Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dave Stubbs of NHL.com,
Guy Lafleur was awake in his west suburban Montreal home at 3:30 a.m. on Friday, 15 minutes before the alarm he had set.
"My wife likes when I get up before the alarm," the Montreal Canadiens legend joked three hours later, sitting at a very quiet Gate 50 at Montreal's Trudeau Airport.
Lafleur is impeccably dressed in his crested Hockey Hall of Fame blazer, red patterned tie and a tan trench coat, two copies of a luxury-lifestyle magazine under his arm for in-flight reading that he wouldn't do should he doze off on the plane, which he said was likely.
We are headed to St. John's, Newfoundland, where the five-time 1970s Stanley Cup champion is scheduled to participate in the ceremonial faceoff at the home opener of the St. John's IceCaps, the Canadiens' American Hockey League affiliate.
It's the final season of the IceCaps in a hockey-mad city in Canada's easternmost province. In 2017-18, the IceCaps will relocate to Laval, north of Montreal, where they will be rebranded the Laval Rocket.
The IceCaps, seeking star quality for their final home opener, called their NHL parent about a month ago, which is when Canadiens alumni president Rejean Houle called Lafleur.
from Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer,
A 1993 Sports Illustrated headline called Samuelsson “Mr. Dirty.” The New York Times Magazine proclaimed him “a thinking-man’s thug.” A Pittsburgh sportswriter named Dave Molinari wrote in the 1990s that Samuelsson was “the kind of guy who would elbow Mother Teresa if she strayed near his net. Then cross-check her when she tried to stand up. Maybe spear her behind the knee as she hobbled away.”
You know the “Mayhem” guy in the Allstate commercials? That was Samuelsson when he played. He caused accidents. Fans in Boston were once so incensed after Samuelsson, a defenseman, injured one of their star players that they hung banners that read “Kill Ulf.”
I asked Samuelsson recently if he thought that long-ago Sports Illustrated headline and story were accurate.
“Yeah, I would say there’s probably a little truth to that article,” Samuelsson said. “I noticed in my career that if I would play 3-4 games in a more relaxed way, letting them off the hook – when I could hit a player hard I wouldn’t do it – the other team’s forwards would all of a sudden be a little more confident and make me look bad. So I found the way I could do my job was stay hard and stay aggressive – as far as the rules would let me. And sometimes a little bit over.”
Below, watch Samuelsson's most talked about hit on Cam Neely plus other YouTube videos here.
from Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal,
Foley has had preliminary discussions with AHL president Dave Andrews and team senior vice president Murray Craven is overseeing the process by which the farm team will be established. It is expected to cost Foley around $5 million to join the AHL if he opts for his own team, far less if he partners with another NHL team early on. Foley paid a record $500 million to join the NHL after the league awarded him his franchise on June 22.
“It’s like building another team from scratch, only cheaper,” Craven said of a start-up AHL team.
Foley said he is contemplating sharing an affiliation at the start, then eventually going his own way once Las Vegas has enough players to stock its own roster and that of whatever ECHL team it eventually ties into. Foley has had extensive talks with an NHL team — he wouldn’t say which — about sharing the AHL affiliate for 2017-18. He did say the NHL team he’s considering doing business with owns its AHL team.
In that case, it’s likely the Ontario Reign, which is owned by AEG, the company that owns the Los Angeles Kings. Or it could be the San Diego Gulls, a team owned and operated by the Anaheim Ducks. Foley has forged friendships with the ownership of both the Kings and the Ducks. However, the other six AHL teams that play in the Western Conference’s Pacific Division are also owned by their NHL affiliates.
“We’re still trying to figure out what we want to do,” Craven said. “The choices (for expansion) aren’t that numerous.”
from the AHL,
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League today released the complete schedule of regular-season games for the 2016-17 season, the league’s 81st year of operation. The season, comprising 1,116 games, begins on Fri., Oct. 14 and concludes on Sat., Apr. 15.
Teams will play 76 games each (38 at home, 38 on the road) with the exception of Pacific Division members Bakersfield, Ontario, San Diego, San Jose, Stockton and Tucson; those six teams will play 68 games each (34 home, 34 road).
continue for the full schedule...
After 52 years, the Calder Cup once again resides in Cleveland, and it took a monumental performance by Oliver Bjorkstrand to make it happen.
Bjorkstrand’s goal with 1.9 seconds remaining in overtime led the Lake Erie Monsters to a 1-0 win over the Hershey Bears and a four-game sweep in the American Hockey League’s championship.
“Amazing feeling, obviously,” Bjorkstrand said. “A little bit of a lucky situation, but sometimes you win that way. I knew I couldn’t take much time to (shoot) the puck.”
Goaltender Anton Forsberg, who took over late in Round 2 of the playoffs, had a 23-save shutout to win his ninth straight game.
Lake Erie is the top minor-league affiliate of the Blue Jackets, and Bjorkstrand is one of the Blue Jackets’ top prospects. That was further cemented in these playoffs, especially the final series.
Watch the goal below...
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. ... The American Hockey League has announced the complete schedule for the 2016 Calder Cup Finals between the Eastern Conference champion Hershey Bears, top development team of the NHL’s Washington Capitals, and the Western Conference champion Lake Erie Monsters, top development team of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets.
from Jared Clinton of The Hockey News,
Gallant, 27, collapsed while sitting on the bench during a TV timeout in the second period of the Monsters’ weekend-opening game against the Toronto Marlies. Gallant remained down while he was attended to by medical staff, and after several minutes on the bench, he was placed on a stretcher and taken from the ice.
Shortly after Gallant was taken from the ice, the game between the Monsters and Marlies continued.
According to Lake Erie coach Jared Bednar, Gallant experienced a fainting incident.
“All indications are that he’s fine,” Bednar told THN’s Ryan Kennedy. “When he left here, he was up talking and walking around. They were going to take him to the hospital to run some tests and make sure nothing more serious was going on. We haven’t heard anything more than he’s doing fine.”
There was no immediate update on Gallant’s status, but before the start of the third frame the Monsters’ official Twitter account reported that he had left the building for further medical attention.
“We can report that Brett Gallant is alert and conscious,” the Monsters said. “He is currently being transported to a local hospital. We’re thinking of you, Gally.”
Watch the incident below...
I tweeted this a few minutes ago but thought I would post it too.
A very scary moment for Brian McGrattan.
via Hometown Hockey,
Saskatchewan born, Todd McLellan was just 26 when he moved to Swift Current to take over as bench boss of the Broncos. Two years later, he had steered the team to a 44-23 and 5 record and won the WHL Executive of the year. McLellan reflects on his time with the team and the community.
More videos regarding Swift Current...
from Tal Pinchevsky at ESPN,
When the Anaheim Ducks sent Tim Jackman to their American Hockey League affiliate on Nov. 2, it was a difficult assignment for the veteran forward, who had been a healthy scratch much of the season before being placed on waivers. But there were some familiar faces that welcomed the longtime enforcer, who led the Ducks in penalty minutes last season despite being limited to 55 games.
The physical winger felt right at home when he entered the San Diego Gulls' locker room and was greeted by Brian McGrattan, Shane O'Brien and Stu Bickel, three other hard-nosed players who made their bones in the NHL collecting plenty of penalty minutes.
With the role of enforcer being mostly abandoned by the NHL, these players have found a place with the Gulls. And San Diego's fearsome foursome now makes up one of the most intimidating groups in pro hockey.
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