Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeremy P. Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The career of the longest-tenured current professional athlete in St. Louis sports is coming to an end.
The Blues have notified Blues defenseman Barret Jackman, 34, that they will be going in a "different direction" and thus not re-signing him this offseason.
Jackman, whose three-year, $9.5 million contract expires on June 30, will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He will be allowed to sign with another organization without compensation.
Jackman was not immediately available for comment Thursday.
In a postseason interview with the Post-Dispatch, prior to meeting with the Blues regarding his future, Jackman said he remained interested in continuing his career, if not here, somewhere.
via Dave Hodge of TSN,
Not that I'm looking for things to pick on from a Gary Bettman TV interview, but here's one - the NHL commissioner said the following last night as part of an answer that dealt with the possibility of expansion and/or franchise relocation: "Bear in mind we have 14 teams in the Western Conference and 16 teams in the Eastern Conference. I don't know how we would deal with that - I haven't given it any thought."
But you're not, of course. He knows where Quebec City and Las Vegas and Seattle are, and he knows how the NHL might deal with its geographical imbalance if it felt the time was right to do that, or if the league was forced to do that in conjunction with other developments, such as expansion or relocation.
So why would he say he hasn't given it any thought?
I don't know. He's Gary Bettman?
from Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times,
If you can, just for a moment, set aside your rooting interest in this Stanley Cup final between the Lightning and Blackhawks, and appreciate what it is you are watching.
That's not easy to do, of course, if you're a fan of the Lightning. You're way too wrapped up every shift, every shot and every save to find something this nerve-racking to be that enjoyable. Only after the fact can you sit back and realize what you just witnessed was actually incredibly fulfilling.
What we have here are two marvelous hockey teams playing with the type of passion and hunger only seen when there is a big silver trophy at stake. Take all that talent, all that artistry, sprinkle in some grit and rough stuff and add a big pinch of intrigue with a mysterious injury to a star player and what you have is a Stanley Cup final for the ages.
"It was a lot of fun out there," Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith said.
Try to remember that today in the wake of the Lightning's 2-1 loss Wednesday in Game 4, a loss you likely will remember as frustrating and it was disappointing.
For the Lightning, no doubt, it was both of those things to go along with the sickening realization that a victory that could have put a stranglehold on this series slipped right through its hockey gloves.
Coyotes Co-Owner, President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc and attorney Nicholas Wood discuss the game plan for the Arizona Coyotes after the City of Glendale voted to canel the lease with the team.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
For the past two days, with his team facing a 2-1 deficit in the Stanley Cup finals, Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews patiently answered questions about why his Blackhawks are a special breed, how they have developed an innate ability to find a way at the most crucial points of the season.
But as eloquent as the man known as Captain Serious might have been, it would have rung a little hollow had the Blackhawks not responded with a win in Game 4.
And it would have rung a little hollow if Toews himself hadn’t stepped on the ice, delivered a virtuoso performance and dragged the team to such a victory.
But -- and you know how this storyline plays out already, don’t you, having seen it time and again in recent years -- that’s exactly what happened as the Blackhawks hung on for a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night to even this finals series at two wins apiece. Game 5 is Saturday in Tampa, Florida.
Below, watch Burnside and Pierrel LeBrun recap Game 4...
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
You didn’t expect this to be easy, did you?
You didn’t think this young, brash Tampa Bay Lightning team was simply going to come into the deafening home barn of the mighty Chicago Blackhawks and win back-to-back games in this best-of-seven 2015 Stanley Cup final, did you?
Maybe you didn’t? But the Jon Cooper-led Lightning certainly did.
And they showed it, too, dominating the hosts in the first period, one in which Chicago registered just two shots on rookie Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.
But these Hawks always seem to play their best when their backs are against the proverbial wall. And Wednesday night, faced with going down 3-1 in the series with a loss, Chicago did what it does best — pushed back.
With captain Jonathan Toews scoring his first goal of the final, the Hawks rebounded from their poor opening minutes to register a 2-1 victory, evening the series at 2-2 heading into Game 5 Saturday in Tampa.
The win means this now becomes a best-of-three series in the quest for hockey’s Holy Grail. It also guarantees one more tilt at the raucous United Center, with Game 6 going Monday in Chicago.
Catch the game highlights below...
The Chicago Blackhawks' 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning was an utterly bizarre one. After a first period that was so dull that it couldn't slice melted butter, the pace and intensity of play ramped up to a feverish pitch in the 2nd and an overtime-like pace in the 3rd period, and as Chiago raced out to 1-0 and 2-1 leads on surprise starter Andrei Vasilevsky, Tampa Bay roared back with incredibly, incredibly energetic play...
But the visibly-fatigued Blackhawks defended like a team knowing it might be out of the series if it went down 3 games to 1--even with a 2-day break before Saturday's Game 5--and as a result, the series heads back to Tampa Bay tied at 2 games apiece, with the Hawks having rope-a-doped their way to victory.
Brandon Saads goal--and Andrei Vasilevskiy's overreaction on the cross-crease play that led to his legs opening for said goal--sealed the deal:
As such, from the Arizona Coyotes:
Coyotes Issue Statement Regarding City of Glendale's Arena Lease Decision
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- Arizona Coyotes Co-Owner, President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc issued the following statement following tonight’s Glendale City Council meeting.
"We are disappointed with the city's decision to violate its obligations under the agreement that was entered into and duly approved only two years ago. We will exhaust any and all legal remedies against the city of Glendale for this blatant violation of its contractual obligations to us."
Gary Bettman isn’t so worried about the drama over the Arizona Coyotes and the city of Glendale once again rearing its ugly head.
Don Cherry and Ron MacLean discuss the diving and penalties in the first period of Game 4, they play of Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Victory Hedman and much more.
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