Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
Players on both sides were mic'd up for the series...
Stan Bowman, Joel Quenneville and select players are expected to talk at the season ending press conference.
It is scheduled to start at 2:00pm ET and you can watch it below...
STAMFORD, Conn. – June 3, 2014 – The Los Angeles Kings-Chicago Blackhawks Game 7 overtime thriller on Sunday night averaged 4.137 million viewers, according to The Nielsen Company, making it:
- the most-watched non-Stanley Cup Final NHL Playoff game on record;
- the most-watched NHL game ever on NBCSN; and
- the most-watched non-Olympic program ever on NBCSN.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Currently, both players are making the same exact salaries - $6.3-million – and it probably isn’t far-fetched to say both will be in line for significant raises. On the basis of Toews’s value to the team - and the generally held view that if you could pick one player to start a team from scratch, it would be him -it’s hard to imagine he’d settle for less than Sidney Crosby money, and that’s probably where the negotiating fun will start.
Crosby got signed under the last collective bargaining agreement, so he received $104.4-million over 12 years, with an average of $8.7-million, which was permitted because the final three throwaway years are at $3-million apiece. In terms of actual dollars in his bank account, Crosby earned $12-million this year and will do so again for the next two seasons. Overall, in the first nine years of the contract, Crosby will never earn less than $9-million.
Since Kane and Toews are virtually inseparable in the marketing of the Blackhawks, the former will likely want the same money as the latter – and it’s going to get pricey, as the salary cap starts to inch up again.
Negotiations can officially start after July 1, and that will be Bowman’s priority, to get the two signed early, which will then give him lots of time to tweak the rest of the roster around them.
more plus other hockey topics...
from Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune,
The franchise’s motto is “One Goal.’’ This isn’t that goal. This is failure.
Some franchises might be happy to reach the conference finals. Some might be thrilled just to reach the Stanley Cup Final. Not the Hawks. It’s Cup or bust. They tell us all the time. “One Goal.’’...
Just like that, epic fail.
So much played out in the Hawks’ favor, starting with captain Jonathan Toews, regarded as the best two-way player in the game, and Patrick Kane, the scariest stickhandler in the league.
They also had Marian Hossa, a first-team two-way player. They had Patrick Sharp, one of the best snipers going. They had defenseman Keith, a Norris Trophy candidate, and their next three defensemen were considered to be No. 1 blueliners by Kings coach Darryl Sutter.
The Hawks had everything their way. They owned the roster with the best top-end talent and depth. They had some swagger. They were the defending champs, and despite finishing third in their division, they were looking at home-ice advantage in the three final rounds.
They missed the Avalanche and vexing goalie Semyon Varlamov. They got into the Blues’ heads. They had more talent than the Wild. They had more top-end talent than the Kings, and they are a far more talented team than the Rangers, even if the Rangers have the best goalie in the game.
The Hawks should’ve been the best team going, and they should gone back-to-back and won their third Cup in five years. They didn’t.
from Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Chicago, pack your (body) bags.
Not for a trip to New York for the Stanley Cup Final against the upstart Rangers. That would have been too much fun.
Nope, pack ’em for a long summer off, with only the Cubs (gag), the White Sox (zzzz), the Bulls (not playing), the Bears (lifting weights) and the echo of might-have-been to sustain us.
In yet another thrilling overtime game, the Kings beat the Hawks 5-4, sticking the (Chelsea) dagger deep into our beloved hockey team’s heart. Once again, a 2-0 lead did not hold up for the Hawks, who lost Game 2 after being up two goals.
This one was tougher to take than that collapse because the Hawks were ahead in this game 2-0, then 3-2, then 4-3, before losing on Alec Martinez’s shot that glanced off the Hawks’ Nick Leddy and over goalie Corey Crawford’s shoulder 5:47 into overtime.
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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