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“I think they’ll be a playoff team. There’s a big difference between getting a playoff spot and being a contender for the Cup and I still think they’re a little bit away from that, but I think they’re moving in the right direction.”

-John LeClair on the Philadelphia Flyers.  More from LeClair on the Flyers by Katie Strang of ESPN.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+leclair

If Vegas Does Get An NHL Team, What About Gambling?

from Matt Youmans of the Las Vegas Review-Journal,

It’s a developing story, not a done deal. In May, MGM Resorts broke ground on a $375 million, 20,000-seat arena on the Strip that is set to open in 2016, and it figures to someday be home to an NBA or NHL franchise. A hockey team is now the favorite in the race to be first.

The issue of legalized sports wagering will be a hot topic for debate, though in reality it should not be an issue at all.

There is no way to justify a betting ban on Las Vegas’ NHL team when UNLV football and basketball games are offered in the books. Bettman might not make the request, but if he does, there should be a unified effort to refuse a sports book blackout of the local team.

“We don’t know what their intentions are, and they might not want that,” LVH sports book director Jay Kornegay said of the NHL. “I can’t speak for the industry, but I think it would be hypocrisy if we took our home team off the board. I just think we’re sending the wrong message if we were to take games off the board.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The AHL 2014-15 Regular Season Schedule

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League today released the complete schedule of regular-season games for the 2014-15 season, the league’s 79th year of operation. The season, comprising 1,140 games, begins on Fri., Oct. 10 and concludes on Sun., Apr. 19; each of the league’s 30 clubs will play 76 games, 38 at home and 38 on the road. 

2014-15 team-by-team schedules (PDF)
2014-15 day-by-day schedules (PDF)
2014-15 LeagueStat schedules

Some highlights of the 2014-15 schedule: 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ahl

Bill Daly On The Latest Expansion Talk

from Patrick Caisse of TVA Sports,

The rumor that an expansion team soon moved to Las Vegas raged Tuesday night.

In fact, a reporter from The Province has even write that it was a "done deal" and that it was only a matter of time before everything is formalized.

Bill Daly, the right arm of the Commissioner of the National Hockey League, Gary Bettman, however, categorically denied this rumor on Wednesday morning.

"It's not in our plans, there is absolutely nothing new in that," he has admitted to TVA Sports.

And if it were an organization struggling with financial difficulties, as the Florida Panthers, who moved rather in the "Sin City"?

"We have no move in sight, whether in the case of the Panthers, or any other team besides," replied Daly.

continued (translated)

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bill+daly

Cory Sarich Slowly Recovering From Bike Accident

from Kristen Odland of the Calgary Herald,

Sarich had gone out for a morning ride on July 21, taking his hybrid bike along Windermere Loop Road — a challenging, 40-minute training session on a quiet road.

He approached a descent and spotted an oncoming grey Ford F-350 Ford truck. The driver made a left-hand turn in front of him without signalling. Sarich used his brakes and tried to stay in control of his bike but skidded and ended up sliding underneath the vehicle on his stomach.

The driver’s right rear tire had driven over his back, nearly crushing his body. Sarich suffered five cracked vertebrae, burns on his shoulder and wrist from the truck’s muffler, a swollen left arm and leg, a large laceration on his head, and a serious case of road rash.

Shaken, shocked and bleeding extensively, Sarich still managed to stand up and called for help.

“The first thing in my mind was, ‘I’m not going to die here right now, so let’s get this thing moving,'” recalled the Saskatoon native, who was drafted 27th overall in the 1996 NHL entry draft. “I wasn’t sure of the severity of my injuries. I’d worn off all the ends of my fingertips. I was bleeding from everywhere, I had so much road rash.

“My helmet was busted up in probably seven or more pieces. It was just in pieces hanging by the chinstrap and was actually choking me, so good thing I had that on because it helped in saving my life.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cory+sarich

Anahim Lake Honors Carey Price

from  Caitlin Thompson of the Coast Mountain News,

The gymnasium of the Anahim Lake School was packed last week as community members turned out to honour one of their own: superstar NHL goalie Carey Price.

In town to promote his new role as First Nations Ambassador for the Breakfast Club of Canada, Price was excitedly received by his biggest fans: the Ulkatcho community.

Price’s remarkable story is well known by now. Of both Ulkatcho and Nuxalk descent, Price was raised on the ice of Anahim Lake, which was little more than backyard creeks and outdoor rinks, with his goalie father always by his side.

“It was just me and my dad a lot of the time,” Price said. “We would spend hours out on the creeks, in the cold.”

At age nine his dad decided he should join a team, so they made the nearly 700-kilometre round trip to Williams Lake a few times a week. It got so taxing that Price’s father Jerry, who had his pilot’s license, bought a small plane and the commute was cut to a more reasonable 45 minutes.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carey+price

Questions Facing The Arizona Coyotes

from Davis Harper of NHL.com,

How much stronger are Arizona's bottom-six forwards? -- This summer the Coyotes acquired Joe Vitale and B.J. Crombeen, two disciplined and physical forwards, to anchor the fourth line. Antoine Vermette, entering the final year of his contract, looks likely to move down to third-line center where he can display his faceoff and forecheck abilities. In all, the additions should help Arizona roll four lines in an unforgiving Pacific Division and Western Conference.

"When you've got players like [Anze] Kopitar, [Ryan] Getzlaf, [Joe] Thornton, players who can exploit you, we need players who can play against them even if they are third- or fourth-line players," Tippett said. "That's what's going to keep us competitive in our division."

Can Mike Smith recover his 2011-12 form? -- If Arizona wants to return to the playoffs and compete for a Stanley Cup, there is perhaps no more important player on the roster than Smith. The goaltender proved this in 2011-12, when he sparked a run to the Western Conference Final. Smith's past two seasons, however, have been marked by inconsistency. After signing a six-year, $34 million contract last summer, Smith allowed 2.64 goals-per-game and had a .915 save percentage.

"Last year I think he was coming off a big contract and put a lot of pressure on himself with the Olympics and all of the above there," Tippett said of Smith's season. "Speaking with him this summer, he just seems like a more relaxed player. He understands his role, and I expect Smitty to have a wonderful year this year."

more

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

Maple Leafs assistant GM Kyle Dubas getting to know NHL business, cautions against ‘magic formulas’

According to the Toronto Star's Mark Zwolinski, new Maple Leafs assistant GM Kyle Dubas is working very hard to learn the ropes in Toronto...

“It’s been a busy summer,” said the new assistant GM. “It’s been an interesting time to come in. In a way it worked out perfectly in that August is a quiet month in the NHL, and it let me get my feet under me. Get to know Brendan (Shanahan, the team president) and Dave (Nonis, the general manager).”

Dubas has spent the majority of his time this summer rounding out the Marlies staff, signing a few players, getting ready for training camp next month, finishing an ECHL agreement with Orlando as well as scouting Canada’s under-18 camp.

“It’s getting a sense of what everybody is doing,” said Dubas. “What each department is doing. Following the guidance of Dave and Brendan.”

And Dubas also has this to say about the "fancy stats" business:

“Hockey is behind other sports for a number of reasons, including the nature of the sport,” said Dubas. “There’s a lot of people that seem to me to be rushing the magic formula and how it all works. A lot of people are trying to sell that.

“The key for me is, if you rush, you’re going to be chasing down a rabbit hole, not really knowing what you’re looking for. We’ve got to determine how we’re going to go about that, how we’re going to develop it internally and not have to outsource that.”

Zwolinski continues...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+shanahan, dave+nonis, kyle+dubas, toronto+maple+leafs

Expansion fervor outpaces economic realities, especially in Las Vegas

I (hi, it's George) was going to leave this one for the morning and the boss to deal with, but I'm captain cold bucket of water during non-charitable-challenge time, so here goes:

As Paul noted, the Vancouver Province's Tony Gallagher insists that the NHL expanding to Las Vegas is a "done deal," even if there is no NHL-serviceable rink there as of yet (the Fourth Period's David Pagnotta will fill you in on the inevitability of expansion sooner than later and AEG and MGM Casinos' soon-to-be-built sports facility on the Vegas Strp), even though the Las Vegas Wranglers have folded for the time being and even though three intrepid scribes from the Las Vegas Sun have pointed out that Las Vegas' population (approximate "metro area" of 1.9 million people), TV ratings (or the lack thereof), population working nontraditional hours and the whole Vegas-is-still-recovering-from-the-recession thing all stand as very real roadblocks to any professional sports franchise thriving, for the present moment or any time soon in Vegas.

Then Sports Illustrated's wire posts this:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Latest Expansion Talk

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,

It wasn’t very long ago that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was treating talk of expansion as though he was being asked if he’d like an epidemic of Ebola.

But recently the nature of the rhetoric has changed so much that the question is becoming not if, but when.

And then the ultimate question. Will they be able to limit the number of new teams to just two?

Sources close to the situation have indicated Las Vegas is a done deal, the only thing to be determined being which owner will be entitled to proclaim that he brought the first major league sports franchise to Sin City.

And given how dead set against a team in the gambling haven the commissioner was 10 years ago, this move into another player friendly state-tax-free zone represents a considerable about-face indeed.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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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