Kukla's Korner

The Puck Stops Here

The Puck Stops Here Is No More

My explanation of removing the latest and now last post at The Puck Stops Here and again I apologize for the bost.

He will no longer be writing at Kukla's Korner.

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Discrepancies Between My NHL All Stars And The NHL Picks

Today the NHL announced the players who will fill out the NHL All Star teams.  Last week I made my picks.  Naturally some picks agree and some disagree.  The discrepancies happen for several reasons.  I pick my team so that it will have the players who have played the best so far this season as of the date of selection.  I am not interested in picking a more proven star player who is having a weaker season.  I see my picks as a record of who has been playing the best at the time of selection.  The NHL does not.  The NHL will pick an undeserving player if he is more marketable.  The NHL allows veteran players to quietly opt out of the game and selects other players in their place.  On top of that there are legitimate discrepancies where I believe a player has outplayed another but the NHL does not. 

Also, Bet365 is a good resource for all things related to th All Star game.

Here are the selected All Stars.  First I will list players that agree on both my lists and on the NHL list and then I will address the discrepancy picks.

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Oilers Mistake With Puljujarvi

One clear way that teams are repeatedly making a mistake is by rushing their prospects into the NHL before they are ready.  It has the potential to stunt the development of a top prospect.  It also has significant opportunity costs under the CBA.  A player who is kept in the NHL as a teenager uses up a year of his entry level contract.  This can be significant because in a salary capped world, the best teams will have to have players who produce more value than their salary cap value.  This can often happen on entry level contracts and is more likely to happen as a player matures.  By burning a year on the entry level contract earlier than necessary, the likelihood of this happening decreases.

Worse a player can reach unrestricted free agency a year earlier by playing in the NHL at a younger age.  This means a team could lose the player for no compensation when he is more likely to be in or near his prime. 

I argue that players should only play in the NHL at age 18 if they are clearly already star players such as Auston Matthews or if his team is a Stanley Cup contender today who will improve their chances with the player on their roster. 

The Edmonton Oilers kept 18 year old Jesse Puljujarvi in the NHL until they finally sent him to the minors today, but not until they burned a year of his entry level contract and pushed him a year closer to unrestricted free agency.

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KHL All Star Rosters

The KHL All Star Game will be played in Ufa, Russia on January 22nd.  It is to be played in a similar format to the NHL game where each of the four divisions has an 11 man roster.  There will be ten players (one goalie, two or three defencemen and six or seven forwards) who are on the current roster.  Additionally each team will get one player from the MHL All Star Game added to their roster.  This is the Russian junior league.  Those players are expected to be announced after the MHL All Star Game which will be played in Ufa on January 15th.  Though the MHL players have not yet been announced, it is likely they are known to the all star team selections as teams left a spot open for either a forward or defenceman to make room for the player.

Here are the rosters for the four KHL divisions:

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CHL Top Prospects Game

The CHL Top Prospects Game will be played on January 30th in Quebec City.  This is the most competitive of the All Star Games because it is forty of the top junior propsects in the CHL who are eligible for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.  Players hope to improve their draft position with a good showing in this game.  In most All Star Games players have little to gain by playing their best.

The players are divided into two teams which are called Team Cherry and Team Orr largely for historical reasons.  Don Cherry and Bobby Orr are essentially honorary coaches of the two teams.

Here are the rosters:

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AHL All Star Game Roster

The AHL All Star Game will be played on January 30th in Allentown, Pennsylvania (the home of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms - Philadelphia Flyers farm affiliate).  This game will be a series of 3 on 3 games played between the different AHL divisional All Star teams.  Unlike the NHL, the AHL All Star teams are 12 players each.  There will be two goalies per team and ten position players.  These position players can be either seven forwards and three defencemen or six forwards and four defencemen.

Here are the the AHL All Star game rosters:

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World Junior Hockey Championships: Medal Round

The medal round in the World Junior Hockey Championships was completed today.  These games took place in Montreal.  Eararlier games in the tournament also took place in Toronto.  Here are the results onf the earlier preliminary round and here are the quarterfinal results.  First I will start with yersterday's semi-final games.

USA 4 Russia 3 (shootout).  Tyler Parsons (Calgary prospect) was the winning American goalie.  Ilya Samsonov (Washington prospect) manned the Russian nets.  This was a close game.  Kiril Kaprizov (Minnesota prospect) opened the scoring for Russia.  Colin White (Ottawa prospect) evened things up late in the first period.  Russia toook another lead early in the second period when Denis Guryanov (Dallas prospect) scored.  Luke Kunin (Minnesota prospect) evened things up with an American goal and Colin White scored his second goal to give the Americans their first lead.  In the third period Denis Guryanov tied things up with his second on the game.  Teams played a ten minute overtime period and remained tied 3-3 so the game went to a shootout.  Troy Terry (Anaheim prospect) scored on the deciding breakaway to give USA a rather unsatisfying win.  USA is in the gold/silver game and Russia plays for bronze.

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My All Star Game Rosters

The captains of the NHL All Star teams were announced today.  They are Sidney Crosby for the Metropolitan Division, Carey Price for the Atlantic Division, PK Subban for the Central Division and Connor McDavid for the Pacific Division.  I will complete the rosters with my picks for the All Star Game.  There are eleven players who will be on each division's roster - six forwards, three defencemen and two goalies.  Each NHL team must have at least one player on their division's roster.  On the East Conference teams this means there are three free selections (a player who can be selected from any team) per division and on the West Conference teams there are four free selections per division.  I select players based only upon their play to date this season.  Thus a surprise player would be selected over a more proven player if he had been the better player so far this season.

Here are my proposed rosters for the NHL All Star Game:

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World Junior Hockey Championships: QuarterFinals

The quarter-finals were played in the World Junior Hockey Championships today.  Games were played in both of Montreal and Toronto.  I have previously written about the round robin results here.  These are quarterfinal results:

Russia 4 Denmark 0: Russia dominated this game.  They outshot the Danes 32-14.  Ilya Samsonov (Washington prospect) had the game winning shutout for Russia.  Lasse Petersen (undrafted) was the Danish goalie who started the game.  He was replaced by Kaspar Krog (undrafted) for the second period.  Kiril Kaprizov (Minnesota prospect) led the way for Russia offensively with two goals.  Alexander Polunin (undrafted) added a goal and an assist and Mikhail Vorobyov (Philadelphia prospect) added two assists.  This win puts Russia through to the medal round.

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Dan Girardi’s Corsi

Dan Girardi of the New York Rangers has the worst Corsi in the NHL so far this season.  He is at -143, which is only one point worse than Nick Leddy of the New York Islanders.  Last year he also had the worst Corsi.  Girardi is consistently a bad player by puck possession metrics.  No other player has been worse when measured by attempted shots while the player is on the ice.  To make matters worse, Girardi is playing on a playoff calibre team and not one of the worst teams in the league. 

Girardi is the number four player on the Rangers by ice time.  This makes him a second line defenceman with the team.  The fact that the Rangers are able to be a playoff team despite a lack of defensive depth that allows Dan Girardi to play regularly is quite a feat.  The Rangers are not a particularly good puck possession team.  The Rangers have the highest 5 on 5 shooting percentage in the NHL.  This is evidence that they may be overachieving.  The fact that they continue to play a poor puck possession player in Dan Girardi on their defence is a bad sign.  Girardi has a $5.5 million salary cap hit until 2020.  The Rangers are likely stuck with him for a while if they do not buy him out.  He hasn't been able to play a frontline position anymore and he is continuing to struggle as he falls further down in their depth chart.

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About The Puck Stops Here

imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com

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