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Category: NHL-Teams

Multiple Reports State Lindy Ruff Will Be Named Head Coach Of The New Jersey Devils

from Randy Miller of NJ.com,

Devils players campaigned for status quo while management took its time deciding what to do about its interim general manager and head coach.

After almost four months of debating, the Devils are going for a big-name head coach by hiring Rangers assistant coach Lindy Ruff over Alain Nasreddine while opting to keep Tom Fitzgerald as GM, Kevin Weekes of the NHL Network reported Wednesday.

continued

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Watching The Playoffs

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Statement From The Chicago Blackhawks On Their Name And Logo

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Video- Weird Stuff In The Past Ten Years

via the YouTube page of the NHL,

Mike Smith falls victim to an improbable bounce, Tuukka Rask loses an edge at an inopportune time, Bobby Ryan scores with an opponents stick while Shane Doan fakes out Frederik Andersen with a broken stick.

 

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Will Any Player Say Pass On The Playoffs?

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

As the NHL inches closer to starting the playoffs, there will be a lot made of the fact that players can opt out of playing out this season for any reason. A player can tell his employer that playing this season will get in the way of his golf game and he’ll be able to skip the playoffs with impunity. This will be seen as a triumph for the players. You have to wonder why the NHL and NHL Players’ Association even bothered to take the time to negotiate this aspect of the agreement.

Here’s a bold prediction, a hot take, if you will. Of the 744 players – 31 for each of the 24 teams taking part – who will be eligible to play in the playoffs starting in August, I don’t believe a single one will opt out of playing. Not one. No number of positive cases of COVID, which is essentially at 35 and counting, no amount of risk and the possibility of not making anything more beyond playoff bonus money will keep these guys off the ice.

The players agreed to hold back their last paychecks from this season as part of their contribution to offset the owners’ losses and reduce the amount of escrow and players never get paid during the playoffs. That will reduce the amount they owe by about $140 million. Players whose teams lose in the first-round play-in series will receive $20,000 each and those whose teams win the Stanley Cup will make an extra $240,000. Neither of those is a insignificant amount of money, but for most of the stars of the NHL, it basically represents money that gets lost in their couches. If the Toronto Maple Leafs manage to win 19 games and capture the Stanley Cup, Mitch Marner, John Tavares and Auston Matthews will receive approximately 1.5 percent of what their signing bonuses and salaries were supposed to be this season.

continued

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It’s All About The Cup For Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare has put his two young children to bed almost every night for nearly four months since the NHL paused its season March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Avalanche center now faces the possibility of not being in the same room with his family for a minimum of five weeks if the Avs reach the Western Conference finals in the proposed 24-team playoffs.

The NHL is still working on an official Phase 4 return-to-play announcement to coincide with a new collective bargaining agreement with the NHL Players Association, but according to a TSN report published late Sunday night, the league will conduct its 24-team playoffs in two “bubble” cities — Edmonton and Toronto. It will also not allow advancing teams to see their families until the conference finals....

“It’s a difficult situation. As the parent of two, it’s going to be really mentally difficult to not see your family for a while. I have mixed feelings about it,” Bellemare said Monday in a phone interview. “But I’m ready to return to play. We have a great team. I’m ready to win the Cup. I’m ready to make some sacrifices to win that Cup.”...

“It’s a different situation right now, but normally when you come to pre-camp, you’re already in town and you’re practicing on the ice in different groups. This is similar but I feel like the intensity is a little bit higher just because everybody realizes what’s at skate,” he said. “So everybody is trying to get back to feeling good on the ice but also thinking about getting that edge quick because it’s going to come fast.”

more

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Staying Within The Bubble

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

It remains to be seen if any player even gets inside the “secure zone” the NHL hopes to create in Edmonton and Toronto this summer.

But the consequences for leaving that highly controlled area and re-entering during a season restart are already tentatively set: At least four days confined to your hotel room, with four consecutive negative results needed from coronavirus tests before you’re able to resume practising, playing or just walking around the bubble.

That’s part of a dense booklet of protocols finalized Sunday, but still subject to ratification by NHL players and owners. Voting should happen in the coming days, once the NHL and NHL Players’ Association finish the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement and tie up other loose ends.

The protocols they agreed to for Phase 3 (training camps) and Phase 4 (competition) are at once expansive and open-ended.

For example, it’s not entirely clear how players with an excused absence for the birth of a child, or an illness or death in the family, will be reintroduced to the bubble beyond needing to produce the series of four negative tests.

continued

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A Bad Year To Be An Unrestricted Free Agent

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

With the new NHL collective bargaining agreement keeping the $81.5 million salary cap team ceiling, general managers and free-agents and their representatives trying to get new deals are all going, “Uh, oh…this is not good.’”

As Brian Burke said Friday on Sportsnet as he talked about COVID-19 and teams looking at huge losses this upcoming season because they could be playing in empty or near-empty rinks for a long time, “We’re not dealing with a lunar landscape, we’re dealing with a Martian one and nobody has been there before.”

If you’re a GM, it’s like knowing you need the roof fixed and work on the bathroom and kitchen, but you only have so much money to spend. If you’re a player, it’s the realization that being a free-agent really means you’re not that free. Especially with every team well over 90 per cent of their cap space for next season eaten up already.

continued, Oilers related...

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Video- Top 10 OT Goals This Season

Sportsnet style.

 

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Afternoon Line- Frederik Andersen

“I’m not quite 100 per cent confident yet, I think the league is very adamant about working towards that [return]. I think once we get to the hub cities, everyone has to be confident [in those] and that the league will have a good setup. So once we get there we'll be good, but I think it's a matter of getting there first. It looks like there’s some more things that need to be ironed out first.”

“I don't think I have just one [concern], there's a few things that need to be figured out, and players have to vote on it, and I think we still have a little bit of a ways to go. The whole thing in general has got to make sense. Just with future CBA stuff [the league’s current collective bargaining agreement expires in 2022], and obviously safety is very important. I'm confident that we'll have something to vote on. I want to play; I don't want to just sit and waste the summer or a season.”

-Frederik Andersen of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Kristen Shelton of TSN has more.

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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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