Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: chicago blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks are holding their annual summer fan convention--something I wish other teams would emulate--in the Windy City this weekend, so the warm fuzzies have begun in earnest.
Capgeek will tell you that there's a $2.216 million elephant in the room, however, an elephant that will ensure that not every player who attends the convention will start the season with the Hawks, and NHL.com's Brian Hedger discussed the Hawks' cap overage with GM Stan Bowman on Friday:
"We certainly have to be ready to go by October, that's the goal," Bowman said Friday at the annual Blackhawks Convention at the Chicago Hilton. "A lot of things change between now and then. You have to display some patience."
Bowman is setting a good example, but fans and media aren't as willing to wait. The fact one, or more, players won't be with the organization much longer will be a storyline for the Blackhawks until something happens.
Unless they manage to catch Patrick Kane on an off night (ha ha ha, kidding...sort of), HBO's 24/7 series isn't likely to garner a whole bunch of "unforgettable" footage of the Blackhawks, especially given the way the Wings and Leafs tried so very hard to avoid becoming the next Ilya Bryzgalovs last season, but Comcast Sportsnet Chicago reports that 24/7 may remain the price of admission to taking part in a Winter Classic:
The Blackhawks and Capitals will square off in the 2015 Winter Classic on Jan. 1, but the NHL has yet to announce its plans for the "24/7" series leading up to the game.
According to Sports Business Journal's John Ourand, the league is still in the process of finalizing its plans, but an official announcement is expected to come soon.
That link requires a SBJ subscription...
"We're having a series of meetings with the NHL discussing how we move forward on that project," HBO Sports President Ken Hershman told The Daily. "Hopefully, we'll have something to announce shortly."
All about the curious case of Jimmy Hayes (and Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard contract updates)
This is something of a "choose-your-own adventure" entry. CBS Sports' Chris Peters and SI's Allan Muir tell the story of a Chicago Blachkawks prospect who might get away, someone who deliberately skipped the Hawks' summer development camp, and you can indulge yourself in the New York Post's Larry Brooks' reporting (which served as inspiration for said "adventure") at your leisure.
Muir explains that Blackhawks 2010 draft pick Kevin Hayes, a 6'4" Hobey Baker Award finalist, happens to be property of the Blackhawks until August 16th, when the 65-point-scorer (that's pretty dang great for NCAA Division I hockey) becomes a free agent per, "Player is your property until four months after he graduates" CBA rules, after which time he can signa 2-year entry-level deal with any team...
You are probably familiar with the dynamics of the Joe Thornton situation (seems like the theory is, "Take the 'C' away, see if he waives the no-trade," as ESPN's Craig Custance reported), you are probably familiar with the dynamics of the Ryan Kesler trade (he says he's going to where deserves to be, and in Vancouver, it's, "Everybody thought he was a dick"), so:
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch pulled double-time in covering the Sens' picks, Jason Spezza's situation (what's so bad about a guy turning down a trade to a team that's on his no-trade list? Emo GM Bryan Murray will tell you) and positing a Sunday rumor column, and he addresses a situation we haven't necessarily talked about as of yet:
There has been a lot of controversy in Chicago over whether the Hawks have been trying to deal forward Patrick Sharp or not. While it was heavily denied by Sharp’s agent Rick Curran that his client was on the move, Sharp’s name has been popping up all over the place in trade talks. Several teams say he’s available, so it will be interesting to see if he’s still there when push comes to shove after this summer. The Hawks are already over the salary cap and will have to cut money somewhere.
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Tags: boston+bruins, chicago+blackhawks, chris+kelly, colorado+avalanche, joe+thornton, matt+niskanen, patrick+sharp, paul+stastny, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+kesler, san+jose+sharks, thomas+vanek, vancouver+canucks
Mid-afternoon pre-draft round-up: on Kesler Watch, Vanek Watch, Board of Governors stuff and Stastny
Updated 3x at 4:24 PM: Amongst this afternoon's news from the Board of Governors' meetings and the Trade-and-wine-and-dine-a-palooza...
1. It's time for Kesler watch to kick into an even higher gear?
2. Thomas Vanek is in demand:
3. Sportsnet's Mark Spector reminded us that quite a bit of this draft-day-draft-pick-trade talk is...talk...
Some things never change. Ahead of the Board of Governors meetings, quite conveniently so, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president Tim Leiwicke made some rather heated comments suggesting that the Toronto Maple Leafs are slighted by the NHL on a regular basis, as the Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger noted in Twitter and now article form...
“Why there hasn’t been a Winter Classic in Canada is, in my opinion, a mistake and shows a lack of respect to this city...” Leiweke said.
In confirming his attempts to woo all these events to Toronto, Leiweke followed by perhaps making the boldest statement of many bold statements: The NHL would reach unparalleled heights if and when the Leafs compete for — and, in his mind, hopefully win — a Stanley Cup.
“As Toronto goes, so goes the (business) success of the National Hockey League. I firmly believe that,” Leiweke said. “If we could ever lift up that silver shiny thing, the impact we would have on this league would be phenomenal — like nothing we’ve ever seen before. No offence against New York. And no offence against L.A. (But) if the Maple Leafs play for the Stanley Cup, we are going to have 20 million people watching that game.”
"John McDonough is in my ear all the time for anything," Bettman told the Tribune. "He's very passionate about doing as many things from a league perspective with the Blackhawks in Chicago as possible."
That includes the Hawks hosting the NHL All-Star Game or NHL draft. Chicago has not been the site for the All-Star Game since 1991 and never has been the location for the draft.
That could change if McDonough gets his wish.
"There's always the possibility," Bettman said. "We haven't focused on where we're going in the long term but obviously we know there are a lot of great fans in Chicago and the Blackhawks are part of the heart and soul of the city."
Kuc also continues...
Updated with LeBrun stuff at 6:57 PM:
TSN's Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie discussed pre-draft trade and free agent discussions in an edition of Insider Trading that lasts for nearly four minutes. TSN usually posts a summation thereof, but if you don't want to wait until 7:30 or 8...
1. McKenzie says that there are 3 teams in the Western Conference (Anaheim, St. Louis +?) and 1 "mystery team" in the Eastern Conference who are talking to the Ottawa Senators about Jason Spezza (who has a no-trade list of 10 teams, incl. Florida, Carolina, Columbus and the Islanders). McKenzie says the Senators want a 1st-round draft pick as part of the compensation package.
2. Dreger says that David Bolland wants "maximum value," and he wants an 8-year deal at $4.9 million to remain with the Leafs. Toronto probably won't give him the term he wants, but Bolland believes he'll be healthy by training camp;
3. Dreger says that the Oilers are looking for a center and a defenseman, and they're willing to trade the 3rd overall pick and/or Sam Gagner in their efforts to improve the team, which may include trading for the Panthers' 1st overall pick;
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Tags: anaheim+ducks, chicago+blackhawks, dale+tallon, dan+boyle, edmonton+oilers, florida+panthers, jason+spezza, joe+thornton, paul+stastny, ryan+kesler, sam+gagner, san+jose+sharks, st.+louis+blues, toronto+maple+leafs, vancouver+canucks
Patience is a Virtue: Minnesota Wild forward Dany Heatley and former Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Malone may have to be patient in free agency according to Dreger. Dreger says their willingness to take one-year contracts will draw attention from more teams. The Lightning used their second compliance buyout on Malone on Tuesday while Heatley will become an unrestricted free-agent on July 1.
Canucks Complex Dealings: The Vancouver Canucks are still trying to trade Ryan Kesler but this is a complicated negotiation. It's believed Kesler has identified just two teams in the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks. That puts rookie general manager Jim Benning and the management of the Canucks in a tough spot because they're just negiotioation with the two teams. Maybe it's possible that the Canucks try to pull in their horns in an effort to encourage Kelser to expand his list.
Blackhawks Hope to Keep the Band Together: GM Stan Bowman and the Chicago Blackhawks are very eager to make sure the star component remains intact for a lengthy period of time. We're talking about how the new CBA is going to impact the superstar model of player and certainly Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews qualify as such. No longer is it allowed to frontload and go with that 10, 12 or 15-year mega-deal. Now we know it's a maximum of eight years so it's not inconceivable that, as long as the salary cap climbs to around $75 million in 2016 that Kane and Toews could come in around $11-12 million each.
The "Off-Season Watch" continues, and Dreger reports that Daniel Alfredsson's going to be "flexible" with his decision-making timeline. It is possible that, should the Boston Bruins don't re-sign Jarome Iginla, both Iginla and Alfredsson could be Wings next season.
From the NHL:
NHL ANNOUNCES 2013-14 ALL-STAR TEAMS
LAS VEGAS (June 24, 2014) -- Center Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and defenseman Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins, who each earned his third career berth on the First All-Star Team, head the list of players voted to the 2013-14 National Hockey League postseason All-Star Teams. Crosby received First Team honors for the second consecutive season, while Chara earned a spot on the First Team for the first time since 2008-09.
Joining Crosby and Chara are two second-time selections to the First Team, right wing Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks and defenseman Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks. The squad also features two first-time recipients, left wing Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars and goaltender Tuukka Rask of the Bruins.
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Tags: alex+ovechkin, alex+pietrangelo, anaheim+ducks, boston+bruins, boston+bruins., chicago+blackhawks, colorado+avalanche, corey+perry, dallas+stars, duncan+keith, jamie+benn, joe+pavelski, nashville+predators, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+getzlaf, san+jose+sharks, semyon+varlamov, shea+weber, sidney+crosby, st.+louis+blues, washington+capitals, zdeno+chara
You'll have to excuse me (George) for suggesting that one does not plug one hole by creating another, per Sportsnet's Ryan Dixon:
Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Sharp could be on the move this summer.
The Blackhawks are looking to add a centre, and Sharp is available as a potential trade chip, Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos said Tuesday on Hockey Central at Noon on Sportsnet 590 The Fan.
In 82 games last season, the Winnipeg native led the Blackhawks with 34 goals and 78 points. He also won an Olympic gold medal while representing Canada at the Sochi Games. Sharp, who won Stanley Cups with Chicago in 2010 and 2013, has three years remaining on a contract that includes a modified no-trade clause and an annual salary cap hit of $5.9 million.
The 32-year-old has been with the Blackhawks since being acquired from the Flyers in 2005. Sharp was selected 95th overall by Philadelphia in the 2001 draft and has amassed 483 points in 677 career regular season games.
Continued with a little video of Kypreos stating as much out loud...
From the Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Lazerus, presented without comment:
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are going to sign massive contract extensions this summer, possibly as early as July 1. That’s basically a given. It’s also highly likely they’ll do so on the same day, as they did in 2009.
“We’ve been kind of going hand-in-hand almost our entire careers,” Toews said Monday. “When we came in as rookies, and we’ve just been included in the same discussion for a lot of things, namely our second contract, and probably this time again. The chances of that are good. But at the end of the day, he’s got his own needs and his own family, and you have to respect that, as well.”
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman told the Sun-Times earlier this month that he planned to have the deals done by July 1, the first day the two stars and franchise cornerstones are eligible to sign them. Toews didn’t want to put a timetable on it, saying, “We’re in discussions right now, but as far as I know, nothing is concrete.” Both Toews and Kane are represented by agent Pat Brisson.
On Wednesday evening, TSN's Darren Dreger spoke with the NHL Live's EJ Hradek and Steve Mears, discussing the Penguins' messy coaching search (see: Willie Desjardins and Bill Peters declined Jim Rutherford's advances), the possible departure of James Neal (for cap space?) and Ryan Kesler's "fit" in Chicago or PIttsburgh (Dreger says that the asking price for Kesler remains "incredibly high"):
Update: Dreger made very similar comments on TSN.
The Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek presented a Canada-centric look at the NHL's 2014-2015 season schedule on Sunday evening, and he revealed that the NHL will probably hold an outdoor game in California for the second consecutive season:
For the upcoming season, there is one Winter Classic – Jan. 1 in Washington, where the Capitals will host the Chicago Blackhawks – but it is believed that a Feb. 21 date between the Kings and the Sharks will also be played outdoors in the Bay Area, after the NHL successfully pulled off an outdoor game at Dodger Stadium last January. The NHL is firming up the details of its outdoor schedule, though it is believed the number of games will be sharply reduced from the six that were on the schedule a year ago, Last year, the NHL flooded the market with outdoor games primarily for two reasons – to generate additional revenues coming out of a lockout that saw the cancellation of 34 games per team; and to draw attention back to the league before and after the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Three of the six outdoor games came just before the NHL took its Olympic break and two others came immediately afterward.
With no Olympics to bother with this year, the NHL All-Star Game returns to the schedule after a one-year hiatus, with Columbus hosting the 2015 event during a four-day between Jan. 22-26.
Continued with more "key dates"...
Updated 2x at 9:19 PM: Paul did a helluva job of covering the "gist" of the GM's meetings, but here are some items that I noticed on Twitter and feel merit mentioning, starting with Craig Custance's chat with Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman...
In Penguins and Maple Leafs news, from Sportsnet's Chris Johnston...
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Tags: brooks+orpik, bryan+murray, buffalo+sabres, chicago+blackhawks, dale+tallon, dan+bylsma, dave+nonis, david+poile, florida+panthers, gerard+gallant, james+neal, jason+spezza, jim+rutherford, jonathan+toews, marc+crawford, matt+niskanen, nashville+predators, ottawa+senators, patrick+kane, pittsburgh+penguins, ron+wilson, shea+weber, stan+bowman, tim+murray, tom+renney, toronto+maple+leafs
The NHL posted the players and coaches' presser transcripts after the Chicago Blackhawks lost Game 7 to the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday night, but the videos might better convey the tone of their comments.
First, Hawks coach Joel Quenneville took to the podium...
Then Kings coach Darryl Sutter was hilariously awkward as usual, while wearing a suit two sizes too big...
Having a 2 AM-conversation with Franklin Steele on Twitter, I had to amend my take as to why the Chicago Blackhawks weren't able to defend their Stanley Cup championship. As a Red Wings fan, I would argue that a team needs Vladimir Konstantinov and Sergei Mnatsakanov-sized motivation to repeat, and I would point out that the Blackhawks played until June 24th of 2013--and sometimes forget that 90% of the players who didn't make the Conference Final are already beginning their summertime workouts to prepare physically and mentally for the next season.
Chicago played so very late into the lockout-marred 2013 season that the mental and physical challenges the speedy Hawks faced had to feel insurmountable, and then Franklin reminded me that on top of having perhaps nine weeks to re-focus, TEN Blackhawks participated in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
Even as a Wings fan, I have to applaud the hell out of the Hawks for getting to Game 7 of the Western Conference Final given the challenges they faced.
ESPN's Craig Custance penned an Insider-only entry as to what the Blackhawks need to do to "reload for 2014-2015," and while I'm sure that you'd argue point 1 of 3, inking Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to contract extensions ahead of the pair qualifying for unrestricted free agency next summer, is job #1, I'd suggest that Custance's second point may matter more than the guaranteed first occurring:
It was wild and woolly, but the Stanley Cup Final will not include a team attempting to earn a back-to-back Stanley Cup championship. The Los Angeles Kings defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 in OT--in a bizarre and entertaining game--and as such, the Kings will play the Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday.
Tyler Toffoli gets the tip-in goal off Nick Leddy as well. --Scratch that, Tyler Toffoli insisted to the CBC's Cassie Campbell that he did not touch it, so it was Alec Martinez off of Nick Leddy.
I might be the only person to think as much, but between WOW Cable going in and out throughout Bob Cole's second-to-last game and perhaps some personal preference...The Chicago Blackhawks most certainly earned their 4-3 win (Game 7 of the Western Conference Final is on Sunday), and Patrick Kane scored two pretty goals...
But I thought the game was an ugly one, with really sloppy defensive mistakes and poor goaltending yielding the vast majority of the game's goals. Did Drew Doughty and Kane have fantastic games? Sure. Did Corey Crawford and Jonathan Quick make some highlight-reel saves? Sure. But I saw two prize-fighters stumbling and bumbling their way through a series of missed punches, metaphorically speaking, or more sport-specifically-speaking, some really lazy plays and inattentiveness to detail by both sides.
Whoever is the first team to two goals seems to prevail in this series, and the Hawks were the first to two--and when the Kings were rallying to tie it up 3-3, they looked more like a team too preoccupied with trying to minimize mistakes, like it was overtime, and as such, their lack of urgency bit 'em in the ass.
Lots of players chasing after players and getting way out of position on both sides, some very soft goals against and what is, at this point, a cavalcade of mental mistakes yielding a bunch of goals from sixty to eighty feet out, sent into traffic jams.
This is the best part of the game for me--an openly biased Wings fan:
Otherwise, I saw a lot of sloppy hockey from two mentally and physically exhausted teams, teams that got burned due to puck-chasing and very mediocre goaltending. But that's just me.
I happen to find coaches' post-game pressers fascinating, because I believe that the personality of the coach and GM are reflected in the personality of their team (please see: the Bruins and "hard but clean" hockey). In the Western Conference, Ken Hitchcock will talk your ear off, Joel Quenneville will "make a funny" or two while maintaining an intense demeanor, and one season of John Tortorella was probably enough;
In the East, Claude Julien and Dan Bylsma will spar with the press, too many aggravating questions will get a, "See you, guys" and a walk-off from Mike Babcock (that's another intriguing wrinkle: some coaches want the dais and podium, letting the PR coordinator cut the press off at their leisure; others like to stand among the media throng and decide when the presser's over themselves; the playoffs make the latter coaches edgier because you're forced to do the formal presser set-up), Randy Carlyle's pressers are like going to a My Chemical Romance concert, circa 2005 (not that there's anything wrong with that); as you've seen with Michel Therrien and Alain Vigneault, some coaches get particularly theatrical, especially when dual-language media are involved.
Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville's presser will follow this gem from Darryl Sutter (and people on the NHL media email list get these transcripts, which occasionally make us laugh, like this one did):
Q. It was like an eight-minute stretch in the first overtime between whistles. From the bench, what was that sensation like?
COACH SUTTER: Trying to get your changes in, trying to get your shifts in. Overtime is not a real timeout unless there's a stoppage of play at the 10-minute mark.
Q. Was this one a little more difficult knowing you were 20mins away from advancing and you didn’t get it?
COACH SUTTER: Not really. It's a tough building. Damn near got it.
Q. Any big adjustments next game?
COACH SUTTER: You're a little premature in that.
Q. When is the last time you saw an overtime with that much pace, basically no stoppages?
COACH SUTTER: Well, probably every one we've had. How many have we played this year? Two good teams. Not going to slow down in overtime.
Contrast that one with Quenneville's:
The Los Angeles Kings rallied from a 3-1 first-period deficit to tie Chicago 4-4, and the teams played a fast, frenetic first overtime--including eight minutes sans a whistle--but "chasing hockey is losing hockey," especially over the course of a marathon game, and in the end, Chicago forced Game 6 via the glacial Michal Handzus scoring the 5-4 goal 2:06 into double OT.
Here's Bob Cole with the call:
Bob Cole will hang up the headphones when this series is over, and while this Red Wings fan isn't thrilled to see the defending champs live to die another day, I sure hope that the CBC pays proper tribute to Cole on Friday. They've got the time and the 9 PM start to get gushy about the 80-year-old legend.
The Los Angeles Kings aren't exactly painting Picassos this spring, but their ability to rally from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits en route to a 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks last night was less than surprising...
Because, as the Associated Press's recap notes, the Kings have much more depth than those who don't stay up past 10:30 PM Eastern Time might imagine:
The Los Angeles' Kings' stunning rally from a 2-0 deficit to take a 6-2 decision over the Chicago Blackhawks might be summarized as follows (note the Chicago connection):
Recaps are rolling in presently, but the AP's missive does a fine job of covering the bare bones...
It took a while for Don Cherry to get going on Coach's Corner on Monday night, but around the 2-minute mark, he suggested that Thomas Vanek's, "Mind is in Minnesota" (oh, and he may have sworn in the process). Then he went on to give Corey Crawford praise for "stealing" Game 1 of the Western Conference Final, to suggest that the NHL ought to get rid of the "Marsh Pegs" to restore players' fear of going into the goalposts, of course he decided to spend a chunk of time defending "Milan Loosick," pointing out that Andrei Markov may have incited Lucic's remarks.
Thanks to "Captain Canada," you'll hear Cherry's post-game remarks, too.
In text form:
NHL: Western Conference Final will begin on Sunday at 3 PM EDT. Participant 2 to be determined later
From the NHL:
2014 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL TO BEGIN SUNDAY
NEW YORK (May 15, 2014) – The National Hockey League today announced that the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Western Conference Final will begin Sunday, May 18, when the Chicago Blackhawks face off against the winner of the Second Round series between the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings.
The starting time for Game 1 on Sunday will be 3 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on NBC in the U.S. and televised in Canada by TSN and RDS.
Based on the number of points each team earned during the regular season, the Ducks would host the Blackhawks in Game 1, while the Blackhawks would host the Kings in Game 1.
The Minneapols Star-Tribune's Michael Scoggins argues that hockey players are a little "nuts" for playing through the kind of pain that they play through during the playoffs:
Ryan Suter doesn’t look right, but he refuses to admit anything. Ask him about his left arm and he’ll smile and say everything is A-OK. Suter took a horrible spill in Game 3 after a collision with Chicago’s Marian Hossa and landed awkwardly. He left the game holding his arm in a way that suggested he had suffered a serious injury.
Naturally, Suter returned for the third period.
But the Wild’s star defenseman hasn’t looked the same since. He hasn’t played poorly. He just looks like a guy who might have an arm injury, which prompted another round of health questions a day before Game 6.
He insists his shoulder is not an issue. OK, how about his elbow?
“I’m feeling great,” he said, laughing as he exited the interview room.
That should be the official mantra of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Everyone feels great, or at least well enough to play. The NHL postseason is nothing if not a testament to the willingness of players to ignore their aches and pains and broken bones in pursuit of the Cup.
George here on the late shift, with an eyebrow raised given USA Today's Kevin Allen's bluntness in questioning the Pittsburgh Penguins' ability to show composure when playoff series are on the line:
The Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins both need to win one game today to reach their respective conference finals, yet the teams are in stunningly different places in how the hockey world perceives them.
We expect the Blackhawks to find a way to win, because they have done that consistently for the last five springs.
We have no idea what to expect from the Penguins, because their playoff performances have been inconsistent over the last five springs.
If the Penguins want to see what their team could be like — or should be like — they need only to look across the conference divide and watch the Blackhawks. The Blackhawks are not a perfect team, but they seem to possess the necessary survival skills that allow them to wiggle their way out of bear traps.
Based upon the Twitter reactions of those who were watching the Minnesota Wild defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0 on Tuesday night (climbing back into a series they trail 2 games to 1), the fact that the Wild nursed a 0-0 tie into the third period and happened to pounce on the Blackhawks seemed eerily reminiscent of the kinds of efforts Jacques Lemaire's trap-tastic, "lull 'em to sleep" machines of the mid-"naughties."
Not surprisingly, ESPN's Scott Burnside reports that the Wild do indeed believe that dilligent checking's the only way to stifle the Blackhawks' offensive machine:
After meandering their way through more than two periods of some of the most lackluster hockey produced by any two teams anywhere this spring, the Wild struck for two picture-perfect goals in a span of 2 minutes, 37 seconds early in the third period to break open a scoreless game and go on to a 4-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.
"We know it's going to be a really checking game. You don't have a lot of room there, you don't have a lot of time to skate with the puck. Both teams are in their face all the time. Sometimes the games are like that and you need to find a way to get a win. Tonight we were able to do that," offered Mikael Granlund, who scored the Wild's second goal and added an empty-netter to round out the scoring.
The victory, regardless of its pedigree, was significant on a number of fronts.
First, it allowed the Wild to narrow the Blackhawks' lead in this Western Conference semifinal series to 2-1. It was, not to overstate the obvious, a victory the Wild absolutely had to have.
It also marked the team's fourth straight home victory in this playoff season, which is critical given they are 1-5 on the road.
I hate that every night during the regular season and playoffs, injuries are so regularly hockey's biggest stories.
During the Chicago Blackhawks' 2-0 win over St. Louis on Monday, Steve Ott took some revenge on Duncan Keith (he of the, "I cannot recall chirping David Backes after Brent Seabrook concussed him" vein) in relatively clean form...
But Matt Cooke took out Tyson Barrie's knee earlier this evening....
And I'm currently watching things get out of hand in a big way as the Anaheim Ducks trail the Dallas Stars 2-0. As Pro Hockey Talk's Cam Tucker notes, former Star Stephane Robidas
got kneed by collided with Dallas's Ryan Garbutt, and had to leave the game...
The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons returned to North America from Sochi, Russia in a contemplative mood, and he's focusing on one particular topic in a Saturday night/Sunday morning column--suggesting that Jonathan Toews has succeeded Sidney Crosby as hockey's most valuable all-round player:
One player to choose to start a franchise? You can have Sidney Crosby.
I’m taking Jonathan Toews.
I’m taking the 25-year-old who already has two Stanley Cup rings and two Olympic gold medals, a player who intrinsically seems to comprehend what it takes to win and with a willingness to do whatever it means to get there.
For the second Olympic Games in succession, Toews was Canada’s best forward: His line with Jeff Carter and Patrick Marleau, was Team Canada’s strongest line throughout the Olympic hockey tournament.
He’s not fancy like his teammate, Patrick Kane, or as offensively gifted or driven as Crosby, or with a rocket shot like Steven Stamkos, or even with Phil Kessel’s speed: He is just complete. As absolute and certain as there is in today’s world of hockey.
Simmons continues, addressing numerous topics...
I'm not exactly sure that you'd call this a blockbuster, but the Islanders' sell-off has begun:
But wait, there's more:
Oh boy. Not what you want to read while checking up on league-wide news stories at 2 AM. Per Pro Hockey Talk's James O'Brien's tip, I looked into news that Dallas Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas had been taken to the hospital with a broken leg in the Stars' 3-2 shootout loss to Chicago, and this is a Stamkos-like injury--except that in this instance, Robidas blocked a pass with his skate, fell as a result and went left-leg-and-flat-skate-blade-first into the end boards:
DallasStars.com's Mark Stepneski confirmed:
Per the Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Lazerus, the Florida Panthers made a move that makes no sense cap-wise given that Capgeek estimates that the Chicago Blackhawks are now $282,628 over the cap...Wait, wait, here we go...
Versteeg's signed through 2015-2016 at a cap hit of $4.4 million per season, but Capgeek pegs his real-world salary for the this and the next two seasons at a total of $14 million real-world dollars, so the Panthers are paying $7 million to make Versteeg go away.
The Panthers and Blackhawks confirm:
The Winnipeg Jets didn't exactly build upon their trouncing of the Red Wings when they headed to Chicago for a rematch with the Blackhawks, who humbled Winnipeg at home this past weekend. The Jets lost 4-1 to the Hawks on Wednesday
So the Jets have lost by a total of 7 goals (5-1 on Saturday and 4-1 on Wednesday) to their new Central Division rivals over a pair of losses, and on top of it all, as Puck Daddy's Sean Leahy noted, a liberally-lubricated Chicagoan chose to help himself to Jets defenseman Adam Pardy's helmet when Brandon Bollig checked Pardy and a pane of glass gave way:
Because Twitter is Twitter, we have as suspect, and he looks like a member of the Belushi family (and this Tweet comes via ESPN's Craig Custance):
Welcome to the morning after! A recap of the games from the night before and quick hit hockey news.
In Case You Missed It
New York Rangers at New York Islanders
Twenty-four hours after their home opener the Rangers were on the road again. This time just a short trip to the neighbors the Islanders.
After losing at home long time starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist sat out last night while rookie netminder Cam Talbot got the start.
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The Chicago Blackhawks have raised their 2013 Stanley Cup Championship banner and it is now time for the Stanley Cup to return to the Hockey Hall of Fame; and you can tag along.
The Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2013 Induction Weekend is about a month away so now is the time to plan if you want to take part in any of the festivities as hockey Legends Chris Chelios, Geraldine Heaney, Scott Niedermayer, Brendan Sanahan, and Fred Shero are inducted into the HHOF.
October is finally here! Pumpkin spice everything is returning everywhere and hockey is back! No lockout (other than the US Government) and NHL games that matter in October. Every morning here on Kukla's Korner (well the main page at least until my own little spot has been carved out and is ready) I will give you a recap as to the games that happened last night (in some cases while you were sleeping), some highlights on hockey news, and end with a line up as to who will be playing tonight.
In case you missed it
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Stanley Cup winners rarely see their names on the Cup because the engraving of names into the Cup doesn't take place until late August, but the Chicago Blackhawks posted a picture of the hand-engraver's work:
Update: Here's why Jamal Mayers got his name on the Cup, per ESPN Chicago's Scott Powers:
Now that it is official that the Washington Capitals will host the 2015 Winter Classic more questions have risen:
Where is the game going to take place?
Who will the Capitals play?
What are the events for their Fan Festival?
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Per the Chicago Blackhawks:
The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that they have agreed to terms with forward Teuvo Teravainen (TAY-vo tair-uh-VIGH-nen), the team’s first-round choice (18th overall) in the 2012 National Hockey League Entry Draft, on a three-year contract.
Teravainen, 18, ranked fifth on SM-liiga’s Jokerit with a career-high 31 points (13G, 18A) in 44 regular-season games in 2012-13 and added two points (1G, 1A) in six postseason appearances. The Helsinki, Finland, native was honored as the league’s Rookie of the Year in 2011-12 after posting 18 points (11G, 7A) in 40 regular-season games and sharing second on the club with six points (2G, 4A) in nine playoff tilts. He tallied 40 points (15G, 25A) in 37 regular-season games and seven points (2G, 5A) in 10 postseason contests with Jokerit’s U20 team from 2010-2012.
Tervainen ranked fourth at the 2013 U20 World Championship with 11 points (5G, 6A) in six games and shared sixth with a plus-6 rating. He recorded eight points (2G, 6A) with Finland at the 2012 U18 World Championship, sharing third in the tournament with a team-high six helpers.
The Chicago Blackhawks had already informed the public that their single-game ticket prices would be going up prior to the team's second Stanley Cup championship, and today, the Chicago Tribune's Brian Hamilton reports that the team's introducing a tiered "premium pricing" system as well:
The Blackhawks confirmed to the Tribune that they have increased prices on single-game tickets for the 2013-14 season while creating a second tier of prices for what the club deemed "premier games" based on the date or the opponent.
According to the team, the precise increase on single-game tickets depends on the price level and game but the overall average increase is 17 percent.
Well, I’ve clearly been noticing the amount of heat JR has been getting lately, after this week’s earlier announcement that he would be included as a “Legend” in NHL 12. “Outraged” would be the best term to describe most fan’s reactions to this announcement. I will admit, that I too was a bit surprised at this news, considering I put a lot of time and thought into my own short list of candidates who I felt would be worthy of such an honor. Of that list of mine, 7 of the 9 players I named ended up finding their way onto the NHL 12 Legends list. The two exceptions were Roenick and Salming.
from Brian Hedger at NHL.com:
His first game for Michigan State University came against arch-rival Michigan in a game dubbed “The Cold War,” played in front of 75,000 people at Michigan State’s Spartan Stadium. It was also an unseasonably cold night with temperatures in the low 30s, but Keith was feeling cold sweats before the game regardless.
“It was kind of a crazy way to start your college career,” said Keith, who scored his first collegiate goal that night. “It was exciting, but I was just a young guy going in there. You better believe I was nervous.”
That game, which finished in a 3-3 tie, set the stage for all the outdoor games played since—both in the NHL and college. In fact, the Spartans and Wolverines will play a rematch Saturday night in Ann Arbor, Mich., at the sold-out, 110,000-seat Michigan Stadium. This game is being called “The Big Chill at the Big House,” and it brings back fond memories of the “Cold War” for Keith, who will root for the Spartans on Saturday as he prepares to play the San Jose Sharks on the road that night.
Click here for more.
You have to wonder if all of the pundits who trashed Colin Campbell for allowing the suspension of Niklas Hjalmarsson to end in time for the Blackhawks-Sabres rematch are feeling a little silly right now.
The Sabres went into Chicago last night and concentrated more on playing hockey and less on exacting revenge. So much less that they even took a flyer on engaging Hjalmarsson in the typical obligatory early first period now-this-will-settle-things fight. Patrick Kaleta was credited with two hits, and there were no fighting majors in the game, which Chicago won 4-3.
This turn of events comes as no surprise to the many wise hockey fans who have seen these situations too many times before. For all of the hype that precluded the rematch, this game had all the makings of - well, just another hockey game.
For starters, Campbell had sent out a warning to Kaleta and his teammates that the Wheel of Discipline was still in service and that he wouldn’t be afraid to spin it harder. And second, it’s no secret around the league that the Sabres collectively just don’t have the personality for such ugly fisticuff-filled affairs.
From the Chicago Sun-Times’ Adam Jahns:
It really shouldn’t come as a shock that Dustin Byfuglien won’t be wearing an Indianhead sweater for the 2010-11 season.
The Blackhawks have significant salary-cap issues, and the giant-sized winger often was mentioned as a possible candidate to be shipped out. Moves were expected, even declared a must by Hawks general manager Stan Bowman.
The news broke Wednesday—and spread like wildfire—that the first deal had been done—or rather, nearly done. Just after midnight today, it became official: Byfuglien, restricted free agent Ben Eager, veteran defenseman Brent Sopel and prospect Akim Aliu have been traded to the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for the 24th overall pick in the NHL draft (which starts Friday), the 54th overall pick, veteran forward Marty Reasoner, winger Joey Crabb (who has starred in Chicago with the Wolves) and promising prospect Jeremy Morin.
From CBC’s Tim Wharnsby:
Chicago Blackhawks blue-liner Duncan Keith capped off a wonderful season, in which he won Olympic gold and the Stanley Cup, by receiving the Norris Trophy as the top defenceman in the NHL.
But his spirit was somewhat subdued because hours before the NHL annual awards ceremony at the Palms Hotel, the breakup of the Blackhawks had begun. Chicago general manager Stan Bowman began the difficult task of alleviating his team’s salary cap concerns by shipping out power forward Dustin Byfuglien to the Atlanta Thrashers in a multi-player trade.
The Winnipeg-born, Fort Frances and Penticton, B.C.-raised Keith found out about the trade from teammate Patrick Sharp while the two were enjoying the bright lights and excitement of Las Vegas.
From various sources, the Edmonton Oilers have dealt a 6th round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks for soon-to-be RFA center Colin Fraser.
The Chicago Blackhawks lowered their payroll significantly today, trading Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Ben Eager and Akim Aliu to the Atlanta Thrashers for the #24 overall pick (originally New Jersey’s), the 54th overall pick, Marty Reasoner and Jeremy Morin.
From the Chicago Tribune’s David Haugh:
As notions go, they come no more romantic in hockey than the one Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has heard posed often in the two weeks since his team won the Stanley Cup.
According to the too-good-to-be-true scenario, team captain Jonathan Toews, 22 going on 50, selflessly would approach the GM about deferring the $1.3 million bonus Toews received for winning the Conn Smythe Trophy. That way, the salary cap-strapped Hawks could hold on to one of the good players whose salaries they otherwise would have to dump and keep the gang together.
Cue the sappy music. The gesture would have been better than when Paul Konerko gave Jerry Reinsdorf the ball after the 2005 World Series parade.
From the Chicago Tribune’s Sam Roe:
Go ahead: Touch it, hug it, give it a big wet kiss.
The Stanley Cup isn’t the germ bomb you might suspect.
The NHL champion Blackhawks’ beloved trophy stopped by the Chicago Tribune newsroom Thursday, and so we took the opportunity to do something the Cup’s keeper said had never been done: We swabbed it for germs.