Kukla's Korner Hockey
Olympic meeting has wrapped. IOC prez Thomas Bach says this was more a courtesy meeting than anything else. No negotiation today.
No deadline, still, but Rene Fasel says he has a meeting in South Korea in mid-March and needs to know more before that.
However, Fasel conceded it was important for Bach to visit w NHL today for first time. Bach said its a priority for NHL players to be at Oly
from Scott Campbell of the Winnipeg Free Press,
When you hear the "Ref-you-suck" chant in an arena around the National Hockey League, you know it’s not going well for the home team. Winnipeg Jets supporters are no different than the rest in that regard.
The different fan bases are saying the same thing — so am I to believe refereeing is a league-wide problem? Each city has conspiracy theorists sure "that was a penalty" against their team.
I cringe when I hear the anti-referee chant. There’s the tiniest of chances of getting a call in your team’s favour because of it. Referees are human. There may be a weak-minded one in their midst, but to get to the NHL they’ve survived a lot of tough tests.
My fear is there might be a pushback at the fans.
At the same time, I respect those fans are paying big dollars to be entertained and can do what they want (within reason) to enhance the value of their experience.
via Bob McKenzie tweets,
As John Shannon reported, IOC president Thomas Bach and IIHF president Rene Fasel will meet face-to-face in NYC tomorrow with NHL/NHLPA.
It's expected Fasel/Bach will meet tomorrow a.m. in advance of early p.m. meeting that will include NHL and NHLPA execs, incl Bettman/Fehr.
No indication yet whether presence of Bach signals any change in IOC position/terms vis a vis proposed NHL participation in the Olympics.
Quite possible it's simply a face-to-face meeting for Bach to explain IOC pos'n to Bettman and for Bettman to explain NHL pos'n to Bach.
In any case, even if no substantive change in anybody's position, getting all the principals in one room, face to face, viewed as positive.
In meantime, IIHF has been working on non-NHL 2018 Plan B where countries/federations would only be able to use non-NHL talent.
"Fans want it; players want it; we need to convince Gary and (NHL) owners. I am hopeful. I'd swim across Atlantic Ocean to make it happen."
Other dynamic, of course, is NHLPA. Players really want to go. What pressure(s) might PA be able to bring to bear on NHL to alter OLY view?
A few more recent tweets on this topic from McKenzie...
Home Team in Caps
WASHINGTON 5, Boston 3
CALGARY 5, Minnesota 1
LOS ANGELES 5, Colorado 0
OVECHKIN CLIMBS ALL-TIME LISTS AS CAPITALS EXTEND HOME STREAKS
Alex Ovechkin scored for the third consecutive game and Nicklas Backstrom collected 1-2—3 as the League-leading Capitals (34-11-6, 74 points) extended their home point streak to 10 games (9-0-1), including eight consecutive wins.
* Ovechkin scored the 550th goal of his NHL career (890 GP) to surpass Ron Francis (549 in 1,731 GP) for sole possession of 27th place on the League’s all-time list. He ranks third in the NHL with 25 goals this season, behind Sidney Crosby (28) and Jeff Carter (26).
* Elias notes that Ovechkin scored his 205th career power-play goal to pass Wayne Gretzky (204) and tie Joe Sakic for 15th on the NHL’s all-time list.
* Backstrom, who registered at least three points for the fourth time this season, ranks second in the NHL with 37 assists and paces the Capitals with 51 points (14-37—51, 51 GP).
from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
- Asked a few GMs about player activism during the social-media era.
“You can’t prevent them from wanting to speak out if they decide to do so,” one GM said, a comment echoed by his compatriots. “The only thing I ask is, ‘Be informed.’ If you are going to take a stand, make sure you understand the issues.”
It’s good advice, because any mistakes, no matter how unintentional, will go nuclear.
- The Department of Player Safety has more patience than I do. When Brad Marchand escaped suspension last week for a “dangerous trip” on Niklas Kronwall, one of the factors was that the NHL historically does not suspend for tripping. I know that drives people crazy, but lawyers always eye precedence — especially when appeals are involved. Marchand was fined $10,000 for knocking down Kronwall, then followed up with something similar Tuesday to Anton Stralman. The league’s position was this was not comparable; the puck was there and it wasn’t intentional.
Stralman told the Tampa Bay Times’ Roger Mooney, “I'm not the puck holder. I'm out in the neutral zone and I get hit from behind. That's all I've got to say.”
Marchand’s been suspended four times, one of them for slew-footing (Derick Brassard in 2015). He’s got two prior fines. And there are two warnings on file, the most recent for slew-footing Nashville’s Anthony Bitetto. That was three weeks ago.
We all saw how good Marchand was at the World Cup. Very talented. But he is making the league look bad.
- It is so rare to hear a GM throw his players under the bus like Doug Armstrong did Wednesday. He made sure the heat was going to be right on them. He said, "We don't lose with pride," called the roster "independent contractors" as opposed to a team, and added Hitchcock was a Hall of Famer and they aren't — that's a serious mushroom cloud.
Clearly, Armstrong thought the players were too sensitive to Hitchcock's pressure. The coach himself once said a captain is very important under his leadership because he has to be the buffer and take the heat. He loved Keith Primeau in Philadelphia. I'm betting David Backes was pretty good at it, too....
Home Team in Caps
NY ISLANDERS 3, Washington 2
Columbus 6, NY RANGERS 4
PITTSBURGH 4, Nashville 2
CAROLINA 5, Philadelphia 1
MONTREAL 5, Buffalo 2
New Jersey 4, DETROIT 3
Boston 4, TAMPA BAY 3
FLORIDA 6, Ottawa 5
Winnipeg 5, ST. LOUIS 3
DALLAS 6, Toronto 3
Minnesota 5, EDMONTON 2
Los Angeles 3, ARIZONA 2
ANAHEIM 5, Colorado 1
SAN JOSE 3, Chicago 1
WILD KEEP FRANCHISE-RECORD ROAD POINT STREAK ALIVE
The Wild built a 3-0 lead and Darcy Kuemper made 41 saves as Minnesota extended its franchise-record road point streak to 14 games (12-0-2), including five straight wins.
* The Western Conference-leading Wild (33-11-5, 71 points) eclipsed 70 points in their 49th game of the season, nine games faster than any other season in franchise history. They sit one point back of the Capitals (33-11-6, 72 points) for the top spot in the NHL, with one game in hand.
* Other franchise records achieved by the Wild this season include overall win streak (12-0-0; Dec. 4-29, 2016) and overall point streak (12-0-1; Dec. 2-29, 2016), as well as an eight-game home win streak that matched a franchise best (8-0-0, Nov. 23 – Dec. 29, 2016).
* Mikael Granlund (2-10—12) and Jason Pominville (2-6—8) each notched an assist to extend their point streaks to 10 and six games, respectively.
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
When former Detroit Red Wings captain Reed Larson wanted to explain why he is involved in a lawsuit against the National Hockey League for its handling of brain injuries, he turned to The Detroit News.
In a Feb. 21, 2015, first-person story for The News, Larson wrote, “I was always eager to return to the game and my team as quickly as possible, and the NHL was more than willing to encourage this by never treating or acknowledging the head hits.”
The NHL wasn’t having any of it.
According to a decision in the case that was unsealed late Monday, the league wrote in court documents that former NHL players like Larson who are suing the league are “mere puppets” who “certainly would not have had the mental faculties to write lucid and sophisticated op-eds for publications.”
NEW YORK (Jan. 31, 2017) – The National Hockey League (NHL®) will launch its weekly Twitter game of the week tonight, with out-of-market live streaming of the Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins game at 7:30 p.m. ET. The game will be available for free to logged-in and logged-out Twitter users on mobile phones, tablets, PCs and connected devices in the United States via nhl.twitter.com.
STAMFORD, Conn. – January 30, 2017 – NBC Sports’ presentation of the 2017 NHL All-Star Game averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 2.28 million viewers across NBC and NBC Sports Digital platforms, according to Fast National data released by The Nielsen Company, and digital data from Adobe Analytics.
The NBC-only broadcast averaged 2.262 million viewers, up 42% vs. the 2016 NHL All-Star Game on NBCSN (1.595 million) and up 46% vs. NBC’s 2015-16 NHL regular-season average (1.545 million). This year’s game (3:39-7 p.m. ET), which marked the event’s return to network television, was the most-watched NHL All-Star Game since 2004, and delivered a 1.32 household rating, up 47% vs. 2016 (0.90; NBCSN).
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Everywhere you looked, the pulse of the NHL’s 100th anniversary was alive and well and vibrant. Stars of today and yesterday and yesteryear were sprinkled throughout, mingling with fans, telling tall tales and embracing the game they all love.
If ever there was a weekend of name dropping, this was it.
And if ever there was a time when that was OK, this was it.
Because for a three-day span in which the name of the area surrounding the Staples Center was changed to “Hockeywood” -- which was spelled out in front of the arena in similar large white-blocked letters as the famed HOLLYWOOD sign -- we all were transformed into 12 year olds, embracing this festival of hockey heroes that spanned generations.
As Wayne Gretzky articulately put it: “For these few special days, we’re all kids.”
Well done, National Hockey League.
As much as we’ve found legitimate reasons to criticize and carve you over the years, this 100th birthday party truly was an experience the sport has never seen before, And, maybe when all is said and done, will never see again.
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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