Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Dave Hodge of TSN,
Obviously, Dan Bylsma was Buffalo's first choice to succeed Ted Nolan as coach of the Sabres….er, well, second choice…..so the matter of draft pick compensation owed to Pittsburgh wasn't about to get in the way.
But what if Bylsma and another candidate had similar credentials, Bylsma was favoured narrowly and the other prospective coach came with no strings attached? And what if the Sabres decided to take a pass on Bylsma as a result? After all, a third-round draft pick is something of value in every other sense. Teams don't give them away with a shrug of the shoulders.
If the issue of compensation meant that Bylsma did not get the Buffalo job, he'd be justifiably upset. The Penguins would still be paying him, and the Sabres, while having to live with their decision, would wonder why they couldn't sign the best coach available free of charge. In that case, I'm guessing Bylsma and every other coach would push for a rule change, and so would the Sabres. That ought to happen, anyway. Thumbs down to draft pick compensation for fired coaches.
SNEAK PEEK AT FRIDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Tampa Bay @ NY Rangers, series tied 3-3, 8:00 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, TVA
NBC Channel Finder
Sportsnet Channel Finder
RANGERS, LIGHTNING DECIDE EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL IN GAME 7
A berth in the Stanley Cup Final is on the line when the Rangers play host to the Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final at Madison Square Garden. Both clubs are contesting their second Game 7 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs – the Rangers defeated the Capitals (in overtime) in the Second Round (2-1 W), while the Lightning eliminated the Red Wings in the First Round (2-0 W).
The Rangers have won six consecutive Game 7s dating to the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals vs. OTT. That is tied for the longest such streak in NHL history, a mark set by the Red Wings from 1949-64 and equaled by the Bruins from 1983-94. The Rangers also have won each of their seven all-time Game 7s at Madison Square Garden; they are the only team in NHL history that has played at least four Game 7s at home and won each contest.
Press release is below...
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
“I’ve done quite a bit of growing the last year looking at the game, so I plan to bring that to the coach I’ll be with the Sabres,” Bylsma said in First Niagara Center. “There is, I think, a bright future ahead for this team.”
The Sabres insist they are better already because of Bylsma. They conducted on-and-off chats with him for a month before finalizing a reported five-year, $15 million contract.
“We improved today by hiring him,” General Manager Tim Murray said. “His record as an NHL coach speaks for itself.”
Bylsma arrived in Buffalo as the most accomplished coach since Scotty Bowman brought his five Cups to town in 1979. Bylsma went 252-117-32 during six seasons with the Penguins, accumulating a points percentage (.668) that is the best in NHL history among coaches with at least three years of experience.
It takes outstanding players for a team to be that good, and Bylsma had them with the Penguins. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are in the argument for best player in the world, and Pittsburgh’s lineup had other All-Stars while Bylsma was on the bench.
The Sabres believe their young prospects will be just as good. Having someone who knows how to coach and handle elite talent is a plus for the organization.
“I’ve coached star players in Pittsburgh, and that’s going to be the case with the young talent that’s coming to the Buffalo Sabres,” said Bylsma, who repeatedly said it’s just as important to develop a winning environment. “It wasn’t something you had just because you had certain players on your roster. That’s something that we have to immediately get into the Buffalo Sabres’ organization, get into our DNA, get into who we are and how we play, and develop that culture with this group.”
from Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune,
It would be one of the all-timers.
If the Lightning beat the Rangers tonight at Madison Square Garden, where the Rangers never lose Game 7s, it would be the greatest victory in franchise history this side of June 7, 2004, the night the Stanley Cup was held high over Lightning heads.
If the Lightning beat Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist tonight at the Garden, it might be like that night in Philadelphia in 2003, when Ronde Barber silenced Eagles fans and demons as he ran that interception back to seal a Bucs trip to the Super Bowl. It would be a moment that would live forever in Tampa Bay.
It’s the kind of challenge the Lightning need to embrace with heart and soul if their season is to continue on to the Cup finals. The task is not impossible. It will just take 20 men with an idea that they just can’t shake: This is our time.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Anyone care to submit a predication for tonight?
from David Pollak of Working The Corners,
Q: Other than Brent Burns with Team Canada, and Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton in an under-18 tournament two decades ago, is there anyone else on the Sharks you’ve coached before?
A: No, no. Everybody gets a fresh, clean slate and that’s the way it should be. When you go through a tough year like last year, I think that’s what the players want and I think the benefit of having a new coach is you can provide that.
Q: The Sharks missed the playoffs for first time under Wilson. What’s the primary thing that needs to change to make this team more successful?
A: I’m going to roll up my sleeves here this summer. I don’ t think there’s one thing. I think there’s a lot of things.
I want to talk to the players. I’ve had some good conversations with Doug. I want to watch some more game film. I’ve got some ideas in my head but I can’t box it up for you in one package here.
I can tell you I believe it’s fixable. The biggest thing that’s going to be fixed and the most comforting thing to me is the character of this group. You have a lot of proud people here that aren’t too happy about where they were sitting at the end of last season.
My history with that is if you’ve got character and you’ve been through that you’re ready to push back. I think we’re going to see that.
The press conference is scheduled to begin at 4:00pm, watch below...
The San Jose Sharks are expected to name Peter DeBoer as their new head coach today.
The conference is scheduled to begin at 4:00pm ET and you can watch it below...
Winnipeg Sun hockey writer Ken Wiebe and sports editor Ted Wyman delved into the issue this week and now present their arguments as to which direction the Jets should take.
Sign Buff to a long-term contract: Wiebe
Finding a way to get Dustin Byfuglien's signature on the dotted line is the best option for the Winnipeg Jets.
After bouncing back and forth between defence and forward during the past two seasons, Byfuglien moved back in December out of necessity and took his game to another level.
Though there were still some lapses, the high-risk element was more under control.
The physical component was much more consistent -- just ask the likes of Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty -- who found themselves on the receiving end of some big hits that ended up on Byfuglien's expansive highlight reel....
Trade Dustin Byfuglien: Wyman
It won’t be an easy decision to make – and it certainly won’t be popular – but the Winnipeg Jets should seriously consider trading Dustin Byfuglien this off-season.
No question, Byfuglien can be a dynamic player, a rarity who can easily shift from defence to forward and back again and a big presence who can dominate physically while making significant contributions on the scoreboard.
But he can also be a liability on the blue-line, as evidenced by Claude Noel’s decision to move him permanently to forward in 2014 and Paul Maurice’s decision to keep him there for the first 26 games of last season.
And then there’s the issue of his contract status, which complicates the matter considerably....
much more from each...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org