Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated,
Prior to his Game 5 broadcast, I sat down with Emrick at a New York City steakhouse. I told him I wanted to pass along some questions that I received for him on Twitter, including his relationship with the late, legendary Detroit Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell. As a first-year doctoral student at Bowling Green State University in Ohio in 1973, Emrick reached out to Harwell to be the de-facto adviser for his dissertation ("Major League Baseball Principal Play By Play Announcers: Their Occupation Background And Personal Life"). Harwell introduced Emrick to broadcasters and writers, hot dog vendors and ushers, and even procured a dugout interview for Emrick with Al Kaline. That linkage is very cool to think of today, paying it forward between the past and present.
Here's our conversation:
What was the best piece of advice Ernie Harwell gave you?
One of the questions I had for him was: "What makes for the greatest longevity?" He said you have to be able to ride with the tide. About the time I was asking him that, Billy Martin was the manager of the Tigers and with Billy there, I think Ernie had to ride with the tide with a lot of things. There were also a lot of life lessons from Ernie because he was a very devout human being. He used to say: "A man is lucky if God gives him a job he enjoys." He was right. Riding with the tide was something I always remembered. I had just come out of college and we were all sort of geared in communications to be on the edgy and belligerent side, and here was this man telling me if you really want to have a long career, you have to pick your spots.
from Jim Cerny of BlueShirtsUnited,
It could have been that the Rangers spent Monday preparing to play Game Six of the Stanley Cup Finals later that evening at Madison Square Garden. Instead, Ranger players, coaches, and staff took part in break-up day at the MSG Training Center, while 3,000 miles away the Los Angeles Kings were feted with a championship parade.
Head coach Alain Vigneault, who met individually with each player on Monday, said his team's four losses to the Kings--in particular the three in overtime on the road, including Friday's Game Five double overtime defeat...would "haunt" the Rangers because the club was so close to winning each and every one.
Peter Chiarelli talks about not re-signing Shawn Thornton.
STAMFORD, Conn. – June 16, 2014 – On the strength of an NHL record 93 postseason games – including 46 one-goal games and 26 overtime games – a new playoff format that emphasized divisional rivalries, and a Stanley Cup Final that featured the nation’s two largest media markets, the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs became the second-most watched NHL post-season since NBC and NBCSN began their exclusive coverage in 2006, according to Fast National data provided by The Nielsen Company. Every game was televised nationally by the NBC Sports Group.
In addition, the Stanley Cup Final, won in five games by the Los Angeles Kings over the New York Rangers, was just the fifth Final in 20 years to average more than 5.0 million viewers. Digitally, NBC Sports Live Extra delivered live stream records in virtually all metrics for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Final and Game 5.
The parade is scheduled to begin at 3:00pm ET but the pre-parade is on now, you can watch it below...
The Los Angeles Kings did it. Somehow, some way, they claimed their second Stanley Cup in three years. Despite facing three games sevens, despite losing their first three games of the playoffs, the Kings overcame all to be crowned as, well, kings of the NHL. And the absurd unlikelihood of that accomplishment should not be overlooked.
Entering the playoffs, the Kings were one of the more highly regarded teams, being given almost universal 10/1 odds to win by odds makers found on Gambling.com. An alarmingly poor start to their series with the San Jose Sharks dropped those odds so precipitously that even after the Kings had rebounded to force game seven in that series, they were still only sitting at 15/1 to win it all. Following their epic comeback from three games to none down against San Jose, many would expect the Kings to be physically and emotionally drained. Then they played another seven game series. And another after that. The odds of a team, especially in a low-scoring sport like hockey, coming away with victories in every one of those seven game sets is mind-boggling.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
"Dynasty" is a dying word in the NHL.
By our definition, there hasn't been a dynasty since the 1980s Edmonton Oilers, winners of five Stanley Cups in seven years.
Probably the closest we've come is having the Detroit Red Wings win three Cups in six years, from 1997 through 2002.
But certainly in the salary-cap era starting in 2005, it has been awfully tough for teams to stay on top, the talent spread more evenly around the league. The roster turnover is quick.
So we'll throw away the word "dynasty" until we see a team win four Cups in seven or eight years. But could the Los Angeles Kings be that team? Or the Chicago Blackhawks?
Courtesy of Bovada,
Odds to win the 2015 Stanley Cup
Chicago Blackhawks 7/1
Boston Bruins 8/1
Los Angeles Kings 9/1
Pittsburgh Penguins 10/1
St. Louis Blues 121
Anaheim Ducks 14/1
San Jose Sharks 14/1
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
NHL teams have been told to expect the upper limit of the salary cap to be set around $70 million for next season — the final accounting is still being completed — and maintaining as much payroll flexibility as possible under that threshold is imperative.
Any money removed by buyouts or expiring contracts will soon be replaced by new deals, with negotiations in full swing on a number of fronts. While July 1 remains the date that unrestricted free agents can sign with other teams, players in that situation are allowed to start interviewing with potential suitors on June 25.
This is a new wrinkle in the CBA that saw a two-day trial run at the end of last year’s lockout-shortened season, with David Clarkson among the few who visited multiple cities across the continent to field pitches. That won’t be necessary this time around since the interview period opens before the June 27-28 draft, which leaves UFA’s the chance to meet teams in Philadelphia, although some may still choose to go directly to the places where they might potentially end up playing.
It is a relatively weak free-agent class — headlined by Marian Gaborik, Paul Stastny and Thomas Vanek — so most teams looking for upgrades will have to explore other avenues as well.
In speaking with general managers after their meeting in New York last week, the general opinion seemed to be that a busy trading period around the draft awaits. There are certainly big names (and big contracts) available. However, as a word of caution, we have heard this type of talk before and then had the realities of the salary cap limit movement.
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