Kukla's Korner Hockey
National Hockey League (NHL) officials are visiting South Korea this week to inspect facilities for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics amid continuing uncertainty over the participation of the league's top players at the Winter Games.
Pyeongchang organizers (POCOG) released an itinerary on Tuesday detailing the visit of the group, which includes Lynn White, the NHL's Group Vice President of International Strategy, and Senior Director of Facilities Operations Dan Craig.
Sandra Monteiro and Matthieu Schneider of the NHL's Players' Association, as well as officials from the International Ice Hockey Federation, are also part of the group.
The officials will inspect the Kwandong Hockey Centre and the Gangneung Hockey Centre on Wednesday.
A decision on player participation is expected before the end of this year.
Discussions over player participation hit a roadblock last month after NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the chances of the league shutting down to allow players to compete at the Olympics in the middle of the season were "dim".
NEW YORK/TORONTO (Oct. 24, 2016) – Hockey Fights Cancer™, a joint initiative founded by the National Hockey League (NHL®) and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), begins today with programming and Club participation from October 24 to November 18. The initiative is a program of the NHL’s U.S. and Canadian charitable foundations which, along with NHL supporters and fans, have donated more than $16 million to support national and local organizations involved in cancer care and research. Lavender, the official color of Hockey Fights Cancer™ representing all cancers, will be featured prominently throughout the campaign.
NEW YORK/TORONTO (Oct. 20, 2016) – As an extension of the National Hockey League (NHL) and National Hockey League Players’ Association’s (NHLPA) Player Development Program, the NHL and NHLPA today announced the launch of the NHL/NHLPA Core Development Program. Core Development Program (CDP) aims to help NHL Players become better professionals both on and off of the ice.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
Is it possible the NHL and NHL Players' Association will cross swords over the Edmonton Oilers postponing a mandated off day, one day after embarrassing themselves on home ice against the Buffalo Sabres? In a word, yes. According to a source close to the NHLPA, the union is looking into the matter and has 60 days to file a formal grievance. According to a source close to the league, the Oilers have done absolutely nothing wrong and that nothing precludes an organization from changing its mind on when the mandatory days are provided, so long as there are four of them in the month.
NEW YORK/TORONTO (Oct. 11, 2016) – The National Hockey League (NHL) announced today the implementation of a number of new policies and procedures to enhance the NHL/National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) Concussion Protocol. While it remains an individual Club’s responsibility to identify a Player who requires removal from play and evaluation for possible concussion, the NHL and the NHLPA have agreed to provide additional support to help identify Players who require evaluation under the NHL/NHLPA Concussion Protocol. A new staff of Central League Spotters will monitor all games from the Player Safety Room in New York and will be authorized to require a Player’s removal from play for evaluation for concussion if the Player exhibits certain visible sign(s) under the Protocol, following a direct or indirect blow to the head. In-Arena League Spotters and On-Ice Officials will complement the Central League Spotters and will also monitor play for signs of possible concussion.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Pierre LeBrun sat down with NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr on Thursday night before the final game to discuss the event's impact and its future.
Pierre LeBrun: Can you share your observations so far on how the World Cup has played out?
Donald Fehr: The first thing I would obviously look for is, How do the players feel? And it seems to be uniformly positive. They like the event, they like the format, they really enjoy the level of the competition and doing it in one place without having to fly around the world. So that's really good.
Secondly, I think the public acceptance of the quality of the event has also been really good. In terms of the future though, and going back to see what could we have done better or differently -- what would it look like if it was in a different place, if the format was slightly altered? -- that's yet to come. I think we're going to examine it to see what can be made better, not to see what was a problem.
LeBrun: [The NHLPA] has agreed with the league that there will be another World Cup, right? There won't be another 12-year wait like the last time?
Fehr: No, [the next one will be held in] 2020, absent something very unusual happening.
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
With only days remaining in the World Cup of Hockey, National Hockey League players remain divided over how to split the event proceeds, with some players rejecting the idea of sharing money with those who didn’t play in the two-week tournament.
In the days leading up to the event, National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) staff travelled to World Cup team training camps and discussed the prospect of splitting the NHLPA’s share of the profits, two people familiar with the matter told TSN.
While the accounting on the World Cup probably won’t be finished for several months – meaning the NHLPA doesn’t yet know exactly how much money there will be to split between its members – NHLPA staff and players discussed the concept of 50 per cent of the union’s share of profits being split between players in the World Cup, with the other 50 per cent being split by NHL players not in the event.
As reported by TSN's Bob McKenzie, some players have bristled over how the World Cup proceeds should be split. An NHLPA spokesman declined to comment.
from Jonas Siegel of the CP at the Winniepeg Free Press,
Now it's appearing likely that only some pieces of new gear will be ready for the upcoming season. A complete overhaul isn't expected to be finished until the 2017-18 campaign.
"I wish no one said that we were going to have this ready for this season because I think that was an aggressive timeline to say that we would have that done," Mathieu Schneider of the Players' Association said in an interview with the Canadian Press. "Given where we are now and given some of the challenges we've had to face, I'm 100 per cent confident that we're going to achieve our goal, but I'm not sure if and what parts we're going to be able to try to implement this year."
"It's been a real battle to get this change put in," Colin Campbell, senior vice-president and director of hockey operations with the NHL, added in a separate interview. "And hopefully we'll get it done."
from the CP at Sportsnet,
In advance of the World Cup, the 68-year-old sat down with The Canadian Press to discuss next month’s tournament and other issues in the game, including fighting, future lockouts and European expansion....
CP: How does the cycle of lockouts get broken?
Fehr: The general sense I've had is that for a very long time now in all the salary-cap sports, every single one of them, there is a lockout in every single negotiation. The NFL even locked out its referees for God's sake. I mean, give me a break. Why do they do that? Because the way the agreements are structured (the owners) basically think they've got a free shot at the players. How do you break that? You hope you end up in a circumstance in which everybody is persuaded that an agreement, mutually acceptable, acceptable to both sides, can be reached without having to go through that. Baseball is not a cap sport. It's the only one which does not have, over the last 20 years, a history of stoppages by lockout or by strike. It took the battle royale, 94/95 (MLB players strike during which Fehr was head of the union), to persuade the owners that they didn't fight over those issues anymore ... My advice to the players is given the history, when you go into negotiation, what you do is you hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
CP: So is the answer to stopping the cycle no cap? And is that something you would ever push to get back?
Fehr: The answer is the players make those decisions as you get there. And we're a long way from there. And people talk about what the decision is -- Is it cap or no cap? Is it this or is it that or something else? -- that's not the decision you make.
from Jonas Siegel of the CP at the Globe and Mail,
A new wrinkle in advance of the next Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, centres around out-of-pocket payments the International Olympic Committee and International Ice Hockey Federation have covered, a practice the IOC has suggested stopping under president Thomas Bach.
Adding additional costs is viewed as a potential bridge too far for both the league and the union.
“It’s not good to shut down, the question is whether or not it’s worth it to go to the Olympics,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told The Canadian Press in a recent interview. “You need to satisfy yourself that it’s worth it.”
Bettman said a variety of factors had to be taken into account, from the players’ desire to attend to the location of the Olympics to the “opportunities that come from it.”
NHLPA president Donald Fehr reiterated in a separate interview that the players want to continue attending the Olympics, depending on the circumstances.
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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