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A More Realistic Start Date

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

The lack of progress over the last five days in crafting protocols for 2020-21 would seem to jeopardize the NHL’s targeted Jan. 1 puck drop on a hypothetical 60-game regular season.

Indeed, a 48-game season beginning the third week of January appears the more likely objective. The 1994-95 lockout season began Jan. 20 while the 2012-13 lockout year opened Jan. 19.

The parties must agree on health and safety protocols outside of a bubble. With an expectation of exposure, positive tests, infection and cases, the league and union must create contingencies within the schedule for postponements; for potentially ranking teams by percentages rather than points if teams do not play the same number of games; for roster expansion to accommodate positive (or inconclusive) tests, etc.

The league might want to consider eliminating overtime and going straight from regulation to the shootout in the event of 60-minute tie scores in order to limit the amount of time teams spend on the ice while competing in a condensed schedule.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

One Big Reason To Play This Season

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

If there is a motivating factor for both the NHL and its players to get this season underway, it’s money.

The NHL is heading into the final season of a 10-year contract that gave NBC and its cable partners national broadcasting and digital rights in the United States. It amounted to $200 million (U.S.) a year.

There’s a pot of broadcast gold waiting at the expiration of this contract. If the season is played, the NHL could enter into new lucrative deals with a diverse group of broadcasters and/or streamers in time for the 2021-22 season.

“From that perspective alone, there should be real appetite to play. That’s not just the owners, the players, too,” said John Shannon, a former broadcast executive who has worked for CBC, NBC, Rogers and the NHL.

Of course, it remains to be seen just how much the NHL is worth in a bidding war that would include over-the-air networks like NBC, cable networks like ESPN and FOX and such streaming services as DAZN and Amazon Prime.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Not So Good COVID Update

from Sportsnet,

The Columbus Blue Jackets have had several players test positive for COVID-19, the team confirmed in a statement provided to Sportsnet.

“The Blue Jackets had several players recently test positive for the COVID-19 virus. Those players immediately began to quarantine and the club closed its off-ice facilities at Nationwide Arena beginning the week of November 16," the Blue Jackets' statement reads.

"No voluntary workouts were scheduled this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. The organization has and will continue to follow all recommended guidelines aimed at protecting the health and safety of our players, staff and community at large as set by the NHL, local, state and national agencies."

The news comes one day after the Vegas Golden Knights confirmed four of their players had tested positive for COVID-19 as well.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Morning Line- Ted Leonsis

“If you lose a generation, it destroys value and the connective tissue. It’s what some of the big sports leagues are nervous about. Could we lose a generation because we didn’t give them access and the products and services they want?”

-Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Capitals. Rick Maese of the Washington Post has more on dealing witgh Gen z.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A ‘Real’ Trip For Daniel Carcillo

from Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune,

“It was the most amazing experience,” Carcillo says on the latest edition of “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” set to debut at 9 p.m. CST Tuesday on HBO and HBO Max

Carcillo, who sued the NHL over his concussion-related injuries, is among the former athletes on the program extolling the benefits of psychedelic drugs in helping him cope with aftereffects of brain trauma.

The research in this area, correspondent David Scott notes, is “embryonic but intriguing.”

“Real Sports” opens its segment with Carcillo in the Peruvian jungle, where under supervision he would receive a potent hallucinogenic cocktail brewed from ayahuasca, a drug that’s illegal in much of the world.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+carcillo

We’re Talking Playoffs

from Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic,

The idea some have floated is that the top four teams in each division would make the playoffs, then it’s 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3 in each division and a divisional final in the second round. The four division playoff winners would then meet in the league semifinals.

It’s what we had in the NHL from 1981-82 through 1992-93.

The majority of NHL team executives I spoke with Monday believe this is the likely path this year for a number of reasons:

- It would reduce travel costs in the three geographically aligned U.S. divisions.

- If regular season games are to be played exclusively within division, then it makes sense to continue that in the opening two rounds of the playoffs.

- Perhaps most importantly, it pushes the Canada-U.S. border issue further down the road. The NHL would be down to the four league semifinalists in June by the time it was time for teams to cross the border.

The Canadian teams, it could be argued, catch a break here because there’s only seven teams in their proposed division whereas the three U.S. divisions will have eight teams apiece.

more ($$$0

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Stop The Parade Plans In Montreal

from Brendan Kelly Kelly of the Montreal Gazette,

The way hockey talk is going in Montreal, you’d think Les Boys had already won the Stanley Cup. This month, TVA Sports ran a piece with the headline: “Marc Bergevin hit a home run.” The headline was a quote from Canadiens goalie coach Stéphane Waite, who was talking about his boss’s decision to trade for Allen to serve as Carey Price’s backup.

First, only in Habs circles would someone describe the hiring of a backup goalie, who’d lost his job to a relatively inexperienced Jordan Binnington, as a home run. It’s a good move to finally snare an NHL-quality No. 2 netminder to help out Price but, rather than go all hyperbolic on us, one might rather ask why it took Bergevin eight years to figure out Price merits a decent backup.

But we keep hearing people talking about Bergevin’s home run of an off-season. The Athletic recently did a survey of Habs fans and their enthusiasm was off the charts. In spring, with our heroes in 24th place in Gary Bettman’s league, only 37.8 per cent of respondents felt the 2020-21 Canadiens would be a playoff team. Fast forward eight months and now 95.3 per cent of fans believe this season’s team will make the playoffs. Even more astonishing is a good chunk of those surveyed believe this team could win a Stanley Cup during the next five years, something few believed in spring.

I say give the Cup to the Habs marketing department. I mean did I forget to pick up the paper the day Bergevin signed Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid and David Pastrnak?


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

When The Game Comes Back

from Jim Morris of CBC,

The development of two potential COVID-19 vaccines could be a major assist in the battle against the coronavirus, but they might not be a game changer when it comes to NHL fans being able to return to arenas in the near future.

Dr. Susy Hota, medical director of infection prevention and control and infectious diseases specialist at the University Health Network in Toronto, said even if a vaccine becomes available early in the new year, it will take several months for enough of the population to be vaccinated.

"In order for there to be some kind of a herd immunity effect from vaccination ... you still need about 85 per cent coverage in the population for it to really be helpful," said Hota, who also is an associate professor in the department of medicine at the University of Toronto.

"I think we do have to mentally prepare ourselves, I'd say, for at least a year to try and roll out the vaccine and feel like you've got coverage to a point where it's more protective on a population level."...

"I think the goal would be to minimize and keep the sort of two-metre distancing as much as possible between people included in the stadium," she said. "So that does limit the overall capacity quite a bit."

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Audio/Video- UFAs Still Unsigned

via Sportsnet,

NHL insider Chris Johnston joined Hockey Central to discuss why some big name free agents like Mike Hoffman and Matt Barzal still remain unsigned this far into the offseason.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Legal Battle For The NHL

from Rick Westhead of TSN,

The National Hockey League is embroiled in a legal fight with insurance companies that refuse to pay most of the costs related to the league’s years-long concussion lawsuit and the settlement the league reached with retired players.

The NHL filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court on July 31 against eight insurance companies: TIG Insurance Co., Federal Insurance Co., Chubb Insurance Co. of Canada, National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Vigilant Insurance Co., American Home Assurance Co., Aviva Insurance Co. of Canada, and Zurich Insurance Co.

The NHL in November of 2018 announced an $18.9 million (U.S.) settlement with 318 former players who joined a lawsuit accusing the league of downplaying the long-term dangers of repeated brain trauma. The settlement included plaintiff lawyers’ fees and costs, free neuropsychological tests for players, up to $75,000 for medical treatments, cash payouts of roughly $20,000 per player and the establishment of a Common Good Fund to help retired players in need.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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