Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Blue Jackets, Ehrhoff engage in ‘slow dance’ courtship

Via the Hockey News's Jared Clinton, this is a little bit strange:

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  Tags: christian+ehrhoff, columbus+blue+jackets

Are The Ottawa Senators Playoff Bound Again?

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

So are the Senators, as is, good enough to go back to the post-season tournament next April?

Perhaps, as long as they don't screw around by winning only 17 of 41 games in the first half of the season again.

Other than Ottawa, the aging Detroit Red Wings and maybe the New York Islanders, it's difficult to imagine any of the Top 8 finishers from 2014-15 falling out.

Certainly not Tampa Bay, Montreal, the New York Rangers, Washington or Pittsburgh.

Of the teams that failed to qualify, the Columbus Blue Jackets appear to have the best chance at earning a playoff spot next season. They would have been there in 2014-15 if not for a rash of injuries seldom before seen with another franchise.

After them, the Philadelphia Flyers, Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins (despite their remodelling) are sure to make a strong push as well. Then there's the possibility New Jersey and Carolina are better than they look, while we have a sneaky suspicion Buffalo and yes, even Toronto, will surprise a lot of people.

more on the Senators...

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Evening Line- Jeremy Jacobs On Peter Chiarelli

“We just found ourselves in a place we don’t want to be. It’s going to be a workout time. We had a change when we brought Cam in and Charlie, and they wanted a change. They thought we needed a change. They thought it was the right move for the franchise. I think Peter is a great human being and a great hockey mind. And I think he’s going to prosper out west (in Edmonton). He’s got a great young team there. We were not in the same position. It’s a cap environment we find ourselves in here and you’ve got to look to the future. If you watch the success of the Chicago team, and I do admire them quite a bit, they dealt with their high-priced players early on and the kept creating room. Every year, there was a change, not too unlike the change we see here (this year). We see some great players going elsewhere. Even to this year, you see very successful teams have met that problem. We didn’t deal with it in a timely enough manner and we found ourselves in a cap position that wasn’t attractive for us.”

-Jeremy Jacobs, owner of the Boston Bruins on ex-GM Peter Chiarell.  More on the Bruins from Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald.

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  Tags: jeremy+jacobs, peter+chiarelli

Hockey Is Helping The Autistic Son Of Russ Levine, NHL VP Of Digital Production

from Devon Heinen of Vice Sports,

Russell Levine fought back tears. So did his wife, Susan. It was a snowy, bitterly cold January night at Citizens Bank Park, in Philadelphia. Russ, a National Hockey League executive, was there for the league's 2012 Winter Classic, between the Flyers and the New York Rangers.

"Can you believe this?" Russ said.

Susan cut him off with a look: "I know."

The Roots were playing a mini-concert in the outfield before the game's third period, but the Levines were focused instead on an auxiliary rink by home plate where a group of kids played hockey. Skating among them was an 11-year-old boy wearing a Rangers jersey and a black helmet with a T made out of white tape. It was Trevor, Russ and Susan's son.

"That was not an experience I thought I would ever get to have," Russ said, recalling that night.

Russ is the NHL's Vice President of Digital Production, making a living immersed in the sport he loves, a sport he started playing when he was four years old. When Trevor was born, in 2000, Russ dreamed of having his son in skates by age 2.

continued

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Former NHL Player Sergei Berezin Arrested For Medicaid Fraud

via John Dzenitis of WPBF,

Four Russian immigrants, including a former NHL hockey player, have been arrested for suspected Medicaid fraud after an undercover operation.

Florida’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit said Sergei Berezin and his wife paid a Boca Raton-based company, American Advisory Associates ,to obtain Medicaid and food stamp benefits for which they were unqualified and ineligible for.

Berezin was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1994 and played for a number of NHL teams, including the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks, before he moved back to Moscow to play hockey in Russia.

According to Berezin’s arrest affidavit, during the course of the undercover investigation, Berezin told a confidential informant that he was making $100,000 in income from rental properties and training hockey players.

American Advisory Associates allegedly paid a pair of DCF workers $500 each every two weeks to authorize benefits for the company’s clients.

Investigators said that in total for Berezin’s benefits, the Medicaid program was billed more than $67,000 from January 2010 through December 2013.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sergei+berezin

The 2016 NHL Winter Classic - Montreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins

NEW YORK (July 29, 2015) – Representatives from the National Hockey League, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, New England Patriots, National Hockey League Players’ Association and Bridgestone gathered today at Gillette Stadium to detail plans for the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®. In January, the NHL announced that the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will feature the Bruins and Canadiens at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on New Year’s Day, 2016. The event will be televised live on NBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports at 1 p.m. ET.

When these long-time rivals meet, Boston will become the first Club to host the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® for a second time, after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime of the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® at Fenway Park. It will mark the first time the Canadiens will play in the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, and just the second time a Canadian-based NHL team will play in the game, following the Toronto Maple Leafs’ appearance in 2014. 

 

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Are The Toronto Maple Leafs Low-Balling Jonathan Bernier?

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

The Toronto Maple Leafs asked an impartial arbitrator to award goaltender Jonathan Bernier the minimum amount possible in a brief filed to both sides on Wednesday, calling for an award of $2.89 million on a one-year deal.

The minimum award for restricted free agents in salary arbitration is 85 per cent of their previous season's salary, which for Bernier was $3.4 million.

Bernier, 26, is the only one of 23 players in the arbitration process this summer to receive a filed offer from his club below what he earned last season. The Maple Leafs did not issue Bernier a qualifying offer in June equal to his $3.4 million salary and instead opted for arbitration, where they had to option to offer 85 per cent.

Bernier's camp, led by agent Pat Brisson, asked the arbiter for an award of $5.1 million. The two sides are $2.21 million apart heading into the scheduled hearing on Friday morning.

continued

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  Tags: jonathan+bernier

New Jersey Devils Place Dainius Zubrus On Unconditional Waivers

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  Tags: dainius+zubrus

One Last Chance?

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Here's a look at some players whose careers may be hanging in the balance.

Jarret Stoll

A member of two Stanley Cup-winning teams with the Los Angeles Kings, Stoll saw his production decline from 27 points two seasons ago to just 17 last season, though his points totals are secondary to his strong two-way presence on the ice.

Stoll didn't figure into the Kings' long-range plans as a free agent, though, and now the question is whether Stoll fits into any team's plans after he was discovered with cocaine and other drugs at a Las Vegas resort pool shortly after the regular season ended. Stoll pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges and was sentenced to community service, and while there are teams interested in his skills, at this writing he remains without a contract.

Perhaps he will find a new home before the start of training camp or maybe he will have to earn a roster spot via a training camp tryout, but either way this ranks as a make-or-break season for the 33-year-old.

Mike Richards

Speaking of the Kings, Richards also won two Cups with Los Angeles but is also a man without a team as July turns to August. Trade talks were ongoing as the draft approached, but the Kings backed away from the deals after Richards was involved in an incident at the Canada/U.S. border. 

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The Elite Goal Scorers

from Jonathan Quick at The Players' Tribune,

There are certain complexities to the game at the NHL level that can only be explained if you’ve seen them firsthand on the ice. That’s why I wanted to write this piece explaining what makes Elite Snipers so difficult to deal with for goaltenders....

Pavel Datsyuk

Datsyuk is probably the most deceptive player in the NHL. He’s a magician in the way that he’s able to hide the puck on his stick. Part of that is his hardware. He uses a type of blade that is pretty unusual in the league. It’s a lot thicker from top to bottom, and somehow when you combine this with his quick release and the fact that he’s hardly ever looking at the net when he shoots, it’s extremely difficult to track the puck coming off his blade.

Like I said above, 90 percent of the save happens before the guy releases the puck. Most guys have a little tell. You look at where the puck is in relation to their feet, or the way they’re bending their knees to get ready to shoot, and you just know what’s going to happen before it happens. But the problem with Datsyuk is that he fools you with his intentions. He will be way out on the wall with his hands, feet, and eyes positioned for a cross-ice pass — and it’s the right decision. It’s what 99 percent of players will do in that situation. So you instantly start cheating your eyes over to where he’s going to pass. Next thing you know — what the hell? — the puck is behind you in the net. He shot it. Who shoots from there? Datsyuk shoots from there.

read on for more on Datsyuk and other players...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+quick

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

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