Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

It’s Time For Charles Wang To Sell The New York Islanders

from Richard Sandomir of the New York Times,

Wang knew little about hockey and made some bizarre decisions, including elevating Garth Snow, a backup goaltender, to general manager, according to Mike Milbury, a former general manager, and wanting to get rid of the team’s scouts. Milbury recalled two years ago that Wang had wanted to try out sumo wrestlers in the crease.

Wang inherited a losing team, and experienced some improvement, but he still has a losing team.

That Wang still owns the team is surprising. He banked on the Islanders’ being in a new or refurbished arena long ago, but no matter what the plan, it never worked out.

He did not move the team to possible getaway cities like Kansas City, Mo.; Quebec City; Hamilton, Ontario; or Seattle. Maybe he should have picked one and made some of his money back.

In 2003, he let me read documents that pegged the team’s losses in his first three years of ownership at $52.2 million. “It’s uncomfortable to lose money having worked so hard to make it,” Wang said at the time. “I’m investing, in one sense. The team has to be self-sustaining. This is not a church that will stay open forever.”

But it has. By 2009, Wang told Newsday that his losses had climbed to $209 million. The total is probably close to $300 million by now.

Patience has only brought Wang fiscal grief. It’s time for a new owner to try to lose less money.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: charles+wang

All Ron Hextall

from Randy Miller of NJ.com,

NJ.com: What are you expectations for next season? A lot of people see the 2014-15 Flyers having to fight for one of the final Eastern Conference playoff spots, then potentially being dangerous in the playoffs if your goalie gets hot. Your team doesn't appear to be the full puzzle yet, but seem to have the makings of a pretty good team. Agree?

Hextall: “We've got a good team. We expect our players every night to go out and be the best they can be and collectively be a cohesive unit. When you have that type of cohesion and players playing hard and playing for the cause every night, you can accomplish good things. Look at the Rangers last year. Who'd have thought they'd be a Stanley Cup Final team? And they beat us by one goal in Game 7 (in the first round)? So we’ve got a good team and our expectations are high. I don't know if the belief from people is we don't have high expectations. That couldn't be further from the truth. All I’ve said all along is we’re going to continue to get better every year.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ron+hextall

Questions Facing The Chicago Blackhawks

from Brian Hedger at NHL.com,

"Whenever you see someone [else] lift the Stanley Cup, once you've done it once yourself, it kind of fuels the fire a little bit," left wing Patrick Sharp said. "It's definitely difficult to win it back-to-back, I think that's been proven over the years. Not only myself but the group of players we have, we're all excited to get back to training camp and go get that thing again."

Here are five questions they'll need to answer in order to do it:

1. Who won't be part of the equation once the offseason dust settles? -- Richards' contract is salary-cap friendly with a charge of $2 million for one season, but it puts the Blackhawks in a cap conundrum. According to CapGeek.com, they're about $2.2 million over the $69 million hard cap with a full roster under contract.

That means somebody's probably going to be traded before the Oct. 9 season opener at the Dallas Stars, barring an injury that would allow general manager Stan Bowman cap relief via injured reserve.

The most discussed names as potential trade candidates have been Sharp and defenseman Johnny Oduya. Sharp, whose agent says Bowman told him he won't be traded, has an annual cap charge of $5.9 million for the next three seasons. Oduya, who will be an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2015, has a cap charge of $3.3 million.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Shnarped With A Major Announcement

Many of you know KK and Shnarped are partners and today they made a major announcement.

I encourage you to try out the app and right now is a great time to contact many of the hockey players in different leagues.  The guys at Shnarped do things the right way.

Kyle, Kamil, and myself (Dustin) would like to thank you for your continued support of Shnarped and update you on some exciting changes we released today. We are missing hockey this summer, but have been very busy improving our product and growing our community of players, fans, and teams! 

At Shnarped we strive to build a positive, youth-friendly social platform that brings together everyone in the hockey community.  Guided by your feedback, today we released a new iOS version, a new interactive web platform and blog, and added new privacy options.  Below we’ll elaborate on these changes and what’s coming next.  If you have ideas for what else should come next, please let us know here!

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: shnarped

Afternoon Line

“When I actually saw the Spezza trade, or heard about it, I didn’t believe it at first. I had to go online, social media these days, and see if it was confirmed. Get right on my Twitter and type it in: ‘Jason Spezza, is he here or not.”

I’m really excited, it’s made this summer even longer just cause with our new acquisitions and how good we felt we were coming together last year, you really wish it was October already.

I think everyone’s ready to go. I’ve been talking, even seeing the guys so much this summer, it’s surprising for an offseason.

In Boston, I didn’t see my teammates that often, I guess, everyone kind of does their own thing. But this summer, with the Stars, it seems like we’re always together every other week, but everyone’s excited and ready for training camp to start.”

-Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars.  More from Seguin at the Dallas Morning News.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tyler+seguin

Goalie Questions For The Minnesota Wild

I can finally access KK after almost 9 hours of down time.

The problem was not with our host, but something much more major than that.

Numerous ISPs had issues today and it was hit or miss if you could get to a website or now.

Things seem to be ok now, so on with the show...

from John Kreiser of NHL.com,

Who's the goalie? -- Niklas Backstrom, Josh Harding, Darcy Kuemper, Ilya Bryzgalov and John Curry (who won his lone late-season start) all had at least one victory in a season of tumult for Minnesota goaltenders . Harding was 18-7-3 with an NHL-best 1.65 goals-against average, but he didn't play after Dec. 31 because of the effects of his battle with multiple sclerosis. Backstrom struggled all season and played a total of 22:25 after Jan. 11 before season-ending abdominal surgery. Minor-league call-up Kuemper (12-8-4, 2.43 GAA) and Bryzgalov (7-1-3, 2.12 GAA), acquired in a trade on March 4, got the Wild to the playoffs.

The question now is who fits where this season. Fletcher and coach Mike Yeo said they are content to go into training camp without a designated starter and see what happens in a competition between Backstrom, Harding and Kuemper (Bryzgalov remains a free agent).

"We have three guys who are quality goaltenders, three guys who at points in the season have been our starting goaltender and played very good hockey," Yeo told NHL.com. "We're expecting some good competition in camp."

more on the Wild...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

ESPN’s Strang weighs in on the Wings, Kings and Wild’s goaltending via chat session

ESPN's Katie Strang held a chat on ESPN.com today, and the first two questions of said chat touched upon meaty topics:

Ed (Queens Village): If you had to pick 1 this season Kings repeat as Cup Champs or Red Wings miss playoffs for 1st time this century?

Katie Strang: Well, I really do not like ever doubting the Wings. That record speaks for itself and the club has a well-earned reputation for its winning culture. That said, I think the chances of them missing are far greater than a Kings repeat. Winning a Cup takes so many elements beyond great personnel and a bevvy of talent. It takes grit, depth and yes, some luck. Especially during the salary-cap era, dynastic teams are harder to come by. Anything can happen in the East though I am banking on Wings making it again this year,

Michael (Minnesota): If you were Chuck Fletcher, what would you do with your goalie situation? Are you tempted to sign Brodeur?

Katie Strang: If I were Chuck Fletcher I'd be extremely concerned about my goaltending situation. I know he said publicly that there will be training camp competition with Harding, Backstrom and Kuemper but I wouldn't feel too confident with that. That's why, since the trade deadline, many assumed Brodeur would be a great fit there. His sons also play at famed hockey prep school Shattuck St. Mary's in Fairbault, MN. Makes a lot of sense. But I think Brodeur is holding out for potentially an injury situation that opens a spot up.

Continued

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chuck+fletcher, detroit+red+wings, josh+harding, los+angeles+kings, martin+brodeur, minnesota+wild, niklas+backstrom

NHLPA to hold ‘Rookie Showcase’ photo shoot in Toronto

This is a press release about a media availability, but the NHLPA's "Rookie Showcase" is one of the more interesting events of the summer. The NHLPA and Upper Deck, the league's hockey card rights-holder, picks a gaggle of top prospects to take part in photo shoots and autograph-signings in Toronto, and the players enjoy the meet-and-greet-and-hang-out aspect of the event:

2014 NHLPA ROOKIE SHOWCASE

TORONTO, ON (August 12, 2014) – Thirty-three of the top NHL® prospects/rookies will gather in Toronto at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (site of the former Maple Leaf Gardens) on Saturday, August 23rd for the 2014 NHLPA Rookie Showcase. Now in its sixth year, this unique event provides Upper Deck – the official trading card partner of the NHLPA and the NHL – with an exclusive opportunity to photograph many of the game’s top young prospects/rookies in their official NHL team uniforms, in shots that will be used for upcoming trading card and memorabilia launches.

The prospects attending include the following players...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Hockey world embracing the ‘ice bucket challenge’

NHL.com's Tal Pinchevsky takes a look at the latest...do we call it a charitable trend?

With so many charitable causes seeking much-needed donations, who knew a series of videos showing people dunking ice water over their heads could make such a difference.

But the exponential growth of the Ice Bucket Challenge through social media has helped raise overall awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, with the hockey world making sure to do its part.

"It's really unprecedented. I've worked in the non-profit world for a number of years and I can't think of anything that's been like this in the past for any charity," said Carrie Munk, a spokesperson for the ALS Association. "It's so amazing that ALS is a part of this. It's a disease that we need to shed a spotlight on to find treatments and a cure."

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan talks about the Sharks’ ‘rebuild’

NHL.com's Dan Rosen asked San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan 5 questions, and the first one got right to the heart of the "rebuilding" matter:

People are curious about what's going on in San Jose when Doug Wilson brings up the term rebuild. Can you explain the philosophy regarding what this offseason is about for the Sharks?

"We want to reset the hierarchy and culture in the organization, and that's really where the term rebuild came from. We feel we have a tremendous talent pool. We feel the players that are with our organization are part of the solution and not the problem now. As a staff, we talked about the ability to push and win as much as we can while we get younger, while we adjust the roles a little bit and give some of the younger players more responsibility. The term or the word used like that can be confusing at times. I think a lot of people, especially in the media, immediately went to, 'Well, they're going to trade Thornton and Marleau.' That's not the case. We believe that those two are part of the solution, not part of the problem. That got a lot of play media-wise. That's not what we were about. We think we have a very good hockey club and we think we need to tinker with a few things and continue to push forward."

Continued

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: san+jose+sharks, todd+mclellan

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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