KK Members Blog
At some point on Thursday, the Ottawa sports media will be stirred from the sleepy doldrums of summer to meet with the man who was, until recently, the longest serving captain in the NHL and the dominant face of the Ottawa Senators franchise. They'll get to question him on why he chose to break the hearts of his faithful and leave for the apparently greener pastures of the Motor City.
The thing is, in the Ottawa media, questioning Daniel Alfredsson is not exactly the natural state of things. Alfie's word has been held to be gospel truth, his actions sacrosanct, his motives pure. Even when he might have seemed to have mispoke, it would be considered the height of blasphemy to do anything less than rush immediately to his defence. A lack of faith in the cult of Alfie was enough to prove one was (at least) out of touch with reality (or worse still, a Leafs fan). Little wonder, to those in Ottawa, that I-Phone's helpful homonculus, Siri, famously confused Alfie with God.
By now, most with any interest in the drama surrounding Daniel Alfredsson's departure from Ottawa will be aware of most of the story. Paul has linked to James Gordon's great piece in Senators Extra where he interviewed Sens owner Eugene Melnyk (insert CSI joke here...and now that that's out of the way). Gordon attempted to get some answers, and ended up with a story that was a bit different from the one that the team put out in the immediate aftermath. It was also chronicled in a fullsome and thoughtful way in the pages of the Malik Report, from the perspective of one Wings fan who happens to have a Senators' jersey with Alfredsson's name on it hanging in his closet. I thought I'd offer one Senator's fan's perspective on the evolving drama, and the evolving explainations that have come from the Sens management and ownership.
Florida has a number of excellent up and coming players, an area of promise but also an area of potential disappointment. These include the just drafted Barkov, said to be ready to step into an NHL lineup right away and likely to center at some point the the Calder rookie winner Huberdeau, who has the skill to be a star player for years to come. Headlining the promising young defensemen are Kulikov and Gudbranson, both developing into solid top four or even top two defensemen and both still young, especially for defensemen. Markstrom has been widely touted as a top goalie prospect for a few years and is likely to be given a legitimate shot at starting from the get go this season. Other promising young players are Shore, Bjugstad, Howden, Matthias, Matheson, and Petrovic.
In 2011 Dale Tallon stepped in as GM and made a number of moves and signings that brought in a number of overpaid players, partly to get above the cap floor. Tallon brought in and then resigned Versteeg, as well as trading for Campbell, whose contract has been criticized widely as being too much for his value. Other signings included Jovanovski, Upshall, Kopecky, and Bergenheim, and each of the aforementioned players have arguably or certainly failed to play up to their contracts. This may be due to injury, but regardless, these contracts will cripple the team's ability to spend especially through the 14-15 season and also through the 15-16 season.
We are now 42 games away from the first preseason game of the year, and there is still plenty of key free agents looking for a new team. Yet, there is little to no noise. Here are my top 5 UFAs still available and which team(s) would be best fit.
I had never been much of one for sports as a child. I was small and uncoordinated, and tired easily compared to other kids. My parents quickly gave up on bringing me to play baseball as I just could not hit the ball. Along with and perhaps because of my lack of interest in playing sports, I also did not watch any sports.
Because of this, the idea of watching sports and particularly being a fan of a team or athlete was alien to me. I could not understand what the players on television had to do with me. Why should an athlete's success at a sport, which has no inherent value, influence my emotions? For every athlete that wins, there is at least one other who loses, and there was usually no reason for me to cheer on one over the other.
All the same, in 2009 I decided that watching sports would make me a more well rounded person. Sports are something you can talk to almost any male about, even when you meet him for the first time. But unlike most, I had the unique opportunity to shop around and choose which sport I wanted to watch. Most of us become interested in a sport because it's the sport we played or continue to play, and that sport is often the sport our father played. I am not one for getting into something that will take a significant amount of my time without research, and so I did my studying.
I have heard all the wild stories about the Cup's summer travels, but this one is hard to top, the Cup visits Children's Hospital of Chicago.
Photo album of the visit.
The accompanying video.
In a world filled with Footballers being arrested, LeBron addressing his haters, and other HOT news stories, this ad in today's Boston Globe deserves as much attention.
I'm a long time KuklasKorner reader/follower, but I've never contributed before via a blog or even message (not really sure why).
Regardless, every year, I love putting together mock drafts. With the draft being on Sunday, I thought you all might enjoy my crack at guessing who will be taken where. Whenever I do a mockdraft, I consult team needs, drafting tendencines (CHL over European leagues, Canadian players only in the first round, etc.), as well as best player available (I consult ISS, Central Scouting, Bob McKenzie and other ratings). Feel free to comment and point out where I'm wrong or need work in my selections
1. Colorado – C Nate MacKinnon
Everyone, including myself was convinced Colorado would opt to take Denver native Seth Jones with this pick. However, after a recent announcement from the Avalanche, they seem to be going in a different direction. The likely choice for the Avalanche with the #1 pick therefore is Nate MacKinnon. MacKinnon has game-breaking speed, an excellent shot, great passing ability and vision. He is a player the Avalanche will be able to build around, a franchise player that will be the face of the Avalanche for years to come.
- The Caps were thinking what exactly trading for Erat? Brooks Laich's "tenure and term" is insanity too.
- I don't believe Philly and Vancouver have any choice but to amnesty Bryzgalov and Luongo. Maybe they'll trade them and their new teams will amnesty them after next year. Unless there's some rule against that.
- I thought I was listening to Chicago radio with all the people picking Chicago over Detroit. It was Detroit radio, though. I'm sure everyone picked the Ducks over the Wings in 2002 too, right? I picked Detroit in 6 immediately after this match-up became official. Frankly I was more worried about Chicago's 2009 team.
A continent away, Europe's season ending championship is taking place, with teams sourced by the 17th through 30th best teams from the NHL.
One player who is not from an NHL team is gathering some attention, this entry from the NYT Slap Shot Blog discusses John Gibson at the 2013 IIHF World Championships.
It is rare for the United States to use a teenage goalie at the International Ice Hockey Federation world championships, and John Gibson’s performance in his tournament debut was of rare quality.
Gibson, a 19-year-old from Pittsburgh, made 31 saves to backstop the Americans to a 4-1 win over Finland on Wednesday. The Finns are co-hosting the tournament with Sweden this year, but he was unfazed by the boisterous, flag-waving crowd of 12,484 at Helsinki’s Hartwall Arena.
At 19, it is hard to tell how much seasoning he will need before the Anahiem Ducks have a goaltending logjam.
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