Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
In five NHL seasons, Gunnarsson has produced 15 goals, 86 points and a plus-minus rating of plus-15. In 2013-14, he played in a career-high 80 games and was a plus-13, despite the fact that Toronto ranked No. 26 in the league in goals-against per game (3.07).
“I try to do my best,” Gunnarsson said. “I’m more of a team guy than anything. If guys can play their game when they play next to me, that’s what I’m there for. I’m not a flashy guy who shows off any super skills or anything like that. I just try to come to work every day and make everyone else better — whatever is good for the team.”
The Blues have been searching for a lefthanded shooting defenseman to play with Kevin Shattenkirk and perhaps also take some of the load off Jay Bouwmeester by playing with Alex Pietrangelo.
“We’ll see how that works out during training camp,” Gunnarsson said. “I guess they have a plan with me, but whoever I play with, it’s going to be fun. Shattenkirk and Pietrangelo — two great D-men — if I play with any of those guys, it’s going to be a fun season.”...
Gunnarsson is not skating yet this offseason. After dealing with multiple issues in his left hip the past two seasons, he had surgery in late April to repair a labrum tear and help facilitate a condition which he’s had since birth.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
I’m getting more and more of these kinds of emails, just so Avalanche management knows:
I am a beyond huge Avs fan, and enjoy your articles on the team. This ongoing war (and sadly, mostly to the Avs fault that it is now a war) between O’Reilly and the team is sickening me, mostly because it was avoidable. Like you mentioned, the Avs could have taken care of this during the season, as they also could have done with Statsny, by signing him then.
There are two kinds of owners in professional sports: Those who are out to make a profit at all costs, or those who are trying to win a championship. Sadly, we clearly know which camp the Kroenke family is in. I can see owners who do not have deep pockets trying to save money because they do not have a lot to spend in the first place (i.e. Kansas City Royals, Buffalo Bills, etc.), but the Kroenke family has untold billions of dollars. Yet, they have this ridiculous cost-containment policy towards the Avs, and this will all but guarantee that they will not be winning a Stanley Cup anytime soon.
continued which includes a note from another fan with the opposite view...
from Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post,
The Leafs are still willing to entertain discussion, but aside from a summertime free agent signing or two, the roster of players assembled now will very likely be the roster the team fields heading into training camp this fall.
“There’s still a couple little pieces there that we may have interest in,” Nonis said. “But we’ll see. There’s a few players where we’ve kicked the tires, and we’ll see if there’s a fit. But by and large, what we have right now is what we’re going to start with.”...
The Leafs still have two restricted free agents left to sign. Defenceman Jake Gardiner is one, and goaltender James Reimer — the one-time starter who had been hoping to move to a different team — is another.
There will be money left to spend beyond those two, which is why Nonis has been able to poke around the remainder bin of the unrestricted free agent market. Largely, though, the roster will look familiar to the one from last year, with most of the changes made to the blue line.
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
WHEC-TV in Rochester, N.Y. is reporting (and has video) that recently-signed Wild winger and former Buffalo Sabre and Rochester Amerk Thomas Vanek was in federal court today in upstate New York as part of an ongoing gambling investigation.
According to the station, Vanek's appearance stems from the June arrest of three owners/managers of the Marina Restaurant and Bar in Charlotte, N.Y. on gambling and money laundering charges. The three men were allegedly conducting an illegal gambling business out of the bar since January 2012 (see above links and this article).
The TV station reports, "Vanek is not charged with any crime and he voluntarily came to the federal court building with his lawyer."
continued including Russo contacting Bill Daly on this subject...
from Tim Schooley of the Pittsburgh Business Times,
Dejan Kovacevic quit as sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in order to launch his own website, DKonPittsburghsports.com.
He said the new website will go live Wednesday, July 23, and expects to announce a corporate sponsor in the coming days. Through the new venture, he’ll continue to travel and cover Pittsburgh's professional sports, with his wife, Dali, managing the business end.
“I believe in the readership that I have,” said Kovacevic. “They’d followed me once from the PG over to the Trib. And I believe that there’s enough of a connection there that the more diehard Pittsburgh sports fan will follow again to this platform.”
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
- Right now, there are eight teams in the NHL without a centre carrying a $5 million average salary. Only one made last season's playoffs -- the New York Rangers. The others are Arizona, Buffalo, Calgary, Nashville, Ottawa, Toronto and Winnipeg. I'm not sure this is a coincidence. Look at the arms race for centres since the Stanley Cup was awarded.
- The cash value for middlemen is trending upward, too. Fourteen teams have a centre above $6 million. Only one (Montreal) has their top earner right at $5 million. Derick Brassard's negotiations/arbitration could change the Rangers' situation, but if he doesn't crack five, you have to assume Derek Stepan will.
- With all this in mind, there's no doubt opponents are eying Arizona's Antoine Vermette, with one year left on his contract. At the GM meetings, I asked Don Maloney if he would try to extend him. Maloney wants to, but knows there will be Garden of Eden-level temptation for Vermette.
Maybe there is still time to patch up the relationship between O’Reilly and his current employers. And to be sure, Colorado still has enough elite talent in its system to survive the loss of O’Reilly if it happens. However, in a league where the reputation of how a team treats players does matter, the Avalanche are doing themselves more harm than good by picking a fight with a youngster who’s delivered on everything that’s been asked of him.
There are positives to drawing lines in the sand as Colorado is doing with O’Reilly. But that line might also represent the limits of how far the Avalanche can progress by repeatedly testing the loyalty of their best young players.
-Adam Proteau of The Hockey News where you can read more on this topic...
from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,
It is a five-year agreement and the Kings will be the only sports property on KABC, and longtime team broadcasters Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans will continue in their positions, play-by-play and analyst, respectively.
Additionally, the Kings already have sold out of season tickets for 2014-15. The team said its season-ticket base is 16,000 and that season-ticket renewal was in excess of 95%. The base number includes partial season-ticket plans; single-game tickets are scheduled to go on sale in September....
For the Kings, the radio deal is novel in that it is a multiyear agreement. Kelly Cheeseman, the Kings' chief operating officer, said in a interview that the team previously "basically paid" to be on radio and that agreements of the past were typically of a year-to-year nature.
There has been a marked change in the business climate from when the Kings first won the Stanley Cup in 2012.
from Greg Johnson of NCAA.com,
• Goals may be reviewed to determine if they are scored before a penalty occurred.
• If an offsides or too many men on the ice penalty is missed and a goal is scored, the play may be reviewed if the puck remains in the offensive zone after the missed infraction. If the puck leaves the attacking zone, the offsides or too many men on the ice penalty is no longer reviewable.This replaces the previous wording that only allowed a review if the missed play directly led to a goal.
• It was clarified that the video used for replays may come from any source that is available to the game officials. Previously, the video used was required to come from a television broadcast.
Other proposals approved by the panel include:
Major penalty for interference: To assist officials in properly penalizing significant contact – particularly blindside hits – that is not to the head or neck area, the panel approved the addition of a major penalty for interference.
from Shaunvir Sidhu of Bloomberg Sports,
In the NHL, clutch is more difficult to measure because of the amount of players (4-lines) that can impact a close game in the third period. While there has been work done to show save percentages don’t consistently spike when the game is on the line, there hasn’t been much done to show whether or not clutch exists at the team level. I wanted to figure out if there were teams who could be consistently clutch—for the purposes of this study I defined this as a team who could consistently win games decided by 1 goal.
The results were interesting. Since the shootout era, no team has consistently won close games. Close-game outcomes appear random and unaffected by normal measures of team-strength. Furthermore, and perhaps more interesting for GM’s/Coaches: Stanley Cup champions avoid this randomness. They play 7% fewer close games than other teams, and this is independent of their goal differential. If you want to win a Stanley Cup, the chances of that happening increase if you avoid playing close games.
Let’s get into the data.
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.
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