Kukla's Korner Hockey
BUFFALO, N.Y. (August 26, 2016) --- The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has capped season ticket sales for the 2016-17 season at more than 16,000 tickets. The cap is designed to ensure the availability of Mini-Packs and individual game tickets for all fans.
The Sabres had 97 percent of season ticket holders renew their tickets for the 2016-17 season, marking the 11th consecutive season featuring a renewal rate higher than 90 percent. More than 2,000 fans remain on the Blue & Gold Club season ticket waiting list.
“A 97 percent season ticket renewal rate is a remarkable achievement for any professional team,” Sabres president Russ Brandon said. “We’re lucky to have a fan base that consistently provides so much support and we look forward to rewarding our fans’ passion by building on last season’s improvement.”
from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen,
Just in case you haven’t been paying close attention to the paper trail, the Coyotes’ highest paid forwards are now Bolland and former Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk.
Bolland, who scored one goal in 25 games for Florida last season, has three years and $16.5 million remaining on his contract. Before the swap with Arizona, the Panthers were seemingly stuck with that financial headache, unable to buy him out of that deal because of injury.
Datsyuk, who has left for St. Petersburg in the KHL, has one year and $5.5 million left ($7.5 million salary cap hit) on the contract he signed with Detroit. The Coyotes secured Detroit’s first-round pick at June’s NHL draft as part of the deal for taking on Datsyuk’s salary, using that selection to choose defenceman Jakob Chychrun.
On defence, the Coyotes also boast the salary of the long ago retired Chris Pronger. Pronger, who owns a $4.935 million salary cap hit and $575,000 salary next season, was acquired, along with Nicklas Grossmann, in last summer’s trade for Sam Gagner.
Add it up and the Coyotes will be paying an eyebrow-raising $11.575 million next season for a trio of players who may never play a game for them.
None of the above is meant as a shot at John Chayka, the 27-year-old general manger of the Coyotes. He was hired largely because of his analytical abilities, looking for creative solutions to financial puzzles while aiming to build the most competitive team possible. He is doing that.
from Brian Hedger at NHL.com,
After trading Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad last summer, the Blackhawks have traded Andrew Shaw, Teuvo Teravainen and Bryan Bickell this offseason. The lone forward addition was fourth-line right wing Jordin Tootoo, and the most significant acquisitions were free agent defensemen Brian Campbell and Michal Kempny, a 25-year-old rookie from the Kontinental Hockey League.
The message is clear: Chicago's system needs to produce some NHL-caliber forwards this season.
"A lot of these guys have been with our system for several years, and in the past, it's been tough [for them]," general manager Stan Bowman said at the Blackhawks' annual fan convention in July. "We've had fewer [NHL] openings. So, I think right now our mindset is to go with the group that we have under contract right now. I think I want to give these guys a chance to show us they belong."
It's a group that includes rookies Vincent Hinostroza, Tanner Kero, Kyle Baun and Mark McNeill, who each made his NHL debut last season. Also included are highly touted rookies Tyler Motte and Nick Schmaltz, who each excelled in college last season. The most pressing question is whether the Blackhawks have enough talent among that group to replace what they have lost.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
With the opening of NHL training camps only 17 days away, here are five story lines worth following:
Hampus Lindholm negotiations: The Anaheim Ducks still haven’t been able to re-sign the two-way restricted free agent defenseman, and what happens with the situation could affect another team.
While Lindholm is essential to the Ducks, they have eight NHL defensemen on their roster, plus prospects Shea Theodore and Brandon Montour who are close. When Lindholm is re-signed, the Ducks are expected to trade a veteran defenseman.
Top-pairing defenseman Cam Fowler’s name has been mentioned in trade rumors all summer. The Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, among others, have been looking for defensive help.
from Chris Pinkert of St.LouisBlues.com,
The Blues officially introduced Pietrangelo as the club’s new captain during a press conference Thursday afternoon at Scottrade Center. The 26-year-old native of King City, Ontario will join an exclusive list of former Blues to wear an embroidered ‘C’ on the front of the jersey. That group that includes such legendary names as Al Arbour, Brian Sutter, Brett Hull, Al MacInnis, Wayne Gretzky, Bernie Federko, Chris Pronger and Barclay Plager.
“When you look at the guys who wore the ‘C,’ those are some big shoes to fill,” Pietrangelo said. “Not just good leaders, but good people that have represented themselves and their teammates in a great way. It’s my job now to carry on that tradition.”
The decision to name a captain came less than two months after the previous captain, David Backes, departed for the Boston Bruins via free agency on July 1. Backes had served as the Blues’ captain for the better part of five seasons from 2011-16.
“Being a top draft pick and watching him grow into an elite player in our game, Alex is the perfect age to take the leadership role for this group,” Armstrong said. “We have turned into a younger nucleus of a team, and he can guide that through the next number of years. We’re excited to have him as a captain.
added 3:47pm, St. Louis press release is below...
from John Matisz at the Toronto Sun,
Keep one eye glued on Josh Ho-Sang this coming season. He may be the sport’s most fascinating figure without a guaranteed job in the NHL.
The 2014 New York Islanders first-rounder will likely land on the farm in Bridgeport, Conn., after four years of junior. A colourful youngster with an enviable skill set on the wing, Ho-Sang is primed to get a chance to impress at the AHL level.
Among the 20-year-old’s various exploits: two years ago Ho-Sang publicly chastised Hockey Canada for not dispensing the respect he feels he deserves; and last fall he slept through Day 1 of the Isles’ main camp.
The Thornhill, Ont. product’s brash personality rubs some people the wrong way. Unfortunately for them, Ho-Sang doesn’t seem to care what other people think of him — which is admirable. On the ice, he is a supremely gifted passer and stickhandler with 337 points in 288 career Ontario Hockey League games.
Through a spokesperson, Ho-Sang on Wednesday declined multiple interview requests at BioSteel Camp. Perhaps his headline-making days are over?
more hockey topic including the ongoing BioSteel Camp...
from Rory Boylen of Sportsnet,
For the most part, off-season moves are finished, prospects are a year closer to impact and hypothetical rosters begin to take shape. Not every fan base will have Stanley Cup on the mind, but everyone is hopeful for something good this year. What is that? We take a look at all 30 NHL teams and provide a point of optimism for each.
ANAHEIM Whether or not you believe in the impact of a coach “lighting a fire” under his players, the Ducks hired Randy Carlyle to do just that. By the end of Bruce Boudreau’s tenure, the former Ducks coach seemed frustrated with his team and their lack of discipline in the playoffs. There will be no lolly-gagging under Carlyle.
ARIZONA Numbers! Stats! Analytics! The right way of thinking!
The youngest GM in the NHL, 27-year-old John Chayka, promises to present the latest interesting test case in the Fancy Stats vs. Eye Test debate. And earlier this summer he was quoted as saying “defence isn’t about defending” and went on to talk about the importance of moving the puck. This could be fun.
from George Richards of the Miami Herald,
After a month on crutches, Luongo began his rehabilitation and returned to the ice Aug. 5 -- and hasn't come off since.
Although Luongo said if the season started Thursday, he probably wouldn't be able to start, he says he is feeling good and plans to be in net when the Panthers actually do open their season Oct. 13 at BB&T Center against the Devils.
"I'm excited, hopeful to be where I want to be when everything gets going," Luongo said after an informal workout Wednesday morning at the IceDen in Coral Springs.
"I started skating Aug. 5 and there has been slow progression but we've ramped it up here the past week or so and it has been good.
"I'm not 100 percent; it's a five month rehab. But I'm feeling better than I thought I would. I thought it would be a slower progression, especially on the ice. It has gone fairly quickly and I'm happy about that. If the season were to start tomorrow, I probably wouldn't be able to go. But I feel good where I'm at and I'm excited about it."
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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