Kukla's Korner

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General Managers Held A Meeting Today

added 3:54pm, via Elliotte Friedman tweets,

NHL and its GMs finished their meeting last hour. Things to know: no certainty about starting date/format for the 2020-21 season. Too many unknowns (border, etc.) to commit to anything, although conversations with NHLPA Return to Play Committee should begin in next while (1/x)...

There was an in-depth conversation about draft lottery. There are teams that would like to see a change in the format. NHL asked for specific proposals, and we will see where that goes...(2/x)

There is an appetite to begin next season with something special from a unique site. Lake Louise was discussed, but that won't be possible. But that's the kind of idea that's being brainstormed...(3/4)

Jan. 1 remains the "target date," as the NHL indicated yesterday. But, again, no guarantees. (Fin)

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

A Partnership Between The National Hockey League And The American Gaming Association

WASHINGTON (Oct. 23, 2020) – The National Hockey League (NHL®) and the American Gaming Association (AGA) announced a partnership today to promote responsible gaming activity through the Have A Game Plan.® Bet Responsibly. public service campaign.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line- Jeremy Colliton

...We have had a focus on development, since I got here, anyway. When I look at our team and trying to look forward, I'm not that interested in being a bottom-half team, being a bubble team, hoping to sneak in, catch lightning in a bottle, win a couple rounds. It does happen; we can all point to the success stories and things where teams go on a run, but it's not sustainable. We are more interested in, we want to be an elite team, we want to be a Top 10 team where every year we're in the mix to go deep into the playoffs, so everything we do here should be with that end in mind.

So as a coach, we're still trying to win. Part of the development is being in competitive situations and playing in big games. Our playoff experience in Edmonton was tremendously valuable for our young players, and so we want to get ourselves in those situations as much as possible but we want to do it while playing young players. And I think this past season was a perfect example where we had a lot of young guys in the lineup, a lot of them played big roles. At times it looked like they weren't ready but we give them feedback and help them along, and I think a lot of those guys were huge parts of the success we did have and that's how we're looking at things.

-Jeremy Colliton, head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks.  More from Colliton in a Q & A by Charlie Roumeliotis of NBCSports Chicago.

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TSN Insiders Tonight

With COVID-19 numbers rising across Canada, including Alberta, how concerned is Hockey Canada about complications that could arise regarding the upcoming WJC in Edmonton? A start date has not been proposed for the next NHL season, but what progress is being made towards that? The Insider Trading panel shares the latest on that and more.

Watch at TSN.

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2021 Winter Classic And All-Star Weekend Have Been Postponed

NEW YORK (Oct. 22, 2020) -- The National Hockey League today announced the postponements of the 2021 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and 2021 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend.

The 2021 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, featuring the Minnesota Wild facing the St. Louis Blues at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn., was originally scheduled for Jan. 1, 2021. The Florida Panthers were to host the 2021 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., originally scheduled for Jan. 29-30, 2021. Both events have been postponed due to the ongoing uncertainty resulting from the coronavirus. The League intends to return to both Minnesota and Florida for these signature events in the near future.

“Fan participation, both in arenas and stadiums as well as in the ancillary venues and events that we stage around the Winter Classic and All-Star Weekend, is integral to the success of our signature events,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer. “Because of the uncertainty as to when we will be able to welcome our fans back to our games, we felt that the prudent decision at this time was to postpone these celebrations until 2022 when our fans should be able to enjoy and celebrate these tentpole events in-person, as they were always intended. We are also considering several new and creative events that will allow our fans to engage with our games and teams during this upcoming season.”

Today's announcement does not impact the joint declaration by the NHL and National Hockey League Players' Association on Oct. 6 that we are targeting on or around Jan. 1 as the start date for the upcoming NHL season.

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Does This Mean No Canadian Division?

from Bryan Passifiume of the Toronto Sun,

The federal government will replace mandatory 14-day quarantines with rapid COVID-19 tests for international air passengers, the Sun has learned.

The move will mandate that arriving passengers be required to submit to a rapid COVID-19 test to ensure they are free from the potentially deadly respiratory disease upon arrival, and replace the problematic and rarely enforced mandatory two-week quarantine for all incoming international travellers.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

All About Sports Ratings On The Networks

from Kevin Draper of the New York Times,

It feels as if television networks should be panicking about their ratings for sporting events, pondering existential questions about how viewing habits have changed amid the coronavirus pandemic and the U.S. election.

But they’re not — despite some eye-popping numbers and a lot of armchair criticism.

Ratings for the N.B.A. finals were down 49 percent, and the N.H.L.’s Stanley Cup finals were down a whopping 61 percent. Baseball, golf, tennis, horse racing and other sports have all seen huge declines. Even the usually untouchable N.F.L. was down 13 percent through Week 5.

So what is going on here? A lot. Too much, actually, to pinpoint simple answers. Should everyday fans care? Not particularly — and there are good reasons not to overreact.

To decipher all that the ratings are and are not telling us, we need a sharper understanding of the practical functions they serve.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Four Players On The Toronto Maple Leafs Account For Half Of The Salary Cap

from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,

...given that Tavares and hard-negotiating colleagues Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander will combine to earn about 50 per cent of the $81.5-million salary cap next season, the top-heavy roster has created a problematic imbalance in Leafland.

The imbalance, for now, is financial. Time will tell if it gets personal. While the Leafs have spent the off-season attempting to address various weaknesses — adding to their depth on defence while addressing the lack of “grit and work ethic” acknowledged by team president Brendan Shanahan at last season’s end — they’ve also created the potential for a dressing-room divide.

At the top of the food chain is a few star players who, if they don’t perform superbly, can be easily framed as greedy hogs who’ve commandeered the trough. Meanwhile, there’s a larger group of modestly paid but still important players who can make the case — as Mikheyev already has — that they have, unlike their highest-paid brethren, sacrificed for the cause. Count among that cadre veteran grit provider Wayne Simmonds, who signed on for a modest $1.5 million; Joe Thornton, the 41-year-old Hockey Hall of Famer in waiting who signed for the veteran minimum of $700,000; and Jason Spezza, another $700,000 lifer. Thornton and Spezza aren’t the only potentially key contributors who’ve jumped at the chance to play for the Leafs even though they will earn $1 million or less next season. The list also includes Zach Bogosian, Jimmy Vesey and KHL defenceman Mikko Lehtonen.

Marner, a year after engaging in the hardest of hardball negotiations with the club that brought him a six-year deal worth an annual $10.893 million, sounded more than slightly tone deaf this week when he lauded the willingness of so many of the new arrivals to join the Leafs for relatively humble wages.

more

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Playing Well In Europe

from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,

So who's hot right now? We've got a lot of candidates since a number of leagues are well into their regular seasons, even though some - Germany and the Czech Republic for example - have either been delayed or put on hiatus due to the pandemic.

Juuso Valimaki, D, Ilves (Fin.): Valimaki's development has been held back by injuries, but the 2017 Calgary Flames first-rounder is healthy and hot in his native Finland, racking up eight points in seven games for Ilves. That makes him the top-scoring D-man in the whole league, while Valimaki is also playing a robust 22:46 per game.

Jonatan Berggren, C, Skelleftea (SHL): Speed, smarts and great hands are Berggren's trademarks and the Detroit Red Wings prospect has really been putting all three together with 13 points in nine games for Skelleftea, making him the third-highest scorer in the league right now. The 2017 second-rounder has already eclipsed the 12 points in 24 games he had in the SHL last season.

Dmitry Ovchinnikov, C, Sibirskie Snaipery (Rus.): Ovchinnikov, who was taken in the fifth round of the 2020 draft by Toronto, has logged some major minutes for his Russian junior squad so far, going as high as 33:20 in a shootout loss earlier in the month.

more

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The Edmonton Oilers Retain Kris Russell For Another Year

(Edmonton, AB) - The Edmonton Oilers have signed defenceman Kris Russell to a one-year contract extension through the 2021-22 season worth an annual average value (AAV) of $1.25 million.

Russell, 33, appeared in 55 games with the Oilers last season, posting 9 assists, 14 penalty minutes and an even plus/minus rating. He also played in four games in the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs. 

The 5’10”, 170-pound blueliner has appeared in 846 career NHL games over 13 seasons with Columbus, St. Louis, Calgary, Dallas, and Edmonton, registering 236 points (46G, 190A), 259 penalty minutes and a -5 plus/minus rating. Russell has also recorded 20 points (3G, 17A), 24 penalty minutes and a -4 plus/minus rating in 53 career playoff games.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | 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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