Kukla's Korner Hockey
Barry Melrose and John Buccigross of ESPN discuss what makes the Stanley Cup so special.
Watch it below and note is it autoplay...
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
The camera often catches intense debates between players or coaches and the officials but misses the lighter, humorous side that helps to bring the temperature down and build healthy professional working relationships. I learned early in my career that the use of humor, when appropriate (especially self-deprecating), had its place on the ice.
Early in my very first season as a referee, I had a game where the home team was getting soundly trounced and their frustration was continuously being directed at me. I responded with multiple misconduct penalties and, toward the end of the game, players were sitting three deep in the penalty box. Following another goal that took the score in double digits, the coach sent his captain over to have a word with me. Very politely the captain asked, "Mr. Referee, my coach wants to know if he can get a penalty for thinking?" I said, "Probably not if he doesn't think out loud." The captain then said, "In that case, my coach thinks you are a F-ing A-hole!" I not only found the coaches comment to be creative but very funny and I began to laugh. The stern look on the face of the coach changed to a grin and then he began to laugh as well. The humor we shared in that moment, albeit at my expense, broke the ice and taught me a valuable lesson that would serve me throughout my career.
read on for more...
from Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post,
New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault has suggested that NHL linesman Scott Driscoll is partly to blame for inciting winger Dan Carcillo in a chaotic sequence of events during Thursday’s playoff game, a sequence that led to a 10-game suspension....
“My biggest disappointment in the whole thing is probably what’s happening to Dan Carcillo,” Vigneault told reporters on Saturday. “At the end of the day, if the right call is made on the ice, that whole situation doesn’t happen.”
Carcillo had been assessed a charging minor.
“I still don’t understand why Scott grabbed him in that fashion,” Vigneault said. “All Scott had to do was tell him — Dan didn’t know he had a penalty — ‘can you come to the box with me here? you’ve got a penalty.’”
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
Kurt Walker can barely walk and lives every day in pain after 17 surgeries related to his career as a hockey enforcer.
Now 59, the ex-Maple Leaf lives outside Atlanta on medicare.
Gene Carr, who squandered what hockey gave him in the 1970s, needs $30,000 for stem cell replacement surgery to help him walk again. The 60-year-old ex-Los Angeles King lives in L.A, making do on about $2,000 a month through social security disability.
Both are part of a movement of disgruntled retired players who want those still involved in the game to live up to the sport’s credo that hockey takes care of its own.
“This is not about me,” said Carr. “This is about every son of a b---- out there that’s hurting, that has nothing.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
Good work, NHL. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it as long as this nonsense keeps happening: The NHL needs guys like Brandon Prust and Dan Carcillo to keep its players safe from guys like Brandon Prust and Dan Carcillo. And the NHL and its culture of violence is every bit as culpable for all of this as the perpetrators were.
Was Carcillo guilty of an enormous brain cramp when he whacked Driscoll with his stick? Yes, but it should come as no surprise because the guys like him who are employed to keep the temperature down are the ones who cause the vast majority of this kind of stuff. Did Prust intend to hurt Stepan or did he target Stepan’s head? No, but players like Prust make their living doing things like, among other things, “finishing their checks” which is code for making them pay for carrying the puck or making a pass.
The league maintains that the Prust his was not a headshot in the classic sense – that the hit began at Stepan’s chest and landed on his jaw without intent to target his head. That’s why he wasn’t suspended under Rule 48. We get that. But when four officials are on the ice and either don’t see that or the game is too fast for them to make a decision on it, then it’s time the video replay department in Toronto took control over the decisions the way they do with disputed goals.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Two games. This is the uh, price, of an eye for eye in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Two games. This is the woeful response of the NHL to an act of frontier justice that injures an opponent.
Two games for the Canadiens’ Brandon Prust for breaking Derek Stepan’s jaw with a late hit from the blindside that caught the Blueshirts center in the face just 2:55 into Thursday’s Game 3 at the Garden … a hit for which the Montreal winger was not penalized by the grossly incompetent officiating crew, featuring referees Kevin Pollock and Marc Joannette.
added 9:13am, from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,
"I still think [of] myself as a relatively young man. I have as much energy and as much passion as I've ever had. I suppose at some point, I don't know when that is, either a function of age or whatever, the owners and I will figure out what's appropriate. But it's not anything any of us are focused on right now. My contract still has a few more years to run. I can't even tell you what it runs to, because I don't keep track of it."
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Q. You visited Seattle recently. Does this mean you are starting to think about expansion?
A: There is a lot of interest being expressed by people in Seattle. Before we even thought about seriously entertaining the interest, we were getting lots of stories about the building prospects and what the issues were. I was on the west coast, on my way to Minnesota, so I figured I would stop in and see the mayor and county executive and see what the story is. The story is that there is nothing going on right now. … It was said that we had no interest in Key (Arena). That's not what we said. What we said is we wouldn't have any interest in Key without knowing whether a new building is coming. Key is not a permanent solution. If someone wanted to play there on an interim basis, it is something we would look at, but we have no interest in going into Key in its current condition because it is not a hockey building. So we learned first-hand what was, and more importantly, what wasn't happening.
Q. Any progress toward deciding if the NHL will be back at the Olympics in 2018?
A: None whatsoever. I said leaving Sochi, we were coming out of the Olympics totally focused on the conclusion of our season and the playoffs. We haven't given the Olympics any thought whatsoever. … We didn't get a deal to anyone's satisfaction until six or eight months (before Sochi). If, and this is a big if, we are not going to go, I think that decision should be made sooner rather than later in fairness to all of the governing bodies. But I'm not saying we are not going.
from Rick Carpiniello of USA TODAY,
You have to have some sympathy for the guys doing all the bleeding and battling for a Stanley Cup.
Not because of the blood or the battle.
You have to have sympathy because they have no idea what the rules are, night to night, period to period, shift to shift.
Officiating in the NHL has become an epidemic, a major problem, in a sport where everything happens so fast and with so much brutality, by bigger players with weapons and walls.
But today's big, fast, brutal players? They don't have a clue.
New game, new rule book. Embellishment? First round, yes. After, no. Head shots? Bring 'em on. No penalties, no fines, no suspensions. Spears to the groin? No problem. Slew foot (hockey term for a real cheap shot)? Never called, and often perpetrated by the best players — Sidney Crosby, P.K. Subban among them.
from James A. Conley of Shnarped,
With the currencies trading places, the latest release from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman projects the cap will land at around $70 million, or less.
“Well we’ve said, and these are rough, rough projections because we don’t have enough data yet, the guesstimate was around $71 million. With the Canadian dollar down, maybe it could be 69 or 70, in that range.
“But those are just rough estimates, nothing more than that at this point.”
The cap still has yet to be officially set for the upcoming season, but any ceiling below $70 million is going to be a bit of a shock to some clubs. Consider the following.
- As of today, four clubs — the Blackhawks, Flyers, Bruins and Canucks — would start next season within $10 million of a $69 million salary cap, and six others would be within $15 million of that ceiling, all without having yet fielded a complete 23-man NHL roster.
- This year’s salary cap is set at $64.3 million, an agreed upon number that was set as a condition of resolving the 2012 NHL Lockout. That number is identical to the 2011 salary cap ceiling. The 2013 salary cap, which was based on projections not yet interrupted by the last lockout, stood at $70.2 million. Anything less than that would represent a relative slowdown in the growth of league revenues and, subsequently, the cap ceiling.
- Given the new 8-year limit on free agent contract extensions (and 7-year limits on players signing with new clubs), there is less term over which teams can spread the AAV (annual average value) of a player’s contract. The difference is made up in higher AAV’s than were seen prior to the 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
On the night I first began to question advanced statistics in hockey, the stats man who sits a few seats down from me in the press box began regurgitating the game in numbers.
Mikhail Grabovski, he said, was the best Leaf that night. According to the numbers, Jay McClement was the worst.
About an hour earlier, when a colleague asked for advice on who to pick as his three stars for the next day’s newspaper, we both bypassed Grabovski, neither of us liking his rather singular game that night, and talked about the value of McClement, who had been particularly strong both defensively and killing penalties.
When I asked the stats man about the discrepancy between what we’d seen and what the numbers showed, he answered: “Sample size.”
That always seems to be the answer when the numbers don’t match what a discerning eye can see....
The statistics indicate Crosby had a fine playoffs. Crosby, himself, would disagree with the numbers. The stats people will tell you the game must adjust to the statistics but, really, the stats need to adjust to the game.
The game hasn’t changed all that much, other than speed and length of shift. The voices of analytics haven’t invented a new game, only a new way to look at it.
There is a place for what they do — just not a defining one. The game, through these eyes, is too free-flow, too incidental and accidental, too promiscuous to be naturally or easily analyzed with math.
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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