Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet,
Kessel will turn 27 in October, while Kane hits 26 in November. Which player would you consider a bigger gift to your team?
The case for Kane: In addition to his sublime skills, Kane loves the spotlight. The guy is a star, pure and simple, a fact exemplified by his Cup-winning goal in 2010 and his Conn Smythe performance in 2013. On the ice, his playmaking and vision are what really set Kane apart. Just seven NHLers have registered more total assists than Kane since he entered the league in 2007–08 and only three of those players—Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Marty St. Louis—also have more goals. The Buffalo native may possess the softest hands on earth and when you combine that with the audacity to attempt ridiculous plays, you get things like his shootout winner against poor Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild. A born showman with talent to match; sometimes Kane makes it seem like things just aren’t fair.
The case for Kessel: It really starts during the 2011–12 campaign, when Kessel became the point-per-game player he’s been for the past three seasons. He also hasn’t missed a game since the beginning of the 2009–10 season, his first year with Toronto. That ability to avoid injury contributes to Kessel’s standing as one of the surest things in the league. With the Leafs the past few years, you’ve really never known what might happen from one moment to the next. But the one thing you could count on was Kessel showing up to the rink, skating really fast down the right side of the ice and firing deadly wrist shots to all parts of the net. In the past three seasons, the list of guys who’ve scored more total goals than “Phil the Thrill” is limited to Alex Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos and Corey Perry....
from Rory Boylen of The Hockey News,
When THN’s seven-person panel sat down to come up with our rankings of the 30 NHL logos, we were basically in full agreement which team would be No. 1.
We didn’t want history to influence our decisions. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens sit outside the top 10 for that reason. Ranking all the Original Six 1-6 is boring, predictable and doesn’t accomplish what we wanted to do here: reward the best logos, not the longest history.
Even still, the Chicago Blackhawks stood up to that measurement. The vibrant color combination and the respectful way it honors a WWI battalion and a Native American chief sets this logo apart from the rest. If we handed out the Three Stars of these logo rankings, the Blackhawks logo would be one, two and three.
Check out the rest of the rankings...
"I think they’re one of the strongest built teams in the league. With them, they have amazing star power surrounded with good quality core players. The addition of Brad Richards coming over there as a role player who can help on the power play and be a good leader, brings another experienced guy into a locker room of winners."
"I think team has done a very good job of putting together the pieces and with Kane and Toews signing these mega-deals they’ll be playing with so much confidence. There’s no competition between the two. They are both top five players getting paid like it and it shows the loyalty that the Blackhawks have become known for and [for] building championships."
-Jeremy Roenick on the Chicago Blackhawks. More from Katie Strang of ESPN.
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Blackhawks president John McDonough told the Sun-Times on Wednesday that the longstanding — and to so many, infuriating — practice of organist Frank Pellico playing “The Stripper” while a woman participated in the second-intermission “Shoot the Puck” promotion will stop in the 2014-15 season.
“I think you’ve heard the last of Frank Pellico playing ‘The Stripper,’” McDonough said.
A recent online movement to ban the song, including a #BanTheStripper hashtag and an online petition, called the Hawks out for the rather blatant sexism that was inherent in the contest. The typical format included a child, a man, a celebrity, and an attractive woman — the latter rarely in, let’s say, casual hockey-fan attire. In fact, sources say a team employee has been tasked each night with finding just the right the female participant. It had become as much a part of a Hawks game as playing “Here Come the Hawks” before warmups, and “Chelsea Dagger” after goals.
McDonough wouldn’t say for certain if the Shoot the Puck selection process would be overhauled completely — he said he rarely, if ever, watches Shoot the Puck, and therefore “can’t give you an opinion” — but said the Hawks heard their fans’ message loud and clear.
from Brian Hedger at NHL.com,
"Whenever you see someone [else] lift the Stanley Cup, once you've done it once yourself, it kind of fuels the fire a little bit," left wing Patrick Sharp said. "It's definitely difficult to win it back-to-back, I think that's been proven over the years. Not only myself but the group of players we have, we're all excited to get back to training camp and go get that thing again."
Here are five questions they'll need to answer in order to do it:
1. Who won't be part of the equation once the offseason dust settles? -- Richards' contract is salary-cap friendly with a charge of $2 million for one season, but it puts the Blackhawks in a cap conundrum. According to CapGeek.com, they're about $2.2 million over the $69 million hard cap with a full roster under contract.
That means somebody's probably going to be traded before the Oct. 9 season opener at the Dallas Stars, barring an injury that would allow general manager Stan Bowman cap relief via injured reserve.
The most discussed names as potential trade candidates have been Sharp and defenseman Johnny Oduya. Sharp, whose agent says Bowman told him he won't be traded, has an annual cap charge of $5.9 million for the next three seasons. Oduya, who will be an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2015, has a cap charge of $3.3 million.
from Tracey Myers of CSNChicago,
Andrew Shaw hasn’t forgotten the lessons he learned in his Belleville, Ont., upbringing, be it from the town’s working mentality — or his father’s putting him to work in the summers.
“I did all the brutal jobs, the jobs you pay a guy five dollars an hour to do,” Shaw told Pat Boyle. “As a kid I’d be carrying lumber, holding stuff in a pail. But I think it was good. It made me grow (into) who I am today.”
Shaw talked of his blue-collar upbringing and how it shaped him with Boyle for an Inside Look, which will air at 5 p.m. Thursday on CSNChicago. For Shaw, life in Belleville (pop. 49,500) had its fun and its hockey. It also had its work. His father, Doug, a contractor, made sure Andrew always had that put-the-work-in mentality, and it resonated through the years.
“I always saw my dad work extremely hard for me and my brothers to play hockey,” Shaw said. “Just (to) have the average job, punch in at 7 in the morning, they worked hard and I think it wore off on me. I saw what it takes to get by in this world and I've always push myself to work as hard as I could.”
Let's take a look at one of the legends of our game, goaltender Glenn Hall who played 502 consecutive games in goal.
I can't imagine this record will ever be broken.
from Tracey Myers of CSNChicago,
Pat Foley couldn’t believe it when he got the call earlier this summer: he was a Foster Hewitt Memorial Award winner and would be part of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
“I asked, ‘Wasn’t there anyone else?’” Foley said on Saturday. “Truthfully, it’s still hard to wrap my head around it. But to me, this is the stuff that happens at the end of your career. I think I have a few more miles left in me.”
Foley discussed the prestigious honor, his love of broadcasting and how he got to the Chicago Blackhawks’ booth during his panel session at the Chicago Hilton on Saturday morning.
from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Let’s not get too nostalgic here, lest we look like sentimental fools. Let’s just say that this is nice, that it feels right, that it’s too bad it can’t be this way more often in sports. Nothing wrong with LeBron James getting to orchestrate his future, but if there’s one thing the San Antonio Spurs have taught us hardheaded types, it’s that very good players playing together for a long time can do great things.
And if there’s one thing that Toews and Kane have taught us, it’s that two great players are capable of giving a franchise a chance to win a championship every season. What more could a fan base want?
The surprise these days is when athletes stick around. LeBron’s talk about “four, five, six’’ NBA titles with the Heat is silenced now that he has bolted back to Cleveland after four seasons in Miami. Carmelo Anthony’s decision to stay with the Knicks wasn’t out of feelings of loyalty. It was because the Knicks could allow him to stack more Maseratis atop each other than other teams could. Winning? A secondary consideration, by about 30 lengths.
Toews and Kane are winners. Two Stanley Cups each. Both with a Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs’ most valuable player. A rookie-of-the-year award for Kane and more dramatic game-winning goals than anyone has a right to have. International success for both, but especially for Toews and that country to the north. Canada’s two gold medals the last two Olympics didn’t feel so painful here, not with the Hawks’ captain playing such a prominent role.
from the Chicago Blackhawks,
The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that they have hired Kevin Dineen as an assistant coach. Dineen was teammates with Blackhawks Head Coach Joel Quenneville from 1984 to 1990 when both were members of the Hartford Whalers.
“Kevin brings proven leadership qualities, having served as an alternate captain and captain for several of his teams during his 19-year NHL career,” said Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman. “He will bring another well respected voice to our coaching staff and we look forward to his contributions to our team.”
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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