Kukla's Korner Hockey
The TSN Insiders with a few topics today...
Pat LaFontaine, who works for the NHL these days, thinking about having a hockey summit in NYC.
Next up the NHL trophies will not undergo a name change according to Gary Bettman.
The Nashville Predators are trying to get college player Jimmy Vesey to sign with them.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are trying to sign college player Mike Reilly before he gains UFA status.
Next up was compensation talk if an NHL executive leaves for another team.
watch here, not blocked for those outside of Canada...
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Man cave bliss.
That’s the first impression in the NHL’s Situation Room. The 20-by-40 haven of high-def TVs and projector screens would be the perfect place to throw a Stanley Cup-watching party, if only they’d add a few recliners, a wet bar, pool table, some poker chips and a popcorn machine.
None of that is in the works, though. Real work is done in this high-tech room — dubbed the “video war room” — that essentially is surveillance of 30 NHL arenas.
This video room, where every goal from every game is reviewed and confirmed, is not to be confused with the Department of Player Safety video room. That room, where games are watched in part for incidents that may require supplemental discipline, is in New York, where Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly work.
The situation video room is in a different country. The windows overlook Lake Ontario a few blocks away and look down on the roof of Air Canada Centre, which is attached to the NHL’s Toronto headquarters. This is the building where Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell and Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy work.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
The drive to bring an NHL franchise to Las Vegas is entering a second phase with the league's blessing, prospective owner Bill Foley said Monday.
Although Foley would not discuss numbers with ESPN.com, several sources said the trial season ticket drive that had been green-lighted by the NHL late last year and began in early February had exceeded its original target of 10,000.
"We've done really, really well," Foley said.
Down payments on those tickets reflect grassroots buyers, individuals and small businesses throughout the Las Vegas area. Now, Foley is reaching out to larger corporations in Las Vegas, including major casino operations. Large banking institutions, telecommunications companies, food services operations and logistics enterprises like UPS or Federal Express also are in Foley's sights.
The group will continue to take down payments on season tickets from individuals even as they move into discussions with these larger entities, many of whom have already reached out to Foley and his group, he said. It's possible that along with the sale of suites, which are at about 750 seats, the ownership group that includes Foley and the Maloof family, former owners of the Palms casino and resort in Las Vegas and the NBA's Sacramento Kings, could top the 13,000 mark for season ticket deposits.
from Jonathan Wllis of Sportsnet,
At the 2012 Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, PhD candidate Adam Gold presented a simple solution. Instead of relying on a lottery that actually serves to diminish the value of games late in the season, Gold proposed that draft order should be determined by total points recorded after a club is eliminated from the post-season.
“In a way, the season ends once teams can no longer win a championship, yet fans are still asked to pay a premium to go and see their favourite teams perform,” Gold said. “In an attempt to inspire fans, to maintain interest, passion and optimism in their favourite teams while still giving the worst teams that need the most help the best picks to get the best players, I respectfully propose that draft order should be determined based on how teams perform after becoming mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.”
A bad team would have a longer time period to rack up points, while teams on the playoff bubble might have just one or two games.
from Steve Fainaru of ESPN,
More than a quarter of all helmets worn by hockey players, from the NHL to youth leagues, are unsafe, according to an independent study provided to "Outside the Lines" that ranked hockey helmets based on their ability to reduce concussion risk.
Out of 32 helmets in the marketplace that were tested by researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, nine failed to earn a single star on a five-star scale and were classified as "not recommended." Just one helmet, made by Warrior Sports, received three stars. The rest received one or two stars.
"In general, they're low performers," said Stefan Duma, the head of Virginia Tech's department of biomedical engineering and mechanics, which spent three years and $500,000 developing the ratings. The study did not receive funding from the helmet industry.
Hockey players wearing the "not recommended" helmets risk incurring at least six concussions per season, and in some cases more than eight, according to Virginia Tech.
"We don't think anybody should be playing in these helmets," Duma said of the non-recommended models.
via Dave Hodge of TSN,
Thumbs down to the ongoing confusion about what constitutes a "good goal" that is propelled into the net by a skate.
The first goal in yesterday's 4-2 win by the Boston Bruins over the New York Rangers was a deliberate attempt by Boston's Milan Lucic to score a goal that way. He slid his right skate to make contact with the puck, thus, changing its direction, and sending it into the net. "No goal" was the call on the ice. Video review changed the call and the Bruins were ahead 1-0.
The ref's opinion was easily supported, but so was the decision to award the goal. If that sounds crazy, it fully explains the problem the NHL has dealt with for what seems forever. And there is only one solution, which is to allow all goals scored directly from skates.
You hear it said that players, especially goalies, would be in danger if kicking at pucks became legal, but kicking at pucks is legal. You just can't kick them into the net. It doesn't mean players don't use their skates to try to control pucks, to free them from scrums. What players don't do is kick wildly with their skates, near the crease or anywhere else on the ice. They wouldn't start doing that if a rule said they could score goals with their skates in any fashion. As it is, they try to score goals with their skates and hope they get the benefit of the rule that nobody really understands.
You can review the goal here...
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
So, how to bring back the scoring? Cutting down the size of goalie equipment would be the place to start, but that has become a fool’s discussion. The league has talked about it for nearly 20 years, the goalies have pushed back, and tiny nips and tucks have led to status quo offensive stifling. The goalies won’t give up their pads and the Lords of the Boards don’t have the temerity or common sense to stand up to the puck-stopping brotherhood who have taken the game’s offense hostage. Sad, really.
I see two ways out of this:
1. Maintain the icing standard throughout the game. If a team must kill a penalty, it gets no relief — it must play the puck just as if the sides had equal manpower. No question it will result in more power-play goals. The team that committed the penalty will suffer the consequences. How novel. As of late last week, 22 of the league’s 30 teams failed to score on more than 80 percent of their power plays.
2. Borrow from lacrosse’s rulebook a bit and prohibit clubs from skating five players in their defensive end during five-on-five play. In this scenario, the team that advances the puck into the attacking zone will have five skaters battling against four skaters and one goalie. That sounds like even strength to me. Truth is, under current rules, all clubs are really shorthanded in the attack zone during five-on-five, with five skaters opposed by five skaters and one goalie (who wears the pads of nearly two skaters). We call that an even deal?
For a game that often appears to be in a state of mayhem, with players darting around faster than ever before, there rarely is much mayhem around the net. Passing and shooting lanes are typically sealed up, and goalies, overpadded and too influential in the game’s outcome, too easily prevent fat rebounds. The two changes suggested here would bring on the mayhem.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
- There is one way to avoid the sad spectacle of dumping teams playing dump games at this time of the year, and that is to freeze the standings relating to lottery seeding at the trade deadline.
- The more numbers and the more information the better, but I will allot more value to the points-per-60-minutes stat when players begin to play 60 minutes a game.
- Sidney Crosby is an outstanding player, but is anyone honestly trying to suggest he is having a better season than Ryan Getzlaf? Stop. Just stop.
- Boy, that Tom Wilson of the Caps has sure made a splash in the NHL, hasn’t he?
Tough call. But we want to try to limit the amount of reviews.”
“I saw the broken stick incident, tough call for the ref. In my opinion this should be another call for the guys in the war room. It’s no different than being kicked in.”
“In a perfect world it would be nice to have all goals reviewed. Problem is, that goal is easy to make a decision on. Once you go down the path of reviewing all goals, etc.. there are issues that will arise on calls that are not as clear cut.”
“Boy, that’s a tough one. Seems like logic would say that it should be reviewable.”
-a few NHL General Managers when asked about the 'broken-stick' goal by Justin Abdelkader. More from John Shannon of Sportsnet.
from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,
Once again, there’s a seismic shift going on in the hockey world.
The last major one, you could argue, came in the late 1980s and early 1990s when European players started coming overseas in large numbers to play in the NHL, minor pro, U.S. colleges and in the Canadian Hockey League.
At around the same time, the seeds were being planted in the southwestern United States for a harvest that would take more than two decades to be realized, but is now coming into plain view for anyone paying attention.
The indicators are all around. Since 1992, the registration of hockey players in the Pacific, Rocky Mountain (Arizona, Colorado, Texas) and southeastern U.S. has increased by 240 per cent, more than half of that has come over the past 10 years.
In the same time period, there have been NHL teams added in Florida, Dallas, Phoenix, Denver, Anaheim, San Jose and Nashville, joining the Los Angeles Kings, whose acquisition of Wayne Gretzky in 1988 undoubtedly accelerated interest in the sport in virgin territories.
Not surprisingly, all these NHL teams and registered skaters have started to produce more and more elite players.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org