Nichols Notes

Nichols’ Notes: Karmonos quashes Hurricanes-to-Quebec rumor

(Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire)

Is there any chance the Carolina Hurricanes would relocate to Quebec? Not according to team owner Peter Karmanos, who shot down the latest rumor quickly.

Karmonos spoke with Le Journal de Quebec, and Sportsnet translated the quotes from the story.

“I assure you this team is not going to Quebec,” Karmanos said. “I’m not saying that because I have anything against Quebec but because we have commitments here. We have an excellent lease, I love this arena, and I’m deeply attached to this market.”

A number of quotes in there worth checking out, including as strong a denial as we could see: “If the rumours persist, I’ll try to crush them,” said Karmonos. “There’s no contact with Quebec. Not once, not ever.”

Source: Fox/ Sportsnet

Source: Cadorette/ Le Journal de Quebec

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Adam Oates was one of the best passers in the history of the game, thanks in no small part to how he was able to process the game. That hockey IQ, along with sublime skills, helped to pave the way for a Hall of Fame career.

As is the case with many success stories though, an intense drive and desire to improve helped fuel him along the way.

Oates relays how before his rookie year in the NHL, his dad put together a four-hour compilation tape of Wayne Gretzky highlights from which Oates could study.

“My dad didn’t just want me to see the goals,” wrote Oates. “He wanted me to learn from all the little nuances in Gretzky’s game that made him so brilliant — especially how he manipulated space and passed the puck.

“That summer, I probably watched that tape 50 times to try to figure out what Gretz was doing differently than everyone else. For the first month and a half — I’m telling you right now — I could not figure out what I was watching. I thought, ‘What am I missing? How does he get the pass through that gap?’

“Very slowly, I started to pick it up.”

Whether you’re a student of the game or not, read this essay. Trust me. Oates’ perspective is valuable.

Source: Oates/ The Players’ Tribune

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Denis Potvin won several Norris Trophies himself, and he explained how he would vote this season.

“It’s a tough call because I like Doughty a lot. I’ve heard Pierre McGuire say many times, ‘He reminds me of Denis Potvin.’ If he doesn’t score enough or his mindset is he’s not put in the position enough to score, it’s a pretty good argument the coach had something to do with it.

“I would vote for Karlsson, no question,” added Potvin. “I understand that type of player. When he’s on the ice, the Senators have the puck. They always use to categorize a player’s game by saying ‘Oh, he could really slow the game down.’ Now when you talk about possession, that’s huge. If you could combine Doughty and Karlsson, then you’d have one of the all-time greats.

“In the end, Doughty’s probably going to say why didn’t I push more (points). Doughty may never win it, as long as Karlsson’s around.”

Some good Bobby Ryan content in that article as well.

Source: Brennan/ Sun

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Good draft blurb here, and if you read the article, you can see how Jim Matheson is headed on the NHL awards for which he’s eligible to vote.

Excerpt via The Edmonton Journal:

Helsinki Jokerit GM Jari Kurri gives the nod to left-winger Patrik Laine over right-winger Jesse Puljujarvi if he was an NHL scout with the June draft. “Puljujarvi isn’t the natural scorer Laine is. Laine is more dynamic. His shots are always inside the post. He’s got a lot of Mario Lemieux in him (swooping style). Big, tall guy, right-handed shot,” said Kurri. Does he shoot like Kurri used to? “Same spots,” he said, with a laugh. “Puljujarvi goes full speed, up and down the ice. More well-rounded player.”

Source: Matheson/ Journal

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There are a few tidbits on Jaromir Jagr I hadn’t read before in this profile, including this amusing anecdote…

Excerpt via The New York Times:

Michael Stewart, who was taken by the Rangers in the first round in 1990, eight spots after Jagr went fifth overall to the Penguins, recalled with a laugh his first encounter with Jagr, a preseason game against Pittsburgh early in their careers. Jagr carried the puck into the Rangers’ zone, but Stewart, a solid 6-foot-3 defenseman, had him lined up for a check.

“I’m like, This is going to be awesome,” Stewart said. “All those quick little things go through your head. I’m going to light him up.

“And I got a hold of him and I was going to finish him in the glass as hard as I could,” Stewart continued. “He dragged me from the hash marks all the way to the net with the puck on his stick. It was so humbling. I’m big, strong, and with one hand he held me off and just dragged me all the way to Mike Richter playing in net.”

Source: Shpigel/ Times

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Another worthwhile look at concussions and hockey culture here, through the eyes of Dr. Charles Tator.

Excerpt via Sportsnet:

“I believe we can change the game,” he said during an interview at his offices at Toronto Western Hospital. “But it has gone very slowly because those who are in charge of the professional game have another idea. They believe that violence and aggression sells, that that’s what the public wants.

“[But] now I think we’ve realized when we’ve reached the level of parents withdrawing their kids from hockey, when we’ve reached the level of kids as young as 13 having to withdraw because of repetitive concussions … all of this evidence is mounting.

“The evidence that we need a cultural shift in hockey, it’s all there to be appreciated by those that are running the game.”

The league bristles at the characterization.

“Other than I don’t agree with Dr. Tator’s opinion, and that the actual facts belie it, I have no intention to comment further,” said NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly.

Source: Grange/ Sportsnet

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Nichols’ Notes runs weekdays, linking you to stories of interest from around the NHL.

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