Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
- Right now, there are eight teams in the NHL without a centre carrying a $5 million average salary. Only one made last season's playoffs -- the New York Rangers. The others are Arizona, Buffalo, Calgary, Nashville, Ottawa, Toronto and Winnipeg. I'm not sure this is a coincidence. Look at the arms race for centres since the Stanley Cup was awarded.
- The cash value for middlemen is trending upward, too. Fourteen teams have a centre above $6 million. Only one (Montreal) has their top earner right at $5 million. Derick Brassard's negotiations/arbitration could change the Rangers' situation, but if he doesn't crack five, you have to assume Derek Stepan will.
- With all this in mind, there's no doubt opponents are eying Arizona's Antoine Vermette, with one year left on his contract. At the GM meetings, I asked Don Maloney if he would try to extend him. Maloney wants to, but knows there will be Garden of Eden-level temptation for Vermette.
Maybe there is still time to patch up the relationship between O’Reilly and his current employers. And to be sure, Colorado still has enough elite talent in its system to survive the loss of O’Reilly if it happens. However, in a league where the reputation of how a team treats players does matter, the Avalanche are doing themselves more harm than good by picking a fight with a youngster who’s delivered on everything that’s been asked of him.
There are positives to drawing lines in the sand as Colorado is doing with O’Reilly. But that line might also represent the limits of how far the Avalanche can progress by repeatedly testing the loyalty of their best young players.
-Adam Proteau of The Hockey News where you can read more on this topic...
from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,
It is a five-year agreement and the Kings will be the only sports property on KABC, and longtime team broadcasters Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans will continue in their positions, play-by-play and analyst, respectively.
Additionally, the Kings already have sold out of season tickets for 2014-15. The team said its season-ticket base is 16,000 and that season-ticket renewal was in excess of 95%. The base number includes partial season-ticket plans; single-game tickets are scheduled to go on sale in September....
For the Kings, the radio deal is novel in that it is a multiyear agreement. Kelly Cheeseman, the Kings' chief operating officer, said in a interview that the team previously "basically paid" to be on radio and that agreements of the past were typically of a year-to-year nature.
There has been a marked change in the business climate from when the Kings first won the Stanley Cup in 2012.
from Shaunvir Sidhu of Bloomberg Sports,
In the NHL, clutch is more difficult to measure because of the amount of players (4-lines) that can impact a close game in the third period. While there has been work done to show save percentages don’t consistently spike when the game is on the line, there hasn’t been much done to show whether or not clutch exists at the team level. I wanted to figure out if there were teams who could be consistently clutch—for the purposes of this study I defined this as a team who could consistently win games decided by 1 goal.
The results were interesting. Since the shootout era, no team has consistently won close games. Close-game outcomes appear random and unaffected by normal measures of team-strength. Furthermore, and perhaps more interesting for GM’s/Coaches: Stanley Cup champions avoid this randomness. They play 7% fewer close games than other teams, and this is independent of their goal differential. If you want to win a Stanley Cup, the chances of that happening increase if you avoid playing close games.
Let’s get into the data.
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today that forward Vladimir Sobotka has been awarded a one-year contract through arbitration.
Sobotka will play the for Avangard Omsk in the KHL for the 2014-15 season. The terms of his arbitration contract will be enforced when Sobotka returns to the NHL.
“We are looking forward to having Vladimir in a Blues uniform when he returns to the NHL,” said Armstrong. “We wish him the best of luck in the upcoming season.”
Arbitration hearing is this Wednesday.
Kerider's hearing is this Wednesday.
I've never been one to focus on pressure. Pressure, for me, comes when I don't feel like I'm doing a good job — just like a player. Trust me, I will put more pressure on myself than anyone else ever will. No offense, but I don't really read the papers much. I trust my staff and the people I'm close with. You have to be true to yourself, true to your instincts. Just be who you are. That's what I'll do. I'm very excited about this.
-Mike Johnston, head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins on dealing with pressure. Read more from Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review who did a Q & A with Johnston.
from Josh Cooper of The Tennessean,
“He knows he has to get stronger and fill out,” general manager David Poile said. “He’s a pretty determined and dedicated kid.”
It’s somewhat rare for Predators players to stay in town during the offseason. Most scatter for the offseason. Captain Shea Weber heads to his summer home in British Columbia. Goaltender Pekka Rinne goes to his native Finland. Forward Eric Nystrom resides in the Los Angeles area.
Predators strength and conditioning coach David Good has been able to monitor how the fourth overall pick of the 2013 draft is developing physically. Jones said he has gained about five pounds of muscle so far and weighs 210. The Predators like that trend.
“Physically he needs to mature more,” assistant coach Phil Housley said. “He has to get stronger on his feet. He has to get more leverage, starting with the basic foundation of his legs up. That’s just going to come with maturity and having seasons of working out as he grows. Mentally, I think he’s mature.”
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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