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Kukla's Korner Hockey

Questions Facing The San Jose Sharks

from Eric Gilmore at NHL.com,

How will the Sharks respond after their stunning first-round loss? -- The Sharks were humiliated after losing four straight games to the Kings. Most likely, they'll use that meltdown as motivation.

"The way we ended was disappointing to say the least, but it's something that we're going to have to look into the mirror, each one of us, and look to each other and all start pushing in the same direction," defenseman Jason Demers said.

"I think we still have that team that can go all the way."

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Sale Rumors Will Only Get Stronger Regarding The Carolina Hurricanes

from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,

Thursday morning on his radio show, Dan Patrick claimed that “a financial person who’s involved in this” told him the NHL would have a team in Las Vegas by 2016. He further claimed the Carolina Hurricanes were one of two teams that could move there.

“I guess he’s asking an exorbitant price for his team,” Patrick said, after initially identifying Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos as the owner of the Nashville Predators. “That’s also a possibility from what I’m told. They could relocate as well.”

Patrick is probably right about the first part. Expansion, to Las Vegas and beyond, appears inevitable. As for the second, just consider this kind of talk the price of five straight seasons without a playoff appearance. As ticket sales and corporate sponsorships dwindle, as Karmanos sells off chunks of the team to local investors, these kinds of rumors will only intensify.

But Karmanos is getting more involved with the Hurricanes, not less, even as he continues to seek investors.

continued
 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Kevin Bieksa Believes In The Canucks

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

“I still believe in our group. I trust the twins are going to come here and be ready. (Defenceman Dan Hamhuis) will be hungrier than ever. We have a lot of pride on this team, a lot of integrity, and we’re not happy about what happened last year. I think we’re all going to look in the mirror and come back motivated. I’m excited about this year.”

After an offseason in which the organization was taken down to the studs, so are a lot of people. But it’s a funny thing.

For all the changes made to the Canucks this summer — and that was everything except the drapes and carpeting — the team’s fortunes are still very much tied to a group of players who’ve been together for almost a decade. The Canucks are younger. They should be deeper. There’s a new president, a new GM and a new coach, to say nothing of a new goaltending tandem and a new second-line centre.

But, for all that, this team will still go as far as the Sedins, Bieksa, Alex Burrows, Alex Edler and Hamhuis (admittedly a late-comer to the Founders’ Club) can carry them. The look will be different. The supporting cast will be different. But the core group, at least at the start of the season, will be the same.

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  Tags: kevin+bieksa

Afternoon Line

The only thing left to determine is the timetable. With the NHL’s 100th anniversary coming up in 2017, privately, just about everybody in a senior position with an NHL team believes it’ll happen by then.

-Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail on NHL expansion.  Read more on this topic...

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Another ‘Vegas Done Deal’ Report

from Sean Gentile of The Sporting News,

... we now have two sourced reports that an eventual Las Vegas team (Let's go Craps!) is "a done deal." The first came from the Vancouver Province's Tony Gallagher earlier this week. That's why we're talking about this at all.

The second came from Dan Patrick on Thursday morning. Patrick, who does TV work for NBC and hosts a national radio show, cited "a financial person who is in involved" with the process and told him there'd be a team in Vegas in 2016: "The paperwork's already done. It is, as has been reported, a done deal."

Patrick raised the question over whether the still-theoretical team would be an expansion franchise or a relocated one. He mentioned the Arizona Coyotes, which is par for the course, but the team's new ownership group has said, constantly, that they're committed to the market long-term, five-year out clause notwithstanding. Several recent long-term sponsorship deals back that up.

The other team Patrick mentioned, per his source: the Carolina Hurricanes. Owner Peter Karmanos is looking to sell for an "exorbitant amount,' according to Patrick, so he said the end result could be a Vegas move.

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Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sportsnet Adds More Hockey Broadcasting Talent To Their Lineup

TORONTO (August 28, 2014) Canadian hockey fans will be receiving the all-star treatment this season, as the NHL on Sportsnet today unveiled its big-name broadcast team – including 39 hosts, play-by-play announcers, analysts and reporters – who will bring fans the biggest plays, analysis, stories and highlights from both the rink and the studio throughout the 2014/15 NHL season.

Highlighted by both new additions and familiar faces, the robust roster will deliver more than 500 regular season games across nine networks, including CBC, City, Sportsnet (East, Ontario, West, and Pacific), Sportsnet ONE, Sportsnet 360 and FX Canada.

“Canadian hockey fans deserve a broadcast team that is just as passionate about the game as they are,” said Gord Cutler, Senior Vice President of NHL Production, Rogers. “It was important that we assemble a crew of experienced, knowledgeable, entertaining and accomplished broadcasters with diverse backgrounds and experience, to create a fresh, new viewing experience that will resonate with fans of all ages.”

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sportsnet

Tim Horton And Tim Horton’s

from Jessica Smith Cross of MetroNews,

The hockey player’s name is perhaps said more often than any other in Canada — no, it’s not Wayne Gretzky.

In all of the talk of what Burger King Worldwide Inc.’s acquisition of Tim Hortons means for Canada’s iconic brand, there’s little mention of Tim Horton, the man — a beloved Stanley Cup-winning defenceman for the 1950s and ’60s Maple Leafs, who died driving drunk near St. Catharines, Ont., in 1974.

“Horton is a ghost in the corporate machine,” said Douglas Hunter, author of a book on Miles Gilbert (Tim) Horton and another on Tim Hortons. “He has pretty much disappeared from the store that bears his name.”

Prior to his death, the coffee chain had begun to “disengage” Horton from the restaurant, said Hunter, as Horton was never comfortable as a “persona” and the company thought it was better business strategy to focus on the food. The phasing out of Horton the man continued in 1974 after the circumstances surrounding the Tim’s founder’s death mired the chain’s namesake in controversy.

On Feb. 21, 1974, Horton, who then played for the Buffalo Sabres, was heading to Buffalo for treatment after taking a puck to the jaw and stopped to meet with his partner in the doughnut shop chain, Ron Joyce, said Hunter.

At 4 a.m. Horton went off the road at high speed. Alcohol and pills were found at the scene, but at the time whether or not he was driving drunk was publicly disputed and unconfirmed.

 

Below, watch a Legends of Hockey feature on Tim Horton...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Deeper Look At Ryan Johansen

from Jonathan Willis of Sportsnet,

It seems that at least once per summer, a contract negotiation between an emerging young star and his NHL teams goes all pear-shaped. This year, the distinction belongs to Columbus Blue Jackets pivot Ryan Johansen, the 2010 fourth-overall pick who broke through in 2013-14 after two disappointing professional seasons.

In hindsight, the impasse seems predictable, simply because of the dichotomy between what Johansen accomplished last season and what he had done previously as a pro. It’s well worth remembering that as recently as May 2013 the centre was a healthy scratch—and not for the Jackets, but for their AHL affiliate, a team fighting for its playoff life. “It’s not something I enjoyed doing or wanted to do,” Springfield Falcons coach Brad Larsen told the Columbus Dispatch at the time. “But, to be honest with you, it wasn’t all that hard of a decision. We talked after Game 2, and I tried to ramp him up. In Game 3, we just felt like he wasn’t all there, like he wasn’t invested 100 percent.”

With that kind of history, it is entirely understandable that the Blue Jackets would look at Johansen’s 2013-14 performance with some skepticism, asking themselves if it’s really representative of that player’s future performance. Johansen’s camp understandably wants the player to get paid for what was an exceptional year. He led the team’s forward group in minutes played and was second only to Brandon Dubinsky (who regularly kills penalties) in minutes per game. He also scored 33 goals; one more would have had him in the NHL’s top 10.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+johansen

Drug Testing Program Implemented For The AHL

NEW YORK/SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (Aug. 28, 2014) – An education and drug testing program will be implemented for American Hockey League players, effective for the 2014-15 season, the National Hockey League and American Hockey League announced today.

The details of the AHL program, which was the result of a collaborative effort between the two leagues (NHL and AHL), the National Hockey League Players’ Association and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association (which represents AHL players in collective bargaining), substantially replicate the collectively bargained policies already in place for NHL players.

The AHL drug testing program will be administered by the doctors who supervise the NHL/NHLPA Performance-Enhancing Substances Program and the Substance Abuse/Behavioral Health Program.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ahl

The Better Looking Blues

from Paul Lukas of ESPN,

The classics are classic for a reason.

The uni-verse has taught us that lesson countless times, and it did so again this week when the St. Louis Blues finally dispensed of all the nonsense and got back to basics with their new uniform design.

How superior is this new design to the one it's replacing? Let us count the ways:

1. No more apron strings.

Those annoying gold stripes that ran down the torso and continued onto the pants, which were added to the Blues' uniform in 2007, were a disaster from the get-go. They made the chest logo feel too boxed in and confined, they looked like dangling apron strings, and they almost never lined up from jersey to pant leg. They reeked of gimmickry and templating -- two surefire ways to ruin a uniform -- and getting rid of them is a textbook case of addition by subtraction.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | 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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