Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun,
Heading into the season, there is excitement in Buffalo due to the manner their roster was turned over.
“I think it’s like Edmonton right now, there is a lot of turnover and changes in coaches and we have some high-end prospects coming in and there is a lot of optimism,” Ennis said following a session at Perry Pearn’s 3-on-3 camp Thursday. “It’s really exciting, we made some really good moves, I think. I feel like the rebuild is finally coming to fruition. It’s been a tough couple of years but it’s going to be worth it, because we have a lot of great players and a lot of guys to be excited about, coming in.”
Shrewd trades and quality draft picks have, seemingly, expedited the rebuild process in Buffalo. As one of the club’s veterans, Ennis is looking forward to playing on a more competitive team this year.
“Time flies by. That’s why the last two years were such a tough two years,” Ennis said. “Your career goes by quickly. It seems just like yesterday that I got drafted and now I’m going into my seventh year of pro. You want to be in contention every year, because you may only get a couple of chances to win it.”
Heading into the year, Ennis is looking to improve on the 20 goals and 46 points he posted last season. He has a point total in mind, which he is hoping to reach, but would not divulge a number.
by Joe Sudberg,
The New York Rangers were one game away from back-to-back Stanley Cup appearances before being upended by the Tampa Bay Lightning in last season’s Eastern Conference Finals, a game that the Rangers had everything going for them prior to the puck dropping.
With the support of the Madison Square Garden fans and Henrik Lundqvist’s stellar Game 7 record, it was almost expected to see the Rangers get another shot at Lord Stanley’s Cup. But the night belonged to the Lightning, who moved on to the Stanley Cup Final where they would lose to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
So the window question, whether it's wide open or closing, is legitimate for the Rangers. How many chances does a team get before the bottom falls out? Does getting close put even more pressure on the Rangers to win the Stanley Cup this season?
Vigneault understands the queries, but he's not concerned with them because he sees the Rangers as a contender regardless of what they have done, or not done.
"We signed most, if not all, of our core guys to pretty good contracts as far as length, so we have to believe that these guys are going to give us good years," Vigneault said. "Are we in our window, and how many years is that window? We're a good team. I'm going to let the experts decide if we're in the window or not."
The Rangers should be in their window for the reasons Vigneault outlined, and many others. They should see themselves as contenders because their core is intact and in its prime.
Henrik Lundqvist will turn 34 this season but should be able to maintain his status as an elite goalie for several more seasons because of the shape he stays in and the way he maintains his body and mind throughout the season. He is entering the second year of a seven-year contract.
Defenseman Ryan McDonagh is a 26-year-old captain with four years remaining on his contract. Defenseman Marc Staal is 28 and entering the first year of a six-year contract extension. Defenseman Dan Girardi is 31 and has five years left on his contract.
RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with forward Elias Lindholm on a two-year contract extension. The deal will pay Lindholm $2.5 million in 2016-17 and $2.9 million in 2017-18.
“Elias played well last season, nearly doubling his offensive numbers from his rookie year,” said Francis. “We expect he will be a very important part of the Hurricanes as he continues to develop as a professional.”
Lindholm, 20, established career highs in goals (17), assists (22), points (39) and games played (81) in 2014-15, and ranked third on the team in goals and points, and tied for third in assists. The Boden, Sweden, native has now played in 139 NHL regular season games with Carolina, scoring 26 goals and earning 34 assists (60 points). The Hurricanes drafted Lindholm (6’1”, 192 lbs.) in the first round, fifth overall, in the 2013 NHL Draft.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
One of the great things about this time of the year, the days after players have started to drift back into NHL cities in anticipation of training camps starting in a matter of weeks, is to project, to dream, to imagine what might be.
And what better thing to imagine than which of the 30 teams will still be standing in June at the start of the Stanley Cup finals?
It is an exercise in fancy and maybe a little fancy stats with intuition and common sense thrown in, although we know that hat sense is oft-times uncommon come playoff time....
Nashville Predators versus Columbus Blue Jackets
When this matchup actually unfolds next spring, I will preface all coverage with “as first reported by ESPN.com.” Because it could happen. For a stretch last season Nashville was the best team in the NHL, led by Vezina Trophy finalist Pekka Rinne and two-time gold medalist and team captain Shea Weber. The Preds swooned down the stretch and were bounced in the first round by Chicago but should learn from that experience and once again be a playoff team in spite of the intense competition bound to unfold in the Central Division. Columbus, meanwhile, was last fall’s Eastern Conference darling but a rash of injuries dashed playoff hopes early. Still, the Blue Jackets played hard and were tied for the league lead in wins after March 1. Add Brandon Saad to an already hard-working, talented team and factor in former Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky in goal and this is a team ready to make noise.
Prediction: Columbus in 7; Scott Hartnell with the Cup-winner on a rare breakaway after the Nationwide Arena cannon inadvertently fires during a Nashville power play in double overtime.
four more matchups...
While I don't loathe Kings loopholing contract like some do - I'm a Lamoniello guy after all - this all comes back to Lombardi's failure
Dean could have bought out MR, didn't. Could have dropped hammer on Voynov, didn't. Now he's hypocritical at best/moral bankrupt at worst
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
This is not a list of the "best" player on each team but the most important. And important is a relative term to be sure.
To be honest, Vanek has been relatively disappointing since signing a three-year contract with the Wild in the summer of 2014. In fact, he was relatively disappointing before signing the deal but that didn’t stop general manager Chuck Fletcher from bestowing a three-year deal worth $6.5 million annually on the skilled winger.
The Wild are at a kind of crossroads having made the playoffs in three straight seasons, advancing to the second round in each of the last two appearances. Fletcher has assembled an enticing blend of veterans led by Parise and Suter -- the undisputed leaders on this team -- and impressive youngsters, including Jonas Brodin, Jason Zucker, Erik Haula, Matt Dumba and newcomer Mike Reilly. Fletcher also locked up Vezina Trophy nominee Devan Dubnyk for the long haul after acquiring the netminder from the Arizona Coyotes last season.
via Rick Westhead of TSN,
Former Los Angles Kings forward Mike Richards has been charged with illegal possession of a controlled substance, the RCMP announced Thursday morning.
Richards was charged on Aug. 25 and has not yet entered a plea. Richards has a court hearing on Sept. 10.
Richards was arrested on June 17 in Emerson, MB at about 2pm, RCMP constable Paul Human told TSN.
Canadian border guards found “some pills in a single bottle” during a random search of Richards’ car and he was arrested by RCMP, a source told TSN. “It was clearly a small quantity intended for his personal use,” the source told TSN.
added 10:42am, Westhead has added more to the original story including this...
Previously published reports have said the pills were OxyContin. A source close to Richards declined to say whether he has had a prescription for the narcotic pain reliever.
It's likely that at the Sept. 10 court hearing, the case will be adjourned for at least several weeks because Richards' legal team has not yet obtained through discovery police documents related to the case.
Under Canada's controlled drug and substances act, prosecutors will be able to choose whether to proceed with the case summarily, which is typically the case for first-time offenders, or through an indictment, which is used for repeat and serious offenders.
from Brian Hutchinson of the National Post,
Debbie Weiss lives with her partner and four children in Beverly Hills, on a narrow, tranquil street with spectacular views. An art dealer who likes hockey, she claims a soft spot for Canadians. “I think Canadians are nice,” she says. Even Justin Bieber, who rented a house on her street last winter.
There were “no issues at all” with the notorious Biebs, says Weiss.
She can’t say the same of another Canadian, Francesco Aquilini, a wealthy Vancouver-based businessman and developer.
With his two younger brothers, Aquilini manages his family’s vast real estate holdings and a “global conglomerate portfolio” that includes the Vancouver Canucks hockey team. Aquilini is the club’s chairman and a National Hockey League governor....
He also has property in Beverly Hills, a two-acre lot on Loma Linda Drive, right next to Weiss’s home, in fact. After buying the spread for a reported US$7.2-million, he had the 60-year-old, 3,700 square-foot residence pulled down.
Last year, he announced plans to build a 26,000 sq.-ft. house on the property, partially cantilevered over a steep hillside and featuring an indoor basketball court, bowling alley, two bars, two swimming pools and underground parking for 10 cars. And, according to the Beverly Hills Courier newspaper, “moat-like water features protruding over” downslope homes and a pre-school.
Weiss and other residents were appalled. Aquilini’s proposed “megamansion” was too big for the neighbourhood, they agreed.
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.
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