Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Sun Sentinel,
Comment:The kids have grown up enough. The roster is now deep enough. The Panthers slip into the playoffs, which considering recent history is the bar for a successful season.
Comment: After a league-best 25-point improvement last season, the Panthers are expecting to challenge for a Stanley Cup. Coach Gerard Gallant will roll out three balanced lines filled with a half-dozen players who should score 20 or more goals. However, it’s imperative that ageless wonder Jaromir Jagr, who instantly boosts the power play, and 36-year-old goalie Roberto Luongo remain healthy.
via an email from the New Jersey Devils,
New Jersey has agreed to terms with forward Lee Stempniak on a one-year deal worth $850,000.
Stempniak was on a PTO with the Devils.
RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with goaltender Eddie Lack on a two-year contract extension. The deal will pay Lack $2.5 million in 2016-17, and $3 million in 2017-18.
“Eddie has been a great addition to our locker room,” said Francis. “We feel that we have a very solid tandem in net for this season and are excited that Eddie will remain a part of that picture beyond this year.”
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
By Claude Julien’s count, about half of the NHL’s teams now play man-to-man defense. Tampa Bay was one of those teams last year. The Lightning advanced to the Stanley Cup Final by playing man-to-man.
Julien does not plan to join that growing number this year.
“We’re not sold on man-to-man yet,” said the Bruins coach. “Maybe two years from now, whether the system changes or different things happen, we might say, ‘Hey, we’ve got to get man-on-man here.’ But right now, our defensive game still works. Our scoring chances against are still low. We’re sticking with it.”
Julien points to the results the Bruins had in the second half last season. By then, Julien praised his players for improving their movement in the offensive zone. Defensemen pinched down the walls without hesitation. The forwards were good about keeping a third man high.
more plus numerous other hockey topics...
"I've wanted to be the best player in the world since I was a little kid. Over the past 10 days he has gotten a taste of what is is like to play against such luminaries as Sidney Crosby, Patrice Bergeron, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, along the way contributing three goals among four points in five games.
"I think I can be right there. I know it is just preseason, but it was how competitive those guys were, and how they were playing, I think in my career, that is the kind of player I want to be."
-Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings. More on Larkin from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press.
from Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post,
Part of the reason for the wait is that Hextall wants to see if he can find a trade partner to make the decision of cutting or waiving a player easier.
“We’ll see what comes along, if anything, and go from there,” he said.
He still has 14 forwards on the roster with eight defensemen and two goalies. It would appear as though his final cut will come to a defenseman, especially considering he publically said he’d rather carry seven than eight “in a perfect world.”
His world is far from perfect looking at the roster and the salaries that go along with it.
The “extra” players in Saturday’s practice were Vinny Lecavalier, Sam Gagner, Andrew MacDonald and Luke Schenn. Together, those four total $16.3 million in salary cap space while the other 20 accounted for $54.88 million.
Salary isn’t everything in a determining factor, but it sure is important. Just look at the Edmonton Oilers, who Saturday played defenseman Nikita Nikitin and his $4.5 million cap hit on waivers. If he clears, the Oilers will send him to the American Hockey League and still have all but $950,000 of his cap hit on their books.
The Oilers did this because of roster space, but the Flyers might consider a move like that because they need the $950,000 of space. As it stands they have roughly $585,000, barely enough for one call-up depending on the player’s salary.
One hint- current NHL player.
- Best road city: Vancouver, Edmonton or Calgary.
- Pregame meal: “On the road, it’s usually chicken parm with some pasta and salad and thousand island dressing and croutons all mixed into a huge one big mess, which is kind of gross to some but OK with others. And then at home, eggs and potatoes. I’m so tired by pasta at this point that I have to mix it up.”.
- Favorite app: Yelp.
- First car: “1981 Toyota Tercel, an SR5 hatchback. Black with gold writing of SR5 on the bottom. I bought it from my cousins. Paid $1,000 for it, and my parents bought me new tires. No shocks, no struts, no gas gauge, no stereo but it got around. Standard, too, which is hilarious because no one can drive a standard.”
- Can’t-miss TV show: Modern Family.
The St. Lous Blues are in Ann Arbor, Michigan for a mini-camp atmosphere and did a feature on former player Red Berenson, who is in his 30th year as head coach at Michigan.
Here is the feature by Chris Pinkert at the Blues website and this is the video feature on Red Berenson.
from Rich Chere of NJ.com,
Opponents can write this Devils team off at their own peril.
Prognosticators may not be bullish on this team, but the re-designed Devils have used the preseason to develop a weapon that has made them both exciting and dangerous as the regular season approaches — speed.
"I think we came together pretty well. We learned how to play with speed," defenseman Damon Severson told NJ Advance Media. "That was one of the things I noticed big time. We never really played with speed last year. It was more of a chip and chase game.
"As anybody can see, we're getting speed through the neutral zone and holding onto the puck when we don't see a play. We're not just throwing it away off the glass or something like that. It's more fun to play like this. I think guys are enjoying it and we're looking forward to doing it all year."
By Joe Sudberg,
With no expectations to make any large amount of noise in the Eastern Conference, one of the most prominent franchises in the NHL can play loose, try to win games, and see what happens from there. That’s the mindset of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are still trying to find themselves after a back-breaking defeat in the first round of the 2013 playoffs.
There’s a new front office, a new roster and more importantly, a new look as a whole. Lou Lamoriello and Mike Babcock were brought in to straighten out the program and have made an immediate impact.
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 email@example.com