Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jessica Smith Cross of MetroNews,
The hockey player’s name is perhaps said more often than any other in Canada — no, it’s not Wayne Gretzky.
In all of the talk of what Burger King Worldwide Inc.’s acquisition of Tim Hortons means for Canada’s iconic brand, there’s little mention of Tim Horton, the man — a beloved Stanley Cup-winning defenceman for the 1950s and ’60s Maple Leafs, who died driving drunk near St. Catharines, Ont., in 1974.
“Horton is a ghost in the corporate machine,” said Douglas Hunter, author of a book on Miles Gilbert (Tim) Horton and another on Tim Hortons. “He has pretty much disappeared from the store that bears his name.”
Prior to his death, the coffee chain had begun to “disengage” Horton from the restaurant, said Hunter, as Horton was never comfortable as a “persona” and the company thought it was better business strategy to focus on the food. The phasing out of Horton the man continued in 1974 after the circumstances surrounding the Tim’s founder’s death mired the chain’s namesake in controversy.
On Feb. 21, 1974, Horton, who then played for the Buffalo Sabres, was heading to Buffalo for treatment after taking a puck to the jaw and stopped to meet with his partner in the doughnut shop chain, Ron Joyce, said Hunter.
At 4 a.m. Horton went off the road at high speed. Alcohol and pills were found at the scene, but at the time whether or not he was driving drunk was publicly disputed and unconfirmed.
Below, watch a Legends of Hockey feature on Tim Horton...
from Jonathan Willis of Sportsnet,
It seems that at least once per summer, a contract negotiation between an emerging young star and his NHL teams goes all pear-shaped. This year, the distinction belongs to Columbus Blue Jackets pivot Ryan Johansen, the 2010 fourth-overall pick who broke through in 2013-14 after two disappointing professional seasons.
In hindsight, the impasse seems predictable, simply because of the dichotomy between what Johansen accomplished last season and what he had done previously as a pro. It’s well worth remembering that as recently as May 2013 the centre was a healthy scratch—and not for the Jackets, but for their AHL affiliate, a team fighting for its playoff life. “It’s not something I enjoyed doing or wanted to do,” Springfield Falcons coach Brad Larsen told the Columbus Dispatch at the time. “But, to be honest with you, it wasn’t all that hard of a decision. We talked after Game 2, and I tried to ramp him up. In Game 3, we just felt like he wasn’t all there, like he wasn’t invested 100 percent.”
With that kind of history, it is entirely understandable that the Blue Jackets would look at Johansen’s 2013-14 performance with some skepticism, asking themselves if it’s really representative of that player’s future performance. Johansen’s camp understandably wants the player to get paid for what was an exceptional year. He led the team’s forward group in minutes played and was second only to Brandon Dubinsky (who regularly kills penalties) in minutes per game. He also scored 33 goals; one more would have had him in the NHL’s top 10.
NEW YORK/SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (Aug. 28, 2014) – An education and drug testing program will be implemented for American Hockey League players, effective for the 2014-15 season, the National Hockey League and American Hockey League announced today.
The details of the AHL program, which was the result of a collaborative effort between the two leagues (NHL and AHL), the National Hockey League Players’ Association and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association (which represents AHL players in collective bargaining), substantially replicate the collectively bargained policies already in place for NHL players.
The AHL drug testing program will be administered by the doctors who supervise the NHL/NHLPA Performance-Enhancing Substances Program and the Substance Abuse/Behavioral Health Program.
from Paul Lukas of ESPN,
The classics are classic for a reason.
The uni-verse has taught us that lesson countless times, and it did so again this week when the St. Louis Blues finally dispensed of all the nonsense and got back to basics with their new uniform design.
How superior is this new design to the one it's replacing? Let us count the ways:
1. No more apron strings.
Those annoying gold stripes that ran down the torso and continued onto the pants, which were added to the Blues' uniform in 2007, were a disaster from the get-go. They made the chest logo feel too boxed in and confined, they looked like dangling apron strings, and they almost never lined up from jersey to pant leg. They reeked of gimmickry and templating -- two surefire ways to ruin a uniform -- and getting rid of them is a textbook case of addition by subtraction.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
They still have to sign power play defenceman Torrey Krug and top-nine winger Reilly Smith, and they lost first-line forward Jarome Iginla to the Colorado Avalanche because the Avs could give him more than a one-year performance-laced deal.
They also have to resign their second-best centre David Krejci, also UFA next summer.
Can they afford to give Boychuk a multi-year deal, with a significant raise from his current $3.33 million cap hit? Do they have anyone who can take his spot with a similar skill-set? Do the Bruins think about moving Boychuk before h becomes UFA? Does Boychuk see what a reasonable facsimile player Brooks Orpik, 34 next month, got from Washington ($5.5 million cap over five years) this July and think he’d like a shot at the same gravy?
All questions to ponder.
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
The 40-year-old Lalime, who holds the Senators franchise record in career wins, said he thinks Anderson will come into training camp with top billing but that the two players will push each other in a healthy competition.
Anderson, 33, posted a pedestrian .911 save percentage last season but recorded an NHL best .941 in the lockout-shortened 2013 season just two years ago.
“I think Craig’s gonna be the go-to guy to start with. I know Robin can do the job -- I have no worries he can do the job. I think the good thing is they have them signed for a pretty good price,” said Lalime, who will join TVA this season as an analyst. “They have two good goaltenders and they can make a decision based on that a little easier. I think Anderson is the guy starting but I know Robin, once he gets his chance he’ll run with it.”
Lalime said the team’s main challenge will be in scoring, especially making up for former captain Jason Spezza, who was traded to Dallas this summer in a package that included Alex Chiasson going back to Ottawa in the deal.
from Tim Campbell of the Winnipeg Free Press,
Given the forecasts of pessimism for a team many believe is falling behind in the NHL's difficult Central Division, thick skin is going to come in handy this fall, Jets captain Andrew Ladd suggested Wednesday
"I think you learn that they are predications and until you start playing games and see where you're at from that standpoint, they don't really mean anything," Ladd said Wednesday, asked at the Stars FORE Special O golf tournament what he thinks of all the off-season banter about his team. "It's just a bunch of chatter that everybody likes to talk about in the summer when there's nothing else going on.
"I think as a group we can use it as motivation to tell each other that no one's really giving us a chance and there's nothing wrong with that."
Ladd's teammate Blake Wheeler, coming off a 69-point season that led the Jets in scoring, said he's not all that interested in reminders from the past.
from Curtis Zupke at NHL.com,
Is there a cumulative effect of playing 64 Stanley Cup Playoff games the past three seasons? -- Listen to Lombardi on how the Kings finished the playoffs last season.
"I remember coming back to New York after losing Game 4 and walking in the back of the [trainer's room]," he said. "It was like Gettysburg. It was unbelievable how banged up these guys were, and nobody knows."
The Kings were also one of the most penalized teams in the League in 2013-14, sometimes a sign of mental fatigue. But the Kings are now less of a grind-it-out team and play more of an attacking style, which would seem to lend itself to less wear-and-tear that caught up with them in the 2013 playoffs.
Will the Kings sleepwalk through another regular season? A better question might be, does it matter? -- The Kings have finished eighth, fifth and sixth in the Western Conference the past three seasons and come out with two Cups. No one will blink an eye if they don't get home-ice advantage for the fourth straight season, except for coach Darryl Sutter grumbling about travel and schedule.
Katie Strang of ESPN held an online chat earlier today...
Given the number of Cup contending teams currently hovering above the cap (Bruins, Blackhawks, etc.), when do you expect the first domino to fall in terms of dumping salary? Any specific players you expect to see moved?
Katie Strang I think we could see a Johnny Oduya or Niklas Hjarlmasson being moved. Those teams still have time to make moves, but they have to start figuring things out salary cap-wise relatively soon.
Doesn't Oduya have at least a modified no movement agreement? Chicago's plight is the most interesting because they seem to be handcuffed no matter what.
Katie Strang He does, and handcuffed they are indeed.Might make Leddy a more likely candidate.
Anything with the (Ryan) Malone rumors and the Rangers?
Katie Strang Sounds like there is something there, but asked if he has received a training camp invite and was told "not yet"
from DJ Bean of WEEI,
According to a source familiar with the negotiations, the Bruins have had “casual discussions” with David Krejci‘s camp about a contract extension for the first-line center. Krejci, 28, is entering the final year of a three-year, $15.75 million contract and is set to be an unrestricted free agent after the coming season.
The source said there is an expectation that talks will accelerate in the near future. Historically, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has tried to get deals with his franchise players done before they enter their contract years. Chiarelli did it prior to the 2010-11 season, when he locked up free-agents-to-be Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron, and last summer, when he signed Bergeron to an eight-year extension.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org