Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Pollak of Working The Corners,
Q: I won’t pretend to know exactly what goes on in the room, but there are outward signs the Sharks weren’t one big happy family last spring, what with talk of being co-workers, not teammates. Is there a rift?
(McLellan) “I think when people speak, you have to listen and Doug has listened. . . . When I hear comments such as we were co-workers, not teammates, if I’m a player and I sat within 10 feet of these individuals throughout the year, I’m mad.
“I think it takes a lot more courage to speak to your teammates when you’re in the locker room and try and fix things than to stand after in a closed room without any teammates around and go that route.
“My issue isn’t necessarily with Patrick and Jumbo as ‘C’ and ‘A.’ We’re forcing some individuals that have these opinions to step up and show us. We’re kind of telling them, go ahead, repair things.
Unfortunately, the focal point is on Joe and Patty. They suffer from being that focal point. But for me, a lot is on a lot of other players.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
When Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen took agent Kurt Overhardt to task for his handling of the Ryan Johansen negotiations on Monday, it turned out that was just the warm-up act. When it came to president of hockey operations John Davidson to take his turn, he turned both barrels directly on Overhardt.
This is getting ugly, folks. And personal. The organization has chosen to make the agent the villain in this tale and Overhardt, for his part, wants no part of the public mudslinging. And that’s probably the best plan of attack for him. If someone has to be vilified here, it’s better that it’s the agent rather than the player.
“It makes no sense, Davidson said. “When you see numbers that are thrown at us, we shouldn’t even respond. That’s how bad it is. It’s embarrassing. And if the kid sits out, he sits out. I wonder if the agent’s going to pay him his money back that he’s going to lose by sitting out.
“With the numbers they come back with…are so one-sided it’s nonsensical. It’s extortion is what it is. I don’t make this stuff up. I’ve been in this league doing this for a long time now and this one here, it’s baffling is what it is. This one’s baffling. Baffling.”
Maybe today we will hear from Urban Meyer?
Just imagine if Johansen does hold out for a few days after camp opens and has a slow start to the season. The CBJ fanbase will be all over him because both Kekalained and Davidson went public with the negotiations.
from Daryl Reaugh of Razor With an Edge,
Get ready for an onslaught of numerical algorithms and trends.
Computer geeks and calculus wiz’s have been the pop-hires this summer. All of a sudden every team has to have one, and there seems to be great fanfare from social media whenever another obscure number-cruncher is added to a hockey staff.
It’s ‘Revenge of the Nerds’, 200 by 85.
Over the past couple of seasons we’ve all been introduced to Corsi and Fenwick, at least the names Corsi and Fenwick if not what they actually mean. I’ll admit to only having a cursory knowledge of the statistical info they provide, and I’m fine with that.
Don’t get me wrong; stats have a place.
At their best they are illuminating and validating, but they have to be deployed in that manner - they have to enhance, not lead.
“It’s gotten to the point now, not just for myself but for every player on our team, if we’re going to get the recognition … our team has to be a better team than it’s been in the pas. When we see players vault to levels that they weren’t at before, it’s usually because of their playoff performance. Or the way they were able to get their team into the playoffs.
“The same applies to me: In order for me to get the recognition I want from Edmonton fans and outside sources … it’s going to have to be because our team is good.”
-Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers. More on Hall from Mark Spector of Sportsnet.
You never know who you will see when you pick up your tickets.
via the Anaheim Ducks,
The Ducks have signed right wing Devante Smith-Pelly to a two-year contract through the 2015-16 NHL season. Per club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Smith-Pelly, 22 (6/14/92), has scored 9-14=23 points with 18 penalty minutes (PIM) in 75 career NHL games with the Ducks. Smith-Pelly set career highs in assists (8) and plus/minus (+5) in his third NHL season in 2013-14, appearing in 19 games with Anaheim. The 6-0, 222-pound winger also made his Stanley Cup Playoff debut in 2014, leading the Ducks with five goals (5-0=5) and ranking third with 24 PIM.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Mike Richards, it sounds like anyway, kept his word to the Mad Professor.
Faced with the possibility of his contract being bought out by the Stanley Cup champions, the 29-year-old Richards vowed to Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi in June that he would be more committed to his workouts this summer to help bring back the Mike Richards of old. He would commit himself to trying to bring back the player that Lombardi traded for in the summer of 2011, the one that help transform the Kings from pretenders into winners.
"This summer, I put in the work," Richards told ESPN.com over the phone Monday. "Of course, injuries can happen, but at least going into the season right now I feel good and I’ve skated a lot more than I have in the past. I feel prepared and I’m excited for the year."
As Richards pointed out, who knows exactly how that translates to his on-ice performance once the season starts, but he says he feels much better at this point than he did a year ago.
First a little primer...
Now on to the odds via Bovada,
from Travis Yost of TSN,
Like never before, today's NHL has an insatiable appetite for competent even-strength hockey players. And there are a lot of factors at play here.
For one, the phasing out of enforcers and specialists has created a window of opportunity for a wave of skill players to take on larger roles at both positions. Front offices in Vancouver and Toronto have pointed to successful models in Los Angeles and Chicago - two franchises which have enjoyed reliable production from those bringing up the rear.
And teams are cognizant that first lines and first pairings win a lot of hockey games. But finding the appropriate balance between maximizing their ice-time and minimizing fatigue effects has led to further prioritization of back end guys who can pick up the slack as needed.
There's another factor at play – the creation of more even-strength ice time by the continued decrease in penalties.
NEW YORK (September 16, 2014) – Accomplished NHL executive Bill Daly and former player, coach, current Flyers executive Paul Holmgren have been named recipients of the 2014 Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.
The award, one of the most prestigious in hockey, was presented to the National Hockey League by the New York Rangers in 1966. It honors the memory of Lester Patrick, who spent 50 years in hockey as a player, coach and general manager and was a pioneer in the sport’s development.
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