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Category: NHL-Teams

Afternoon Line Part 2

“The whole season overall wasn’t how I wanted it to be. It was unfortunate losing your confidence early. It’s a confidence game. So I’m just trying to get it back this summer. I know what I can do and can provide a team. I’ve done it in the past; I’m just trying to get there again.”

-Unrestricted Free Agent Michael Del Zotto.  More on Del Zotto from Luke Fox of Sportsnet.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: michael+del+zotto

Talking Salary Arbitration The Hockey Analytical Way

from Ian Cooper at the Toronto Star,

The free agent sweepstakes ended in a flash and two of our favourite players (Radim Vrbata and Benoit Pouliot) found themselves a new home and a significant raise.

For those who can’t get enough hockey in July, the league has served up its next round of entertainment: the arbitration game.

What could be more exciting than following the stories of 23 players as they, their employers, and a phalanx of lawyers and agents slowly wend their way toward a settlement on the courtroom steps?

NHL salary arbitrations have detailed rules and a veneer of science to them as the combatants try to come up with “comparables” to assess a player’s worth.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

In-Game Experience- Out With The Old, In With The New

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

The off-season is when NHL teams examine their rosters and look to improve. But as we know, there’s more to every franchise’s business dealings than the players themselves. There’s also the matter of the in-arena experience for fans who spend big money on tickets. While some teams are better at it than others, there’s lots of room for improvement in the way paying customers are entertained 41 nights per season. Here are three easy ways to do that:

1. Enough of the same old song. At the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, the same songs often are played not just game after game, but in the exact same circumstances every night. (I’m not talking about a team’s “goal song”. That’s fine.) While there are hundreds, if not a few thousand people on any given night who may only attend one or two games a year, there are many more who are season-ticketholders in attendance every night. It’s indefensible to subject them to a near-identical, cookie-cutter in-game experience, but that’s the reality in many rinks.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Jeremy Roenick On The Flyers Goaltending And Defense

from Mary Clarke of CSNPhilly,

If they're going to win the Cup, Roenick believes they'll have to do it with a different goaltender.

"I like Steve Mason," Roenick said on Philly Sports Talk, "but I don’t think Steve Mason is the answer to winning a Stanley Cup."

Mason posted a 33-18-7 record, .917 save percentage and 2.50 goals-against average in his first full year with the Flyers. The 26-year-old once won the Calder Memorial Trophy, in 2008-09, as the league's rookie of the year with the Blue Jackets. But he regressed in his next three and a half seasons before Columbus eventually shipped him to the Flyers for Michael Leighton and a third-round pick.

"I think you need an upper echelon defenseman, I think you need an upper echelon goaltender," Roenick said. "The Flyers do not have [either].

"I think that’s something that you’re going to have to look at in terms of improving your team."

more including video of Roenick making the remarks...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jeremy+roenick

Afternoon Line

The Bruins need to continue showing they’re the tough, experienced, puck-possession team to beat in a wide open East or the current band may not be together that much longer.

-Joe Haggerty of CSNNE on the Boston Bruins. Read more to find out what choices the Bruins may be forced to make.

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

Rankings With A Twist

from Sean McIndoe of Grantland,

The NHL offseason isn’t over yet; it’s only mid-July, which means we still have roughly seven weeks until training camp starts. But it’s mostly over, in the sense that virtually all the big signings, trades, hirings, and firings have already taken place. While we’ll probably get the occasional surprise or two over the next month, we’re well into the summer dead zone now.

And you know what that means: It’s time to fire up the NHL Offseason Bizarro-meter! Last season we debuted the system for a breakdown of the Toronto Maple Leafs summer moves, and the poor thing barely survived. But we’ve spent the year tweaking the hardware, and we paid for the extended warranty, so let’s push things one step further by running through the entire league and seeing which teams’ moves made the least sense.

Here’s a look back at every team’s offseason so far, broken down by division and ranked in order of increasing Bizarro-meter score.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Tyler Ennis Re-Signing In Buffalo All But Official

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

The Buffalo Sabres' top returning goal scorer and most prominent restricted free agent is back in the fold for the long term.

Multiple sources confirmed to The Buffalo News early this morning that the team has re-signed center Tyler Ennis to a five-year deal worth $23 million. The deal was first noted Wednesday by NHL Network analyst and former NHL goalie Kevin Weekes. It has yet to be confirmed by the team.

Ennis' cap hit of $4.6 million would thus put him behind only defenseman Tyler Myers ($5.5 million) and recently re-signed winner Matt Moulson ($5 million) on the Buffalo roster.

continued

added 9:59am,

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tyler+ennis

When Enforcers Ruled

from Justin Bourne of The Score,

The 1990s might have been the golden age for fans of face-knuckling. While the 70s and 80s gave us names like Clark Gillies and Terry O’Reilly, the majority of heavies from those generations still took regular shifts and tried to contribute offensively (those two men in particular combined for 1,100 NHL points). There were exceptions as there always are, but they’re called “exceptions” for a reason.

By the 90s, the team “tough guy” became so specialized, so compartmentalized, that they trained for it exclusively. Guys focused so much on winning their fights - after all, that defined their status, their paychecks, and the league they were placed in  - that hockey took a backseat. They took boxing lessons, they hit the gym with custom workouts designed for combat, and they studied on-ice fighting technique. They wore gear that was more conducive to winning fights.

It became a sport within a sport, like boxing on ice. Win your fight against an established heavy, and your status would rise and you’d stay in the league.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Coyotes Need More Goals

from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,

It's clear the Coyotes need to bolster their scoring options, but by late July or early August the remaining free agents don't usually provide that type of impact. A trade still is a possibility, and that might be the best remedy.

But even that might take some time to execute — perhaps in training camp when teams have a front-row seat to their deficiencies, and the pressure is on to find solutions. At this point in the summer, patience typically is the smartest course of action. That could end up paying off for the Coyotes.

Because they still have two forward spots available, a prospect such as Max Domi, Henrik Samuelsson or Tyler Gaudet could wow the coaching staff and help pick up some of the offensive slack during the season.

Recently acquired center Sam Gagner might capitalize on a new surrounding and finally have the breakout year many have been awaiting. And winger Martin Erat might rediscover his offensive touch in his first full season with the team.

All of these variables could pan out for the Coyotes. Or they might not.

more

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

What More Could You Want?

from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times,

Let’s not get too nostalgic here, lest we look like sentimental fools. Let’s just say that this is nice, that it feels right, that it’s too bad it can’t be this way more often in sports. Nothing wrong with LeBron James getting to orchestrate his future, but if there’s one thing the San Antonio Spurs have taught us hardheaded types, it’s that very good players playing together for a long time can do great things.

And if there’s one thing that Toews and Kane have taught us, it’s that two great players are capable of giving a franchise a chance to win a championship every season. What more could a fan base want?

The surprise these days is when athletes stick around. LeBron’s talk about “four, five, six’’ NBA titles with the Heat is silenced now that he has bolted back to Cleveland after four seasons in Miami. Carmelo Anthony’s decision to stay with the Knicks wasn’t out of feelings of loyalty. It was because the Knicks could allow him to stack more Maseratis atop each other than other teams could. Winning? A secondary consideration, by about 30 lengths.

Toews and Kane are winners. Two Stanley Cups each. Both with a Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs’ most valuable player. A rookie-of-the-year award for Kane and more dramatic game-winning goals than anyone has a right to have. International success for both, but especially for Toews and that country to the north. Canada’s two gold medals the last two Olympics didn’t feel so painful here, not with the Hawks’ captain playing such a prominent role.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathon+toews, patrick+kane

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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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