Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune at the PioneerPress,
Consider the $168 million the Hawks committed to Kane and Toews a down payment on a dynasty. The question now shifts to how close the Kane-Toews era will come to producing the six championships Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen won for the Bulls in the '90s. Nobody seriously questioned either player would leave after next season but, to the delight of Hawks fans, general manager Stan Bowman removed any doubt by fulfilling his pledge to make Kane and Toews Hawks for life. Bowman never will make a smarter move.
The deals run so long nobody can be sure Kane will have enough hair to grow a playoff mullet by the time they expire. By 2023, Toews might even learn to smile without being coaxed. How fortunate for Chicagoans that they get to see Nos. 88 and 19 grow older together, as it should be.
Think of the salary-cap casualties to come as a result of Kane and Toews occupying $21 million annually on the payroll as collateral damage, the price for the privilege of employing two of the world's greatest hockey players. The new salaries don't kick in until 2015-16, which frames next season as a go-for-broke proposition before Bowman inevitably starts dismantling an expensive core.
added 9:15am, from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
from the Chicago Blackhawks,
The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that the team has agreed to terms with forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane on eight-year contract extensions, which run through the 2022-23 National Hockey League season. A formal press conference will be held at the United Center next week, with day and time being announced at a later date
added 1:23pm, Statements from all involved are below, via the Blackhawks....
from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,
Earlier this week, Sportsnet in Canada's Nick Kypreos reported the Hawks had made Sharp available for trade. According to Sharp's agent, Rick Curran, the rumor is "a complete fabrication" and the veteran winger isn't going anywhere....
Curran said Bowman assured him Sharp, who led the Hawks in scoring last season with 34 goals and 44 assists, was not being shopped.
"I had met with Stan about six or seven days earlier and I knew there was absolutely no truth to anyone suggesting that in spite of whatever negotiations were going on on behalf of Toews and Kane that Patrick Sharp was available for trade, because he's not," Curran said. "Then when Kypreos said it, knowing that it wasn't true, I just got really pissed off. There's no way a guy should say it with such certainty when it's absolutely not true. So I called Stan, because I recognize that things can change, and said 'Is there any change?' And he said, 'Absolutely not.'
"There is no way this guy should get away with saying what he said and have Patrick and his family have to suffer the consequences of an absolutely irresponsible remark."
As stated, Kesler is a tremendous player and could end the Blackhawks’ nonstop carousel at No. 2 center. He would have an instant chemistry with Kane, given their international play together in past Olympics. That’s all good. But there are always prices to pay. It just seems, for the Blackhawks, the move is not worth what the prices could be.
-Tracey Myers of CSNChicago on the report (Garrioch) stating Kesler wants to play for Chicago or Pittsburgh. Read more on this topic.
The Washington Capitals will be hosting the 2015 Winter Classic next season against the Chicago Blackhawks, according to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie.
McKenzie adds that while the venue for the Winter Classic in D.C. hasn't been finalized yet, the leading candidate is believed to be Nationals Park.
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
The Kings and Hawks are really good teams, and both will be contenders for years to come. But dynasties? No. You won’t see another NHL dynasty. There’s too much parity. Just look at how good the Western Conference is. You’ve got the Kings and Hawks at the top. You’ve got the Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues, powers in their own right. You’ve got the up-and-coming Colorado Avalanche and the fast-rising Minnesota Wild.
‘‘It’s a war out here,’’ Kings general manager Dean Lombardi said. ‘‘Just getting through this conference every year is going to be like this. . . . The matchup with Chicago, the two teams were so dead-on. If you look at it on paper, it’s a seven-game series every year. They’re so similar to us. And the way they’re set up, they’re not going anywhere. They’ve set the benchmark. We had to reach it.’’
That’s what these teams are. They’re the benchmarks, the model franchises everyone else is gunning for and striving to be. That’s good enough. Don’t dumb down the ‘‘D’’ word just because the current incarnation of the sport doesn’t allow for
total domination. Just appreciate the Kings and Hawks for what they are — well-built, well-run and well-coached teams that aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
from Tracey Myers of CSNChicago,
The Los Angeles Kings have another chance to hoist another Stanley Cup on Friday night, as they have a commanding 3-1 lead on the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final. If they do, it’ll be the second time in three seasons they’ve pulled off the feat.
The Chicago Blackhawks know how they feel, having been Cup winners twice in four seasons, the first team in the salary-cap era to win twice. With that winning comes the inevitable dynasty talk. The Blackhawks heard it last June, and there’s still a chance they could become that dynasty. The same goes for the Kings who, like the Blackhawks, have a strong core, great young players and a solid developmental system. A victory tonight – or in Game 6 or in Game 7 – enhances that talk that much more.
Yes, all that winning earns dynasty talk. It earns respect from others around the league. It also earns a big-old target on those winning teams’ backs that others will be aiming for over the next several years.
For the Blackhawks and Kings, the dynasty road is paved with hazards in the form of the competition. The opposition looks at where the bar is set and tries to reach it with big trades, drafting and better player development. So over the next few seasons, don’t be surprised if hitting that dynasty status – whether that means winning another Stanley Cup, two more Cups in a certain amount of time, etc. – gets a hell of a lot tougher.
from Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune,
I don’t know what the Blackhawks are going to do in free agency to fix their blown chance at another Stanley Cup, but because I’m a pleaser, not a teaser, I’m here to help with a list of 10 (mostly) unrestricted free agents:
- Center Joe Pavelski: OK, so he’s not an unrestricted free agent and is owed $30 million over the next five seasons, which would require a trade, but so what? I love the way this guy plays, and I’ll bet Patrick Kane does, too.
- Center Mike Santorelli: I always look at centers. This one isn’t much of a scorer, but he was a plus-player for a minus-27 Canucks team, won more than 50 percent of his faceoffs, and was a better player on the road than at home, which indicates poise and focus.
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