Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

A Very Slow Day

Not much happening today in the hockey world and I refuse to post just to attract readers for something they probably don't have an interest in.

So with that, if I see anything throughout the day I feel you would be interested in, I will post.

If not, enjoy the holiday and news will start to pick up very soon.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Battle Over Advanced Stats

from Matt Larkin of The Hockey News,

The tension is palpable and very much what we’ve come to expect from a rivalry that exploded over blogs and the social media universe in recent seasons.

“It’s kind of like the Hatfield and McCoy feud,” said Globe and Mail hockey columnist David Shoalts. They went on so long, nobody can remember how or why it got started.”

Little did we know the advanced statistics versus old-guard debate, the nerds versus dinosaurs war, would go from hot fad to revolution over the summer.

It was a full-on NHL takeover for the stat heads. (Tyler) Dellow now works for the Oilers. Sunny Mehta, a pro poker player turned Oilers blogger, was named the New Jersey Devils’ director of analytics. Whiz-kid stat guru-turned Ontario League GM Kyle Dubas, 28, is now the assistant GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who also launched an analytics department and poached the minds behind extraskater.com.

The slew of hirings brought validation to the growing community of thinkers who believe possession-driven statistics like Corsi and Fenwick are the best predictors of success in the NHL. And they poured gasoline on the fiery fight emerging between the stat heads and the traditional-thinking journalists.

“They think I’m a moron, to be honest,” (Steve) Simmons said. “Not someone who’s covered the NHL for 34 years, not someone who coached hockey for 25 and is a level 3 instructor, not someone who ran hockey schools. I’m a moron.”

more

Filed in: NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Hey Canada- Get Ready For Hockey, Win An Easton Synergy HTX Stick

note: moved to top of page, original post was 8/18/2014 at 10:20am.

In order to win the Easton Synergy HTX Stick, you must be a Canadian resident and also be a member of Kukla's Korner (join here, it takes 10 seconds).

For a chance to win, you must leave a comment by Sunday, August 31, 2014 at 6:00pm ET.

The topic is up to you but needs to be hockey related and I will choose one random winner from all the comments left.

The winner will be announced the week of September 1st and the stick will be shipped directly to you.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Hockey Equipment, Easton, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Time Stan Mikita Was Hit By A ‘Truck’

Earlier in the season, Gordie Howe was the recipient of a high stick from Stan Mikita...

from Tom DeLisle at DetroitAthletic.com,

... Howe and Mikita finally pulled apart as they slowly made their way to the Wings blue line, badly trailing the play — which was now zooming around the Chicago net. All eyes were on the puck flying around at the other end … including Howe’s, and Mikita’s, the fans’, and — Gordie noted –the referee’s. Number Nine, who had waited patiently for months, seized his opportunity. Slowly putting one glove under his opposite arm, and carefully withdrawing his hand … he cocked his bulging fist, pulling it back about six inches … then proceeded to land a lightning bolt –a quick but exceedingly powerful punch to the prominent and scrawny Adam’s Apple of Mr. Mikita, who was skating at his side.

Down went Stanley.

When play was finally whistled dead in the Chicago end, all eyes returned back up ice to behold the Blackhawk’s young #21 trying — of all strange things — to crawl on his hands and knees towards the Chicago bench. He was having a bad time getting there. In fact, he was barely progressing at all. Crawling? There’s no crawling in hockey. Further in the distance, the nonchalant #9 of the Red Wings was casually heading to the Red Wings bench when he too looked back, and saw poor Stanley in his predicament. Howe joined officials and Mikita’s teammates, skating over to investigate his collapse.

Mikita seemed in shock. Trying to rise, and falling again … he was unable to tell his teammates what had happened to him. He had been skating easily along, and the lights just went out. His legs were wobbly, and his voice didn’t work. The players slowly slid him, bent over, towards the Chicago bench. Ever the good Samaritan, old Gord offered what little consolation he could muster.

“Hey Stan,” Howe said to the bedazzled Blackhawk, who peered back at him with mismatched eyes … “did you get the number of that truck that hit you?”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Talk, Old School, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gordie+howe, stan+mikita

A Few Hockey Notes In Late August

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- A few things that make no sense regarding the NHL expansion story that got all kinds of play this week: 1. Seattle has a willing owner, a promise from the NHL, but no building to play in and no real fan base; 2. Las Vegas has a building to play in but no owner. 3. The NHL would be foolish to lump Toronto in with other expansion bids. A Toronto expansion team could sell for almost twice the price of teams in Seattle or Vegas. 4. Quebec is the most NHL-ready market, with owner and building. The NHL needs as a fallback position for a franchise in need of a move such as Florida or Arizona. 5. Having 34 NHL teams doesn’t make sense, 32 does.

- Eleven years ago Friday, Richard Peddie made a decision that set the Maple Leafs back more than a decade. He hired John Ferguson Jr., as general manager to replace Pat Quinn. The Leafs are still in recovery mode.

a few more hockey items...

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHL Owners Should Stay In The Background

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

The migration of on-and-off-ice talent from the Philadelphia Flyers to the Los Angeles Kings franchise that has won two of the past three Cups is not lost on observers. At various points in the past 15 years, the Flyers (a) employed L.A. GM Dean Lombardi as their western scout, and Kings assistant coach John Stevens as their coach; (b) centered their core of forwards around Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, who each have two rings with the Kings; and (c) had Ron Hextall as their director of player personnel before he joined L.A. and was part of their Cup win in 2012.

Hextall returned to the Flyers last summer and will enter his rookie year as Philly’s GM. His best chance to deliver a Cup is if owner Ed Snider leaves him alone to work at it. That hasn’t always been true in the nearly five decades Snider has owned the team. And the success of the Kings – the success of components not good enough for the Flyers – should show Snider the best thing he can do to satisfy his competitive urges is to wall himself off from hockey decisions.

Because in the modern era, it’s a fact: Stanley Cups are won by teams whose owners stay out of the picture.

This is not to say Snider has directed every move made by Paul Holmgren, Bob Clarke or any past Flyers GM.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

If Ryan Johansen Doesn’t Sign By Training Camp

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,

At this point, it seems highly unlikely Johansen will be on the ice at the start of training camp. Overhardt will use that as leverage, as he has many, many times with clients in the last decade, including Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky in 2009 when he played for the New York Rangers.

The Blue Jackets, thus, must be prepared to play without Johansen in the lineup. They've already had discussions to that end.

There are numerous NHL free agents out there who will be heading to NHL camps under tryout agreements if they don't sign contracts. Saku Koivu, Dustin Penner, Michal Handzus, Andrei Loktionov, David Steckel, Ryan Malone, Ville Leino, Colin Fraser, Daniel Carcillo, Ryan Carter, and others are all still on the UFA market.

As of Friday, Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said a camp tryout agreement with a player is unlikely, especially early in camp. (Koivu, huh?) The Blue Jackets have so many young player in-house, and they want to see how they've progressed. But stay tuned. (Keep your phone on, Saku.)

Another possibility, should Johansen not be part of the team, is that Boone Jenner could be moved back to center, the position he played throughout his youth and most of his junior career. That's not ideal, as the Blue Jackets love Jenner's presence in their top six, but it's a possible remedy.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+johansen

Questions Facing The Anaheim Ducks

from Curtis Zupke at NHL.com,

How much will Kesler help close the gap between Anaheim and the Kings and Chicago Blackhawks? – Kesler is adept in the faceoff circle and will help the Ducks' 22nd-ranked power play. When healthy, he is good for 10-15 power-play goals per season and is also a shorthanded threat.

Defensively, Kesler has won the Selke Trophy (and was a finalist two other times) and provides size and a 200-foot game that is valuable in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

That said, Kesler alone won't put Anaheim on par with Los Angeles and Chicago. The Ducks had to give up Nick Bonino in the trade and veterans Koivu and Perreault were not brought back, so they aren't as deep down the middle on their third and fourth lines.

How does the goaltending shake out? – Frederik Andersen is probably the No. 1 at the moment but that could change in a heartbeat if fellow second-year goalie John Gibson has an outstanding training camp. Andersen and Gibson both usurped Jonas Hiller, who signed with the Calgary Flames, and there might be times this season when Anaheim realizes how much it misses Hiller. That's why Jason LaBarbera was signed to provide veteran leadership.

"We think we've got two really good goalies and an experienced, veteran goalie," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I think we're OK there, I just don't know how it will shake out."

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Evening Line

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: roberto+luongo

John Tonelli On The New York Islanders

from Katie Strang of ESPN,

Tonelli, who won four Stanley Cup championships with the Islanders, thinks the addition of Jaroslav Halak and backup netminder Chad Johnson could be huge for the Isles this season as they try to make it back to the playoffs after a disappointing 26th place finish last year.

“I think they made a great move getting some goaltending help. It’s tough for one guy to carry the load and it always helps when you bring in another guy,” said Tonelli, who played in front of the legendary Billy Smith during the Isles’ dynasty days. “Goaltending seems to be the key ... it starts from there, taking care of your own end.”

And dynamic young center John Tavares gives the Islanders an electrifying element.

“He’s just such a pleasure to watch,” Tonelli said. “You know, he’s exciting to watch and he wants to lead by example. He wants to be there. He wants to see the Islanders become a great team. As a former player for the Islanders organization, that’s what it’s all about. We all want it to be there. We all wanted to be part of a great team. I see that in [Tavares].” 

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+tonelli

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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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