Paul Kukla (Kukla's Korner)

Masterton Trophy Awarded To Carey Price

6/3/2022

NEW YORK (June 3, 2022) – Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is the 2021-22 recipient of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.” The award was presented by the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) to honor the late Bill Masterton, a player for the Minnesota North Stars who exhibited those qualities. Masterton died on Jan. 15, 1968, as a result of an on-ice injury. Price made his 2021-22 debut for the Canadiens, his 15th season in Montreal, on April 15, lifting the entire organization. “There’s just a presence when you have a guy like that in the dressing room. I know his calmness, his preparation, his work ethic. Sometimes Carey doesn’t need to speak to lead. And I feel that," head coach Martin St. Louis told The Athletic. The franchise's all-time leader for games and wins by a goaltender, the 34-year-old had undergone knee surgery in July 2021 following the team's run to the Stanley Cup Final. He also spent time away from the team while voluntarily taking part in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. "This is definitely tough," Price said, "but I've always been a fighter and I've always been a clawer so I'm not giving up. So I'm going to continue to do my best to prepare for next season." A $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner. Other finalists for this year’s honor were Zdeno Chara of the New York Islanders and Kevin Hayes of the Philadelphia Flyers. For more on the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, including a list of past winners, click here. Breakdown of the voting is below.

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Paul Kukla (Kukla's Korner)

From Both Sides - Colorado-Edmonton

6/3/2022

from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post, The Avalanche, now 10-2 in the postseason, is two victories from the Stanley Cup Final and six wins from euphoria. A Canadian center and a goalie from the Czech Republic led the Avs to a 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference Finals on Thursday night at Ball Arena. Nazem Kadri’s three assists on Colorado’s three-goal blitz in a span of 2:04 and Pavel Francouz’s 24-save shutout carried the Avs to a dominating 4-0 victory over the highly explosive Edmonton Oilers.... “We definitely cleaned some things up,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said. “Start to finish, more disciplined and stronger as the game went on in our checking game. Guys just really committed to it.”... “We shut them down. I think that was what our group needed,” said Avs defenseman Josh Manson, who scored the second goal. “We talked about it in between (periods) and how we wanted to accomplish it. And so it was good to go and get that result.” read on from Mark Spector of Sportsnet, On the night that Calgary Flames curmudgeonly head coach Darryl Sutter was awarded the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year, we offer you this: For the Edmonton Oilers, will this Western Conference Final simply be a waste of eight days? “It’s a series, right? This is how it goes,” countered even-keeled winger Zach Hyman after a 4-0 loss Thursday. “There are momentum swings. It’s a rollercoaster. They defended home ice, so we have an opportunity to go back, feed off our crowd and get the momentum back.” continued Game highlights are below.

Paul Kukla (Kukla's Korner)

Hockey Thoughts From Last Night

6/3/2022

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, - It’s hard to say how long everyone is willing to wait, but several coaching sources said things are gummed up while Barry Trotz’s future unfolds. Trotz has informed interested teams he won’t rush, making sure his next NHL stop is best for him and his family. It’s difficult to predict a timeline. What’s also difficult to predict is how long some of his pursuers wait before asking another date to prom. Some teams aren’t in a huge hurry, as there are a lot of good candidates and not all are available as of yet. Several of them have begun interviewing other potential hires, but I’m not sure anyone is close. I do believe Winnipeg is very, very serious about Trotz, to the point I’m not convinced they’ve done detailed interviews with anyone else. He’s also believed to have communicated with Dallas, Detroit, Philadelphia and Vegas. - Florida’s decision is getting closer, but I’d be lying if I said I knew 100 per cent where this is going. I’d be wary of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. - Had heard San Jose talked to agent Allain Roy about its GM opening. He wouldn’t confirm or deny, but said, “My goal is to be the top agent for the next 20 years.” Rangers assistant GM Ryan Martin is also on the radar there. - Strange things happen, but I don’t think anyone’s expecting David Perron to hit the free-agent market. - Per Ron MacLean, this is the first Final Four since 1980 where every team has a number-one pick on its roster. Colorado and Edmonton have two: Erik Johnson (2006, by St. Louis) and Nathan MacKinnon (2013) for the Avalanche; Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011) and Connor McDavid (2015) for the Oilers. The Rangers have Alexis Lafreniere (2020) and Tampa, Steven Stamkos (2008). Forty-two years ago, it was Gilbert Perreault (1970, Buffalo); Denis Potvin (1973, Islanders); Mel Bridgman (1975, Philadelphia); and Bobby Smith (1978, Minnesota). more Thoughts

Paul Kukla (Kukla's Korner)

More Coaching Options

6/3/2022

from Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, ...But the other side of that coin is taking a chance with an AHL head coach or an NHL assistant who has never got that look yet. Here’s a look at some of those candidates, in no particular order. Derek Lalonde/Jeff Halpern, Lightning assistant coaches: I think there’s a decent chance NHL clubs start exploring Jon Cooper’s coaching tree soon enough and when you talk to people around the league, many feel both Lalonde and Halpern have earned that chance. Although yet another deep playoff run this spring might take them out of some interview opportunities just based on the calendar. That’s the weird thing about the business sometimes. Lalonde was head coach of the AHL’s Iowa Wild before joining Cooper’s staff in July 2018. He also coached in the ECHL and USHL; the guy has put in his time to be sure. Halpern, the former NHL forward, joined the organization in 2015-16 in player development and joined Cooper’s coaching staff as an assistant in 2018. And while we’re at it, Lightning assistant coach Rob Zettler, former head coach in AHL Syracuse, is also worth mentioning here. He, too, could get a look as NHL clubs attempt to raid the mighty Lightning. That’s what winning does. Spencer Carbery, Maple Leafs assistant coach: The Leafs hired Carbery last July after he was named AHL head coach of the year with Hershey. I’m told the Washington Capitals were ready to pay him a handsome salary — at least AHL-wise — to keep him, but Carbery chose to join Sheldon Keefe’s staff in Toronto and all he did was coach the Leafs’ power play to No. 1 in the NHL. I don’t know if he will get outside calls this summer or not, but when you talk to people around the league, they say it’s only a matter of time. For example, I wonder if Detroit GM Steve Yzerman comes calling as part of his due diligence in his head coaching search … many more ($$$) names...

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Paul Kukla (Kukla's Korner)

Coach Talk

6/1/2022

Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic with some talk on available coaches. Barry Trotz- It’s been well publicized that he met with Winnipeg GM Kevin Cheveldayoff already. The Jets have put on the full-court press to bring the Manitoba native home. I believe he’s also spoken to varying degrees with Philadelphia, Vegas and Detroit. Travis Green- I feel like Dallas, Detroit or Vegas would be good spots for Green. What would appeal to me as an owner or GM of those teams is that experience in a crazy Canadian market like Vancouver has Green pretty much able to handle any kind of location now. LeBrun also mentioned... Jeff Blashill-  “I would say unequivocally I’m a better coach today than I was seven years ago just because of the experience that I was able to gain through lots of different circumstances in Detroit,” Blashill told The Athletic this week. “I think when you go through the types of years that we went through, you either grow and, if you choose to, you can grow a lot. “And I certainly felt like, and I feel today, that I gained a lot of knowledge through those experiences. So, I’m excited to see what the future holds, excited to see what opportunities are available. I love coaching. I love having an impact on teams, an impact on players. Just look forward to whatever the next opportunity is.” I believe a few teams have put Blashill on their radar, perhaps not top of list, but I think he’s going to hear from some of them. more coaches...

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