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Category: NHL-Talk

Notes On The NHL Regular Season Schedule

NEW YORK (July 22, 2021) – The NHL’s 2021-22 regular season will commence Tuesday, Oct. 12 with a doubleheader, highlighted by the Tampa Bay Lightning raising their third Stanley Cup championship banner before facing the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena.

The second game on the opening night of the 2021-22 season will feature the NHL’s 32nd franchise, the Seattle Kraken, who will play their first regular-season game against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena. The Kraken will play their first home game on Saturday, Oct. 23 when they play host to the Vancouver Canucks at Climate Pledge Arena.

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Who Said It?

“While I’ve been on this sabbatical, I’ve thought many things. Long walks. There are many social inequities in the United States, and I am glad they are being addressed. Great things. I think we can all agree with that. But it’s become a tsunami of social change and tsunamis are indiscriminate. They’ll wipe out the good and the bad and anything in its way, and I don’t think that’s right. It makes heroes out of people that aren’t heroes, and villains out of people that aren’t villains, and maybe worst of all, a social tsunami is too quick to point a finger and too quick to declare guilt by legacy, and I’m not going to accept that. Just because bad things happened in the past doesn’t mean I’ve got to be guilty for things that happen today. I don’t buy that.

Who is it?

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History Of NHL Expansion Through One Man’s Eyes

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

The Seattle Kraken, the National Hockey League’s 32nd team. will be unveiled Wednesday, another chapter in the league’s eventful expansion saga:


On June 2, 1967, league president Clarence Campbell was proudly walking around the ballroom of Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel at the expansion draft with six cheques for $2 million each in his breast pocket.

By 1970, Vancouver paid $6 million for the Canucks, then the fee went up to $7.5 million when the defunct World Hockey Association Oilers, Nordiques, Whalers and the original Jets merged. Ottawa and Tampa Bay paid $45 million to come aboard in 1991, rising $5 million later that decade for the Predators, Wild, Blue Jackets and Thrashers.

In today’s world of arena perks and broadcast rights, compare those ‘67 bargains to $500 million US that Bill Foley paid for the Vegas Golden Knights in 2016 and the $650 million the Kraken just ponied up.


A few serious hockey buffs refuse to call the Leafs, Canadiens, Bruins, Red Wings, Rangers and Blackhawks ‘the Original Six’, as Toronto, Montreal, Hamilton and Ottawa were established by the early 1920s and prior to ‘The Six’, the NHL was a two-division 10-team outfit.

The Montreal Maroons, meant to appeal to the city’s anglophone fans, came into the four-team league with Boston in 1924, with the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Americans the next year among other entries. After a few relocations, including to St. Louis and Philadelphia, teams began falling by the wayside. With the demise of the Brooklyn Americans in 1942, it left six clubs who played exclusively the next 25 years.


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Sometimes I Just Stare

I am not against analytics but sometimes I just get lost.

I am old-school when judging hockey talent and team play and do wonder what Sam Pollock would have to say?


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Seattle Going All Out For The Expansion Draft

NEW YORK / TORONTO (JULY 19, 2021) – The National Hockey League today announced the special guests taking part in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft™ presented by Upper Deck. The Seattle Kraken™ will reveal its initial roster for its 2021-22 inaugural season live from Gas Works Park in Seattle on Wednesday, July 21, at 8 p.m. ET. on ESPN2 in the U.S. and on Sportsnet ONE, SN NOW and TVA Sports in Canada.

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It’s About To Get Busy

In case you need a refrsher...


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The Real Reason For NHL Expansion

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

The expansion Vegas Golden Knights, blessed with ambitious ownership and a smart, experienced executive, used the expansion draft process to acquire enough good players that — incredibly — the team went to the Stanley Cup Final in its first year.

This was, of course, a terrible indictment of just how watered down the league had become under Gary Bettman. But that barn door was opened years ago. Nowadays, the hockey media in generally has become so pro-NHL, so pro-grow-and-promote-the-game, that the introduction of the Kraken is generally being treated as if it is some great achievement by the NHL, as if a 32nd team will enhance the league in ways no one could possibly have imagined.

It won’t. The television numbers remain microscopic in the U.S., and going from NBC back to ESPN isn’t going to change that. This was about stuffing $650 million (U.S.) into the jeans of existing owners, and that money has come in handy over the past 18 months as the league has lost hundreds of millions of dollars, possibly billions of dollars, during the pandemic. The only team that will benefit directly is Vancouver, which finally has a true geographical rival. So if the objective of this expansion was to help the Canucks, then it’s a job well done.


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Final Draft Rankings From Sportsnet

from Sam Cosentino of Sportsnet,

Here’s our final draft rankings. Expect a mock draft immediately following the expansion draft on July 21st.

1. Owen Power, D, University of Michigan (NCAA): His place at the top of the rankings was cemented after his performance at the IIHF Men’s World Championship.

2. Matthew Beniers, C, University of Michigan (NCAA): He is the safest pick in the class. A Dylan Larkin-type that a team will want to keep forever.

3. Simon Edvinsson, D, Frolunda Jr. (SWE): Should be able to handle top-pairing workload in the NHL and has some offensive upside, too.

4. Dylan Guenther, RW, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL): An average showing at the U18 notwithstanding, Guenther is still a scorer with a big league shot who is often on the right side of the puck.

5. William Eklund, LW, Djurgarden (SWE): He scored 11 goals and 23 points in 40 games playing with Djurgarden in Sweden’s top professional league – those numbers for a first-year draft eligible player in the SHL are good for fifth all-time.

6. Luke Hughes, D, USNTDP: Injury issues are well behind him. He displays the confidence, skating and puck-handling talents of his brothers Jack and Quinn.


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Recap Of Today’s Meeting With The NHL General Managers

from Tom Gulitti of NHL.com

The NHL is hoping and planning for a 2021-22 season with a full 82-game schedule and fully vaccinated players returning to pre-COVID-19 conditions.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly on Monday briefed general managers on the guidelines for next season and a variety of other topics in a video conference called by senior executive vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell.

The regular season will begin in October and end in April followed by the Stanley Cup Playoffs concluding in June.

Fully vaccinated players will be able to travel without protocols and work out on and off the ice without limitations on the size of the group and without being tested for COVID-19, presuming vaccination rates in the United States and Canada continue to climb and the Canada government loosens travel restrictions.

The NHL and NHL Players' Association continue to discuss the procedures for unvaccinated players.

After temporarily realigning and playing a 56-game, intradivisional schedule this season because of COVID-19, the NHL is planning to return to its previous schedule format, with each team playing all the others at least twice, and its previous divisional alignment, with the Metropolitan Division and Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference and the Central Division and Pacific Division in the Western Conference.


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Morning Line- Gene Collier

The list of wrong or non-calls this postseason runs longer than most attention spans, but its impact might begin to metastasize for two reasons that really unnerve the league’s pilots. One is that the league seems enthusiastic about negating the talents of its truly gifted players in the postseason. The Hockey News reported that, after the four-game Edmonton-Winnipeg series, Rachel Doerrie, a former NHL consultant completing a master’s in data and analytics, isolated no fewer than 37 violations against Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, the league’s most ascendant star. None of them were called. McDavid did not draw a penalty in this postseason or last. With that degree of enforcement just as the league is starting a new seven-year deal with ESPN, the boardrooms of the NHL have to know their untapped hockey markets will only descend further into the well-established confusion that keeps the league standing in its own way.

Why are penalties in the second period not penalties late in the third? Why are penalties in the regular season not penalties in the postseason? These are ageless, interminably confusing hockey questions among people who are either casual fans or are non-fans, a.k.a the future of the league. Well, let me speak directly to those people: YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO UNDERSTAND THIS!

-Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette where you can read more on this topic.

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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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