Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Denis Gorman of Metro New York,
Metro: How would you describe the relationship between the PA and the NHL one year after the lockout?
Fehr: I think the answer to that is “professional.” I think it is direct. Hopefully it is maturing. There is a lot of ongoing communication between our offices as we attempt to complete the agreement and operate. … Hopefully that will continue to develop.
What do you think was the biggest gain for the players in the new CBA?
There were all kinds of things that were in there, all kinds of improvements in working conditions and various kinds and sorts of things. You can talk about what it had been if the union hadn’t been there or the players hadn’t been willing to take the stand that they did. But I will tell you the one that I think on a personal basis was very satisfying and that’s the [pension plan] we have in effect. It covers last year and this year; this is the second year of it. We [think] it’s quite a good thing for players for decades to come, I hope.
You have talked about the future of the sport in positive terms. Where do you see the league headed in the next five to 10 years, and how does that compare to the NFL, NBA and MLB?
from Pierre LeBurn of ESPN,
One of the concerns the NHL privately had about holding a record six outdoor games is just how stretched its staff would be, logistically, in trying to pull it all off, most notably with back-to-back games this weekend in Los Angeles and New York, which is similar to the final two outdoor games in Chicago and Vancouver in early March.
Brodeur blasted the ice conditions at Yankee Stadium, a game in which he got pulled after 40 minutes, having allowed six goals. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault also said he was surprised how poor the ice was, so the complaints weren't just from the losing side.
These are the first of the NHL's outdoor games I've watched from home, and I got the fan perspective. Dodger Stadium looked out of this world, as unique a setting as the league has had, but the league wants to decide going forward just how much is too much in terms of taxing its staff, which no doubt worked around the clock over the past week to pull off the double-dip in L.A. and New York.
more notes from Burnside and Strang on the Rangers/Evils and Custance on the Panthers...
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
So there is another one of these coming up on Wednesday night, another chance for the Rangers to turn Yankee Stadium into the Bronx Blue against the Islanders the way they did against the Devils on Sunday afternoon.
And when Derek Stepan, who put the cherry on top of the Blueshirts’ 7-3 victory by converting a third-period penalty shot, was asked if the philosophy of going outside in another couple of days would be, “We’ve got to do it again,” or, “We get to do it again,” the center responded affirmatively and enthusiastically.
“Oh,” Stepan said. “We get to do it again.”
Again and again the NHL stages these outdoor extravaganzas and again and again the league pulls it off. One after another, from Edmonton in 2003 to Los Angeles this past Saturday night, they have become a collective greeting card for hockey’s Winter Wonderland.
Too many of these? Bah.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
“It was better than the ice in some NHL arenas,” said Ducks’ defenceman Francois Beauchemin. “It wasn’t an issue out there.”
Teemu Selanne, a veteran of five Olympic Games and a Stanley Cup championship in 2007, said he ranked the event “high on his bucket list” of career achievements.
“The whole package was outstanding,” said Selanne. “The atmosphere was unbelievable. You don’t have many chances to play in front of 55,000 people in California, outdoors, when you can see the stars. It was awesome. I’m going to remember this … and I can’t see any reason why we shouldn’t do this more.
“We were most worried about the ice and they did a great, unbelievable job. It was a great surprise that the ice was as good as it was – because obviously, the quality of the hockey, it can even be dangerous if the ice is not so good. Those guys, they were pros. It was maybe a little slower than normal rinks, but it was nice and smooth. In the third period, it got a little more sluggish, but that’s how every building is. I have no complaints.”
The game’s first star was a toss-up. It was either Ducks’ goaltender Jonas Hiller, who had a 36-save shutout in a game where the Kings held a territorial edge for the final 50 minutes, or Dan Craig, the NHL’s ice-making guru, who did what few thought possible and produced a thoroughly playable ice surface.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
The GMs, often vexed on trade deadline day or upon the opening of the free-agent market on July 1, can’t agree on what should happen if, say, a goal or a penalty would occur during the time between a missed out-of-bounds call and a stoppage to allow the review.
The solution would seem to apply the same standard as when a goal is missed and later awarded by Toronto, which would be to wind back the clock and allow the penalty to stand. No goal could be scored in what would be illegitimate time.
There is sentiment among at least a portion of GMs and league executives to remedy the situation and apply video review to out-of-play calls for the playoffs. But best intentions may not be enough. It is not so simple to enact a rule change in-season, unless, of course, it applies to Sean Avery (See: 2008 playoffs, The Avery Rule).
In order to adopt expanded video review for the playoffs, the league would require approval from the competition committee, followed by a unanimous vote from the Board of Governors, as opposed to the two-thirds majority that’s necessary to enact changes before a season.
Perhaps the two points that went to the Red Wings — and could have implications worth millions of dollars if Detroit makes the playoffs by that margin — are enough to jog the board into dramatic action. Surely it should.
more plus other hockey topics...
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
It was 60-something degrees Fahrenheit, and from where John Collins was standing in the middle of a major-league baseball stadium, you could see palm trees and a beach volleyball court and a rock-concert stage and a roller-hockey rink and an NHL-caliber ice-hockey rink, with real-live NHL players practicing on it.
“I think you always want to do something that you think is beyond anyone’s wildest dreams,” said Collins, the NHL’s chief operating officer.
The NHL will play its first regular-season outdoor game at a warm-weather venue Saturday, when the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks meet at Dodger Stadium. There is ice where there isn’t supposed to be ice. There will be stars in the stands and in the sky. Cool.
But it goes beyond that. It’s even wilder. The NHL had dreamed so big that it has pushed the limits of sales and logistics to levels we have never seen before – and won’t see again, at least in the near future. So far, for the most part, it appears to be pulling it off.
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
The NHL and its players’ association don’t always get along, but on this matter they are steadfast in agreement: If terrorists attack Sochi before the start of next month’s Winter Olympics, the players will reconsider going. If there’s a significant attack during the Games, the Canadian men’s team will return home.
Emergency-exit strategies for NHL players, Canada’s women’s hockey team, as well as athletes in other sports, have been a key part of the planning for these Olympics. Islamic extremists view Sochi as an inviting target and have vowed to rid the world of these “Satanic Games.”
Not only have there been two suicide bombings in the Russian city of Volgograd – 34 people were killed in the twin blasts – additional threats have been recorded and e-mailed to as many as five countries sending athletes and officials to Sochi. Hungary was quick to dismiss the warning it received, insisting it was investigated and posed no real threat.
Still, the tension is building as the Feb. 7 opening ceremony for the Sochi Olympics near.
Adam Proteau of The Hockey News answers some emails and this buyout question is one I receive on a regular basis...
Was the two amnesty buyouts per team a one-time provision in the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement, or can teams continue to buy out players annually?
This must be a trick question, because the answer is neither. The NHL’s amnesty buyouts were implemented in the wake of the 2013 CBA, but allowed the two buyouts per team to be used either last summer or in the summer of 2014.
The grand majority of franchises still have both buyouts to use if they so desire; only four teams (Chicago, Montreal, Philadelphia and Toronto) have used both, and only seven teams (the Islanders, Rangers, Detroit, Minnesota, New Jersey, Tampa Bay, and Washington,) have used one. So it’s fair to expect that we’ll see more buyouts – and teams potentially making trades with organizations like the Flyers or Leafs to use their buyout on an acquired player in exchanged for a dumped contract or unwanted asset.
That isn’t to say teams can’t buy out players after this summer. The difference is, the normal buyout rules apply, – meaning the amount of contract term remaining at the time of the buyout is spread out over twice the number of years, and two-thirds of the money remaining is paid out and (and this is the most important part) counts against the cap.
read on for more Q & A...
NEW YORK (January 24, 2014) -- The National Hockey League (NHL®), in partnership with Rovio Entertainment – creators of the international phenomenon Angry Birds – have developed NHL® HockeyBird™, the newest addition to the NHL Mascot line-up. NHL® HockeyBird™ will make its debut during the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium SeriesTM outdoor game between the Los Angeles Kings® and Anaheim Ducks® in Los Angeles on Saturday, Jan. 25.
NEW YORK (January 24, 2014) – Five-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter-producer CeeLo Green will take the stage at Yankee Stadium during the much-anticipated 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ in New York, the National Hockey League announced today. Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and actress Michelle Williams, the cast of the Tony and Grammy Award-winning Broadway hit Jersey Boys, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, star of the upcoming musical Bullets Over Broadway Marin Mazzie, Beatles tribute band Strawberry Fields, and both the FDNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drums and the NYPD Pipes and Drums, will join CeeLo as part of the entertainment line-up for the two outdoor games in New York.
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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