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Category: NHL-Teams

Facing a Decade Without the Playoffs, Florida’s Rebuild Goes On and On

Futility in Sunrise has persisted for far too long, with the Florida Panthers on the brink of a dubious record after nine consecutive non-playoff seasons. Incoming general manager Dale Tallon has moved quickly in putting his stamp on the team with several transactions since taking over, but nothing to this point appears bold enough to turn his club from last season’s Southeast Division cellar dwellers into a postseason participant.

Sadly, more patience may be in order for long-suffering Panthers fans.

Even so, all is not lost for the NHL’s southernmost franchise, with several key pieces already in place for the future (and others right around the corner) and it isn’t as though the current roster is without talent as is. Still, a couple of major stumbling points remain for the Panthers. The 24 games they will play versus fellow Southeast clubs, three of whom look to be vastly improved and the fourth being the stalwart Washington Capitals, certainly won’t help and the expiring contracts for defenseman Bryan McCabe and goaltender Tomas Vokoun will have to be dealt with (and quite possibly dealt altogether), without either situation becoming a distraction.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+peters, bryan+allen, bryan+mccabe, chris+higgins, dale+tallon, david+booth, dennis+wideman, dmitry+kulikov, erik+gudbranson, gregory+campbell, jacob+markstrom, jason+garrison, kamil+kreps, keith+ballard, marty+reasoner, michael+grabner, michael+repik, nathan+horton, nathan+paetsch, scott+clemmensen, shawn+matthias, stephen+weiss, steve+bernier, tomas+vokoun

At This Point,  No Deadline For Coyotes Sale

from Jim Gintonio of the Ariizona Republic,

With the exception of the team’s dramatic on-ice turnaround and the attached optimism for a return to the playoffs this season, not much has changed in terms of the off-ice uncertainty.

Although there are widespread media reports that Dec. 31 is the drop-dead date for an owner to be in place, the NHL would not commit to that. Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in an e-mail that everything depends on the circumstances at that time, adding there are “no deadlines for anything at this point in time.”

Mike Nealy, the Coyotes’ first-year chief operating officer, is confident that talks will produce an agreement before the end of the year.

“The discussions that are going on between the potential owner and the city first of all and then directly with the NHL . . . they are proceeding on a positive front, and I can tell you that I’m confident that a new ownership will be in place in the next couple months,” he said. “Negotiations are continuing, and they’re going well.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

#1 Goalie Talk In Los Angeles

from Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,

The words are practically tied together. When coach Terry Murray says the name Jonathan Quick, it’s almost always followed, in the next breath, by the words “No. 1 goalie.” Murray wants to establish, early and often, that Quick is the Kings’ clear-cut goalie, and eliminate any suggestion of a competition between Quick, Jonathan Bernier and Erik Ersberg.

How long will that last? It’s hard to say. Quick set franchise records for wins and games last season, but Bernier was the top goalie in the AHL last season, and there’s a lot of eagerness to see what he can do at the NHL level. Quick has put himself in a good position, showing up to camp in what one team executive called the best shape of Quick’s career. And a reduced workload should also help. Quick never complained when his game total soared to 72, even when he clearly appeared to wear down late in the season.

Today, Murray talked about his plans for the goalies this season, and Quick talked about his preparation and the upcoming season.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Devils Could Actually Be An Exciting Team

from Chris Stevenson at the Toronto Sun,

It remains to be seen who will depart from the Devils roster in order for the club to get under the salary cap and what they will get in return, but dumping salary to get under the cap is not going to yield a positive return for the Devils other than the needed cap space.

In the meantime, the Devils, who used to produce hockey as mind-numbing as the scenery along the southern stretches of the New Jersey Turnpike, actually have the potential to be somewhat, well, exciting. And not just while we wait for the other skate to drop.

The players liked what they saw from MacLean’s playbook on the first day of camp. The emphasis was on the defence getting the puck moved quickly to the forwards.

“Our game used to be too simple. We used to just jam it up the wall,” said Parise. “Now there’s more puck control and bringing it up with speed. We’re getting it with more speed and in better spots.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Stamkos Taking Nothing For Granted

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

In an offseason that has brought significant change to the troubled franchise, one wonders how Stamkos will follow up his breakout season.

But when you talk to Stamkos, you get the sense that this season isn’t so much about riding the wave, but making sure he proves he didn’t just stumble into the NHL hardware department.

“You definitely have to go out and prove that wasn’t a fluke. At least I think I’ve got to do that,” Stamkos told ESPN.com. “I’m pretty fortunate to have players like Vinny [Lecavalier] and Marty [St. Louis] who have been in situations like that before and have still found a way to be consistent, especially Marty. He gets on my case all the time to keep working hard.

“And that’s something I definitely take to heart and I’m proud of and work hard every night. And just because you had a good season last year, you don’t want to take anything for granted.”

After the team’s first day of on-ice workouts Saturday, St. Louis joked that it’s not necessarily his tutelage that’s helped Stamkos, but the kid’s lightning speed (there it is again) and rocket shot.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steven+stamkos

Kuba Hurts Leg During Senators First Practice

via Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

The Senators could start the season without Filip Kuba.

The Senators defenceman is being sent for further tests on his right leg after he hit a rut in the ice only 15 minutes into the club’s first workout Saturday.

Coach Cory Clouston didn’t sound optimistic.

“He’s going for x-rays this afternoon. We’ll know more later. Right now that’s all we can say,” said Clouston. “We had to play a lot without him last year. Obviously we may start the season without him again. I guess if you’re going to do it, do it at the start of the season.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: filip+kuba

What Should The Capitals Do?

from Ted Leonsis of Ted’s Take,

Should we be humble? Of course.

Should we be defiant? Not sure what that even means?

Should we just shut up? Wish we could but the media won’t let us. We must feed the machine.

Should we just play and see what happens? I wish we could but we have a long season ahead of us.

Several people have said to me that the regular season is meaningless. I believe that is a very dangerous notion. If you don’t qualify for the playoffs, you can’t compete for a Stanley Cup. The regular season means a lot. The playoffs don’t start for 9 months. We shouldn’t be talking about playoffs. We should be talking about first game.

So - we are at that point - where nothing that we say will be the right words chosen for some.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Hitchcock Named Special Advisor In Columbus

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager Scott Howson announced today that Ken Hitchcock has been named a special advisor to the organization. 

In his new role, Hitchcock will assist in the evaluation of the organization’s personnel playing major junior hockey in the Canadian Hockey League and the collegiate ranks.  He also will work with the coaching staff of the Springfield Falcons, the club’s American Hockey affiliate, and evaluate Blue Jackets prospects playing there, as well as scout NHL and AHL games.

Hitchcock served as the Blue Jackets’ head coach from Nov. 22, 2006 to Feb. 3, 2010 and led the club to a 125-123-36 record in 284 games.  In 1,041 career games with the Blue Jackets, Philadelphia Flyers and Dallas Stars, he compiled a record of 533-372-136.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+hitchcock

New Sweaters For The Sabres

BUFFALO, N.Y. (September 18, 2010)—- The Buffalo Sabres today unveiled the team’s new road jersey and commemorative 40th anniversary third jersey before a crowd of 3,500 at HSBC Arena. The event was part of “Puckdrop 2010,” the team’s all-day fan event to celebrate the first official day of training camp.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Devils in the Details: September 18, 2010

Devils in the Details is a daily round-up of links to all things Devils-related throughout the season.

• Tom Gulitti discusses the flexibility tryouts Marcus Nilsson and Adam Mair would give the Devils should they need to deal a forward to get under the salary cap.

• More on Mair from John Fischer at In Lou We Trust, who takes an in-depth, by-the-numbers look at the gritty Sabres forward.  The numbers don’t look good.

Lou Lamoriello likes the look of his team thus far.  Mark Everson agrees and calls the defense the best since Scott Stevens and Scott Niedermayer left.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: adam+mair, devils+in+the+details, ilya+kovalchuk, marcus+nilsson, mike+mottau, travis+zajac, zach+parise

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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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