Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
Listening to Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock tell the media Monday night about veteran center Stephen Weiss needing to earn his way back into the lineup ("We don't give away anything for free," Babcock said) despite his hefty five-year, $24.5 million contract is a good reminder why the Wings have made the playoffs 23 straight seasons and are often held up as an example of building a team the right way.
Now, let's contrast that with the downtrodden Edmonton Oilers, who have offered little incentive to their young stars in terms of making them earn responsibility and ice time. A smart hockey man pointed out to me on Monday what happened when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored just four goals in the lockout-shortened 2013 season: Nugent-Hopkins was awarded a seven-year, $42 million contract extension that following September.
What happened when Detroit's Tomas Tatar had two straight 24-goal seasons in the AHL from 2010-12? He was told to go do it again, and didn't find a regular roster spot in Detroit until 2013-14. It's a difference in culture.
The Red Wings foster high expectations and preach patience and preparation. The Oilers, meanwhile, are in shambles and appear to have no long-term plan, firing their goalie coach Monday in one of the most cringe-worthy, petty-looking moves this season. You want to shake things up, do it, but we all know a scapegoat when we see one.
read on for more hockey topics from the ESPN hockey writers...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Bryan Murray went for a car ride with an old pal Monday in Detroit.
Former Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson invited Murray along for a little ride about town, allowing the two to catch up.
"I ran into him today and he asked me what I was doing and he said, 'Let’s go for a drive.' It was nice," the Senators GM told ESPN.com Monday ahead of his team’s game against the Red Wings.
Just goes to show that despite Alfredsson’s dramatic exit from Ottawa before signing with the Detroit Red Wings in the summer of 2013, time heals all wounds.
Tonight Sportsnet showed this segment during their pre-game and although it was probably recorded earlier this week it is still worth the watch especially if you are a Blues or Wings fan.
Blues GM Doug Armstrong and Red Wings GM Ken Holland sit down with George Stroumboulopoulos to talk about the craft of being a general manager.
I wouldn’t call us friends, but there aren’t many athletes with whom I’ve had a better professional, working relationship. When speaking to kids or doing question-and-answer sessions, you get asked who the best guys are to deal with. He was always on my list.
-Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet on Daniel Alfredsson. Read more on Alfredsson from Friedman.
from Darren Dreger of The Dreger Report,
Three weeks shy of his 42nd birthday, Daniel Alfredsson's comeback bid is about to end.
Sources tell The Dreger Report that Alfredsson has decided not to play this season and while the Red Wings have been informed he is likely done, they have not heard directly from Alfredsson.
Alfredsson has been plagued by an injured disc in his back over the past few years, a lingering problem that he is able to manage off ice, but is continually aggravated by the wear and tear of game action.
continued plus the Toronto stick salute debate...
I tweeted this out last night but I know many of you do not use Twitter.
A very nice tribute/story from Olbermann.
“He had the instincts of a Wayne Gretzky as a goalie. Really, he was one of the few goalies who ever played the game who could intimidate the other team before the puck dropped. They didn’t know how to score on him because you never knew what he was going to do.”
-Chris Osgood on Dominik Hasek. Much more on Hasek from Nicholos J. Cotsonika of Yahoo.
"You can be talented and have great people around you but the love for the game was No. 1."
-Dominik Hasek, who is about to enter the Hockey Hall of Fame. Much more on Hasek from Katie Strang of ESPN.
"Everyone was picking out partners (to fight), but nobody wanted to pick Gordie Howe. And so there was some bad language and some bad blood out on the ice. And this guy is hanging onto me, we'd already dropped our gloves, and I thought we were breaking up. And all of a sudden Howe sort of skates by and he elbows the guy in the face. And his head looked like it just about came off. And so this guy comes back and grabs onto me even harder -- like he doesn't want anything to do with Gordie Howe. And Gordie was about 40 at that time. That's the kind of reverence he got from so-called tough guys in the league, and Gordie was an old man at that time."
-Red Berenson, U of M head hockey coach on Gordie Howe. Much more from Steve Kornacki of MGOBLUE.
from Sean McIndoe of Grantland,
If Alfredsson has indeed played his last NHL game, is he a Hall of Famer? Here’s the case for and against.
For: His numbers are good
For forwards in the modern era, topping the 1,000-point mark has long been considered the minimum threshold to get into the Hall of Fame discussion, and Alfredsson clears that mark comfortably with a career total of 1,157. He falls short of the 500-goal mark, another milestone that bolsters a case, but he was never viewed as a pure goal scorer, and his 444 goals are within the lower range of what the Hall seems to consider acceptable.2
Against: His numbers are good; they’re not great
Alfredsson’s career totals are decent, but they fall well short of sure-thing territory. He sits 51st in career points, behind guys like Bernie Nicholls and Vincent Damphousse who never even dipped a toe into serious HOF conversation.
That’s not an especially great comparison, since those guys played in a higher-scoring era.3 But nobody ever said these debates were fair, and some selection committee members might look at Alfredsson’s totals and feel underwhelmed when the comparisons start getting thrown around.
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 email@example.com