Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Video- TSN Insiders Tonight

03/24/2020 at 8:40pm EDT

via TSN's YouTube page,

Following Tuesday's NHL GM's conference call, Hockey Insiders Bob McKenzie and Pierre LeBrun, along with Senior Hockey Reporter Frank Seravalli, share the latest on the best case scenario of hockey returning this season, discuss the challenges NHL ice makers face if the league is to play through the summer, and much more.

Audio- Does The NHL Need A New CBA Now?

03/24/2020 at 7:53pm EDT

via Sportsnet,

Elliotte Friedman joins Tim and Sid to discuss possible salary cap ramifications for the NHL, suggesting a potential need for a new collective bargaining agreement.

NHL Players And Staff Should Continue With Self-Quarantine

03/24/2020 at 7:04pm EDT

from Christ Johnston of Sportsnet,

The NHL has instructed players and team staff to extend their period of self-quarantine by another 10 days amid the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

That message was shared with general managers during Tuesday’s call with senior league officials. Clubs had originally been asked to observe self-quarantine through Friday, but will now remain in isolation at home until April 6.

With the season on pause, the goal is to allow enough time for symptoms to present themselves — so far only two NHL players, both Ottawa Senators, have tested positive for coronavirus — and to keep the community as free from the fast-spreading virus as possible before next steps can be taken.

The league has said that it would like to eventually reopen team facilities to small groups for voluntary workouts if conditions allow. That would precede a training camp period before any resumption of play.


NHL Players And Teams Are Active On Social Media

03/24/2020 at 3:38pm EDT

from Joshua Clipperton of the CP at CTV,

The video starts with Morgan Rielly standing at a sink before the Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman proceeds to demonstrate the correct way to wash your hands.

Another clip shows teammate Zach Hyman inviting fans to play games against him online.

Vancouver Canucks centre Elias Pettersson went for levity with a carefully edited golf video, while Montreal Canadiens counterpart Max Domi shared some impressive balance as he juggled a ping pong ball with his hockey stick.

In an unprecedented era of social distancing, self-isolation and quarantine during the global COVID-19 pandemic that has seen arenas go dark, NHL players and their teams are doing their best to stay connected with fans on social media.

"A lot of what they're trying to do is just do their part," said Joe Gagliese, co-founder and CEO of marketing agency Viral Nation. "People look to them in times like this because they idolize them."


Pay Cuts At The NHL Office And Layoffs In Montreal

03/24/2020 at 1:03pm EDT

via Emily Kaplan of ESPN,

The NHL is temporarily cutting the pay of league office employees by 25%.

The league confirmed that salaries will be reduced across the board starting April 1.

The NHL's season has been on pause since March 12 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. According to sources, the NHL is hoping that the temporary pay cut among league office employees will prevent layoffs during this uncertain time.

Below, the Montreal Canadiens are temporarily laying off personnel.

Morning Line- Zach Werenski

03/24/2020 at 11:07am EDT

"I have goals going into each year that I set for myself. Obviously you have to take every game and every season in stride. You never know what is going to happen, you never know what a team is going to do or whatnot.

"Twenty goals was a number I thought I could hit. Whether it was 17 or 19 or 22, I don't really know, but that was the kind of number I wanted to get near. Scoring 20, that has a lot to do with your teammates. I have said this before, but it seems like I'm just getting ice and they're finding me and pucks are finding me. I've been pretty fortunate this year with that."

-Zach Werenski, defenseman for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Jeff Svoboda of BlueJactes.com has more on Werenski.

The Tampa Bay Lighting Have Seen This Before

03/24/2020 at 10:13am EDT

from John Romano of the Tampa Bay Times,

...more than a week’s worth of hockey games have already been lost, and around here, that uncertainty has a familiar bleakness to it. Particularly for a man who has lived through the dismay of wondering what might have been.

Go back to the spring of 2005 and an NHL labor stoppage. The Lightning were the defending Stanley Cup champions but had not been back on the ice since their Game 7 victory against Calgary the previous June.

Like the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns, the realization that more and more games would be lost and a postseason was in jeopardy played out like a slow-motion, low-budget horror film for then-Lightning general manager Jay Feaster.

RELATED: Could we see August and September hockey?
“You start off by hanging on any piece of information and any sort of hope or rumor that you hear,” said Feaster, who now runs the Lightning’s community hockey development program.

“You hear, ‘Well, it’s going to be X number of games in the season.’ And then, ‘Oh well, that deadline has passed. Now we can still play this many games.’ As you keep progressing, you realize you’re going to hit a point of no return, and that’s ultimately what happened.”

read on

Recap Of BOG Conference Call

03/23/2020 at 6:44pm EDT

The National Hockey League continues to look into scenarios which could see the season salvaged as the Board of Governors held a conference call on Monday. TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger explains what those plans could look like, including playing into September, and reveals how an infectious disease consultant gave 'a reality check' to the BOGs.

Watch at TSN.

Donald Fehr On The Pause

03/23/2020 at 4:04pm EDT

from the CP at TSN,

"It's been, 'What's going on? If I want to speak to doctors, who do I speak to? Do you have any idea how long this is going to last? Do you have any idea when we might be able to get access to rinks simply to do some sort of generalized conditional skating?'" Fehr said in a phone interview with The Canadian Press. "Their primary concern is for the health and safety of their families. Their (other) concerns are how we best prepare ourselves for the wide range of contingencies which might arise."

The Ottawa Senators announced Saturday a second player had tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number in the NHL to two.

Both were part of the team's recent California road trip that included games in San Jose, Anaheim and Los Angeles. Ottawa played the Sharks at SAP Center on March 7 despite a recommendation by the county to not hold large public gatherings.

Fehr said he's not in a position at this point to second-guess if holding that game, and two subsequent contests, was the right call.

"We're still coming to grips with events," he said. "When this is all over, we can go back and look and see if, in light of hindsight, we would have made different decisions or whether based upon the available evidence they were the best decisions.

"We also don't know whether (Ottawa's game in San Jose) had anything to do with those (positive tests)."


Odds Of The NHL Returning This Season

03/23/2020 at 3:57pm EDT

BetOnline with a few odds on the NHL returning this season.

What do you think?

Return to Action Props

Next NHL Game to be Played June 1st or Sooner

Yes +300 (3/1)

No -500 (1/5)

Next NHL Game to be Played July 1st or Sooner

Yes +160 (8/5)

No -225 (4/9)

Next NHL Game to be Played August 1st or Sooner

Yes -180 (5/9)

No +140 (7/5)

Updated Q & A From The NHL During The Pause

03/23/2020 at 12:57pm EDT

via the NHL PR department,

The NHL is providing an updated Q&A to reflect recent developments during the pause in play. We will provide regular updates to this Q&A as information changes.

On March 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended against gatherings with 50 people-or-more for a period of eight weeks. How does that impact the NHL’s timeline on determining when the season can resume?

We will continue to monitor developments during the 60-day window prescribed by the CDC. Assuming events are tracking positively, we would hope to be able to begin providing high-level guidance on the potential of opening a Club training camp period roughly 45 days into the period covered by the CDC’s recommendation.

Have any NHL Players tested positive for the coronavirus?

We are aware of two NHL players testing positive for the COVID-19 virus. The Ottawa Senators Players, who tested positive, presented only mild symptoms and are currently in isolation.

Video- What A Save

03/23/2020 at 12:21pm EDT

3:40 to watch great saves from this season, all in slow motion.

John Forslund On Being In Self-Quarantine

03/23/2020 at 9:13am EDT

from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,

At 8 p.m. Sunday, John Forslund was to leave the basement of his Apex home, rejoining his family, symptom-free for the coronavirus, his self-quarantine at an end.

“It’s been an ordeal,” Forslund said Saturday, thankful that a 10-day period filled with uncertainty and mind games would be coming to a close.

Forslund, the Carolina Hurricanes’ longtime broadcaster, also quickly qualified that comment. Others, he said, face grave health challenges from COVID-19 during a global pandemic that has made life as we know it far from the life we once knew. And there are other life-threatening diseases.

“This is something totally different, where you have to sacrifice for the good of yourself and everyone around you, so that’s basically what I did,” Forslund said. “I do have to be honest. It has been harder than I thought it would be.”


The Zamboni

03/22/2020 at 8:43am EDT

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

Trailing the bulky beast with its top speed of 15.6 km/h, there’s a surprising history, a lot of water under the blade. For nine decades, it has been the first on the ice every day and last off, still doing laps around everyone.

“It’s hard to believe it has been as successful as it has,” company president Richard Zamboni told the Toronto Sun in a previous interview from his office in Paramount, Calif....

Steven Galyean, who steers for the Carolina Thunderbirds of the Federal League, tried to convey the contraption’s unusual romance for spectators.

“It’s something being driven on the ice, a machine on wheels, it’s just something different,” he told journalnow.com. “It’s got a weird name. Every kid loves the Zamboni, even the big kids. The truth is everybody wants to drive it.”

much more

Hockey Topics Of Interest Today

03/21/2020 at 7:37pm EDT

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

The NHLPA held a membership-wide conference call Friday in which the players essentially decided to defer a decision on how to handle upcoming crushing escrow losses until a verdict on this season is rendered, per a source who participated in the give-and-take.

As we reported Thursday, the league has informed the union that cancelation of the season could mean a revenue loss of up to $1 billion. That would translate to approximate escrow losses of up to 35 percent per player.

If there is nothing the union can do about that, and it seems to be locked in by the collective bargaining agreement 50-50 partnership on hockey-related revenue, the players are sure going to want to hold next year’s number down as much as possible, which is why it is impossible to predict what that cap might be, and what the personnel fallout might be across the league.

more, plus items like this...

... do you know whose ownerships have generally escaped scrutiny as the impact of the coronavirus moves at warp speed through society and we careen from one trauma to the next?

The ownerships of the Sharks, Blue Jackets and Capitals, that’s who.

Despite the fact the Santa Clara County public health officials recommended canceling sporting events, the Sharks opened their gates and played a March 5 home game against the Wild that had an attendance of 14,517...

Hockey Notes During The Pause

03/21/2020 at 7:36pm EDT

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- So you’re Gary Bettman and you have all your plans on computers and on paper and just about everywhere else. When are your playoffs? What are your playoffs? Where are your playoffs? When is the draft? Is there a draft combine? When does free agency start? Are you doing awards? If so how and where? And none of us with a clue as to when there will be games again and under what constraints. I’m figuring nothing before June and all that is just a guess. That’s all we have. And it’s the same for Adam Silver and the NBA. Who knows who and when and what and where — nothing has prepared anybody for anything like this shutdown.

- Tampa coach Jon Cooper likes John Carlson for the Norris Trophy, assuming there are trophies to pass out this year. His general manager, Julien BriseBois, likes his own defenceman, Victor Hedman. Postmedia national hockey writer Michael Traikos favours Roman Josi. Me? I’m a Hedman guy. Just about every year. Three good choices from a season that is certainly over.

- Bobby Orr turned 72 the other day. In the 1970s, he scored 659 in 407 games played. That’s a ridiculous 132 point pace between injuries. Erik Karlsson led the past decade in scoring for defencemen, averaging 69 points a season, and Nicklas Lidstrom led the decade before that with 62 points a season. Orr remains in a world all his own.

- The NHL media blackout during these days of shutdown makes little sense to me. The teams are happy to control the message and send out the player washing his hands video — like you wouldn’t know how to wash your hands without Morgan Rielly — just not letting the player talk about anything more interesting than soap and water.

a few more hockey notes...

Evening Line- Billy Jaffe

03/21/2020 at 6:08pm EDT

Quick vent time. I’ve had it w people who aren’t taking this seriously. Enough of your shit. Good buddy has the virus & says it’s unlike anything he’s had before. Grow up & do your part to help, not just what you “want” to do. None of us want to be isolating for weeks/mos

Stop playing your b-ball, football, rugby, hockey, etc. Stop hanging out like nothing is happening. Take 2-3 freaking weeks off like the rest of us. My family isn’t making a penny right now. We aren’t having any “fun” or “living our best life.” God damn, Be a better human

stop being so selfish/arrogant that U think your life is worth more than someone else’s. The virus is just starting to ramp up here. Do your part to stop it, not help it grow.

-Billy Jaffe via Twitter

Players Trying To Stay In Shape

03/21/2020 at 5:10pm EDT

from Matt Porter of the Boston Globe,

Zdeno Chara was sweating away his 43rd birthday Wednesday morning on his stationary bike at home. Fellow Bruins defenseman John Moore was doing pushups with his two young daughters on his back.

Elsewhere on social media, star Colorado winger Mikko Rantanen was doing Bulgarian split squats — flexing his forward leg in a deep bend, trailing leg resting on a chair — while holding two armfuls of his mud-bellied Labrador. Vegas defenseman Deryk Engelland was bench-pressing his son. Sergei Bobrovsky, the Panthers’ $10 million goalie, was using his hands to catch tennis balls from an auto-serve machine.

In this new work-from-home environment, NHL players were doing what they could to stay active. Spending quality time with kids, pets, and spouses was a goal — “We’re getting to know each other,” one NHL coach texted, jokingly alluding to the catch-up many in the sport were playing with their loved ones — but players were trying to get a sweat in however they could.

A TSN report this past week indicated players were discussing the idea of a training camp that begins in early July, with the end of the 2019-20 season later that month, followed by playoffs in August and September, a shortened offseason, draft, and free agency in October, and the beginning of a full 82-game schedule in November.

It looks like wishful thinking.

continued plus more topics...

There Is An 'If' When It Comes To The Boston Bruins Paying Part-Time Staff

03/21/2020 at 12:28pm EDT

NHL Owners Will Have A Conference Call On Monday

03/21/2020 at 11:51am EDT

via TSN,

Earlier in the week on Insider Trader, Dreger noted that there is a growing concern that losses could mount upwards of $1 billion, certainly around $500 million.

Video- Big Hits

03/21/2020 at 10:22am EDT

Just over three minutes of recent big hits in the NHL.

Video- And The Cup Winner Is?

03/21/2020 at 8:04am EDT

via TSN's YouTube page,

With everyone wondering what the NHL playoffs will look like when the season resumes, Gino Reda, Ray Ferraro and Craig Button decided to examine the current field. With Button taking the East and Ferarro taking the West, they break down the whole bracket and crown a Stanley Cup champion.

Buyout Candidates

03/21/2020 at 7:42am EDT

from David Staples of the Edmonton Journal,

There’s no shortage of unknowns about the world, including the smaller question of unknowns about the immediate future of the National Hockey League. But what we do know is that the NHL is likely to take a massive short term hit in terms of revenues, and that this may force the league to do something it hasn’t done since the 2012-13 lock-out: allow for compliance buyouts.

NHL insider Brian Burke talked about this possibility with Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now this week: “I’ve heard discussion of compliance buyouts to help teams get to this new cap, to solve some of their problems. Which they gave in the last CBA, each team got two cap-compliance buyouts which were exempt from the cap. I’ve heard talk of that.”

When a player is bought out under the Collective Bargaining Agreement now, a percentage of his contract is paid out to him over time, and that amount still counts against a team’s salary cap....

Who might the Edmonton Oilers and other teams buy out if there’s a compliance buyout scheme this year?

That will come down to numerous factors, with perhaps the most important factor being the willingness and ability of a team owner to pay out a buyout, then replace that salary on the team. Given the financial hit folks are taking right now, some owners may not be willing to do so.

read on, candidates mentioned...

All Options Are Open

03/20/2020 at 3:42pm EDT

from the CP at TSN,

"It's different," Daly said. "It is surreal in a lot of respects, especially coming to New York City during the day, there's not a lot of people here. There's not a lot of traffic. It's really like a scene out of a science fiction movie.

"Important issues are at stake, so everybody wants to do the right thing."

The NHL, which like most other professional leagues paused its season last week, is far down the list of priorities in this new world gripped by the novel coronavirus outbreak that's already killed thousands of people around the world.

There are, however, lots of hockey questions and not many answers in a fast-moving situation.

Daly said the league has been in near-constant communication with the NHL Players' Association, its teams, general managers and medical experts. The NHL also had its first confirmed case of COVID-19 this week when a member of the Ottawa Senators tested positive, and it's safe to assume more will follow.

"Surprisingly very busy," Daly said of how his days currently look in a phone interview with The Canadian Press. "And right now it's all coronavirus-related. I'm hoping to get to a point that I'll be able to turn my attention to some of the other things I need to get done.

"Since we hit the pause button, it's been a full-time job ... all related to coronavirus."

One unknown — and there are many — is what this all means to the NHL's bottom line.


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 [email protected]