Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Travis Yost of TSN,
One of the curious observations about this year’s pool of Stanley Cup hopefuls is that the goaltending position isn’t exactly set in stone for a number of clubs. Yes, everyone knows that the best goaltender entering the field of 16 plays in Manhattan, but beyond that there’s a fair bit of uncertainty. Some teams (Anaheim) are unsure of how a younger goaltender or two will hold up; other teams (San Jose) are preparing to rely on a platoon of talent to try to get them to the Promised Land.
I think the best example of this ambiguity is, well, the entire Western Conference. Think about how you individually would power rank the available goaltenders from the likely playoff teams. It’s not easy. Who is number one? Maybe you think it’s Jonathan Quick of the Kings - he’s got the hardware, but then again, he’s been outplayed by guys like Michal Neuvirth and James Reimer in recent years. Maybe you think it’s Corey Crawford of the Blackhawks. He’s had an outstanding regular season, but it hasn't always gone smoothly - less than a year ago he was benched in a playoff game for journeyman Scott Darling. Maybe you think it’s Brian Elliott. He’s been exceptional in St. Louis despite having to do it on prove-it contracts after being discarded Ottawa and Colorado, all while battling the likes of Jake Allen for playing time.
I think you start to see my point. The group as a whole is very talented, but ranking one ahead of another is extremely difficult.
TUESDAY’S GAMES SPOTLIGHT CENTRAL DIVISION RACE
The top six teams in the Central Division collide during a trio of games on Tuesday:
* The Wild, who currently occupy the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, face the Blackhawks at Xcel Energy Center. This marks the fifth and final meeting of the season between these rivals; Minnesota has won their opening four matchups (MIN: 4-0-0, CHI: 0-3-1) after getting swept by Chicago in the Second Round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
On Tuesday, March 29, MSG Networks will dedicate the Islanders-Hurricanes telecast on MSG+ to legendary broadcaster Stan Fischler, who celebrates 40 years of New York Islanders coverage. Festivities get under way at 6:30 PM.
Celebrate this remarkable accomplishment below with a Stand-Up Stan joke board, a timeline of The Maven's achievements, classic pics and videos, and much more.
check it out....
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
As we all know, hockey fans are rational human beings, fair-minded to a fault, and able to see the big picture without petty provincialism.
National Hockey League players, similarly, are all about the well-being of the game, hold no grudges and never make decisions based on factors as crass as salary, climate, taxation or the median hotness of women in a given city’s nightclubs.
Also (full disclosure here), the task of interpreting results of this 2015-16 Postmedia hockey poll of players and fans has fallen to a scribe who has divided his career among Edmonton (22 years, five Stanley Cups), Toronto (seven years, zero Cups) and Vancouver (11 years, also bupkes)....
Biggest pain in the butt to play against: Clearly, there were too many barbed-wire shirts for the players to focus on just one. Corey Perry, Ryan Kesler, Zdeno Chara, Marchand … so much irritation, so little time. The fans had no difficulty, though, again choosing Marchand. Possibly a lifetime achievement award. They picked Habs’ Brendan Gallagher second.
Biggest impression this year: Kane was No. 1 for the players, not surprisingly. What’s surprising is that McDavid was second. The fans had it the other way around; McDavid first, by more than a two-to-one margin. This kid is so special, he’s risen above the Oilers’ awfulness, and everyone sees it.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
It is folly to attempt to forecast the Rangers’ 2016-17 roster and therefore the amount of cap space with which GM Jeff Gorton will have to work. We do know Boyle’s $4.5 million and Yandle’s current $2.625 million will come off. In a vacuum, that alone would leave approximately enough to re-sign Yandle (currently earning a total $5.25 million split between the Blueshirts and Coyotes).
But if Yandle — who will be the object of affection of every team that can pay the going rate in need of a puck-moving defenseman who can run a power play — remains in New York, that would necessarily mean another year in Hartford for young left-side defenseman Brady Skjei, unless the Rangers trade or buy out Marc Staal, who would be entering the second year of a six-year contract at $5.7 million per that includes a no-move clause through the 2017-18 season.
That doesn’t seem likely at all.
Now, while it is true that the Rangers could create cap space by either trading Girardi (who would have to waive his no-move clause that runs through the end of next season) or by buying him out, that wouldn’t solve the depth-chart issue given that No. 5 plays the right.
from Frank Seravalli of TSN,
In the end, the Nashville Predators couldn’t get close to prized prospect Jimmy Vesey. Literally.
A guaranteed spot on the top two lines, a chance to skate into the Stanley Cup playoffs three weeks after stepping off the ice as a Harvard student and the benefit of burning a year off his restrictive rookie contract were not enough to lure Vesey to the Music City.
It wasn’t even enough to secure a face-to-face meeting with the team that drafted him four years ago, Predators GM David Poile alleged.
“It’s a bizarre situation,” Poile told the Nashville Tennessean. “For whatever reason, and after all the time and resources that we invested in Jimmy Vesey’s development, we could not get a meeting with Jimmy, his family and his representatives all together. That’s the only thing I asked for after [last week] and they would not accommodate us on that.”...
Vesey will not gain any financial leverage elsewhere. The maximum salary on NHL entry-level contracts is $925,000, and he would have received the same maximum rookie attainable performance bonus structure ($2.85 million) with likely any team.
Logan Couture has a sure goal taken away by Jonathan Quick.
The Sharks did win 5-2.
Listen as Edmonton Oilers forward Patrick Maroon describes throwing the game puck in the trash to get under the skin of the Anaheim Ducks.
NHL referee Wes McCauley has worked the last three Stanley Cup Finals, he is auditoning for his fourth...
Highlights from the eight NHL games played on Monday.
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 email@example.com