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Category: NHL-Talk

Rating The Ice

from Joe McDonald of ESPN,

There's a growing concern among players about the ice conditions around the NHL.

In an attempt to help fix the issues, the NHL and NHLPA Playing Environment subcommittee recently initiated a joint project to better identify and resolve ice-condition issues throughout the league. This process began on Feb. 1.

Players and on-ice officials are asked to fill out a one-page form after every game in order to quickly rate the ice. Players rate the ice either excellent, good or fair based on the three periods. The survey also asks is the ice hard and fast, and does it have good glide, or is it chippy, soft or sluggish.

Players are also asked whether or not the shoveling of snow during television timeouts is suitable or not.

NHL's deputy commissioner Bill Daly responded to an email from ESPN.com, asking about the success of the new rating process. "We've had an ice rating app available for players for years," Daly responded. "What we are trying now are actual ice report forms that are completed manually. No early returns yet, still way too early."

continued

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All Heidi Browning - Chief Marketing Officer For The NHL

from Alexanda Bruell of the Wall Street Journal,

WSJ: You recently left a sexy digital music business to join a 100-year-old sports league. What’s your mandate?

MS. BROWNING: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman gave me one clear goal, and that’s to grow our sport. Our mission is to modernize our approach and take a fresh look at the marketing mix to find new ways to engage new and future fans. The real focus here is extending the reach of the NHL brand—driving viewership, digital audience, engagement with the app, increasing social followers. How does that drive our NHL TV sales, merchandise sales and ticket sales? The commissioner encouraged me to take a blank-canvas approach to growth.

WSJ: Who are your current fans and some of the new fans you’re looking to reach?

MS. BROWNING: We need to broaden beyond hard-core fans and expand to casual fans. Millennials and Gen Z are a huge focus for us. I believe that we’ve got a sport that’s wired to the attitudes and behaviors of these generations, because they’re so action-focused. We’re absolutely looking to target more women. Our demographics are about 60% male and 40% female.

WSJ: How are you using fan data to drive growth?

MS. BROWNING: This is a huge initiative for us. There’s a data opportunity at the NHL across all touchpoints—ticket and merchandise purchase data, what fans are doing at the game, how they’re engaging across digital platforms and social media.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: heidi+browning

The Evgeni Malkin Hit On Blake Wheeler

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

For what it’s worth, and it’s not much, I didn't like the Malkin hit on Wheeler. I like to think I like hitting in hockey as much as anyone, but Malkin's hit struck me as unnecessary. The puck was gone. Outside of fulfilling the time-worn “finish your check” mantra or protecting the sky-is-falling chorus of “there's going to be no hitting in the game,” I'm not sure what purpose Malkin's hit served, especially weighed against the contact to Wheeler's head.

But I have also come to realize everyone's threshold for this type of hit is different, and if the GMs on opposite sides of the debate haven't figured it out yet, I don't like our chances for resolving it here today.

I get that Jets fans are angry, and I wouldn't want to be dismissive of them, though let's be honest: How many of them would be outraged if it had been Wheeler who hit Malkin in that fashion?

much more and also discussed the Trouba hit on Stone...

Watch the Malkin hit below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Winnipeg Jets, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: blake+wheeler, evgeni+malkin

Video- You’re The Ref, Penalty Shot?

Yes it was.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Playoff Format In The NHL

from Travis Yost of TSN,

The NHL’s current postseason system – which dates back to realignment back in 2013-14 – guarantees playoff berths to three teams per division, with two wild-card teams. The weaker wild-card team plays the divisional winner with the strongest record; the stronger wild-card team plays the divisional winner with the weakest record.

What this has done, more than anything, is create inefficiencies for the league. Think about the criteria that’s sorting this stuff out right now. 

First, there’s a conference split – despite the fact there are 16 teams in one conference, and 14 (15 when Vegas begins play next season) in the other. Then there’s the fact that divisional winners are guaranteed home ice, despite the very real possibility of those four teams not being the four best teams in the league. Add in other restrictions – you can’t have more than five teams from a division make the playoffs, as one example – and you have a system that’s frustrating if you believe that the postseason should be designed to bring forward best-versus-best scenarios.

I would argue that the NHL’s current playoff format only works when you have a perfect or near-perfect conference balance, and perfect or near-perfect divisional balance. Guess what? That hasn’t happened yet. We are headed for the same issues in 2016-17.

more

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The NHL On Wes McCauley’s Call

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

I was curious the morning after if the NHL would share everyone else's enthusiasm with McCauley's emotional call, complete with his "put up your dukes" gesture. I mean, the days of NHL on-ice officials showing a lot of flair or personality or individualism appear to be long gone. No one is suggesting the guys in stripes should become the show, but there's no reason they can't genuinely contribute to it either.

So it was gratifying to hear NHL director of officiating Stephen Walkom say he had no issue with it, since McCauley's call was an accurate and true reflection of who he is and how he officiates a game. He has a passion and a feel for it; that's who Wes McCauley is.

More importantly, at least in terms of the "put up your dukes" fight signal, McCauley was actually following a directive from his superior.

"I loved that part because I used to do that and I've been telling the guys if they're signalling a fight, use it," Walkom said. "The funny thing is there has never been an actual signal for fighting in the NHL. We have always had an official signal for every other infraction but we have never had one for fighting.

more

If you haven't seen it, you can watch McCauley's call below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wes+mccauley

NHL Standings Remain Jammed Due To Loser Point

from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,

There’s a moment in nearly every third period of every close game, usually about halfway through but sometimes even earlier, when frantic suddenly becomes tedious, when aggression yields to passivity, when high-octane becomes low-key.

Breakouts are slower. Defense is tighter. Point-men stop pinching. High-skill forwards make only low-risk passes. Both teams are playing for overtime, and it’s a strategy that renders too many third periods dull when they should be dramatic.
“Maybe not early in the third, but definitely as the game wears on and you get in the last 10 minutes of the third, it’s impossible not to think that, ‘Hey, we’ll take the point and take our chances in overtime,’” said San Jose Sharks coach Peter DeBoer. “I think everybody does that.”

The so-called “loser point” — the standings point given to teams that lose in overtime or shootouts, has created unprecedented parity in the league. Barely two weeks before the March 1 trade deadline, all 16 Eastern Conference teams are either in a playoff spot or within seven points of one. And 12 of the 14 Western Conference teams were in, or within six points.

It’s created such a logjam in the standings that general managers can’t even make trades, because of the 30 teams in the NHL, only the Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche are truly sellers at this point.

continued

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Afternoon Line- Allan Walsh

 

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Vegas Golden Knights Final Payment Will Come After The Trade Deadline

from Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal,

There has been much speculation that Golden Knights owner Bill Foley would expedite his final payment of the team’s $500 million expansion fee before February ends so that general manager George McPhee can begin participating in transactions.

The NHL’s trading deadline is March 1.

But Foley said Thursday the final payment will most likely be made the first week in March in time for McPhee to attend the GM meetings March 6-8 in Florida and for the Knights to begin signing college free agents.

“It’s going to be complicated for us to do it by the 28th because of all the legal documents that we’re doing with the NHL that still have to be completed,” Foley said. “We’re still negotiating a few points. But the money will be ready around the 25th or 26th so if we can get all the legal paperwork finished, we may be able to move it up.”

McPhee said he’s ready to start doing business with the other 30 NHL teams.

“We’d like to participate as soon as we can and see what’s out there,” he said.

other topics include where will the Islanders play and a look at the trade deadline...

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vegas+golden+knights

NHL Short Notes

FRIDAY’S RESULTS
Home Team in Caps
MINNESOTA 2, Tampa Bay 1 (SO)
Chicago 5, WINNIPEG 2
 
WILD, BLACKHAWKS CONTINUE BATTLE FOR TOP SPOT IN WEST
The top two teams in the Central Division and Western Conference – the Wild (36-12-6, 78 points) and Blackhawks (34-17-5, 73 points) – each earned wins on Friday. Minnesota holds two games in hand and leads the season series against Chicago (MIN: 1-0-1; CHI: 1-1-0), which includes two more games: Feb. 21 at MIN and March 12 at CHI.
 
Devan Dubnyk made 26 saves through overtime and Mikko Koivu scored the decisive marker in the shootout to help the Wild improve to 13-3-2 in 2017. Dubnyk, who registered 32 victories in 2015-16, registered his League-leading 30th win of the season to become just the second goaltender in franchise history to record multiple 30-win campaigns. The other: Niklas Backstrom, who posted 33 wins in 2007-08 and set a franchise record with 37 victories in 2008-09.
 
* The line of Artemi Panarin (1-2—3), Patrick Kane (1-1—2) and Artem Anisimov (1-1—2) combined for seven points as the Blackhawks won their fourth consecutive game, all on the road. Panarin recorded at least three points in a game for the 14th time in his career. Elias notes that Kane (15) is the only NHL player with more such outings since the start of last season.

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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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