- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy22 mins ago
(Ed. Note: The column formerly known as the Puck Daddy Power Rankings. Ryan Lambert takes a look at some of the biggest issues and stories in the NHL, and counts them down.)
6. Ken Holland
What do you suppose goes on in Detroit these days?
I’ve long said that the hardest part of Ken Holland’s job was always walking down the hall and asking Nick Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk, and Henrik Zetterberg, “What do you want to get paid next year?” That was all he had to do to appear successful for a period of about a decade. But then Lidstrom retired and the team took a small step back, but continued to lose ground as a truly competitive team each year since.
Lidstrom retired in 2012, and here are the Red Wings’ playoff runs since then: 14 games (lost to eventual Cup champs Chicago in second round), five games (lost to Boston in first round), seven games (lost to eventual Cup runners-up Tampa in first round), five games (lost to eventual Eastern Conference runners up Tampa in first round). Not great, but they’ve also had some tough outs three of four years.
Perhaps more worrisome, though, are the point totals: 56 in 48 (a pace for less than 96), 93, 100, and 93 again. Diminishing returns to be sure.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
Having the Chicago Blackhawks enter your rookie free-agent courtship is like making time with a woman at a bar just as Leonardo DiCaprio and his posse roll up next to her. “Hey, can I buy you a drink and fly you to Ibiza and have you met my friend Spider-Man?”
This isn’t to say the Blackhawks are going to land NCAA wunderkind Jimmy Vesey when he can officially sign on Aug. 15, just that they’re on the short list and clearly in the hunt. GM Stan Bowman took in summer league games while Vesey skated in Foxboro.
From Scott Powers at The Athletic, speaking with agent Peter Donatelli:
“He really has no idea where he’s going to be,” Donatelli said. “It’s going to be up to the teams to sell him. … Yes, [we have criteria], but we’re interested in what the teams say rather than telling the teams what they have to say.”
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
YUMP. New mesh tanks dropping on Friday. Spread da werrrrd. pic.twitter.com/kM7ppoDsD8
— Bring Hockey Back (@BringHockeyBack) July 27, 2016
• It is way too hot to wear your favorite hockey sweater. Might we interest you in some mesh tanks to rep your favorite team? [@BringHockeyBack]
• Defenseman Matt Carle signed a one year, $700,000 contract with the Nashville Predators. [The Tennessean]
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
The Lake Erie Warriors are a team in the new National College Prospects Hockey League, a Tier II junior league associated with the Western States Hockey League, which begins play this fall.
With a brand new team comes a brand new logo, and the Lake Erie Warriors went … with … this:
So a few problems here.
1. It’s 2016, and it features a red-skinned Native American mascot as a howling Mohawk’d savage.
2. The head is so poorly rendered that it looks like it’s nestled on a plate of over-sauced meatballs.
3. It’s 2016, and it features a red-skinned Native American mascot as a howling Mohawk’d savage.
4. The placement of “Lake Erie” on the thin shaft of the hockey stick reminds us of people who write profanities inside the grout of a men’s room wall, except less legible.
5. It’s 2016, and it features a red-skinned Native American mascot as a howling Mohawk’d savage.
6. The tattoo on his face looks like he’s wearing a telemarketing headset.
7. IT’S 2016 AND IT FEATURES A RED-SKINNED NATIVE AMERICAN MASOCT AS A HOWLING MOHAWK’D SAVAGE!!!
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
Last season, Mike Hoffman and the Ottawa Senators went through the always nasty salary arbitration process. Hoffman filed for arbitration again this offseason; however, a week before his scheduled hearing, the two sides came to an agreement. Hoffman, 26, will stay with the Senators for the next four years on a contract worth $20.75-million.
First reported by Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, Hoffman will earn $3.8-million for during the 2016-17 season. In the remaining three years of his contract, he’ll make $5.65-million. According to General Fanager, those final three years include a no trade clause where Hoffman can submit a list of 10 teams he would not accept a trade to.
Hoffman is one of the late round draft jewels all NHL teams hope to get. Ottawa selected the forward in the fifth round, 130th overall, in the 2009 draft.
- Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
The Nashville Predators have signed versatile young forward Calle Jarnkrok to a six-year, $12 million contract extension.
Last season the 24-year-old Jarnkrok set career highs with 16 goals and 30 points in 81 games played. He spent the latter part of the season playing wing on the team’s first-line with James Neal and Ryan Johansen. He can also play center.
Jarnkrok held a plus-51.83 score and venue adjusted 5-on-5 CF% and had a minus-1.04 5-on-5 score and venue adjusted CF% Rel.
Nashville acquired Jarnkrok from the Detroit Red Wings for David Legwand at the trade deadline of the 2013-14 season.
The Tennessean’s Adam Vingan pointed out that Jarnkrok’s $2 million per-year salary cap hit is the lowest amongst players who have at least six year contracts. The next lowest is Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Trevor Daley at $3.3 million.
Last season, Jarnkrok made $735,000 on a one-year contract.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
The Detroit Red Wings and young goaltender Petr Mrazek have come to terms on a two-year contract extension reportedly worth $8 million.
Mrazek and the Red Wings were supposed to go through an arbitration hearing Wednesday.
Heading into arbitration, Mrazek was reportedly looking for $10 million over the next two years in his asking price. The Red Wings countered with a total of $5.85 million ($2.7 million in the first year and $3.15 million in the second season) over two seasons according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
There were 12 coaches who earned votes for the Jack Adams Award last season. Bill Peters of the Carolina Hurricanes wasn’t one of them, despite having guided his team to within seven points of a wild card spot while having a bottom five payroll.
But while the voters didn’t appreciate him, the Hurricanes do. Peters was handed a new contract that extends the 50-year-old coach through the 2018-2019 season, as Carolina announced on Wednesday.
“Bill is a talented, young coach in the National Hockey League,” said Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager. “We are happy that he has made a commitment to the Hurricanes, and that he will be a major part of the team continuing to grow.”
In two seasons, Peters has gone 65-72-27 with the Hurricanes. Their 86 points last season was their highest point total since 2010-11.
He’s just a really solid coach, who had the team moving in the right direction defensively in his first season and saw the trend continue last season when the Hurricanes were 11th in the NHL in even-strength Corsi (51.5).
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy23 hrs ago
Back in June, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sent a letter to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. He wanted to know why the League had been “dismissive and disappointing” in its reaction to an NFL official linking concussions with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, earlier this year.
Among his questions to Bettman: “Do you believe there is a link between CTE and hockey?” and “Do you dispute that the documented CTE of former NHL players, like Derek Boogaard, is linked to injuries sustained while playing in the NHL?”
On Tuesday, via New York Times reporter John Branch, we have Bettman’s answer: “The relationship between concussions and the asserted clinical symptoms of CTE remains unknown.”
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy23 hrs ago
A week from now it’ll be August, and that is starting to get perilously close to World Cup time for a lot of teams as they prepare for the 2016-17 season.
And yet, there are a lot of restricted free agents who remain unsigned for next year, and who really should have been locked down by now. Of course, there may be many reasons why teams are holding off from making these deals — and certainly, none feel harried by the threat of an offer sheet — but the fact remains that some these are guys who are going to get paid pretty decent chunks of change for several years to come.
So why wait? Might be a negotiating tactic from the other side, honestly. And sometimes these deals just take a while to come together regardless of how much a team likes or dislikes a guy.
However, there are some players who I’d have really thought their teams would be running through walls to get re-signed, and it just hasn’t happened yet.
7. Rasmus Ristolainen, Buffalo Sabres
I include Ristolainen not because I think he’s particularly good, but because he’s one of those guys whose team projects him to be a future star.