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Entries with the tag: detroit red wings

Florida Pantheres struggling despite Vanek acquisition

From the Miami Herald's George Richards:

The Florida Panthers made a nice deal at the trade deadline to help with their run to the playoffs.

Although that postseason push has stalled, don’t blame Thomas Vanek for it.

Florida goes into Friday’s game against the Minnesota Wild with losses in six of its past seven games including all three since acquiring Vanek from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a third round draft pick and depth defenseman Dylan McIlrath.

Vanek, who spent the past two seasons with the Wild before having the final year (this one) of his contract bought out, scored his first goal with the Panthers in Florida’s eventual 5-2 loss to the Rangers on Tuesday.

“He’s a really good player and we knew what we were getting when we traded for him,” interim head coach Tom Rowe said Friday morning. “He has obviously brought the offense and has a real confidence about himself in the locker room, really calm on the bench. That rubs off on everyone.”

Continued

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  Tags: detroit+red+wings, florida+panthers, thomas+vanek, tom+rowe

Morning line: Happy 91st Birthday, Ted Lindsay

From NHL.com:

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: July 29

1925: Ted Lindsay, the left wing on the Detroit Red Wings' famed "Production Line," is born in Renfrew, Ontario. Lindsay makes the Red Wings as a 19-year-old in 1944; by the late 1940s, Lindsay, center Sid Abel and right wing Gordie Howe form 'The Production Line," one of the most famous trios in NHL history. Though he's listed at 5-foot-8, 165 pounds, Lindsay also earns the nickname "Terrible Ted" for his willingness to do anything he has to do to win.

Lindsay is a First-Team NHL All-Star in 1947-48, when he leads the League with 33 goals. He begins a streak of five consecutive seasons as a First-Team All-Star in 1949-50, when he wins the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's top scorer, and is again a First-Team NHL All-Star in 1955-56 and 1956-57, when he has a career-high 85 points. But Detroit general manager Jack Adams, angered by Lindsay's efforts to help form a players union, trades Lindsay to the Chicago Blackhawks in 1957; he plays three seasons with Chicago before retiring. However, after four years off the ice, he returns to the Red Wings for the 1964-65 season at age 39 and finishes with 14 goals and 28 points, giving him 379 goals and 851 points in 1,068 NHL games. He is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966.

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  Tags: detroit+red+wings, ted+lindsay

NHL announces start times for Games 5 of Wings-Bolts, Blues-Hawks series

From the NHL:

ADDITIONAL START TIMES SET FOR FIRST ROUND GAMES SCHEDULED FOR THURSDAY, APRIL 21


NEW YORK (April 15, 2016) – The National Hockey League today announced the following updates to the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule:

·        The start time for Game 5 of the First Round series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings, if necessary, has been set for 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 21, in Tampa Bay.

·        The start time for Game 5 of the First Round series between the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks has been set for 9:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 21, in St. Louis.

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, detroit+red+wings, st.+louis+blues, tampa+bay+lightning

On the relationship between NHL players and lost teeth

From the AP's Larry Lage:

Hall of Famer Chris Pronger has great-looking choppers, though they're not the ones he was born with, and Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien can pop a perfect-looking tooth in and out like he's a magician.

Despite player safety being scrutinized by the league more than ever and technological advances in equipment, hockey players are going to lose teeth. The only way to help players keep their teeth is to force them to attach full-cage masks to their helmets. And that, in the NHL at least, is not going to happen any time soon if ever.

If a player chooses to wear a mouth guard, he may help his chances of not having a concussion. His pearly whites, though, are still at risk from a puck, a stick, the ice or a check into the boards.

"I've pulled teeth out of mouth guards," Detroit Red Wings equipment manager Paul Boyer said. "They're not designed to keep the teeth in the mouth."

Continued

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  Tags: chris+pronger, detroit+red+wings, dustin+byfuglien, winnipeg+jets

Saturday Headlines: On Drouin, Shattenkirk, Yandle and All-Star voting

According to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman and Damien Cox:

  • The Tampa Bay Lightning are looking for a young player with a comparable contract in return for Jonathan Drouin, which is why Robby Fabbri's name is making the rounds;
  • Kevin Shattenkirk's name is on the market because St. Louis was going to send him to Columbus for Ryan Johansen, and he may still be available as the Blues look to add offense;
  • Keith Yandle is probably going to be traded because the Rangers won't re-sign him as a free agent;
  • The All-Star Game may include a "quiet meeting" about expansion, but no vote by the Board of Governors;
  • Jakub Kindl is on waivers and the Red Wings are cap-crunched due to Johan Franzen's LTIR issue and Kyle Quincey's $4.25 million salary coming back on Monday, and it's 50-50 as to whether Kindl might be claimed;
  • Friedman reports that the NHL may change All-Star voting to allow fans to pick captains or issue a list of candidates from which the fans can pick All-Stars;
  • Cox states that William Nylander is on a slow but steady return process from a concussion suffered at the World Juniors;
  • And Robin Lehner should return to the Buffalo Sabres next week:

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: all-star+game, buffalo+sabres, detroit+red+wings, jakub+kindl, johan+franzen, jonathan+drouin, keith+yandle, kevin+shattenkirk, kyle+quincey, new+york+rangers, robin+lehner, st.+louis+blues, tampa+bay+lightning, toronto+maple+leafs, william+nylander

Saturday Headlines: finding a home for Hamonic

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman and Damien Cox issued the usual cornucopia of scoops during their Saturday Headlines segment, and this note about Travis Hamonic's trade status, from Sportsnet's Jeff Simmons, is intriguing:

Hamonic’s preference is to play for one of the teams in Western Canada, so the Islanders have a limited market to work with. According to Friedman, teams such as the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, and Anaheim Ducks contacted the Islanders but were told they were not a “fit.”

"A lot of people would not be surprised if this turned into a three-way trade," Friedman said Saturday.

Here's the segment:

Hamonic wants to go to Western Canada, of course.

Also: Damien Cox discussed Eric Staal's and Cam Ward's contract negotiations, he stated that Dainus Zubrus will sign with San Jose, and Friedman says that the Montreal Canadiens are "trying to do some things to improve their team."

Friedman also states that Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto are trying to get a trio of outdoor games to be held during the NHL's 2016-17 (centennial) season, in November, December and January, respectively.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, detroit+red+wings, los+angeles+kings, travis+hamonic

Brooks: NHL’s ‘Paid Patriotism’ teams weren’t hiding money

According to the New York Post's Larry Brooks, the recent "Paid Patriotism" report reflects poorly upon NHL teams:

Six NHL teams received funds from the U.S. Department of Defense amounting to a sum of $1,040,500 from fiscal years 2012-15 to promote patriotism by virtue of honoring veterans and the military, according to a report released on Wednesday by U.S. Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona.

Boston, Carolina, Florida, Minnesota, Detroit and Dallas participated in the program, with the Wild reaping $570,000 from their partnership with the Minnesota Army National Guard.

The report has sparked questions and even some outrage about whether this is a proper use of government money, but no one should infer or imply that these teams or the league have anything for which to apologize. The NHL didn’t have its hand out here.

There was nothing surreptitious about it within the league, either. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly told Slap Shots the so-called “patriot funds” were reported as hockey-related revenue (HRR) as per the collective bargaining agreement.

“Anything received by Clubs as part of partnership deals with military organizations would have been included in HRR reporting and therefore would have been shared with the Players,” Daly wrote in an email correspondence.

Brooks continues, discussing Alain Vigneault's candidacy for Team Canada's World Cup team, goal-scoring disparities and James Neal's "hit list."

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  Tags: boston+bruins, carolina+hurricanes, dallas+stars, detroit+red+wings, florida+panthers, minnesota+wild

Saturday Headlines include injury talk and a wrinkle on shrinking goalie equipment

Sportsnet's Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman discussed Patrick Marleau being on the trade market, the KHL deciding to make its players available for the World Cup of Hockey, WIlliam Nylander playing well in the AHL for Toronto, Connor McDavid's surgery (no torn labrum or separated shoulder), Pavel Datsyuk returning next Friday or Saturday, Zach Parise's likely status as being out for the month, and according to Friedman, per an NHL competition committee debate, the NHL is considering asking goalies to wear player-sized jerseys and have their chest protectors fit underneath:

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  Tags: connor+mcdavid, detroit+red+wings, edmonton+oilers, minnesota+wild, patrick+marleau, pavel+datsyuk, san+jose+sharks, william+nylander, world+cup+of+hockey, zach+parise

All about the 40-second shift

From TSN's Travis Yost:

Mike Babcock has pulled very few punches about the current state of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the work it’s going to take to repair the damage that’s been caused under the old regime.

He consistently points out that the Leafs skaters are flush with bad habits. In Babcock’s eyes, these are the priorities for the club in the early going. If Babcock can’t iron out the issues embedded in both the players and the organization, he knows he’s going to have a difficult team turning the ship around.

A big focus early on for Babcock has been player shift length. Babcock’s been adamant about bringing the average shift length for both forwards and defencemen in Toronto way down, and this is consistent with how he’s historically coached. In Detroit, Babcock was almost militant about shift length. It’s worth recalling this quote from an old ESPN the Magazine article, with then assistant coach Paul MacLean talking about how seriously the team takes every passing second:

Detroit assistant coach Paul MacLean is never without his stopwatch, clicking it each time the Wings make a line change. "We use our own time," says Babcock, eschewing the arena stat sheet. For playoffs, he wants short shifts -- 40 seconds, tops -- making sure stars like LW Henrik Zetterberg stay fresh enough to sustain the tempo his two-way game demands. Quick, smart line changes are so crucial that the Wings devoted an entire practice to them during an unexpected layover in St. Louis last season. Bonus benefit: Quick changes prevent positioning breakdowns that result in odd-man rushes.

The 40-second shift has seemingly been passed down from coaching generation to coaching generation, but it’s not a number pulled out of thin air. Player performance starts to go off of the rails once you breach that threshold. (Anything beyond 60 seconds can be utterly disastrous.) I don’t know how coaches first arrived at that number, but by my estimation, it’s a pretty reasonable benchmark:

Continued

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  Tags: detroit+red+wings, mike+babcock, toronto+maple+leafs

SI’s Farber profiles Mike Babcock

Sports Illustrated's Michael Farber tells quite the gritty tale as to how Mike Babcock went from working in a slaughterhouse to working for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and I'll spare you the gore...

Theoretically, this is the perfect marriage. After last season Babcock was a free agent with a gilt-edged résumé—10 straight playoff appearances with Detroit, a Stanley Cup (in 2008 with the Red Wings), two losses in seven-game finals (’03 with Anaheim, ’09 with Detroit) and Olympic gold with Team Canada in ’10 and ’14. Toronto was seeking a credible coach. After turning down a five-year, $20 million extension from Detroit and an offer by potential-rich Buffalo that essentially mirrored the one from Toronto, he cashed the golden ticket—$50 million over eight years. Six-point-two-five average. First-line money, and more than double the salary of Joel Quenneville, whose Blackhawks have won three Cups in six years. Says Red Wings GM Ken Holland, “Babs won the lottery.”

Why Toronto? Consider a theory. You know how the NHL suspends a player for one game in the playoffs for an offense that would have cost him two during the year because of the postseason’s relative importance? Well, there’s also Stanley Cup math. One Cup in Toronto would be exponentially greater than two or three elsewhere (e.g., 1994 New York Rangers 54-year drought). So an ambitious coach in Toronto gets a two-for-one deal: Win a Cup, get a statue. “I couldn’t see leaving Detroit for someplace other than an Original Six team, but I wanted to try something new,” Babcock says. “The hockey market, let’s be honest, it’s been a coach’s graveyard. Why would I be naive enough to think I could be different? I guess I just am. [We have to] be patient. Get good things going. Not deviate from the plan. Set ourselves up for a 10-year run. It’s probably going to take us three years to get that run set up.” When Babcock was introduced on May 20 in a press conference televised across Canada, he memorably cautioned, “If you think there’s no pain coming ... there’s pain coming.”

But this comment from Henrik Zettererg is very telling for Wings fans...

Playing for Babcock takes a toll; this coach accepts only exact change. “It was time. I think Mike felt that, and [the players] felt that,” Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg says. “The way he locked on things. The criticism. Hockey was 24/7 for him, and he demanded that of his players.” Zetterberg volunteers that he never thought this in 2008, of course, when Babcock was coaching Detroit to the Cup. “He’ll straighten things out in Toronto, no doubt, because he’ll structure ’em up.”

And Farber continues...

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  Tags: detroit+red+wings, henrik+zetterberg, ken+holland, mike+babcock, toronto+maple+leafs

Simmons on the Leafs’ unstoppable forces, the NHL’s not-so-quiet summer and Ilitch’s health

Among the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons' sports notes...

Lou Lamoriello is an autocrat. Although, a former NHL general manager referred to him the other day as a dictator. Mike Babcock is somewhat of an autocrat as a coach. It’s his way or the highway. Jacques Lemaire is about as rigid as they come. What’s going to be fascinating is how these men of large minds, large egos, and total belief in their own ways find a way to work together. The Leafs could be way more interesting off the ice than on it ...

I see where young Auston Matthews, likely first pick in the 2016 NHL entry draft, will be paid $400,000 to play in Zurich this season. That’s slightly more than the going rate for under the table money in the OHL ...

The NHL’s summer? Superstar Patrick Kane investigated; Ryan O’Reilly arrested; Slava Voynov off to jail; Jarret Stoll caught with cocaine; Mike Richards, first investigated, then had his contract voided; And the Canadian dollar just keeps on dropping. And how was your summer? ...

This will surprise some Leaf fans: Dave Nonis, the fired general manager, had three offers to join NHL teams before deciding to take a senior consultant’s job with the Anaheim Ducks. Among the teams interested in Nonis were the Montreal Canadiens ...

And this one, we're familiar with in Metro Detroit, because far, far more of a stretch than it's made out to be in the out-of-town circles:

Many who admire Mike Ilitch, owner of the Red Wings and Tigers, are concerned about his ability to properly operate his franchises. Ilitch is 86, not in the best health, and there is a lot of family interference around him these days. The Dombrowski firing seemed odd as did the quick hiring of Alex Avila to replace him.

Simmons continues and comments on the Patrick Kane situation...

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, auston+matthews, dave+nonis, detroit+red+wings, jacques+lemaire, jarret+stoll, lou+lamoriello, mike+babcock, mike+ilitch, mike+richards, patrick+kane, ryan+o'reilly, slava+voynov, toronto+maple+leafs

Oh boy, off-season power rankings!

I have little time for power rankings, but for those of you who are interested in such lists, Sportsnet's Luke Fox penned a list of rankings based upon NHL teams' offseason moves or the lack thereof:

1. Edmonton Oilers: Any off-season that begins with Connor McDavid should be half decent. But it's what happened before the draft (but after the lottery) — securing a bona fide GM in Peter Chiarelli and head coach in Todd McLellan — that should give the Oilers faithful the most hope. Chiarelli wasted no time addressing the team's weaknesses in net (Cam Talbot) and along the blueline (Andrej Sekera). Mark Letestu is a wise depth signing, and playing hardball with Justin Schultz shows the new-look Oilers are to be taken seriously. Also: Their new alternate sweaters look sick.

Previous: 28

2. Dallas Stars: Trader Jim went after it again, this time landing Patrick Sharp from the Blackhawks, goalie Antti Niemi from San Jose, and inking Johnny Oduya in free agency. An already loaded offence just got scarier. “We have as good a team on paper as anybody in the league," says Tyler Seguin.

Previous: 19

3. Buffalo Sabres: Landing franchise pivot Jack Eichel in the draft immediately puts the Sabres in the upper ranks here, but the trades for Robin Lehner and Ryan O'Reilly have instilled faith that GM Tim Murray — aggressive in pursuit of his targets even if he doesn't always land them (McDavid, Babcock) — is rebuilding the right way. Nice opportunity for Dan Bylsma to get his coaching career back on track with low expectations.

Previous: 30

Fox continues, and if there was any doubt that these rankings are arbitrary...

20. Detroit Red Wings: Bad news: Try as they did, the Red Wings lost Mike Babcock. Good news: They had coach Jeff Blashill waiting in the, er, wings (sorry). Re-signing Gustav Nyquist for a fair price and hiring help from veterans Mike Green (too expensive at $6 million per season) and Brad Richards shows fans that the playoff aspirations won't die with Babcock's departure.

Previous: 12

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  Tags: andrej+sekera, antti+niemi, brad+richards, buffalo+sabres, cam+talbot, dallas+stars, detroit+red+wings, edmonton+oilers, jack+eichel, johnny+oduya, mike+babcock, mike+green, patrick+sharp, peter+chiarelli, robin+lehner, ryan+o'reilly, todd+mclellan

Hockey Canada to announce World Cup of Hockey management team on Monday

Per Sportsnet's John Shannon, Hockey Canada is going for an ecclectic mix of "old and new" to helm Canada's 2016 World Cup team:

St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong will lead Canada’s management team for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, reports John Shannon.

Hockey Canada will announce on Monday that Armstrong will serve as GM and have fellow NHL front office personnel Ken Holland, Marc Bergevin and Rob Blake on his staff, according to Shannon.

Holland and Bergevin currently work as GMs for the Red Wings and Canadiens, respectively. Blake is an assistant GM with the Kings.

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  Tags: detroit+red+wings, doug+armstrong, ken+holland, los+angeles+kings, marc+bergevin, montreal+canadiens, rob+blake, st+louis+blues, world+cup+of+hockey

Brooks: Hawks no dynasty

The New York Post's Larry Brooks argues that the Chicago Blackhawks may be a dominant team, but are no dynasty:

The Blackhawks are a historically excellent team produced by a model hockey operation. Their three-in-six in the hard cap era is a noteworthy accomplishment. Sharp management is the constant linking this cap era with everything that came before it. That and Scotty Bowman, who keeps finding rings the way kids find Easter eggs.

But the rush to canonize these Blackhawks and include them with the dynastic Canadiens, Islanders and Oilers is foolish. Three-in-six is something, all right, but it isn’t four straight, five straight, four-in-five, or 19 straight series.

It’s the same as the Red Wings’ three-in-six from 1997-2002, better than the Devils’ three-in-nine from 1995-2003, one more than the Avalanche’s two-in-six from 1996-2001, and though those teams didn’t have to deal with the cap, they did have to deal with one another — and a perennially powerful Dallas team — at the top.

And I would take all of those teams over this Blackhawks squad in a fantasy tournament, just as I would take the Red Wings that went four-for-six from 1950-1955 in hypothetical all-time matchups.

It’s a double-edged blade. Just as the cap has made it more exponentially more difficult to keep a powerful team intact, it has also diluted the opposition. The bar just isn’t set as high. No great team, by the way, has ever faced less of a challenge than the five-time, 1956-60 champion Canadiens once Detroit ownership exiled Ted Lindsay in the summer of 1957.

Brooks continues...

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, colorado+avalanche, dallas+stars, detroit+red+wings, edmonton+oilers, montreal+canadiens, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders

Have the Maple Leafs’ castoffs suddenly become ‘added value’ players?

Sportsnet's Damien Cox suggests that the Toronto Maple Leafs must take an aggressive approach to pre-draft-day trades in order to move out bodies and bring in both younger prospects and picks, and while this entry fits under, "KK Hockey" more than my blog, I (George) read this as a Red Wings fan and thought, "How did two months suddenly turn Toronto's trash into another man's treasure?"

To be in position to get the best players over the next few years, more picks are needed and winning has to become a secondary goal, which means people have to go. Phaneuf almost went at the trade deadline to Detroit, and that’s a scenario that will be revisited, even though the Leafs have yet to hire a new general manager. Shanahan feels comfortable making major deals with Mark Hunter, Kyle Dubas and Mike Babcock at his side, and the Red Wings may be willing to give up the futures now that they weren’t willing to relinquish in March when a deal that featured Phaneuf going to Motown for the contract of Stephen Weiss and defenceman Brendan Smith wasn’t concluded because the Leafs also wanted futures the Wings weren’t willing to surrender at that point.

Yes, because Teemu Pulkkinen scoring like a machine during two-and-a-half rounds of the Grand Rapids Griffins' playoffs = he's totally redundant.

Kessel, meanwhile, has seven years to go at $8 million per, but even in an off, off season he potted 25 goals. There’s no obvious match here, but lots of teams failed in the playoffs or missed them because they struggled to score and could have interest in the winger.

And so they're supposed to surrender major compensation for someone described by the Toronto media as nothing more than a malcontent and a cancer?

Bozak and Lupul would be the next two on the list, and if Kessel can’t be moved, they are easier to deal. Lupul has three years left at $5.25 million, Bozak three more at $4.2 million.

The Leafs have demonstrated in the David Clarkson trade with Columbus and the Phaneuf talks with Detroit they’re willing to absorb salary if that’s what it takes to make a deal. Moreover, they’re keenly aware that once the free agent market opens July 1, and with the cap likely to increase only to about $71 million, their options to move these players are likely to be reduced significantly as budgets get spent.

That doesn't mean their prices have gone up since the trade deadline, when the Leafs weren't able to consummate deals for any of the above-listed players.

Cox continues, and I'm not trying to rip the guy, but let's just say I think his take on the value of the players the Maple Leafs' press corps bashed for the entire 2014-15 season aren't any higher because other teams are desperate to take the Leafs' problem children on this summer.

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  Tags: brendan+shanahan, david+clarkson, detroit+red+wings, dion+phaneuf, joffrey+lupul, kyle+dubas, mike+babcock, phil+kessel, toronto+maple+leafs, tyler+bozak

Garrioch talks Yandle, Sharp and the Blues

The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch's second-to-last trade column of the pre-deadline season dovetails nicely with Sportsnet's Cox and Friedman's Headlines and the Columbus Dispatch's Aaron Portzline's most recent Tweets about the Bruins having interest in Cam Atkinson. So:

Talks have heated up for Arizona defenceman Keith Yandle because teams see the possibility they can have him for two playoff runs before he becomes a UFA. There’s a belief the Detroit Red Wings, who have been looking for a blueliner all year, are making a hard push on Yandle because he fits the bill to what they’re looking at ... Don’t scoff at those rumours about Chicago centre Patrick Sharp being available. Sure, they’ve been denied in the past, but teams are certainly talking about him and there’s a belief the Capitals are the ones pushing the buttons of Hawks’ GM Stan Bowman to see if they can entice him to make a deal. Sharp’s name is out there. A Sharp deal might make sense in the summer, especially with Patrick Kane gone for three months, but if the Hawks are listening they’re going to have plenty of interest. Sharp would be the kind of guy Ottawa GM Bryan Murray would show interest because he fits the bill of what the Senators want in a top-six forward.

...

St. Louis GM Doug Armstrong is in the category where he’d like to do something before the deadline. It might not be anything major, but the Blues wouldn’t mind adding some forward depth. He made a tour through the New York area last week which had people buzzing. While there are still those who wonder about the club’s goaltending, it appears St. Louis will go into the playoffs with Brian Elliott and give him the chance to prove himself last year after the experiment to get Ryan Miller didn’t work last year. Make no mistake, there’s a lot of pressure and expectations on Armstrong to get past the first round this spring and that’s why the name of centre Patrik Berglund is out there. The issue is he has two years left at $3.7 million and teams aren’t big on term.

Garrioch continues, discussing Curtis Glencross, Atkinson, Erik Cole and the Senators' blueliners...

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  Tags: brian+elliott, bryan+murray, chicago+blackhawks, detroit+red+wings, doug+armstrong, keith+yandle, ottawa+senators, patrick+kane, patrick+sharp, phoenix+coyotes, ryan+miller, st.+louis+blues, stan+bowman

Garrioch discusses the Coyotes’ fire sale and Anaheim’s attempts to snag Myers

A certain fan base that visits Kukla's Korner regularly reacted to Arizona Coyotes GM Don Maloney's suggestion that it would be "difficult" to part with Shane Doan and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, but that just about everyone else on his team's roster is available, means that OEL is  on the move, but even the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch doesn't belive that to be true--though he does have some news about the Coyotes' would-be fire sale:

In summary, captain Shane Doan won’t be going anywhere, defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson is doubtful to be moved (but could be) and if teams are willing to pay the price then pretty much everybody else is on the market. However, buyers should beware.

For example, centre Antoine Vermette will be going somewhere by the March 2 deadline and he’s highly-sought after. The talk amongst NHL executives is when the Senators made a call, the asking price may have been top-prospect Curtis Lazar or another high-end prospect.

For a rental? Thanks, but no thanks for the Senators, but that doesn’t mean some contender won’t pay it.

Defenceman Keith Yandle, a year away from unrestricted free agency, is also drawing a lot of interest. The Coyotes will want two pieces and a pick in return for him but Maloney hasn’t given teams interested an idea of just how big he wants those two pieces to be.

“If you can get Yandle at this deadline you can get him for two playoff runs,” noted a league executive. “This isn’t an easy move but you’re getting a guy who can play 20-plus minutes and is pretty good offensively.”

Garrioch continues, discussing the Leafs' possible attempts to move Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel, Martin Brodeur's retirement as a Blue, and this:

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, antoine+vermette, bob+murray, buffalo+sabres, detroit+red+wings, don+maloney, keith+yandle, marc+bergevin, montreal+canadiens, oliver+ekman-larsson, phoenix+coyotes, shane+doan, tim+murray, tyler+myers

Simmons: The Leafs’ management whiffed on the comparative coach-hiring process

The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons' Sunday notebook is quite good, and it includes another take on Phil Kessel's worth, a note about the "analytics department" teams' coaching records (with an emphasis on "coaches," plural), and a great quip from Randy Carlyle about the coach-critiquing business, but given Carlyle's status and the Maple Leafs' desire to hire a head coach after this season, this seems like the most appropriate place to start:

[Mike] Babcock is a pending free agent who wants big money and a big opportunity to win wherever he ends up coaching next hockey season — assuming he leaves Detroit, which isn’t in any way certain.

The Leafs can offer up money. They can’t guarantee contender status.

That leaves the Leafs open to playing a different waiting game of sorts. Rather than wait for the available free agent, they will monitor the list of those who potentially could be out of work at season’s end.

High on their list of candidates are Todd McLellan in San Jose and Dave Tippett in Arizona. Should either of those coaches be let go, the Leafs would likely act quickly. The same is certainly true in St. Louis, should Ken Hitchcock’s Blues be eliminated again in the first round of the playoffs and a change be made there. And the least likely candidate is Bruce Boudreau in Anaheim, a Leafs lover who has had a history of terrific regular seasons and not-so-terrific post seasons.

This much is obvious: The Leafs had little interest in Barry Trotz and Peter Laviolette, who have gone into Washington and Nashville and made an immediate impact. The internal belief was Randy Carlyle was equal to, if not better than, either of those coaches.

Should the Caps and Predators qualify for the post-season and the Leafs fall short, that decision by club president Brendan Shanahan and general manager Dave Nonis will have proven, if it hasn’t already, to be incorrect.

Simmons continues...

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Garrioch talks Habs, Briere on the move, Petry and Flyers’ possible blueline sale

The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch has made a helluva case for Antoine Vermette as the league's most useful player available at the trade deadline (in no small part because the Arizona Coyotes forward used to be a Senator), and Vermette's far from chopped liver, but these parts of his Sunday rumor column are more interesting than Vermette talk or discussion of Team Canada WJC coach Benoit Groulx's future:

Montreal GM Marc Bergevin has been working the phones to try to get help up front. Yes, the Habs have had a great first half, but they'd still like to get a little more size among their forwards for a long playoff run. They waived blue-liner Bryan Allen and his $3.5-million contract. He was sent to the club's AHL affiliate in Hamilton and the Habs are hopeful someone will deal for him ... If a team is looking for experience, a possible option is Colorado C Daniel Briere. A UFA with a $4-million cap hit, he's being used in a fourth-line role by the Avs. Briere, 36, could be a nice fit for a team in the East and the Avs wouldn't want much more than a draft pick in return. The Islanders could use a guy like Briere. They have little experience ... A possible fit for the Wings: Oilers' D Jeff Petry. Detroit GM Ken Holland was on Edmonton radio last week and indicated he needs a right shot. Petry is a UFA and a Michigan native.

Ryan Kesler's also from Michigan, and the Wings were supposedly in trade talks for him, too, but that didn't happen. A player's Michigan ties haven't fared into the Wings,' "We want to trade for guy over the other one" decision-making process since the Jimmy Carson trade.

Flyers GM Ron Hextall is getting antsy to make deals. Philly has virtually no shot at making the playoffs, coach Craig Berube is on the hot-seat and Hextall wouldn't mind clearing out cash. While the Flyers would like to move blue-liners Nick Schultz, Carlo Colaiacovo and Michael Del Zotto, the guy teams really covet is Braydon Coburn. With a $4.5-million cap hit through 2016-17, Coburn is highly regarded and could bring a good return. There's also interest in centre Brayden Schenn, who has a cap hit of $2.75 million through next season.

Garrioch continues...

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  Tags: braydon+coburn, carlo+colaiacovo, colorado+avalanche, craig+berube, daniel+briere, detroit+red+wings, edmonton+oilers, jeff+petry, marc+bergevin, michael+del+zotto, montreal+canadiens, nick+schultz, philadelphia+flyers, ron+hextall

Friedman, Cox discuss Julien extension, Ekblad sticking with Panthers, etc.

This time the Hockey Night in Canada segment in which Elliotte Friedman and Damien Cox dish news and notes has been geo-blocked to Canada only (Paul sent me an email informing me of the "stuff we already know" in that Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha is skating with the Grand Rapids Griffins, hopefully making his pro debut in about two weeks, but Daniel Alfredsson is not and may retire), but Friedman did offer some Twitter quips from his exchange, beginning with Ryan McDonagh's separated shoulder yielding interest in Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Andrej Sekera (who is "on the block"):

Ekblad scored his first goal, a game-winning marker in Florida's 2-1 win over Philadelphia on Saturday evening...

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Garrioch: ‘The heat is definitely on Hitchcock’

Staal, Myers, and more! The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch also offers the following rumors:

The St. Louis Blues could fire coach Ken Hitchcock if his team isn’t able to get its act together quickly. The heat is definitely on Hitchcock after an early playoff exit last spring and the club brought in Bob Gainey to act as a mentor. The Blues signed centre Paul Statsny in the off-season and expect to be better. If they don’t buy into Hitchcock’s program soon, you would have to think changes are coming ... With the World Cup of Hockey set to return in 2016 in Toronto, the committee has spoken with organizers of the Toronto International Film about overlapping their last week with the tournament. Not sure TIFF needs the exposure but it would be a good fit for the NHL and NHLPA to get more notice ... Confirm or deny: The Coyotes and the Senators had discussions about defenceman Jared Cowen ... A league executive said Friday teams will start to get nervous at the 20-game mark. “You don’t really know what you’ve got after 10 games. You have a pretty good idea after 20,” he said.

Garrioch continues and suggests that Martin Brodeur is still dead-set on being a #1 goaltender, and I don't want to post this, but I suppose I have to:

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ESPN’s Strang weighs in on the Wings, Kings and Wild’s goaltending via chat session

ESPN's Katie Strang held a chat on ESPN.com today, and the first two questions of said chat touched upon meaty topics:

Ed (Queens Village): If you had to pick 1 this season Kings repeat as Cup Champs or Red Wings miss playoffs for 1st time this century?

Katie Strang: Well, I really do not like ever doubting the Wings. That record speaks for itself and the club has a well-earned reputation for its winning culture. That said, I think the chances of them missing are far greater than a Kings repeat. Winning a Cup takes so many elements beyond great personnel and a bevvy of talent. It takes grit, depth and yes, some luck. Especially during the salary-cap era, dynastic teams are harder to come by. Anything can happen in the East though I am banking on Wings making it again this year,

Michael (Minnesota): If you were Chuck Fletcher, what would you do with your goalie situation? Are you tempted to sign Brodeur?

Katie Strang: If I were Chuck Fletcher I'd be extremely concerned about my goaltending situation. I know he said publicly that there will be training camp competition with Harding, Backstrom and Kuemper but I wouldn't feel too confident with that. That's why, since the trade deadline, many assumed Brodeur would be a great fit there. His sons also play at famed hockey prep school Shattuck St. Mary's in Fairbault, MN. Makes a lot of sense. But I think Brodeur is holding out for potentially an injury situation that opens a spot up.

Continued

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  Tags: chuck+fletcher, detroit+red+wings, josh+harding, los+angeles+kings, martin+brodeur, minnesota+wild, niklas+backstrom

A different take on ‘the West is best’: competition breeds Cup domanance

The New York Times' Lynn Zinser offers a take on the Rangers-Kings series which ponders, "Is the West simply better?" theory from a slightly different (and noteworthy) perspective:

This ridiculously uphill battle, however, is brought to you by an N.H.L. that has seen its balance of power slip out of whack. The West has been reliably the better of the two conferences for quite some time, with its teams winning the season series against the East in every season since 2005-6. The West has also won five of the last seven Stanley Cups and six of the last eight Presidents’ Trophies, for the team with the best regular-season record.

That strength has only been increasing. In these playoffs, the quality of the two conference finals series were so far apart that a Stanley Cup finals sweep might have been predicted no matter which team won the West. The Chicago Blackhawks, after all, have won two of those recent five Stanley Cups, and the Kings were champs two years ago.

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Matheson weighs in on Babcock, Ovechkin, PK’s payday, Caps GM talk and top prospects

I kind of "stole" the prime quotes from the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's main Hockey World column for my Malik Report overnight entry, but I smiled broadly and nearly laughed out loud form the Blog Cave while reading Holland tell Matheson the same dang thing--almost word for word--that Babcock's been repeating to journalists and radio talk show hosts who can't or won't believe that Babcock will remain with Detroit when he can coach anywhere he wants after his contract's up a summer from now:

“I don’t believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence … I believe he’s happy in Detroit, but there are options,” said Holland, whose contract is also up next July, but will certainly get a new one from owner Mike Ilitch.

Holland has got the Red Wings into the playoffs in each of his 17 seasons. There were three Stanley Cup championships in 1998, 2002 and 2008, plus a Game 7 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009.

Late-season rallies were required to keep a 23-year playoff streak alive while the Red Wings integrated lots of young players — Gustav Nyquist, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurko, Danny DeKeyser — into the lineup each of the last two years.

“Two years ago, we won our last four games to get into the playoffs. This year, we got in again (despite a terrible run of injuries),” said Holland. “Mike’s a tremendous coach, if not the best coach in the league, then one of the best.”

Matheson's main column focuses on Babcock and Holland, but he also included this nugget of wisdom from Ottawa Senators assistant coach Perry Pern (regarding Barry Trotz's attempts to get Alex Ovechkin to "buy in" to playing defense, as Matheson addressed in a Sunday afternoon column):

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Friedman talks cap conundrums, Pens, managerial compensation, John Gibson and Babs in 30 Thoughts

The CBC's Elliotte Friedman just posted his "30 Thoughts" column, and after wondering how the Penguins will be able to keep all of their unrestricted free agents-to-be, even with the rising cap (they won't be able to do so--a trade will be necessary or people will walk), he offers more than a few intriguing observations. Among them:

1. Just for comparison: the 2012-13 cap was $70.2 million, similar to what we're expecting next season. Chicago won with its top-three salaried players (Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews) taking 26 per cent. Kane and Toews can be extended this summer, with the new deals beginning in 2015-16. That percentage is going to go up, but by how much? They took almost $5 million less than Crosby/Malkin per season on their second deals, critical to their second Stanley Cup (and maybe more). Western Conference opponents are expecting to deal with them for eight additional years. "I hope [their salary number] starts with a nine," one rival exec laughed.

 

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Don Cherry dekes, dangles and sprints past spears on Coach’s Corner

The CBC's Don Cherry had a very selective memory on Saturday evening. He lamented Brandon Dubinsky's ability to attack Sidney Crosby at will in Game 1 of the Penguins-Blue Jackets series, he mocked Duncan Keith for jabbing at the Blues' stars--suggesting that Keith "got Seabrook pumped up" (before sidestepping that topic)--he reviewed the Blues' game-winning goal against Chicago, lamenting Patrick Kane not blocking a shot, he very briefly praised Pavel Datsyuk's game-winner and suggested that the Wings are the worst team for the Bruins to play as their lack of retaliation prevents the Bruins from playing their game (no Loosick mention on Saturday), and then he praised Corey Perry scoring against Dallas and Ryan Getzlaf's persistence (no spear there, either).

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Lucic spears DeKeyser, Perry spears Benn, Daley sits on Perry, Yahtzee

I guess the NHL's annual start-of-the-playoffs crackdown on horizontal stick fouls only counts regarding obstruction and interference, not spearing, stick-swinging or otherwise using one's stick as an instrument of torture.

As noted in the Wings-Bruins quick take, @myregularface showed Milan Lucic spearing Danny DeKeyser in the groin...

 

And during tonight's Ducks-Stars game, Corey Perry did this to Jamie Benn, per The Score and TSN...

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Matheson handicaps awards races, says Oilers should retire #94, Jets should trade Kane

The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson kicked off his last regular-season slate of Hockey World columns with individual awards picks, and his pick for the Vezina Trophy is a surprising one:

Vezina Trophy (top goalie)

1. Semyon Varlamov, Colorado.

2. Tuukka Rask, Boston

3. Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay

Had off-ice issues this year which weighed on him but very consistent work. Rask is best Finnish goalie right now, and they’ve got a full stable of good ones around the NHL. Bishop, nursing sore wrist as playoffs loom, is a six-foot-seven giant and a workhorse.

Matheson continues, making a plea to the Oilers to retire Ryan Smyth's number...

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Matheson runs the gamut of hockey stories in this week’s ‘Hockey World’

The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's Hockey World mega-column's been chopped into 4 bite-size blog entries, and this week, he has a conversation with Nashville Predators GM David Poile, he suggests that the Oilers ought to draft Leon Draisaitl over Aaron Eklbad at the 2014 draft, and amongst his "This 'n' that" notes...

Ted Nolan will likely be getting a three-year contract from the Buffalo Sabres when they return from their Western Conference road swing, which earns a two-thumbs up from Drew Stafford. “He’s a great motivator; he’s extremely simple on his philosophies,” said Stafford, who has been in Buffalo for eight seasons. “He tells us, ‘Look what you get to do for a living … it’s a special opportunity, don’t take it for granted. Show up and compete for a couple of hours.”

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Late-night trade deadline talk from McKenzie, Dreger and LeBrun

TSN's Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger chatted with the NHL Network's Rob Roe on Tuesday evening, and they made some surprising statements.

  • According to both McKenzie and Dreger, John Tortorella's snub of Roberto Luongo in the Heritage Classic did in fact prompt Luongo's agent, Pat Brisson, to ask if he could speak to several NHL teams about moving his client;
  • The gents also claim that the Canucks want to trade Ryan Kesler and Alex Edler independently of the Luongo situation, with Kesler willing to go to Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Detroit Anaheim and possibly other teams (but not the Rangers), and that the Canucks will hold out for the best offer, even if that means trading Kesler at another time;
  • The New York Rangers are still considering re-signing Ryan Callahan, signing and trading him or just trading him;
  • The Buffalo Sabres are at least considering moving Matt Moulson, perhaps to Los Angeles, but Calgary's Mike Camalleri is also another "goal-scoring winger" on the market, as might be Chris Stewart, but the Sabres in particular cannot carry any more salary in making trades;
  • The Sabres may consider moving Christian Ehrhoff or Tyler Myers, and the Red Wings may be interested, specifically in Ehrhoff, but the Wings are in a "transition year," so Ken Holland has to decide whether he's willing to bite on the Sabres' price;
  • And regarding Cammalleri, he, Moulson, Ales Hemsky and Thomas Vanek's futures are somewhat intertwined, with Hemsky and Cammalleri serving as the fall-back plans for the teams that don't land Kesler.

ESPN's Pierre LeBrun also penned a late-evening blog entry updating the Kesler situation, confirming that the Canucks feel no need to "settle" for anything less than their asking price:

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More Kesler discussion: regarding Penguins interest and his ‘list of preferred destinations’

I would prefer to leave things be, especially given that Paul already noted the Vancouver Province's Ed Willes' take on the subject...

But there are times that internet chatter drives you to post an article, and in this case, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Rob Rossi's confirmation that the Penguins are hot on Ryan Kesler's trail merits mentioning...

Vancouver center Ryan Kesler is being pursued aggressively by Penguins general manager Ray Shero, multiple sources told the Tribune-Review on Saturday.

A proposed deal would send Kesler to the Penguins in exchange for center Brandon Sutter, two 2014 draft picks — likely a first- and third-round — and the Canucks' choice of defensemen Simon Despres or Brian Dumoulin, the sources said.

It is possible the deal could involve another Canucks and Penguins player, but Shero was looking only to acquire Kesler, the sources said.

And while I can't quote all of Rossi's article, noting of Olympic ties between Kesler, U.S. Olympic team coach Dan Bylsma and consultant/Pens GM Ray Shero included, you may take this for what you will...

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McKenzie weighs in on Saturday night’s controversies

After a player-brawl and coach-attempting-to-visit-opponents-scrap-filled 3-2 Vancouver Canucks shootout win over the Calgary Flames, coach John Tortorella played it by the book during his brief post-game presser:

He more or less built an impenetrable, "I'm not answering that" and/or, "I won't talk about fights with anyone who didn't play the game" facade (the latter, he did not say literally), with the initial summary of his comments reading as follows (and yes, he blamed Bob Hartley for starting 4th line versus...eventual 4th line):

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When Hockey Is Much More Than Just A Game

We often hear various versions of how hockey is just a game.

That these players should let go of some of their egos because they are playing a kids game for a living that people become too passionate about JUST a game; but hockey is much more than just a game.

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  Tags: detroit+red+wings, russian+five, toronto+maple+leafs, winter+classic

Alumni Showdown

After waiting for an extra year due to the lockout it is finally here. Today legends from the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings will lace up the skates once more. The event became so huge they had to make it a double header.

The first game will start today at one o’clock in downtown Detroit at Comerica Park (weather permitting) and it is sure to be yet another cold day.

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Ann Arbor To Detroit: A Look At Outdoor Hockey

I have spent most of my day driving around Lower Michigan. Made my way to Ann Arbor this morning where in just a few more days the Detroit Red Wings will face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2014 NHL Winter Classic.

Took a few shots from around Michigan Stadium (The Big House) while I was there.

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  Tags: detroit+red+wings, grand+rapids+griffins, outdoor+hockey, toronto+maple+leafs, toronto+marlies, winter+classic

The Morning After Skate

Welcome to the morning after! A recap of the games from the night before and quick hit hockey news.

In Case You Missed It

Anaheim Ducks at New York Rangers

As the Ducks continue on their East Coast road trip without Teemu Selanne, as he went back to California after injury, it would take just minutes after puck drop for the Ducks to establish dominance over the Rangers.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, danny+dekeysers+first+nhl+goal, detroit+red+wings, new+york+rangers, sauce+hockey, winnipeg+jets

Senators Dominate in Alfie’s New House

Any way you slice it, tonight's game was an important one for the Ottawa Senators. It was a chance to get an important two points against a division rival, a chance to bounce back on the road after a home loss in a game they probably should have won, and a chance to avoid falling behind early in the Atlantic division.

Of course, all that ignores the elephant in the room. The fact is, even though a lot of the Sens players had avoided talking about it, or said they weren't thinking about it, this was probably a night they've had circled on their calendar's since the middle of the summer for one reason. Daniel Alfredsson.

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The Morning After Skate

Welcome to the morning after! A recap of the games from the night before and quick hit hockey news.
In Case You Missed It
Toronto Maple Leafs at Philadelphia Flyers
After defeating the Montreal Canadiens last night the Maple Leafs traveled to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers.
 

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First Morning After Skate

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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The Great Winter Classic Debate

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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  Tags: boston+bruins, chicago+blackhaawks, chicago+blackhawks, detroit+red+wings, flyers, minnesota+wild, montreal+canadiens, nationals+park, nhl, washington+capitals, winter+classic, winter+classic+2015

The Goaltending Investment, The Detroit Way

This one’s for all of you Detroit Red Wings fans that comprise a large portion of the KK readership.

There’s been plenty of debate in my town lately about the value of goaltending in the salary cap era.  Specifically, does it make sense to keep a goalie (Two hints - I’m in Buffalo and his name rhymes with Hiller) who makes over $6 million per season when you could be spending those dollars at other positions?  The Red Wings, time and time again, are brought up as Exhibit A. 

A Sabres beat reporter went so far yesterday as to suggest that, since many NHL teams have come on board with Detroit’s low-cost goaltending model, it would be difficult for Buffalo to trade its franchise netminder for anything resembling decent value.  With that in mind, and with humble apologies for descending to the level of dealing in hypotheticals, I hope you’ll chime in on this question which is based more on philosophy than reality (sorry, we don’t make up trade rumors here).

Imagine if Ken Holland received a phone call from the Sabres stating that new owner Terry Pegula, wanting to invest more cap money in his forwards, was making Ryan Miller available.  As a fan of a team that’s enjoyed enormous success with cheaper goalies, how do you think your GM would respond?  How would you want him to respond?

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, detroit+red+wings, ryan+miller, spending+on+goaltending

Former NHLer’s in Europe Part II

This week we will continue to look at former NHL players who are now playing in Europe.
 
Jaromir Jagr
Avangard Omsk

Jagr is clearly not the offensive force that he was in his heyday with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but he has become quite a mentor to younger KHL players, while recording 14 points in 19 games for sixth place Avangard Omsk. However, Jagr’s most impressive feat this year was leading an undermanned Czech squad to World Championship gold against a heavily favoured Russian squad that featured Ovechkin, Malkin, Datsyuk and Gonchar.
 
Miroslav Satan
HC Slovan Bratislava

Satan is hoping to land another midseason NHL contract as he did with the Boston Bruins last year. In the meantime, Satan registered eight points during a three game contract with Slovan Bratislava of the Slovak league. Satan can still find the back of the net and may yet have another crack at the NHL.
 

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  Tags: alexander+ovechkin, alexei+yashin, boston+bruins, cristobal+huet, detroit+red+wings, evgeni+malkin, fred+braithwaite, j.s.+aubin, jaromir+jagr, manny+legace, marc+lamothe, mike+modano, miroslav+satan, pavel+datsyuk, pittsburgh+penguins, robert+esche, sergei+gonchar, slava+kozlov

Former NHLer’s in Europe

This week I will take a look at some former NHL players now playing in various European leagues. With the implementation of the salary cap, the average NHL players’ career is now ending when they hit their mid-thirties, as GM’s round out their roster with younger, less expensive options. This recent trend has led to an influx of big name players, such as Pavol Demitra and Evgeni Nabokov, heading overseas for better contracts and a chance to lengthen their career. Do most of these players repeat their NHL success overseas or are they clearly at the twilight of their careers?

Dominik Hasek
Spartak

Hasek was signed last summer after leading HC Pardubice to the Czech Extraliga championship. However, Hasek has struggled this year with a 4-10 record, a 2.80 GAA and a .898 save percentage as Spartak currently sit 18th out of 23 KHL teams.

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  Tags: detroit+red+wings, dominik+hasek, evgeni+nabokov, glen+metropolit, martin+straka, minnesota+wild, pavol+demitra, sandis+ozolins, stacy+roest

The State of Hockey in Slovakia

Despite tempered expectations, Slovakia garnered a fourth place finish at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. In spite of an aging core roster of players, Slovakia was able to retain it’s Elite Seven status, while upsetting the number one ranked team; Russia, and eliminating the number three ranked team and defending Olympic Gold Medalists; Sweden.

Since the split of Czechoslovakia into two distinct nation states in 1993, Slovakia slowly saw their stock on the ice rise, culminating in a IIHF World Championship in 2002. However, since then the Slovaks have found themselves in a similar quandary that Team USA did for the better part of the last decade; the increasing age of their elite players and management’s inability to find suitable replacements for the old guard. However, unlike the States, Slovakia does not have the depth of coaching and player development programs which has spawned a new generation of talent Stateside.

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Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: detroit+red+wings, glen+hanlon, marian+gaborik, marian+hossa, pavol+demitra, richard+panik, tampa+bay+lightning, tomas+tatar, zigmund+palffy

Ken Holland Would Like to get an Enforcer

From the Detroit News’ Chris McCosky:

The question comes up around this time every summer: Should the Red Wings acquire an enforcer?

“Ideally, yeah, we’d love to go out and get an enforcer,” general manager Ken Holland said Monday. “But I can’t make one up. We don’t have one in our organization right now, so I have one of two choices. Either I trade for one or I get one through free agency.”

Holland has a history of adding one agitator to the roster, usually later in the summer or right after training camp. He brought in Brad May after the team returned from Sweden last year. Before that, Aaron Downey, Darren McCarty and Dallas Drake were late additions to the roster.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: detroit+red+wings, nhl-hockey

Hall of Fame might call on former Red Wing Dino Ciccarelli this year

From the Detroit Free Press’ Lee Snider:

Former NHL great Dino Ciccarelli amassed 608 goals in a 19-year career that included four seasons in Detroit (1992-96).

Yet, the scrappy, prolific scorer isn’t in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Minneapolis Star Tribune hockey writer Michael Russo thinks this might be Dino’s year.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: detroit+red+wings, nhl-hockey

Red Wings Goalie Jimmy Howard Deserves to be NHL’s Rookie of the Year

From the Detroit News’ Ted Kulfan:

At the grand old age of 26, you hope Jimmy Howard won’t be discriminated against for his age.

Howard is a finalist for the Calder Trophy, symbolizing the NHL’s rookie of the year. He’s up against Buffalo defenseman Tyler Myers, 19, and Colorado forward Matt Duchene, 18, two worthy candidates. Both players are younger than Howard and neither played in the minor leagues, as Howard did for four seasons.

Howard is, without a doubt, the elder statesman in this group. The much older brother. Ancient, even.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: detroit+red+wings, nhl-hockey

Ken Holland Wants to Sign Wings’ Restricted Free Agents

From the Detroit Free Press’ Helene St. James:

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland plans to gear up talks to re-sign his restricted free agents over the coming week, but already the Wings figure to be a deep and competitive team next season.

That’s because they’re largely going to be the same team that went 16-3-2 in March and April when, for the first time all season, all their principal players were healthy.

“I like our team,” Holland said. “I think we’ve got a good mix. We’ve identified our core, and we’ve got some role players we really like, and we’re going to be deeper with Jiri Hudler coming back.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: detroit+red+wings, nhl-hockey

Gatorade’s “Replay II” to show 1999 rematch of Detroit high school hockey teams

Maybe some of the Wings fans here were a part of this ?

Fox Sports Network will broadcast the premiere of the “Gatorade REPLAY II”, airing nationally Sunday, June 20.

This season’s REPLAY featured a Classic rematch between the 1999 teams of two Detroit area hockey powerhouses, the Trenton Trojans and the Detroit Central Catholic (DCC) Shamrocks. 

REPLAY the Series, Fueled by Gatorade, re-stages classic games between some of the nation’s biggest high school sports rivalries.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: detroit+red+wings, nhl-hockey

Wings trade Leino to Flyers

Per CBC Jeff Marek’s Twitter, Detroit trades Ville Leino to Philadelphia for a 5th in 2011 and Ole-Kristian Tollefsen.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: detroit+red+wings, nhl-hockey, philadelphia+flyers

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