Kukla's Korner Hockey
“I thought I was doing OK when I went to Detroit. They offered me double what I was getting in Pittsburgh, so I said, ‘Hell I might as well go'.
“The best I ever did, I was the first coach that ever made a million. In Detroit, they paid me after we won the two Cups. That’s 20 years ago now, nearly.”
-Scotty Bowman via Mark Spector of Sportsnet where you can read more from Bowman, plus video of Mike Babcock talking from their studio.
from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,
“People are looking for a smoking gun that doesn’t exist.”
That is how Sabres general manager Tim Murray describes the fallout in Buffalo, after the city’s coachless hockey club finished second in the Mike Babcock sweepstakes to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“I’m not upset or anything,” Murray told WGR 550 Sports Radio in a lengthy interview Thursday afternoon. “It was a great process for me. This is my first real shot at doing interviews and hiring my coach.”
from Norm Sanders of the News-Democrat,
While he indicated Thursday he has been having discussions with current St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock since the season ended, General Manager Doug Armstrong refused to shed any light on the team’s coaching situation.
Hitchcock’s contract expires in June and the Blues reportedly explored the possibility of bringing in former Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. Media reports suggested that Babcock had talks with the Blues, Red Wings and Buffalo Sabres before deciding to sign a record-breaking eight-year, $50 million contract to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs.
During a conference call with reporters Thursday to discuss the hiring of new assistant general manager Martin Brodeur, Armstrong was asked specifically if he knew whether Hitchcock would be brought back as head coach of the Blues next season.
“You’re trying to put words in my mouth,” Armstrong said. “When I have something to communicate, I will.”
from the CP at TSN,
Mike Babcock took over as Toronto head coach Thursday, saying the Maple Leafs are Canada's team and they need to be put back on the map.
The 52-year-old Babcock, no stranger to coaching Team Canada, becomes the 30th head coach in Leafs' history.
Babcock said he was thrilled and excited to take the Toronto job. He cautioned the journey will be a long one, but promised it will be a lot of fun.
The former Detroit Red Wings coach takes over a 30-44-8 Leafs team that finished 27th in the league this season.
Babcock told the packed news conference in the foyer of the Air Canada Centre that he embraces the job ahead.
"I came here with my eyes wide open," he said.
Babcock made it clear that he is aware of the size of the task ahead and would have no problems operating in the fishbowl that surrounds the Leafs franchise.
"This is going to be a massive, massive challenge," he said.
added 1:23pm, Watch the full Babcock press conference below...
via Eric Stephens tweets,
Milbury was apparently asked how he would stop Corey Perry. "If I were playing against Corey Perry, I’d probably want to hurt him in (1/2)
(more) some painful and permanent way. And I think most of the rest of the league feels the same way." (2/2)
Perry on Milbury comment last night: "it's not something that's been taken lightly. If somebody said something about his kid that way (more)
How would he feel?" Milbury had said if he played vs Perry he would " want to hurt him in a painful and permanent way."
Home Team in Caps
TAMPA BAY 6, NY Rangers 5 (OT) – TBL leads series 2-1
KUCHEROV’S OT HEROICS POWER LIGHTNING TO 2-1 SERIES LEAD
The Rangers tied the game with 1:56 remaining in regulation, but Nikita Kucherov (1-1—2) scored at 3:33 of overtime to end a seesaw affair and power the Lightning to a 2-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Final.
* The Lightning improved to 11-7 in 18 all-time playoff overtime games, including a 3-0 record this year. They also earned their third such win at home (in seven total games) and first since April 16, 2004 vs. NYI (Game 5 of CQF).
It is scheduled to begin at 11:00am ET but there may be some talk before the conference begins.
Watch below and you have three options...
from Eric Stephens and Rich Hammond of the OC Register,
After their 4-hour, 52-minute Game 2 victory Tuesday night, the Chicago Blackhawks stayed overnight in Southern California then flew home Wednesday morning. Not surprisingly, they skipped practice.
The question for the Blackhawks involves how well they will rebound from a physical standpoint in Game 3, particularly on defense. Duncan Keith played 49 minutes, 51 seconds, in Game 2. Brent Seabrook played 47:46, Niklas Hjalmarsson played 47:45 and Johnny Oduya played 46:06.
The Ducks’ Francois Beauchemin played 46:29, but no other Ducks defenseman topped 40 minutes.
“You just focus on the next game,” Hjalmarsson said. “Yeah, it was a lot of minutes, but we won the game and we’ll move on from there. Personally, I feel fine. I have no complaints.”
The Blackhawks have been here before. In the first round against Nashville, they won Game 1 in double overtime and Game 4 in triple overtime. The Blackhawks followed both long victories with losses, though.
“I think there’s a lot more left in the tank,” captain Jonathan Toews said, “and we’re excited to get back to home ice, to try to get (the Ducks) on their heels a little bit more and just find that excitement and jump and energy.”
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
The Bruins have Tuukka Rask, which is a good thing. An ace goalie is precious currency in the NHL, where scoring goals is harder than AP Physics.
They have Patrice Bergeron, the league’s best two-way center. If Zdeno Chara can stay healthy in 2015-16, the 38-year-old should be an elite shutdown defenseman.
They were not enough, in new general manager Don Sweeney’s estimation, to have made the Bruins a realistic Eastern Conference representative instead of the Lightning or Rangers. The Bruins simply couldn’t score enough to make Rask’s margin of error any thicker than a dime.
The Bruins had the NHL’s No. 22 offense (2.55 goals per game). They had a plus-2 goal differential, the ninth-highest in the East, which accurately reflected their ninth-place finish. They scored 56 third-period goals, more than only Buffalo and Arizona.
This comes down to two things: personnel and philosophy. Sweeney is now responsible for improving both.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
When it comes to employment, most people have a salary in mind at which point the money becomes too much to turn down.
That's the simplest explanation for why Mike Babcock left a coaching job he loved with the Detroit Red Wings to become coach of a Toronto Maple Leafs team with myriad roster problems.
Several media outlets are reporting that Babcock, 52, will receive $50 million over eight seasons, with much of the deal front-loaded.
That $6.25 million average salary is more than three times what Babcock ($2 million) earned this season in Detroit, and it is more than twice the salary of Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, who was the highest paid coach at $2.75 million per season.
Undoubtedly, Babcock, a proud Canadian, is intrigued by becoming the coach of one the NHL's most storied franchises and the challenge of helping team president Brendan Shanahan build a team that could win the team's first Stanley Cup since 1967.
from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press,
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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