Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Justin Bourne of The Score,
The story so far is similar to how it went with Mike Babcock in Detroit. They were “in no rush” in the offseason to get a deal done, then he “didn’t want to discuss a contract in-season,” then he was “out the door buh-bye gone.”
We’ve had our first Stamkos story - he’s in no rush, not on any particular timeline, the agent needs to talk to Steven before he can talk to Steve (so … just do that then, right?), and here we are.
If Stamkos doesn’t sign this summer, and doesn’t look like he’s going to lock something down in-season - meaning he wants to go to UFA - Steve Yzerman is going to have a real pickle on his hands.
On the one hand, Stamkos is abso-effing-lutely irreplaceable, and Tampa Bay is abso-effing-lutely going to be a Stanley Cup contender next season, if not a favorite. The Atlantic doesn’t look all that impressive, meaning the Lightning could have a President’s Trophy type season next year, if health allows.
BUT, you cannot let Stamkos walk for nothing in pursuit of that elusive Stanley Cup.
Just under 3 1/2 minutes of slow motion action...
from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
"We said in September that we'd sit down at the end of the year and get that done, and that's my intention," Yzerman said. "We've got a good team, he's our captain, and it's our intention to get him signed to a long-term deal."
Stamkos said he isn't too worried about it, believing that the contract talks will "take care of itself." He loves the future of this young team, saying this playoff run was the most fun he's ever had playing hockey.
"I've said it all along, I want to win a championship with this group," Stamkos said. "It's been a great ride this year. I know we'll have some talks, whether it's in the next day or weeks, I don't know. But we'll definitely be getting something worked out hopefully shortly."
Stamkos knows it can be a "distraction" of he goes into next season without having a long-term deal, as it'll become a big story, especially with the media in Canada with regards to the star center returning to his hometown Maple Leafs.
"We have a lot of time in this summer," he said. "I'm not worried at all about that."
from Joe Henderson of the Tampa Tribune,
You can argue that many things are more important to a city than the presence of high-profile sports teams. Good schools, job opportunities, public safety, a decent transportation system, they’re all vital to a community’s well-being.
Still, those don’t bring people together in public celebration and purpose the way the Tampa Bay Lightning just did. They don’t turn strangers into friends the way a Lightning blue T-shirt could. They don’t keep you in front of the TV late at night, your fingers dug into the sides of your chair.
And they don’t cause people to stand sweat-soaked in Tampa’s summertime sauna, the way 300 or more did Tuesday afternoon to welcome the Bolts back from Chicago at the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final. The Lightning lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks, but they were greeted by chanting, cheering fans and signs that said things like “Hold Your Heads Up!”
Name something else that could cause an estimated 19,000 fans to come to Amalie Arena on Monday night to watch the game on the mammoth scoreboard. That was nearly double the crowd the Tampa Bay Rays drew for a home game about 20 miles away in St. Petersburg, and that raises a question Tampa and the surrounding area have grappled with for years: Are these teams worth the cost?
A point needs to be made up front about the economic impact big-time sports has on a community: ‘Tis a trifle.
from Katie Baker of Grantland,
Stamkos, who didn’t score a goal in the final, kept repeating that he’d been feeling great that night. He kept returning to all the chances that hadn’t been converted to a championship. That evening alone he’d hit a post and been stuffed on a breakaway by Corey Crawford. His coach, Jon Cooper, said he felt sick for the guy. “I know he’s going to put a bunch of weight on his shoulders of why we didn’t score,” Cooper said. “Nobody scored. It wasn’t just Stammer.”
Jonathan Drouin wept into a Gatorade towel, then balled it up and gnawed on it; he declined through tears to speak to the press. Anton Stralman took off his shirt but stopped there, stunned, his lower pads still on. Bishop put his head in his hands and stayed like that for a long time. Victor Hedman shuffled around the room embracing anyone he encountered, from teammates to lost-in-thought equipment staff. Cedric Paquette sat down on a folding chair, was quiet for a moment, then took off his hat and spiked it on the floor. Most of the Lightning players stayed in the showers, where the water might drown out the nearby sounds of Chicago’s whooping celebration, their third in six years, an embarrassment of riches that frankly seemed unfair.
STAMFORD, Conn. – June 16, 2015 – Last night’s Stanley Cup Final series-clinching Game 6 on NBC delivered at 5.6 metered market rating, the third-best for a Game 6 on record (since 1995) and NBC’s fourth-best NHL overnight ever, according to The Nielsen Company.
The 5.6 overnight for Game 6, in which the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 to win their third Stanley Cup in six years, trails only the 2010 Game 6 between the Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers (5.8) and the 2013 Game 6 between the Blackhawks and Boston Bruins (5.7). Last night’s game is up 40% vs. the 2012 Game 6between the New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings (4.0).
Locally, the Chicago market delivered a 41.0 HH rating, its highest ever for a Blackhawks game, and a 57 share. The Chicago rating is the highest local rating for any market for a non-Game 7 on NBC. Tampa posted a 15.2 HH rating, its second-best ever on NBC.
Following are the Top 10 markets for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final:
We had two KK members correctly predict Chicago in six with Gary A$$ SUCK !! coming the closest with 39 total goals (the official total was only 24) in the SCF.
Thanks to all for participating throught the Stanley Cup Playoffs and now we move on to the NHL Awards Show, the NHL Draft and the UFA period.
So we end the season with this...
from Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times,
One day there will be time for the Lightning to perform the autopsy on the 2015 Stanley Cup final. On that day, the Lightning can dissect what went wrong, how the series was lost, everything it might have done differently.
But now is not that time.
Today is simply about disappointment. It's about the heartbreak of coming so close to a lifelong dream and having it ripped from its hands at the final moment. It's about anger and grief and all the rotten stages of letting a championship that was so close slip away.
The Lightning season — one of the best in franchise history and one of the most memorable in the history of Tampa Bay sports — is over. The Blackhawks ended the Lightning season Monday night with a 2-0 victory to take the best-of-seven series in an excruciatingly close six games.
When coach Jon Cooper looked in his players' eyes after it was over, he saw one thing. "They were crushed," he said.
"It's kind of hard to talk about now," Lightning goalie Ben Bishop said. "It's a terrible feeling. I don't know how to describe it.
"Listening to (the crowd celebrating) just makes me sick."
from Jon Greenberg of ESPN,
from Shawn Roarke of NHL.com,
The Tampa Bay Lightning team that finished the Stanley Cup Final was not the same team that started it almost two weeks ago.
Goalie Ben Bishop played through a painful tear in his right groin, top scorer Tyler Johnson broke his right wrist early in the series, and Nikita Kucherov, who finished second on the Lightning in scoring, sustained an undisclosed injury in Game 5 that impacted him in Game 6, a 2-0 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks that ended Tampa Bay's season two wins short of the Stanley Cup.
"I think anybody will tell you that [if] you want to make a run like we made, the run Chicago made, you have to stay healthy," Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "That is the key. The margin of teams is so close. It's the healthy ones that seem to advance.
"I think we stayed somewhat healthy. Then down the stretch things started not going our way in that department. But we'll be the last team ever to say that's an excuse why we lost."
It may not be an excuse, but injuries were an undeniable reality for the Lightning in a close Stanley Cup Final. The only two-goal lead of the series came in Game 6, when Patrick Kane scored with 5:14 remaining for the final margin.
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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