Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Time To End The Season

03/29/2020 at 8:58am EDT

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

Enough. No more. Shut it down. It’s brutal enough to sit around like this, cooped up in fear, anxiety, frustration, utter boredom, and anger, without the added unknowingness of whether our favorite winter sports teams will find a way to remove themselves from suspended animation.

Time to end it. Better days, people, for all of us, including the 2019-20 Bruins and Celtics, and especially those of us who until recently thought we lived and died by their wins and losses, or in some cases, their silly and useless off-day injury reports.

Life sure smacked a lot us with one hell of a wake-up call, didn’t it?

Come on. Let’s get back to all of this in September, which we only can hope will bring better times for everyone, when maybe we’re able to smile again, to care, to invest, to give a fiddler’s fat five bucks about any of it.


Recent Hockey Topics

03/28/2020 at 7:31pm EDT

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

- Slap Shots has learned that New Jersey ownership has in fact looked elsewhere. League sources report former Vancouver GM Mike Gillis has been interviewed twice, both times believed to have been before the March 12 shutdown....

It is unknown whether Gillis, who has always been a progressive thinker, is the leading or lone candidate for the job in New Jersey. But unless there are others currently under contract with other clubs who would therefore be unavailable for interview until this season is officially over, there is no reason not to get ahead of the game and hire Gillis immediately.

Unless, that is, “Misters Harris and Blitzer” just wouldn’t want to start paying his salary now.

- This idea of a tournament among bottom-feeders to determine the order at the top of the draft seems a lot more romantic than it actually would be. Because, right, folks will flock to a series of games in August featuring a string of matchups involving the Red Wings, Senators, Kings and Ducks.

Up to a third of these players won’t be on these teams next season, so what motivation would they have?

more on the first topic and other topics too...

Hockey Notes While We Wait For Our Game To Return

03/28/2020 at 4:55pm EDT

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- Stick tap to the NHL for being the first of four major leagues to make their star players available for online interviews during this shutdown. That was the good part. The bad part, the NHL deciding who could or couldn’t be on the calls. That’s a dangerous game for any professional league to be playing, determining who you want to cover you.

- You can’t make up stuff like this: Dominik Hasek is considering running for president of the Czech Republic. If he talks as fast in his native tongue as he does in English, no one will understand a word he says.

- Players still in the NHL who were playing in the league the last time there was no Stanley Cup presented: Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Ilya Kovalchuk, Jason Spezza, Justin Williams, Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Eric Staal, Ron Hainsey.

a few more hockey related notes...

Is online sports betting legal in Canada?

03/28/2020 at 4:35pm EDT

Canada is among the most liberal states in the world and in many regards, it is even ahead of the United States. When it comes to online sports betting, people would expect Canadians to be allowed to legally bet on their favorite teams and athletes. The fact that the legal framework is not clear is surely surprising, but steps are being taken in the right direction. For now, many online forms of games remain in the gray area, but at least players are not in danger of suffering the repercussions of breaking the law.

Notes While In A Pause

03/28/2020 at 12:14pm EDT

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

- All but a certainty now that the NHL will not complete its regular season, which will leave David Pastrnak two drops short of 50 goals and 5 points short of 100. As things stand, “Pasta” would finish tied with Alex Ovechkin for the league lead in goals (48), although Ovie collected his in 68 games and Pastrnak in 70. The only player to reach the 100-point plateau: Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl (43-67—110), who also topped the league in assists.

- If the season goes by the boards without the Cup being awarded — potentially the third time in history — Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron will be the two Bruins whose NHL careers will have stretched over both the non-Cup seasons of 2004-05 and 2019-20. Big Z already had played 459 NHL games when the league went dark in the ’04-05 lockout. Bergeron had posted the 71 games of his rookie season.

- In the three years since the expansion draft, Matt Murray has gone 76-41-14 (.633) with the Penguins in the regular season and Marc-Andre Fleury 91-50-14 (.632) with the Knights. Playoffs: Murray, 6-10; Fleury, 16-11.

more plus other hockey topics...

Audio- The Latest Update On The NHL From Bill Daly

03/28/2020 at 11:39am EDT

Stay Well John Kelly

03/27/2020 at 5:32pm EDT

The St. Louis Blues have issued the following statement regarding FOX Sports Midwest play-by-play announcer John Kelly, who tested positive for COVID-19:

The St. Louis Blues are confirming that play-by-play announcer John Kelly has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

John has been in self-quarantine since March 13. We are thrilled to report that John is feeling strong and symptom free.

The health and safety of the entire Blues family remains our core focus during these unprecedented times. We wish John well as he continues his recovery at home.

added 6:59pm, Chris Kerber talked with John Kelly, watch below, via Blue Note Productions.

If The Pause Is Lifted, Go Right To The Playoffs Or Play Some Games First?

03/27/2020 at 4:21pm EDT

from the CP at CTV,

Connor McDavid is at odds with Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin.

McDavid's Oilers sat comfortably in a playoff spot when the NHL suspended its season earlier this month due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but unlike his contemporaries, Edmonton's captain thinks going right into the playoffs if the league gets the all-clear to resume would be a mistake.

Speaking on a video conference call Friday, McDavid said “a full season's a fair season” when asked how he'd like to see things play out.

And if the NHL has to shorten proceedings, the 23-year-old superstar says teams would need at least a few games to find a rhythm.

Crosby and Ovechkin said in separate video conferences Thursday they wouldn't mind if the league went right into the playoffs.


Morning Line- Kevin Paul Dupont

03/27/2020 at 9:05am EDT

Do you agree?

Robin Lehner Believes The NHL Season Is Over

03/27/2020 at 8:37am EDT

from David Schoen of the Las Vegas Review-Journal,

Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner is pessimistic the NHL season will resume.

In an interview with Swedish-based publication SportExpressen that was published online Thursday and translated to English, Lehner said he saw “a zero percent chance” the regular season and playoffs can be completed after the league’s pause because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“No, I don’t think it is possible to shut down and then run again when you have 100,000 cases of the coronavirus,” said Lehner, according to the translation. “Safety goes first. You can’t turn 180 degrees and start playing again. I see a zero percent chance that you can save this season. Now I hope that next season can start as usual in October.”


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]