Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Curtis Pashelka of Working The Corners,
Sharks forward Raffi Torres will have a hearing Monday with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety regarding his illegal hit to the head on Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.
Torres has been suspended four times in his NHL career, but is technically not considered a repeat offender since he has not had any suspensions in the last 18 months. Still, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety guidelines state that “even if a player is not defined as a repeat offender, his past history may come into consideration when determining future supplemental discipline.”
That doesn’t bode well for Torres.
Here’s a brief rundown of his suspension history.
2013 — In Game 1 of the Sharks’ second round playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings, Torres hit Jarret Stoll in the head/shoulder area late in the second period of the Kings’ 2-0 victory. Torres got only a minor penalty for charging on the hit during the game, but the NHL reviewed the play and Torres was suspended for the remainder of the series. Torres was considered a repeat offender in dangerous hits under the league’s collective bargaining agreement. Torres flew to New York for an in-person hearing, but it didn’t help.
If you missed the hit on Silfverberg, watch it here...
from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,
The Canadiens’ quiet preseason, one that offered little in the way of controversy, exploded on Twitter early Sunday morning following a pre-dawn crash that saw a truck drive into a tree on Clanranald Ave., near the corner of Côte-St-Luc Rd.
An unidentified 20-year-old woman was driving the truck and an 18-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man were passengers in the vehicle in the crash that occurred around 6 a.m., according to Montreal police. A relatively minor accident, with the male passenger taken to the Montreal General with injuries that are apparently minor.
It’s the kind of thing happens every day and doesn’t rate even a paragraph in the newspaper, except the man was one Zack Adam Kassian, winger for the Montreal Canadiens, the one who arrived in Montreal from the Vancouver Canucks with a couple of heavy pieces of baggage, one labelled “party animal” and the other marked “lazy underachiever.”
We can now put a check next to box No. 1. Box No. 2 remains to be seen, although Kassian’s work ethic didn’t wow anyone during camp.
The general good news is no one was seriously hurt. The good news for Kassian is he wasn’t driving and he isn’t facing DUI charges. But when you come to town with a reputation, your behaviour is going to be scrutinized. And when you’re involved in something like this before the season starts, the level of scrutiny will be off the charts.
A few days old...
from Peter Roumeliotes of Sports Ilustrated,
Social media has without doubt created a more active and engaged hockey fan who has never had an easier time following their favorite sport. During live broadcasts or at the arena fans constantly check Twitter, post and chat about the game they are watching, and simultaneously keep up with the latest news and trends. Research has found that hockey fans are among the most tech-savvy in sports. Look no further than the NHL’s wide array of bloggers, some of whom led the advanced statistics charge, a movement that grew with the use of social media.
Given hockey's status as the four or fifth banana among the major pro sports in the U.S., the NHL wisely realized the value of digital media as another way to promote itself and serve its fans who eagerly embraced the ability to voice their opinions in forums and social media platforms on a global scale. This phenomenon isn’t simply called “checking your phone while you are watching a game.” It’s known as “Second Screen Consumption.”
Boston, MA - Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, October 4 that the club has signed goaltender Jonas Gustavsson to a one-year, one-way contract through the 2015-16 season worth a cap figure of $700,000.
Gustavsson played for the Detroit Red Wings from 2012 to 2015 appearing in 41 games, compiling a 21-10-6 record. Prior to Detroit, Gustavsson played for three seasons in the Maple Leafs organization from 2009 to 2012. In total, the 30-year-old goaltender has appeared in 148 NHL games, racking up a 60-55-21 record with a 2.89 goals against average and .901 save percentage.
from Sean Fitg-Gerald of the Toronto Star,
By the end of last season, the air around the Maple Leafs had grown heavy and toxic, where angry fans threw jerseys on the ice, frustrated players protested and, ultimately, where Joffrey Lupul abandoned Twitter with a brief message: “Goodbye. Thank you for your support. I love you.”
This season, the veteran winger said, will not be like last season.
“It wasn’t a good environment to be around,” Lupul said. “It wasn’t fun to be around the guys, it wasn’t fun to go on the road. For the first time in my career, I wanted the season to be over — I was looking forward to the next season, already.”
As he spoke, Lupul was the only player left in a dressing room that has welcomed scores of new players, in a franchise that has turned over its management team and undertaken an ambitious rebuilding program. As part of that program, the Leafs are not expected to be very good this year, meaning that while this season will undoubtedly be different than last season, it will not be without its challenges, especially for veterans.
from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen,
... with so little turnover from the squad that raced to the playoffs on a record-setting run last spring — the Senators traded Lehner to Buffalo and third-pair defenceman Eric Gryba to Edmonton and defensive specialist Erik Condra signed with Tampa as a free agent — there are high hopes.
“To see 20, 21 guys return is usually a rare occasion,” said goaltender Craig Anderson, who is expected to open the season busy, playing three games in four nights. “It shows the faith management has in the group we have here. It’s up to us to make good on the deal and prove to management they made the right decision by not bringing in extra players and moving guys out.”
Looking around the dressing room at all the familiar faces, Karlsson says, “It felt like we almost didn’t have a break.”
Ryan suggests the team has drawn from the positives of last spring. “The feeling carries over when you see that many faces coming back,” he said.
Senators coach Dave Cameron employed a serious, no-nonsense approach to his first camp as head coach, putting an “NHL group” in place after only a few days. As expected, his emphasis was on skating and more skating, and he came away generally satisfied with the effort and results.
“In our business, as coaches, we’re never completely happy,” Cameron said. “Overall, I have no real complaints. I have some individuals I’m pushing a little harder than others, but on the overall, I think it has been pretty good.”
from Jonathan Gatehouse of MACLEAN'S,
Q: You’ve talked about the need to make Toronto a “safe place” for players. What do you mean, and how do you do that?
A: I felt, last year, from the outside looking in, that the players took a lot of hits—deservedly so, in some ways. But to me, you have to look after those guys. You have to build a product that’s good enough that they can win enough, that they feel good about themselves. I don’t care what you do in your life; if you have no confidence, it’s hard to feel good about who you are. That could be in the workplace, or the home. Any time there’s no trust, it makes it hard. We’re going to make it safer that way. We’re going to look after them the best we can. And we’re going to build a structure here so that they can be safe on the ice, and play well on the ice.
Q: At the same time, you’ve stressed a need for more accountability—to teammates, management, the fans and media. How do those two concepts go together?
A: I call it “sharing the love.” You know when your wife’s having a good go at you? I always say to the guys, “Hey, she’s just sharing the love. If she didn’t love you, she wouldn’t talk to you like that.” To me, it’s kitchen-table accountability. When you sit around your kitchen table with people you love, if you say something stupid, they call you on it right away—because they’re honest with you and they’re making you better. That’s what we’re going to have here. We’re going to have an honest respect for one another, to make everyone maximize the potential they have. I expect the players to listen to me, and I’m going to listen to them. We’ve got to make each other better here, and it’s another way to create safety, because the players know you’ve got their backs. When you tell a player what you want, he will try to please you.
via the Montreal Gazette,
Three people have non-life-threatening injuries after a pickup truck crashed into a tree in the Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough of Montreal Sunday morning.
A 20-year old woman was driving the truck, and a 24-year-old man and 18-year-old woman were passengers in the vehicle, said Montreal police spokesperson Manuel Couture.
A witness to the scene said the 24-year-old man is Montreal Canadiens winger Zack Kassian.
“He was all bloodied up and stuff. He was in a daze,” said Steve Petrenko, a resident on Clanranald Ave. where the accident took place. He described the man as a big guy, who he thought looked familiar.
“He had a hard time walking, and he almost took a fall,” Petrenko told the Montreal Gazette.
The witness says the man was brought into the lobby of his residential building. He was asked by paramedics if he knew where he was, to which he replied “Quebec,” said Petrenko.
When asked his name, Petrenko said the man responded “Zack Kassian.”
from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,
"I wouldn't really go there, say I'm replacing Slava," Ehrhoff said. "Slava played really great for this club. I'm not the one who is going to compare myself to him. I'm here to bring my game. What they were talking about is bring back the game I played in Vancouver."
That's what came through when he first spoke with Sutter. In Sutter's mind, they weren't getting the Pittsburgh Ehrhoff or the Buffalo Ehrhoff. They could well be getting the Vancouver Ehrhoff.
That was the slick, puck-moving defenseman who flourished in Vancouver under the system of then-coach Alain Vigneault. Ehrhoff was paired with Alex Edler and got significant power-play time when the Canucks reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2011.
"When I see Christian, that's how I see him, as a Canuck," Sutter said. "I see him and Edler.
"I just believe there is no reason he shouldn't get back to that. It's not like he's miled out. He's not that far removed from it, and from a team standpoint — a selfish standpoint — we need him to be that. From his standpoint, he's a proud guy and I think he wants to recapture his game."
The Kings don't need him to be Voynov. No one else could quite make that substantial leap forward last season. After the top pair of Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin, the rest of the Kings' defensive corps always felt slightly amiss, the remaining members thrust into bigger, unmanageable roles.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
With an improved cast around him, Benn will nudge out every other elite forward to win the Hart Trophy. He is the preseason choice to be the League's most valuable player in the 2015-16 season.
"Jamie improves every game and every year," Stars center Tyler Seguin said. "I've only been with him for two years, but as a player and as a person it seems like every week he's getting stronger and better, and becoming a better leader and better captain. He wants the team to be so successful that he's making himself better as a player."
The Stars became a better team during the offseason, adding goalie Antti Niemi, forward Patrick Sharp and defenseman Johnny Oduya. All three have won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks. Sharp and Oduya did it last season.
Sharp is expected to start the season on a line with Benn and Seguin. It could become the best line in the NHL. Benn's numbers could go up. Would anybody be surprised if he scored 40 or more goals? He had 35 last season, 34 the season before.
A better, more experienced team around him should make Benn an even better player. That should put Benn in the national spotlight, which gives him a chance to impress more members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association, who vote for the Hart Trophy.
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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