Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
- The Bruins have a good trade chip in Malcolm Subban. The third-year pro projects to be an ace, as Tuukka Rask’s successor or elsewhere. But Subban won’t be in the mix if the Bruins are talking trade with Winnipeg regarding Dustin Byfuglien.
The Bruins need help on defense with Dennis Seidenberg out for two months following back surgery. Byfuglien, the dynamic right-shot rover, would help. But the Jets are set in goal long term with Eric Comrie and ex-UMass Lowell puckstopper Connor Hellebuyck in the minors under Ondrej Pavelec and Michael Hutchinson.
The Jets would want one of the Bruins’ two 2016 first-rounders and help off the roster. Winnipeg has to budget cash for Andrew Ladd (unrestricted), Jacob Trouba (restricted), and Mark Scheifele (restricted), whose deals will expire after this season.
As unique as Byfuglien is, the UFA-to-be is 30 and is seeking what could be his final big contract. Byfuglien would be a good addition for the Bruins as well as any other club, but one that would come at a cost.
- That the Oilers have never ceased chatter about taking the captaincy away from Andrew Ference indicates the move will happen. The ex-Bruin and Edmonton native was a good choice to wear the “C” when the previous management group signed him to a four-year, $13 million contract. But it’s time for the 36-year-old to pass it on to Taylor Hall. Ference is a good employee and will hand it off gracefully, despite the sensitivity of the transition.
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
Eddie Lack was perfect in his preseason debut, playing two unblemished periods against the Washington Capitals on Monday. Cam Ward gave up six goals in a period and a half in his preseason debut against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, but it’s unfair to draw any conclusions from either start.
That first preseason appearance is always a freebie for a goalie, often playing behind a patchwork defense of veterans still shaking off the rust and kids who will get no closer to the NHL. You can look good, as Lack did, but you can’t really look bad. Carolina Hurricanes coach Bill Peters certainly wasn’t making any conclusions of significance.
“We’ll leave that until closer to the end,” Peters said. “Too many Grade A chances in both games and a lot of breakdowns we’re not typically going to make. I thought Eddie was good in Washington, very athletic on the penalty kill. Wardo we just left hung out to dry, unfortunately.”...
Both goalies are in the final year of their contracts, and both can become unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. That makes this season essentially a referendum on the position among Peters and the front office, although General Manager Ron Francis holds the deciding vote.
The Canes could, conceivably, keep both, especially if they’re in postseason contention, but it seems likely one goalie will claim the position and the other will bring a considerable ransom at the trade deadline from a goalie-deficient contender, presumably in the Western Conference if the Hurricanes are still in the playoff hunt.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Of all the sales pitches Quebec City and Las Vegas have made in attempting to woo NHL hockey to their respective markets, the ones they make Tuesday stand to be their most important to date.
According to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, representatives for both parties will be on hand to pitch their cases to the NHL’s executive committee prior to Sept. 29 Board of Governors meetings in New York.
While a final decision on potential expansion will not be rubber-stamped this time around, don’t be surprised if an announcement comes as early as the league’s BOG meetings in Pebble Beach in December.
“The (expansion) process is going well,” Daly said in a phone interview Friday. “All of the intial submissions of the three phases of the application process have been completed. We’re in the process of the evaluation of those submissions now.
from Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,
It took exactly three minutes into his first game in nearly 17 months for Sharks forward Raffi Torres to remind his teammates and the home crowd just what he can bring to the lineup.
Despite indications in the morning that he would play a bit cautiously on his surgically repaired right knee that he tore up two years ago, Torres lined up plodding Coyotes defenseman Nicklas Grossmann in the Sharks' defensive corner. The human heat-seeking missile wearing a number 13 teal sweater plastered Grossmann, knocking the six-foot-four, 230-pounder clean off of his skates.
Torres said after the game that it might not have been the wisest thing to do at this stage of his recovery, but he still made it through the Sharks’ 3-1 preseason win feeling “pretty good” after it was over.
“Biggest mistake I made -- I didn’t feel too fast or too much part of the game after that,” Torres said of the hit. “But I felt alright for the first part. It’s a tough game out there. It’s going to take some time, for sure. I think I expected a little bit more and better things out there in terms of my speed and endurance, but I’ll have to keep working.”
Watch the Torres hit on Grossmann below...
from Tim Wharnsby at NHL.com,
Twin forwards Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks are not ready to make their harness racing hobby into a full-time endeavor just yet.
The Sedins, who own several standardbred racehorses in Sweden and North America, will celebrate their 35th birthdays Saturday and have heard the chatter their time in the NHL is running out.
But all you have to do is look at the top 10 players in the scoring race from the 2014-15 season to discover they remain among the elite.
Daniel finished tied for eighth with 76 points (20 goals), slightly better than Henrik, who tied for 10th with 73 points (18 goals).
"I don't really listen to [naysayers]," Daniel said. "We showed last year that we can still play at a high level. For us, it's about staying in shape and staying healthy. If we can do that there is no reason why we can't play in this league a few more seasons."
from Melissa Isaacson of ESPN,
Despite the fact that the Kane investigation continues, some have already filed it under the same category as notorious cases that unraveled under doubt and false allegations, like the Duke lacrosse case or the Rolling Stone cover story about the University of Virginia.
Social media is filled with accusations that alleged rape victims are liars and whores, that women making up stories about being assaulted is a virtual epidemic, that those defending or even reporting on such victims should be beaten or raped themselves.
The mess surrounding the Kane case only propagates this garbage. And makes it harder today than it was yesterday for victims of sexual abuse to be taken seriously....
Each case should be treated individually, a statement as obvious as it is probably naïve. The Kane saga has indeed been a circus -- a word Sedita used Friday -- from the beginning -- from the double standard with which Kane seemed to be treated, to the news conference in which he was propped up publicly by his team and told to say nothing, to this latest tampering hoax. To regard it as any sort of case study, let alone a precedent, would be ridiculous.
Sadly, it is just another disturbing story in a sea of them, another disappointing chapter in what falls under the vast and troubling umbrella of sports coverage these days.
via Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider,
On whether Patrick Maroon’s goal was scored with a high stick:
Well, there’s no reviews in preseason, so I guess you could hit somebody over the head with your stick and get away with it, too. It was a high stick. I mean, it was way [above the crossbar].
On whether the Kings are looking for a “bounce-back season”:
That would be good, yeah. [Reporter: Where are you at the moment?] Where are we at the moment? We’re trying to bounce back from last season.
The Maroon goal...
from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
There used to be a guy named Rick Nash who came to the Rangers with huge expectations, and who was shy, soft-spoken and gave canned answers.
At some point last spring, that Rick Nash was officially put out to pasture, and the man who took over is still a bit shy, but far more open with his emotions, with his self-criticism and utterly transparent about what he’s trying to accomplish.
“It’s the way sports works, you have to be honest with yourself, be honest with the media and with your fans,” Nash told The Post after practice on Friday as the team prepares for a preseason game against the Devils in Newark on Saturday. “I think that’s all you can do and everything else kind of takes care of itself.”
The “everything else” that Nash referred to is, in part, getting the Rangers over the hump and winning their first Stanley Cup since 1994. For the 31-year-old Nash, his 12 seasons in the league have produced an ample amount of individual accolades, and now his face pressed up against that shiny silver chalice is all he cares about.
a Globe and Mail editorial,
Hockey training camps are in full swing, and jobs are on the line. The rewards for cracking an NHL roster are great, but the long-term consequences may be dire. How many players take to the ice with full knowledge that, when their talents are exhausted, they could be facing a lifetime of pain?
A lawsuit brought against the NHL by former players, now working its way through the U.S. court system, is a reminder of the lingering harm that can come from excelling in a fast, tough sport. The group of 60 players, which includes Bernie Nicholls, Gary Leeman and Reed Larson, alleges that the league did not do enough to protect them from neurological damage caused by repeated blows to the head. Icons we remember as dominant masters of the ice now suffer from memory loss, depression and anger issues – the result, they say, of concussions that were overlooked or underplayed.
It’s tempting to see this lawsuit as a relic of the past, given the medical community’s much-improved understanding of sports concussions, and the care with which they should be treated. The NHL, in tandem with its players’ union, has crafted protocols that require anyone who exhibits signs of a concussion to be examined and tested immediately by trained personnel. This wasn’t the rule 30 years ago.
In reality, competitive players (meaning pretty well everyone who’s made it to the NHL and wants to stay there) will do everything possible to return to the ice after a big hit. In the heat of the moment, no athlete is inclined to think 20 or 30 years down the line, when memories (however foggy) are all that remain.
from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen,
Ottawa Senators General manager Bryan Murray really isn’t one to ever mince words so it was no surprise that he had a blunt take Friday on the departure of Swedish defenceman Mikael Wikstrand for home.
“I told him (Wikstrand) he can go home and be a grocery clerk and play in a beer league.”
The training camp competition between Matt Puempel and Shane Prince for a spot on the wing appears to have titled in Prince’s favour after Puempel left the ice with an injury to his left arm or shoulder. Prince already had an advantage in that he would have to clear waivers if returned to Binghamton.
Wikstrand too has suffered a shoulder injury and had yet to play in an exhibition game.
Watch Bryan Murray below as he talks about Wikstrand...
added 1:52pm, Well this changes things...
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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