Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Gare Joyce of Sportsnet,
What constitutes critical mass when it comes to prospects? You might think that you can never have enough, but effectively it might turn out that you can have too many. We’ll probably have some idea after this NHL Draft.
According to sources at the NHL combine this weekend, several teams have aggressively pursued trades with Florida and Buffalo, owners of the first and second overall picks respectively. Panthers general manager Dale Tallon has said from Day 1 that he’s entertaining all offers, though he has given no indication exactly what the price tag might be, nor what make or model he’s in the market for. For his part, Sabres GM Tim Murray has shuffled the deck aggressively since he arrived in mid-season. The prevailing wisdom in the marketplace is that Tallon and Murray might be motivated dealers.
One scout aware of multiple offers for the top two picks said, “The going price to move up into those [first two] spots would be picks — a high first and a second or third — and an established player that helps your top two lines.”
from Andrew Gross of The Record,
Twenty years ago, as the Rangers marched to the Stanley Cup, everyone, it seemed in New York, was suddenly a huge hockey fan. And it wasn’t just inside the city. The Rangers’ popularity drew in casual fans from all over.
Yet all that momentum to grow the league was wasted when a lockout erased the first half of the next season. The Rangers didn’t get to raise their Cup banner until Jan. 20, 1995.
That won’t be the case in 2014-15 as there is guaranteed labor peace in the NHL through 2020 after a third owner’s lockout.
The NHL has a chance to ride the marketing momentum the Rangers’ appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals affords.
"I think it’s great for everyone," Rangers center Brad Richards said. "Any time there’s a New York team in any sport I think it’s great. It’s an Original Six team. I’ve met a lot of people here that their grandfathers have taken them to games so I feel it’s important to a lot of people.
from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Pierre has friends and enemies in the game. That is normal when you've been navigating the NHL's shark-infested waters as long as he has. He knows everybody. He's a legendary schmoozer.
Do I think he's the right person to replace Ray Shero as Penguins general manager?
Wow. That is a question I never dreamed we'd be pondering. Pierre is the talk of the town in the wake of his second interview with Penguins brass, including co-owners Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux, this past weekend.
As early as Tuesday, the Penguins could name a GM.
What if it's Pierre?
I am of two minds. One says, “Bad idea, PR nightmare.” The other says, “Why not?”
Perhaps unfairly, I tend to view Pierre the way I viewed Russ Grimm when he was after the Steelers coaching job. Both seem more like the guy who buys you a beer and talks about the organization rather than the guy actually leading it.
Pierre is a media guy. Has been for a long time. He's one of us!
He also has a pleasantly quirky personality that could lead one to believe he is more suited for court jester than king.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
Bettman this year had a fantasy final four: Montreal, the most storied franchise in NHL history; New York, an Original Six team playing in the nation’s largest market; Chicago, another Original Six team from a large market on the verge of a dynasty and Los Angeles, the second-largest market two years removed from a title.
The NHL has its dream Stanley Cup final with the Rangers and Kings in a best-of-seven series starting Wednesday. New York and Los Angeles, the two largest U.S. markets on opposite coasts, will play for a title for the first time since the Dodgers beat the Yankees in the 1981 World Series.
Still, with Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago again winning the last four titles, it begs the question: Did Bettman level the playing field?
The salary cap created competitive balance Bettman wanted. Teams such as Buffalo and Edmonton have nobody but themselves to blame for their ineptitude in recent years. The same goes with Toronto, Calgary, the Islanders and any other team that has consistently fallen embarrassingly short.
Bettman’s stroke of brilliance, or luck — and it’s actually a combination of both — can be found in two ways. He created competitive balance by limiting the money teams could spend on players, but he also forced teams to construct tighter payrolls and rethink their approaches when it came to personnel.
As we get ready to start the 2-14 Stanley Cup Final tonight the look toward the near future and a look bit further are coming into focus as Rogers unveils NHL Play-by-Play Team.
This morning Rogers announced that Jim Hughson, Dave Randorf, Paul Romanuk and Bob Cole will call play-by-play for NHL national games across all of the Rogers properties, as well as during Hockey Night in Canada, this fall to kick off the 12-year exclusive national broadcast and multimedia rights Rogers Communications secured starting with the 2014-15 NHL season.
Thanks for checking in with the Kukla’s Korner NHL Hat Trick Challenge Advise piece number three. As you hopefully know by now the National Hockey League and league sponsor Enterprise have partnered up for the NHL Hat Trick Challenge - an online prediction game featuring a series of questions to test hockey fans’ ability to predict various game outcomes.
The individual who scores the most hat tricks throughout the playoffs will win the Hat Trick Challenge and receive a trip for two to the 2015 NHL All-Star Game!
Kukla’s Korner has teamed up and will feature the daily question’s today and June 5th. On our daily post days we will be on Twitter @KuklasKorner and @MonicaMcAlister discussing and promoting that day. Those that interact on Twitter using the official #NHLHatTrickChallenge hashtag will be entered for bonus prizes.
How to play…
Those of us who've worked several jobs know that the term "Under New Management!" can mean very, very bad news for one's job security, especially in sales or service professions, because "new management" tends to want to bring in its "own people." Oftentimes the "new boss" also likes to make a sacrificial firing or three to prove that they "mean business," too, but the story that came out of South Florida today had me shaking my head.
The boss just Tweeted this one out, but I've got a serious case of "What the *#$%@&?!??!-itis," so I'd like to post it. The Miami Herald's George Richards reports that the Panthers' new ownership made some massive cuts today...
The Panthers laid off approximately 30 employees today with most of the damage coming within the team's sales department.
I was told at least one Vice President was fired as well as a long-time employee within the team's public relations staff. Other positions from throughout the organization were closed. I've been told many won't be replaced, at least not anytime soon.
According to someone who spoke with me this afternoon, the team called a meeting in a conference room at the arena and told those employees there they were being let go.
The message: The team is losing money and needs to save some.
And the Sun-Sentinel's Harvey Filkaov notes that the firings were particularly ironic given the team's new ownership's purported financial commitment to putting a winning product on the ice (and his number's at 25...I read a Tweet that suggested 35 people were fired, so the official number of employees "let go" is sketchy):
NBC promo for the Stanley Cup Final.
Nashville, Tenn. – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed goaltender Carter Hutton to a two-year, $1.45 million contract. He will make $700,000 in 2014-15 and $750,000 in 2015-16.
Hutton, 28 (12/19/85), spent his first full season at the NHL level in 2013-14. After starting the season with just one game of NHL experience, he finished the season as the sixth 20-game winner in franchise history, posting a 20-11-4 record to go along with a 2.62 goals-against average, a .910 save percentage and a shutout. The Thunder Bay, Ontario native went 13-4-2 in his final 19 decisions of the season, which included a personal five-game winning streak to close out the campaign; he had a 1.77 goals-against average, .940 save percentage and a shutout in those five contests. Hutton also posted a 6-0-1 record when facing at least 35 shots in 2013-14.
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.
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