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Eugene Melnyk On The Olympics

from Bruce Garrioch at the Ottawa Citizen,

...there has been talk that the Washington Capitals will allow winger Alex Ovechkin to attend to play with Russia, but if Ottawa captain Erik Karlsson wanted to go suit up for Sweden, Melnyk doesn’t believe that would be possible.

It’s believed the league will have a blanket policy on the subject before the season.

“If (Karlsson) came to me it would simply be a referral to the NHL offices,” Melnyk said. “They took over. I don’t have to make a decision. The decision was made by them. He has to deal with whatever those meetings if they occur.”

Melnyk said the Olympics should be a stage for amateur players.

“This should be amateur as it always was intended from the beginning of time,” he added. “It’s an amateur competition. Keep it that way. Now you’ve got boxing matches. You’ve got professionals, making multi-million dollars.”

The concern for Melnyk naturally is injury to the likes of Karlsson or any other star player. The Senators lost goalie Dominik Hasek in 2006 in Turin with a groin injury while playing for the Czech Republic and he never returned to the club’s net.

“That was our year to win a Stanley Cup. We had all the momentum to win a Stanley Cup or, at the very least, get into the Stanley Cup final. We were there,” Melnyk said. “He wanted to go play for the Czech Republic. We let him go.

“The first game he left and he doesn’t play another game for us.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Afternoon Line- Matt Larkin On Hockey In Vegas

Picture the costumed fan base that characterized the Oakland Raiders and the Black Hole for years in the NFL, and maybe Vegas will achieve something similar someday. The on-ice product might not be pretty in the early days, but the Golden Knights plan to win their earliest battles off the ice. They’ll do that by dressing up the experience in a way only Sin City can, and they’ll do that by embracing what they feel is an underrated, unappreciated, untapped local fan base. No matter what happens, everyone involved should have a lot of fun doing it. That’s the Vegas way.

-Matt Larkin of The Hockey News where you can read much more regarding hockey in Vegas.

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

Video- Sidney Crosby Turns 30 Today

The NHL put together a video package of the best of Sidney Crosby on his 30th birthday.

 

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

Alex Ovechkin Hoping To Be Allowed To Play In The Olympics

from  Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post,

While the NHL has been firm on its position to not participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is still hopeful he can represent his native Russia in PyeongChang, South Korea.

“We’ll hope I’ll be allowed to participate,” he said in Russian to Sport-Express. “There’s always a chance.”

Ovechkin added that there hasn’t been any change in his status, and he also hasn’t contacted players from other NHL teams about their intentions for the Olympics.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin

Top Players At The World Junior Summer Showcase

from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,

The players, coaches and executives at the World Junior Summer Showcase know that summer hockey results have little bearing on how a season could unfold.

"It's summer," United States coach Bob Motzko said. "All the athletes here, you're not in midseason shape."

However, many players stood out during the eight days of games and practices at USA Hockey Arena and made strong first impressions in their goal of playing at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be held Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Buffalo.

Here are NHL.com's top 10 players from the World Junior Summer Showcase, in alphabetical order:

Lias Andersson, F, Sweden (New York Rangers)

Andersson scored three goals in five games, including two in a loss to the U.S. on Wednesday. He played a role at the 2017 WJC but has the look of someone who wants to be a leader in 2018.

"Lias was here last year and he was good but he didn't make the same impression he does now," coach Tomas Monten said. "Lias is a player that leaves everything on the ice every time. That's a big key factor for your team. We need the leadership, that kind of work ethic on the ice."

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Early August Hockey Notes

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- The Forecaster has Auston Matthews going from 40 to 42 goals — I think more — and from 69 to 75 points. That 75 points would tie him with William Nylander for the Maple Leafs lead in scoring ... One surprise to me, the Forecaster has Connor McDavid going from 100 points to 97 — I’m thinking 110 is more likely. But the magazine loves Leon Draisaitl in Edmonton and has him going from 77 points to 91 ... The scoring champ prediction is not Sidney Crosby or McDavid, the likely choices. It has Evgeni Malkin winning the Art Ross.

- Peter Karmanos is asking for $500 million US for the Carolina Hurricanes, who have trouble selling tickets. Good luck to him. Bill Foley paid $500 million for the Vegas franchise and many wondered why the price was so high.

a few more hockey notes, remember it is early August...

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

Afternoon Line- Larry Brooks On John Tavares

Maybe this all works out for the Islanders. Maybe they get their rink. Maybe they get through the season in Brooklyn without anyone suffering an injury owing to poor ice conditions. Maybe the very young guys on the cusp make it. Maybe the young guys who have underachieved the past couple of seasons will thrive with Doug Weight behind the bench from beginning to end. Maybe the Jaro Halak-Thomas Greiss tandem in nets is more efficient than it was a year ago, and maybe general manager Garth Snow will be emboldened to yield a couple of assets for shorter-term help when the opportunity arises.

Maybe then, Tavares will put his signature where his heart is. The truth is, he has had five weeks to do it and has not.

-Larry Brooks of the New York Post where you can read more on Tavares.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+tavares

Nate Schmidt Awarded A $2.25M Contract For Two Years

 

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nate+schmidt, vegas+golden+knights

David Backes Working To Improve His Game

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

The 6-foot-3-inch, 221-pound Backes is 33 years old, not always a kind age to power forwards. Legs that once propelled Backes through puck carriers did not fire with their previous velocity. By the time he closed on opponents, the puck was long gone.

The feedback started midseason from the bosses: president Cam Neely, GM Don Sweeney, and then-coach Claude Julien. It was not the kind that makes players comfortable.

“Just honest evaluation of, ‘Hey, this is where my game’s lagging perhaps, the way the game’s trending, and how we need to keep up,’ ” Backes said. “We need to be honest in order to improve ourselves. That was a recognition, probably in January in conversations with Cam, Don Sweeney, and a little bit with Claude. This was the way I needed to improve myself. I’ve really taken that to heart and put the time in this summer.”

Backes has been training to emphasize agility, quickness, and explosiveness over bulk and power. He wants to accelerate to cruising speed quicker to help him keep pace with linemates and be more a bother to other teams.

Backes has something to prove: that he is not an overpayment. A $6 million annual price tag is a premium to pay for 38 points. The Bruins, however, aren’t the only club feeling buyer’s remorse on 2016 purchases.

Consider the deals signed by Kyle Okposo (seven years, $42 million), Milan Lucic (seven years, $42 million), Andrew Ladd (seven years, $38.5 million), Loui Eriksson (six years, $36 million), and Frans Nielsen (six years, $31.25 million). So far, they look inflationary.

more plus other hockey topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Team USA Announces Management And Coaching Staff For The 2018 Olympic Hockey Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Hockey today named the management and coaching staff for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team.

On the management side, Jim Johannson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey, has been named general manager, while Ben Smith (Gloucester, Mass.) will serve as director of player personnel.

USA Hockey also named Tony Granato (Downers Grove, Ill.), head coach of the University of Wisconsin men’s ice hockey team, as head coach of Team USA. Joining Granato behind the bench will be assistant coaches Keith Allain (Worcester, Mass.), Chris Chelios (Chicago, Ill.); Ron Rolston (Fenton, Mich.) and Scott Young (Clinton, Mass.).

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | 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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