Kukla's Korner Hockey
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from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
It’s a new National Hockey League season and there’s a fresh crop of zebras, as the transformation of the NHL’s officiating department continues.
There was a time not long ago when an NHL official had a job for life, once he got inside the ropes. But as the speed of the game has increased, the life expectancy of an NHL referee has gone in the other direction. Now, with officiating combines and an international search underway for the best from all the hockey playing countries, donning the stripes in an NHL game isn’t nearly as easy as it once may have been.
“It’s forced us to find officials with a skating skill-set that is necessary to keep up to today’s game,” the NHL’s director of officiating Stephen Walkom said from Buffalo, N.Y., where the annual NHL officials training camp is taking place. “You have to be a great skater on both edges. Transition forwards to backwards. Move in, out and all around with the speed of the game.
“We’re looking for athletes,” he said. “The days of not being athletic as a referee are long gone.”
And if that athlete comes from a little town outside Moscow called Tver — the same place that gave us Ilya Kovalchuk — all the better.
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
Rich Peverley has decided to retire and take a job in the player development department with the Stars, he said Friday.
The former Stars center, 33, collapsed on the ice at American Airlines Center March 10, 2014 during a cardiac incident and hasn’t played since. He said he has used the past 18 months to push his rehab and see if he could get to a place where he could return to the NHL, but he knows that’s not possible.
“It was working out, monitoring how I was doing, continuing to see doctors to exhaust every avenue and find out exactly if I could play,” Peverley said of his rehab. “It’s a case that’s very complicated, and what I have learned is there is no 100 percent to medicine and, unfortunately, I can’t play anymore.”
added 2:38pm, Dallas Stars on the retirement....
NEW YORK, September 4, 2015 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has named Chris Drury as Director of Player Development.
In his role, Drury, 39, will be responsible for working with the team’s hockey operations department to assist in the development of Rangers prospects, both on and off the ice. He will serve as a liaison between the hockey operations department and prospects in the organization, and assist in the evaluation of the team’s prospects. Drury will work closely with the Rangers’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack, to further enhance the progression of Rangers prospects who are in professional hockey by providing encouragement and guidance. In addition, he will assist in overseeing and evaluating all players at the collegiate level.
During his 12-year NHL career, the Trumbull, Connecticut native skated in 892 games with the Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Buffalo Sabres, and the Rangers, registering 255 goals and 360 assists for 615 points, along with 468 penalty minutes. Drury captured the Stanley Cup as a member of the Avalanche in 2000-01, ranking second in the NHL with 11 goals in 23 games during the team’s playoff run. In 1998-99, Drury received the Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year after registering 20 goals and 24 assists for 44 points with Colorado. Drury recorded at least 20 goals in nine different seasons in his career, and he registered at least 50 points in eight different seasons.
TAMPA BAY - Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy had successful surgery on Thursday, September 3 to remove a blood clot from near his left collarbone and to treat a type of Vascular Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced this morning. The procedure was performed by Dr. Karl Illig, Director of Vascular Surgery at Tampa General Hospital. Vasilevskiy is expected to fully recover and he should be able to return to the ice in 2-3 months.
The 21-year-old Vasilevskiy played 16 regular season games for the Lightning in 2014-15, compiling a record of 7-5-1 with a .918 save percentage and a 2.36 goals-against average with one shutout. Vasilevskiy also appeared in four Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Gene Principe sat down with new Oilers head coach Todd McLellan to talk about everything from Connor McDavid to goaltending to the high expectations of Edmonton’s patient fans.
2 On Your Side's Scott Levin has learned that a woman who was with Patrick Kane's alleged rape victim has been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury on September 8.
Chicago Blackhawks player and south Buffalo native Patrick Kane is the focus of a rape investigation by Hamburg Police, although he has not been charged in the case....
Former Erie County District Attorney Frank Clark says he does not expect any decisions to be made by the grand jury before the end of this month. In fact, he says this process could take weeks or even months to play out.
"Right now, it looks as though the decider as to whether or not Patrick Kane is guilty of any criminal conduct or not will be an Erie County grand jury," says Clark.
With no criminal charges filed, a grand jury will take up the Kane case. Clark says the grand jury process may have started some time ago.
"They may have been listening to the case for a while, and we're just finding out about it. Or it could be that both the police and the prosecutor felt that they had some investigative work to do before they were comfortable in starting a grand jury action," he says.
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Tmes,
Jonathan Toews indirectly addressed the ongoing Patrick Kane situation on a Winnipeg radio station on Thursday, saying, “You stay together as a team.”
Toews was asked how, as captain, he deals with off-ice concerns such as the police investigation involving Kane and a woman in Hamburg, N.Y., though the radio host on TSN-1290 only referred to Kane as “one of your star teammates.” Toews said the Blackhawks can draw on recent experience.
“I think you’ve just got to have confidence that things like that will resolve themselves over time,” Toews told the Hustler and Lawless show. “And for the time being, you stay together as a team, you support your teammate [or] teammates that are maybe going through a rough patch. We saw it last year with some rumors that spread around social media about several guys in our locker room. It’s not the first time we’ve seen situations like that.”
from Nathan Fenno of the LA Times,
Slava Voynov was taken into custody Wednesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, throwing the NHL future of the young Kings defenseman into question.
Voynov had been jailed at the Seal Beach Police Detention Center since July 7 following his no contest plea to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge in Los Angeles Superior Court.
After Voynov's release in Seal Beach, ICE took him into custody and is holding the Russian citizen at an unspecified detention facility pending a hearing by an immigration judge, an agency spokeswoman said Thursday.
Because of the violent nature of Voynov's legal entanglement — which brought him to the attention of ICE in the first place — the agency didn't set a bond.
The Kings declined comment while Voynov's agent didn't immediately return a request for comment.
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
Fletcher said as of now he's not inclined to bring in any unsigned veterans to camp on pro tryouts, although he said that could change once he meets with the coaches next week. I have gotten the impression the Wild has at least talked about bringing in some center insurance like Stephen Weiss, but like I said, Fletcher told me right now it's not in his thinking. If the Wild suffers injury or poor performance in camp, Fletcher feels those options may still be there (for instance, maybe you sign Weiss or James Sheppard or Scott Gomez, who will go to St. Louis on a tryout) or there will be guys available via trade or waivers.
more on the Wild...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org