Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chris Hine of the Chicago Tribune,
Since August, when Patrick Kane came under investigation for an alleged sexual assault, there were some reports and indications the Blackhawks had grown tired of Kane's off-ice behavior and could try to trade the winger.
However, general manager Stan Bowman said Saturday Kane "absolutely" remains part of the team's long-term plans.
Bowman met with the media in Vancouver for the first time since prosecutors declinde to charge Kane after the investigation into an incident at his home in western New York. Kane is in the first year of an eight-year $84 million contract, a contract that includes a no movement clause. He is off to one of the best starts of his career and led the NHL with 31 points entering Saturday.
"You can’t find talent like that," Bowman said. "You look at what he’s done over the course of his career, whether it’s this season, last season ... he’s been a game changer. He’s one of those guys that’s, I’ve said it a lot over the years, he’s able to elevate his game in pressure moments. Not too many guys are able to do that."
Bowman declined to comment when asked if the team was satisfied with Kane's off-ice behavior.
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
If there were a simple move to be made, it would have been made by now. But we're talking about the Islanders' best defenseman on arguably the most cap-friendly contract (four years remaining after this one at an average salary of $3.875 million) for a top-pair, righthanded defenseman in the NHL. That's rainbow unicorn territory in its uniqueness.
So now that the request to be moved to, or closer to Hamonic's Winnipeg home for family reasons is public, what are Snow's options? Here's a primer on which defensemen the Isles may want, given that TSN reported earlier this week that the most interested list comprises these five teams:
JACOB TROUBA, JETS
He's righthanded, he's got a physical side and he could easily be a future star. Still only 21, the question for the Islanders is can Trouba jump in and play 23 minutes a night the way Hamonic does? The question for the Jets, the same one for all the other teams on this list, is would you give up one of your top young defensemen for Hamonic?
T.J. BRODIE, FLAMES
The closest match to Hamonic in age (25, same as Hamonic), contract (five years, $4.6 million per year) and usage (plays 25:19 a game). The Flames have allowed a league-high 75 goals this season, but Brodie is still likely the most attractive defenseman on this list despite being a lefty who could play his off side.
read on for more names...
from Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull,
The numbers are stupefying.
The Flyers, who dropped a 4-0 decision to Ottawa on Saturday, have scored just 34 goals, their lowest 20-game start in franchise history.
Blanked in their last two outings, they are averaging an NHL-worst 1.7 goals per game, and only two teams have a worse success rate than the Flyers on the power play (13.3 percent).
Jake Voracek, Michael Raffl and Sean Couturier each have one goal; they are on a four-goal place. Matt Read and Wayne Simmonds, wingers being conservatively counted on for 20 to 25 goals, have three goals and are on a 12-goal pace.
While Ottawa has six players in double-digits in points, Claude Giroux (13 points) is the only Flyer who has reached that not-too-lofty plateau, demonstrating just how low things have gotten for a team that started the season so impressively _ 4-2-1, including wins over heavyweights Chicago and the Rangers.
Since then, the Flyers have won just two of 13 games (2-7-4).
Watch the game highlights below...
After a 5-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning,
(on the bad loss at the end of the trip …)
“I can’t use any excuses. We can’t let everybody off the hook. We played horrible. I thought our first period was good. And then we came out and as soon as they scored the first goal, we were OK. But once they got the second goal, it was like ‘Ah, we’re not going to come back.’ There was no fight left in us. That’s the bothersome part for the coaches.”
(on what he said during the timeout …)
“It was a time out that said listen, if you guys are going to sit and sulk and feel sorry for yourselves, they’re going to get nine before this game’s out. It’ll be way more embarrassing. You’ve got to play. You can’t feel sorry for yourself because nobody feels sorry for you in this league."
(on not pulling Andersen after the fifth goal …)
“It was tough. He’s got to battle himself. I thought it would have been worse for him psyche-wise if we had pulled him. It was halfway through the third period when they got the fifth goal. Sometimes you can’t just be pulling goalies when they start scoring goals.”
more from the Ducks by Eric Stephens of the OC Register...
Where's the puck?
Much more below...
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk thinks the Toronto Situation Room should make all goalie interference coach’s challenge decisions, not the refs. “Does every referee understand it the same way?” he said. “You walk a fine line because you don’t want to take referees out of it, and that’s part of sport. But at the same time, if you had the same people making the decisions every night, I’d imagine you’d find a lot more consistency.”
more hockey talk like the ASG format...
Ron and Don talk about everything from Josh Donaldson winning MVP after a great season with the Blue Jays to James Reimer’s amazing performances in net for the Maple Leafs.
Plus more topics including Taylor Hall, the Calgary Flames, Cherry's darkhorse for the Calder, Kevin Bieksa and Jonathan Toews.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Chuck Fletcher is a Harvard graduate. Part of his hockey education took place at the side of father Cliff Fletcher, a Hockey Hall of Famer. The Minnesota Wild general manager once worked as an agent for Newport Sports Management. He rescued his team’s season last year by acquiring Devan Dubnyk from Arizona for a third-round pick.
Fletcher needs neither his diploma nor his credentials to identify the element that has revolutionized hockey. His eyes do that just fine.
“There’s no question the biggest advancement in coaching and skill development in the last 20 years,” Fletcher said, “has been with respect to goaltending.”
Equipment has helped goalies reach their zenith. Pads are taller than the Eiffel Tower. Gloves can scoop up enough salmon to handle the dinner rush at Legal Sea Foods.
But the position’s biggest advancement is in education. Goalies of all ages have never been taught as well as they are now. Techniques such as reverse VH, pushing laterally while on the pads, and playing deep haven’t just been identified and thought out well. Goalie coaches are teaching and reinforcing good habits throughout the year.
continued plus many more hockey topics...
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
- Jamie Benn led the NHL in scoring last season with 87 points. Patrick Kane, without controversy, is now leading and scoring at a 127-point pace.
- A Sidney Crosby update: He now has 10 points this season and among the many he is tied with for 139th in NHL scoring are Rick Nash and Joffrey Lupul.
- Under the Department of Impressive: Leon Draisaitl. Another young gem — seven goals in 10 games — for the forever last-place Edmonton Oilers.
- Is this James Reimer’s Devan Dubnyk season?
The Minnesota goaltender was basically written off for dead after he bounced from Edmonton to Nashville to Montreal to Hamilton to free agency just two seasons back. He had no contract, no place to play, no one really believing in him.
And then everything changed for him. First in Arizona with the Coyotes. Then, after being traded to the Wild, where he has a new contract, and 37 wins and 14 regulation time defeats in 55 starts with Minnesota.
This is Reimer’s sixth season with the Maple Leafs. He has been great and terrible and decent and dreadful at various times in his career playing for Ron Wilson, Randy Carlyle, Peter Horachek and Mike Babcock and as many different goalie coaches. And now everything seems to be working. For these few weeks. In this short term. Maybe longer.
more on Reimer plus a few more hockey notes...
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
- The Winnipeg Jets have been shopping Toby Enstrom for a while. He is making $5.75 million per-season through 2016-17 and if the Jets are to stand any chance of keeping Dustin Byfuglien from becoming a UFA on July 1 they need to get Enstrom’s deal off the books. The belief in some circles is if the Jets could get Byfuglien signed for six years and $30 million, that’d be great. But that won’t get it done by a long shot. He’ll be worth a lot more on the open market and the priority for the Jets is to get captain Andrew Ladd under contract.
- An interesting name that’s surfaced is Anaheim LW Andrew Cogliano. The word is the Ducks have been sniffing around to see if there’s any market for the 28-year-old Cogliano, who went in Saturday’s visit to Tampa with 2-5-7 in 20 games and an ugly minus-9 rating. The issue is he has this year, plus two more seasons, left on a contract that pays him $3 million per season. His age might make him an option for some teams but the guy getting all the attention in Anaheim is 23-year-old defenceman Cam Fowler. If the Ducks are serious about moving him, they’re going to want a boatload and they went into the weekend only three points out of a playoff spot in the West.
- A league executive on attempting to make a deal in a text Saturday: “It’s impossible to make a trade. Very little talk even going on. Will heat up after (Christmas).” Another NHL executive noted even trying to make a deal involving AHL contracts is next to impossible unless it’s a contract-for-contract situation. Gee, what a way to put a damper on the weekend.
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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