Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,
The 2015 IIHF World Championship has been such a blast, even from six time zones west, so let’s say it: this is the best one ever. At least through these North American, NHL-trained eyes. Seriously.
Can you recall a previous edition of the Worlds — such a poor man’s Stanley Cup Playoffs that the spring tourney has been relegated to punch-line status, alongside golf jokes — being so rich with stories and rewindable plays and intrigue heading into the medal round?
Saturday offers two hand-plucked semifinals -- USA versus Russia, Canada versus Czech Republic -- that will lead to a fantastic, star-studded gold medal matchup Sunday no matter how it shakes out.
Would you like Canada-USA and watch Sidney Crosby face Jack Eichel? How about Late addition Alex Ovechkin's attempt to avenge the Capitals' elimination and snuff out Crosby's bid to join the Triple Gold Club?
Both semi-final games will be streamed in the US on NBCSports Live Extra.
All times are ET..
Canada vs. Czech Republic 9am
USA vs. Russia 1pm
God medal game is at 2:30pm ET on Sunday and is on NBCSN.
from Brett Popplewell of Sportsnet,
Cherry takes to his perch behind the desk while his makeup artist, Lianne Cousvis, does some last-minute adjustments to his complexion. “She’s just gilding the lily,” Cherry says.
MacLean, carrying his suit jacket over his arm, isn’t far behind. He speed-walks toward the set. “Stan!” he hollers out as he moves. “Yup?” replies Stan Nieradka, Coach’s Corner’s designated stats guru and on-the-fly research assistant. “I didn’t miss a goal, did I?” asks MacLean. It’s been 40 seconds since he last saw a monitor, and it’s important that he keep himself up to speed on everything that’s going on. “Nothing,” says Nieradka from his seat behind the stage wall next to the set. “Thanks, Stan,” MacLean says, passing by without even looking at him, before putting on his suit jacket and taking his seat next to Cherry.
The buzzer rings inside the Bell Centre in Montreal, and the Habs and Senators head to their dressing rooms. The Capitals and Islanders are off the ice as well, and suddenly the sound of chatter begins echoing down to the set from the other stage as commentators start weighing in on the game in Washington. Their voices are audible but thankfully soft enough that Nieradka doesn’t believe Cherry will notice. “I think we’re going to be OK,” he says, then turns out the desk light next to his computer. “Better safe than sorry,” he says. “You know, in case there’s a shadow or something.”
via the the NHL's YouTube channel,
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
Senior elected city officials in Glendale, Arizona, say they are exploring whether legal grounds exist for them to void an arena management contract with the Arizona Coyotes, an agreement that calls for taxpayers to contribute $15 million per year over 15 years to the flagging NHL club.
When the city council in Glendale voted to give the owners of the Coyotes $225 million (all U.S. dollars) over 15 years, the money was supposed to be used by the team to manage the 12-year-old Gila River Arena, where the Coyotes play their home games.
The deal helped narrow the losses of a club that sports investment bankers say is a perpetual money loser, bleeding some $50 million or more per year.
But nearly two years after council approved the controversial pact, city officials claim the money that cash-strapped Glendale is paying to the team's owner IceArizona is instead going directly to Fortress Investment Group, the New York-based asset manager which financed holding company IceArizona's purchase of the Coyotes.
Marc Bergevin met with the media today and talked about signing Jeff Petry.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
As the Canadiens cleaned out their lockers Thursday in Brossard, Petry talked about the history and tradition of the team and expressed admiration for the structure of the team.
“I’m not going to make a decision in the next few days,” said Petry, who noted that the question of free agency has been bouncing around since he signed a one-year deal with the Oilers last summer.
Petry, who earned a shade over $3 million this season, could be looking at long-term offers for as much as $6 million a year, but he indicated that money is only one factor in deciding where to play next season. Having enjoyed his first taste of playoff hockey — he was the Canadiens’ most consistent defenceman in the postseason — he’ll be looking at teams capable of contending, which will be one point in Montreal’s favour.
There may also be an opportunity for Petry to play in his hometown of Detroit. He said playing for the Red Wings was a dream when he was a youngster, but added that going home would have its “ups and downs.”
more on the Canadiens...
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
The Ducks are in the Western Conference finals and they’re one step away from playing for the Stanley Cup. They’ve got the formidable Chicago Blackhawks to deal with, needing to get four wins against them with their first chance in Game 1 on Sunday at Honda Center.
Kesler, 30, is the player Ducks general manager Bob Murray wanted badly to play against a team like this. He’s a legitimate difference maker for the postseason, and he’s delivered everything they hoped to gain.
Twenty goals and 27 assists were welcomed and appreciated over the 82-game schedule, but not the primary reason why Murray kept talking to Vancouver about acquiring him. He’s got four goals and five assists in the Ducks’ playoff games, but it’s more than that.
Kesler has been dominant in the faceoff circle, winning 63.7 percent of his draws. He’s an essential part of a penalty-killing unit that’s allowed only four power-play goals. And each of his scores has made a difference.
“There’s been a lot of moments like that,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Those are the things that probably stand out more for me than anybody scoring three goals or getting booed or any of those things.
“So far, what I’ve seen, he’s upped his game.”
frm Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
... there is soon going to be a new kid in town. Connor McDavid.
And if and when McDavid arrives in this western city — once mocked as Deadmonton, the city that free agents either fled or dread — he’ll be coming to a place with a new sense of self, a newfound confidence.
It stems partly from folks here finding other things to do, and other ways to define themselves while the Oilers played so poorly — and partly from the fact there’s this big new arena going in downtown where McDavid will play in a couple of seasons.
“The Oilers have a new barn, a top pick and a lot of young talent,” says James Jackson, in charge of bringing sporting events to Edmonton. “We have a new young mayor. Our average age is 36. And we voted NDP.
“It’s a cool dynamic.”
No. This isn’t Wayne Gretzky’s Edmonton. It will be Connor McDavid’s. And they can’t get him here soon enough.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
An eventful couple of months for Mr. Hockey began on Thursday with the announcement of the Gordie Howe International Bridge, which will link Detroit and Windsor when completed in 2020.
Next month Gordie Howe will head back to Mexico for a second round of stem cell treatments. Then he'll move from Lubbock, Texas, to Toledo, Ohio, to be live with son Murray and be closer to friends and family in Michigan. If all goes well, the family hopes to bring the 87-year-old Detroit Red Wings legend to Joe Louis Arena for a game next season.
"It would be really nice to get Dad to the Joe for a game if he's well enough," son Mark told M-Live. "We just take everything day to day. We'd like to get him in the building, let him watch a little hockey. We're trying to get him as much mental stimulation as possible.
"We'll try to keep improving his quality of life."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org