Kukla's Korner Hockey
LAS VEGAS (Aug. 18, 2016) – Bill Foley, majority owner of the newly awarded NHL franchise in Las Vegas, and Black Knight Sports & Entertainment, LLC, announced today that Murray Craven has been hired as a senior vice president for the team.
In this role, Craven’s responsibilities include the development of the team’s practice facility in Summerlin, a Las Vegas community, and the build-out of team and league facilities at the T-Mobile Arena. Craven will also be involved in identifying the team’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate and will be responsible for establishing and fostering a relationship with the AHL team. Additionally, Craven will oversee projects at the request of George McPhee, general manager for the Las Vegas franchise.
Craven played 18 seasons in the National Hockey League between 1982–83 and 1999–2000, and has played for the Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Hartford Whalers, Vancouver Canucks, Chicago Blackhawks and the San Jose Sharks.
Craven has served as an advisor to Black Knight Sports & Entertainment’s for the past two years and coaches youth hockey in Whitefish, Mont.
from Travis Yost of TSN,
One of the more intriguing signings of the off-season was that of goaltender James Reimer by the Florida Panthers.
The move makes a lot of sense for both parties involved. For Reimer, he’s got a very real long-term opportunity at leading a team and seeing significant ice-time – something that has been hit-or-miss through the earlier parts of his career. For Florida, they have now an easy, smooth transition in the crease. Current starter Roberto Luongo is now 37-years of age, and at some point, the Panthers needed to start hedging against age and mileage degradation. To that end, Reimer is a fantastic bet.
The curious part of this goaltending dynamic is really in the short-term. The logical solution is to create a 1A/1B scenario in Florida, where Luongo and Reimer will shoulder an equitable share in net. This will alleviate some of the workload for the older Luongo and provide real shot-stopping competency in the 30-or-40 games that Reimer does work the crease.
There is an interesting wrinkle, however; Luongo’s performance isn’t diminishing. In fact, he seems to be enjoying a late-career renaissance period that we have really only seen from a handful of players. Whereas most players at this stage of their careers are hanging on by a thread, Luongo’s trekking on the path blazed by Jaromir Jagr – excellence that’s superseded with each passing year despite every reason to be hesitant about his game heading south.
from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,
Here are three key questions facing the Flyers:
Where will offense come from?
The Flyers were 22nd in the League last season at 2.57 goals per game, second-fewest among teams that made the playoffs.
The biggest addition to the forwards was the signing of Dale Weise, who had 14 goals in 71 games with the Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks last season. He had one goal in 19 regular-season and playoff games with the Blackhawks.
The Flyers clearly are counting on returning players to step up their play, among them Sean Couturier. In 63 games last season he had 39 points, tying his previous NHL best set in 82 games in 2013-14. Part of his growth was being used in more offensive situations; he started 44.63 percent of shifts in the offensive zone last season, the most in his five NHL seasons....
Is the defense any better?
The six defensemen who played for the Flyers in their final playoff game last spring are signed for this season, and they'll also have Michael Del Zotto, who didn't play after Feb. 13 because of a wrist injury. However, the Flyers were 23rd in the League allowing 30.7 shots per game last season....
one more question plus reasons for optimism...
from the Pittsburgh Penguins,
The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed forward Matt Cullen to a one-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
The deal has an average annual value of $1 million.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
The National Hockey League and its Players’ Association have failed to agree on the new, streamlined goalie equipment, and it seems almost certain that the new gear will not be worn for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Worse yet, insiders are openly questioning whether the new gear, promised to be in use for the 2016-17 season, will be used at all this coming season.
“It’s still a work in progress,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said at a WCOH news conference Wednesday. “I know our people in hockey operations are working very hard with the players’ association. I am hopeful that we can get it in place because I think it’s important.”...
Sources tell Sportsnet that despite unprecedented cooperation by the NHLPA, a small cadre of NHL goalies have managed to stall the process long enough that not a single NHL goalie has received gear fitting the hoped-for standards for the coming season.
The World Cup appears out of question, and it is believed enough goalies will make a case that they will be unable to adjust to the new equipment without a summer to assimilate, that the new standard could well be pushed back to September of 2017.
from Nathan Gerbe at The Players' Tribune,
I presently stand five-foot-four and weigh 175 pounds. And I would never have sniffed NHL ice if it weren’t for my parents. I know that for a fact.
I don’t worry too much about being smaller than everybody else because that’s not what matters. What does matter is my work ethic, and I’ll always be thankful to my parents for that.
Even before I had hit puberty, I was waking up at daybreak to go skating and get some shots in. There were also times when I only left when they were locking up the rink because I had stayed late to run through drills. I’d burn the midnight oil if that meant I’d be better than the kids I was playing against.
Being small out on the ice wasn’t always fun. I mean, my own teammates and their parents doubted me. But trying to show them why I belonged fueled my competitiveness.
Bigger kids would lock in on me from the get-go thinking that they were going to be able to get a big hit to impress their friends and teammates. But after I took a few of those shots, I figured out how to use my speed to evade them.
“I think we have to put the centre red line (passing rule) back. (To prevent) injuries and because the game is being played the same now. You can pass from your zone all the way to the other line, deflect it in, go get it and shoot it out. Back and forth. If the centre line were back in, a lot of guys couldn’t play the game.
“If you have to carry that puck out of your end and make a pass, skate with it, it makes it different. I don’t think (removing the line) has increased the offence, nor has the trapezoid. It’s made it a dangerous game, guys flying out of their end, looking for that long stretch pass and bang, they’re being hit. These guys are so much bigger and faster than when I played.
“If you’re good enough to get to the NHL and they put the centre line back, don’t worry, they can adjust. Minor coaches watch NHL teams play and they want to coach like that. The kids aren’t skating with the puck or working on the fundamentals.”
-Bobby Orr. Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun has more from Brian Burke on changing the width of the rinks and also Brendan Shanahan on wooing Jimmy Vesey.
from Robby Stanley at NHL.com,
The Predators have plenty of talent and are a team on the rise, but will they be able to break through in a competitive Central Division?
Here are four reasons for optimism entering this season:
Top four defensemen could be special
Subban adds to a top four that is arguably one of the best in the NHL. Subban, Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis excel in moving the puck quickly and are sound defensively.
"I think the game is definitely trending in that direction where mobile, puck-moving defensemen are, first of all they're hard to find," Subban said. "To have four of them on your [defense] corps, I mean it's tough. You don't see that in very many teams in the National Hockey League. It always seems that Nashville has been able to produce and have great defensemen, and I'm just happy to be a part of that [defense] corps."
Full season with Ryan Johansen
For the first time in Predators history, they will enter a season with a true No. 1 center. That's been a hole they've had annually had in their lineup, but Johansen has the talent to be a difference-maker.
Johansen had 34 points in 42 games with the Predators last season after being traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets for defenseman Seth Jones on Jan. 6. Johansen, 24, had instant chemistry with forward James Neal, and that could be a potent combination for Nashville this season.
from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,
How do you react when you hear reports of the Isles moving again soon, from Brooklyn to Queens?
Those things are out of our control as players. Having certainty on where you’re playing is important. Ownership has said they’re committed to Brooklyn. If things change, we’ll see. Obviously there are reports. I know the organization doesn’t comment on rumours, so if it happens, it happens.
Is the Barclays Center ice really as bad as its reputation?
Yeah, it had its moments. To be dead honest, I think the worst ice I skated on all year was in Toronto. It was so hot the one game [on March 9], I couldn’t believe how warm it was. We were playing there on a back-to-back, and by the end of the third period we couldn’t even move. We lost [4-3 in a shootout]. There are some hiccups in being in a new arena, in a rink that technically wasn’t build for hockey. There were hurdles to overcome early on, but I think as the year went on it got better and better. The ice was at its best in the playoffs, to be perfectly honest with you. If they continue to work at it and make improvements, it’ll get better.
much more including World Cup talk and a few players who left the Islanders...
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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