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Category: NHL-Teams

Early Draft Picks Doesn’t Guarantee Success

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

It works to build through the draft when you have early picks and they turn out to be Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. You can do it when you get lucky and win the Sidney Crosby lottery just after Evgeny Malkin had been selected. You can do it when you end up with Alex Ovechkin, and Nick Backstrom and Mike Green in a few short drafts.

But for every Chicago story, every Pittsburgh, every Washington, there’s an Atlanta, a Florida, a Columbus, and yes, even an Edmonton.

Even the Phoenix Coyotes are an example that questions that notion that drafting early means everything: The Coyotes missed the playoffs six years in a row in the Wayne Gretzky era. In that time, they drafted early five different times. Not one of the five picks has turned into a high-end NHL player. The Coyotes turned their team around in a completely non-conventional way, beginning with the hiring of coach Dave Tippett and the claiming of goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov on waivers. Only five of the regulars who play for the Coyotes were drafted by the team and the best first-round pick, Shane Doan, was selected by Winnipeg, if you believe that.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Southeast Crown a Realistic Goal for Tampa Bay - Beyond That?

The question was posed recently in the St. Pete Times and Paul recently brought it to the attention of the KK faithful as well, soliciting some interesting responses but, with first place in the Southeast Division on the line again tonight, with the Washington Capitals (and their identical 55-point total) in town for the first time this season, it deserves some revisiting:

Could the Tampa Bay Lightning truly be a contender for the Stanley Cup this season?

Well, yeah… I suppose anything is possible.

But since the original question was actually, “Is it premature to call the Tampa Bay Lightning a Stanley Cup contender?” then, well…

Yeah. It is.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin, martin+st.+louis, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos

Trade Rick Nash?

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

It is clear that general manager Scott Howson must do something to shake up the roster, even a move just for the sake of a move. As the reluctant professor has vacillated, the fans’ frustration has grown.

There are some who believe that Nash ought to be traded. Granted, these folks do not represent the majority of Jackets fans, but they exist. Their thinking is that if you perform radical surgery and transplant Nash for a player of equal value - and Nash’s value is prodigious - then the body of the team will benefit.

The country-club atmosphere, in which the acceptance of mediocrity (or worse) proliferates, is the problem. Five coaches, not counting interims, have been unable to solve it. Nash is the constant, so he must be the problem. Right?


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Colton Orr, Two Minutes For Kneeing

Logan Couture the recipient of the hit did not return and there is no update this morning.

Will the NHL look at this hit?

added 9:26am, via Nick Kypreos tweet,

The #NHL will not discipline #Leafs Colton Orr for kneeing #Sharks Logan Couture. They concluded Orr established position prior to contact.

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: colton+orr, logan+couture

This Is A Slew-Foot

Text book slew-foot by P.K. Subban on Brandon Dubinsky (scroll to the 3:10 mark).  No penalty on the play.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: p.k.+subban

Senators With Another ‘Stinker’

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

These nags need a lot more than a swig of something. They need to be put out to pasture.

One game after coach Cory Clouston explained his team’s scoring woes by saying “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink,” the Senators laid another big fat egg. Only this time, they stunk at both ends of the ice.

The 6-0 loss to the Bruins at TD Garden was their sixth straight setback and it exposed the Senators for the very bad team they have become.

“Not a lot of good out of that game,” said Clouston. “We just turned the pucks over too many times. We had our chances, hit a crossbar and post, and they came right down on us both times and score to make it 4-0, 5-0. That kind of summed everything up. We’re so fragile right now. We don’t have that resiliency you need in this league.”...

Surely, the Senators are going to make some kind of significant move soon. Whether it’s by firing Clouston or dumping players. Something has to be done.

“We’ll have to reflect on what happened (Tuesday), make adjustments and move forward,” said Clouston.

A number of scouts were in the building Tuesday night, as was L.A. Kings GM Dean Lombardi. Unfortunately for Bryan Murray, his team wasn’t anything to look at. Or want.

read on for a game recap…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- The Mason Raymond Spin

Another spin-o-rama goal in the shootout and a victory for the Canucks.

What you don’t see is the Islanders goaltender chirping at Mason after the shootout goal.  And ths via Chris Botta tweet,

Kevin Poulin on Mason Raymond’s spinarama goal in the shootout: “It’s a show-off move.”

Hopefully, a video with better quality will come out soon.

Better video added at 10:49pm


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mason+raymond

Bieksa Less Likely To Be Traded

from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,

The Canucks did entertain moving Bieksa, who is in the final year of a contract that pays him $3.75-million, prior to the season, but they kept coming back to one difficult truth. Their team was run out of playoff-quality defencemen in a second straight postseason loss to the Chicago Blackhawks last spring, and trading Bieksa would allow for that possibility again.

That same logic – and Sami Salo’s uncertain return from a ruptured Achilles tendon – still applies heading into next month’s trade deadline, and moreover, Bieksa may have made himself too valuable to trade. (Being Vancouver’s only right-handed defencemen also helps his odds of staying).

The Canucks still must clear salary-cap space, about $1.5-million, to get Salo back on the active roster, but it appears less and less likely that they will move Bieksa to do so.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kevin+bieksa

Habs have momentum, Price to ASG

The Montreal Canadiens have suddenly won 3 of 4, after a poor slate of games that had people wondering whether their first half was a fluke. A solid performance against Pittsburgh, followed by a come from behind thriller against Boston, means Montreal is again within striking distance of the Northeast lead, and has some much needed momentum as they embark on the second half of their season.

Of late, a few players have performed brilliantly. Benoit Pouliot scored the shootout winner against Pittsburgh, and he, Mathieu Darche and recent callup David Desharnais have formed a poor man’s French Connection, playing solid, two way hockey while chipping in offensively. Scott Gomez appears to be back, after about 25 games in the wilderness, and Carey Price is again performing like the star the Canadiens need him to be.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: benoit+pouliot, carey+price, david+desharnais, scott+gomez

LLL - Where Were the Leafs on Wojtek Wolski?

Just over a month ago, the Washington Capitals traded Left Wing Tomas Fleischmann (or is he a Center, Pierre McGuire?) to the Colorado Avalanche for defenseman Scott Hannan. Many would contend that Washington lost that trade – surely they could have gotten a better return on Flash.

George McPhee, of course, had his reasons for making the trade. The main reason? Bringing in a defensive defenseman to solidify the Capitals’ play in their own zone.

Leaf Nation – plagued by the idea that every player available through trade or free agency will come to Toronto – wondered why Brian Burke couldn’t have traded Francois Beauchemin to land Fleischmann.

McPhee went with Hannan for one obvious reason though: Hannan’s contract expires this season, allowing the Capitals to free up the cap room from his $4.5 Million contract to sign Alexander Semin.

We did not have what Washington wanted. Leaf Nation can accept that.

Fast forward a month later and this time the New York Rangers acquire Wojtek Wolski from the Phoenix Coyotes for Michael Rozsival. This is less than a year after Phoenix traded Peter Mueller to acquire Wolski from the Colorado Avalache.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: francois+beauchemin, wojtek+wolski

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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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