Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times,
The players say that any problems have been addressed and that they are united now. But a degree of stress still seems evident as the Sharks make an early-season swing through the metropolitan area, which ends Sunday at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers. The players stiffen when they sense the inevitable questions coming with each city they visit.
“It made for good TV,” defenseman Scott Hannan said of the reports of internal friction. “That was last year. Everyone in here, everything’s great.”
Referring to the Sharks’ perennial playoff woes, forward Tommy Wingels said: “I don’t know why we haven’t cleared that hurdle. But unfortunately we’re not going to be given another opportunity for many months now, until the playoffs are to begin. We’d love to fast-forward there.”...
During the summer, McLellan relieved Thornton of the captaincy, with the responsibility delegated to a number of alternates. Wilson said the Sharks were “going young.”
Before Saturday’s game against the Devils, Thornton said: “It was disappointing, but life moves on. It hasn’t affected me as a guy or as a player.”
Wilson also said he gave Thornton the chance to leave the Sharks if he did not want to be part of the youth movement. Thornton, 35, said he chose to stay for a simple reason. “I had a three-year contract — that’s pretty much it,” he said, laughing.
Islanders report upper-body injury for Grabovski, will not return.
Sharks up 3-0 in the 1st.
STAMFORD, Conn. – October 9, 2014 – Last night’s NHL opening night doubleheader on NBCSN was the best on record, according to The Nielsen Company, generating record ratings and viewership, as well as digital consumption.
Wednesday Night Rivalry’s Philadelphia Flyers-Boston Bruins matchup (7:27-10:06 p.m. ET) delivered 956,000 viewers and a 0.57 household rating, making it the most-watched opening night game on cable on record (data available since 1993) and the highest-rated NHL regular-season game ever on NBCSN. The game also set live streaming records for uniques and minutes consumed.
from John Grigg of Sportsnet,
Biggest story line to watch: There’s really only one thing people are waiting to find out: What happens with deposed captains Thornton and Marleau? (That’s right. Did you forget that Marleau wore the “C” from 2004 to ’09?) Will management get its way and be able to move them. And will Wilson and McLellan have the cojones to play their veterans less if it helps make that happen? If they do, San Jose is sunk, because while they’re on the downside, Jumbo Joe and Marsie (or whatever Marleau’s nickname in the room is) are still effective players who’d be top six on just about any team in the league.
A secondary story here is goaltending. If Stalock continues to push Niemi, who will end up the starter?
Finally, is Hertl the real deal? A possible Calder nomination was scuttled by injury last year, but he scored the fifth-most goals in the league per 60 5-on-5 minutes last season. Can the 20-year-old keep that kind of production up?
2014-15 prediction: Anaheim, Dallas, L.A., Minnesota and St. Louis will all be stronger this season, while Chicago remains a standard—that’s six Western teams better than San Jose. You do the math.
NEW YORK, NY (September 23, 2014) – Premium TV network EPIX and the National Hockey League (NHL®) announced today that they have formed a partnership to produce and distribute a two-part original series, debuting on EPIX in December 2014, that will bring hockey fans onto the ice and behind-the-scenes with the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals as they prepare to compete in the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, and the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks on their road to the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™.
Produced by 52-time Emmy award winner Ross Greenburg, the series will offer viewers an exclusive look inside the world of the NHL, with strategically placed cameras and microphones providing an all-access pass to players’ homes, locker rooms, training rooms, and the arena.
“The letter thing is I think overblown by people on the outside. Within this room, we’re confident going forward. If we have a captain, if we don’t have a captain, if someone else is the captain, we don’t really care. There’s enough leaders in here to do a good job.”
-Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks. Much more on the Sharks from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo.
from David Pollak of the Mercury News,
Former Sharks captain Joe Thornton said Wednesday that he and his teammates went to Lake Tahoe for a bonding session last weekend to address whatever divide that might have developed in the locker room at the end of last season.
"We all have come together," said Thornton, who lost the captaincy last month as part of general manager Doug Wilson's call for a change in the team hierarchy and culture.
SAN JOSE - San Jose Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has re-signed defenseman Justin Braun to a five-year contract extension. The extension, which will commence next season, places Braun under contract with the Sharks through the 2019-20 season.
"Justin has emerged as one of our most well-rounded and dependable defensemen," said Wilson. "He's an excellent skater who excels in matching up against the opponents top players on a nightly basis and fits in well with our core group of younger players. We feel Justin has just scratched the surface of his talent and we are excited to have him under contract for the next six seasons."
from David Pollak of Working The Corners,
Q: I won’t pretend to know exactly what goes on in the room, but there are outward signs the Sharks weren’t one big happy family last spring, what with talk of being co-workers, not teammates. Is there a rift?
(McLellan) “I think when people speak, you have to listen and Doug has listened. . . . When I hear comments such as we were co-workers, not teammates, if I’m a player and I sat within 10 feet of these individuals throughout the year, I’m mad.
“I think it takes a lot more courage to speak to your teammates when you’re in the locker room and try and fix things than to stand after in a closed room without any teammates around and go that route.
“My issue isn’t necessarily with Patrick and Jumbo as ‘C’ and ‘A.’ We’re forcing some individuals that have these opinions to step up and show us. We’re kind of telling them, go ahead, repair things.
Unfortunately, the focal point is on Joe and Patty. They suffer from being that focal point. But for me, a lot is on a lot of other players.
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