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Category: NHL-Talk

Is It Really An All-Star Game?

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

A quick mix of the things we gleaned from the week of hockey, serious and less so, and rolling four lines deep. Nothing to see here. Just a lil dancing.

1. I vividly remember Leo Komarov lonely sitting at his pod at the 2016 All-Star Media Day in Nashville, waiting for a crowd to form and questions that barely arrived. A couple local reporters and the Maple Leafs’ own film crew dutifully spoke with him. But the swarms went elsewhere, and he left the room early.

I write this not to shame Uncle Leo. He’s a helluva character, a beauty quote, and was a terrific role player in his prime. What he was not, however, is an NHL all-star. But it didn’t matter that the Leafs were in blatant tank mode that season.

In Gary Bettman’s circus of parity, every team must send an all-star rep.

In 2022, we have Arizona’s Clayton Keller (tied for 75th in scoring) awarded his second appearance and Montreal’s Nick Suzuki (tied for 159th) awarded his first.

Again, nothing against these talented athletes. But Keller’s all-star debut was made during (checks notes) a 14-goal season. Nazem Kadri

In other words, we get where Nathan MacKinnon is coming from.

“It’s silly,” MacKinnon said, twice. “It's silly. I don't think every team should send a guy. I think it's a silly rule that we have. It's an all-star game; it's not a participation game. Naz is [fifth] in scoring in the NHL, and he's got to get voted in still. So, I don't think that's right.”


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

The TSN Insiders Last Night

What is the latest development in Evander Kane's return to the NHL? Will Kane's exit from San Jose help the Sharks sign Tomas Hertl to an extension? Are the Canucks any closer to finding a new GM? Could the World Juniors be re-scheduled for the summer? TSN Hockey Insiders Chris Johnston, Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger discuss this and more.

Watch at TSN

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

The Latest On Evander Kane

via Elliotte Friedman tweets,

Hearing NHL has notified teams it is investigating process of Evander Kane crossing border from US into Canada on Dec. 29. (1/x)…

Kane tested positive for COVID on Dec. 21, and flew to Vancouver on the 29th. In termination notice from SJ, it was alleged he did not have proper medical clearance. NHL is now doing full investigation…(2/3)

This will likely prevent a Kane signing in the short term, as teams await the results.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Mid-Season Draft Rankings By Central Scouting Bureau

NEW YORK (Jan. 12, 2022) – Shane Wright (Burlington, Ont.), a center from the Ontario Hockey League’s Kingston Frontenacs, ranks No. 1 among North American skaters for the 2022 NHL Draft as the NHL Central Scouting Bureau today released its mid-season rankings. Wright can become the first Frontenacs player selected No. 1 overall in the NHL Draft and the first OHL player since Connor McDavid in 2015.

Wright has recorded 11-19—30 in 22 games with Kingston this season (1.36 P/GP). He was granted exceptional player status to enter the OHL early and was selected with the No. 1 pick by Kingston in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection before claiming Canadian Hockey League and OHL Rookie of the Year honors in 2019-20.

“Shane Wright is a strong stride skater who possesses elusive outside speed to beat defenders and quickness to evade checks or lead a rush,” said Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting. “He has elite hockey sense with vision, anticipation and composure and has proven that he can carry the load and lead the way when it’s needed in game situations. He has carried himself remarkably despite many disruptions and distractions endured the past year and a half.”

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Why The Cancelled NHL Games In Canada?

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Ticket sales in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver are capped at 50 per cent by the provincial governments in Alberta and British Columbia, which is better than the alternative, because the Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets aren’t allowed any fans.

As a result of the limits because of the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the NHL started postponing several games in Canada last month, with the owners and players trying to avoid a huge hit financially after playing last season in empty rinks.

Forgive the owners and players if they thought the days of empty rinks or capacity limits were behind them. They were happy to complete a 56-game schedule last season, but didn’t enjoy the fact there was little or no atmosphere even with fake crowd noise and loud music.

Both sides are still paying the price for playing during the pandemic and were hopeful this season would help get them back on the road to financial recovery. Everything looked great until a month ago, and now it feels like the clock has been turned back.

The bottom line is, one way or another, the restrictions in Canada will be a big hit for Hockey Related Revenues, which the owners and players divide 50/50, so essentially the NHL is trying to soften the blow for both sides.

That’s why we’ve seen postponements in Canada.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Covid Quarantine Circus

via Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,

It will be 15 days since Boeser last played — he tested positive Dec. 28 — and his run of five goals in a six-game span last month seems like so long ago. It’s why his body language and tone were noticeably different when the normally-upbeat winger addressed his quarantine quagmire.

“It wasn’t great,” he said. “Obviously, to quarantine five days (Anaheim) and to come back (Vancouver), there was a lot of miscommunication on what was agreed on and with what actually happened. I then quarantined another five days and they still wanted us to quarantine more.

“I know the other guys (Justin Dowling, Phil Di Giuseppe) are still stuck (in quarantine) until Wednesday and I feel really bad for them. It’s just a really crappy scenario.

“It’s just frustrating. We quarantined like we were supposed to. I’m not sure exactly who talked to the (federal) government and told us we got the OK to just quarantine another five days, so that’s 10 days. Now, the government made them (Dowling, Di Giuseppe) quarantine another 10 (on top of the original five), so that’s 15 days.

“That’s way too long, especially when quarantines have been reduced to five days for almost everyone. I don’t think that’s really great for them.

“We wouldn’t have flown back if we knew that situation was going to happen — we would have all stayed (in the U.S). I feel terrible for the guys who are still locked up. I know in other years, they (NHL) worked with the government and figured everything out, and now it’s confusing.”

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

82-Game Schedule May Soon Be In Jeopardy

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Somewhere the schedule maker must be wondering if the NHL will be able to play a full 82-game season?

It feels like with Omicron variant of COVID-19 is everywhere at the moment and Sunday two more games were postponed by the league, including the Senators game against the Edmonton Oilers Monday night.

Coupled with the decision to put off a visit by the Tampa Bay Lightning to the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center now, the league has postponed 103 games.

Some in Canada have been because of capacity limits but most have taken place as a result of COVID-19 outbreaks and of the games postponed, only six have been rescheduled.

And, the issue is it’s not showing any signs of stopping.

The good news for the league is the decision was made two weeks ago — it won’t shut down for three weeks to allow players to go to the Winter Olympics in Beijing next month.

If the current trend continues, you have to think the NHL all-star weekend in Vegas in early February may have to cancelled as well.

“They can still get 82 games but I think it’s getting close,” a league executive said Sunday.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Afternoon Line- Cam Cole

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Strong Eastern Conference

from Matt Porter of the Boston Globe,

The power this season, at least so far, resides in the East.

Entering the weekend, Tampa Bay and Florida were battling for the Atlantic and the top of the overall league standings. Washington, the Rangers, and Carolina are right behind, 3-4-5 in points. Toronto was seventh.

And don’t sleep on Pittsburgh, which had won 10 in a row and was still fourth in the Metropolitan, ninth in the league.

Sidney Crosby is on one of his runs (22 points in his last 14 games). Fellow 34-year-old Kris Letang (26 assists in 29 games) isn’t slowing down, either. No one between Jan. 1 and Friday had more goals than Bryan Rust (seven). Tristan Jarry (.933 save percentage) has forgotten his dismal 2021 postseason. The Penguins’ penalty kill is No. 1 in the league (90.2 percent as of Friday).

Oh, and Evgeni Malkin (June knee surgery) is expected back soon.

The Penguins also have arguably the top breakout player in the league, and we’re not talking about Danton Heinen (on track for a career-high 22 goals). Evan Rodrigues, the ex-Boston University Terrier, has become a force at age 28.

He has played nearly every forward spot, including first-line center in Crosby and Malkin’s absence. Rodrigues scored his first hat trick last Sunday against San Jose, one of the goals coming by picking the right time to fly the zone, collecting an outlet, and using a sharp cut to the slot to snipe through traffic. On Wednesday against St. Louis, he was on Pittsburgh’s top power-play unit, and thundered home a knee-down one-timer. The next night in Philadelphia, he made Carter Hart look silly with a cutback finish on the breakaway.

many more topics...

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

TSN Insiders Tonight

TSN Hockey Insiders Pierre LeBrun, Chris Johnston and Darren Dreger join host Gino Reda to discuss how COVID-19 restrictions in Canada might affect the Heritage Classic, if there has been any progress on a potential extension for Jack Campbell and the status of All-Star Weekend.

Watch at TSN

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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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