Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune,
It wasn’t pretty, and it certainly wasn’t easy, but the Tampa Bay Lightning made history Saturday evening.
Alex Killorn’s goal late in overtime lifted the Lightning to a 4-3 triumph against the pesky Carolina Hurricanes before an announced crowd of 19,092 at Amalie Arena as Tampa Bay set a franchise mark with its ninth consecutive win.
Tyler Johnson scored with 6:18 remaining in regulation off a nifty feed from Nikita Kucherov to help the Lightning rally after they were in danger of losing a lead entering the third period for only the second time all season.
Ondrej Palat scored Tampa Bay’s first two goals but the league’s No. 3 home power play went 0-for-4, including six minutes with a man advantage in the third period alone.
“I think it’s cool to break a record,’’ said Johnson, who outmuscled Carolina center Derek Ryan in front and converted Kucherov’s pass from behind the net for the tying score. “You’ve got to be proud, but at the same time, we have to move on.’’
The 2003-04 Lightning reeled off eight consecutive wins during their journey to the NHL championship.
Game highlights are below...
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
The second year of Jonathan Drouin’s entry-level contract will be burned off even if he doesn’t play another game this season, Sportsnet has learned.
Some around the NHL had wondered if the Tampa Bay Lightning might elect to try and toll the suspended forward’s contract, but deputy commissioner Bill Daly says they don’t have the option to do so.
“We haven’t previously had a practice of allowing clubs to toll partial season breaches,” Daly wrote Thursday in an email. “Had this been the last season of the contract, however, we may have entertained an argument for some form of remedy or relief in this situation.”
As a result, any team that trades for Drouin will be acquiring him with one year left on his deal. Had it been tolled – the legal term for extending a contract when a player doesn’t satisfy its terms – the 20-year-old would arguably have been a more valuable asset since he’d be cost friendly for two more seasons.
from Joe Smith of Lightning Strikes,
There was plenty of interest in Drouin, the No. 3 overall pick in 2013, and the Lightning reportedly had its share of offers. But Yzerman said most talks with teams the past few months surrounded future considerations like prospects and picks.
"At this time, my feeling was, if it's not going to help me now, I'm better off keeping my options this summer," Yzerman said. "What we were looking for wasn't there today. Anything that would involve future draft picks or prospects at this time, it didn't make sense to do that. We'll have more certainty, more clarity on the salary cap and make a decision at that time."
Yzerman had said he wanted to improve his team's power play at the deadline, but wasn't willing to use Drouin as a trade chip for short-term help, unless it could really make a difference.
"I wasn't trading Jonathan Drouin for an unrestricted free agent that I couldn't or wouldn't want to resign, that made no sense," Yzerman said.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Braydon Coburn to a three-year contract extension today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Coburn, 30, has played in 60 games with the Lightning this season, recording one goal and nine points to go along with 45 penalty minutes. He ranks tied for fourth on the club for plus/minus with a plus-8 rating. Coburn also ranks third on the club for both hits (90) and blocked shots (69). Since being acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers in a trade last season, Coburn has skated in 64 regular season games with the Lightning, posting a goal and 11 points.
The 6-foot-5, 226-pound defenseman skated in 26 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Lightning last season, notching a goal and four points. He netted the game-winning goal in Game 7 of the first round against the Detroit Red Wings. Coburn also appeared in all six Stanley Cup Final games for the Bolts. He ranked fourth on the Lightning for blocked shots (32) and penalty minutes (21) during the postseason.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
No potential trade carries more intrigue than that of disgruntled Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin.
Will he move or not before Monday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline?
It's a question even Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman can't answer yet.
Speaking with Lightning beat reporters Erik Erlendsson and Joe Smith on Wednesday, Yzermann expressed that he'd rather get Drouin dealt before the deadline than wait until the offseason.
It wasn't meant to be headline-making material. It's just kind of the obvious conclusion, Yzerman told ESPN.com Thursday morning.
"We're close to the trade deadline, we're trying to make the playoffs, if I can trade him and put a player on my team and make us better, isn't that common sense?" Yzerman said over the phone.
continued with more topics...
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Lost in all the conversation and conjecture of where Steven Stamkos may or may not be playing next season is this: Is Stamkos having a poor season with the Tampa Bay Lightning or is this now where he finds himself as an NHL player?
The one thing Stamkos has always done is score. Most of the time when healthy, he has been alongside Alexander Ovechkin as the best or second-best goal scorer in hockey. And here is Ovechkin, once again, leading the NHL in goals.
And there is Stamkos, 13th in goal scoring, alongside Mike Hoffman and Tyler Toffoli and his teammate, Nikita Kucherov.
Thirteenth in goal scoring and 39th in points, behind five defencemen and a list of players who would not normally be considered anywhere close to his equal.
Is this because Stamkos is playing the wing instead of centre? Is this because Jon Cooper has altered his role somewhat? Or is this just an off year at the worst of times for the pending free agent?
continued plus additional hockey notes...
TAMPA BAY - Tampa Bay Lightning vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman issued the following statement today regarding Steven Stamkos:
“As February 29th approaches, I am stating today that Steven Stamkos will not be traded before the NHL’s trade deadline. I have said repeatedly that it is our hope to reach an agreement with Steven on a new contract at some point, and with 27 games remaining in the season, our entire organization, Steven included, wants to focus on making the playoffs. I will keep the negotiating process strictly between the involved parties and have no further comment on the state of those negotiations.”
via Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune,
The Lightning went 0-for-3 on the power play, but trailed only 1-0 until Patrik Berglund scored for St. Louis with 2:19 remaining.
Bishop initially stopped the breakaway attempt, but the puck rebounded to Berglund, who appeared to kick it past Bishop with his right skate. The goal was immediately waved off before the call was eventually overturned upon review.
“It’s an intentional kick,’’ Bishop said. “(Berglund) knows what he is doing, he’s trying to kick it in. He calls it no-goal and I think it’s tough to overturn. That’s a backwards kick and it’s tough when it’s called no-goal and he changes it.’’
The league office provided an explanation: At 17:41 of the third period in the Blues/Lightning game, video review determined that the puck deflected off of Patrik Berglund’s skate and entered the Tampa Bay net in a legal fashion.
According to Rule 49.2, “A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player’s skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal.”
A stunned Cooper begged to differ.
“I’m at a loss for words, to be honest,’’ he said. “I thought there was zero chance at that being turned over. My interpretation was that was as clean a kick as you can possibly see. It was a distinct kick. The ref on the ice was 10 feet away and was adamantly calling it a no-goal.’’
Watch the play below...
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
Tim Murray needs Steven Stamkos. He thought he needed Mike Babcock too but that ended up with the Detroit coach simply leveraging Buffalo on his way to Toronto. The Babcock affair comes to mind with all the chatter on Canadian sports giant TSN in recent days after the Dion Phaneuf trade opened a lot of cap space for the Leafs.
Suddenly, the thinking is that Stamkos may actually find it more palatable to sign in Buffalo come free agency if he doesn’t stay in Tampa Bay, than to head home to Toronto.
Something tells me this is going to end up the same way. If Stamkos doesn’t work out an extension with the Lightning, it seems hard to imagine any team trading for him as a rental and then losing him anyway come July 1. If not Tampa, it has to be Toronto.
The Sabres certainly have more to offer Stamkos. They’re far closer to winning than the Leafs are and already have core pieces in place. How would Stamkos look alongside Jack Eichel or Sam Reinhart, for instance? You want more money than the $10.5 million per year that Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are making? No problem. Terry Pegula can easily come through with $11-12 million a year, even with the need to pay Rasmus Ristolainen now and Eichel and Reinhart in a couple of years.
continue plus more hockey topics...
Chris Johnston of Sportsnet with his views on the Stamkos situation.
The more this goes along, the more it looks and sounds like Steven Stamkos is heading towards a breakup with the Tampa Bay Lighting.
It might even come by the end of the month.
No one is saying that, not exactly. But there’s something about the way the “no comments” are flowing with a little more than two weeks left before the Feb. 29 trade deadline that makes you wonder if the situation is coming to a head.
When veteran agent Don Meehan of Newport Sports appeared on Prime Time Sports earlier this week it was notable when he responded to a question about Stamkos and the deadline by saying: “Well, I think it’s a sensitive issue.”
Then Stamkos met reporters on Thursday and declined to rule out the possibility of waiving his no-movement clause to help the Lightning facilitate a deal.
“I haven’t even thought about that,” said Stamkos, according to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times. “I think the answer is, ‘we’ll cross that bridge at the time, and I don’t think it’s that time now.’ So I continue to come to the rink everyday as the leader that I am and the teammate that everyone in this room knows that I am, and give my best effort.”
He added: “The trade deadline is coming up in a couple weeks, I’m sure everyone will have some answers in a couple weeks when that comes.”
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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