Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Pollak of the Mercury News,
What strikes me about the present situation is the fact Wilson himself is calling for a rebuilding period. When has he used that term before to describe what he’s doing? Never.
The Sharks are sensitive to the market they operate in. The philosophy has been a simple one that guides both the hockey side and the business side: Put a credible team on the ice every season, one that gets you into the playoffs where anything can happen. One of these years, everything will fall into place.
No, the second part of that hasn’t worked out as planned yet. So maybe it is time to come up with a new approach.
The concern has always been whether the San Jose fan base will stick with a team going through a rebuild. The prevailing wisdom is that, without a favorable local TV contract, the Sharks rely more on attendance than a lot of NHL teams. Maybe Chicago can survive a few years of half-empty buildings (see the 1990s and early 2000s), but not San Jose.
A knowledgeable source says the Sharks’ season-ticket base dipped 3,000 the last time the team didn’t make the playoffs in 2003, enough to get everybody’s attention.
from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
Boyle has made it clear he is looking for a bigger offensive role, although he was proud of what he did this season as a member of the fourth line.
“I was on the fourth line, and I didn’t really like it, but it wasn’t the fourth line I was used to,” said Boyle, who had three postseason goals (one empty-netter) after six in the regular season. “We had three lines that could score on any shift — it was different, it was just different.”
After saying how much he loves the Rangers and the opportunity they gave him, Boyle relayed the message sent to him from coach Alain Vigneault.
“I know what my role would be coming back here,” said Boyle, likely looking for a two- or three-year deal in the range of $3 million to $4 million per. “In the playoffs and on a team that’s going to win in May and June, it’s an important role. But everybody wants to score more goals.”
Stralman was a top-four defenseman for the past two seasons, and is likely looking at an open-market value between $4 million to $5 million per on at least a three-year deal, if not longer.
“The only thing in my mind really is security for me and my family,” Stralman said. “We’ve been moving a lot — four teams in seven years. All we’re really looking for is stability, to stay in one place. This is obviously where we want. I’d like to stay. I hope it can happen. We’ll see.”
more on the Rangers...
from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,
If Lombardi sticks to his track record, he will try his hardest to keep Richards and make the other pieces fit. Other less sentimental general managers would likely take the easier, colder route and give him a compliance buyout.
But Lombardi has always done things in his own way, and because of that, Richards — who has won at every level — might not get bought out.
It will be much more difficult to fit in Greene and/or Mitchell, even with the salary cap increasing next season. Greene turned down a contract offer during the regular season. Mitchell turned 37 on April 23, and is believed to be looking for a two-year deal. He might explore options elsewhere if the Kings can only offer one year.
Gaborik looms as the No. 1 off-season priority. Acquired at the trade deadline from the Columbus Blue Jackets, he was a great fit. His reputation was greatly enhanced in Los Angeles after a mediocre run in Columbus. He scored a league-high 14 playoff goals.
But there’s no way the Kings can afford his current $7.5-million salary and make all the other numbers work.
Sorry for the lack of postings, a 12 hour loss of power is no fun!
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
Shawn Thornton isn’t going to see the end of enforcer era as an NHL player, but everybody knows it’s coming eventually.
The 36-year-old fourth line fighter will sign elsewhere for next season after GM Peter Chiarelli broke the news to him on Monday that the Bruins won’t be pursuing his services for the 2014-15 season. Thornton will be a great fit on a young, playoff team that’s in need of toughness, veteran leadership and a little bit of swaggering attitude to put them over the top.
Thornton brought attitude, swagger, work ethic, character, leadership and good humor into the Bruins dressing room over the last seven years, and that is still in demand because the right wing can still play. He was an individual that always opened his home to young players on their own for the first time, and befriended shy or introverted players to make life easier for them in the day-to-day world of the NHL.
While Paul and I were hiding from World Cup Tweets (Paul isn't a soccer fan, and I'm...Not thrilled with FIFA being FIFA), Sportsnet's John Shannon posited an intriguing tidbit, as noted by Pro Hockey Talk's Mike Halford:
Shannon also revealed that the 2014-2015 season schedule is coming out on Sunday, June 22nd, so I'm guessing that he's seen it.
I wonder whether the "Stadium Series" has been nixed for a year and we'll simply see a Winter Classic and a Canadian-team-participating Heritage Classic, or a Winter Classic and a warm weather-venue game, due to the All-Star Game's presence in late January.
Halford notes that Gary Bettman offered the following comment to the media (during his state-of-the-game presser at the Stanley Cup Final) regarding the NHL's outdoor saturation:
“This year we used those games in a variety of ways. Part of it was promoting us going into the Olympics, part of it was promoting it coming out. And doing it in New York [around the Super Bowl] with two games…we had to do lots of stuff,” Bettman explained. “Our people did an extraordinary job, but we really taxed things to the limit. But also, interestingly enough, the Olympic break let us set up for more games. So, it’ll be more than one and less than six next season.”
from Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated,
Prior to his Game 5 broadcast, I sat down with Emrick at a New York City steakhouse. I told him I wanted to pass along some questions that I received for him on Twitter, including his relationship with the late, legendary Detroit Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell. As a first-year doctoral student at Bowling Green State University in Ohio in 1973, Emrick reached out to Harwell to be the de-facto adviser for his dissertation ("Major League Baseball Principal Play By Play Announcers: Their Occupation Background And Personal Life"). Harwell introduced Emrick to broadcasters and writers, hot dog vendors and ushers, and even procured a dugout interview for Emrick with Al Kaline. That linkage is very cool to think of today, paying it forward between the past and present.
Here's our conversation:
What was the best piece of advice Ernie Harwell gave you?
One of the questions I had for him was: "What makes for the greatest longevity?" He said you have to be able to ride with the tide. About the time I was asking him that, Billy Martin was the manager of the Tigers and with Billy there, I think Ernie had to ride with the tide with a lot of things. There were also a lot of life lessons from Ernie because he was a very devout human being. He used to say: "A man is lucky if God gives him a job he enjoys." He was right. Riding with the tide was something I always remembered. I had just come out of college and we were all sort of geared in communications to be on the edgy and belligerent side, and here was this man telling me if you really want to have a long career, you have to pick your spots.
from Jim Cerny of BlueShirtsUnited,
It could have been that the Rangers spent Monday preparing to play Game Six of the Stanley Cup Finals later that evening at Madison Square Garden. Instead, Ranger players, coaches, and staff took part in break-up day at the MSG Training Center, while 3,000 miles away the Los Angeles Kings were feted with a championship parade.
Head coach Alain Vigneault, who met individually with each player on Monday, said his team's four losses to the Kings--in particular the three in overtime on the road, including Friday's Game Five double overtime defeat...would "haunt" the Rangers because the club was so close to winning each and every one.
Peter Chiarelli talks about not re-signing Shawn Thornton.
STAMFORD, Conn. – June 16, 2014 – On the strength of an NHL record 93 postseason games – including 46 one-goal games and 26 overtime games – a new playoff format that emphasized divisional rivalries, and a Stanley Cup Final that featured the nation’s two largest media markets, the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs became the second-most watched NHL post-season since NBC and NBCSN began their exclusive coverage in 2006, according to Fast National data provided by The Nielsen Company. Every game was televised nationally by the NBC Sports Group.
In addition, the Stanley Cup Final, won in five games by the Los Angeles Kings over the New York Rangers, was just the fifth Final in 20 years to average more than 5.0 million viewers. Digitally, NBC Sports Live Extra delivered live stream records in virtually all metrics for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Final and Game 5.
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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