Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John Chidley-Hill of the Globe and Mail,
Aaron Ekblad is getting back to work.
The first overall draft pick of the Florida Panthers said on Saturday he’s free of any concussion-like symptoms less than three weeks after he took a hard hit in a world junior exhibition game.
“The concussion is perfectly, completely gone. I feel great,” said Ekblad. “I’ve been skating all this week, working out all this week. It’s gone. I feel great.”
The 18-year-old defenceman from Windsor, Ont., was injured on Aug. 6 at Canada’s world junior training camp in a game against the Czech Republic. The Canadians went on to win 6-2, but Hockey Canada and the Panthers agreed to keep Ekblad off the ice for the rest of the team’s summer development camp.
Ward Cornell of Hockey Night In Canada with an interview of head coach Punch Imlach of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1962.
If you closed your eyes, it could be 2014...
from Ian Mendes of TSN,
After the Senators missed the playoffs in the 2013-14 season, there were rumblings that Spezza was on the trade market.
General manager Bryan Murray confirmed that Spezza and his agent Rick Curran had requested a trade in May, which created a ton of media interest leading up to the NHL Draft weekend at the end up of June.
Spezza declined an opportunity to head to Nashville in a trade and says he wanted to end up in Dallas. He wishes the entire episode was kept quiet, but he harbors no ill feelings towards Murray or the Senators organization for the fact the trade request became public.
"I think obviously the goal of mine was to kind of get traded without the hoopla around it and all the conversation that went around it. The reality of it is, that was never going to happen," Spezza said. "So I just tried to stay quiet, and I talked to Bryan a few times throughout the process. I have a lot of respect for Bryan, I think he has a lot of respect for me, and unfortunately, things get kind of dragged out through the papers and the media and sometimes things get skewed, but that's the nature of the game and it was my decision to ask him to move me and I had to live with the consequences. But, I'm happy with the end result."
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
In 2012, Jonathan Quick achieved a career goal. The former UMass Amherst standout went 16-4 in the postseason, including three shutouts, with a 1.41 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage to backstop the Kings to their first of two Stanley Cups in the last three seasons.
In the bigger picture, the Conn Smythe-winning goalie helped to initiate a position-changing movement. The name of one of Quick’s go-to moves is “reverse VH,” also called post lean or shoulder lean. Not many North American goalies used it just three years ago. It’s since become a required technique in a goalie’s toolbox.
Two Cups, a Conn Smythe, and an Olympic starting gig are good benchmarks to affirm puckstopping credentials.
“When I tried to teach this two years ago, guys looked at me like I had three heads,” said Brian Daccord, president and founder of Stop It Goaltending in Woburn. “It was something so out of this world. Now they’re all doing it.”
continued plus more hockey topics...
from Mat Kalman at NHL.com,
Who will replace Jarome Iginla? -- Iginla was the new Nathan Horton. Now the Bruins need a new Iginla to skate with center David Krejci and left wing Milan Lucic. Among the Bruins' returning players, only Loui Eriksson and Smith seem to have the type of offensive skills it takes to play on the first line. Either player will give that line a different dynamic; Krejci is used to being surrounded by skill players with size and brute strength.
Eriksson figures to get the first chance to take that spot, barring a trade.
Can Loui Eriksson rebound? -- Bruins brass has faith the injury-plagued wing, who scored 37 points in 61 games last season and sustained two concussions, wasn't the player they're going to have this season and beyond.
"I think Loui Eriksson is a player that can be even better than he was last year," coach Claude Julien said. "I think we started seeing that at the end of the year, and he could be a replacement for Jarome as a possibility."
Eriksson had a strong last couple months of last season, especially when Carl Soderberg was switched to center and Chris Kelly moved to left wing. If Eriksson doesn't win the job with Lucic and Krejci, maybe the Swede plays with center Patrice Bergeron and left wing Brad Marchand, or maybe goes back to the bottom six.
"It's never an easy decision, and it's not the only decision, but there was definitely a shake-up needed. Especially after being up 3-0 and then losing four straight to a team that we should have never lost to. You always look to your leaders and we certainly look to all our top players, not just Joe and not just Patrick, but all of our top players as a whole and when you have one goal, two assists and collectively a minus-29 in your final four games, you have to start looking to shake things up a little bit."
-San Jose Sharks associate coach Larry Robinson on removing the 'C' and 'A' from Thornton and Marleau. Robinson appeared on TSN690 today in Montreal and Fear The Fin has more from Robinson.
from Rory Boylen of The Hockey News,
When THN’s seven-person panel sat down to come up with our rankings of the 30 NHL logos, we were basically in full agreement which team would be No. 1.
We didn’t want history to influence our decisions. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens sit outside the top 10 for that reason. Ranking all the Original Six 1-6 is boring, predictable and doesn’t accomplish what we wanted to do here: reward the best logos, not the longest history.
Even still, the Chicago Blackhawks stood up to that measurement. The vibrant color combination and the respectful way it honors a WWI battalion and a Native American chief sets this logo apart from the rest. If we handed out the Three Stars of these logo rankings, the Blackhawks logo would be one, two and three.
Check out the rest of the rankings...
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
Though the Carolina Hurricanes made significant changes in their front office and behind the bench – Ron Francis took over as general manager while former Detroit Red Wings assistant coach Bill Peters replaced Kirk Mueller as head coach -- following the team’s 13th place finish last season, the personnel has not fluctuated much.
And considering that the roster remains largely intact, Carolina’s top players really have to step it up, according to former Hurricane Jeff O’Neill.
“When you have a lot of long-term [contracts], guys locked in to big money, there is a philosophy around the league that you are only as good as your bad contracts,” O’Neill told ESPN.com in a recent telephone conversation.
And that leaves at least a few players under some pretty intense scrutiny for the 2014-15 season. Chief among them, according to O’Neill, is goaltender Cam Ward.
Time certainly does not stand still, I still picture Steve Yzerman's daughters as children...
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
The Bruins are in a jam. They have approximately $69 million committed toward 2014-15. This includes Marc Savard’s $4,027,143 annual cap hit and roughly $4.75 million in overage penalties (bonuses achieved last year by Jarome Iginla, Torey Krug, and Dougie Hamilton) they must apply toward their number.
By opening night, they will use the long-term injury exception on Savard to exceed the cap by his average annual value. But even when accounting for that deletion, the Bruins have little breathing room to re-sign Krug and Reilly Smith.
It would be possible to re-up Krug and Smith without moving salary; it would not be preferable. Management would have close to zero roster flexibility to trade or sign players or carry extra bodies.
A trade, therefore, is coming.
The Bruins have excess on defense. General manager Peter Chiarelli has repeatedly classified nine defensemen as contenders for jobs when training camp opens Sept. 18. David Warsofsky, one of the nine, can be assigned to Providence without clearing waivers. But that leaves eight still in varsity play, which is one more than the Bruins usually carry.
Locks to stay are Hamilton, Krug, and Zdeno Chara. The captain is one of the team’s three most important players. Hamilton is developing into a top-four fixture. Krug is the power-play specialist.
Dennis Seidenberg is coming off major knee surgery. He also has a no-trade clause.
The four remaining defensemen are Johnny Boychuk, Matt Bartkowski, Adam McQuaid, and Kevan Miller. McQuaid, who is entering the final year of his contract, is a known commodity as a nasty and experienced defensive defenseman. But he does not have a good health history.
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 email@example.com