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Video- Season Preview For The St. Louis Blues

from David Satriano of NHL.com,

The St. Louis Blues hope a nearly identical roster will help them repeat as Stanley Cup champions.

Coming off the first title in their 51-season history, the Blues didn't look outside the organization for free agents to bolster their roster, instead retaining their own restricted and unrestricted free agents.

Forwards Sammy Blais (July 1) and Robby Fabbri (July 12) each agreed to a one-year contract; forward Oskar Sundqvist (July 21) agreed to a four-year contract; and goalie Jordan Binnington agreed to a two-year contract (July 13). Defenseman Joel Edmundson was awarded a one-year, $3.1 million contract by an independent arbitrator on Aug. 6, and defenseman Carl Gunnarsson, who could have been an unrestricted free agent July 1, agreed to a two-year contract June 27.

"From a chemistry standpoint it does help for sure," said coach Craig Berube, who signed a three-year contract June 25. "I guess you don't want complacency to set in; I guess that could be a concern with pretty much the same roster coming back."

continued

Watch the season preview on the Blues below.

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Alex Pietrangelo Makes A Special Delivery

from Pat Pickens of NHL.com,

Alex Pietrangelo delivered the perfect surprise for some St. Louis Blues fans Saturday.

The Blues captain shared the Stanley Cup with the Blues Special Hockey team, a group of developmentally disabled supporters, as part of his day with the trophy.

Blues Special Hockey exists to give people with developmental disabilities the chance to play hockey and further enrich their athletic development. The group went wild for Pietrangelo when he entered the room with the trophy to each person's surprise.

Aside from meeting Pietrangelo and seeing the Cup, each team member also got his/her picture with him and the trophy. They also took a group shot with the Cup.

continued with videos...

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Tampa Bay Lightning Sign Pat Maroon

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent forward Pat Maroon to a one-year contract worth $900,000, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today.

“We’re very pleased to add Pat to our organization today,” BriseBois said.  “He brings size and physicality to our group as well as significant playoff experience.  We expect Pat’s to be a great addition to the roster.”

Maroon, 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, won the Stanley Cup last season as a member of his hometown St. Louis Blues. He skated in 74 regular season games with the Blues, recording 10 goals and 28 points to go along with 64 penalty minutes.  Maroon also played in 26 Stanley Cup Playoff games, registering three goals and seven points while winning his first Stanley Cup.

The St. Louis native has played in 449 career NHL games with the Blues, Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers and New Jersey Devils notching 88 goals and 206 points. He has skated in 73 career playoff games, recording 16 goals and 34 points

Maroon is reunited with his former junior coach Jon Cooper, where the two worked together with the St. Louis Bandits of the NAHL during the 2006-07 season and won the Robertson Cup.  He was named to the NAHL First All-Star Team.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pat+maroon

Hockey Topics Of Interest

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- In the imagination of Kyle Dubas, the general manager still foresees a Maple Leafs defence with Jake Gardiner taking a regular shift.

The reality, well, that gets in the way of his vision.

Dubas adores the puck-moving, first-passing, quick-skating defencemen, which is why he would love to have Gardiner playing on a defence that includes Morgan Rielly, Tyson Barrie, Travis Dermott and Jake Muzzin. He believes that is the future and the present of the NHL game.

Problem, of course, is that the salary cap gets in the way and there is still Mitch Marner to be signed before his other ideas can be addressed....

- One of my favourite funny dressing room confrontations came when Phil Kessel got mad at Leafs’ reporter Jonas Siegel and called him a rat after he reported how many days Kessel had gone without speaking to the media. Years ago, Leafs coach Joe Crozier had so strong a dislike for the Globe’s Al Strachan that he wouldn’t talk with Strachan around. “There’s a smell around here,” he’d announce. “I’m not talking until the smell is gone.”

- I know the backlog of NHL restricted free agents exists but, really, what does Mitch Marner’s contract negotiations have to do with those of Brock Boeser, Charlie McAvoy, Matt Tkachuk or Patrik Laine. I see where Mikko Rantanen and Marner have comparables. But not with most of the other RFAs.

more on the first topic plus a few other hockey notes...

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Ready For Player Tracking?

from Matt Porter of the Boston Globe,

Bruce Cassidy said he has “no idea right now” how the NHL’s promised player tracking data might affect the Bruins’ preparation for games and practices. Among coaches, he is not alone.

“We get our analytics, so we’ll continue to use those,” Cassidy said. “Whatever they add to or subtract from — which I can’t imagine they’ll subtract anything, information never seems to get subtracted — we’ll find a way to mix it in. But no, I haven’t thought about it.”

The NHL will collect a massive amount of data this season, thanks to sensors implanted in pucks and in the shoulder pads of players, which will send information collected by in-arena antennae and cameras. This will supplement the team of data keepers at every league game, which track events such as shot attempts and hits.

Until the league has at least a few months of tracking data to assess, the Bruins’ analytics department won’t be able to make hay with whatever numbers the NHL’s venture will provide. Like nearly all teams around the league, the Bruins are already tracking their own data — sometimes with the help of outside vendors — then distilling and distributing relevant readouts to Cassidy and his staff. The coaches translate it for the players, keeping it simple and usable.

more plus other hockey topics...

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Help From The Rookies

from Sam McCaig of The Hockey News,

A good rookie represents hope for the future, but a really good rookie represents hope for the here and now as well as down the road. Here are the 10 NHL teams most likely to receive an injection of youthful skill and optimism this season:

ANAHEIM DUCKS: It’s not quite Ryan Getzlaf and a bunch of 20-year-olds in Anaheim this season, but it’s close. The Ducks might enter the 2019-20 campaign with a half-dozen rookies on their roster, including five up front. Highly regarded forwards Sam Steel, Troy Terry and Max Comtois are all but locks to crack the lineup and get the chance to make immediate contributions, with Max Jones and Isac Lundestrom also pushing hard for a spot. On defense, Josh Mahura looks good to earn a regular shift, while Brendan Guhle – who’s technically not a rookie after playing 18 and eight NHL games in the past two seasons, respectively – is also expected to play full-time.

Calder Trophy candidates: Steel, Terry and Comtois will be put in position to succeed, with Steel the most likely to compete for rookie-of-the-year honors.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Season Preview For The San Jose Sharks

from David Satriano of NHL.com,

The San Jose Sharks didn't make a splash this offseason after losing their captain, but they are confident they'll be able to compete for the Stanley Cup after falling two games short of the Final last season.

Joe Pavelski, who played his first 13 seasons for the Sharks, including the past four as captain, signed a three-year contract with the Dallas Stars as a free agent on July 1. Forwards Joonas Donskoi (Colorado Avalanche) and Gustav Nyquist (Columbus Blue Jackets) also departed as a free agent, and forward Joe Thornton, who turned 40 on July 2, is an unrestricted free agent who hasn't decided if he wants to return for his 22nd NHL season.

"The guys moving on played significant roles up front so those jobs, those minutes, that ice time is now open," San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said. "I think in talking to [general manager Doug Wilson], we're committed to giving the young guys in the organization good opportunities to earn those jobs. We have some really good depth, especially up front, and it's going to be an exciting camp."

continued

Below, watch the preview on the Sharks.

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IIHF Suspends Evgeny Kuznetsov For Four Years Due To Cocaine Use

via IIHF.com,

The IIHF has suspended Russian ice hockey player Yevgeni Kuznetsov for a violation of World Anti-Doping Code Article 2.1 (Presence of a Prohibited Substance).

The case concerns a test indicating a prohibited substance, cocaine, according to section S6.a (non-specified substance) of the World Anti-Doping Code 2019 Prohibited List. The prohibited substance was found in a doping control which occurred on 26 May 2019 at the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.

The player didn’t require the analysis of his B-sample and was provisionally suspended on 13th June 2019.

The period of ineligibility to be imposed shall be four years, concluding on 12th June 2023.

Per Russian Machine Never Breaks, Kuznetsov did a purge of his Instagram account.

added 8:53am, Back in late May, Kuznetsov addressed the issue.

added 9:31am, Statement from Bill Daly below.

added 9:41am, Statement from the Caps and Kutznetsov below.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeny+kuznetsov

Video- Season Preview For The Pittsburgh Penguins

from Wes Crosby at NHL.com,

The new-look Pittsburgh Penguins are trying to win the Stanley Cup for the third time in five seasons.

To have a chance to do so, they will need to replace forward Phil Kessel and his offensive production. The Penguins traded Kessel, who had 303 points (110 goals, 193 assists) during his four seasons in Pittsburgh, to the Arizona Coyotes for forward Alex Galchenyuk and defenseman prospect Pierre-Olivier Joseph on June 29, two weeks after trading defenseman Olli Maatta to the Chicago Blackhawks for Dominik Kahun, a 24-year-old forward.

Pittsburgh is confident adding Galchenyuk and Kahun to a roster that still has defenseman Kris Letang and centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin could minimize the impact of losing Kessel, who turns 32 on Oct. 3.

"We've changed the makeup of our team," Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said. "Now it's training camp and the time where the coach (Mike Sullivan) will have to work hard to put it all together."

continued

Watch their season preview below.

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It Soon Will Be Busy With All The RFA’s Unsigned

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

It's normally quiet in the NHL in August. Many GMs are at their Canadian cottages and so are the media types north of the border who specialize in transactional rumors. But the sense around the game is an avalanche of news is coming.

What makes this summer unusual is the cadre of restricted free agents who remain unsigned and are looking for big money out of their entry-level contracts. Too many teams simply can't make moves until they get these situations squared away, and some of the outcomes figure to leak into training camp and perhaps beyond.

Look at the names here: Toronto's Mitch Marner, Winnipeg's Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor, Tampa Bay's Brayden Point, Vancouver's Brock Boeser, Boston's Charlie McAvoy, Calgary's Matthew Tkachuk, Colorado's Mikko Rantanen, Columbus Zach Werenski, Minnesota's Kevin Fiala and Philadelphia's Ivan Provorov.

continued

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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