Kukla's Korner Hockey
One way or another, the Phoenix Coyotes' fate will be determined by June 26th of this year, and, as the Globe and Mail's David Shoalts suggests, the NHL won't be making the call:
The fate of the Phoenix Coyotes is now in the hands of the (mostly) new city council of suburban Glendale.
A tentative lease agreement with Renaissance Sports & Entertainment, headed by Canadian businessmen George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc, for Jobing.com Arena will be presented to the seven-member council at its regular in-camera meeting on Tuesday. Sources familiar with the negotiations say the deal will produce something close to the $15-million (all currency U.S.) annually Renaissance was seeking, although it may not be structured strictly as an arena management fee.
Glendale council, which includes four new members who were elected late last year, will have a week to study the agreement and ask questions before a vote for approval is expected at its regularly scheduled public meeting on June 25.
And if the council nixes the deal, the Coyotes will move to Seattle, as Shoalts explains...
As Pro Hockey Talk's James O'Brien noted, Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask described the ice at the TD Garden as "shitty" in a post-game interview with NBC's Pierre McGuire, and the Hockey News's Ken Campbell believes that the conditions suit the Bruins' game to a tee:
After a Game 1 that produced both a thrilling regulation and overtime, the past two games have been far less than that in terms of both the quality of chances and excitement. Part of the reason is when you lock your players out for three months, you’re playing Game 3 on June 17 when the temperatures are well above 80 degrees. Not surprisingly, the ice was terrible. Bruins captain Zdeno Chara lost an edge and fell in the warm-up and required stitches to close a gash over his eye. The puck was bouncing all over the place, including on a Brad Marchand breakaway that was scuttled because the puck caught a chunk on the ice.
“It is pretty bad,” Seidenberg said. “When you try to shoot, try to swing your blade on the ice, it feels like sandpaper. It’s really rough. When you try to pass, the puck bounces. That’s why you have to keep the game simple. If there’s a play to be made, you have to make sure it’s an easy one.”
And isn’t that nice in the league’s marquee event? Just what you want when everyone is watching, defensemen chipping the puck off the boards to get it out of their zone and forwards being mugged and slashed as they try to go to the net to create the goals…You know, those things they count to see which team wins.
Campbell continues at some length.
The rumblings regarding Logan Couture being close to a contract extension with the San Jose Sharks have been percolating for a while now, so this should not come as a surprise:
Update: the Mercury News's David Pollak's on the case:
And here's his text report:
Let's not expect to learn very much about whatever ails Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa over the next day or three:
Holy crap. I'll grant you that the Chicago Blackhawks were playing without Marian Hossa's services, and I'll grant you that the last-minute shenanigans may have woken them up...But did they ever succumb to a sleeper hold placed upon their collective necks by the Boston Bruins.
The Bruins just dismantled the Chicago Blackhawks, winning 2-0 and taking a 2-games-to-1 lead in the Stanley Cup Final while rendering the Hossa-less Hawks impotent on the power play and downright vulnerable on the power play, on the penalty-kill, at even strength, in terms of physicality, puck possession, puck pursuit, forechecking, backchecking, discipline, intensity, focus, desire, I mean, you name the *#$%@& adjective or adverb.
The Bruins out-classed Chicago on Tuesday night, and the Blackhawks were the team that looked like it'd played four games' worth of ice time, while the Bruins looked like a team that had swept Pittsburgh and was simply cashing the check that was increased energy reserves.
Can the Hawks come back on Wendesday and tie this thing? Sure, but the Bruins just established a, "How to defeat the Blackhawks" blueprint for 28 other teams to use next season in nothing less than a command performance from Tuukka Rask on out.
Don Cherry adores chatting with the top draft prospects that the NHL brings to every Stanley Cup Final, and he chatted with the gents in a long Coach's Corner on Monday night. I'm posting it for tradition's sake as there isn't too much substance to the video otherwise:
Things got very interesting just prior to Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, as ESPN Chicago's Scott Powers noted...
Chicago Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa was a late scratch from Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Boston Bruins on Monday.
Hossa, who has seven goals and eight assists in the playoffs, skated during the team's pregame warmups and was scratched with about 15 minutes left before the opening faceoff. An NBC announcer said Hossa was hit by a puck during warmups.
Ben Smith filled in for Hossa. Smith scored one goal in one game for the Blackhawks in the regular season. He had three goals in seven playoff games in 2011.
And things COULD have ended quite poorly for Zdeno Chara when he bumped both Milan Lucic Adam McQuaid during warm-ups, yielding a trip to the locker room for stitches to the back of his head and an in-game absence to have his skates re-sharpened:
Featuring Neil Young.
One team is going up 2-1 in the series after tonight's game.
Will it be Boston with the home-ice advantage or Chicago playing the perfect road game?
If things go as they have the last two games, expect the results around midnight or maybe even a little later.
Puck drops just after 8:00pm ET and is on NBCSN, CBC and RDS.
Hossa took the pre-game skate, but not in the lineup tonight. Reports say he may have taken a puck in the warmup.
from James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail,
GM of the Year Toronto Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis received two second place votes (the potential difference between Murray winning over Shero) despite making few significant roster changes from the lineup he inherited upon taking over right before the season started.
Even more curious, Greg Sherman, GM of the last place team in the West, picked up a third-place vote for helping steer his team into the basement.
Vezina Trophy (top goaltender) Ray Emery (only 19 starts) received a first-place vote – putting him ahead of Bobrovsky, Henrik Lundqvist and everyone else. Jonas Hiller (who lost his starting job for long stretches to Viktor Fasth) received a second-place vote, and Carey Price and Niklas Backstrom both got third-place votes despite well below average save percentages (.905 and .909).
Hart Trophy (league MVP) Alex Ovechkin beat out Sidney Crosby by only 32 points in one of the closest votes in history, meaning another half dozen votes one way or the other could have meant for a different winner.
Some of those went to what are decidedly complementary players – Chris Kunitz (five points) and Pascal Dupuis (one point) – or those having off seasons like Evgeni Nabokov (five points), Backstrom and Price (three each).
Anyone, anywhere, would be hard pressed to argue any of those five were among the top five most valuable players in the league this season.
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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