Dec 27, 2012, 12:49 PM EST
AHL fans will already know the name Mike Kostka.
Soon NHL fans might, too.
Kostka, a 27-year-old defenseman, is creating a good deal of buzz in hockey’s most buzzing market, Toronto. His 28 points are second on the Marlies and second behind Justin Schultz among all the league’s d-men.
“He has been impressive,” Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke told TSN.ca via e-mail. “High hockey IQ, great patience with the puck, can really thread passes on the power play.”
Kostka’s hockey journey has been a long one. The Marlies are his fifth AHL stop following four seasons at UMass-Amherst. He was never drafted.
Last year, he helped Norfolk win the Calder Cup, after which the Leafs signed him to a one-year deal that’s paying him $250,000 to play in the minors. That’s more than most AHLers earn and evidence of the organization’s deep pockets.
If the NHL has a season, cracking the Leafs’ line-up would be a realistic goal for Kostka.
“He’s a guy firmly on our roster that if the NHL ever gets going again here I would hope that he gets at least a look,” Marlies coach Dallas Eakins said recently. “Let’s get him into a game or two and see what he can do at the NHL level.”
Dec 18, 2013, 1:21 AM EST
A relative unknown is now the hottest goalie in the NHL.
Dec 17, 2013, 11:26 PM EST
In more ways than one.
Dec 17, 2013, 11:07 PM EST
Only one point separate these teams now.
Dec 17, 2013, 10:39 PM EST
Brutal stuff for Evgeni Nabokov & Co.
Dec 17, 2013, 10:23 PM EST
Both teams’ differing streaks continue.
Dec 17, 2013, 10:03 PM EST
Florida’s entourage wins fourth in a row.
Dec 17, 2013, 9:33 PM EST
Notice a theme tonight?
Dec 17, 2013, 9:21 PM EST
His boarding hit could draw more than a minor penalty.
Dec 17, 2013, 8:47 PM EST
The Ducks star managed to return.
Dec 17, 2013, 8:00 PM EST
Dec 17, 2013, 7:09 PM EST
Mark Fraser in, Frazer McLaren out.
Dec 17, 2013, 6:32 PM EST
He was injured against Ottawa on Monday.
Dec 17, 2013, 5:47 PM EST
“It’s all about hard work, and it goes to everyone.”
Dec 17, 2013, 5:00 PM EST
“It’s all good signs. I’ve still got a lot of work to do.”
Dec 17, 2013, 3:48 PM EST
As illustrated by the picture.
Dec 17, 2013, 3:27 PM EST
All the latest from the blue paint…
Dec 17, 2013, 3:09 PM EST
He’ll need surgery to repair a torn tendon.
Dec 17, 2013, 3:04 PM EST
Carolina has three goalies, and that’s one too many.
Dec 17, 2013, 2:58 PM EST
New candidate for Best Headline Ever.
Dec 17, 2013, 2:05 PM EST
Out with a broken hand since Oct. 25.
- Martin Jones gets another shutout, remains undefeated 5
- Video: Tom Wilson gets tossed for charging Brayden Schenn 43
- Video: Kyle Quincey ejected for boarding Ryan Getzlaf 15
- NHL on NBCSN: Third time’s the charm for Flyers vs Capitals? 8
- Video: Penguins defeat Leafs, Bortuzzo called for illegal hit to head 71
- Potter suspended two games for boarding Bonino 3
- Reports: Thornton will appeal 15-game suspension 107
- Lucic addresses fight video, says he’s ‘disgusted and outraged’ by Vancouver 100
- Pittsburgh’s special teams have been pretty good; Florida’s not so much 3
- Flyers blow 4-1 lead, Caps win in shootout 25
- Updated: NHL suspends Thornton 15 games for Orpik attack (155)
- Janssen: Orpik should’ve fought Thornton, then ‘everything would have quieted down’ (123)
- Bylsma: Neal needs to learn from Marchand hit (114)
- Reports: Thornton will appeal 15-game suspension (107)
- Lucic addresses fight video, says he’s ‘disgusted and outraged’ by Vancouver (100)