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The Latest On Ilya Kovalchuk

from TSN,

New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero said Monday he hasn’t closed any doors when it comes to Ilya Kovalchuk, and that includes potentially signing and keeping the Russian winger.

Kovalchuk has declared his intention to return to the National Hockey League after four years in Russia, but in order to return he must sign with the Devils, who own his rights. Kovalchuk could, technically, sign with any team but all other 30 teams would have to sign off on it – a situation Shero doesn’t expect to see play out.

“It’s simpler, I think, than it sounds,” Shero told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun. “He signed his voluntary retirement papers when he left the Devils a few years ago… Kovalchuk, we’ve all seen him play many times, is certainly a tremendous player and one of the better forwards to play in the league the last 10 years for sure and he’s only 34 and (Jaromir) Jagr is still playing and (he’s) got like 11 years on him and doing pretty well.

“I think our understanding with the league and (Kovalchuk’s agent) Jay Grossman is that he can sign right now with any team but the other 30 teams would have to sign off on that and as we all know, it’s a pretty competitive league, (so that) probably won’t happen. It’s not a situation where they need our permission to talk to teams, he’s free to talk to whoever he wants and to that extent, they're the ones driving the bus.”

continued with video of LeBrun talking with Shero...

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

A Bad Night For Pekka Rinne

from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Going into Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final Monday night, the on-line betting site Bovada had Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne as the favorite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the NHL’s postseason MVP. His 1.70 goals-against average and his .941 save percentage were the best in these playoffs. He had stopped 446 of 474 shots in series wins against Chicago, St. Louis and Anaheim.

But then Rinne got to Pittsburgh.

Unbelievable things happen to him when he plays the Penguins.

A five-on-three power-play goal that was set up by teammate James Neal’s undisciplined stupidity, a goal by a player who hadn’t scored one all spring and an own-goal by teammate Mattias Ekholm happened to him Monday night....

The next shot that Rinne saw didn’t come until 3:17 was left in the game. A beautiful wrister by Jake Guentzel — a player who hadn’t scored in eight games and one many speculated would be scratched before the game — was the deciding goal in the Penguins’ 5-3 win.

That’s beyond surreal.

“It’s tough. He’s been a rock for us,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said of Rinne. “There’s no question about Pekks in net and what he’s capable of. He’s the backbone of this team.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pekka+rinne

Videos- Coach’s Corner From Game 1 Of The Stanley Cup Final

Don Cherry and Ron MacLean discussed the first period between the Penguins and Predators, including the no goal decision on the Predators plus other topics.



The post-game version with Cherry and MacLean is below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Terry Frei No Longer Employed At The Denver Post

from Scott Allen of the Washington Post,

Denver Post publisher Mac Tully and editor Lee Ann Colacioppo issued a statement on Monday that sportswriter Terry Frei is no longer an employee of the newspaper one day after he tweeted that he was “very uncomfortable” with Japanese driver Takuma Sato winning the Indianapolis 500 during Memorial Day weekend.

“We apologize for the disrespectful and unacceptable tweet that was sent by one of our reporters,” the statement reads. “Terry Frei is no longer an employee of The Denver Post. It’s our policy not to comment further on personnel issues. The tweet doesn’t represent what we believe nor what we stand for. We hope you will accept our profound apologies.”...

Frei issued an apology Sunday after facing backlash for his tweet that he later deleted about Sato’s historic win.

“Nothing specifically personal, but I am very uncomfortable with a Japanese driver winning the Indianapolis 500 during Memorial Day weekend,” Frei tweeted after Sato became the first Japanese driver to win the prestigious race.

read on

Filed in: NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: terry+frei

Topics Of Interest From Last Night In Pittsburgh

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- Gary Bettman sent a loud message to Alexander Ovechkin Monday night: No Olympics for you.

At his annual state of the NHL address, commissioner Bettman basically said that no NHL players under contract to member clubs will be eligible to play in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea....

- Bettman said the much criticized video replay and coach’s challenge system is “working exactly as it was intended to.” He said that with a straight face. Then in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, Bettman’s words came to fruition. The first apparent goal of the Final was called off on instant replay. There is no way an offside that close could have been called on the ice. In fact, it took several views to determine whether it was offside or not, and still it wasn’t clear....

- Another piece of Bettman satire: When asked about the recent assault on star players he said “we expect officials to call the rulebook” as is. We expect it too. It just doesn’t happen. When a Pittsburgh writer asked Bettman about the safety of star players, he was later accosted by NHL vice-president Colin Campbell for asking a dumb question.

more on the first two points and additional topics from yesterday in Pittsburgh...

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Weird Game One

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

There’s probably a country music song buried somewhere in the way the Nashville Predators lost their first ever appearance in the Stanley Cup Final.

Then again, even a Music Row songwriter might balk at the story. Too hokey. Not believable.

The Predators held the defending Stanley Cup champions without a shot for 37 consecutive minutes, a stretch never before seen in NHL annals, then clawed all the back from a 3-0 deficit after a catfish was thrown on the ice, only to have the Penguins break the tie with three minutes to go on their first shot since the first period.

Oh, and the Preds had their 1-0 lead wiped away on a controversial coach’s challenge … and Nick Bonino scored two goals without ever actually shooting on a goaltender.

“It was a weird, weird game,” Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne said with perhaps the biggest understatement of the season.

It was maybe the most bizarre game ever played in the Stanley Cup Final, one that left you sitting there thinking: “What the heck did we just watch?”


Below, Chris Johnston of Sportsnet on Game 1 and video highlights too...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

NHL Short Notes

Home Team in Caps
PITTSBURGH 5, Nashville 3 – PIT leads 1-0
The Predators erased a 3-0 deficit, but Jake Guentzel scored the go-ahead goal with 3:17 remaining in regulation to lift the Penguins to a win in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

* Guentzel, who made his NHL debut Nov. 21, registered his League-leading 10th goal of the playoffs (20 GP). Only four other rookies in League history have scored 10 or more goals in a single postseason: Minnesota’s Dino Ciccarelli in 1981 (14 in 19 GP), Chicago’s Jeremy Roenick in 1990 (11 in 20 GP), Boston’s Brad Marchand in 2011 (11 in 25 GP) and Montreal’s Claude Lemieux in 1986 (10 in 20 GP).
* Guentzel also posted his League-leading fourth game-winning goal of the postseason, equaling an NHL rookie record for one playoff year established by Lemieux in 1986 (20 GP) and matched by Colorado’s Chris Drury in 1999 (19 GP).
* Guentzel ranks sixth overall with 10-7—17 this postseason, four points shy of matching the NHL record for a rookie in a single playoff year (Ciccarelli: 14-7—21 in 19 GP in 1981, Philadelphia’s Ville Leino: 7-14—21 in 19 GP in 2010).
* Guentzel, a native of Omaha, Neb., also is one point shy of tying the NHL record for a U.S.-born rookie in a single postseason (St. Louis’ Joe Mullen: 7-11—18 in 10 GP in 1982, Roenick: 11-7—18 in 20 GP in 1990).

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

All Is Well In The NHL

from Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star,

Everything’s great. Hear that, hockey fans? Everything is great, and more, it is not an accident that it is great. Sure, some people complain about the National Hockey League, but people can complain about anything. Some people complain when it’s too sunny! Some, when it rains. What a world, am I right?

A couple hours before the Stanley Cup final opened, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman performed his annual state-of-the-league address, in which he spent rather a long time detailing how everything was indeed great. Who saw that coming? In fairness, goals are slightly up, there is an NBC darling in the final (Pittsburgh) against a vibrant Sun Belt market that the league championed, and whose sale to an eventually convicted fraudster named Boots was only approved by the league once, way back when. Boots wanted to move the team to Kansas City, before the bottom fell out and he went to jail. Anyway, it all worked out fine, though not for him.

So yes, Gary was riding high. And time after time, when the familiar issues that bedevil the league propped up, a theme emerged: this isn’t an accident. The offside reviews, which drag the game to a halt and in some cases actually drag it backwards in time in order to make a call which might be correct by millimetres? The review of goaltender interference, which is the closest thing in sports to interpretive modern art?

“They are working exactly as they are intended to,” said Bettman. “We hear the commentary ... but the fact is it’s our job to make sure the rules are complied with, and the video replay, through the coach’s challenge on offsides, has worked exactly as we hoped it would.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- You Make The Call

Good goal Nashville, challenged for offside, no goal.



added 10:11pm, NBC broadcast of the play is below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Hockey Night In Canada Opening Montage Stanley Cup Final

Watch it.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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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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