Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
- Panthers general manager Dale Tallon is most certainly on the hotseat. The new owners are demanding that this team be competitive and the Panthers are mired in the same old mess. Yes, they have good young players, but the older veterans brought in by Tallon haven’t done the job. Many believe he’s the guy on the hotseat. The Panthers need to win if they are to have a footprint in Florida.
- The Oilers, Stars, Wings, Panthers, Bolts, Flames and Sharks are looking for a defenceman in some way, shape or form. Perhaps they should give the Flyers a call, there’s some talk Nick Grossman and Luke Schenn are available.
- A name to watch: Calgary defenceman Dennis Wideman. He has three years left at $5.25 million per season and his name is out there. He has a “no movement” clause so he would have to agree to a deal.
- If the Panthers are to move defenceman Brian Campbell, they want a top prospect in return.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
- On Tuesday, Edmonton faced off against Los Angeles without injured top-liners Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle. Predictably, the Oilers fell short, even though the Kings were missing Marian Gaborik and Jake Muzzin. But they didn’t just lose. They got hammered, 6-1. The next night, the Coyotes hung seven on the Oilers.
As usual, it’s a mess in Edmonton. Injuries happen. It doesn’t help when they hit two of your best players. But management is responsible for providing depth when the inevitable takes place. Edmonton’s top two centers against the Kings were Mark Arcobello and Leon Draisaitl....
- What do Chris Kelly, Kris Letang, Matt Carle, Nicklas Grossmann, Dan Girardi, Stephen Weiss, Brandon Prust, and Nathan Horton have in common? Two things: They played for the eight Eastern Conference playoff teams last season, and they are overpaid within the context of their rosters and job descriptions. The point is that just about every management team is carrying an inflated salary. It happens. No GM is immune to this issue. There are reasons. Carle, Weiss, Prust, and Horton won their paydays as unrestricted free agents. Letang has the coveted puck-moving skill set. The Bruins like Kelly’s versatility and presence. Girardi, when he’s on, is a good shutdown defenseman. It’s better to have the player at a higher price than to lose him to a competitor.
more on the Oilers plus additional hockey topics including how teams deal with the second contract of a player...
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
- I’m glad Nazem Kadri has good analytics. I’d be even more impressed if he was in better support position when he played in the defensive zone and didn’t turn the puck over in the offensive zone.
- Somehow Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish must have forgotten that when they won Stanley Cups, Grant Fuhr, Bill Ranford or Mike Richter were in goal.
- From the department of weird stats: Evgeni Nabokov has more career shutouts (59) than Ken Dryden, Bernie Parent, Ed Giacomin, Rogie Vachon and Curtis Joseph. That list includes three Hall of Famers, one passed over Hall of Famer and one maybe someday Hall of Famer.
more including some Mike Babcock talk which does not include any mention of him coaching in Toronto next year...
from Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Pouring coffee with Penguins head equipment manager Dana Heinze can be a revealing experience.
First, grab a Styrofoam cup, black or gold with the Penguins logo on the side. Heinze packs these for road trips and insists the Penguins are the only NHL team that travels with logo-covered cups.
But don't dare put cream at the bottom and pour. That's an inadequate mix. Instead, dump one into the other, then repeat.
Spill a little? In an instant, there's an outstretched arm offering a paper towel.
“It's the little details that set us apart,” Heinze said. “People might think it's excessive or extreme, but I think it makes a difference.”
Heinze, 46, is a master of details. The 2014-15 season is Heinze's ninth in his current role, each more obsessive-compulsive than the last.
The man who outfits the Penguins, who fixes equipment, who sharpens skates, who ensures players are offered their preferred hair product and who organizes the locker room, leaves no box unchecked.
What do you think of the new look montage which played before the puck dropped last night?
from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
...defenseman Victor Hedman suffered an upper-body injury in the second period, forcing him to miss the rest of the game, and likely the rest of this five-game, 10-day road trip, coach Jon Cooper said.
Hedman, the team's top defenseman, is heading back to Tampa to get re-evaluated for what's believed to be a hand injury. Considering how well Hedman was playing, entering Saturday among the league leaders with seven points, it's a huge loss. But Cooper said he has "complete confidence" his team can shoulder the load, and with Radko Gudas (lower body) expected back soon, they won't need a call-up.
"We're hoping for the best," Cooper said. "It's unfortunate, clearly. We're going to test our depth. It just puts a little more pressure on our d-core as a whole. I just really feel for him. It's just too bad."
Said captain Steven Stamkos: "That's obviously a huge loss. He's playing so well this year. He's a horse for us."
more on Tampa's win over Vancouver and below, watch how the injury occurred...
My question is, where are the Avalanche players?
One of the topics Ron MacLean and Don Cherry discussed were the goal nets.
Don Cherry said the net has become too top-heavy because they took 12 inches off of the back and that someone is going to get hurt the same way Mark Howe got impaled by the goalpost back in the day.
A few other topics including a look at Tyler Toffoli of the LA Kings.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
- So Ken Dryden literally handed the torch to Carey Price at Thursday’s home opener in Montreal. This hopefully will work out better for the Canadiens then when Dryden figuratively handed the torch to Bunny Larocque and Denis Herron in 1979.
One game, winner take all.
Who do you want: Dryden or Patrick Roy?
I’ll take Dryden.
- Which team last year filed a complaint with the NHL, alleging circumvention committed by the Rangers when Martin Biron retired instead of accepting a demotion to the AHL and soon after took a job with MSG-TV?
- Of the 35 goaltenders to play at least 84 games since the start of 2011-12, Steve Mason has the fifth-worst save percentage at .908 while Ray Emery has the fourth-worst at .907.
If I didn’t know better, I would say that “Mr. Snider” has his eye on Connor McDavid.
more NHL talk including Marty Brodeur should go out on his terms...
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 email@example.com