Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post Dispatch,
Peel works 74 regular-season games per season, plus the playoffs, requiring him to be on the road 200 nights a year. The grind is especially difficult now with a wife, Tesha, whom he met in St. Louis 10 years ago, and two children — son Bronson (4) and daughter Brielle (3).
“I have a tremendous wife at home who basically raises our children,” he said.
Peel, however, wouldn’t change a thing. His job has allowed him to work an NHL All-Star Game, the Sochi Olympics and the Winter Classic at Wrigley Field in 2009.
“Everything I have is because of the National Hockey League,” he said. “I’m very grateful and in debt to them.”
Peel is even more grateful after receiving a call from Stephen Walkom, the NHL’s director of officiating, asking him to officiate the Winter Classic contest at Busch Stadium.
“We don’t request any games, but I’m sure he knew in the back of his mind that it would be very special for me,” he said. “It’s obviously a very special call to get. This is going to rank right up there as one of the highlights of my career for sure.”
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
The timing is perfect for the NHL to declare a Centennial project to give the game back to the fans.
What we’ve witnessed in the last few days alone screams for it to happen.
The freeze-frame for it all came in an Edmonton Oilers game against the Coyotes in Arizona Wednesday evening.
The TV cameras caught it perfectly. The referee stood six feet away watching Connor McDavid get mauled and hauled down. I mean, the ref was positioned like an umpire for a play at the plate. It was, at minimum, interference but qualified as several other infractions. No call. And he was captured staring right at it and standing right over it.
It’s been happening all season. Clutching and grabbing, and hacking and whacking is back, and it’s escalated the last couple of weeks. It was especially visible in the last two games involving Chris Lee as referee. Teams are going to do whatever they have to do to stop the young talents like McDavid. Right now, they’ve settled into mostly hacking and whacking away at will.
Fans made it more than obvious what they wanted to watch back before this season began when the U-23 Team North America collection of young stars put on such a wonderful show at the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto.
via the Boston Bruins,
Officiating Director Al Kimmel explains how the NHL scouts future referees and linesmen throughout the minor leagues.
"I pinch myself that I still get to skate around. Every year there's a new generation of kids coming in, and it's amazing how skill and how good the game is because they are getting better and better every year. It's neat because I'm a pretty lucky guy. I do my best to try and stay out of the highlights."
-NHL referee Wes McCauley. Blake Sebring of the News-Sentinel has much more on and from McCauley.
from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,
This, of course, is the offence-hating NHL in a nutshell. No other sport forces it’s skilled players to walk a nightly gauntlet of slashes, hacks, holds and intimidation like the good, old NHL. Every night, defence is given the edge in this and a variety of other ways, which is one reason scoring is at a historic low.
Now let’s be clear here. Kadri is no saint. He yaps. He’s been in trouble for giving the throat slashing gesture. He has strong opinions about his own ability. But he isn’t a suck. He takes on all comers. He fought the much bigger David Backes to start this season. He doesn’t look to teammates for protection.
But the NHL, in the way its officials are dealing with the Leaf forward, are not only sending mixed messages, they’re reinforcing the generally held belief that the rule book is whatever referees want it to be. They can not only apply it differently in the third period to the first, and on Monday in St. Louis versus Thursday in Ottawa, but that they also can, in essence, wage campaigns against certain players if they so choose.
We know that’s human nature. Fool me once and all that. Alex Burrows knows that story. But as Babcock said last March, fine, but enough’s enough.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
A hair before David Krejci pulled the puck into the offensive zone, Ryan Spooner, driving the middle at full roar, sprinted over the blue line. Driscoll and Meyer did not spot Spooner’s premature entry into the zone. Only the two cameras positioned at each side of the blue line concluded the play should be considered null and void.
It was the video provided by those cameras, initiated by Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice’s challenge, that scrubbed the goal and the 11 seconds of events — Krejci’s backdoor feed to Spooner, Spooner and Danton Heinen digging for the puck on the wall, Krejci’s heavy forecheck to force a Ben Chiarot turnover — before Chara’s shot went in the net.
“I get why it was put in there,” said Bruins president Cam Neely of the coach’s challenge. “But it’s such a fast game. There’s blatant offsides that happen. I don’t know. I’m a little ambivalent about the rule.”
Neely’s gripe is a common one. The coach’s challenge, introduced in 2015, was meant to overturn the slam-dunk whiff.
more pluse additional league-wide topics...
via Michael Russo tweets,
NHL coach's challenge wrinkle this year: Toronto Situation Room will make MOST of the offside rulings to speed up process
Linesmen will assist on difficult offside reviews (possession, control/tag up. Refs still have final say on goalie interference
We need more of this in the NHL.
from Dave Stubbs of NHL.com,
For his poise in the heat of action, Udvari was assigned by Voss to many of the NHL's toughest games between the League's fiercest rivals, powder-keg contests that were in constant danger of explosion.
"Guys in the game today have no idea how tough players were in those days, like Rocket Richard and Lindsay," Udvari told Irvin. "In the warmup, Lindsay would tell guys on the other team he was going to cut their (expletive) head off. I mean, he was mad already, and the game hadn't even started. The ferociousness and the way they focused on the game was unbelievable."
There were light moments -- sort of. Udvari recalled once giving the Red Wings five consecutive penalties and having the great Howe skate over to sneer at the No. 1 on his referee's back, saying that Udvari still was only second-best. Asked who was best, Mr. Hockey replied, "Everybody else is tied."
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
- Veteran NHL linesman Don Henderson, brutalized by Dennis Wideman’s blindside assault during a game on Jan. 27, three weeks ago required neck surgery to repair damage from the hit and friends of his worry that his officiating career may be finished.
Henderson, 47, was near the boards, with his back to Wideman, when the Flames defenseman skated into him, inexplicably lifting his arms and knocking Henderson to the ice. Typically not one to engage in rough stuff, particularly during his four-year stint with the Bruins, Wideman appeared to leave his feet when making contact — a move that usually would bring a charging call and/or game misconduct if it were perpetrated against another player....
- ... If Holland is convinced Mrazek is his No. 1, the most obvious salary “fix’’ would be to move Howard, the 32-year-old ex-UMaine Black Bear. Howard is on the books for three more years at $5.3 million per, a fairly comfortable number for a No. 1, especially with his solid résumé. One possible move would have the Wings retaining, say, a third of his salary. The acquiring team would have a proven No. 1 for roughly $3.6 million (cheaper than Mrazek) and the Wings would have to carry only $1.7 million of his cap hit.
- Once the Oilers moved Taylor Hall to New Jersey to acquire puck-moving defenseman Adam Larsson, it meant all of the top six picks in the 2010 draft were no longer with the clubs that drafted them.
No. 7 that year, Jeff Skinner, remains in Carolina, where GM Ron Francis has opted instead to move out virtually everyone else — notwithstanding the somewhat curious move to bring back struggling goaltender Cam Ward on a new two-year deal.
To recap the 2010 top six:....
more on each of the above topics plus other hockey topics...
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.
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