Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
- (Patrice) Bergeron is a member of the generational 2003 NHL Draft. Some of Bergeron’s peers remain in his category of being game-breaking players: Marc-Andre Fleury, Jeff Carter, Brent Seabrook, Ryan Suter, Ryan Getzlaf, Brent Burns, Ryan Kesler, Corey Perry, Loui Eriksson, Shea Weber, Corey Crawford, Joe Pavelski, and Dustin Byfuglien.
But some of 2003’s stars are showing signs of wear. It’s a good bet that Eric Staal, Dion Phaneuf, Zach Parise, Mike Richards, and Jimmy Howard, once considered among the elites at their respective positions, have already played the best hockey of their careers. Regardless of skill, age slows everyone, even the stars of the game-changing 2003 crop. Even Bergeron will join the latter group as the games and years add to his already high mileage. It’s why drafting and developing the next generation of stars is critical for any team’s long-term success.
- Several coaches, including John Tortorella, have not been shy about expressing their distaste for the coach’s challenge — for good reason. There is no consistency to anything regarding goaltender inference. As for the offside challenge, it is ludicrous at every turn. Yet commissioner Gary Bettman, speaking at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Friday, described the coach’s challenge as something that should be used with more discretion.
“It was really intended for that egregious situation, of which we think there are typically 20 a year,” Bettman said. “I think the coaches, some of them, may lose sight of that and have overused it saying, ‘Oh, I think that was goaltender interference.’ ” Bettman is right about the challenge’s overuse. But the league encouraged coaches to apply it to the current degree because of the gray area surrounding what is and what isn’t legal.
from Scott Stinson at the Toronto Sun,
The NHL commissioner, speaking at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, the annual gathering on the Boston waterfront that is like Woodstock for data nerds, was asked about the possibility of tweaking the NHL playoff system to add one-game “play-in” games similar to what now happens with baseball’s wild-card teams. “To me, it doesn’t make any sense,” Bettman said, shaking his head. Why go through the grind of the 82-game regular season just to be punted from the playoffs in one day?
Moments later, after acknowledging the great success of the new 3-on-3 overtime format, Bettman was asked if could see the NHL introducing it, or the shootout, in the playoffs. He didn’t hesitate: no. TWO agreements with the NHL commissioner in the space of five minutes? Was this the end times?
Thankfully, no. For the rest of his chat on stage, the NHL commissioner was his usual self, dismissive of all criticism and firmly ensconced in a world in which the league has never made a poor decision and hockey always manages to be better today than it was yesterday.
The NHL and NHLPA released a multi-page PDF explaining the ruling from the arbitrator, so here is the basic information you need to know.
NEW YORK (March 11, 2016) – The National Hockey League released the following statement today regarding the decision in the appeal of Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman’s 20-game suspension:
“We are in receipt of Arbitrator James Oldham’s Opinion in the appeal of Dennis Wideman’s supplementary discipline suspension and reducing the suspension from 20 to 10 games. We strenuously disagree with the Arbitrator’s ruling and are reviewing the Opinion in detail to determine what next steps may be appropriate. We will have no further comment until we have completed our review. In light of and in response to Arbitrator Oldham’s Opinion, Mr. Wideman will be reinstated and will be eligible to participate in his team’s games, effective immediately.”
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Six months into the NHL’s entertaining new 3-on-3 overtime format, the frequency at which shootouts are needed is on the rise.
Since Jan. 1, 46% (49-of-106) of games tied after regulation have gone to a shootout. In the first three months of the season, 34% (44-of-129) of regulation ties ended in a shootout.
“I think teams are learning the quirks of playing 3 on 3,” said Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler. “You see more teams controlling the puck, and not taking chances unless they have a really, really high (percentage) scoring chance.”
In addition, as playoff races intensify teams are more likely to take a cautious approach in overtime.
“Points are at a premium and thus players are playing less reckless in OT,” said former NHL coach Pierre McGuire, now an NBC analyst. “Plus the goaltending around the league has been off the charts.”
As Yahoo figures out the future of its company, it's making a big bet on live sports.
The struggling tech and media giant announced a deal Thursday morning with the National Hockey League that allows Yahoo to stream four live games per week for free, meaning viewers don't need to be a pay-TV subscriber to watch. The partnership begins Friday and will run through next season as well.
Yahoo, which is already the league's official fantasy sponsor, will also offer condensed versions of games, "Best of the Day" and "Best of the Week" top plays and postgame highlights. Yahoo already has a partnership with NBC Sports for its national Wednesday and Sunday broadcasts, but that doesn't include livestreaming the game. "This partnership brings us one step closer to providing fans a live professional sporting event every day, on Yahoo," said Phil Lynch, vp, media partnerships at Yahoo.
But the most important aspect of the deal might be the fact that Yahoo will be able to sell its own advertising for the games, like it did when it streamed an NFL game last October.
NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League announced today that it has completed its independent review of the Patrick Kane matter, the final stage of which included an in-person meeting between Kane and Commissioner Gary Bettman in New York on Monday, March 7. Based on its review, including the determination made by the Erie County District Attorney not to pursue charges, the NHL has concluded that the allegations made against Kane were unfounded. The League considers the matter closed and will have no further comment.
from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
- The GM meetings begin next Monday in Florida, and it’s expected that a few of them may ask to see if the offside reviews can be moved from the ice to the War Room in Toronto. There seems to be a lot less anger about goaltender interference decisions than offside rulings. It’s delicate, however. Whenever this comes up — and it’s been brought up a few times, most recently during the Washington/Boston game last Saturday — officials push back, not wanting more control taken from them. At some point, though, it’s going to come down to bigger screens or no replay system at all.
- The league is not as bullish as it once was on cameras in the goal posts. Too much is obstructed. It is, however, more confident in them inside the crossbar, looking down. Those are being worked on for all playoff games. Same goes for cameras along the blue line. The plan is to install them in the 16 arenas that will host post-season games. On the penalty box side, they will be set along the surface. The players’ bench is trickier, so the mount will be above the ice.
- At the last GM meeting, there were discussions about banning the opening of bench doors during play to prevent injuries should someone fall into them. Doesn’t sound like it’s going to happen. One of the concerns is that it means more skates flying in the air around the bench. Very legitimate worry. Since eyes will be on the ice, the potential for a frightening cut is enhanced.
from Donna Goodison of the Boston Herald,
The Boston Bruins are clamping down on secondary market resellers who typically sell tickets well above their face values — freeing up about 1,000 season tickets for fans on their waiting list.
The NHL team has canceled the accounts of 150 to 200 high-volume ticket agencies and scalpers located outside of New England and New York who hold season tickets for the current year, preventing them from renewing the tickets for next season.
The team will offer those approximately 1,000 freed-up season tickets to New England fans on the 10,000-plus waiting list that began in 2011.
The team said it identified the high-volume resellers through data analysis.
“This would be our first strategy that identifies the professional resellers,” said Glen Thornborough, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Bruins and TD Garden. “Our process was to identify resellers and/or accounts that post a high amount (of tickets) and don’t really participate in coming to the games. Our goal is to make sure our most loyal fans get the best access and the best prices to come to our games.”
There was some talk today stating Quebec City would not be getting an expansion team.
NEW YORK (March 7, 2016) – National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly released the following statement today regarding the National Hockey League expansion process:
“We will not comment on the substance of our process, which remains ongoing. No final decisions have been reached and no recommendation of any kind has been made or communicated by the League Office or the Executive Committee either to the NHL Players’ Association or to the NHL Board of Governors.”
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 email@example.com