Kukla's Korner Hockey
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from Randy Miller of NJ.com,
This time a year ago, Ron Hextall was preparing for his first training camp as an NHL general manager thinking the 2014-15 Flyers would be a better team than the one that took the eventual Stanley Cup finalist New York Rangers to a Game 7 in a first-round playoff loss the previous spring.
He was dead wrong, of course....
Now here we are close to the start of a new season with training camp for Flyers' rookies beginning Sept. 14 and veterans set to hit the ice on Sept. 18.
Hextall's thoughts on his team?
He's believing these Flyers are a better team than the club that he was so optimistic about this time a year ago.
"I think it is," Hextall said.
Hextall thinks the Flyers patched holes through his biggest offseason additions: forward Sam Gagner coming in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes, Russian defenseman Evgeni Medvedev being signed as a free agent out of the KHL and new No. 2 goalie Michael Neuvirth joining as a free agent signee.
from Mike Ozanian of Forbes,
The sale price of the Pittsburgh Penguins is heading south. Morgan Stanley is on the verge of botching the sale–probably by overhyping it at the get-go.
While there have been reports in recent days that owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle want $750 million for the NHL team, those reports are wrong, written by folks who know nothing about how team sale prices are calculated.
Team values should be calculated as enterprise values. That is, the value of the team and the economics of its arena are the sum of equity and net debt. Period.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Now that the furor has subsided and calm has returned to the streets, Trevor Linden says the Vancouver Canucks’ many offseason moves were part of a carefully considered plan and not, as their critics have suggested, made up on the back of a cocktail napkin.
Whether the faithful believes this, of course, is a matter of some debate, but as the Canucks prepare for Year 2 under the new regime, the president says his mandate is clear. The organization’s priorities are drafting and developing. The vast majority of their resources will be invested in those two areas.
Will this strategy have the desired effect? That’s not quite as clear, but Linden says this is the only way out for the Canucks.
And, who knows. After 45 years, it might be worth a try.
“There’s no question that, after seeing things for a year, I knew we had to make some changes and get to a better place,” Linden says. “There were things I wasn’t happy with. I knew we had to do some restructuring and put new processes in place.
“That’s what I’ve spent the last month doing, and I’m really excited about the changes we’ve made. Whether they show up in wins and losses this season, I don’t know, but this is a long-term vision.”
from Dan Herbeck, Lou Michel and Tim Graham of the Buffalo News,
For more than a month, Town of Hamburg police and the District Attorney’s Office have been investigating the young woman’s allegations that Kane raped her in his Hamburg lakefront home early on the morning of Aug. 2 after meeting her in a downtown Buffalo nightclub and inviting her to his home for a private gathering. The investigation has been conducted in strict secrecy, with a few details leaking out through sources on both sides of the case.
Sedita’s predecessor as district attorney, Frank J. Clark, and longtime Buffalo defense attorney Mark J. Mahoney both told The News that they think Sedita is making the right move in presenting the case to a grand jury.
“If I were in his shoes, I would probably do the same thing – put the evidence before an impartial body of citizens and let them hear as much evidence as possible about both sides,” Clark said. “You have a young woman who has made a very serious allegation, and you have a very high-profile athlete who, I would assume, is claiming he didn’t do it. I would give both Kane and the woman who made the accusation an opportunity to tell their stories before the grand jury.”
While the district attorney cannot force Kane to testify before the grand jury, there may be good reasons why Kane may want to testify, Mahoney said.
“Should he testify? … That can be a very hard decision for a defense attorney to make,” Mahoney said. “Some defense attorneys are strongly against having their clients appear before a grand jury, because sometimes, clients make mistakes. But grand jury testimony can also be a very good tool for a defense attorney. It’s his opportunity to get his client’s side of the story out there before the grand jury.
This is by far the most unusual--and interesting--article you'll read this weekend. The Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek spoke with Los Angeles Kings broadcaster Jim Fox, former Red Wing Igor Larionov and former NHL'er Pavel Bure about the former-athletes-in-winemaking business, and you're going to enjoy reading this the whole way through:
Last August, Jim Fox was attending the University of California, at Davis, taking an extension course in winemaking, when he felt the first tremors. Fox was born in Coniston, Ont., but has lived in Los Angeles since 1981, when he first turned pro with the Los Angeles Kings. Not quite a native Californian, Fox has lived there long enough now to know what a major earthquake feels and sounds like – and this was big, 6.0 on the moment magnitude scale (MMS).
“My first thought was, ‘if this was San Francisco, they are in big trouble’ – because it was rocking,” Fox said. Soon after, he learned that the epicentre of the quake was near the West Napa Fault, where the entire vintage of his 2012 Patiné Cellars pinot noir was being stored. Patiné is a boutique wine project that Fox and his wife Suzie run in conjunction with noted winemaker Mike Smith. From vineyard to retail outlet, the process of making a fine wine takes years and involves endless hours of sweat and toil. To potentially have the whole inventory lost in a quake gave Fox one long uneasy night – until he found out his wines had come through nearly unscathed.
“The warehouse where they stored our wine I estimate would house at least 100,000 cases, if not more, and they only lost 20 cases total,” Fox said. “To lose only 20 cases at the epicentre of an earthquake is, I assume, good planning, good storage – but also good fortune. You cannot get earthquake insurance, so if we had lost it, we would have lost it.”
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.
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