Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
On a day when U.S. President Barack Obama said it was San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s constitutional right to not stand during the national anthem, John Tortorella talked about it being an “honor” to be America’s coach at the World Cup of Hockey.
“It is hockey, but I also think it is a huge platform for us to represent our country, especially in today’s world, with everything is going on,” Tortorella said.
The patriotism vs. individual rights debate, ignited by Kaepernick’s stance, is reflected in the opinions of the players who will be wearing USA jerseys when they compete at the World Cup starting Sept. 17 in Toronto.
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,
World Cup training camps opened yesterday across the globe, including here in Columbus, where Team USA -- under Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella -- took the ice for a 45-minute practice at 1 p.m. in Nationwide Arena. Forward lines and defensive pairings were revealed as each club took the ice. In the process, each club's identity starts to emerge.
Consider: Canada's 13th forward, per reports out of Toronto, is Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry, a six-time 30-goal scorer who had a 50-goal season in 2010-11.
Consider: Team USA may have the NHL's 2015-16 points leader on its roster -- Chicago's Patrick Kane -- but it simply can't match the wondrous collection of offensive talent Canada can put on the ice.
So Team USA will try to win another way: size, possession, physicality, grittiness and goaltending.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
In Canada, McDavid has been a part of the hockey world’s consciousness since he was 14, so most people here don’t flinch much when they see an ad featuring McDavid fishing off a dock with a talking Penguin in a television commercial for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Just 19 and with no NHL playoff games on his resume, McDavid already has partnerships with CCM, Canadian Tire and Biosteel, which have added at least $1.5 million in endorsement money to McDavid’s portfolio, according to sports marketing expert Brian Cooper.
But when it comes to universal appeal, McDavid has a long way to go before he enters the consciousness of the casual American hockey fan. It doesn’t help that neither McDavid nor the Oilers are scheduled to appear on one NBC game this season. When it comes to generating the highest viewership levels possible, the formula for NBC Sports is a combination of big markets, winning records and attractive matchups. And star power. The Oilers possess just one of those in McDavid.
That doesn’t mean the Oilers will never appear on NBC, but the network will need to see something more than a tease from McDavid and Oilers. “As with any team, the Oilers can play their way onto our schedule,” an NBC spokesperson said in an email to THN. “As they get more competitive, they’ll see more airtime.”
from Adam Vingan of The Tennessean,
Fighting has long been a fabric of hockey, a product of the sport's physicality. Players dropping the gloves still elicits excitement in NHL arenas, but the number of fights is drastically diminishing as the lumbering enforcers of past eras have been phased out in favor of skill.
There were 344 fights in the NHL last season, the fewest amount within the past 15 years, according to hockeyfights.com. That is a nearly 47 percent decrease from the 645 fights that occurred during the 2010-11 season.
This comes as good news to those who oppose fighting, which is an area of the game that has become heavily scrutinized, particularly for the negative health effects that could result from repeated blows to the head.
As the dog days of summer wind down, NHL Network is getting you ready for this season by ranking the Top 50 players in the League. NHL Network researchers, producers and on-air personalities compiled the list, taking into account players coming back from injury, younger players expected to break out and veterans with a proven track record.
Here are the Top 10:
10. Joe Pavelski, C, San Jose Sharks
Pavelski, 32, got to show off his skills to a national audience during the Sharks' run to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final. The San Jose captain had 78 points (38 goals, 40 assists) in the regular season, his third straight with at least 70, and then went on a tear during the playoffs, when he had 23 points (14 goals, nine assists) in 24 games.
Pavelski scored at least 37 goals in each of the past three seasons. In 725 NHL games, all with the Sharks, he has 563 points (266 goals, 297 assists), third on San Jose's all-time list behind Patrick Marleau (1,036) and Joe Thornton (887). His 163 goals the past five seasons are third in the NHL behind Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin (224) and Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (193).
from Shawn Jeffords of the Toronto Sun,
It was news Toronto Maple Leafs fans didn’t wanted to hear.
And it’s clear John Tory’s staff didn’t want the mayor breaking it to Leafs Nation. But that was potentially the scenario when Tory faced questions in late June about being part of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment’s hush-hush meeting to woo Markham-born NHL superstar Steven Stamkos.
According to documents obtained by the Toronto Sun through a Freedom of Information request, media questions about a meeting between Stamkos, Tory and MLSE, put the mayor in the tough position of potentially have to break the devastating news to the city’s hockey fans before Stamkos made his announcement.
Tory’s staff knew the top free agent was staying in Tampa Bay before the general public, a series of e-mails show.
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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