Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
As the Winnipeg Jets’ season wound down, a controversy involving one of their players flared up. Interim coach Paul Maurice made star winger Evander Kane a healthy scratch for a game in Toronto – and just like that, harsh words were hauled out to criticize the 22-year-old: he had an attitude; he was arrogant; he wasn’t a good fit with the Jets; he needed to be traded post-haste. If it sounded familiar, that’s because it was. Ever since the franchise relocated to Manitoba from Atlanta, Kane has been a target for critics.
Some of that, he’s earned. When he posed during the 2012-13 lockout in front of the lights of Las Vegas pretending a giant stack of money was his cell phone, fans and media rightfully ripped him for not understanding how it would be perceived.
But put aside the specifics of that situation for a second and answer these questions: Were you ever 21? Did you ever make a mistake at that age? Do you think that, if you were making millions of dollars and existed in a massive public fishbowl at that age, you might make the odd error in judgment?
The answer should be “yes.” That’s why there’s something about the relentless negativity surrounding Kane that doesn’t sit right. I’m not pointing to anyone specific when I say this, but I have to say it: some of the criticism hurled at Kane – as well as teammate Dustin Byfuglien and Canadiens star P.K. Subban – is about his race more than his character. It’s what Kane referred to last year when he told THN’s Ken Campbell “a good portion” of the criticism is racially motivated.
Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada with a look at Thomas Vanek and the adjustments his linemates have made to play with him.
from the CP at The Hockey News,
Hockey is a religion in Quebec. Just ask the Roman Catholic Church.
The church is giving Habs fans a chance to support the only Canadian team in the Stanley Cup playoffs and do a little charity work by donating $1 to light a virtual candle on thewww.laflammedesseries.ca website.
The contributions will go toward the church's annual fund drive.
The website went up on Wednesday before the Canadiens defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4 in overtime in their first playoff game.
Tim Wharsby of CBC says the pressure is on Carey Price.
from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,
The Habs have already made it clear they won’t be talking contract with Subban until after the playoffs, so a powerful playoff run by team and player could alter the picture considerably.
Whatever happens for the balance of the season, this will be the most momentous contractual decision the club has ever made and is likely to remain so at least until Carey Price’s six-year, $39-million deal expires after the 2017-18 season.
So how much do they offer Subban and for how many years? First, as my mentor Pat Hickey said a week ago, the Canadiens have to try to sign Markov to a three-year deal. He is, after all, their No. 1 defenceman. Then they have to take a serious run at Thomas Vanek.
Up to the Olympic break, you would have said open the vault, give P.K. what it takes and move on. But unless you’re too busy cursing Therrien to actually watch the games, it’s hard to quibble with the way he’s using Subban.
After the Toronto Maple Leafs lost to the Winnipeg Jets last night, Don Cherry and Ron MacLean talked Toronto and their fans and little on the Canadiens too.
added 9:28am, from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
Some talk on P.K. Subban, who played :37 seconds in the 1st period and was -2. For the game, Subban played 13:39 and 3:42 was on the PP. He finished -3.
from Mike Boone of Hockey Inside/Out,
To my rheumy old eyes, P.K. hasn’t been himself since the Olympics. But I can’t see why a slightly sub-par P.K. should have less ToI than Francis Bouillon, Mike Weaver and Tinordi – not to mention the stiffs patrolling that porous Ottawa blueline.
In an interview on RDS, Pierre LeBrun said he’d spoken on Friday to P.K.’s agent. Don Meehan told LeBrun negotiations on a new contract for Subban will not get down to brass tacks until after the Canadiens have played their last game of the season.
Fearless prediction: There’s going to be some tough talk between Meehan and Canadiens’ general manager Marc Bergevin. And if another team comes in with an offer sheet for the restricted free agent, things could get really interesting.
P.K.’s contract is not the only dossier on the GM’s desk, which has more hot potatoes than a poutine stand.
more on the game plus some Vanek talk...
The video explanation...
Tell me exactly what the ref saw to make this tripping call on Valtteri Filppula?
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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