Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Toronto Maple Leafs,
David Nonis, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Tuesday that Mark Hunter, a veteran forward of 12 seasons in the National Hockey League, has been named the club’s Director of Player Personnel. The Petrolia, Ontario native played in 628 career NHL regular season games and 79 more in the postseason from 1981 to 1993.
“I am very excited about joining the Toronto Maple Leafs organization,” said Hunter. “I am grateful for the opportunity that has been given to me by Brendan Shanahan, David Nonis and the entire management team. I would like to thank the London Knights organization for 12 great years. I am looking forward to the start of a new chapter in Toronto.”
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
... “You can’t trade (Nail) Yakupov, because nobody’s going to take him,” said (Don) Cherry, as per Sportsnet.ca. “(Jordan) Eberle or one of those guys have got to go. It’s a tough deal giving one of (the young players) away, but something’s gotta go.”
While it’s a bit of hyperbole to say nobody would take the No. 1 overall pick in Yakupov, there’s no question that Eberle has significant value on the trade market and is exactly the kind of player the Bruins are seeking to answer their right wing questions along the top line. The Bruins and Oilers have conducted an ongoing trade conversation going back to the beginning of summer involving Johnny Boychuk, and again right before this season’s opening with Chris Kelly on Edmonton’s radar....
So the Bruins would have their right wing solution for the foreseeable future if they brought him into the fold. Boston will have to fight through a dysfunctional offense until they find a proper solution on the right side of David Krejci and Milan Lucic, and that means going outside the organization for the answer.
The challenge is meeting Edmonton’s price for Eberle, who will draw interest around the league, and clearing more cap space in order to take on his cap tag.
HALL, NUGENT-HOPKINS POWER OILERS TO FIRST WIN
Taylor Hall registered 1-1—2, including his first career penalty-shot goal, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored the tiebreaking marker with 3:25 remaining in regulation to lift the Oilers to their first victory of the season.
* Hall posted his team-leading fourth goal and sixth point of the season. He paced the club with a career-high 53 assists and 80 points in 2013-14.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Hall became the first Oilers player to score a penalty-shot goal since Feb. 17, 2007, when Marc-Antoine Pouliot beat Andrew Raycroft in a 4-3 loss at TOR.
* Nugent-Hopkins recorded his first goal of the season and first game-winner. He tied for the team lead (with Jordan Eberle) with a career-high four game-winning goals in 2013-14.
* The Oilers improved to 18-9-3 all-time against the Lightning, including an 11-4-0 mark at home (four consecutive wins at Rexall Place).
from Ted Wyman of the Winnipeg Sun,
Frustration was evident among the Winnipeg Jets and their head coach Monday, a day after the team suffered its fourth straight loss during a demoralizing start to the NHL season.
They are struggling to score, haven’t managed a single power play goal in five games and have lost the last four by at least two goals during a 1-4 start.
It’s the kind of rocky beginning that prompts the coach to drop an F-bomb in his media availability, an assistant captain to suggest the team has no idea how to handle adversity and the reminder to be delivered that what is discussed in the locker-room stays in the locker-room.
Asked how the team can fix the maddening inconsistency problem that has persisted since it first arrived from Atlanta, defenceman Mark Stuart said: “I know you guys ask how because you want to keep the conversation going but that’s something we’ve got to figure out in here.”
If you missed Paul Maurice post-practice yesterday, you can watch it here.
from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,
As reporters crowded around Coyotes goalie Mike Smith following Monday's practice to gauge his psyche after yet another six goals-against Saturday, backup Devan Dubnyk quipped that Smith isn't the only one who's experienced a slide like this and he, too, could offer up some insight.
But Smith isn't looking to deflect any of the attention he's receiving right now for a goals-against average (5.33) that might be more reflective of a struggling Major League Baseball reliever than an NHL starting goaltender.
"I don't need to bring anyone else into this," Smith said. "It's me and only me, and I've been through it tons of times in my career. You shrug it off your shoulder, and it's obviously not even close to what I'm capable of, and I know that, and I understand that, and the team needs more from me.
"But I can't dwell on it. It's three games I've played. We're 2-2. I know there's a panic around here to flip a switch and turn it around, but it's a process, and we're all going to be better because of this adversity."
from Nick Groke of the Denver Post,
Patrick Roy's yelling echoed off the walls of the Avalanche's practice rink Monday. That was between the team skating lap sprints.
After a rough, four-game road trip that left Colorado reeling, Avs coach Roy wasn't going easy on his slipping team.
"The way we practiced today, this is how we'll get back on track," Roy said. "The intensity we had, the compete level we had around the net, that will transpire in our game."
The Avs returned home to Colorado with a 1-4-1 record and a mounting problem. In their five losses this season, the Avs are allowing just less than four goals per game.
That's the problem. Roy, though, wasn't about to pin the cause on Colorado's goaltenders.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Here are Five Questions with … Jason Spezza:
Obviously it's a major adjustment going from Ottawa to Dallas, so what has it been like for you? Has it been strange, different, challenging? How would you describe the adjustment?
"I would say it's all of the above.
"The strange is starting to wear off. It's definitely starting to become more routine now that I've been to the game rink a bunch and been around the guys a lot. Once you start playing more and more games you start feeling more comfortable, so the strange is starting to go away.
"It's challenging just trying to get to know everybody on the team and what their tendencies are, where they like to stand on the ice. Everybody has their things they like to do, so that's a bit of a challenge for me, figure out guys' tendencies.
"And it's been exciting. Just being on a new team it just feels like the excitement is really in my game. I'm trying to make sure I'm pushing myself to do well and to really help the club."
Talent-wise, there’s not too much difference, to be honest.
-Nazem Kadri of the Toronto Maple Leafs, comparing himself with John Tavares of the New York Islanders. More on Kadri and the Leafs from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Six games into the new season, Nash is leading the NHL with seven goals. The Big Easy is finding open spaces and driving to the net, much as he did throughout his first nine seasons in Columbus and his first season in New York, the lockout-truncated 2012-13 in which he recorded 21 goals in 44 games.
Last year, Nash’s game changed after sustaining a concussion in the season’s third game, his second concussion within 10 months. He admitted to The Post during training camp he didn’t feel comfortable putting himself in certain situations after returning to the lineup following a 17-game absence.
Still, Nash again led the Rangers with 26 goals in 65 games. Still, he threw his body around with abandon during the playoffs and in the final. He led the tournament with 83 shots, five more than the Kings’ Marian Gaborik, who led the playoffs with 14 goals.
“I don’t know that I’m doing much different than in the playoffs,” Nash, who will remain on the Big and Tall Line with Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes, said on Monday. “Except that the puck is going in.”
Nash has scored his seven goals on just 22 shots for an obviously unsustainable 31.8 shooting percentage.
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.
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