Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
There’s very little chance, if any, that Johnny Oduya will be wearing a Blackhawks sweater when training camp opens next fall. He knows that. Everyone knows that. It’s not that he doesn’t want to be back. It’s not that the Hawks don’t want him back. The math just doesn’t work.
As an unrestricted free agent with a cap crunch looming, the Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane megadeals kicking in, and a big Brandon Saad raise due, it’s virtually mathematically impossible for a veteran, well-paid defenseman such as Oduya to fit.
Oduya gets that, even if he won’t get into specifics.
“I’ve been around a couple years,” the nine-year veteran said. “I understand the ins and outs of that.”
But the urgency Oduya feels now, with the clock ticking on his Hawks career, is no different than the urgency he felt last spring. Or the spring before that. As Toews often says, you only get so many chances to make a run at a Stanley Cup, and the championship window only stays open so long. So Oduya’s thinking about what’s going to happen between now and June, not what’s going to happen in July.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Some days - not too many, thankfully - I feel like it sucks to get old. Or, more precisely, it sucks to watch great hockey people you admire and respect grow old.
Friday was one of those days.
That's when the family of 74-year-old Stan Mikita announced the Hall of Fame Chicago Blackhawk centre and beloved franchise ambassador is facing serious health issues, that he has "been diagnosed with suspected Lewy Body dementia, a progressive disease and is currently under the care of compassionate and understanding care givers."
On the same day as that most unwelcome Mikita news, blogger Howard Berger (bergerbytes.ca) posted a current photograph of 82-year-old former NHL defenceman and Hall of Fame coach Al Arbour, updating his condition (dementia and Parkinson's Disease) and inviting fans to send best wishes to Arbour at his retirement home in Florida. Arbour's health issues were widely reported in the media last summer - it isn't necessarily 'news' he's now suffering dementia - but what's that they say about one picture being worth a thousand words?
That the failing health of these two Hall of Famers intersected, sadly, on the same day only added to the magnitude of the misfortune. At least it did for a kid who spent his formative Original Six hockey years growing up in Toronto in the 1960s, admiring the two men for very different reasons.
The goal stands...
from Dan Arritt at ESPNChicago,
"It’s frustrating." Crawford said. "We played a good game, and [the Kings scored] two quick ones at the end. I guess everyone can pretty much tell how we feel about that one."
Crawford was clearly unhappy with some of the calls that were made -- or not made -- during the game but passed on making any comments regarding the officiating.
Patrick Kane wasn't so reserved, pointing to a slash in the final minutes that resulted in a broken stick but wasn't called. He also referred to a penalty earlier in the game on Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook for using his hand to pull the puck out from under his backside as he sat in the middle of the slot, something he claimed the Kings had done just prior to the penalty.
"There were a couple calls that could have been made," Kane said. "[The referees] were maybe playing catch-up after we had three power plays [in the first period] and evened the score a little bit."
NEW YORK (January 24, 2015) – The National Hockey League announced today the participating Clubs, locations and dates for the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® and 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ games planned for the 2015-16 NHL regular season.
The 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will feature the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, on Jan. 1, 2016. When these long-time rivals meet, Boston will become the first Club to host the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® for a second time, after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime at the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® at Fenway Park. It will mark the first time the Canadiens will play in the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, and just the second time a Canadian-based NHL team will play in the game, following Toronto’s appearance in 2014.
The 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series will feature two games. On Sunday, Feb. 21, in a first for the Club, the Minnesota Wild will play host to the Chicago Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium on the Univ. of Minnesota campus. The following weekend, on Saturday, Feb. 27, the Colorado Avalanche will make their debut in a regular-season outdoor NHL game when they play host to the Detroit Red Wings at Coors Field.
from Scott Powers of ESPNChicago,
Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman will undoubtedly be making and taking calls over the coming month and a half, but he doesn’t expect to make any big moves leading up to the NHL’s trade deadline....
“I would never rule things out, but I don’t know if we’re going to be a really active player,” said Bowman before the Blackhawks played the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday. “In the game today with the salary cap, we’re essentially right at the cap now. So if you’re going to be adding players, unless you’re trading players away, I’m not sure we’re in that spot.
“Sometimes you have a guy or two who is underperforming or whose contract you’re trying to get rid of, but we don’t really have anyone like that. We like our guys. They’re all contributing. Certainly they have slumps and they play well and struggle at times but, in general, it’s not like we have to get rid of this guy. If you were to trade one of those, you create one hole to fill another.”
from The Chicago Daily-Herald,
Mike Spellman, the Daily Herald's Chicago Blackhawks expert and the creator of the Spellman's Scorecard column, died unexpectedly Tuesday.
The cause of death is unconfirmed but he appeared to have suffered a heart attack. Today would have been his 51st birthday.
Just last year, Spellman assumed the Blackhawks beat after the death of longtime hockey writer Tim Sassone.
"While you were dazzled by his creativity as a writer and columnist," Sports Editor Tom Quinlan said, "he was such a good and kindhearted person that you were even more impressed by his outgoing spirit and positive nature. We lost a true friend and a colleague we greatly admired," Quinlan said.
Here is the video explanation...
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
In the wake of their 6-3 loss to the Dallas Stars on Sunday night, the Hawks, the league’s stingiest team entering the game (but no longer), have given up at least four goals in three of their last four games, and six of their last 11. As a result, they have lost two straight, three of four, and five of eight.
Quenneville called Sunday’s loss a “carbon copy” of Friday’s loss to Winnipeg — a surging division rival playing for the second straight night on the road, scoring a power-play goal in the third period and pulling away for a victory.
“We’re not happy,” Quenneville said. “Home games. Games that we’re expected to win, teams that played the night before, points you’ve got to have. … We saw two opponents in the past two nights that are trying to move ahead. And that’s what we’re going to face every night. We’ve got to be more competitive than we saw.”
via the NHL,
Chicago Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo will be offered an in-person hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety for cross-checking Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault in a game Friday.
Carcillo was not penalized for the play that occurred near the end of the second period (he drew a penalty for cross-checking Jets forward Mark Scheifele afterward). Perreault did not play in the third period.
Winnipeg won 4-2.
The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: cross-checking. However, the Department of Player Safety retains the right to make adjustments to the infraction upon review.
Missed the play, watch it here...
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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