Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Martin Merk of IIHF.com,
The number of registered ice hockey players has grown to 1,779,911 according to the International Ice Hockey Federation’s annual Survey of Players that includes 68 countries.
That’s an increase of 8.47 per cent compared to last year. There have been more players in all categories – male, female and junior players.
The number-one country remains hockey motherland Canada followed by the United States, the Czech Republic, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and France who complete the top-10.
But the data also offers other interesting angles. Who would have thought that Latvia has the sixth-highest number of players per capita and that Iceland is ninth before tenth-ranked USA?
This article is about a week old and I saw it when it first came out but decided to pass, but in the last few days a few KK members brought it to my attention which tells me I should have posted it in the first place.
from Emily Cornelius at The Huffington Post,
As hockey fans, one of our favorite things to do is criticize the players. 'He's a bum', 'he's washed up,' 'we are paying him how much?' It's innate. They make a ton of money to do what we wish we were doing, they can take a little ribbing from us lowly fans.
But are we giving these players enough credit? How hard is it actually to 'make it,' to 'go to the show,' to 'get the call?'
Early 2013, Jim Parcels, a former Peterborough Petes trainer and Ken Campbell, a writer for The Hockey News, co-authored Selling the Dream: How Hockey Parents and Their Kids Are Paying the Price for Our National Obsession. In the book, Parcels breaks down the odds of a kid from Ontario making the NHL. Out of the select 30,000 players they studied, 48 were drafted by an NHL team, and 39 of those 48 actually signed contracts with an NHL team. Of that 39, only 32 actually played in the NHL, and only 15 of those players played more than one full season. And finally, of that 15, only six played the minimum 400 games to qualify for the NHL Player Pension.
So if we count the 400 game league minimum for the Player Pension as having a 'career' in the NHL, then 0.16 percent will get drafted into the NHL and only 0.02 percent of hockey-playing boys in Ontario will make a 'career' out of hockey.
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
While most people were gob-smacked by their success, former Avalanche forward and four-time Stanley Cup champion Claude Lemieux was not. Having played with Roy in Colorado, Lemieux knew that Roy's passionate personality would take the team places no one expected.
“I wasn’t surprised,” Lemieux told ESPN.com in a recent phone conversation. “I know Patrick is a good coach, more than a good coach -- a really good coach. I knew he would have a big impact. He’s so committed to the game, he’s so well-prepared, and he understands winning. He has been a winner for life and that only translates to being contagious to players.”
Lemieux said he actually expected the Avalanche to fare far better in 2013, but knew it was only a matter of time once Roy was hired. The Avalanche lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Wild, but gained valuable postseason experience, which Lemieux hopes will aid them heading into their 2014-15 campaign.
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Despite the reasonable cynicism, Hitchcock claims that after the Blues’ third straight playoff exit under his direction, the feeling is different this time.
“Yeah, it’s what happens when a team starts to really grow up,” he said. “It’s like we’ve learned a lot the last three years and you can see it in the players’ approach right now. They understand the details that they can control in the offseason. There’s no crash course going on now. Everybody is getting what they need.
“Some guys come in early, do their off-ice workout, take 20 minutes of the skate and leave. They’re not trying to search and find it. So they’ve got a maturity about them from a conditioning standpoint that good teams have. They know how long the season is, how hard the season is and they know what they have to do to get ready to have a good training camp.”
Having a good training camp, or even a record-breaking regular season, though, is no longer the measure of success in St. Louis.
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
The NHL has once again said no - for the time being - to selling prime space on team jerseys to sponsors, a move the league estimates would generate at least $120 million.
During a recent meeting of NHL team presidents in New York, league officials estimated they might raise $4 million per team by allowing corporate sponsors to put their logos front and centre on jerseys, a person familiar with the matter told TSN.
"Gary (Bettman) and owners like the money, but they don't want to be first out of the box with this in North America," the person told TSN. "They'll wait for the NBA or baseball to do it and then be second or third."
The NHL, like other mainstream North American sports, to this point has resisted breaking with tradition, even though NHL jerseys already carry advertising since jersey maker Reebok's logo is so prominent.
“This season is not about me, not at all. It’s about the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’ll never be about me. I’m a sidebar. I’m the tsetse fly on the wall. This season is about the Maple Leafs. It’s about our team. It’s about our players. It’s about our organization.
“The reality is, we have to win more games. Simple as that. Winning cures pretty much everything.
“Losing is hard. This is why we’re bald and we’re grey and you ask yourself, ‘Why do I do this for a living?’ You carry the losses with you. And in this market, you carry it a little big longer and a lot louder.
“You have to have short-term memory. You have to be able to move on to the next practice, the next game, turn the page and keep your emotions so you make the decisions that are best for your group.”
-Randy Carlyle, head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. More from Carlyle by Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun.
from Rob Rossi of he Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
No team in this city is better at controlling its message than the Penguins, so I have to believe the messages management has been sending behind the scenes are the ones they want out there.
Crosby's been crushed by the burden of being Sidney Crosby.
Malkin needs to become a better leader.
Ray Shero was too close to his players.
Dan Bylsma ran a country club.
It's time to change the culture.
Now, that might be a fair point, but accountability is a tough sell from a franchise with owners who only take questions when they're trying to sound like they've been paying close attention....
I'm also pretty skeptical of the overly layered management structure working out the way the Penguins think it could.
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
With 23 men on the roster (that includes Joakim Nordstrom or Teuvo Teravainen), the Hawks are about $2.2 million above the salary cap of $69 million. Even if they broke camp with 22 players, they still would be above the cap. So between the time the puck drops for the first practice Friday in South Bend and the time the puck drops for the regular-season opener Oct. 9 in Dallas, general manager Stan Bowman has to make a move. There are plenty of possibilities.
Defenseman Johnny Oduya has one year and $3.375 million left on his contract, so he makes the most sense from a strictly financial standpoint. But he and Niklas Hjalmarsson make up the Hawks’ top defensive tandem, charged with stopping the opponents’ best players. That allows Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook to be more offensive-minded. And any deal might hinge on how healthy Oduya looks in the preseason after suffering a broken foot in Game 7 of the Western Conference final.
Defenseman Nick Leddy, who makes $2.7 million and will be a restricted free agent next summer, is a 24-year-old puck-mover and power-play quarterback and might fetch a nice prospect or two. He has lost coach Joel Quenneville’s trust in two consecutive postseasons, but Bowman and the organization remain high on thim. If Bowman can find a taker for 36-year-old Michal Rozsival instead, he likely would jump at it.
I don't expect many moves early in training camp. There is always the possibility a player gets injured, maybe placed on LTIR which would give a team some cap relief for a period of time.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Look, there’s dialogue between Rangers management and Marc Staal’s representation that is constructive. And talks will continue.
That’s all good.
But even as No. 18’s agent, Paul Krepelka, told The Post on Wednesday afternoon that “we’ve made some progress,” an agreement on a contract extension for the alternate captain is by no means imminent. There remains a substantial gulf between the parties....
“I’m not giving daily updates, not getting into ‘close or not close,’ ’’ Krepelka said. “The tenor of the talks has been good, so we’ll keep going and keep working on it. There’s certainly no deadline on our part for getting this done.
“If this becomes a distraction at any time for Marc, then we’d have to take another look at it. But it’s all been positive to this point.”
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
The Senators and Marc Methot are just $300,000 per year apart in negotiations on a contract extension.
It seems to be either a very workable gap or an excuse for Ottawa to solve its blueline logjam by trading the veteran defenceman.
Methot is beginning to think the latter.
"It's at the stage where I'm really not comfortable that the team wants to do anything (on a new deal)," a disappointed Methot told the Sun Tuesday.
Entering the final season on a contract that has a $3 million cap hit and pays him a $3.75 million salary, Methot, an Ottawa native, is willing to sign up long term for what he feels is a "hometown discount."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org