Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Gare Joyce of Sportsnet,
It wasn’t the first time that Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel went head to head and it certainly won’t be the last time. That said, unless they decide to race each other in the Tour de France or make the Olympics as decathletes, we won’t see anything like it.
What I’m talking about here, in a very roundabout way, is the NHL combine, certainly one of the weirdest spectacles on the hockey calendar.
I’ve gone to it for 15 years or so and every time I watch it, I say: “I know why they’re here, but why am I?” For entertainment value, it would rank somewhere behind the average beer-league game and an NHL warm-up.
Fact is, you don’t even know what it is you’re watching. Results of the physical testing aren’t posted or announced at the venue. You only know when the final numbers come out, which they did on Monday.
from Stephen Whyno of the CP at the Globe and Mail,
Connor McDavid stood in the crowded Chicago Blackhawks locker room at chatted with Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning down the hall.
An appearance at the Stanley Cup final with other top prospects was just the latest step on McDavid’s rock-star tour before the Edmonton Oilers, as expected, draft him first overall later this month. Along the way, McDavid has been to the Memorial Cup and the scouting combine and gotten to know fellow top prospect Jack Eichel.
“It’s been a whirlwind and it’s been a dream come true,” McDavid said Monday morning at United Center. “It’s been crazy. It’s been a very busy couple of weeks. But it’s exciting. It’s where you want to be.”
McDavid would have rather been on the ice at the Memorial Cup but was instead in Quebec City for the CHL awards. At the combine he got to meet with Oilers brass and finally get acquainted with Eichel.
They had met on the ice at two world junior championships but never as regular, teenage kids. That happened in Buffalo outside the Sabres’ HarborCenter facilities.
“The two of us were just walking down the street, just bumped into each other shook hands and that was it,” Eichel said. “I don’t think we wanted to make a big deal of it as everyone else did.”
Darren Dreger of TSN was recently on the NHL Network and discussed the future or Glen Sather, proposed rule changes, Jeff Blashill, Austin Matthews, Dougie Hamilton contract and the goaltending situation in Ottawa.
from Philip Pritchard at The Players' Tribune,
I have been the “Keeper of the Cup” for 27 years. It’s been my responsibility to accompany the Stanley Cup on its journey to some of the most remote parts of the world. In that time, I have seen a lot of strange and amazing things. I’ve seen the top of the Cup filled with popcorn by Marty Brodeur’s kids on a trip to the movies and with spuds by Adam McQuaid’s potato-farmer family on tiny Prince Edward Island. I’ve seen it launched into swimming pools (thanks for the heart palpitations, Phil Bourque), taken to the tops of mountains, and used as the ultimate prize in nostalgic street hockey tournaments.
’ve had it strapped to my lap in tiny propeller planes to reach otherwise inaccessible parts of the Canadian wilderness. Once, after it took a tumble off a table during a wine-and-cheese party, I used a policeman’s wrench to buff out a dent on the floor of a men’s room (don’t worry, it returned to the party — it’s hockey). I’ve seen, by my rough estimates, more than 15,000 cans of beer poured into it.
The Cup is not perfect. It’s got 120 years of nicks and smudges, and the names aren’t all etched on straight. But it is an inanimate object with a personality. It is the most unique trophy in all of sports, and it has an aura that can’t be explained unless you understand what it means to hockey players. One story comes to mind.
Gary Bettman answered questions from the media today in Tampa...
His opening remarks are below...
LAS VEGAS (June 3, 2015) – The 2015 NHL Awards™ special salute to the best regular-season players and performances will be hosted by actor and comedian Rob Riggle and will feature a live musical performance from rock band Daughtry followed by a full concert on Wednesday, June 24 at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, the National Hockey League announced today. The two-hour primetime awards show will broadcast live at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on NBCSN in the U.S. and Sportsnet in Canada. Tickets to the 2015 NHL Awards go on sale today at any MGM Resorts box office location.
Riggle is widely known for his memorable comedic roles in films such as The Hangover, Step Brothers, The Other Guys, 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Streetand Dumb & Dumber To. The stand-up comedian and improv actor’s television credits include Saturday Night Live, his work as a correspondent on The Daily Show, a recurring role on Modern Family and the star of the new Fox animated series, Golan the Insatiable. The Kansas native is a passionate sports fan and recently retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve after 23 years of service.
from Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
When the hockey season started, the number of officially declared presidential candidates was zero. Now it’s 379. OK, I know it’s more like 12, but Donald Trump could throw his hair into the ring at any minute. Fun hockey/politics fact: Every declared candidate to this point and every member of the rosters on both Stanley Cup finalists has a better chance to be president than Donald Trump.
When the hockey season started, Penguins coach Mike Johnston was seen sprinting in the direction of the Jack Adams Trophy Award, honoring the NHL coach of the year. Before it ended, Johnston’s firing was called for on the Nightly Sports Call 662 times. All right,that’s not official — you might have done it more times yourself.
When the hockey season started, Brian Williams had a job and Dan Bylsma did not. Williams eventually would get himself ejected from the NBC anchor chair for claiming that his helicopter had been forced down by a rocket-propelled grenade in Iraq, and for telling David Letterman he once played goal for the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins.
That’s actually half true.
Bylsma, the former Penguins coach, will now be telling the Buffalo Sabres they can resemble a pro hockey team simply by playing a style he once described as Ruslan Fedotenko Hockey, which sounds like a claim Brian Williams might make.
from Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe,
CapGeek’s absence has been felt around the hockey community, despite comments made by commissioner Gary Bettman in February. That goes for general managers — Chiarelli lamented its absence in a March press conference — as well as fans. And in recent weeks, new options have popped up for anyone who wants all things salary-related at his or her fingertips.
Just one week after its first tweet, and without any apparent attempts at publicity, General Fanager had already amassed 11,715 followers on Twitter. Hockey’s Cap has built a sleek website with an “Armchair GM” feature, as there was on CapGeek, and which General Fanager intends to add soon. And as part of a summer relaunch, NHLNumbers is beefing up the salary section of a site already known for its statistical prowess.
And those aren’t the only options. Greg Sinclair of hockeystats.ca raised $1,550 in four months on a GoFundMe campaign for a new CapGeek-type site, and CapFriendly has found its own following as a potential replacement.
The NHLOA would like to congratulate the officials selected to work the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals.
Wes McCauley, Dan O'Halloran, Kevin Pollock, Kelly Sutherland.
Derek Amell, Shane Heyer, Brian Murphy, Pierre Racicot.
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.
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