Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
From my home office, it looks like the league has two choices. The first is to pass. Simply say, “We aren’t ready. This isn’t the time.” What makes more sense is the second option: formally ask to see who is interested, with no guarantees.
The NHL could easily tell interested bidders/cities to step forward by a certain date. We know Las Vegas will be in. We know Quebec City will be in. Are you, Portland? Ok, Seattle/Washington, we know there are a few different possibilities. Which one can guarantee an arena, and when? Is there an owner in Kansas City? Is there anyone willing to champion a second team in Toronto, even if it plays out of the Air Canada Centre — a la Los Angeles?
Who really wants a team? And, of that group, who can really do it? This is the best chance of answering those questions.
The benefit for the NHL is it doesn’t have to guarantee anything. This is not a, “We will expand.” This is a, “Convince us to expand.” In the end, if it doesn’t work, walk away.
more plus 30 Thoughts...
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Seven goals. That’s the number.
Well, that’s my number, although I’d settle for six.
But seven is the perfect hockey number. Seven goals per game on average provides enough oxygen for the offensive side of the game to breathe while also permitting defence to stand up and be counted on some nights.
To me, 4-3 is the perfect hockey score, particularly if the winning team trails 3-2 before storming back to win. But an average of seven goals per game means you’ll have 2-0 one night and 7-5 the next, with a few 6-4 games thrown in to balance the 3-1 scores.
Some recoil at this kind of hockey math, and Gary Bettman of the NHL certainly does whenever the issue of scoring in the game comes up, as it has again this year with a close-checking regular season and a suffocating Stanley Cup final that apparently Canadian television viewers weren’t as drawn to as American ones.
If you say we need more goals, these folks will scream foul, saying they don’t want 14-13 every night and 1-0 is beautiful and if that doesn’t satisfy go watch lacrosse.
Bettman doesn’t say this, of course. He patiently explains trends and warns against snapshots, preferring always to praise the state of the game. His approach, extraordinarily successful for more than two decades at the helm, has been that negative analysis of anything unhappy in the game disparages the game, and therefore must always be quashed.
NEW YORK (June 19, 2015) – On Wednesday, June 24, NHL® stars past and present – including members of the 2015 Stanley Cup® Champion Chicago Blackhawks® – and hockey fans from the world of entertainment will join host Rob Riggle and musical performer Daughtry for the 2015 NHL Awards™, a special salute to the best regular-season players and performances from the 2014-15 season, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
from William C. Rhoden of the New York Times,
The Golden State Warriors are the N.B.A. champions. But in the aftermath of the Warriors’ convincing performance against the Cleveland Cavaliers, much of the focus was heaped on LeBron James, who turned in one of the most heroic performances in finals history yet failed to carry his team to a title.
In some ways, James brought the scrutiny upon himself — as he often does — by expressing an unwavering confidence that came across as primping in front of a mirror. After the Cavaliers lost Game 5 on Sunday, James was asked why he was so confident entering Game 6 on Tuesday with his team clearly overmatched yet again.
“I’m confident because I’m the best player in the world,” he said. “It’s as simple as that.”
continued for more on James...
The buyout period starts 48 hours after the Stanley Cup Final is complete. So lets say it begins on June 18th or late June 17th.
TBA Deadline for first club-elected salary arbitration (later of June 15 or 48 hours after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final, 5:00pm ET)
NHL Awards Show on June 24th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
NHL Draft is on June 26-27 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise Florida.
UFA signing period begins at 12:00pm ET on July 1st.
July 5th Deadline for player-elected salary arbitration notification (5:00pm ET)
July 6th Deadline for club-elected salary arbitration notification (5:00pm ET)
July 20-August 4 Salary arbitration hearings held.
August 6th Deadline for salary arbitration decisions to be rendered
WITH 11 STANLEY CUPS AND 513 NHL GOALS BETWEEN THEM, WALLY STANOWSKI, MILT SCHMIDT AND THE LATE ELMER LACH BELONG TO AN ERA OF PRO HOCKEY NEARLY LOST TO LIVING MEMORY.
BY BRETT POPPLEWELL,
SOME PEOPLE—doctors primarily, like the ones who brought Wally Stanowski back to life after his pulse flatlined a few years ago—might look at a 95-year-old with a water gun in his hands and a briarwood pipe dangling from his mouth as something of a medical anomaly. But the raspy-voiced, wispy-haired man with the staggered gait is more than just a curiosity, Stanowski is the oldest surviving Toronto Maple Leaf and New York Ranger, two titles he never wished for but now hopes to maintain for as long as possible.
Though he struggles to raise his left arm above his chin, hears poorly, has a pacemaker and wishes his gnarled hands worked like they used to, he doesn’t complain, not even when he’s interrupted from his lunch—a pastrami sandwich with a side of slaw. Stanowski, who was born when Robert Borden was prime minister, left Depression-era Manitoba and joined the Maple Leafs shortly after Hitler invaded Poland. He’s a man of simple tastes. He prefers plain tobacco to the flavoured stuff and enjoys the musical accompaniment of Bing Crosby while he works through a 1,000-piece puzzle.
His wisdom is terse yet revealing.
On the stacks of National Geographic he keeps by his bed: “There’s a lot of information in there.”
His secret to longevity: “Lots of beer and a good woman.”
On pigeons: “They’re the reason I carry a water gun.”
And modern hockey: “It’s terrible.”
continued at Sportsnet...
from Alex Ballingall of the Toronto Star,
“I’ve had a lot of other players come in with some bravado,” said McQuaid, a 45-year-old teacher at McDowell Senior High School in Erie, Pa., home of the OHL’s Erie Otters.
“More often than not their academic quality is embarrassing, and I’m pretty tough on them,” McQuaid said. “Within a week’s time, I knew that was not going to be the case with Connor.
“It was almost like he was a student first.”
Almost. Because, even though he won the CHL’s Student of the Year twice in a row, we’re still talking about Connor McDavid. You know, hockey’s next Chosen One?
But his academic prowess is undeniable. He got straight As in Grade 12 this year, according to McDowell principal Tim Rankin, acing courses:
social studies class on contemporary issues
Hardly basket weaving or underwater bubble blowing.
“He’s just been awesome around here,” Rankin told the Star this week. “His focus is so much on hockey, in terms of making himself the best he can be, and then academically, he clearly wanted to be very devoted to academic integrity and quality work.”
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
You would think that 6,375 square feet of ice is enough office space for the planet’s most skilled hockey players to enjoy as an offensive playground. Coaches, systems, goalies, and equipment, however, have turned the attacking zone into a pit of quicksand.
This season, NHL teams averaged 2.73 goals per game. In 2005-06, the first season after the lockout, the league average was 3.08 goals per game. Scoring chances don’t just die on the vine. Not enough of them happen in the first place.
Defense rules, to the point where the game’s stewards are studying the rules themselves.
During their formal meetings and in casual conversations, general managers have chatted about outlawing zone defense. The idea has not progressed to a degree where the GMs are considering how to implement such a change. It would be a radical departure. But that GMs are discussing the concept at all indicates their concern over scoring’s waning rate.
continued plus more hockey topics...
A Minot man who's officiated games in the NHL for two decades is hoping to return to the ice this winter.
Thor Nelson has been out of the league for most of two seasons because of an injury suffered while officiating a game in Winnipeg in 2013.
Jim Olson caught up with him this week to find out about his recovery.
It was a game in Winnipeg in 2013 that changed Thor Nelson's NHL officiating career.
"I remember leading up to the incident, I stepped in between two guys who were fighting and I don't remember the rest which happened to be a right cross that caught me instead of one of the players."
That right cross gave Nelson a concussion - something that erased his memory of finishing the game - which he did - and driving home from Winnipeg to Minot - which he also did. He fought through it - staying on the ice, but knowing things were not right.
"I was in Vancouver and couldn't see my partner across the ice, it was all blurry, and I went to a team doctor and said we gotta talk."
That was in the 2013-14 season and he had to hang up his skates, leaving behind his life in the NHL.
continued and watch the interview below...
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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