Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: connor mcdavid
from Irene Thomaidis of the Toronto Sun,
With the world junior in full swing, the hype around Team Canada phenom Connor McDavid is hitting another peak.
And what bigger hype machine is there than Twitter to document the interest in the Newmarket native — or the tournament in general.
“The world junior is really a perfect storm in terms of driving conversation on Twitter,” Twitter Canada’s Christopher Doyle said. “It’s Team Canada’s best young hockey stars taking on the world, in front of a large national TV audience during the holidays.”
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Boston University freshman Jack Eichel's status as an NHL prospect has reached the point that he almost sounds too good to be true.
In addition to being the most-talked-about U.S. center prospect since Mike Modano was drafted No. 1 overall in 1988, Eichel also has a humility and leadership quality that endears him to teammates and coaches.
"It's just Jack being Jack," said Team USA general manager Jim Johannson. "He's a true team guy who leads by his level of play and by his interaction with everyone, including his teammates, coaches, training staff and equipment guys. He handles everything in a real comfortable and mature way. It all comes natural to him."
from Cathal Kelly of the Globe and Mail,
For years, people have been telling McDavid that he is a once-in-a-generation hockey talent. He’s dealt with that pressure the same way he reacts to a pushy maintenance worker – politely deferential, but in full control of the situation.
The best way to describe McDavid’s oversized bag of on-ice tricks is that he plays as if he’s spotlit.
That’s easy to do when you have the puck. McDavid commands attention even when he’s nowhere near the play.
You could spend 20 minutes watching him sit on the bench.
For the whole time he’s out there, he’s stalking, proactive and reactive all at the same time. The best comparison is Mario Lemieux’s predatory glide.
The Edmonton press has always impressed me because it so exhaustively analyzes its team's performance (as you probably know, they were figuring out "fancy stats" a decade ago), and their passion seems to reflect the passion of the team's fan base. It's hard to watch the Oilers go through such an incredibly difficult period of time because you know that the bad times are going to be exhaustively analyzed...
And while writing all but a novel about the Oilers' firing of coach Dallas Eakins' this evening, the Edmonton Journal's Terry Jones simply could not afford to not "go there" and wonder whether the installation of GM Craig MacTavish as coach while Oklahoma City Barons coach Todd Nelson slowly but surely takes over = no "Failing For McDavid"--which, sadly enough, might have been the best thing for the Oilers to do:
The trouble with the move is that the “new coach spikes” could effectively result in the Oilers not finishing 30th overall and take themselves out of the Connor McDavid Sweepstakes with Jack Eichel as a consolation prize if somebody else won the draft lottery.
With a generational player (or two) out there, this is not a year to finish 26th instead of 30th. The Oilers already ended up with Sam Gagner instead of Patrick Kane because they went and won the last game of a regular season.
“It’s not in anybody’s DNA in professional sports to talk about that or to try and do that,” said MacTavish. We’re very much trying to turn the performance level of the hockey club around. Certainly our draft status had no bearing on this.”
The Grey Cup is taking place today, which is why the Wings-Canucks matinee is the only NHL game on the schedule, and the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons spends the vast majority of his Sunday notebook discussing the match-up between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Calgary Stampeders (airing at 6 PM EST on TSN), but he spends one meaty paragraph discussing all things NHL-related:
I wonder if Bob McCown read his own book. In the bestselling 100 Greatest Hockey Arguments, McCown makes a case against Paul Henderson’s inclusion in the Hockey Hall of Fame. A strong case. Lately, he has been pushing the Henderson Hall of Fame agenda. Strange ... On Saturday afternoon, the Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks were tied for the most points in the NHL and that has to be wrong, doesn’t it? ... The first quarter MVP in the NHL: Pekka Rinne ...
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Tags: columbus+blue+jackets, connor+mcdavid, joffrey+lupul, jonathan+bernier, martin+brodeur, montreal+canadiens, paul+henderson, pekka+rinne, ryan+johansen, st+louis+blues, toronto+maple+leafs
via the Erie Otters,
The Erie Otters announced on Wednesday that forward Connor McDavid suffered a fracture of the 5th Metacarpal bone on his right hand during last night’s game against the Mississauga Steelheads.
McDavid will not require surgery and is expected to miss the next 5-6 weeks of the Otters' schedule.
from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,
Was it McDavid’s choice to fight? Ultimately, yes. But we know the pressure that is put on hockey players to “man up” and drop the gloves, and we know of the sport’s general indifference to the abuse heaped upon the better players by the less talented.
We also know that there are knuckle-dragging scouts out there who would excitedly put a star beside McDavid’s fight as though it represents his guts and desire. These are the same folks who see PIMs are a big plus with any player.
So sure it was his choice, but then again, not really, right? The highlight shows put fights on display every night, the newspapers love to run pictures of scraps and there’s no shortage of those who argue that fighting is an integral part of the game that must never be eliminated for fear of the consequences.
Much of the culture of Canadian hockey propagated by the usual suspects is that fighting in hockey is manly, it represents courage and the best values in young men, and it demonstrates a commitment to the sport that non-fighters don’t possess.
Junior hockey, of course, is right at the epicentre of this culture, particularly as it is played out in smaller cities and towns across the country.
Not the best video but good enough to see what happened...
added 7:33pm, A better quality video....
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
What sets a generational player apart from a talented or a franchise player is his impact on and off the ice. Generational players can become not just the face of a franchise, but the face of the league.
The Roy-led Canadiens in 1993 were the last Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup, a good but not great NHL team spurred on to success by a single, galvanizing star.
The Los Angeles Kings have proved in recent years you don’t necessarily need that one defining player to win a championship, but it sure helps in critical moments to have one to rally around.
Do McDavid and/or Eichel genuinely fit the bill as future generational players?
“To me, they do,” answered Craig Button, the former NHL general manager and long-time hockey scout, now a commentator for TSN. “You watch Connor McDavid; he’s electrifying. Remember when Guy Lafleur would jump over the boards and everybody in the building knew he was on the ice? Then he’d get the puck and it was like, ‘Okay, here we go.’ Well, that’s McDavid. I use this distinction carefully, but McDavid is to Eichel what Gretzky and Messier were to one another. Eichel has the power game – he can impose himself on opponents with his size, whereas with McDavid, it’s the way he skates and the way he thinks.
“When you compare these guys to players like Messier and Mario Lemieux, that’s rarefied air – and to me, they’re in rarefied air.”
At the age of 17, Connor McDavid is already under constant pressure, being deemed ‘The Next One,’ on the ice he’s living up to the hype, and off the ice he’s in great hands, as he trains under the tutelage of Gary Roberts.
Bob McKenzie sits down with top prospect Connor McDavid where they discuss the draft, the perceived competition with Jack Eichel, the upcoming World Junior tournament and his superstitions.
You can watch the 16:35 minute interview below or at TSN.
from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,
Connor McDavid spent most of Wednesday night with Russians draped over his back.
Unlike a year ago at the Canadian team’s world junior summer camp — when the physical play overwhelmed McDavid at times — the 17-year-old phenom met power with power.
The favourite to be selected first overall in the 2015 National Hockey League draft, McDavid was an offensive wizard in a 5-2 Canada victory in a world junior exhibition game, creating scoring chances on seemingly every shift.
That’s nothing new for the Erie Otters star. What is revealing is how he was getting it done. A prime example came in the second period, when he stayed on the puck and manufactured a play that led to a goal by Nick Ritchie.
The NHL Draft marks the end of one cycle of scouting and the beginning of another. After a few weeks' worth of rest, NHL teams' scouts will head to the Czech Republic to watch the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, they'll take in Team Canada and Team USA's World Junior evaluation camps (Team USA's camp is handy as they play Finnish and Swedish prospects), and they'll take in the month's worth of exhibition games and "tournaments" that precede European pro league's seasons--and that's just August.
In September, while NHL teams hold their prospect tournaments, OHL, QMJHL and WHL teams hold their training camps and open their seasons, NCAA hockey gets ready for an October start, and junior hockey leagues across the U.S., Canada get underway.
With the "Fail for Connor McDavid" line already being parlayed around in Buffalo, NHL.com's Mike G. Morreale reports that the 2015 draft's other top prospect, Jack Eichel, was at the draft in Philadelphia, hoping to make the U.S World Junior team and watching his U.S. National Team Development program friends hear their names called by NHL teams:
from Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal at The Sporting News,
Reebok’s CCM Hockey brand is close to signing a multiyear head-to-toe apparel and equipment endorsement deal with 15-year-old hockey phenom Connor McDavid, the No. 1 pick of the Ontario Hockey League.
If the deal is completed, as expected, it would be the most significant deal Reebok has signed with a young hockey player since 2005, when it signed Sidney Crosby, 17 years old at the time and now an NHL star, to a five-year deal. McDavid would be the youngest hockey player to endorse Reebok.
Glen Thornborough, Reebok CCM vice president of global marketing, confirmed that he was in discussions with McDavid, his family and Bobby Orr, the NHL hall of famer and founder of the Orr Hockey Group, which represents McDavid.