Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Michael Traikos of the National Post,
While the KHL was initially perceived as a talent-poaching threat to the NHL when it opened its operations — according to QuantHockey.com, the number of Russians in the NHL dropped from an all-time high of 73 in 2000-01 to just 29 in 2012-13 — the cases of players leaving are becoming few and far between.
KHL teams are folding. Sponsorships are drying up. And because of a ruble that is now worth .65 cents on the U.S. dollar — it has lost 50 per cent of its value since the start of 2014 because of plummeting oil prices and sanctions due to the conflict in Ukraine — players are no longer making the kind of money that they once were. In some cases, they are not even getting paid.
“They were stealing from our families while operating and preparing the club for the upcoming season by signing new players,” Canadian-born goaltender Mark Dekanich, who played for Medvescak Zagreb, said in an email to Postmedia News. “All who did not return to play for Medvescak are in the same situation.”
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“I think we need to do a better job of tapping the hockey market in North America that has Irish ancestry. There are some pretty prominent hockey people from Irish families – their parents or grandparents were right off the boat. There have been a couple of players, like Owen Nolan from Belfast, who were born here. So that’s the number one thing. We haven’t really tapped that group for fundraising ability or interest so we’ve got to do a better job on our side of the water and the investors, the buildings – they’re things we’re working on in the gestation period.”
-Brian Burke, President of Hockey Operations for the Calgary Flames. Burke was recently in Ireland to promote the game and Eoin O’Callaghan of Yahoo has more from and on Burke.
from the Nottingham Panthers,
The GMB Nottingham Panthers have made their last signing of the summer in the shape of NHL star Cam Janssen.
The American had 336 games in “the show” most recently just two seasons ago with New Jersey Devils, before that he was at St Louis after starting his NHL career with the Devils who drafted him in the fourth round in 2002.
Last season he was on a two-way contract with New Jersey and their AHL affiliate Albany where he played taking his AHL games total to over 200.
Cam is a high energy player, who looks after his team mates, knows when to do his stuff, and who is very excited to join the Panthers roster.
Former players of the Panthers played a big part in recommending the club to him and the player to the club and head coach Corey Neilson couldn’t hide his enthusiasm for the signing when he spoke to Panthers Radio this morning.
from Connor Gordon of Vavel,
April 5th 2015- a date of no regular significance to the average person but to the Sheffield Steelers, this was a day of great importance. The league leaders took on the Coventry Blaze in a close contest which partly determined the destination of this year's title. The event sold 50 short of 7,000 seats. What's so significant about a city the size of Sheffield packing out an arena for a sporting event? Well, Sheffield Steelers aren't a household name football team- they actually play in the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL).
Ice Hockey is the sleeping giant in Britain and Ireland with arenas in the largest cities of the country close to sell outs. A sport boasting a massive following in other populous countries such as Canada, USA, Sweden, there is a lot to ponder why the UK hasn't taken to it. Ice Hockey has many elements, which is similar to the most popular sport, football.
The Elite Ice Hockey League spans the entire United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. The latter has one representation in the EIHL, Belfast Giants- one of the strongest teams in the league.
England is represented by Coventry Blaze, Hull Stingrays, Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers- joint most successful team. Wales, like Northern Ireland, is represented by one team- Cardiff Devils.
Meanwhile in Scotland there are many more: Dundee Stars, Edinburgh Capitals, Fife Flyers and finally, Braehead Clan- one of the newest franchise teams in the EIHL.
from Today's Slapshot,
Marc Crawford, head coach of the ZSC Lions of the National League A, took some time to email with Sean Tierney and had some interesting thoughts on the process of coaching, Auston Matthews and analytics. His answers are presented as-is.
ST: Rumours have swirled about the possibility of Auston Matthews playing in the NLA next season, possibly for your ZSC Lions. In your opinion, what are the advantages of playing internationally for a draft-eligible star like Matthews? Could a teenager succeed playing against men in the Swiss league?
MC: Auston Matthews is an outstanding young Hockey player and everyone involved with the ZSC Lions is so excited about seeing him play in Zurich.
There is no doubt that he can play and excell [sic] in the Swiss NLA and I believe it is the perfect training ground for young athletes. He will be coached by an NHL coach he will be challenged by playing against men in a fast skating, highly skilled league. He will learn what it is like to play the systems that will be utilized as he continues to rise up the hockey ranks.
He is a wonderful young man who wants to improve and we have an excellent record of development.
Ron Kenins developed with us and this year Jonas Sigenthaler and Denis Malgin both will get drafted because of our program.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
NHL teams are not looking for Moses to lead them out of the wilderness as much as they are simply trying to determine whether he can part an NHL defence.
His name is Steve Moses. He is a 25-year-old, 5-foot-9, 170-pound winger from Leominster, Mass., and he's attracting NHL interest this season because he's leading the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in goals, with 35 in 56 games for Jokerit (Finland). He also has 56 points in 56 games, sixth best in the KHL.
"He's the top (unrestricted) free agent in the KHL, that's for sure," one NHL management person said.
"Really small but really fast," said another.
Some teams think he's worth a shot. Others aren't so sure. In any case, what's certain is the diminutive University of New Hampshire alum – he played four seasons there between 2008 and 2012 – won't be leaving Jokerit (where he's in his third season), or the KHL, unless he has a one-way NHL contract tucked in his back pocket.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org