Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
Despite an influx of youth, and despite a handful of underachieving veterans still on the roster, Vigneault is confident in his club. In his first meeting with the press Thursday, after the players came in for their physicals, Vigneault made it clear that he thinks highly of his team — even if he is not entirely sure of what he has yet.
“We still believe that we’re a very strong hockey team,” Vigneault said at the Westchester practice facility. “We’ve got some very good experience, some guys that have played big games, important games, big minutes. And we have some younger guys that are developing, improving. And now we’re adding some younger guys and a couple old players that can help us on the penalty kill.
“I see good speed, which is something that I like. As you guys know, I like to play a fast, high-tempo game, and we’d like to continue that. And that’s why we’ve got training camp here, to get everyone on the same page.”
NEW YORK, September 2, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has promoted Chris Drury to Assistant General Manager.
In his expanded role, Drury, 40, will assist Gorton on all player transactions and contract negotiations, and he will continue to assist in overseeing and evaluating all players at the collegiate level. Drury, who rejoined the Rangers organization as Director of Player Development on September 4, 2015, will continue to assist in the development of Rangers prospects, both on and off the ice, and serve as a liaison between the hockey operations department and prospects in the organization.
Vesey’s summer league games were often attended by NHL GMs, with Chicago’s Stan Bowman a regular attendee. Coach Joel Quenneville hit the Wednesday night circuit in Foxborough, Mass., once too. Yes, the games were open to the public and anyone can say they were there to watch anyone. But come on. The optics aren’t good for the Hawks in this one at all. Repeating: You were watching a player who was someone else’s property and just waiting to pounce. Not cool.
Meanwhile, the Boston media fawned over the hometown boy ad nauseum. But Vesey was probably spooked by the tough treatment given to Bostonian Jimmy Hayes, whose subpar play was worthy of scrutiny, and decided he didn’t want to deal with it.
-Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News where you can read more on The Jimmy Vesey Watch...
NEW YORK, August 19, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free agent forward Jimmy Vesey.
Vesey, 23, skated in 33 games with Harvard University this past season, registering 24 goals and 22 assists for 46 points, along with a plus-11 rating and six penalty minutes. He won the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in collegiate hockey in 2015-16, becoming the fourth player in Harvard’s history to win the award. Vesey ranked fourth in the NCAA in goals per game (0.73), tied for seventh in goals, and ranked eighth in points per game (1.39) in 2015-16. In addition, Vesey led Harvard in goals, points, and shots on goal (148), ranked second in power play goals (six) and game-winning goals (five), and tied for second in plus/minus rating this past season. He recorded a point in 24 of the 33 games in which he played in 2015-16, including a goal in 18 of those contests. Harvard posted a 17-6-1 record in games which Vesey notched a point, including a 15-2-1 record in contests which he registered a goal.
The 6-3, 203-pounder was also a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award during the 2014-15 season, as he established collegiate career-highs in games played (37), goals (32), assists (26), points (58), and plus/minus rating (plus-23). Vesey led the NCAA in goals and goals per game (0.86), and he ranked third in the NCAA in points in 2014-15. He was selected to the NCAA (East) First All-American Team and was named the ECAC Hockey Player of the Year. Vesey notched a point in 34 of the 37 contests in which he played during the season, and he tallied a goal in 26 of those 37 games. In addition, Vesey helped Harvard win the ECAC Championship in 2014-15, and he was named Most Valuable Player of the ECAC Tournament.
Vesey skated in 128 career collegiate games over four seasons at Harvard (2012-13 – 2015-16), registering 80 goals and 64 assists for 144 points, along with a plus-17 rating and 66 penalty minutes. Over his last two seasons at Harvard, Vesey recorded 104 points (56 goals, 48 assists) in 70 games, averaging 0.80 goals per game and 1.49 points per game over the span. Vesey’s 56 goals in 2014-15 and 2015-16 led all collegiate players over the two seasons. In addition, he tallied a point in 58 of 70 games over his final two seasons of collegiate hockey, including a goal in 44 of those 70 contests. Vesey ranks fifth on Harvard’s all-time goals list and is tied for 12th on Harvard’s all-time points list.
from Nathan Gerbe at The Players' Tribune,
I presently stand five-foot-four and weigh 175 pounds. And I would never have sniffed NHL ice if it weren’t for my parents. I know that for a fact.
I don’t worry too much about being smaller than everybody else because that’s not what matters. What does matter is my work ethic, and I’ll always be thankful to my parents for that.
Even before I had hit puberty, I was waking up at daybreak to go skating and get some shots in. There were also times when I only left when they were locking up the rink because I had stayed late to run through drills. I’d burn the midnight oil if that meant I’d be better than the kids I was playing against.
Being small out on the ice wasn’t always fun. I mean, my own teammates and their parents doubted me. But trying to show them why I belonged fueled my competitiveness.
Bigger kids would lock in on me from the get-go thinking that they were going to be able to get a big hit to impress their friends and teammates. But after I took a few of those shots, I figured out how to use my speed to evade them.
Press release is below...
added 9:35am. Rangers' release is below...
from the NHLPA,
Brad Richards is announcing his retirement today from the National Hockey League (NHL), following a decorated career that spanned 15 seasons.
Richards played a total of 1,126 career NHL games with five different teams: Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars, New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings. The talented and highly skilled forward notched 298 goals and 634 assists for 932 points over the course of his career. He also eclipsed the 100-point plateau in career playoff scoring, registering 105 points in 146 postseason games.
“I want to thank the fans and the five organizations I have played for: Tampa Bay, Dallas, and the three original six teams — the New York Rangers, Chicago, and Detroit. During my time with those teams I met many great people. I also want to thank the staff and management in those organizations for all the help and support they gave me. I appreciate all the trainers who did tireless work to help me play and keep me healthy. I had many amazing teammates and made many great friendships along the way that I truly appreciate, and I will never forget the great times we had together. Thank you to all my coaches for pushing, teaching and giving me the opportunity to play this great game. Winning the Stanley Cups in Tampa Bay and Chicago was the best part of my career and I will never forget those moments. Nothing compares to enjoying that night with your team and knowing what you have accomplished together,” said Brad Richards.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Derick Brassard, who took a step backward last year even while recording a personal-best 27 goals that led his team, is gone, off to Ottawa for Mika Zibanejad. It was a center-for-center swap in which the Blueshirts came away with the younger, faster, bigger and cheaper player, plus a 2018 second-rounder, to boot.
Cap space was cleared, $2.375 million of it with the newest Swede to join the team in at $2.625 million for the year while Brassard carries a $5 million hit. The Blueshirts now have a fair amount of maneuverability both immediately and into the season. But the added space is more a byproduct of the deal than the motivating force behind it.
The Rangers wanted — if not needed — a different kind of center behind Derek Stepan and they got it in Zibanejad, who is stronger without the puck and in his own end and projects to be feistier and tougher than the gifted, finesse-oriented Brassard.
They acquired a center who they believe will be a better match against bigger, physical pivots and thus alleviate some of the burden on Stepan, whom coach Alain Vigneault had come to rely on almost exclusively — and ultimately to No. 21’s detriment — the last two years in power-against-power matchups.
from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen,
NEW YORK, July 18, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has acquired forward Mika Zibanejad and a second round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Derick Brassard and a seventh round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
Zibanejad, 23, skated in 81 games with Ottawa this past season, registering 21 goals and 30 assists for 51 points, along with 18 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in several categories in 2015-16, including games played, goals, assists, points, game-winning goals (seven), and faceoff win percentage (50.5; 659-for-1,306). Zibanejad has tallied a goal on 13 of his 28 career NHL shootout attempts (46.4%), and he has recorded five game-deciding goals in the shootout. Zibanejad’s five game-deciding goals in the shootout are the second-most a Senator has tallied since 2005-06, as he passed Daniel Alfredsson for sole possession of second place during this past season.
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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