Kukla's Korner Hockey
"There's always been something special the past four or five years with our leadership group, that whenever others come in and be part of that group we just become a really tough team to get rid of. We're tough to beat. A lot of things have to go wrong for us to lose in a playoff series. If we can keep leading that same way, find that same belief and will to win, then there is no reason we can't find ourselves back in the Stanley Cup Final and competing for the Stanley Cup again. That's always the goal. I think any time you win the Stanley Cup and then are sitting at home watching someone else wheel off with it, that is a bad feeling. It feels like it is still yours and you don't want to give it up."
-Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks while on the NHL media tour today. Much more NHL talk from numerous players who are on the tour.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
After being forced into dismantling nearly half of his championship roster throughout the summer of 2010,Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has made all the moves necessary to build a team that could be the NHL's first cap-era dynasty.
"He continues to keep the core of his team together and he's got good contracts," NHL Network analyst and former general manager Craig Button told NHL.com. "I think they're in position now to be that team for the next five, six, maybe seven years, somewhere in that range, that is in the conversation as Stanley Cup contenders. Can they win two, three, four, five? I don't know. But I do know that they're positioned perfectly."
In case you missed the news, Corey Crawford signed for $36M over 6 years.
With the talk of the salary cap hitting the $80M mark in 3-4 years, I think the contract is a little over-priced, but not a bad signing at all.
By Nick Tranfaglia of TiqIQ,
Hockey fans shouldn't blink, -training camp is right around the corner and that means the start of the regular season as well.
If the Chicago Blackhawks are done celebrating their 2nd championship in 4 years, they'll notice they have 82 tough matchups on their way to a 5th.
What that translates to is not only a frenzy in Chicago, but also more expensive seats at the United Center, where ticket prices are up 56 percent since the Hawks' victory. Team execs will bank on a hangover from fans who are still drunk with excitement from last season, because at $369 for a seat this season Hawks fans will need to shell out. Last year the Hawks' season average at the United Center was $236, which must seem paltry in comparison.
from James Neveau of NBC Chicago,
The truth of the matter is that when you combine the flair with which he plays the game, the quality of his playoff performances, and the emerging maturity that is redefining his image in the minds of Chicago fans (and is catching nationwide notice, for that matter), then there is no other conclusion than to say that Kane is the face of hockey in the United States.
Guys like Parise and Quick may be able to match Kane if this were a question simply of ability, but when you factor in the star power, as well as the allure of playing for one of the game’s most storied franchises, then Kane is without equal in this discussion. At only 24 years of age, Kane is (hopefully) far from finished in this league, but when all is said and done, then he may end up usurping guys like Mike Modano and others as the most legendary American to ever lace up a pair of skates.
from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,
Team Canada coach Mike Babcock said Monday he had some thoughts on who his captain would be in Sochi, but he hadn't made a final determination. Toews figures in that slight reservation. Sidney Crosby is the consensus pick to be captain, but maybe Toews is better suited for the role.
In seven instances wearing a Team Canada jersey, Toews has won gold six times. He has the knack of being able to do whatever his team needs him to do at the right moment.
Many will argue -- and I'm firmly in this camp -- at this moment in time, Toews is the best player in the world. Durable, clutch and complete. He is The Franchise in Chicago and maybe Canada too.
Crosby is an offensive genius, but his defensive game is lacking. And while he leads with his play, he's not exactly Abe Lincoln when it comes to oratory skills.
Toews took a strong stand during the lockout and is never afraid to speak his mind. It's not hard to imagine him getting up in the dressing room and setting things straight.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
You can say Patrick Kane’s hockey career has been a wild ride, so it’s fitting the South Buffalo native opted for a trio of crazy rides Saturday.
To celebrate his day with the Stanley Cup, the Chicago Blackhawks winger toured Western New York in a limousine bus and emerged from a military humvee and a Zamboni holding hockey’s holy grail aloft for adoring fans to see.
“Any time you can come back to Buffalo and bring the Stanley Cup, it’s a great thing for me,” Kane said Saturday morning during a visit to the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.
From No. 1 overall draft pick to two-time Stanley Cup champion to Olympic silver medalist to Conn Smythe Trophy winner — and all by age 24 — Kane has become one of the biggest names in the NHL. Each player on the winning team gets the Cup for a 24-hour period and Kane made a big entrance with it at Hangar 907 in Niagara Falls.
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