Kukla's Korner Hockey
from George Johnson of the Calgary Herald,
What malevolent being, what manner of depraved, twisted sadist, came up with this opening couple of weeks?
The Marquis de Sade?...
Wednesday’s season opener against the Vancouver Canucks in the comfy-cosy confines of the Scotiabank Saddledome is followed, in order, by a visit to Edmonton. Then off to St. Louis. Nashville and, shudder!, Chicago back-to-back. They finish up at the Jackets and Jets.
Well, at least the heathens didn’t stuff a three-stop California swing in there as a coup de grace. Thank providence for small mercies.
Still, it shapes up as a Slaughterhouse Six.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
... it can reasonably be said the Canucks have changed the atmosphere around the team and improved the bottom half of their lineup. As for their frontliners, it just doesn’t seem possible that Henrik and Daniel Sedin will be as unproductive as they were last season, just as it seems possible that one of Nick Bonino, Zack Kassian or Linden Vey will enjoy a breakout year.
So the Canucks will be better than they were last season. But so will every team that finished ahead of them in the West with the possible exception of San Jose, and the Sharks were pretty damn good to begin with.
That’s the real challenge facing the Orcans this season. Anaheim, which finished first in the West last season, added Kesler. Colorado has a stacked young team and now has Jarome Iginla. St. Louis made the biggest splash in the off-season, signing Paul Stastny. The Blackhawks and Kings have been the two best teams in the NHL for the last four seasons. Minnesota, who was on the uptick anyway, added Thomas Vanek. Dallas you ask? They added Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky.
And those, with the exception of the Sharks, are just the teams that made the playoffs in the West last season. The Canucks also have to climb over Phoenix, Nashville and Winnipeg before they can think about a post-season berth.
The Los Angeles Kings' Twitter account went to town in terms of teasers on Monday...
And then came the championship ring ceremony retweets, revealing a ring that's both very faithful to the Kings' logo and...Might be classifed as a weapon by the TSA?
From the New York Rangers:
Raphael Diaz has hung on with the Calgary Flames.
The Swiss defender has signed a one-year deal with the Flames worth a reported $700,000 after successfully making the 23-man roster on a professional tryout.
Diaz, 28, scored two goals and added 13 assists in 63 combined games with the Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers in 2013-14.
In 145 career games he has scored six goals and 39 assists.
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
The Star got an exclusive sneak peek Monday at what’s new at the ACC, changes that treat fans like the sophisticated hockey watchers they are — less intrusive during the action, and less commercial. It should definitely make the place louder, like most other rinks.
“We were just looking to change the philosophy,” said Shannon Hosford, vice-president of marketing and communications for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. “It was time.”
Hokey is one word to describe the in-game experience of the past decade, despite many fan-friendly advances in technology that have livened things up elsewhere....
Gone are some of the more sophomoric events such as slingshot hockey and goalie races during intermissions. Instead, the between-periods focus will be on the game itself, with more — and better — replays on the over-the-ice screen. Also out are many of the corporate promotions that often interrupted the excitement as it was building.
“Anything that’s a little gimmicky, we’re getting away from that,” said Hosford. “They’re sophisticated fans. They’re here to watch the game, enjoy the game.”
via ESPN and since it is autoplay, you can watch it below...
RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today issued the following statement regarding forward Jeff Skinner
“Jeff has been diagnosed with a concussion,” said Francis. “He will continue to be monitored by our team doctors and go through proper protocols in the coming days.”
Skinner sustained the injury from a hit by Washington Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen immediately following an offensive-zone faceoff during Sunday’s exhibition game at Verizon Center. No penalty was assessed on the play.
You can watch the hit below...
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
The Sabres may have gotten too good to have a realistic shot at the No. 1 pick. Matt Moulson, Brian Gionta and Josh Georges give the team instant credibility. If Michal Neuvirth can live up to the early billing, the Sabres may surprise more than a few.
The Jets remain a mighty work in progress. Lots of interesting young players, although the ongoing uncertainty over Evander Kane and his future in Winnipeg is problematic. The biggest issue will be in finding competent, consistent goaltending, something Ondrej Pavelec seems incapable of delivering.
The loss of Jordan Staal for months to a broken leg merely exacerbates an ugly situation in Carolina that isn't going to get any prettier, at least until they get a shot at Connor McDavid at next June's draft.
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