Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
The NHL will never be confused with a league that is progressive, but if it were smart, it would look hard at some of these proposals submitted by hockey fans. They would dramatically change the spring landscape and make the hockey playoffs a must-watch not only for hockey fans but anyone who loves unscripted drama. And it wasn’t just fans who responded. We’ll begin with this submission via email from an NHL team executive:
“Glaring obvious suggestion: Expand season by four extra days. We just did it for 21, so it is pretty easy to do. In each conference, 10 teams make playoffs. No. 10 and No. 9 play a best-of-three series at No. 7 and No. 8. They have to win on the road to get in. Day off between games two and three. Right now (at time of email), four points separate 8 and 9 in the East and two points in the West. So it’s not exactly like we are significantly devaluing an eighth-place finish. From No. 7 to No. 9 in the East is five points and the West is nine points. So we may be unfairly treating the No. 7 seed there. But they still have home ice for three games.
"Right now, teams down to the Carolina Hurricanes and Winnipeg Jets in the West would be still be in. All of those teams, fans, and buildings would still be in the race. More regular season tickets sold as fans are still into it. Significant additional revenue/media. Possibility of major markets still getting in i.e. Toronto, Vancouver. Twelve additional games possible [if all series went three games], more significant additional revenue and media.”
This should be done immediately. The only downside is that the No. 7 seed could argue that it is devaluing the regular season, but the potential for three more home games and the millions that come with that should quiet any concerns from that franchise.
more playoff format ideas (paid subscription)...
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
What is the NHL policy on media and officials? Can they be on Twitter? Can they be interviewed by TSN? Can they publish a book? We rarely, if ever, see an active official make a comment off the ice. Is this because they don't have much to say, or because of restrictions? I could see referee interviews causing uproars among fans.
The policy the NHL has in place for their officials speaking to the media is clear and direct: NO COMMENT!
All media access to the officials (interviews) must be cleared and granted through the office of Gary Meagher, Sr. Vice President Public Relations & Media Services. Gary is assisted by Julie Young, Manager of Public Relations. Once the content and nature of an interview is cleared, Julie is typically responsible for contacting the official and facilitating the interview. Both individuals are extremely professional and very good at their job. It was a treat to work with Julie Young because through her efforts things always went smoothly during the many times that I was requested for interviews.
Social media is off-limits for all the officials! They are not allowed to have a Facebook or Twitter account as information could easily be misconstrued or deemed to be inappropriate. It is just another undesirable location that the officials could become accessible. After NBA referee Tim Donaghy was convicted on criminal charges and served time in federal prison for betting on games he officiated, NHL officials are "strongly discouraged" from entering casinos while travelling on NHL business. You can forget about reading a book written by any NHL officials until after they retire; unless perhaps it is a children's coloring book!
"Whether it was behind the scenes or under the glare of hockey's harshest spotlight, Brendan was as much of an 'impact player' at the League as he was on the ice. Brendan brought commitment, clarity and impeccable credibility to his difficult and thankless duties here, and while we are sad to see him go, we knew his unique skill-set and body of work in the sport would make him a valued leader for any Club. Brendan has helped to change the culture of the game, has made it safer on a variety of levels, and his influence will be felt for years. We send him to his new role with our best wishes and our deep appreciation for his many contributions to the game."
NEW YORK (April 11, 2014) – At the direction of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Brendan Shanahan immediately relinquished responsibility for overseeing the League’s Department of Player Safety upon accepting the position of President of the Toronto Maple Leafs yesterday afternoon.
Effective with Thursday night’s games and for the balance of the regular season and throughout the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs, Stephane Quintal assumes the role of conducting hearings and administering supplementary discipline.
The National Hockey League has a first-rate and fully functional team of professionals staffed in the Player Safety Department that will continue to monitor all plays in all games and to flag plays that warrant review and potential discipline. There will be no change in the approach that has been established by the Department of Player Safety and the League will take all steps necessary to ensure a consistent standard of enforcement and application of discipline for the balance of this season.
Nicholas J. Cotsonika’s weekly Three Periods column appears on Thursdays. This week’s topics include the changes that could be coming to teams that missed playoffs; how hard it would be to replace Brendan Shanahan as NHL disciplinarian; why the Red Wings’ 23-season playoff streak might be the most impressive in NHL history; and, why the PHWA should not embarrass itself in postseason all-star voting again.
FIRST PERIOD: Now that Mike Gillis is gone, who’s next?
- Washington Capitals: George McPhee has been the Caps GM since 1997. They made the Cup final in his first season, but they haven’t been out of the second round since. Sniper Alex Ovechkin and coach Bruce Boudreau made the Caps a high-flying, successful and popular team, but failures in the playoffs sparked changes in philosophy and changes in coaches – Boudreau to Dale Hunter to Adam Oates. The Caps haven’t been the same since. Oates has made Ovechkin an elite goal-scorer again but hasn’t been able to solve other problems – and he just called out Ovechkin for quitting on a play defensively and goalie Jaroslav Halak for not wanting to play against his old St. Louis Blues. Ovechkin has his faults, but instead of expecting him to carry the team, the Caps need to surround him with a stronger supporting cast. If McPhee and Oates are fired, they likely will land elsewhere – McPhee as a GM, Oates as an assistant coach specializing in the power play.
SECOND PERIOD: If Shanahan leaves for the Leafs, who replaces him?
Don’t know what you got till it’s gone? People might realize that about Shanahan if he leaves his role as NHL disciplinarian to take over the Leafs. For all the grief he has gotten over the past three seasons, who would do the job better?
Who would replace him, period?
Shanahan has tried to set up the department of player safety so it can function without him. He has often spoken about the next person to do the job. He didn’t want to stand in front of the camera to explain suspensions in his first season – that was commissioner Gary Bettman’s idea. He later just did voiceovers without introducing himself. He also had others do them. Even though he made the final call and was accountable for it, he wanted the focus on the process, not the person.
read on at Yahoo...
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
The intriguing concept of Brendan Shanahan joining the Maple Leafs has been rattling around the restless mind of Tim Leiweke for months.
But after an explosion of speculation from a variety of media outlets in the past 48 hours forced the idea to be fast-tracked, that concept is about to turn into reality.
Shanahan, according to multiple sources, will resign his position as the NHL’s director of player safety as early as Friday and immediately join the Leafs this weekend as the team closes out a disappointing season.
While his precise job could not be confirmed, sources suggest the Hall of Fame winger will likely be named president of the Leafs hockey club, not only president of hockey operations.
The NHL is now facing a second concussion lawsuit.
See the Gordie Howe error below...
Bruce Bennett is celebrating his 5000th hockey game by looking back at his career and picking his Top 10 images. Here's the story behind them as told by Bruce...
Mark Messier was a leader throughout his career. His stare alone would send shivers down competitors’ spines. As a photographic subject, he was always one of the best. Captured here in 2002, he appears as a throwback to another time in hockey’s history; a gladiator whose win at all costs attitude made him an asset to all teams he was a part of.
continue to InFocus by Getty Images for more including great hockey pictures..
And probably my favorite, Wayne Gretzky at age 18, see it below...
Zac Rinaldo wanted to make sure the NHL understood he had no intent to injure Buffalo Sabres defenceman Chad Ruhwedel.
And I have never heard a player say yes, "my intent was to injure him."
Until players understand hits like Rinaldo made can injure someone and need to be avoided, we will continue to see more suspensions down the line.
from Nate Rau of The Tennessean,
The state legislature on Monday abolished the special tax professional hockey and basketball players pay when they play in Tennessee.
For NHL players, the so-called jock tax would end once it is signed by Gov. Bill Haslam and becomes law. For NBA players, it will continue for two more years. The House vote was 66-25 and the Senate vote was 30-2.
The bill’s lead sponsor, Rep. David Alexander, R-Winchester, said his goal was to end a constitutionally suspect law. Alexander said the jock tax likely would fail to pass legal challenges because professional hockey and basketball players have been subject to the tax since 2009, but professional football players are exempt.
Under the current law, players pay $2,500 per game when they play in Tennessee up to $7,500. The revenue has ultimately been forwarded to the owners of the Nashville Predators and Memphis Grizzlies for the purpose of bringing more events to their arenas.
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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