Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
Of course, should Ovechkin decide to change leagues, he’d need to be extremely careful lest he come off looking like an even bigger villain than Ilya Kovalchuk did when he abruptly abandoned the New Jersey Devils last summer. There would be a sizeable contingent of mortified Washington fans no matter what Ovechkin said to explain himself, but life is all about framing and this situation would be no different.
Here’s how he should frame it: by pointing to other teams that have parted ways with their franchise player and discovered the devil they knew wasn’t always better than the one they didn’t. Take the Blue Jackets, for example. There was no shortage of angst-ridden Columbus fans when management traded their franchise cornerstone, Rick Nash, to the Rangers in the summer of 2012. That transaction benefitted the Jackets as much as it did Nash (who no longer had the full weight of an organization sitting on his shoulders). It was a classic short-term-pain-for-long-term-gain scenario.
Ovechkin leaving for the KHL would free up some $9.5 million in salary cap space for the seven years remaining on his contract. As we should know by now, that space would allow Caps management to acquire two or three high-quality talents and add balance to a roster that desperately needs it. Ovechkin could paint himself as making a sacrifice for the long-term good of the franchise.
There is some question whether the NHL would provide cap relief to the Capitals if Ovechkin returned to Russia, but the league would have an extremely tough time justifying a rejection of cap relief for one team after providing it to the Devils. As well, KHL president Alexander Medvedev recently gave an interview with Russian publication championat.com in which he said, “there is a legal way for any player if he decides to play in another league (to do so) without breaking the mutual (KHL/NHL) agreement to respect each other’s contracts.” Clearly, it’s technically possible.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
One of the more inspiring stories of the hockey world occurred in Russia, during the first round of the Kontinental Hockey League playoffs, when Yaroslav Lokomotiv upset the two-time defending league champions Moscow Dynamo in the opening round.
Yaroslav lost its entire team in that plane crash back in September of 2011, forcing them to rebuild an historic organization from the ground up. The team had two coaching changes this season, with the veteran Dave King taking over four games from the end of the season, just as the Olympic break occurred, with the hopes of getting the team to the playoffs. Yaroslav went to Garmisch Parkenkirchen, Germany to train during the break, came back, squeezed into the playoffs as the eighth (and final seed) and then took out Dynamo in seven games in the opening round, an upset of major proportion.
from Katie Baker of Grantland,
Two little princes, neither any older than 5 and both wearing hockey gloves that reached up to their tiny elbows, clung to their famous father’s broad legs as he stood in a hallway outside the SKA locker room after the Neftekhimik win. For the moment, SKA St. Petersburg remained atop the KHL standings. But young Artem and Philip Kovalchuk didn’t seem all too concerned with final scores or leaderboards; they just wanted to hang out with their dad.
“It’s good, because my family is here,” Kovalchuk said, his children chirping “Papa!” down at his calves. “The most important thing is I’m home, and I feel comfortable. I spent 11 years in the NHL, and it was great years. I decided it’s time to change a little bit. And especially here, the fans, they deserve to see some good players. And I’m in my prime, and I’m here.”
A referee working the European Championship Final yesterday was stunned when taking a skate to the face. One lucky fellow...
from the Darren Dreger Report at TSN,
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr will meet with the IIHF in Portugal on Thursday.
Whether discussed at this meeting or not, there's a growing sense of urgency in determining the NHL's plans to continue to expand its European profile.
While it's not CBA related, the NHL and NHLPA did agree to work together to send four NHL teams back to Europe next fall for regular season games. Sources say there has been little progress in planning the NHL's return and time may be running out. NHL clubs are already making plans for their 2014 training camps and preseason games and the marketing impact required may suffer because of the loose ends.
The World Cup of Hockey is also on the list of items that IIHF executives would like to discuss this week.
Without question, both the NHLPA and the NHL are keenly interested in bringing this spectacle back, however, aside from some informal discussions, there appears to be little urgency to kick this joint initiative into high gear.
read on for more topics...
Former NHLer Jeff Halpern has signed with TPS HC in the Finnish Elite League:
Halpern had 3 points in 46 games split between the Rangers and the Canadiens last season. He was claimed off of waivers by the Habs in March.
from Slava Malamud at Sport-Express
In other matters, subject only Ovechkin our conversation was not limited. Questions on the eve of starting in October NHL accumulated many. What's cooking for the first full NHL season postlokautny? Which league will come out of the very rapid in its recent history of the summer? What are the prospects of Russian stars - both on the ice and in terms of a career in North America? What to expect from the Olympians? How Sidney Crosby's health, in the end?
- During the lockout enough gloomy predictions about the future of the NHL, but for now, it seems, the league has experienced remaking without consequence. Do you agree? And what's the deal? - The first question Myrtle.
- I think it's pretty fair assessment. Moreover, I hear whispering officials that profits in the coming season will take off again in heaven. The fact is that this year's planned six matches in the open air in large stadiums, sponsors and outflows during the lockout happened. And why is that? We have already seen the same thing: the fans have short memories. Once returned to hockey, and they come back. Ratings during the shortened season were terrific. Loss of 34 league matches will not cause much harm. Or not cause at all.
much more (Google translation)
Today marks the two year anniversary of the tragic accident which took so many lives from the hockey world.
from RIA NOVOSTI,
Washington Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov told R-Sport on Monday he is yearning to leave Russia for the NHL to avoid stagnating as a player.
Last week, the 21-year-old said this season would be his last the with his hometown team Traktor Chelyabinsk, before he moves overseas to join Capitals, who drafted him 26th overall in 2010.
“If I don’t leave, I might stop developing as a player,” Kuznetsov said. “I still need to learn a lot and I understand that if I don’t go there now, then it would be difficult to leave.”
“There’s no limit to perfection, “I’ve got room to grow. I didn’t come here to sit and wait for the Olympics. I’ve got to claw and work to prove everything on the ice.”
-Ilya Kovalchuk at his official introduction to SKA St. Petersburg. More at R-Sport.
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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