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Category: NHL-Talk

Time To Eliminate The ‘Push’ Hits

from Darren Pang at HockeyChats,

Here’s where I would again like the NHL to look at, and conclude that a player cannot “extend his arms” and “Push” a player in an act that should only be a hit, contact with a shoulder,or side of body to another player.

When you have played the game and go into the corner, or are playing a puck along the boards, and an opposing player is coming at you, you know you are going to get hit. You are braced to “take a hit, to make a play” as they say.

The problem happens when there is no hit, no shoulder, but he is there. You release the puck, still no hit….and then there is the “push”. The unsuspecting extension of the arms, that catches almost every player off guard and more cases than not, ends up in injury.

It is more prevalent than ever. Young players grow up knowing now that it is a “good hockey hit”. It has more football-style hitting in it than it does hockey-style. It has been accepted. It has to be eliminated.

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Seller Beware

from Mike Ozanian of Forbes,

If the NHL posted classified ads, their current listing could very well read:

For Sale: Phoenix Coyotes. Owners with deep pockets needed. Must build hockey business and not focus on side deals like real estate. Good management team with a history of turning a profit in professional sports preferred. Price negotiable (Forbes values team at $138 million).

None of these characteristics apply to David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski, the owners of the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts, who met with City of Glendale officials earlier this month to discuss a potential bid for the Coyotes. The meeting came after NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman singled out the pair as potential owners in an affidavit filed in federal bankruptcy court in June. But the NHL should be careful since these owners seem to stack up an awful lot like the old ones.

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NHL Needs To Set A New Standard

from Ray Ferraro of TSN,

I know the game moves so fast,and there is no way Laraque had time to think “I am going to stick out my leg and hurt Kronwall”. However, that is exactly what happened. Again, look at the play. Laraque’s leg was off the ice, that meant he could,and did, stick his leg into Kronwall’s path.

This will be suspendible, but for how long? Kronwall will be out anywhere from four to eight weeks with a sprained MCL. With my history of knee problems, I’m guessing it is closer to eight weeks than four weeks.

To me, it appears that the message a suspension is supposed to send often gets lost on the players. Anything less than five games for this play is, in my opinion, too light and no deterrent at all. Most NHL viewers usually agree on what is suspendible, but I want the suspensions to be more firm.

I do understand how difficult it would be to get GMs, coaches and players to agree on anything, let alone longer suspensions. Injured players or suspended players, what do you want? I want less of both. If it can be agreed upon, send a memo, state that as of January 1st, there will be a new standard.

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Twitter Ethics

from Stu Hackel of Slap Shot at the NY Times,

The line between journalism and gossip has become a very thin one in recent years (and with some in this business, it doesn’t exist at all), and there is an ongoing discussion about whether Twitter is or isn’t journalism. Regardless, when journalists tweet, those 140 characters can carry some professional authority that civilians’ tweets don’t.

Should journalists be held to a different standard of tweeting than the rest of the world? The answer to that is part of the larger discussion now taking place about Twitter and journalism (more on that here from the blog of the University of British Columbia’s Alfred Hermida). Suffice to say, when it comes to hockey journalism and Twitter, there are conventions, rules and ethics still to be worked out and instituted.

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Trying To Sell The Coyotes

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

Gary Bettman was in Phoenix the other day, spinning a few tales about the impending sale of the Coyotes.

Well, impending may be stretching things a tad, as the NHL commissioner is now saying he expects the sale to be completed by the end of the hockey season. And local fans shouldn’t worry about that Dec. 31 deadline the league established to give priority to buyers who will keep the team in its suburban Glendale arena. As Bettman told the Arizona Republic, “I’m not concerned about Dec. 31 or Jan. 1.”

Besides, the commish said, he has six potential buyers on the line. But as anyone selling real estate knows, a potential buyer is anyone who stops in front of your For Sale sign.

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Hockey Fights Cancer Month A Big Success

NEW YORK / TORONTO (November 17, 2009) – The National Hockey League® (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) together raised more than $650,000 in support of Hockey Fights Cancer and other cancer-related organizations during October’s Awareness Month.

  More than half-a-million fans attended Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Nights that were hosted by each NHL club, helping to raise funds for local charities.  Broadcasters also participated in the awareness nights through extensive coverage of the initiative.  More than 11 million viewers tuned in and watched these telecasts through national and local television coverage, and streaming online via NHL GameCenter Live.

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All Gary Bettman

An in-depth interview with Gary Bettman from MACLEANS,

Q: It’s been a tumultuous couple of years for you, at least publicly. Do you still enjoy your job?

A: I love the job. I’m passionate about the game, and the people around the game, the way we as a sport connect with our fans. Every job has challenges, things that make the job interesting. I’m not exactly sure, by the way, that I buy into your characterization of tumultuous. That seems to be a little dramatic, perhaps media-centric, as opposed to the reality. But every business has day-to-day challenges, and that’s part of what gets those of us who work going every day.

Q: We want to give you a chance to respond to the broad perception here in Canada that you feel the future of the game lies in the United States—and that the real reason the NHL was in court this summer was to keep Canada from getting more teams.

A: I’ve got to ask you a question about your question. Where does that perception come from? What is it based on? Give me any factual basis and I’ll answer the question.

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Gambling In The Game

from Bill Lankhof of the Toronto Sun,

National Football League executives pat themselves on the back, noting they haven’t had a major gambling scandal in close to 50 years. National Hockey League vice-president Bill Daly calls gambling on NHL games by players or club officials a “hypothetical” issue.

Mostly, professional sports league administrators speak about how they have the twin-headed monster that is gambling and associated crime covered.

“Bull,” says Arnie Wexler, the former executive director of the New Jersey Council on Compulsive Gambling, a renowned speaker and a self-described “recovering compulsive gambler” who has counselled numerous professional and college athletes.

“This is a huge problem not only with players but some executives,” Wexler says. “It’s a hidden secret. They don’t want the information to get out to the public. So they try to hide it. They’re afraid the media will write about it.

“This is the big dirty secret. This is a bigger, dirtier secret than steroids for pro sports and it will be the next explosion.”

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Talking With Gretzky

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

I wanted to bounce a couple of rumours off Gretzky while I was at it. One - that he might be interested in getting involved in a second Toronto-based NHL team that would operate out of Vaughan in the north end of city.

“Nothing to it,” he said, although he mentioned that he played hockey Sunday nights for the Vaughan Nationals on the same team as Bill Kitchen, brother of former NHLer Mike Kitchen.

Another idea making the rounds: That Hockey Canada will ask him to coach at the 2010 world championships this spring, post-Olympics. So far, they haven’t contacted him about the opportunity, but he didn’t rule it out either. Gretzky did note that he’d played golf for a couple of days in California with former Oilers teammate Craig MacTavish, who will coach Canada’s entry in the Spengler Cup over Christmas. Gretzky put himself in the same category as MacTavish - of a coach currently between jobs but looking eventually to get back in.

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  Tags: wayne+gretzky

Only One Winter Classic Game

from John Shannon of Sportsnet,

Creating revenue streams for the league and teams is important, particularly in these trying days of disappearing sponsorship dollars. But just adding games won’t necessarily add extra dollars, but it will dilute what has already been created.

That means play one game – and one game only - on Jan. 1.

There are forces within the league that would like one, two, maybe even three more games. And it’s not just the “New York office” wanting these things. It’s no secret that Montreal wanted to host a game at Olympic Stadium. And there was a lot of discussion of a Toronto-Calgary game at McMahon Stadium. But the league and the teams have to show some level of composure and realize what is best for the game.

And what is best for the game is just one game on Jan. 1.

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  Tags: winter+classic

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

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