Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune at the LA Times,
At 10:10 p.m. CDT Sunday night, Chicago shook its fist at fate, cursed the Kings and slowly started to face reality that will take all summer to sink in.
BREAKING NEWS: Hearts all over town broke watching the Blackhawks lose, 5-4, in overtime in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals. There will be no Stanley Cup repeat or Grant Park parade. Stunningly, the Blackhawks' season is over. It even seems odd to type that....
You didn't have to be an NBC executive to appreciate what America witnessed. A wonderful series that deserved a Game 7 required overtime too — as fitting as it was frustrating. With due respect to the Rangers, the NHL will stage a Stanley Cup Final, but this series decided the league's best team.
"It's hard to admit to ourselves this season is over," Toews said.
Rest assured, it will be even harder for a hockey city to accept.
“If you look at how close we were, how competitive it was, it’s a tough league, it’s a tough thing to do to win the Cup. I couldn’t be prouder of our guys the way we competed. It’s a tough situation, down 3-1, and we were one shot away from going and trying to do it again.”
“I’ve lost some tough games, but nothing like tonight.”
-Joel Quenneville, head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks after last night's game, More from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo.
From the OT goal by the LA Kings, to the awarding of the Clarence Campbell Trophy, HNIC was there.
Oh, and Bob Cole too.
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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