Kukla's Korner

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Fixing Team USA

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Team USA’s dead horse has been kicked often enough, but it is fair to say that no one has left, or will leave, this tournament with a more damaged reputation than John Tortorella, who was able to coax nothing at all from a flawed roster constructed with flawed ideology (into which the coach surely had significant input) and whose lineup decisions were inscrutable, even to the bitter end.

The hierarchy requires a complete overhaul, though that might be easier said than done given the political turf protection within USA Hockey. But the leading candidates to take control of the next best-on-best American squad should be New Jersey general manager Ray Shero, Rangers GM Jeff Gorton, Pittsburgh assistant GM Billy Guerin and New Jersey assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald.

Coaching candidates would include New Jersey’s John Hynes, Pittsburgh’s Mike Sullivan, Nashville’s Peter Laviolette and, perhaps most intriguingly so, Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper, who holds dual U.S.-Canadian citizenship.

The charismatic North American kids were a revelation, showcasing an elite level of speed, skill and creativity that created an enormous high, which unfortunately came crashing down in the wake of their elimination once everyone realized that brand of hockey would disappear either for forever or until the next time this tournament is held.

read on

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+usa

NHL Short Notes- World Cup Edition

THIRD-PERIOD OUTBURST LIFTS TEAM CANADA INTO FINAL
Down 2-1, Team Canada scored four consecutive goals – including three in the third period – to defeat Team Russia and advance to the final of the World Cup of Hockey 2016.

* Team Canada improved to 8-3-2 in 13 all-time meetings with Team Russia/USSR in the World Cup of Hockey/Canada Cup. This marked the first time the countries met in an elimination game in such a tournament since 1987, when the Canadians won Game 3 of the Canada Cup final, 6-5, on a goal by Mario Lemieux with 1:26 remaining in regulation (off a pass from Wayne Gretzky).

 * The line of Sidney Crosby (1-2—3), Brad Marchand (2-0—2) and Patrice Bergeron(0-2—2) combined for 3-4—7, including the tying and go-ahead goals by Marchand. Overall, that unit has totaled 8-8—16 in four games this tournament (Crosby: 3-4—7, Marchand: 3-2—5, Bergeron: 2-2—4).
 
* Crosby registered the opening goal for the third time in the Team Canada’s four games (also vs. CZE and EUR). Teams that score first improved to 11-2 thus far during the World Cup of Hockey 2016.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Kevin Cheveldayoff Statement On Jacob Trouba

via a release from the Winnipeg Jets,

Kevin Cheveldayoff, Executive Vice-President & General Manager, today issued the following statement on behalf of the Winnipeg Jets with regards to defenceman Jacob Trouba:

“We are aware of the statement issued by Kurt Overhardt regarding Jacob Trouba.

Over the last three seasons, Jacob Trouba has played a key role for the Winnipeg Jets and in our view still represents an important part of the long-term future of our club.  As such, any decisions made regarding Jacob Trouba will be made in the best interest of the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club.

As an unsigned player, we cannot compel Jacob to report to training camp at this time. However, we will continue to work diligently to resolve this matter.  We will have no further comment on this matter until such time as it is resolved.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacob+trouba

Hockey Notes On A Saturday Night

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- ... In the week before the Leafs opened camp, two hockey men closely associated with Lupul’s career, told me that he was having difficulty dealing with not being wanted. Neither indicated he was physically unable to play.

So here’s what I wonder now, not necessarily buying the Leafs version of events on Lupul failing the physical exam: If he is healthy enough to play, why not go the Players’ Association and challenge the Leafs position on this? And if he isn’t healthy enough to play, why hide and skip the Leafs golf tournament and avoid interviews?

All this doesn’t pass the smell test and likely it’s not the last we’ll hear of it.

- The World Cup sourpuss award goes to Buffalo’s Jack Eichel, who didn’t much care for being relegated to also-ran status on Team North America and didn’t seem to be one of those check-your-ego-at-the-door kind of kids.

- There’s Bob Cole. And there’s Danny Gallivan. And then there’s the rest of those who call hockey games. And please don’t tell me Foster Hewitt. He was the first famous hockey announcer, the pioneer of the craft. When you listen now, you realize he was nowhere close to Chris Cuthbert, Doc Emrick, Jim Hughson or Gord Miller.

- I wonder if the people of Ottawa have watched Erik Karlsson in the World Cup. There may be softer players in the tournament, but I haven’t seen one of Karlsson’s level who wasn’t wearing American colours.

more on Lupul plus addtional hockey notes...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Jacob Trouba Not Attending Winnipeg’s Camp, Wants To Be Traded

via Sportsnet,

It appears Jacob Trouba‘s time with the Winnipeg Jets will soon come to an end.

The 22-year-old defenceman, who was picked ninth overall in the 2012 NHL Draft, has requested a trade from the Jets and will not attend training camp. He is currently a restricted free agent. On Saturday, Trouba’s agent Kurt Overhardt released a statement to the media, a copy of which was obtained by Sportsnet:

“Our client, Jacob Trouba, will not be attending the Winnipeg Jets NHL training camp. Since May, we have been working with the Jets management in an effort to facilitate a trade of Jacob’s rights. Both parties continue to work on this matter.

There has been no negotiation regarding the terms of a contract between our client and the Jets over the course of the last several months. The situation is not about money; it is solely about our client having the opportunity to realize his potential as a right shot NHL defenseman.

To the Jets credit, the club has two outstanding right shot veteran defensemen and our client simply wants the opportunity to have a greater role. As a consequence of the Jets depth on the right side, we believe it is in both parties’ best interest to facilitate a mutually advantageous trade.

Our client has nothing but respect for the people and City of Winnipeg, the Winnipeg Jets, its fans, management and ownership - our desire to get him moved has everything to do with opportunity. We will continue to work with the Jets in good faith to achieve this end."

added 7:45pm, Spoertsnet has added quotes from Trouba, so click the link above to read theem.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacob+trouba

Open Post- Team Russia vs. Team Canada

Team Russia faces Team Canada in the first semi-final game at the Wolrd Cup of Hockey.

The puck drops just after 7:00pm ET and is on ESPN2, CBC and TVAS.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Play-In Game To Get Into The World Cup Final 4?

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

The World Cup of Hockey is down to the nitty-gritty, with the semifinals this weekend and the best-of-three final series opening Tuesday night. Those who called it nothing but a cash grab have been proven wrong as the hockey and the storylines have been sensational.

Even before the final faces off, there's plenty to look back at and learn from. Here's what's been filling my notebook from group play:

One and done?

After Team North America's unfortunate elimination and Team USA's opening loss to Team Europe, you heard a lot of chatter about the tournament format and how one loss shouldn't be a death knell. One thing that could have been done was advance the two group winners and the best second-place team to the semifinals and then have a one-game playoff for that final semifinal slot.

Under that scenario, Canada, Sweden and Russia would have advanced and Team North America would have met Team Europe in the play-in game for the right to claim the fourth semifinal berth. That would have dramatically cut the impact of tiebreakers deciding stay-or-go-home scenarios.

Team USA essentially lost its chance to advance with its opening loss to Team Europe. Team North America will forever rue the four goals it gave up to the Russians in a six-minute span, because they ultimately proved to undo its other 179 minutes of breathtaking hockey.

continued plus more World Cup topics...

Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Where Have All The Quebec Prospects Gone?

from Tal Pinchevsky of the New York Times,

When the two-day Quebec Hockey Summit took place in Montreal in 2011, it touched on issues including head injuries and ways to improve the game.

But the prominent topic of conversation in panels featuring former N.H.L. players like Luc Robitaille, Guy Carbonneau and Bobby Smith was a potential crisis looming large over the province: Where have all the Québécois N.H.L. players gone?

The province known for grooming many of hockey’s most charismatic stars has hit something of a developmental rut over the last two decades. Gone are the days of dominant French Canadian stars like Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau, Gilbert Perreault, Guy Lafleur, Mario Lemieux, Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur.

That may have never been more evident than at the N.H.L. draft in June, when 14 players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League were selected, by far the lowest total since 2004. Of those 14 players, only eight were born in the province.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Hockey Getting Closer To A Specialized Game

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

Hockey has yet to reach football’s level of specialization. It’s coming. It’s not enough anymore to have a head coach, two assistants, and a goalie coach. In short order, there will be full-time assistants dedicated to each position: goalie, defense, center, and wing. Some teams will hire assistants to work specifically on the power play and penalty kill.

Skills coaches are also en route. In August, the Coyotes hired Dawn Braid as skating coach. The organization believes Braid is the NHL’s first full-time female coach. That’s not the important part. The good news is a team is thinking progressively enough to dedicate a position to skating, the most critical component to a player’s success. On the same day, the Coyotes hired Mike Van Ryn as the organization’s development coach and Steve Potvin as its skills coach. Clearly, 27-year-old GM John Chayka is thinking differently than his older counterparts.

This may seem like overkill to the game’s established minds. It’s not. It’s progress. When a team hires a full-time shooting coach, it will wonder what took so long. Improvement takes place when players are challenged, taught, and coached to do things they have not been prompted to do before.

If nothing else, hiring more coaches leads to an increase in the metabolism of thinking. It will not surprise you to hear that John Tortorella considers himself an alpha male. The Columbus coach is not alone in this category. Lead dogs are used to getting their way, not being tested to consider alternatives. Every coach improves when he’s forced to think differently.

more plus other hockey topics of interest...

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

Matt Murray Out 3-6 Weeks With A Broken Hand

via the Pittsburgh Penguins,

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray will miss the next three to six weeks with a broken hand, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Murray suffered the injury on September 19 while playing for Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey. 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+murray

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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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