Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Darren Dreger of the Dreger Report,
There has been much speculation on Nashville's interest in Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Cody Franson.
However, general manager David Poile is as much or more interested in one of Toronto's forwards to strengthen his lineup. Poile isn't looking to add a major piece and risk disrupting what he has up front, but there could be a fit with centre Mike Santorelli or winger Daniel Winnik. Poile and Leafs GM Dave Nonis met in Nashville on Thursday night, but neither appears to be in any rush to make something happen.
The Maple Leafs did have some discussions with Santorelli's agent J.P. Barry about re-signing the pending unrestricted free agent, but the Leafs have not made an offer to extend. It's believed Santorelli is looking for a three-year term with a minimum of $3 million per season to stay in Toronto.
read on for Evander Kane and Mike Richards talk...
from Mike Organ of The Tennessean,
The Predators have skated into a brighter spotlight this season.
Their dramatic improvement over last season has been a natural attention-grabber, but other factors have contributed to a new level of respect for the franchise locally and nationally.
“They’re getting more attention because it’s such a surprise for them to be where they are,” USA Today hockey writer Kevin Allen said. “And also there is the storyline of (Peter) Laviolette replacing Barry Trotz, who everyone had such great respect for. He’s moved on and you go from a defensive coach to an offensive coach. The story is intriguing.”
At the NHL All-Star break, the Predators (30-10-5) lead the Central Division and are second in the Western Conference and overall NHL standings.
The story is intriguing, Allen said, not because Trotz failed to move the Predators into a more prominent position, but rather because he laid the foundation for them to evolve to where they are mentioned among the league’s best teams.
from Eric Stromgren of the Tennessean,
Predators coach Peter Laviolette gave an earful to linesman Don Henderson as he left the Bell Centre ice after a 2-1 overtime loss to Montreal on Tuesday night.
Laviolette was venting about Craig Smith's tripping penalty on Lars Eller 2:34 into overtime, which turned into a four-on-three power play and the game-winning goal from P.K. Subban in the final game before the NHL's All-Star break.
"I don't think the last penalty was a penalty at all," Laviolette said. "Our guy had a heavy stick. There was no tripping."
continue for more on the game...
Here is a short video of Laviolette walking off the ice and giving it to the officials and at one point you can hear him say "Montreal typical"...
Below, although not a great view, you can see the OT penalty called against the Predators....
Watch as Predators fans stand up and cheer on their former coach, Barry Trotz, as he returns to Nashville for the first time coaching the opposing team.
from Mike Johnston of Sportsnet,
The hearts of Nashville Predators fans collectively sank when it was revealed Thursday that Pekka Rinne could miss up to five weeks with a sprained knee....
If the Predators were desperate to acquire a goalie for a short-term fix they could potentially look at Buffalo Sabres netminders Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth, both of whom are expected to garner interest leading up to the trade deadline. They could also see what Martin Brodeur’s status is with the St. Louis Blues.
It likely won’t come to that, though, because the Predators have two capable backups – Carter Hutton and Marek Mazanec.
Here’s a closer look at the two men responsible for filling in for Rinne after spending most of their NHL careers in his shadow:
via the Nashville Predators,
During the third period of the Nashville Predators 5-1 victory on Tuesday night, goaltender Pekka Rinne sustained a sprained knee which will cause him to miss the next three games and All-Star Weekend, the club announced Thursday. Rinne’s status will be re-evaluated and updated after the NHL All-Star Break.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The Nashville Predators won yet again, this time 4-1 over the visiting Vancouver Canucks, but the real story on this night was the injury to superstar Predators goalie Pekka Rinne.
The Hart and Vezina Trophy candidate, who leads the NHL with 29 wins, left the game early in the third period after a mild collision with Chris Higgins of the Canucks pushed him into the back boards, where his left pad hit first. It wasn't violent by any measure, but Rinne was hurt. He was listed as day to day after the game with a lower-body injury and will be re-evaluated Thursday by the team.
Head coach Peter Laviolette said after the game said he didn't think the injury was bad at first glance, "but you just never know," he said. Talk about a team holding its breath. Rinne missed 51 games last year with a hip issue/infection, and he is their engine so let's hope it is indeed a minor injury.
read on for more topics from the ESPN hockey crew including the Bruins have a decision to make on David Pastrnak...
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
... Nobody could say they saw this coming in Nashville. For 15 years the Predators were the little team that could and in one short season they’ve transformed themselves into Brock Lesnar. They sit first overall in the NHL. They have the all-star coach in Peter Laviolette. They have a Hart and Vezina candidate in Pekka Rinne. They have the Calder favourite in franchise-changing forward Filip Forsberg. And that still only tells part of their story.
Through the first half of the schedule they’ve emerged as a legitimate power, and if there are doubts about the sustainability of their success they can live with those questions. After doing more with less for so many seasons, they’ve discovered the joys of doing more with more in 2014-15 and, in so doing, they’ve changed the entire perception of the franchise.
“Really, our goal was to make the playoffs,” said Poile, who’s been the Predators’ GM every one of their 16 seasons. “I know that doesn’t sound like a lot but when you haven’t made the playoffs for two seasons, it’s pretty significant.
“I just think the timing was good. We wanted to play a different style and that started with the coach (Laviolette).”
As to where it ends, stay tuned.
NEW YORK (Jan. 9, 2015) -- Peter Laviolette of the Nashville Predators and Darryl Sutter of the Los Angeles Kings will serve as head coaches for the 2015 Honda NHL® All-Star Game in Columbus, the National Hockey League announced today.
Under the All-Star selection process, the head coach of the team with the highest points percentage (points earned divided by total possible points) in the NHL through games of Saturday, Jan. 10 -- the halfway point of the regular season -- earns the right to lead one of the All-Star teams.
The Nashville Predators had a fairly comfortable lead over the Los Angeles Kings with a little over two minutes to go in the 3rd period.
17:59 Los Angeles Dwight King (7) ASST: Jake Muzzin (15), Anze Kopitar (20) 6-4
18:56 Los Angeles Alec Martinez (5) ASST: Drew Doughty (20), Jeff Carter (19) 6-5
19:26 Los Angeles Jeff Carter (11) ASST: Anze Kopitar (21), Alec Martinez (11) 6-6
Bet the comeback ended there when Roman Josi scored for the Predators early in OT.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org