Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ralph Stragis at DallasStars.com,
A guy tells me one time – he was a writer this guy – I’m trying to learn about writing a screenplay and he says remember – anybody can write a good first act. He tells me this like 20 years ago and it’s been bangin’ around in my head ever since.
What he doesn’t tell me – this guy – and it’s something I only find out by working on writing books and movies and plays in my spare time over the years – he doesn’t tell me how hard it is to know when to end Act 1. And how to start Act 2. Turns out art’s like life that way. Messy. No straight lines. No right or wrong answer. Just yours.
My timeline isn’t your timeline – I know that. You wish I’d be here forever. I would if I were you. I always wanted Ray Scott to do the Vikings and Al Shaver to call the Stars games forever. See how it works – Al has the chair – then another guy has the chair – then I have the chair – then another guy has the chair. It ain’t our chair to begin with.
To be in the chair for 25 years – that’s a rare thing. Saw lots of big stuff – huge – you probably heard me tell you about those things as they happened so we’ll share that forever. Also went through the tough times with ya. Shared those with ya too. Again like life. You’re up – you’re down. They come and they go…
I think you will enjoy the video below...
Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports the AAV is $4.25M.
FRISCO, Texas - Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has signed defenseman John Klingberg to a seven-year contract extension. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Klingberg, 22, appeared in 65 games this season as a rookie for Dallas posting 40 points (11-29=40). He led all NHL rookie defensemen in assists and points, and was second in goals. Amongst all rookies, he finished fourth in assists, seventh in points and seventh in even-strength points (28).
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
Tyler Seguin will be a healthy scratch Saturday for the Stars’ season finale against Nashville, coach Lindy Ruff said Saturday morning.
Seguin was late for practice Friday, and the Stars on two previous occasions made players healthy scratches after they were late for practice. Erik Cole was scratched in October after being late for practice and Cody Eakin was scratched in March.
“We’ve got rules and Tyler won’t play,” Ruff said. “The bottom line is he broke one of the team rules, and he’s suffering the consequences for it. I look at it as no different than any other player. Erik Cole missed the first game of the year. Cody Eakin missed a game. I think you have to be consistent with it. It’s all part of the growing up process for players. It’s a process that over the years I’ve dealt with on different teams…you learn from it, you hope the player grows from it, and you move on. It’s something that happens, it’ll happen again, and we try to put the rules in place to help prevent it.”
Seguin was asked if he wanted to offer an explanation as to why he was late, and he said no. But he said he was disappointed and embarrassed.
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
Some notes, quotes and other musings from the Ducks’ 4-0 loss to the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night …
-- The home team trudged off the ice to audible boos from those at Honda Center who hadn’t already left for the exits to beat the traffic – on its own fan appreciation night.
It was the deserved response from a portion of the Ducks’ fan base, a critique of a defeat that was as bad as it looked. Matt Beleskey knew it and offered up an apology of sorts.
"That was just a terrible hockey game,” Beleskey said afterward. “I don't think we made a tape-to-tape pass the whole game. That's a bad game for our fans, to be honest. I feel sorry for the people who came out to watch that one....
Corey Perry called their showing “poor” but punctuated it with some colorful adjectives that can’t be fit for a newspaper. Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau used the word lazy when it came to another horrid second period. “And you can’t get lazy in this game,” Boudreau said.
CALGARY, Alta. - Hockey Canada announced Wednesday that Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill has been named general manager of Canada's National Men's Team for the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, which will be held in Prague and Ostrava, Czech Republic from May 1 - 17, 2015.
Nill will lead a management group comprised of Sean Burke (Windsor, Ont./Phoenix, NHL), Claude Loiselle (Ottawa, Ont.), George McPhee (Guelph, Ont.), Pat Verbeek (Sarnia, Ont./Tampa Bay, NHL) and Scott Salmond (Creston, B.C.), Hockey Canada's vice-president of hockey operations and national teams.
Should he have received more for this?
FRISCO, Texas - Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has activated forward Valeri Nichushkin from injured reserve and loaned him to the Texas Stars, Dallas' top development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL), on a conditioning assignment.
Nichushkin, 20, has missed the last 59 games after having hip surgery. Additionally, he missed seven games from Oct. 14 - 28 with a hip injury. He has skated in four games this season for Dallas, posting zero points and two shots. He also appeared in two games for Texas on a conditioning assignment from Oct. 31 - Nov. 1 and registered an assist.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
On my dream team, Jamie Benn, John Tavares, and Rick Nash are my first-line forwards. Good luck getting the puck off their sticks or denying them entry to the dangerous areas of the rink. They are monsters. In this league, it’s hard to beat size and skill.
Tavares and Nash were always considered NHL slam dunks. The Islanders drafted Tavares first overall in 2009. In 2002, Columbus made Nash the top pick. Tavares was granted exceptional status to play in the OHL as a 15-year-old. In 2000, the London Knights picked Nash fourth overall in the OHL draft.
Benn is the outlier compared with Tavares and Nash. In 2007, 128 players were drafted before Dallas picked Benn in the fifth round. Benn, a native of Victoria, British Columbia, was bypassed altogether when he became eligible for the Western Hockey League bantam draft.
In hindsight, neither is surprising.
Benn is a dominant NHL left wing. When paired with Tyler Seguin, the two are a lethal offensive combination. Seguin works magic with his speed, skill, and shot. Benn does the heavy lifting by protecting the puck, working the corners and the net-front real estate, and using his 6-foot-2-inch, 210-pound frame to impose his will on opponents.
continued plus more hockey topics...
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
The Stars currently sit 28th in goals against average at 3.29 and 29th in save percentage at .893. In comparison to last season’s 2.71 GAA (17th) and .911 save percentage (17th), you can explain this season’s 29-27-10 record in those drops alone.
A frustrated coach Lindy Ruff lit into the goalies a week ago and said they were the main source of the problem
“The goaltending performance doesn’t match the effort in the team right now,” Ruff said after a 5-4 OT loss to Colorado where Kari Lehtonen struggled. “You need goaltending, it’s as simple as that.”
Lehtonen has surprisingly posted a 26-13-10 record on the heels of a 33-20-10 mark in 2013-14. But his GAA has gone from 2.41 last season to 2.98 this season and his save percentage has dropped from .919 to .905.
In addition, the eye test says he’s not playing well. His glove is unpredictable, and his confidence looks shot. He backs in too far on breakaways, and he often scrambles too much on scrums. While he’s been very open to discussing the issues this season, he said after being pulled against Florida Thursday that he needs to clear his mind of bad thoughts.
“I’m done thinking about what just happened,” Lehtonen said. “I just have to get rest and have a good practice. I think I’m thinking too much sometimes, and now I’m going to try not to.”
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
Some quick thoughts ahead of a busy hockey weekend:
• Here's an almost unbelievable stat: It has been one year since the Stars got a win in a game that was started by their backup goaltender. That, however, should change soon. Kari Lehtonen's play has hit rock bottom. He allowed three goals on 14 shots before being pulled on Thursday night in Florida and has posted a save percentage of .826 or lower in four of his past five starts. His confidence is blown, his mechanics are off (his glove and his side-to-side motion, in particular), and his teammates play like they expect the worst to happen at any moment. Even coach Lindy Ruff, a man who will take a bullet for his players, has had enough, calling out Lehtonen for not matching the efforts of the other Stars.
It wasn't that long ago that the Stars believed Lehtonen was a player who could help them get to the next level. Now? They have to be wondering whether they can get his head on straight by next season, or if they should look in another direction. Moving him won't be easy, though, not with three years remaining on a deal that carries a cap hit of $5.9 million.
continue plus more topics including a look at the Simon Despres trade...
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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