think it would rejuvenate his career. The thing is, he has a great setup there. Obviously he loves Carolina. The organization loves Eric Staal. His family is there, he has a beautiful home there, he is very comfortable.
"I don't think anybody is going to come out and say that, but I have heard they're not really that close in negotiations. He has control. He has a no-move clause, just like Cam Ward does. Carolina can't do anything without his approval."
-Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet on Eric Staal. Scott Lewis of Sportsnet has more.
from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,
It would have been hard, if not impossible, for Jeff Skinner to ignore all the NHL trade speculation percolating this summer.
Every week, it seemed, Skinner’s name was being mentioned and the Carolina Hurricanes forward said to be “available” for a trade.
The Twitterverse was aflame during the NHL Draft in late-June in Florida. For a few days, a deal involving Skinner appeared to be a given.
But it’s September. On Friday, he put in another informal skate with Hurricanes teammates at Raleigh Center Ice, then settled back in the locker room under a stall with a “Skinner” nameplate.
“There’s not much I can do about it,” Skinner said. “You hear all the talk, all the rumors. It’s tough to build expectations because anything can happen. You look at all the deals leading up to the draft and at the draft, and lot of it you didn’t see coming.
“I’m here, I love it here. I think in the summer when you hear all that stuff, that’s all it is – just talk. You can’t really do anything about it. You just focus on getting better.”
RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has acquired forwards Kris Versteeg and Joakim Nordstrom and a third-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft in exchange for defensemen Dennis Robertson and Jake Massie and a fifth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.
“Kris is a skilled forward who has won a pair of Cups with the Blackhawks and can provide veteran leadership in our room,” said Francis. “Joakim is a solid, 200-foot player who can kill penalties. This gives us more options up front for this season, while also now giving us 10 picks in the first three rounds over the next two drafts.”
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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