Kukla's Korner Hockey
Newark, NJ – The New Jersey Devils today re-signed right wing Kyle Palmieri to a five-year contract with an average annual value of $4,650,000. The salary breakdown is: 2016-17: $4,500,000; 2017-18: $4,500,000; 2018-19: $5,000,000; 2019-20: $5,000,000; and 2020-21: $4,250,000. The announcement was made by Devils’ Executive Vice President/General Manager Ray Shero.
Palmieri, 25, led New Jersey with a career-high 30g-27a- 57pts, while playing in all 82 games this past season. He also added 11g-12a- 23pts on the power play, all new personal bests. Palmieri was acquired from Anaheim on June 27, 2015 for a second-round choice in the 2015 Draft and a third-round selection in 2016. He spent the previous five seasons with the Anaheim organization. In 280 career NHL games, he has 73 goals and 73 assists for 146 points with 129 penalty minutes. Palmieri has seven goals and five assists with 22 penalty minutes in 33 career Stanley Cup Playoff Contests.
Palmieri was born in Smithtown, NY but grew up in Montvale, NJ. He is the second New Jersey native to ever skate for the Devils. He was Anaheim’s first choice and the 26th overall selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
from Matt Larkin of The Hockey News,
Few NHL teams in recent memory will put the copycat coaching theory to the test like the 2015-16 Pittsburgh Penguins. Mike Sullivan’s group won the Stanley Cup with a north-south approach that used speed and stretch passes and generated oodles of shot attempts, catering to “analytics hockey,” and it thus may have broken a barrier. More and more teams may try to win with the possession game, and that will be drilled into new coaching recruits from the ground up.
“As a coach you have to be careful,” said Vancouver Canucks coach Willie Desjardins, “because it’s one thing to run a system with one team, and then all of a sudden you have different personnel, and the system won’t work with different personnel. You always have to adjust what you’re doing to your personnel. Just because it’s worked for one team it doesn’t mean that system will work for you.”
It’s an interesting debate, and it’s one aspiring coaches might strike up with Desjardins at the 2016 TeamSnap Hockey Coaches Conference. He’ll appear there as a speaker when the conference comes to Toronto July 15 and 16. San Jose Sharks assistant Steve Spott and hockey journalism maven Bob McKenzie, former Hockey News editor in chief, will join Desjardins along with many other prominent names in the industry....
“Most coaches have always had an analytical mind,” Desjardins said. “When I was in Japan, I had what I called ‘success factors.’ It was, ‘If we do these things, we’ll win.’ And that was kind of an early sign of analytics, where you find something, and there’s a correlation between that and your success. The key is what you measure and then accurately measuring it.”
“Last year for us was about laying a foundation and playing the game the right way. We didn’t finish where we wanted to finish, but we felt there was some good work done. This year we’re looking to take a step.”
-Jay Woodcroft, assistant coach for the Edmonton Oilers. More on the Oilers at Sportsnet.
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
Less than a month into the off-season and already the landscape has changed in the NHL. The draft, free agency and a couple of franchise-altering trades have shifted the balance of power, setting up some teams to take the next step in 2016-17... and others to drop into the abyss.
We'll take a look where each team stands, starting today with the Atlantic Division, home of a couple of big winners and some very clear losers.
In: Keith Yandle, Jason Demers, Mark Pysyk, James Reimer, Jared McCann
Out: Eric Gudbranson, Dmitry Kulikov
Has any team been more active than the Panthers this summer? New GM Tom Rowe completely rebuilt his blue line, ditching size and physicality for puck-moving possession drivers. He wildly overpaid both Yandle and Demers in the process, but quickly realized his analytics-driven vision. He also went aggressive on Aaron Ekbad's new eight-year $60 million deal, skipping the bridge contract and going directly to the long-term contract befitting a franchise player. May as well give Ekblad the C now.
Handing five years to Reimer raised some eyebrows, but that's a savvy deal. Roberto Luongo is 37 and will slow sooner than later. Adding a reliable partner who can play 30-plus games extends the veteran's shelf life and ensures the Cats have a viable stop-gap in place as they nurture their next No. 1.
from Joe McDonald of ESPN,
Despite the team's loss to the Lightning, Hamonic's decision to stay was a good way to start the offseason. When free agency opened on July 1, Okposo, Martin and Nielsen signed elsewhere. Those three players were major contributors to the team's success, but Snow was quick to react when he signed Ladd, 30, a two-time Stanley Cup-winning forward; Chimera, who brings a ton of experience, grit and leadership; and the return of Parenteau, who played on Tavares' right side from 2010-12. The Islanders also inked promising 23-year-old restricted free-agent center Shane Prince to a two-year deal worth an average annual value of $850,000.
Still, not everyone is optimistic about the direction of the team. One Eastern Conference GM said in a text message. "he wasn't a big fan" of the moves. "Ladd 7 yrs is crazy. Lost better players to UFA. "
Another Eastern Conference executive wasn't sure the Islanders were closer to contention. "Tough call," he wrote in a text. "Typically a conference finals berth signifies true contention."...
It's likely Snow could trade veteran netminder Jaroslav Halak, 31, who has two years remaining on his current deal worth $4.5 million annually. He suffered a severe groin injury in early March and missed the remainder of the season, and Greiss took over the job between the pipes.
Moving Halak will give Snow much-needed cap relief, even if it means acquiring only a draft pick in return. After beating the top-seeded Florida Panthers in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs in April, the Islanders proved they are on the cusp of becoming a dangerous team in the Eastern Conference.
By Tamhas Woods
For Canadian teams, the 2015-16 NHL season was a truly desolate affair, producing an all-American playoff bracket for the first time in 46 years. Not since Richard Nixon occupied the White House, overseeing a raging war in Vietnam, has Canada suffered such a humiliation in what is almost universally considered to be the country’s national sport.
Amongst those teams was the Ottawa Senators. Though a conference finish of 5th ‘crowned’ them as the highest ranked Canadian team in the Eastern Conference last year, the gap by which the Senators found themselves short of the playoffs made Dave Cameron’s position untenable.
from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times,
The Blackhawks have been lauded for building their organization on speed and skill, rather than brawn and bruising hits, but hockey, at last glance, is still hockey. Thus, Jordin Tootoo.
The Hawks have signed the tough guy to a one-year contract. Tootoo isn’t Andrew Shaw, the on-ice antagonist whom the Hawks shipped to Montreal in a salary cap move. He lacks Shaw’s offensive productivity. But where Shaw was a nuisance, Tootoo is a menace. He’s a fighter, having dropped the gloves 86 times in his career and amassed 982 penalty minutes.
Hockey is probably the only sport in which penalties are looked upon positively, at least as they pertain to enforcers. General managers take notice when a minor-league player leads the team or league in penalty minutes. It means he’s fighting. It means he’s sticking up for his teammates.
To many of you, it means that hockey is one messed-up sport.
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 Luke Fox of Sportsnet,
Since your favourite team stopped skating, the NHL’s off-season has busied itself with a steady series of firings and hirings, buyouts and long-term commitments, free agents and trades, draft picks and tampering.
In attempt to summarize the action and pass way-too-premature judgment on the front offices who made all of these transactions, we’ve power-ranked the off-seasons of all 30 NHL teams thus far.
Sure, there will be plenty of more Kevin Shattenkirk rumours and RFA bickering in our future, but this will give you a brief glimpse at the teams who have impressed us from a business standpoint through free agency’s opening week (everything is coming up Stevie Y) and those who have taken a step back — but only on paper.
It should be noted that this is a ranking of the clubs’ recent moves only, with the best off-season at the top and the worst ranked No. 30. The order should not be read as which teams have the best chance at winning the 2017 Stanley Cup, but rather as which teams improved the most by making smart decisions....
#30 Anaheim Ducks After finishing with the best defence, power play and penalty kill in the NHL, the Ducks traded away their best goalie, fired their head coach and let good wingers David Perron, Jamie McGinn and Brandon Pirri walk in free agency. Coach Randy Carlyle's new/old squad extended young D-man Sami Vatanen, has yet to lock up Hampus Lindholm and is reportedly exploring a trade for Cam Fowler. Already known for defence prospects, Anaheim scooped two forwards, Max Jones and Sam Steel, in Round 1 of the draft, then signed buyouts Jared Boll and Mason Raymond.
read up on all the NHL teams...
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?
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