Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Category: NHL-Talk

Wednesday Afternoon Hockey Thoughts

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

- ... The focus should be on repairing the problems and focusing on the playoffs. This is too important a time of year. Babcock’s not walking away, but is anyone else wondering if this marriage is in trouble?

- I think Vancouver is going to look at finding a youngish defenceman, maybe somebody in his early to mid-20s. Troy Stecher’s in that range, and he’s made real good strides. Quinn Hughes is younger, Alexander Edler and Chris Tanev older. Think Brandon Montour, if not him specifically. Those players tend not to be inexpensive as trade pieces.

- Now that Los Angeles is officially eliminated from playoff contention, I think we’re going to start hearing more of Todd McLellan’s name in conjunction with the Kings. In GM Rob Blake’s two seasons with San Jose, the Sharks won 104 games with McLellan as coach.

- One Eastern Conference star on Tampa Bay: “You know what they do better than ever? They check. The difference between this year and last year is enormous. That’s why they’ve been as great as they are.”

- On April 2, the NHLPA will hold its annual agent meeting in Toronto. The most intriguing item on the agenda will probably be some kind of labour update. As best as I can tell, the NHL and the union continue to meet in small groups — not much bigger than Commissioner Gary Bettman, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr and brother Steven, working as Legal Counsel. Word is the league has presented some kind of model that will decrease escrow. In exchange, that likely means more certainty in the salary cap numbers from season-to-season, with smaller increases as part of that. Maybe more clarity on that date.

much more on the first topic plus numerous, additional Thoughts...

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

If There Was No Salary Cap In The NHL

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

With Mike Trout nearing a new professional sports high with $426.5 million deal over 12 years with the Angels, it is interesting to wonder where NHL salaries would be for top stars without a salary cap.

“I’d say in excess of $20 million for sure,” said Brisson who represents several stars, including Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby.

Agent Alan Walsh said in a free market system “franchise players would be making upwards of $25 million per season."

“While NHL player salaries for elite players have been severely constrained by the salary cap since 2005, the value of NHL franchises are skyrocketing,” Walsh said. “In just a four-year span, even the value of an expansion franchise has jumped from $500 million (Vegas) to $650 million (Seattle).  Shockingly, top NHL player salaries today are comparable to what they were in 2002-03.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Should The NHL Playoff Format Be Expanded?

from Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic,

Dundon also raised eyebrows earlier this season when he spoke out publicly about his desire to expand the playoff field. It raised eyebrows only because it’s uncommon for NHL owners to publicly discuss that kind of thing. Especially when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is currently on record as saying he has no interest in expanding the playoff field past the current 16 teams.

Dundon is undeterred, however, and it’s an idea he will keep pushing.

“It just makes so much sense to me,” the ‘Canes owner reiterated Tuesday.

He would love to see a best-of-three series between No. 7 and No. 10 and between No. 8 and No. 9 in each conference before the 16-team playoffs begin.

I love it, too.

I mean, you can start a best-of-three series on the Sunday after the regular season ends and have it wrapped up by Wednesday. We’re not talking about an onerous time commitment.

more ($$$) plus GM talk for the Canes...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tom+dundon

The NHL’s Music Man

from Carol Schram at Forbes,

Imagine a job where you're required to mount a series of world-class concerts designed galvanize live audiences while also looking and sounding great on television.

And by the way — you don't know when or where those events will happen.

With just over three weeks until the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs kick off on April 10, that's the task charged to the National Hockey League's Chief Content Officer, Steve Mayer....

Mayer joined the NHL offices in 2015 after spending 20 years at IMG, where his television production credits included everything from the Olympics to the New York City Marathon, a long list of sports reality and documentary series, network variety specials and live sporting events like NFL halftime shows. He'd also partnered with the NHL on events like the Winter Classic, the All-Star Fantasy Draft and the NHL Awards.

Under his watch over the last two years, the league has delivered an impressive series of unique performances by big-name musical guests. During the 2018 Stanley Cup Final, Sting and Shaggy performed on the steps of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., Imagine Dragons took to the ice at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and Panic! At The Disco performed on a floating stage in front the fountain outside the Bellagio Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

How Could It Not Be A Goal?

from Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet,

But whenever Vancouver fans think of Sunday’s game, it won’t be for Schaller scoring a deuce or Josh Leivo sniping the shootout winner. It will be for rookie Elias Pettersson being denied a second-period goal when Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin foiled Pettersson on a second-period penalty shot by throwing his stick straight into the Swede’s feet.

Despite clear wording in the NHL rulebook that a goal should have been awarded automatically on Khudobin’s stick toss, referees Justin St. Pierre and Tim Peel, positioned on each side of the net with unobstructed side views of the play, called nothing except a save.

When Canucks coach Travis Green, after watching replays, disbelievingly asked St. Pierre before the ensuing faceoff why it wasn’t a goal, the referee shrugged and made a motion with his hand apparently demonstrating that Khudobin poke-checked Pettersson.

Before we proceed further, let’s make something clear: the Canucks are not going to the playoffs, haven’t won enough games to deserve to go, and are again in garbage time when blown calls – for and against them – hardly matter.

But blown calls should matter to the NHL, and this one was embarrassing. Not quite as embarrassing as former referee Denis Morel allowing Winnipeg Jet Nelson Emerson to catch a puck behind the Chicago net, carry it to the post and drop it with his hand over the goal-line for a game-winning goal during the 1993 season. But it wasn’t far off.


Missed it, watch the play here.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Brian Burke On The Edmonton Oilers And The Draft Lottery

via Sportsnet,

Brian Burke and David Amber discuss rebuilding the Edmonton Oilers with their current pieces, and how the current NHL Draft Lottery format leaves much to be desired.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Consistency Needed When Handing Out Suspensions

from Sam Carchide of Philly.com,

It boggles the mind the way the NHL seems to have no rhyme or reason in setting lengths of its suspensions. The league appears to give more importance to the severity of the injury incurred as opposed to the severity of the action.

Example: Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin took a baseball swing with his stick at Michael Raffl’s head on Feb. 11. Raffl didn’t miss any games. Malkin received a one-game suspension.

Example II: Jake Voracek saw a 227-pound freight train named Johnny Boychuk charging at him from behind, so he braced for the impact and slightly leaned toward the Islanders’ defenseman. Voracek hit Boychuk’s head with his back, but based on the angle and his awkward position, it was virtually impossible for him to be targeting that area of the body.

Yet, he received a two-game suspension because Boychuk was injured on the play, which was far less dangerous than the Malkin incident.

Predictably, Voracek’s appeal to reduce the suspension was rejected by commissioner Gary Bettman. What a shocker that Bettman didn’t overturn a decision made by one of his coworkers.

It says here that all appeals should be heard by an impartial arbitrator — as is done for suspensions of six games or more.

The NHL needs to find a way to show much more consistency in deciding the length of suspensions.

more on the Flyers...

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

An Earlier NHL Draft Lottery This Year

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

The NHL did not have the scouts in mind when it set this year’s date for the draft lottery, but the hardest-working unsung heroes in the hockey industry were the ones cheering the loudest when the league announced this year’s event will take place on the eve of the playoffs the night of April 9.

That’s three weeks prior to when it has been held the past three years and that may not seem like much of change to the casual fan, but for the people who beat the bushes looking for talent, it makes all the difference in the world. The last couple of years the league had held the lottery toward the end of April, which put it early in the second round of the playoffs. The problem with that for scouts is that by the time they knew exactly where their teams were picking, most of the players had already finished their seasons, with the World Under-18 Championship finished and many players finished their junior and college playoffs.

As rich as a lot of NHL teams are, there are a finite number of dollars and resources devoted to scouting. So being able to spend those dollars wisely and focus on the players you know will be available is a huge boon to the scouts.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Jack Eichel And Jakub Voracek Will Have A Hearing With DoPS Today


Watch the hit by Eichel here.


Here is the Voracek hit.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jack+eichel, jakub+voracek

Video- The Views Of Brian Burke

via Sportsnet,

Brian Burke talks about Quinn Hughes possibly joining the Canucks soon and the Calgary Flames losing four straight and possible playoff changes.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com


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