Kukla's Korner Hockey
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Chicago Blackhawks senior advisor Scotty Bowman joins Prime Time Sports to talk about coaches challenges, the lack of scoring and reducing the size of goaltending equipment.
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
While the decision on whether or not to trigger the annual 5 percent growth factor on the salary cap has often been treated like a foregone conclusion, it should not be this season.
The issue on the growth factor, commonly referred to as the "inflator" or "escalator," has become a hot topic of conversation amongst players with growing concerns about increasing escrow rates and the potential implications on revenue with the falling Canadian dollar.
Several sources told ESPN.com that there is a divide between two camps of players: those who are already under contract for next season and those who are pending unrestricted free agents. Those already set on their current deals may be against the idea of increasing the salary cap, deterred by the thought of another season of high escrow (the players were hit with 18 percent this season). Those players up for new deals, however, would ideally like more money in the pot. The current salary cap is at $69 million. At last week's General Managers meetings, the rough projection provided by commissioner Gary Bettman was $71.5 million -- assuming the inflator was triggered.
For players, there is a growing sense of skepticism about areas of potential revenue growth, such as television deals, outdoor games, etc., compounded with concerns about the devaluation of the Canadian dollar.
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
Sharks coach Todd McLellan has the numbers on his board in his office in San Jose.
When he broke into the NHL as an assistant coach with the Red Wings, he ran the power play. In three years, the Wings had 461 power-play opportunities, then 398, then 391. That was right after the 2004-05 lockout, when the NHL tightened enforcement of infractions like hooking, holding and interference.
In 2005-06, teams ranged from 541 power-play opportunities to 411. The average team had 480. This season, no one is one pace for more than 297 power-play opportunities. One team is on pace for as few as 211.
Another way to look at it: The average NHL game had 11.7 power plays in 2005-06. The average NHL game has had about 6.2 this season.
But that doesn’t mean hooking, holding and interference have crept back into the game to a large degree and the referees have been swallowing their whistles. It means hooking, holding and interference have left the game to a large degree. The referees have less to call.
more plus other NHL topics...
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Teams know the Oilers have already drafted centres Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl from 2011 on, so why does he need another one?
Maybe they feel (and rightly so) the Oilers need a defenceman at the draft more. Maybe they’re even wondering if MacTavish also really likes McDavid’s centre teammate Dylan Strome, the OHL scoring champ who had four goals and six points in his final league game Sunday, and if he can get him later for a flip of picks, he’d take that.
There are lots of scenarios in play for the No. 2 pick, such as:
- What if the Nashville Predators called and offered defenceman Seth Jones and Finnish goalie Juuse Saros? The Preds don’t have their late first-rounder because they traded it to the Leafs for Cody Franson, which gums things up somewhat. But Jones can be a top-two defenceman. Saros played in the world junior and is in the top Finnish league right now, and Jari Kurri, the former Finnish national team GM, was raving about the 19-year-old at the 1984 Oilers Stanley Cup reunion last fall. We all know the Preds will be riding Pekka Rinne in net for years to come. All those years, the Predators had a terrific defence but couldn’t go deep in the playoffs because they had no first-line centre.
- What if the Toronto Maple Leafs call, with the cupboard bare at centre, and offers to flip their No. 5 selection for the No. 2 for defenceman Morgan Rielly, another player who most scouts feel will be a top-pairing defenceman in short order?
from Randy Miller of NJ.com,
Despite a feeling around hockey that Lecavalier is untradeable because of the length of his contract and declining offensive statistics, there does seem to be a way to work a divorce that will make both sides happy.
The Flyers, in fact, came very close to trading twice Lecavalier last summer, NJ Advance Media has learned. Lecavalier almost was moved to the Florida Panthers in June, and he twice almost was dealt to the Nashville Predators in July.
The reason neither trade was completed, according to sources, is that Panthers and Predators ownership called off the otherwise done deals.
"I think there are enough people in hockey circles that know that the deal was awfully close with Nashville," Kent Hughes, Lecavalier's agent, told NJ Advance Media in a phone interview. "I can't comment on specifics. Unfortunately, it didn't materialize for reasons other than personnel."
There's reason to believe that Lecavalier could be tradable this summer as well, despite very disappointing 2014-15 stats: seven goals, 17 points and a minus-10 rating in 51 games, almost all of them coming with the natural center playing right wing on the Flyers' fourth line.
from Tal Pinchevsky at ESPN,
Midway through a physical 4-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, Vancouver Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack was beckoned to center ice by opposing goaltender Jonathan Quick, who had just ignited a skirmish by throwing two right hands at Canucks captain Henrik Sedin. Lack made it only as far as his own red line, offering a sensible explanation after the game.
"I may have a reach [advantage on Quick]," the 6-foot-4 Lack joked. "I think he's a little meaner than me."
It was a classic moment of levity after a big win for the affable Swede. In a season that has seen Lack, 27, emerge as a force in the Vancouver crease, his teammates have used all kinds of words to describe the quirky goaltender. But "mean" definitely isn't one of them.
"He's goofy," Canucks winger Nick Bonino said in describing Lack.
"Easy going, fun loving, always happy," teammate Chris Higgins said. "Almost to a fault sometimes."
"I would say he's one of those interesting goalies," forward Radim Vrbata added.
NHL explanation of the suspension...
THURSDAY’S CLINCHING SCENARIOS
Three Eastern Conference clubs can clinch playoff berths today:
* If the Canadiens defeat the Jets in regulation or overtime, they would clinch a playoff berth if the Ducks defeat the Bruins in any fashion OR if the Bruins defeat the Ducks in a shootout.
* If the Canadiens defeat the Jets in a shootout, they would clinch a playoff berth if the Ducks defeat the Bruins in any fashion.
* If the Canadiens get one point against the Jets (overtime or shootout loss), they would clinch a playoff berth if the Ducks defeat the Bruins in regulation.
* The Canadiens cannot clinch a playoff berth if they lose to the Jets in regulation.
via Lou Michel of the Buffalo News,
Nick Boynton, a former defenseman with the Boston Bruins and other NHL teams, might be a little delayed in getting to the announcer’s booth to give his commentary of action at Thursday night’s Sabres-Coyotes game at First Niagara Center.
Boynton is accused of causing a disturbance at the Buffalo Creek Casino on Wednesday night and fighting with Buffalo police officers assigned there to provide security.
“He was abusive to the staff at the casino, and when officers tried to take him into custody, he bit one of them on the finger,” a police source said.
Boynton, a 36-year-old native of Nobleton, Ont., was detained by police and will be charged with assault, criminal mischief and harassment.
Boynton joined the Coyotes’ broadcast team prior to this season.
GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- The Arizona Coyotes have issued the following statement regarding Nick Boynton.
"Early this morning, Coyotes radio color analyst Nick Boynton was involved in a situation at a Buffalo casino. A police investigation is underway. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and until the continuing legal process is completed, we will have no further comment. Mr. Boynton has been placed on a leave of absence."
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