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Paul Kukla Kukla's Korner

Published on Sunday, October 17, 2021





Hockey Notes And Observations

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- It is not cute or humorous that the Maple Leafs had to sign a kid off the streets to back up Jack Campbell in goal on Saturday night.

Because they couldn’t afford to call up the obvious choice, Michael Hutchinson, under the rules of the NHL’s salary cap.

Instead, they signed 24-year-old Alex Bishop of Richmond Hill, who hadn’t played a game for the University of Toronto since 2020 and dressed him for Hockey Night In Canada.

This kind of signing makes the Leafs and the league look bad. The league for having rules that allow Zamboni drivers and accountants to play goal against highly skilled professional athletes. The team for not handling its own money well enough to have cap room to deal with unsuspecting injuries....

- Maybe the kid is growing up. After their final pre-season game, fans were waiting outside the parking area for Patrik Laine’s autograph. Laine stopped, got out of his car, and spent about the next 15 minutes signing autograph after autograph.

- Funny though to hear hockey commentators promoting prop bets between periods while all the advertising seems to be for online gambling in an NHL that still doesn’t mandate announcing starting goaltenders.

- I can kick the puck to you, and you score a goal, that’s a good pass. Maybe even an official assist. But if I kick the puck in the net, it’s ruled no goal. In hockey, you can score by deflecting the puck off every part of your body. Why not skates too? The NHL has liberalized the kicking the puck rule somewhat, what it really needs to do is eliminate it completely.

- Sheldon Keefe had his first training camp with the Maple Leafs, even as he was missing his first-line centre and best player, Auston Matthews.

He had no shortage of practice time. He had no shortage of time for him, for general manager Kyle Dubas, for club president Brendan Shanahan, to deliver a message of expectations and purpose for this Leafs season.

And then the Leafs began in Game 1 against Montreal. Against the team they were embarrassed by in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. And the Habs were playing shorthanded themselves, without Carey Price, without Shea Weber out for the long term, without Philip Danault, and they came out more than flat....

more on the fist and last topics plus other hockey notes...

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