Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Let’s not get too nostalgic here, lest we look like sentimental fools. Let’s just say that this is nice, that it feels right, that it’s too bad it can’t be this way more often in sports. Nothing wrong with LeBron James getting to orchestrate his future, but if there’s one thing the San Antonio Spurs have taught us hardheaded types, it’s that very good players playing together for a long time can do great things.
And if there’s one thing that Toews and Kane have taught us, it’s that two great players are capable of giving a franchise a chance to win a championship every season. What more could a fan base want?
The surprise these days is when athletes stick around. LeBron’s talk about “four, five, six’’ NBA titles with the Heat is silenced now that he has bolted back to Cleveland after four seasons in Miami. Carmelo Anthony’s decision to stay with the Knicks wasn’t out of feelings of loyalty. It was because the Knicks could allow him to stack more Maseratis atop each other than other teams could. Winning? A secondary consideration, by about 30 lengths.
Toews and Kane are winners. Two Stanley Cups each. Both with a Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs’ most valuable player. A rookie-of-the-year award for Kane and more dramatic game-winning goals than anyone has a right to have. International success for both, but especially for Toews and that country to the north. Canada’s two gold medals the last two Olympics didn’t feel so painful here, not with the Hawks’ captain playing such a prominent role.
from the Chicago Blackhawks,
The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that they have hired Kevin Dineen as an assistant coach. Dineen was teammates with Blackhawks Head Coach Joel Quenneville from 1984 to 1990 when both were members of the Hartford Whalers.
“Kevin brings proven leadership qualities, having served as an alternate captain and captain for several of his teams during his 19-year NHL career,” said Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman. “He will bring another well respected voice to our coaching staff and we look forward to his contributions to our team.”
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
John Shannon, a Sportsnet commentator, was on the Jason Gregor show on Team 1260 on Thursday and mentioned that Chicago’s Johnny Oduya is on the block.
Gregor asked Shannon what move cap-strapped Chicago would make to clear cap space for this year.
“I keep hearing Johnny Oduya’s name,” Shannon said. “I keep hearing they’re going to find a way to move Johnny Oduya and get rid of the dollars he makes, and do it with minimum dollars on that five, six, seven defenceman position.”
Shannon suggested that Oduya was a sixth d-man in Chicago, and that he struggled in other NHL cities when he was asked to do more. “The Johnny Oduya I saw in Chicago I never saw in Atlanta and never saw in Winnipeg.”
continue for more on Oduya being a possible fit in Edmonton...
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.
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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