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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.

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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.

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  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."

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  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.

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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.”

continued

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  Tags: jaden+schwartz

What’s Going On With Kevin Shattenkirk?

Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch did an online Q & A today...

When asked about the hold up on moving Shattenkirk,

The hold up is that Armstrong is looking for a deal that makes sense for the team. It's no secret that they'd like to trade him, but they're not going to make a deal they'll regret to make it happen now. The comments from Shattenkirk's agent, Jordan Neumann, were understandable because they felt that a trade would happened near the draft based on the information that they had been given. I've since asked Armstrong about the situation and he speaks as though Shattenkirk will be a Blue to start the season. That could be posturing to get the most from other teams who want Shattenkirk, or he could really feel that way. Bottom line, the Blues have plenty of time to trade Shattenkirk before he walks for nothing. Even if he's here to start the year and has a good year, that only drives up his price. They have until the deadline next year, so to me it's nothing to worry about. I'm not downplaying the situation, it is a significant storyline but there's no real rush.

a few more Shattenkirk related quetions plus more on the Blues...

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

Jamie Benn Had Surgery Yesterday To Repair Core Muscle Injury

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

The First Inductees Announced For The Winnipeg Jets Hall Of Fame

Winnipeg, MB - The Winnipeg Jets™ Hockey Club announced today that Anders Hedberg, Bobby Hull and Ulf Nilsson will be the first inductees into a newly created Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame. The three players were members of the prolific ‘Hot Line’, which, as a trio, led the Winnipeg Jets to two World Hockey Association (WHA) championships in 1976 and 1978, and remains one of the most potent lines in professional hockey history. Members of Hot Line will be honoured in the inaugural Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at the MTS Centre when the Winnipeg Jets play the Toronto Maple Leafs®.

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The New York Rangers Sign UFA Josh Jooris

NEW YORK, July 15, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free agent forward Josh Jooris.

Jooris, 26, skated in 59 games with the Calgary Flames this past season, registering four goals and nine assists for 13 points, along with 39 penalty minutes. He tied for the team lead in shorthanded assists (two) and tied for fifth on Calgary in shorthanded points (two) in 2015-16. The Flames posted a 9-2-1 record in contests which Jooris tallied at least one point this past season, and he posted a plus/minus rating of even or better in 45 of the 59 games in which he played during the season. He skated in his 100th career NHL game on February 23, 2016 at Los Angeles.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: josh+jooris

Morning Line- Dave Hyde On The Florida Panthers

Rowe is a hockey lifer, a respected mind and gave Tallon his full and due respect. But it's clear something happened inside the team we don't know about, something that made Viola break with Tallon and side with Rowe. Something all about direction and philosophy, as these moves show.

A gamble? Absolutely. Tallon's personnel decisions stack up like gold bars. His core of talent, including Vincent Trocheck and Reilly Smith, who were on display with new deals Thursday, are why the Panthers will win for years.

Rowe's moves will decide how big they win.

For years, the Panthers had a series of owners who wouldn't spend money. Viola spent this off-season beyond what anyone imagined. That shows how much he wants to win.

His biggest move, though, was picking Rowe over Tallon. It was a hockey mind with new ideas over a hockey mind with a great eye for talent. These ideas will tell just how far $200 million will take this team.

-Dave Hyde of the SunSentinel where you can read more on the Panthers.

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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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