Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons' Sunday notebook is quite good, and it includes another take on Phil Kessel's worth, a note about the "analytics department" teams' coaching records (with an emphasis on "coaches," plural), and a great quip from Randy Carlyle about the coach-critiquing business, but given Carlyle's status and the Maple Leafs' desire to hire a head coach after this season, this seems like the most appropriate place to start:
[Mike] Babcock is a pending free agent who wants big money and a big opportunity to win wherever he ends up coaching next hockey season — assuming he leaves Detroit, which isn’t in any way certain.
The Leafs can offer up money. They can’t guarantee contender status.
That leaves the Leafs open to playing a different waiting game of sorts. Rather than wait for the available free agent, they will monitor the list of those who potentially could be out of work at season’s end.
High on their list of candidates are Todd McLellan in San Jose and Dave Tippett in Arizona. Should either of those coaches be let go, the Leafs would likely act quickly. The same is certainly true in St. Louis, should Ken Hitchcock’s Blues be eliminated again in the first round of the playoffs and a change be made there. And the least likely candidate is Bruce Boudreau in Anaheim, a Leafs lover who has had a history of terrific regular seasons and not-so-terrific post seasons.
This much is obvious: The Leafs had little interest in Barry Trotz and Peter Laviolette, who have gone into Washington and Nashville and made an immediate impact. The internal belief was Randy Carlyle was equal to, if not better than, either of those coaches.
Should the Caps and Predators qualify for the post-season and the Leafs fall short, that decision by club president Brendan Shanahan and general manager Dave Nonis will have proven, if it hasn’t already, to be incorrect.
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Tags: barry+trotz, detroit+red+wings, mike+babcock, nashville+predators, peter+laviolette, phoenix+coyotes, randy+carlyle, san+jose+sharks, todd+mclellan, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals
Almost 20 years ago, before the internet was in wide use, I still recall the yelling and screaming coming from Winnipeg when an Arizona-bound Winnipeg Jets team traded Teemu Selanne to Anaheim for Chad Kilger nad Oleg Tvrdovsky.
Even given that in February, 1996, there was no hope of keeping the Jets in Winnipeg, fans were absolutely furious, feeling that the Phoenix owners had sold away the franchise player for a promising Russian defenseman who'd have to play like the second coming of Paul Coffey and possibly a 20-goal-scorer--and the trade was seen as one final stab in the back for Winnipeggers because Selanne was both embraced by Manitobans and embraced a prairie province that still isn't exactly seen as a prime destination for NHL'ers who like things like above-freezing weather between November and February.
Given that Selanne's #8 is being retired by the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night, ESPN's Pierre LeBrun picked a helluva time to tell the definitive story of a move that most certainly helped make the Ducks, and a trade that set back a Coyotes team that chose to rid itself of both Selanne and Alexei Zhamnov before the team ever took to the ice in Arizona:
It all began in Jack Ferreira's office one Friday afternoon in early February 1996.
"I was sitting there with [then-Anaheim coach] Ron Wilson. We had both kind of heard rumblings about Winnipeg maybe moving Teemu Selanne," Ferreira recalled to ESPN.com this week. "So we were talking about our team, and then talking about Teemu, and I just said, 'The hell with it.'"
Ferreira, general manager at the time of what were called the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, picked up the phone and called then-Winnipeg Jets GM John Paddock.
"I got him at his house," Ferreira vividly recalled. "I asked him flat-out: 'I heard these rumors, are you looking to move Teemu?' And he said, 'Well, we might.' So right then I said to him: 'I'll give you Oleg Tverdovsky.' Because I had to throw something at him to get his attention. ... John didn't say yes, he didn't say no. But I had his attention."
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch has made a helluva case for Antoine Vermette as the league's most useful player available at the trade deadline (in no small part because the Arizona Coyotes forward used to be a Senator), and Vermette's far from chopped liver, but these parts of his Sunday rumor column are more interesting than Vermette talk or discussion of Team Canada WJC coach Benoit Groulx's future:
Montreal GM Marc Bergevin has been working the phones to try to get help up front. Yes, the Habs have had a great first half, but they'd still like to get a little more size among their forwards for a long playoff run. They waived blue-liner Bryan Allen and his $3.5-million contract. He was sent to the club's AHL affiliate in Hamilton and the Habs are hopeful someone will deal for him ... If a team is looking for experience, a possible option is Colorado C Daniel Briere. A UFA with a $4-million cap hit, he's being used in a fourth-line role by the Avs. Briere, 36, could be a nice fit for a team in the East and the Avs wouldn't want much more than a draft pick in return. The Islanders could use a guy like Briere. They have little experience ... A possible fit for the Wings: Oilers' D Jeff Petry. Detroit GM Ken Holland was on Edmonton radio last week and indicated he needs a right shot. Petry is a UFA and a Michigan native.
Ryan Kesler's also from Michigan, and the Wings were supposedly in trade talks for him, too, but that didn't happen. A player's Michigan ties haven't fared into the Wings,' "We want to trade for guy over the other one" decision-making process since the Jimmy Carson trade.
Flyers GM Ron Hextall is getting antsy to make deals. Philly has virtually no shot at making the playoffs, coach Craig Berube is on the hot-seat and Hextall wouldn't mind clearing out cash. While the Flyers would like to move blue-liners Nick Schultz, Carlo Colaiacovo and Michael Del Zotto, the guy teams really covet is Braydon Coburn. With a $4.5-million cap hit through 2016-17, Coburn is highly regarded and could bring a good return. There's also interest in centre Brayden Schenn, who has a cap hit of $2.75 million through next season.
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Tags: braydon+coburn, carlo+colaiacovo, colorado+avalanche, craig+berube, daniel+briere, detroit+red+wings, edmonton+oilers, jeff+petry, marc+bergevin, michael+del+zotto, montreal+canadiens, nick+schultz, philadelphia+flyers, ron+hextall
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Granted, when the Flyers willfully violated terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement by traveling on Dec. 26, it was not exactly a capital crime.
Except it was, because it struck at the core of what the league professes to hold so near and dear, and that’s integrity of the competition.
I mean, that’s why the NHL has a hard cap, right?
But anyway, of course scheduling the Flyers to play in Nashville on Dec. 27 was unfair.
Kind of like scheduling the Flyers to play against the Predators any time or any place this year would be unfair. Wait, who said that?
But such inequities happen all the time. The Rangers, for instance, played their home opener as a tired team having traveled after a game the previous night in Columbus while their opponents, the Maple Leafs, were rested and waiting in New York for the Blueshirts.
continued plus more hockey topics like this...
Just a thought, but perhaps if Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs’ father, “Mr. Jacobs,” wasn’t one of the most hard-line hawks through Owners’ Lockout III, the B’s wouldn’t have been forced to dispense with Johnny Boychuk in order to stay under the cap.
Or maybe that’s just me.
La Marseillaise was played out of respect for the recent tragedies in France.
NEW YORK (Jan. 10, 2015) – The National Hockey League announced today the full roster of players named to the 2015 NHL® All-Star Weekend, which will be held Jan. 23-25 in Columbus. A total of 36 All-Stars and six Rookies were selected by the NHL, joining the first six players elected by fans in the 2015 NHL All-Star Fan Vote presented by SiriusXM™: Zemgus Girgensons of the Buffalo Sabres and Corey Crawford, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks.
The 42 All-Stars will play in the 2015 Honda NHL® All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 25, at Nationwide Arena (5:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports). The six Rookies, along with the 42 All-Stars, will participate in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition™ on Saturday, Jan. 24, also at Nationwide Arena (7:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).
Below are the additional 36 All-Stars and six Rookies:
from Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,
Dan Boyle picked a good time to return to San Jose, considering he’d like to stick it to some of his former teammates.
The 38-year-old defenseman will be playing as a visitor at SAP Center for the first time since Jan. 16, 2006, and not only is he playing his best hockey of the season after a pair of health issues, but the Rangers are the NHL’s hottest team, with 12 wins in their last 13 games.
“There’s a lot of guys that talk smack for six years, and it will be fun to be on the other side of it,” Boyle said with a smile on Saturday morning. “You want to make sure you get the win, because there are a lot of guys that have big mouths and they are going to rub it in your face for a little while. We won’t get that chance to settle the score again for another year.”
via Winnipeg Jets release,
The Winnipeg Jets announced they have re-assigned forward Patrice Cormier & defenceman Keaton Ellerby to the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League. The Winnipeg Jets also announced they have activated defenceman Toby Enstrom, forward Evander Kane & defenceman Mark Stuart from IR.
The Jets are activating three players from injured reserve today in Toby Enstrom, Evander Kane & Mark Stuart. Enstrom was placed on IR retroactive to Nov. 24 with a lower body injury and has missed 19 games. Kane has been on IR since Dec. 28 and has been out of the lineup for five games with a lower body injury. Stuart, also out with a lower body injury, was on IR retroactive to Dec. 17 and has missed nine games. All three are eligible to return tonight versus the Los Angeles Kings.
Mason has been bothered with a lower-body injury lately and today it looks like he may have tweaked it again.
The Flyers say he will be reevaluated on Sunday.
CAPTAINS LIFT LIGHTNING, ISLANDERS TO VICTORIES
Steven Stamkos and John Tavares each netted the game-winning goal for their respective clubs to advance their position in the Eastern Conference race. The Lightning (27-12-4, 58 points) remain atop the Eastern Conference and moved into a tie with the Predators (27-9-4, 58 points) and Ducks (26-10-6, 58 points) for most points in the NHL. The Islanders (27-13-1, 55 points) leapfrogged the Penguins and Canadiens to sit second in the Eastern Conference and first in the Metropolitan Division.
* Stamkos broke a 1-1 tie with 5:18 remaining in the third period to lift the Lightning to their fifth straight win at Amalie Arena and seventh win in their last eight games overall (since Dec. 23). It was Stamkos' 37th career game-winning goal and fourth this season, which shares fifth in the League. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, all four of Stamkos' game-winning goals this season have been against Atlantic Division rivals (one each vs. Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Buffalo).
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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