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Chris Pronger’s Path To The Hockey Hall Of Fame

from Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

There were boos when Chris Pronger first arrived in St. Louis, the product of fans liking Brendan Shanahan — the player the Blues traded away to get him — more than they liked him. There was the time he took a puck to the chest and his heart stopped on the ice. There were the concussions that ended his career prematurely and finally, there was the bylaw change that made him eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame before he had officially retired from the game.

It’s been no ordinary path to enshrinement for Pronger.

“I think nothing I’ve done has been the easy way,” Pronger said Monday after he was announced as part of the Hall of Fame’s 2015 induction class. “This would follow suit. I’m excited and proud to be part of this group.”...

“He was a warrior out there on the ice,” Lidstrom said Monday. “You knew he would play more than half the game. He was a tough guy to play against. Whether he was on the power play or killing penalties, he was going to be one of those players you had to beat to beat St. Louis. Those were great battles. It was like a playoff game every time we played.”...

Pronger acknowledged Monday that, with the changes in the rules since he broke in, there isn’t really anyone in the league who plays the way he did, which he admitted might not be a bad thing.

“With the evolution of the game and now with more medical research,” he said, “we understand hits to the head, illegal hits to the head, better. Most of the guys in the game today have gone through this in junior or college hockey and there’s a much greater awareness of the ramifications that result in hits like that. It’s hard to put into words other than the fact the game isn’t played that way anymore. It’s played with more regard for fellow competitors. We grew up in a different time and age. We did what we had to to win a hockey game. Now it’s so much more difficult to play on the edge the way I did.”

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Phil Housley On Getting The Call From The Hockey Hall Of Fame

from Rachel Blount of the Star Tribune,

Housley said on a Monday teleconference that he was in Arizona when he got the news, visiting his son, Wilson, who attends Arizona State.

An assistant coach with the Nashville Predators, Housley had just returned from last weekend’s NHL draft in Florida.

“We were just about to sit down for lunch, and the Hockey Hall of Fame called,” said Housley, whose 1,232 points were the most by an American-born NHL player until ex-North Star Mike Modano passed him in 2007. “I knew it was the call to be elected.

“I’ve been patiently waiting, and there have been so many great players before me that have been inducted. To finally get that call, it’s still surreal, the shock. It’s a lot of emotions that I can’t describe, but it’s something I’m very, very excited about.”...

Housley’s wife, Karin, said the family had no idea that Phil would get the call this year.

“To be honest, we are still shocked,” she added. “He’s on cloud nine, overwhelmed with phone calls and texts of [congratulations].”

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  Tags: phil+housley

Friedman: Kings learned of reason why Mike Richards’ contract was terminated last Friday

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reports that whatever happened that spurred the Los Angeles Kings to terminate Mike Richards' contract happened last Saturday:

Dean Lombardi showed up for Round 1 of the NHL Draft in a good mood. Los Angeles was the proud, new employer of Milan Lucic, with the GM excitedly discussing the various ways his lineup could utilize the power forward.

But something happened later that lacked complete context until the Kings terminated Mike Richards’ contract on Monday afternoon.

Midway through the opening round, the emotion changed at the team’s table. According to several sources, that was the moment the organization found out about something that occurred on or around June 17, further muddling Richards’ situation.

Lombardi was discussing possible trade scenarios with Calgary and Edmonton, so he got up to personally notify GMs Brad Treliving and Peter Chiarelli. From what I understand, no transaction was close, but this ended any chance of a move.

In their release, the Kings announced they “exercised the team’s right to terminate the contract of Mike Richards for a material breach of the requirements of his Standard Player’s Contract” and would not have any further comment.

In a brief filed to the NHL and the NHLPA, the team referenced Section 2(e) of the SPC, which states a player agrees “to conduct himself on and off the rink according to the highest standards of honesty, morality, fair play and sportsmanship, and to refrain from conduct detrimental to the best interest of the Club, the League or professional hockey generally.”

Friedman continues, discussing the means by which Richards can grieve the termination and the Kings' cap benefit...

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  Tags: dean+lombardi, los+angeles+kings, mike+richards

NHL General Managers On The UFAs

from Michael Traikos at Canada.com,

“Certainly there are players who can help teams,” Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “But they’re not franchise players.”

And yet, that may not stop some teams from paying them franchise dollars. Supply and demand can make general managers do funny things. And a shallow talent pool has suddenly made big fish out of a number of mid-level free agents.

“I don’t like to overpay. That’s not in our vocabulary,” said Arizona Coyotes GM Don Maloney, who on the weekend traded for Chris Pronger, who is no longer playing because of injuries, but still has a cap hit of 4.9-million, in order to reach the salary-cap floor that will rise in 2015-16 to $52.8-million from $51-million.

“We can’t chase it. You sign bad deals and a year from now you’re like, ‘Why did we do that?'”

Chances are someone will pay (or overpay) for Green or Beleskey. Someone will get caught up in the frenzy and sign a contract they will soon regret. Which is why smart general managers might be better off doing what Brian Burke did several years ago: Accept a chance to visit Canadian troops in Afghanistan on July 1 and wait for the free-agent dust to settle.

“I had a bunch of general managers tell me that they’re not going for the flavour of the month. They have no appetite for that,” said agent Rick Curran of the Orr Hockey Group, who represents free agent defenceman Christian Ehrhoff. “What they do want is the guy they’ve been looking at and following for the last six months and are hoping that for one reason or another he doesn’t re-sign.”

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Your Hockey Hall Of Fame 2015 Inductees

from TSN,

Nicklas Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov, Chris Pronger, Phil Housley and Angela Ruggiero will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as the Class of 2015.

Bill Hay and Peter Karmanos were also inducted as builders.

Lidstrom’s election was a matter of inevitability. One of the most dominant defenders of his era, Lidstrom is a seven-time Norris Trophy winner, including six wins in seven seasons between 2001 and 2008. Lidstrom won four Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings, earning the 2002 Conn Smythe Trophy as Playoff MVP. He became the first European to win the award and in 2008 became the first European to captain a club to a Cup title.

His international resume is equally impressive as Lidstrom won World Championship (1991) and Olympic (2006) gold representing Sweden. He became the 17th member of the “Triple Gold” club at the 2006 Turin Games.

In 1,564 games with the Red Wings Lidstrom scored 264 goals and 878 assists.

continued

added 4:30pm, HHOF release is below...

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Flyers Trade Zac Rinaldo To The Bruins

Boston, MA - Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, June 29, that the Bruins have acquired forward Zac Rinaldo from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for the Bruins natural third round draft pick in 2017.

Rinaldo skated in 58 games with the Flyers during the 2014-15 campaign, registering one goal and five assists for six points. Rinaldo led the team in penalty minutes with 102.

In total, the 25-year-old has skated in 223 games at the NHL level - all with Philadelphia - notching eight goals and 16 assists for 24 points with 572 penalty minutes. The forward has led the Flyers in penalty minutes the last four seasons.  Rinaldo has also skated in 14 NHL postseason games with Philadelphia, racking up 64 penalty minutes.

The 5'11'', 185-pound native of Mississauga, ON was drafted by the Flyers in the sixth round (178th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: zac+rinaldo

Los Angeles Kings Terminate The Contract Of Mike Richards

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings have terminated the contract of forward Mike Richards, the club announced today.

The club has issued the following statement and will not comment any further at this time:

“The Los Angeles Kings today have exercised the team's right to terminate the contract of Mike Richards for a material breach of the requirements of his Standard Player's Contract. We are not prepared to provide any more detail or to discuss the underlying grounds for the contract termination at this time.”

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  Tags: mike+richards

Going Right To 3-on-3 In OT

from Stephen Whyno of the CP at the Brandon Sun,

Players preferred all three-on-three, Schneider said, not only because it doesn't add more time to games but because they believe it will produce better hockey.

"What it really boiled down to was, players said, 'If we want to end games sooner going three-on-three, then having three-on-three for the longest period of time was the way to go about it,'" Schneider said in a sit-down interview last week in Las Vegas. "They think it's going to be exciting, wide-open hockey."

The AHL had incredible success cutting down on shootouts in its first season under the seven-minute overtime format split four-on-four and three-on-three. The key to it working in the NHL might be how three-on-three is coached.

"I hope three-on-three does what everyone thinks it's going to do," Schneider said. "I hope coaches don't start coaching it defensively because it could turn ugly quickly. My position always was: If Mike Babcock wants to get to the shootout, he's going to get to the shootout whether it's three-on-three or four-on-four."

Schneider is a supporter of the shootout and had to put his personal feelings aside when talking to players and attending the competition committee meeting in early June. Commissioner Gary Bettman at one point asked players which they'd prefer — the status quo of four-on-four overtime or three-on-three, and Schneider said a great majority wanted the latter.

The question of the AHL format or status quo was never brought up, Schneider said.

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Antti Niemi Signed By The Dallas Stars

 

 

added 2:18pm, Dallas release is below...

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  Tags: antti+niemi

Jay Beagle Re-Signs With The Washington Capitals

ARLINGTON, VA. – The Washington Capitals have re-signed center Jay Beagle to a three-year, $5.25 million contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.

“We are pleased to re-sign Jay to a new three-year contract,” MacLellan said. “Jay is a hard-working player who plays multiple positions and is an excellent face-off man and penalty killer. Jay has improved steadily since joining our organization and has always brought his game to a different level in the playoffs.”

Beagle, 29, set career highs in goals (10), assists (10) and points (20) in 2014-15 and tied his career high in games played (62). The 6’3”, 212-pound center earned a career-high three points (2g, 1a) on Feb. 11 at San Jose and recorded three of his four career multi-point games last season. The Capitals are 17-0-4 all-time when Beagle scores a goal and were 15-0-1 in 204-15 when he earned a point. In 254 career NHL games with Washington (2008-15), Beagle has registered 47 points (23g, 24a) and 97 penalty minutes.

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  Tags: jay+beagle

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

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