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Morning Line- Doug MacLean On The Toronto Maple Leafs

"Kessel and Lupul and these type of guys are not guys you build around — they're complementary players. So that's going to be the interesting thing, is the character and the stars that they bring in."

It could also be about the stars they ship out, too.

"They could move Kadri. There's no doubt they could move Kadri. If he doesn't show that he's a real character guy that you can build with, then they will attempt to move him."

-Doug MacLean of Sportsnet where you can read more on the Leafs.

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Topics From Dan Rosen Include Keith Yandle And The Buffalo Sabres

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

Do you think the New York Rangers will re-sign Keith Yandle? If so, what does the new contract look like?

I'm 50-50 on this. A lot will depend on how the Rangers play this season, where they stand at the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline, the maturation of Brady Skjei, and the cap. The Rangers should be a contender, so they should be in buying mode come the deadline, so it stands to reason Yandle would be safe if he is still unsigned at that point. The maturation of Skjei matters more than anything here because he's a left-handed defenseman, like Yandle, and he would be a lot cheaper to have on the roster in Yandle's spot than Yandle would be....

Who stands out more for the Buffalo Sabres this year, Ryan O'Reilly, Evander Kane or Jack Eichel?

They'll all stand out, but Eichel will make the biggest splash because he'll have the spotlight on him more than the other two guys and I'm fairly certain after seeing some of his preseason and reading all about him, quotes from everyone around the Sabres and media members who have seen them play, that he will be the real deal. I expect O'Reilly and Kane to have big impacts on the ice as well, but all eyes will be on Eichel and he will stand out. It will help him that the Sabres should have O'Reilly and Kane on the top line with Tyler Ennis, which means they will face the top defense pairs whereas Eichel, who could play with Matt Moulson and Zemgus Girgensons to start, will have it slightly easier.

more on the Yandle topic plus additional Q & A...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

How About Some Expansion Draft Talk?

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

While the league’s head office says absolutely zero conversations have happened yet on this front, it hasn’t stopped front-office executives from the 30 teams from pondering what’s ahead, and in some cases somewhat nervously.

As one executive opined to me recently, if the league is asking for $500 million or more for an expansion fee, you better believe it will try to give that new entry a decent chance to stock its roster.

So just how many players each club will be able to protect from the expansion draft is always fascinating fodder.

But there’s a new wrinkle on the horizon that didn’t exist in the last round of expansion in 2000, when Minnesota and Columbus got teams: There has been a proliferation over the past decade of no-movement clauses in players’ contracts.

A no-move clause not only means a players’ blessing is needed for a trade, it goes a step further and prevents a club from putting him on waivers or trying any other shenanigans to get rid of said player. It’s a powerful thing to have in your contract.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The 3-on-3 OT Seems To Be Working

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

Commissioner Gary Bettman relayed Campbell's notes to the media: of the 44 preseason games sent to overtime with a tied score, 33 games (75 per cent) produced a goal via 3-on-3 play. Bettman said the average was "pretty much what we expected." Detroit GM Ken Holland said in June the league targeted a 70 per cent success rate as a benchmark.

More interesting was the average time it took to produce a goal: 2:49.

Even though 3-on-3 was implemented with the idea of ending more games, was there any concern amongst the governors that they were ending too fast? 

"Not at all," Bettman said. "I think people are pleased with the early returns. But we'll see how it unfolds in the regular season and what coaching strategies are employed to effectuate or deal with it, depending on how you want to play it."

So far, strategies and player deployment have been all over the map. Teams have used three forwards, two defencemen and one forward, and two forwards and one defencemen all in the same five-minute overtime.

We even saw the first penalty shot goal produced by 3-on-3, with the Rangers' Keith Yandle beating Philadelphia's Steve Mason on Monday night at Madison Square Garden.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Defensive Issues Still Exist For The Dallas Stars

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

Dallas lost a 4-1 game to St. Louis to fall to 1-4-0 in the preseason. Just as concerning, the Stars have yielded 20 goals in five games. That's a big deal for a team that vowed to fix goaltending and defense.

"It was disappointing," said coach Lindy Ruff. "We didn't compete hard enough. I thought some guys did, but they won the puck battles, we threw some pucks away and I thought our power play played pond hockey. That was frustrating."

The vast majority of the exhibition slate has been played with a mixed lineup, but the Stars went with a mostly veteran lineup Tuesday, including Benn, Hemsky, Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza and the expected six defenseman who will be in the lineup opening night against Pittsburgh.

Antti Niemi was in net and allowed four goals on 28 shots. He and Kari Lehtonen have split time in the preseason, and neither has looked great. However, both have faced some tremendous scoring chances -- and that's on the defense.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Viktor Stalberg Impressing Alain Vigneault

from Howie Kussoy of the New York Post,

Signed by the Predators to a four-year, $12 million contract after winning a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013, Stalberg spent nearly as much of his second season with the Predators organization in the AHL (in Milwaukee) as the NHL, struggling with injuries and suffering through healthy scratches, seemingly unable to recapture the form of the 22-goal scorer from the 2011-12 season.

This offseason, Stalberg signed a one-year deal with the Rangers for $1.1 million, and saw the expectations he took to Tennessee stay there. For Alain Vigneault, the most disappointing season of Stalberg’s career may end up being the best thing to happen to his team.

Calling Stalberg one of the team’s most impressive players in training camp, the Rangers coach has been extremely pleased with the wing’s play in each of the five preseason games, saving particular praise for his determination.

“As a coach sometimes, and as an organization, you catch players at the right time,” Vigneault said following Tuesday’s practice. “And him, with what happened last year in Nashville, I’m catching him at a time where if he’s not hungry and he doesn’t play well, he’s not going to be very long in this league, so I think he knows that. He understands that and he’s come here to play.

“The player that I remember from Chicago is what I’m seeing now. For me, it’s not a surprise from that standpoint, but I figure he wasn’t playing the way he is now in Nashville, otherwise they would have kept him.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: viktor+stalberg

Victor Hedman In The Norris Trophy Talk

from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,

"I picked him for the Norris (Trophy) this year," Stamkos said of the award given to the NHL's top defenseman. "No pressure."

Stamkos isn't the only one. Hedman, back under the national spotlight Tuesday for an NBCSN exhibition against the Penguins, should be vaulted by his playoff exposure into Norris conversation all season.

"I think he has those qualities to win it," Nicklas Lidstrom, a seven-time Norris winner, said in a phone interview from Sweden. "You gain that experience that he gained, a lot of more people watching up close. When you have that kind of season you had last year, it's going to be interesting to watch him this year. He's got more knowledge, players and fans know what he can do. It'll be the next step in his career to play at a high level consistently."

The Senators' Erik Karlsson, another Swede who won his second Norris Trophy last season, said Hedman's place among the league's elite is not a revelation.

"He's always been there," Karlsson said. "Everybody has known who he was and who he is and what he can do. He's always been a really solid player, but I think he really stuck out in the playoffs and I think he really showed he can play all the elements of his game."

Hedman just needs to stay healthy. He suffered what the Lightning called a "minor" unspecified injury in the second period of Tuesday's preseason game against the Penguins and didn't return. Center Brian Boyle filled in for Hedman on defense in the third period. Hedman is considered day-to-day with Cooper saying he was taken out as a precaution.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: victor+hedman

Lou Lamoriello’s Travel Policy

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

Lamoriello might have won the first round, but in a rare show of unanimity, senior managers at both Bell and Rogers are unhappy with the policy. These are people who have the ears of Rogers Communications Inc. chief executive officer Guy Laurence and BCE Inc. CEO George Cope, who both sit on the board of directors of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.

One of those senior executives said Monday the issue of broadcasters riding on the team charter is not going away. He and his colleagues at the other telco do not want to see Lamoriello operate the Leafs the same way he ran the New Jersey Devils from 1987 to 2015, where even the most minor decisions required his stamp of approval. They plan to keep the pressure on the Leafs GM.

This could get mighty interesting because compromise is not something that comes easily to Lamoriello. And he’s an influential executive who has a long list of successful hockey people around the league who consider him a mentor. One of them is Leafs president Brendan Shanahan, who hired Lamoriello in the summer as part of a bid to transform the team from wealthy, soft loser to battle-hardened winner.

The owners are all in favour of a culture change driven by Shanahan, Lamoriello and head coach Mike Babcock. Up to a point. They believe it was all well and good for Lamoriello to operate the Devils much the same way he ran the sports programs at Providence College before that. But the Devils, despite all their success under Lamoriello, were not owned by two massive media companies, and their tickets were never the hardest to get in a rich, hockey-crazed market.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: lou+lamoriello

Jordan Eberle Injured In Tuesday Night’s Game

from Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun,

Oilers winger Jordan Eberle left the contest in the first period after taking a hit from Arizona Coyotes centre Kyle Chipchura.

Eberle appeared to be favouring his shoulder as he skated off the ice. He left Rexall Place after the game with his arm in a sling.

“I left the puck for him and he kind of popped it through the guy’s skates,” said Oilers centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, describing the play. “Some guy squished him against the boards. I don’t know exactly the extent or anything, but it’s obviously a big loss for us if he’s out a day or who knows?

“He’s a big part of our team and now we just have to try and pick up the slack where it needs to be and we have to play for him.”

Eberle is the Oilers’ top right winger and would be tough to replace in the lineup if out for any extended amount of time.

“We’ll have a better indication of where he is (Wednesday),” McLellan said. “We’ll let you know then. I could guess tonight, but he won’t practise (Wednesday) for sure.”

read on

Below, watch the hit at the start of the higlight package video via Sportsnet,

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jordan+eberle

Videos- The Slap Shot Look At The Hockeyville USA Game Last Night

Doc Emrick with the look...



Evgeni Malkin joined in on the fun...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+emrick

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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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