Kukla's Korner Hockey
“Honestly, I think a lot of people are doubting us now, because we're going to lose some key players but we keep finding ways to rebound. Whether it's this year or down the road, we have that culture and we have that identity, that belief in our room. There's no doubt and we're not done yet.”
-Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks. More from and on Toews from Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
When the NHL Board of Governors took the advice of both the players and the general managers and agreed to 3-on-3 overtime, they officially admitted something that has stared them in the face for the past 25 years.
In trying to end more games in overtime, rather than having them go to the increasingly less enthralling shootout, these all-seeing wizards who control the sport finally officially admitted that in order to generate the goal that is needed to end the game before the shootout, they needed fewer players on the ice.
Or stated another way, they admitted that the more room on the ice there is, and the fewer employees there are on the ice, the more likely it is that goals will be scored.
In fact, the direction in which they should be going if they wish to make the game as entertaining as it once was is to make the ice bigger — or totally change the game and go to 4-on-4.
Newark, NJ – New Jersey Devils General Manager Ray Shero today issued the following statement on Executive Vice President, Hockey Operations/Director of Scouting David Conte:
“David and I have had numerous discussions regarding his future. Based on our conversations, I believe it is in the best interests of our organization for David to pursue other opportunities and to not renew his contract,” said Shero. “I would personally like to thank David Conte for his 31 years of service to the New Jersey Devils organization. His contributions to the success of the hockey operations department have been immense. The search for his successor will begin immediately.”
from the HHOF,
Red Kelly was a unique player - versatile and talented enough to be one of the National Hockey League's best-ever defensemen early in his career and a high-scoring center at the end. The red-haired gentleman was cool and calculating on the ice and never swore, but there was no doubt about his ability to take care of himself. He had been a championship boxer at Toronto's St. Michael's College, skills the four-time winner of the Lady Byng Trophy wouldn't often display during his 20-year NHL career.
Born in Simcoe, Ontario, in 1927, Kelly was 20 years old when the Detroit Red Wings brought him up to the big league directly from St. Michael's. A solid but mobile and skilled defenseman, he quickly found a home on the team playing with such superstars as Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay and Sid Abel. Kelly was an effective checker, at home on the blue line or on the left wing, where he was sometimes used due either to injuries or to add a little muscle on the offense.
Kelly earned enough All-Star votes in 1950 to win a spot on the NHL's Second Team and the chance to play in the All-Star Game. The Red Wings, well on their way to being the league's dominant team, won the Stanley Cup that year, as they would in three of the next five seasons. And Kelly was an integral part of Detroit's winning formula. His puck-carrying ability allowed the Wings to move from their own zone quickly and provided them with a quick transition game.
Watch the Legends of Hockey feature on Red Kelly below...
via Sports Illustrated,
Sports Illustrated senior writer Michael Farber shares who he thinks the NHL expansion will benefit and if the expansion is good for the game.
from Justin Bourne of The Score,
The story so far is similar to how it went with Mike Babcock in Detroit. They were “in no rush” in the offseason to get a deal done, then he “didn’t want to discuss a contract in-season,” then he was “out the door buh-bye gone.”
We’ve had our first Stamkos story - he’s in no rush, not on any particular timeline, the agent needs to talk to Steven before he can talk to Steve (so … just do that then, right?), and here we are.
If Stamkos doesn’t sign this summer, and doesn’t look like he’s going to lock something down in-season - meaning he wants to go to UFA - Steve Yzerman is going to have a real pickle on his hands.
On the one hand, Stamkos is abso-effing-lutely irreplaceable, and Tampa Bay is abso-effing-lutely going to be a Stanley Cup contender next season, if not a favorite. The Atlantic doesn’t look all that impressive, meaning the Lightning could have a President’s Trophy type season next year, if health allows.
BUT, you cannot let Stamkos walk for nothing in pursuit of that elusive Stanley Cup.
from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
- So, how long is Johnny Oduya willing to wait? The consensus is he wants to return to Chicago and the feeling is mutual. But is there a time limit on this? Bowman didn’t deal Saad until the last second and followed the same protocol with Nick Leddy one year ago. A couple of sources indicated Oduya’s contract requests are not unreasonable, so it all comes down to his comfort with the pace of the process. Boston is believed to be among the most interested parties. Buffalo was there at some point, although the Sabres’ desire is unknown now. A couple of teams suspect Dallas is a quiet lurker, especially since the term does not appear onerous. He’d be a great fit there.
- Marc Bergevin is one of the more active GMs, in terms of working the phones. It’s difficult to know sometimes from the outside if he’s trying to do something, or simply collecting information. The Canadiens were in on a few things. They took a run at Matt Beleskey, but weren’t willing to go five years like Boston. There was dialogue with Shawn Matthias, but it’s tough to tell how far it got. And, knowing their needs, I’d be surprised if they didn’t at least inquire about Oshie. Again, though, I’m not sure it went anywhere. One agent did say Quebec’s taxes are a bigger factor than we consider, because they have to bid higher or give more term to overcome. Bergevin is very wary about that, because it will block his young players. One GM pointed out that Daniel Carr (who led AHL Hamilton in goals), and Sven Andrighetto (fourth in points) are waiver-eligible after next season. The Canadiens have to find out if they are NHLers.
- One exec on Don Sweeney: “Give him credit, he had the (guts) to pull the trigger. It would have been easy to do nothing.” There are still teams upset they didn’t know about Hamilton, and I’m curious to know if the Bruins would handle that one differently with a second chance, but his other moves were very reasonable.
... broadly, the NHL aims for boring more than it needs to. The Stanley Cup final had all the ingredients to be a modern classic, and instead Tampa and Chicago’s biggest stars were largely silent, and the games were both relentlessly close and somehow forgettable. The NBA finals featured LeBron against a likeable and deeply entertaining team led by the most joyful player since Magic Johnson. Entertainment-wise, it was a blowout.
It shouldn’t have to be this way, not quite. You don’t need a Steven Stamkos hostage situation, but would it hurt? Personality gets crushed in hockey so much more than it does in basketball, to the point where Roberto Luongo started his now-famous Twitter account as a secret one, so that nobody would know that he’s hilarious. Defence wins championships, but offence is more fun. Hockey and basketball are different, and that’s unavoidable, that’s fine.
It wouldn’t hurt hockey to steal a few things, though. Even if it never will.
-Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star where you can read more on why he feels this way.
from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
Nostalgia finally can be left behind, because it was all so real for the Islanders on Wednesday night. Their new digs at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center were no longer an abstract, but a home.
The Islanders played their Blue-and-White prospect scrimmage in front of 6,311 surprisingly engaged and paying fans, and 19-year-old Josh Ho-Sang, the 28th overall pick from the 2014 draft, stole the show with three assists.
There was hockey in the Borough of Kings, and now it’s here to stay.
“There has been a lot of anticipation over the last couple years, and now we’re just weeks away,” Islanders general manager Garth Snow said. “As you can you can see walking through the concourse, and all the Islander jerseys on the street, our fans have been tremendous.”
Snow carried a pool of reporters in his wake as he tromped through the corridors before the game, and then and out onto the street, occasionally stopping to shake hands and say hello. The anticipation was to see the new Islanders’ locker room and surrounding “campus,” but it was still far from completion. The extent of progress? Walls had been put up and the electricity seemed to be in place.
from Allan Kreda of the New York Times,
from Robby Stanley at NHL.com,
Forward Jimmy Vesey feels that earning a degree from Harvard University will provide him with plenty of future opportunities outside of hockey, even though it pushed back his chance to make the Nashville Predators.
When the Predators selected Vesey in the third round (No. 66) in the 2012 NHL Draft, they knew he had the potential to be a dynamic offensive player. Vesey showed off that potential at Harvard during the 2014-15 season, leading the nation with 32 goals. He was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given to the top college player in the country.
Vesey, a junior, could have turned pro and signed with the Predators in March, after the Crimson's season ended. Instead, he chose to return for his senior season.
Earning his degree from Harvard is important to Vesey.
"It was a really tough decision for me," Vesey said this week at Nashville's development camp. "I sat down with my family and we kind of weighed our options. At the end of the day, I just wanted to make sure I got that degree from Harvard because hockey is not going to last forever and that's something good to fall back on. I'm going to wait one more year and finish my college season and hopefully sign after the year."
Although the Predators felt Vesey, a government major at Harvard, was good enough to turn pro, he said they were supportive of his decision to return to school.
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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