Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
Garth Snow won’t be mistaken for Sam Pollock any time soon, but the general manager of the Islanders sure has done a nice job of silencing his critics in the past few months. Through a combination of luck, opportunity and gumption, he’s turned his team into a force in the Eastern Conference and earned himself a lot of respect in the hockey world.
Snow’s latest bold strike was the signing of veteran defenseman Johnny Boychuk to a seven-year, $42 million contract on Thursday. Here’s a guy who was wearing black and gold in the preseason before Snow stole him from the cap-squeezed Bruins before opening night. Since then, Boychuk has been a linchpin of New York’s defense, a smart, physical two-way player who can eat a ton of hard minutes against top opponents, and who sets the tone on the ice and in the dressing room. For a guy who can do all that, $6 million per season is more than fair.
You can’t complain about the length of the deal, either. No, the 31-year-old Boychuk is not expected to be a 25-minute ace when he’s 38, but that’s not the point. Snow gave him seven years because that’s exactly what he would have gotten from another GM on the open market. Snow knows what Boychuk has meant to this team. Why go cheap now?
continued plus additional NHL topics...
from the New York Islanders,
The New York Islanders announced today that defenseman Johnny Boychuk has agreed to terms on a seven-year deal, signing through the 2021-22 season.
Boychuk, 31, leads all Islanders defensemen in points (32), assists (25) and plus-minus rating (+17) through 59 games this season. The Edmonton, Alberta native has already established career highs in goals (seven), assists and points in his first season with the Islanders and ninth professional season.
“Johnny’s influence in our dressing room, both on and off the ice, has been immeasurable,” Islanders General Manager Garth Snow said. “His veteran presence is an asset that we are thrilled to help lead our club.”
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
You bet it was about more than just nostalgia when the New York Islanders and New York Rangers met for the last regular-season game between the two teams at Nassau Coliseum. The historic rivalry has taken on a new level of intensity this season as the two clubs jockey for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division standings, and the Blueshirts gained some gain ground on their familiar foes with Tuesday's 2-1 win at the old barn.
Sure, it was Rick Nash's 39th goal of the season that broke a 1-1 tie in the third period, but let's give some recognition to the yeoman's work Cam Talbot has done for the Rangers in goal. He has stepped up in the glaring absence of an injured Henrik Lundqvist and has been more than just impressive.
On Tuesday, Talbot stopped 29 of 30 shots, just the latest in a fine string of performances. The 27-year-old Talbot is now 3-0-1 with a .99 goals against average and a .966 save percentage in his last four games. Meanwhile, the Rangers are within one point of the Isles for first place in the Metropolitan, but they have four games in hand. Prepare for one heck of a battle down the stretch.
continue for more from the ESPN writers including Burnside on Sens/Bruins, Custance on the Blues and LeBrun on Lightning/Candiens...
Kevin Hayes with a great goal last night for the New York Rangers. New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey caught up with Hayes but then just bounced right off of him.
First up is John Tavares scoring the game winner in OT for the New York Islanders against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Followed below by a great individual effort by David Booth...
from Stan Fischler at the Daily Freemen,
You can bet your bottom dollar that on Tuesday night all hell will break loose in a large barn located off Hempstead Turnpike.
That barn — also known in the trade as Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum — will have two games going on simultaneously.
One will be on the Coliseum ice where the New York Rangers will challenge their archer-than-arch rivals, the New York Islanders.
The other battle will be in the stands, sports bars and assorted other venues where fans challenge their opposition counterparts in an endless “Who’s Better?” argument.
For some strange reason, I believe the fans fury should be less important than the shenanigans on the ice.
Among other things, the clubs will be battling for a high playoff berth as the NHL homestretch becomes more excruciatingly thrilling than ever.
The fans, on the other hand — or throat as the case may be — will be there to out-scream each other.
Looks more like a knee to inner thigh hit.
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