Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

‘Fixing’ the Isles a difficult task

From the New York Post's Larry Brooks:

It has been decades since the Islanders had an owner who wasn’t in it to make a real estate killing or to advance a hidden agenda, or both. But now, with the transition of power from Charles Wang to Jon Ledecky (and Scott Malkin) complete, the business of the Islanders is in trusted hands and the agenda is transparent.

Which is to restore the power and glory of the franchise that once spawned the greatest team in the history of the sport.

Make no mistake. This still is going to be tricky business for an operation that, by choice, straddles Long Island and Brooklyn — and in doing so has lost much of its historical identity while yet to create a new one. Let’s face it: It is not as if the Islanders simply moved from one side of 161st Street in The Bronx to the other (even if that divide always has seemed miles wide).

But Ledecky, who hosted a meet-and-greet luncheon for the media at a tony spot in midtown Manhattan on Wednesday, is not so much straddling a line as erasing one. He is not pandering to Long Island by suggesting a return is in the offing, is not offering false hope that even a smattering of games will be played at a remodeled Nassau Coliseum. Is not holding his nose when he talks about Brooklyn.

“Barclays is our home,” the principal owner said without equivocation and without holding his nose.


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: new+york+islanders

Would You Pay Tyson Barrie $11.5M Over Two Years?

via Adrian Dater tweets,

Odds appear high arbitration case between Avs and Barrie will actually happen on 29th. No talks between sides lately

When asked if a deal would be struck before the hearing.

I don't think so. I predict two-year, $11.5 million arb deal

Then asked if Barrie would be traded.

No. I honestly see Barrie an Av next two years, minimum

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

We Have Hockey Notes In Mid-July

via Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- The consternation over the Auston Matthews’ contract negotiations needs to end. A deal will get done. With bonuses or without. The Lou Lamoriello way. His team. His term. His rules.

-  There’s a reason Jamie Benn got paid more money than Stamkos got in Tampa. For the past two seasons, he has been the better, more impactful player.

- The suspicion here: The Florida Panthers will expose 38-year-old Roberto Luongo in the expansion draft next June. Odds are Las Vegas will pass on Bobby Lou.

- The NHL rules are not out yet, but there’s a belief the Leafs won’t have to protect Nathan Horton in the expansion draft, even though it’s expected players with no movement clauses must be protected. The thought is that long-term injured players won’t factor in the draft either way. They can’t be chosen, won’t have to be protected. Leafs won’t leave much available in expansion draft: Maybe Peter Holland.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Short Bridge Or A Long Term

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

Victor Rask, Carolina’s second-round pick in 2011, has 32 career goals. Sixteen players from Rask’s draft class have scored more than the Carolina forward, paced by Gabriel Landeskog, who has pumped in 100 pucks.

Yet two seasons of NHL play were enough for his employer to reward Rask with a six-year, $24 million contract last Tuesday. It’s a generous payday for a 23-year-old who has to yet to define himself as a consistent go-to threat. But 160 games of NHL data were enough for the Hurricanes to make a long-term bet that Rask, who is coming off shoulder surgery, will fulfill the expectations of his new deal — and perhaps even become a bargain.

It’s good for both players and organizations to commit to long-term contracts. Players become comfortable with security. They do not need to worry about injuries or performance in search of the next deal. Franchises are better off because they lock in assets to contracts that might seem pricey at first, but generally become sound investments later in the deal.

The trick is for teams to make accurate forecasts, which is not easy coming off entry-level contracts. Some teams might not consider a two-year NHLer such as Rask a sure thing.

Ryan Strome, for example, also has 32 career goals. Strome, selected fifth overall in 2011, was demoted for an eight-game AHL stint in 2015-16. Strome is a restricted free agent. A long-term extension is not guaranteed. The Islanders may not believe that Strome’s 189-game NHL portfolio is sturdy enough to make a long-term declaration.

more plus other hockey topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sidney Crosby With The Cup In Cole Harbour

from NHL.com,

After a day with the Stanley Cup on Friday that included a trip to Tim Hortons, Sidney Crosby enjoyed a hero's welcome at a parade through his hometown of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, on Saturday.

An estimated crowd of 30,000 lined the 1.1-mile parade route on Forest Hills Parkway to see the Cup and show support for the Pittsburgh Penguins captain and 2016 Conn Smythe Trophy winner as MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

continued and the story will be updated throughout the day...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sidney+crosby

Habs Are Now A Better Team

from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,

I think general manager Marc Bergevin was disingenuous when he said he wasn’t shopping Subban. He may not have initiated any of the talks, but he was certainly listening to offers. I also believe he looked on the deal for Shea Weber as a hockey deal that will help the Canadiens, at least in the short term.

The Canadiens need size and Weber and has five or six inches on Subban. He’ll offer more protection for Price and his wonky knee. He has been described as an intimidator, a term that has never been applied to Subban. He’s an upgrade on the power play. By all accounts, he’s boring on and off the ice and that’s fine with the Canadiens.

Frustrated fans have to separate the past from the present. Last season was a disaster, but there’s every reason to believe that the Canadiens are headed in the right direction.

Some Habs critics point to the Detroit Red Wings as a success story, but they’ve won only one playoff round in the past four seasons and they had the best coach in the world for three of those seasons. The Canadiens with their supposedly mediocre GM and coach have won three series in the same span.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

All John McDonough

from David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune,

How did you digest the Hawks' first first-round playoff exit since 2012?

We got beat, period. You can talk about (Brent) Seabrook hitting two posts (in Game 7 against the Blues), but we got beat. We had the plan to acquire (Tomas) Fleischmann and (Andrew) Ladd and (Dale) Weise, and when you do that, of course you think you're going to the finals because that always had been the script. So it was a bit of a culture shock.

But I always say: You better have a plan in case you need to change the plan. And Stan had to look at things differently. He couldn't be more committed or engaged. He's understated, subdued, measured. I have to check his pulse from time to time.

How difficult has the past year been for you — particularly the Kane situation?

Extremely, extremely difficult. I wouldn't be human if I didn't say that. We wear all of this. We take this personally. We second-guess each other, but there was a point in time with that when you had to move on and it couldn't be something that impacted me leading this organization. You learn a lot about yourself, human nature, about other people. I've been doing this since 1980. It's probably been the most difficult year of my career.

But this isn't about me. It's about what am I going to do in leading this organization to a good place. This was something I internalized, quietly, and moved past it. But from an emotional standpoint, it took a toll.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+mcdonough

An Eight-Year Extension For Jamie Benn Worth $76M

DALLAS, Texas - Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today at PM Standley Motorcars Party In The Park that the team has signed captain Jamie Benn to an eight-year, $76,000,000 contract extension (average annual value of $9,500,000), which will run through the 2024-25 season.

Benn, 26, finished the 2015-16 season ranked second in the NHL and first on the Stars with 89 points (41-48=89) in 82 regular-season games. He also shared second in the NHL in power play goals (17) and ranked third in goals (41), posting new career highs in each category. Benn appeared in all 82 games during the regular season, marking the second consecutive season and the third time in his career that he's appeared in all 82 contests. During the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Benn finished tied for 14th in the League and led the Stars with 15 points (5-10=15) in 13 postseason contests. He also finished tied for 11th in the NHL with 10 assists in the playoffs, while his six-game point streak was tied for the second-longest in the League during the postseason.

"The Stars are the only organization I know and Dallas is home to me," said Benn. "In working with the Gaglardi family and Jim Nill, they have made it clear that they are dedicated to winning, and winning the right way. I'm happy to commit to that process for eight more years. My teammates and I value the passion and dedication that we receive from Stars fans and we're looking forward to getting this season started."

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jamie+benn

Trademark Issues Causing Problems When Choosing The Name Of The Las Vegas NHL Franchise

from Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal,

“The issue we’re having is there are various trademark issues and trade name issues that are issued,” he said. “And so we’re fighting, we’re working our way through that process.

“But it’s various athletic teams, entities that may have a name that we’re interested in.”

“Black Knights?” Even with the supposed blessing of those at Foley’s alma mater at West Point, that’s probably not happening. Too complicated when you consider the United States government would be involved in giving the final OK. Even the school’s colors of black, gold and gray may not be used in the final product for the hockey team.

The team has spent the past couple of weeks working with adidas, which owns Reebok, the NHL’s official uniform supplier, and league marketing officials, to come up with something that Foley likes. He said he has seen and heard every name imaginable, including the ones the Review-Journal has been running in its informal bracket poll on its website. But he has yet to find the one name that really wows him and is obtainable without paying ransom to someone who has secured the rights.

“We have a lot of names in mind but a lot of the ones I really liked are trademarked, so that’s a little bit of an issue,” Foley said.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: las+vegas

Jaden Schwartz Agrees To A Five-Year Extension In St. Louis

from Chris Pinkert of the Blues website,

Jaden Schwartz won’t need an arbitration hearing to decide his contract situation for the upcoming season.

Schwartz, who became a restricted free agent when his two-year deal with the Blues expired on July 1, agreed to a new five-year, $26.75 million contract on Friday afternoon, avoiding an arbitration hearing that was scheduled for Wednesday in Toronto.

The deal will keep Schwartz in St. Louis through the 2020-21 season.

“He’s part of that core we have moving forward,” Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong said. “Schwartz and (Vladimir) Tarasenko, Robby Fabbri, Colton Parayko, Alex Pietrangelo, Jake Allen - we’re trying to build around these guys. Having Schwartz wrapped up in that group, we know we now have a core that we can build around and try to win a championship around.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jaden+schwartz

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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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