Kukla's Korner

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Category: NHL-Talk

Afternoon Line- Don Waddell

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Audio/Video- Brian Burke On Playing This Season

via Sportsnet,

Burke: Not playing 2020-21 NHL season would be 'catastrophic, devastating'

Hockey Central's Brian Burke weighs in on when fans can expect the 2021 NHL Season to commence with Jeff marek and Justin Bourne on Hockey Central.

 

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Afternoon Line- Gary Bettman

 

added 2:02pm, Chris Johnston has more from Bettman below.

added 2:16pm, below, video of Bettman answering a question about the season.

Continue Reading »

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Skip This Season

from Mark Madden of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Hockey is a winter sport. That was proven when this year’s Stanley Cup Final, played in late September, drew the final’s lowest rating since 2007. Hockey, baseball, basketball and football overlapped for a while, and that hurt hockey. The playoffs began Aug. 1, and that’s way off the traditional timetable. But the numbers are the numbers.

The NHL would basically skip a season. That would hurt the players’ wallets.

But what about the owners’ wallets? One report says each team would lose about $150 million if a TV-only season is played. Should the owners be expected to do that? Some have reportedly told Bettman they would prefer to not play.

Waiting ‘til October of ’21 isn’t what the players want. A labor dispute would be triggered. But a labor dispute is in progress right now. It’s just not yet being called that. The players would sue. The NHL would justify via force majeure (the pandemic).

more

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For Those Not On Twitter

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Evening Line- Allan Walsh

via Allan Walsh tweets,

The NHL is soft floating the idea with media if no deal with the NHLPA is reached on the Return to Play, it can unilaterally invoke Force Majeure and cancel the 2020-21 season.

There are so many flaws to this, I don’t know where to start.  Does the NHL really think it can demand an additional $300M in concessions from players after negotiating the financial terms of the 20-21 season DURING the pandemic 4 months ago?

The Players agreed to accept 72% of their contracts due to the pandemic. NHL owners cannot now assert they don’t like the deal, demand $300M more from the Players and if the Players don’t give in, cancel the season by invoking Force Majeure?

In reality, if the NHL cancels the 20-21 season because the Players won’t give another $300M in concessions, that is a LOCKOUT, which is expressly prohibited by CBA Art. 7.1 (b).

If the NHL lawyers are advising owners they have a winning case here, I suggest they go back to law school. Owners will be subjecting themselves to billions in potential damages if they falsely invoke Force Majeure to cancel the season.

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TSN Insiders Tonight

The TSN Hockey Insiders discuss the growing frustration from NHL owners in regards to the lack of clarity on the start of the season, the NHLPA sticking to its position so far, the hybrid bubble plan still being the back up plan, the league's focus on four divisions, and much more.

Watch at TSN.

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Topics Still Unresolved

from Rory Boylen of Sportsnet,

As we await further news on what a 2020-21 season might bring, here are some other unresolved storylines that will rise to the top again at a later date.

REMAINING FREE AGENTS
In any normal season the unrestricted free-agent class would be mostly bare this long after the market opened, but for many reasons there are still a handful serviceable and impactful players available to sign.

Because of the flat cap at $81.5 million, 16 NHL teams are either over the regular-season ceiling or within $2 million of it. Because of those tight squeezes, other players could still be available at a discount via trade, which is another market for teams who hold cap space to target....

BIG UNSIGNED RFAs AND CAP SQUEEZES IN NEW YORK AND TAMPA BAY
While there are some solid players still available on the UFA market, the remaining unsigned RFAs has the better pool of players at the top. If ever there was an off-season for a competitive offer sheet to put a team in a bind this is it, and it's telling we've yet to see one.

Some RFAs do take this long to sign in normal circumstances — Brayden Point, for instance, didn't re-up with the Lightning until late September last year....

more on the two topics above plus additional points...

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Digging Deep With Player And Puck Tracking

from Mike DeFabo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

However, behind the curtain, each NHL team will get what SMT is calling a “fire hose of data.” Players will produce 200 data points a second and the puck will register 2,000 data points a second. More than the sheer quantity of data, it’s the type of information that’s exciting for Ventura.

“The data that's currently available publicly really focuses on specific events that happen on the ice,” Ventura said. “A shot. A hit. A faceoff. Things like that.

“This data is fundamentally different. Instead of just looking at specific events, it's giving you the locations and the trajectories of all players on the ice and the puck, at every moment in time. It lets you look at things that you would never even be able to begin to explore with data otherwise, things like positioning of defensemen and goalies, how much space is being created by particular players.”

By accessing player locations, NHL analysts who can get their hands on this information will be able to refine and create some new metrics.

For example, by registering where each player is on the ice for a shot or pass, advanced stats like “expected goals” might be improved. Passing stats, which are not currently tracked by the NHL, will be calculated in new and different ways. By measuring distance between players, the concept of gap control could be analyzed like never before. The impact of a net-front screen can be quantified, and blocked shots can be studied to add some science to some of the most fundamental elements of the game.

more, with a bit of a Penguins slant...

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Target Return Date For The NHL Remains Early January

from TSN,

The NHL is still targeting an early January start for the upcoming season, despite no firm plans for the year being set in place.

A league source told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun on Tuesday that the target date for puck drop has not changed as talks with the NHLPA continue.

The statement came one day after TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported Monday that while the league remains hopeful of an early January start, it is also considering postponing the start of training camps until after the holidays.

continued

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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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