Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
A new Globe And Mail report on the NHL meeting with prospective owners of an expansion franchise for Las Vegas is exciting for hockey fans in Nevada. But if a team in Vegas became a reality, it has every chance of ending in disaster.
The NHL and Las Vegas have been linked for years – usually to Hollywood super-producer Jerry Bruckheimer – and part of the sell line any time the topic is broached is hockey’s best league being the first of the big four professional sports to set up shop in that city. But maybe there’s a reason why the NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball haven’t put a team there. Perhaps there’s more than one reason. Maybe, for every good reason to expand to Vegas, there’s a drawback or potential pitfall.
For one thing, there’s the undeniable fact any pro team would be competing with scores of other entertainment options for people’s disposable income. If you’re a tourist coming into town, you have the option of seeing the world’s best singers, comedians, circus performers and magicians (sorry: illusionists) every night of the week. What on earth would compel the average consumer to choose a mid-season hockey game – something they can see at home at any point – over one of those events?
from Curtis Rush of the Toronto Star,
Fifteen years later, Pat Quinn has lulled the hockey world into almost complete acceptance of one of the most bloated, awkward injury terms ever in use.
The dreaded “upper- or lower-body injury”.
This is just coach-speak to protect players from being targeted by opponents.
It’s a terminology that only a lawyer — or someone with a law degree, like Quinn — would dream up. Or a coach who sees hockey as a war and reporters as spies. That was Quinn too.
In the spring of 1999, as coach of the Maple Leafs, Quinn popularized the term across the NHL, and spawned a generation of coaches who rely on this form of cover-up.
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
- Some other tidbits from the GM meetings. As Glenn Healy reported on Hockey Night Hotstove, there may be no more "lists" of shooters at the start of shootouts. For one thing, it will make things faster. A second benefit is coaches won't be locked in if they want to change strategy, depending on what happens with each team's first attempt.
- Asked about other teams being interested in Tyler Myers, Murray said there was no offer remotely close enough to make him consider dealing either Myers or Christian Ehrhoff. The GM added the "cap recapture" possibilities at the end of Ehrhoff's contract (eg., a $10-million penalty if he retires with one year remaining) are a concern and affect trade scenarios.
- As Patrick Roy prepares for another emotional return to Montreal, here is Matt Duchene when asked to compare him with Mike Babcock: "Everything they do is about winning. [Babcock] is more serious during practices ... Roy jokes a little. He'll skate in, laugh and score on the rebounds during drills. But during games, they're all business. Two of the best coaches I've ever played for." Duchene, by the way, also mentioned his junior coach, Stan Butler.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
- Is it possible Hockey Hall of Famer Glen Sather, 70, may be thinking of retiring as a general manager if the New York Rangers make the playoffs this season? I’ve heard that. There was no response to a recent inquiry by me from Sather. If true, the Oilers can get his banner raised next season. The Oilers have put off a ceremony because Sather, the first member of the Oilers’ organization to make the HHOF in 1997, has been a GM with another team.
- South Korea is a Winter Olympics logistical stretch for the NHL players in 2018, but of the five finalists for 2022, only one makes real sense to me: Oslo, the 1952 Winter Games host. Beijing is on the list, which boggles the mind. They’re not having it in Asia back-to-back. The others are Almady, Kazakhstan; Lviv, Ukraine; and Krakow, Poland.
- Maybe I’m missing something, but it seems strange that Dave Andreychuk, who is still waiting for his Hockey Hall of Fame call, will be getting a nine-foot tall statue outside the rink in Tampa, Fla., but the Tampa Bay Lightning haven’t retired his No. 25 yet. In fact, Matt Carle is wearing it right now.
Also from Matheson looks at the options the Oliers have with Nail Yakupov.
from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,
Some of the main topics examined by the GMs included the overtime format, faceoffs and video replay. Maloney was in a group that particularly discussed whether or not a coach's challenge would be feasible.
"We all have sat there through goals being reviewed and how long it takes," Maloney said. "We're really concerned about taking the game away from the on-ice officials and taking it up to big brother and having the game regulated from above, and nobody wants that, including big brother. So, consequently, there wasn't anything other than further dialogue."
more on the Phoenix Coyotes...
I would rather see the call made correctly and really do not care who makes it.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
In an attempt to curb “cheating,” instead of a center being kicked out of the circle and replaced by a teammate if a violation is committed before a faceoff, a linesman would make that same booted player take the second faceoff attempt, only that player would be forced to move back 12 to 18 inches. The exact measurement hasn’t been decided.
“I don’t like it at all,” Wild captain Mikko Koivu said. “All it does is create more of a gray area. Faceoffs are quick reactions, both from the center and the linesman. Things happen so quick. Mistakes happen. So you’re going to maybe lose a tight game because a linesman gives the other team a free puck?”
But managers have noticed that 1) Players know linesmen avoid calling penalties (two violations on one faceoff), so they tend to cheat and 2) after icings, a winger will take the draw and intentionally commit a violation to get kicked out for a center just to buy more rest for trapped teammates.
Wild center Kyle Brodziak said: “This seems like a drastic rule change and gimmicky. It’s a linesman’s job to make sure players don’t cheat. I mean, is this that much of an issue? I think it’ll lead to more cheating because linesmen are not going to want to be backing guys up.”
more and other topics too...
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
- Anybody else think the NHL needs to get rid of the trapezoid? The GMs asked that question of the NHLPA’s Mathieu Schneider during meetings last week in Boca Raton, Fla. Schneider didn’t deny that the players would also like to see it go. But, the union is worried about the safety of defencemen. Like everything else in the NHL, the trapezoid won’t go away any time quickly.
- Calgary’s Brian Burke will resume his search for a GM after the season. The popular thinking is he is waiting to see if former Dallas GM Joe Nieuwendyk has any interest. If he doesn’t — and it’s believed he has already told the Flames no thanks — then a possible candidate is Washington GM George McPhee. His contract is up on July 1 and the club is in a tough position to make the post-season.
- Goalie Roberto Luongo will face his former Canucks’ teammates Sunday in Florida for the first time since being dealt. Asked by a reporter Saturday if he missed the Canadian media, he replied: “Is that a trick question?”
The group discussed the recent IOC decision on Nicklas Backstrom, talks about Markus Nalsand joining the Canucks' management group and the recent recommendations from the GM meetings.
Also discussed the NHL Draft Lottery odds and making it simple on some goal calls.
added 8:40pm, Here is more from Friedman on Naslund,
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
- Yes, everyone wants to get the correct calls on the ice. But instead of expanding video review that would undoubtedly add 10-15 minutes of standing around during games waiting for officials to get it right (or, as is obvious with the current kicked-in rule, get it right a little bit more of the time) the NHL’s priority should be improving the standard of officiating around the league so the referees actually get it right the first time.
- This idea hatched at the GM’s meeting of essentially giving teams free faceoff victories by moving a violator at the dots back 12-18 inches rather than removing him from the draw is about as absurd as it gets, given the often arbitrary nature of the way certain linesmen drop the puck.
- Henrik Lundqvist was very good in the playoffs two years ago in taking the Rangers to the conference finals, and he has been the backbone of the team from the moment his salary started to be paid in U.S. dollars rather than Swedish krona. But until he has a tournament equal to the ones fashioned by Mike Richter in 1994 and 1997, the King doesn’t get to wear the franchise’s goaltending crown.
more including Ryan Haggerty,recently signed by the Rangers, receiving a guaranteed roster spot this season...
from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,
Sometimes it seems like an unstoppable NHL cycle. As players get bigger and faster, time and space shrinks.
As skill levels edge higher, scoring stagnates. The game’s craftiest players often can’t find enough room to showcase their talents. Meanwhile, the punishing grind keeps injury rates high, even though training and treatment get ever better.
The solution is simple to name and far harder to implement: Expand the ice surface. But given that an arena building boom came and went in the 1990s and 2000s with the league sticking to its standard 200-by-85-foot footprint, it’s been said the moment for that discussion passed many years ago.
Or maybe it hasn’t. There’ve been whispers of late that there’s an appetite in some NHL circles for a move to larger ice surfaces. With at least a couple of franchises planning the construction of new rinks, bigger ice is again being brainstormed.
“There are a couple of teams that are building new arenas that want to do it,” Mathieu Schneider, the NHLPA executive, was saying this week. “I know the Red Wings are really in favour of it. They would love it. I imagine there are a few other (teams that are interested).”
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.
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