Kukla's Korner Hockey
fom Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
- Now is the time for the Islanders to get in on the bidding for Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog, both placed on the block by the dysfunctional Avalanche, both dynamic, highly skilled offensive players who would jump-start an attack that has produced the fewest five-on-five shot attempts in the NHL.
Landeskog, the 24-year-old captain, would fit neatly on Tavares’ left side. Duchene, the 25-year-old who went third in the same entry draft in which No. 91 was first overall, could either play on Tavares’ wing or center the club’s second line.
Colorado is seeking a top-four defenseman, but who isn’t? And while it would be unwise for the Islanders to move Travis Hamonic in a deal for either player, Snow should be willing to discuss sending Nick Leddy — a very good one whose annual $5.5 million cap hit through 2021-22 meshes neatly with Duchene’s $6 million per through 2018-19 and Landeskog’s $5.57 million per through 2020-21 — out west as part of a deal that would reshape the team, reset the season and reenergize the franchise.
Or Snow could stand pat and pledge allegiance to the status quo. What does he have to lose? Only his job.
- Surely the Red Wings’ focus is not on extending their playoff-qualification streak to 26 seasons when the team is nowhere close to Cup contention and hasn’t been for years.
The fact is, Detroit has not won a single playoff round over the past three seasons, has won one in the last five and three in seven years since losing their title defense to Pittsburgh in the 2009 final.
It’s time for GM Ken Holland and the franchise to take one step back in order to take two steps forward, even if this is the last season for what will be a hardly lamented Joe.
Joe Louis Arena: Hockey’s Shea Stadium.
more on the Islanders and other hockey topics...
STAMFORD, Conn. – Dec. 21, 2016 – NBC Sports rings in the new year with a pair of outdoor NHL Classics, highlighted by NBC’s annual presentation of the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, when Alex Pietrangelo and the St. Louis Blues host Patrick Kane and the rival Chicago Blackhawks at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Monday, January 2, at 3 p.m. ET.
In addition to the NHL Winter Classic, NBC presents a clash of young American NHL stars on New Year’s Day at 3 p.m. ET in the NHL Centennial Classic, when rookie sensation Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs host Dylan Larkin and the Detroit Red Wings at BMO Field in Toronto. The NHL Centennial Classic represents the start of the league’s year-long Centennial celebration.
Connor McDavid and Dylan Larkin dominate the conversation.
Bill Dineen, a two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Detroit Red Wings who later coached the Philadelphia Flyers and had three sons play in the NHL, died Saturday in Lake George, N.Y. He was 84.
Dineen also coached two Calder Cup-winning teams in the American Hockey League and is a member of the AHL Hall of Fame.
"During his time as a player and coach, and in the values he instilled in his family, Bill Dineen created a legacy of greatness in the American Hockey League that still resonates today," said David Andrews, AHL president and chief executive officer. "Our deepest condolences go out to the entire Dineen family at this time."
Dineen, born Sept. 18, 1932, in Arvida, Quebec, joined the Red Wings as a 21-year-old rookie in 1953-54 and had his best NHL season with 17 goals and 25 points, then played 12 games during Detroit's run to the Cup. He was part of Detroit's 1955 Cup-winning team, finishing the regular season with 10 goals and 19 points.
Below, watch AHL Hall of Fame Induction video for Bill Dineen in 2014.
from Gary Lawless of TSN,
On Monday, he was attending meetings on the Red Wings new dressing room and how to tie in the team’s heritage through photographs and interior design. Holland isn’t just a quirky ex-goalie with four Stanley Cups on his resume as an executive. He’s a hockey renaissance man: thoughtful, expressive and passionate about the sport from an overall perspective, not just based on what works for the Red Wings.
“I think the game’s in great shape in terms of parity and competitiveness. So many of our games come down to the last few minutes and the tension and nervousness is critical and exciting for our fans,” said Holland, over the phone from Detroit, on Monday.
“I’d like to see a little more offence, but not at the expense of close games. So, if the average goals per game is five, and I don’t know what it is, I’d like to see us get to six or seven. But we don’t want the 3-2 game to turn into a 5-2 game. I don’t want to get to seven goals at the expense of competitive balance. If we can find a way to make the 3-2 game a 4-3 game — there’s more offence and it’s still tight and the third period is still competitive and we still get to overtime a lot — I’d like to see that.”
The NHL is averaging 5.3 goals per night this season, at the low end of where it has been for the better part of two decades. In 377 games this season, 97 have been decided by one goal in regulation, 95 by one goal in overtime, 32 by two goals including an empty-net goal and 40 by two goals or more. Holland is right — the games are close.
“He would just sometimes look up and make one comment that cut through all the bullshit and had the whole room in stiches.
“His humour, which comes across in a really witty sarcasm, was pretty legendary and earned him the nickname ‘Cutthroat.’”
-Brendan Shanahan on Steve Yzerman. Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet has more on Yzerman in The Big Read.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Slow adjustment for Eriksson
Three years ago, following his arrival from Dallas in the Tyler Seguin trade, Loui Eriksson had a tough time adjusting in Boston. It’s looking like Eriksson is experiencing a similar break-in period in Vancouver. The cerebral wing had scored just once in his first 15 games. Eriksson had two goals in his first eight games in Boston before John Scott knocked him out with a concussion. That year, Eriksson posted an 8.7 percent shooting percentage, second lowest of his career following his rookie season (7.7 percent). This season, Eriksson is burying pucks at just a 4.2 percent clip, well off his career rate of 13.7 percent. Eriksson’s other numbers, however, are doing just fine. He has been his regular puck-possession self, recording a team-high 56.0 Corsi For percentage. He is leading Vancouver forwards by averaging 19:03 of ice time, indicating the trust he’s earned from his coaches. Bad luck doesn’t last forever. Eriksson’s production is due for a spike.
Howard may be a good gamble
Jimmy Howard has come to accept that long term, Petr Mrazek is Detroit’s ace. But Howard also has accepted that if he continues his current pace of play, Las Vegas will be sure to spend one of its expansion picks on the ex-University of Maine netminder. Through seven appearances, Howard was 4-2-0 with a 1.22 goals-against average and .961 save percentage. Howard’s deeper numbers are also excellent: a .969 even-strength save percentage (just shy of Carey Price’s .971 standard) and a .938 mark during opposing power plays (Price was .880). Howard’s done all this behind a team that has chased the puck more than it’s controlled it. Howard was formerly an aggressive goalie. He’s playing a quieter game this season, settling back in his crease and waiting for plays to approach. Howard is signed through 2019 at $5,291,667 annually.
more hockey topics...
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
After the last pre-season game last fall, the Detroit Red Wings were faced with a vexing decision. Dylan Larkin had not only proved himself to the best rookie through training camp and the exhibition games, he was their best player. Rookie coach Jeff Blashill went to GM Ken Holland and told him that if he was going to have a chance to succeed as the Wings new coach, he needed Larkin in the lineup.
Holland complied, but told Blashill in no uncertain terms that if Larkin was either seeing spot duty on the fourth line or sitting up in the press box as a healthy scratch, the young man would be immediately sent to the minors. And when Larkin approached the Red Wings about leaving college and signing with them in the summer of 2015, essentially going all in and betting on himself, Holland told him that if he were looking out of the window of a bus going from Grand Rapids to Rockford in the middle of December, to remember that it was his decision to turn pro.
That, ladies and gentleman, is how you handle a young NHL player. It has obviously all worked out rather well for Larkin, but if it hadn’t he’d have joined fellow prospect Anthony Mantha grooming himself in the American League. The Red Wings have long been identified as a team that allows its prospect to become overripe and it seems to have worked out pretty well for them.
Let’s contrast that with the Vancouver Canucks. Faced with the decision on two 19-year-old players – Jake Virtanen and Jared McCann – the Canucks opted to keep both players. (Keeping in mind, of course, that the Canucks did not have the option to send either player to the AHL. Both had to either stay with the Canucks or go back to junior hockey.) Just over a year later, McCann has already been traded and is seeing fourth-line duty in Florida and Virtanen, after playing 10 games in the NHL and registering just one assist, was recently sent to the minors for a two-game attempt to try to have him find his game.
read on for more on Virtanen and the Canucks...
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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