Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Ben Bishop loses his two front teeth

Ben Bishop lost his two front teeth on a nasty shot to the mask from Peter Holland:

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Hockey Thoughts On A Tuesday Night

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

- With Matt Murray returning to Pittsburgh’s lineup, one has to think Mike Condon will be back on waivers. I could see Boston bringing home the Massachusetts native, since both Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin are banged-up.

- Don’t look now, but looming large over Winnipeg’s goalie situation is Ondrej Pavelec. The Jets have allowed 19 goals in five games. There are conflicting reports on how seriously they talked to Los Angeles, with some sources indicating they wanted to get rid of the contract and others saying they always intended to keep him as an insurance policy.

- One goalie coach on Toronto’s Frederik Andersen: “Everything stems from the fact he can’t get his feet set.” Mike Babcock likes his goalies to be aggressive, and Andersen is still getting used to that. All of the difficulties (including trouble catching the puck) stem from the footwork.

- From a friend of mine who is a gambler: “Best bet in the NHL? The Ottawa Senators and the ‘over.’”


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A New Arena Plan In Seattle

from Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times,

The saga of a proposed arena project for Sodo District took a dramatic twist Tuesday with entrepreneur Chris Hansen now saying he’s prepared to do an all-private proposal.

Hansen’s project had been in limbo since May, when the Seattle City Council turned down his request to vacate a part of Occidental Avenue S., so the land could be used for the facility. A funding deal between Hansen, the city and King County called for up to $200 million in municipal-bond funding for the project if an NBA franchise was first obtained.

But now, with the all-private proposal, that money no longer would be in play. In return, Hansen, who also says he’ll kick in money for an overpass that would potentially ease Sodo traffic congestion, says he wants the city to give up the portion of Occidental needed for arena construction to begin....

As well, the NHL has expressed interest privately about putting a team here as well several times over the past few years.

By going all-private, Hansen would eliminate the need to acquire an NBA team within a specific time period. His Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the city and county had required the team to be in hand by November 2017.

But by using private money to build, that clock stops ticking and frees Hansen’s group to apply for an NBA team when the league is ready to set its expansion plans in motion. Hansen also could acquire an NHL team in the interim and wait until the NBA is ready to follow.


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Angelo Esposito Still Playing The Game

from Tal Pinchevsky at ESPN,

One game with the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL. That's all it took for Angelo Esposito to decide he was done.

It was a fun game too, in which the Komets scored four third-period goals to force overtime against the Indy Fuel before winning in a nine-round shootout. Not a bad way to kick off the 2014-15 season. That is, unless you had been tabbed for greatness as a teenager but found yourself still toiling in the minor leagues seven years later.

Esposito let his coach know the next day that he was going back home to Montreal. With that, one of the top prospects in the 2007 NHL draft was ready to call it a career after a nomadic, injury-plagued pro run that never included a regular-season NHL game.

"I went to the East Coast, and [during] that first game I didn't feel comfortable anymore playing. I thought to myself, 'Maybe it's time I moved on,'" said Esposito, now 27. "Honestly, the first month [off], I did absolutely nothing. I didn't step on the ice until December, and then I started playing with my buddies in their beer league just for fun."

He ultimately decided to come back, and his return to pro hockey last year helped him gain a new perspective on hockey and life.


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Are The Minnesota Wild A Better Team With Bruce Boudreau In Charge?

from Joe McDonald of ESPN,

It's still too early to see whether the changes will work in Minnesota. The Wild enters Tuesday's game against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden with a 3-2-1 record.

"Hard to make what kind of team they are [this early]," said one Western Conference scout. "They've had slow starts and their first periods have been awful, but they seem to wake up and play pretty well. They're scoring goals but need to give up fewer than they are. [It's a ] funny team right now and I'm not sure what you'll see from game-to-game."

In the locker room and on the ice, the players are still getting used to Boudreau's system and personality.

"It's been a great transition. It's been a lot of fun around the rink, around the room," said Wild forward Zach Parise. "As a team, there's still a lot we need to get better at, but we're seeing it in spurts throughout games. The closer we can get to doing it more consistently, and more often throughout a game, it's going to translate into more wins for us. It takes work and we've got to continue to get better and keep learning. But, in the long run, it's going to make us a better team."

read on

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Sidney Crosby Expected Back Tonight

from Wes Crosby at NHL.com,

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will be a game-time decision and may make his season debut against the Florida Panthers at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; ROOT, FS-F, NHL.TV).

Crosby participated in a full-contact practice Monday for the first time since sustaining a concussion during an Oct. 7 practice at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. The concussion, Crosby's third in six years, forced him to miss Pittsburgh's first six games.

"[Crosby] had a strong practice this morning," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said after the morning skate Tuesday. "Everything is pointing in the right direction. If he's comfortable, he could play."


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  Tags: sidney+crosby

“Let’s Take A Deep Breath Here”

Mike Babcock...

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The Boston Bruins Goaltending Situation

BOSTON - Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, October 25, that goaltender Anton Khudobin has suffered an upper body injury and is expected to miss approximately three weeks. Sweeney also announced that the team has recalled goaltender Zane McIntyre from the Providence Bruins on an emergency basis and assigned defenseman Rob O'Gara to Providence.

Khudobin has started two games with Boston this season and in his 8-year NHL career, the 5-foot-11, 203-pound netminder has recorded a 44-41-8 record with a 2.45 goals against average and .917 save percentage.

Malcolm Subban was recalled yesterday and is your likely starter for tonight.  Tuukka Rask remains day-to-day too.

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Ben Bishop Continues To Play Despite His Future With The Tampa Bay Lightning

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The 29-year-old netminder got a clue at the NHL draft last June when a potential trade with the Calgary Flames fell through because he couldn't come to terms on a contract extension with the Flames (a stipulation his camp made, given that he had a no-move clause). Instead, the Flames traded for Brian Elliott and Bishop, who is in the final year of his deal (at $5.95 million), remained with the Lightning. It's a bit awkward, perhaps, but it's part of the business.

"It's one of those things that could have happened but it fell through," Bishop said Monday, shrugging, when asked about the Calgary (near)-trade. "Being around long enough, you realize that sometimes there are going to be business decisions made. And if they don't work, they don't work, and there's nothing you can really do about it. You can't sit there and sulk or worry about it. You have to just go out there and keep playing. I'm pretty fortunate to have a job with Tampa. It's a great team and a great place to play. So I'm pretty happy about everything going on.''

There's no question that the team showed its hand ahead of next June's expansion draft before the new Las Vegas team enters the league, when clubs will only be able to protect one goalie -- not only in the attempted trade with Calgary but also when it signed 22-year-old Andrei Vasilevskiy to a three-year, $10.5-million contract extension this past offseason.

So what now?


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  Tags: ben+bishop

NHL And NHLPA Officials Visiting South Korea

from Reuters,

National Hockey League (NHL) officials are visiting South Korea this week to inspect facilities for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics amid continuing uncertainty over the participation of the league's top players at the Winter Games.

Pyeongchang organizers (POCOG) released an itinerary on Tuesday detailing the visit of the group, which includes Lynn White, the NHL's Group Vice President of International Strategy, and Senior Director of Facilities Operations Dan Craig.

Sandra Monteiro and Matthieu Schneider of the NHL's Players' Association, as well as officials from the International Ice Hockey Federation, are also part of the group.

The officials will inspect the Kwandong Hockey Centre and the Gangneung Hockey Centre on Wednesday.

A decision on player participation is expected before the end of this year.

Discussions over player participation hit a roadblock last month after NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the chances of the league shutting down to allow players to compete at the Olympics in the middle of the season were "dim".


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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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