Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
NEW YORK, July 15, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free agent forward Josh Jooris.
Jooris, 26, skated in 59 games with the Calgary Flames this past season, registering four goals and nine assists for 13 points, along with 39 penalty minutes. He tied for the team lead in shorthanded assists (two) and tied for fifth on Calgary in shorthanded points (two) in 2015-16. The Flames posted a 9-2-1 record in contests which Jooris tallied at least one point this past season, and he posted a plus/minus rating of even or better in 45 of the 59 games in which he played during the season. He skated in his 100th career NHL game on February 23, 2016 at Los Angeles.
from Stan Fischler of MSGNetworks,
Put it this way, if Lou Fontinato were playing defense for the New York Rangers today, he would have been one of the most popular -- if not the most popular -- athlete in New York.
I speak firsthand since Louie and I grew up together in the Rangers organization. During the 1954-55 season, I worked in the Blueshirts publicity department and Fonty was a hell-for-leather rookie.
This wonderful man, who for many NHL years seemed indestructible, died at the age of 84 on Sunday near his birthplace in Guelph, Ontario.
What made Fontinato so special was a blend of uncontrolled exuberance, passion, lust for body checking and -- not to be underplayed -- delight in good old fist-fighting.
When Louie fought, The Garden -- then on Eighth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets -- would go mad.
"As long as I knew Louie," said Hall of Famer Andy Bathgate, "he loved a good fight. But he also was a first-rate defenseman, even in Juniors."
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Jeff Gorton has to be as surprised as anyone that, three months from the start of next season, the Rangers are almost the exact same team that was not good enough last season. Except minus their best defenseman and power-play quarterback the second half of the season, both of whom were named Keith Yandle. Because believe me, this was not the plan.
But Gorton, in his first full offseason as general manager, is not just some innocent bystander here. He is the decider. From what we’ve gleaned, the Blueshirts, a) are extremely reluctant to trade Derek Stepan; b) won’t trade Ryan McDonagh; c) cannot get anything even remotely resembling equal value for Rick Nash; d) have not been shopping Chris Kreider.
So when removing those players from the equation — after making the decision not to buy out either Dan Girardi or Marc Staal and thus incur $12 million of empty cap space over eight years on the former and/or $21.77 million of dead cap space over 10 years on the latter — how exactly do the Blueshirts expect to change the equation and dynamic on Broadway next year?
The Rangers’ core has been at the heart of a five-season run of notable success. But at its best, it was not good enough to win the Stanley Cup. So why would anyone think this same group can be good enough to win this year?
NEW YORK, July 1, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free agent forward Nathan Gerbe.
Gerbe, 28, has skated in 394 career NHL games over parts of eight seasons (2008-09 – 2015-16) with Buffalo and Carolina, registering 58 goals and 80 assists for 138 points, along with 172 penalty minutes. He has recorded 10 or more goals in a season three times in his career, and he notched a career-high 16 goals in 2010-11 with the Sabres and 2013-14 with the Hurricanes. In addition, Gerbe has been on the ice for only 20 power play goals against while logging 247:03 of shorthanded ice time throughout his career. He has skated in nine career NHL playoff contests, registering four points (three goals, one assist).
The 5-5, 178-pounder skated in 47 games with Carolina this past season, registering three goals and four assists for seven points, along with 14 penalty minutes. He was on the ice for only four power play goals against while logging 48:59 of ice time while shorthanded in 2015-16. The Hurricanes earned a point in five of the seven contests which Gerbe tallied a point during the past season (4-2-1 record).
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.
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