Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dave McCarthy of TSN 1050,
"The big take away from this meeting is the managers are really happy with where the game is right now,"said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.
Throughout the week, GMs have expressed an interest to lessen the number of games decided in a shootout. To that end, a recommendation is expected to be put forth to have teams switch sides to begin overtime (the same as in the second period), hoping that a team's bench being further from their defensive zone will lead to more goals.
"I would say that's going to be recommended for sure," St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong confirmed.
So far, 18 of 30 teams have scored their largest number of goals under these conditions in the second period.
Also given consideration was doing the dry scrape of the ice prior to the overtime period to provide for better ice conditions instead of waiting until before the shootout; however, due to the potential of lengthening games, that item will continue to be discussed.
via Darren Dreger tweets,
Mathieu Schneider says players aren't interested in making games longer. Says players would prefer games not ending in shootout...so...
...PA would like to see more testing on long change in 4 on 4, or ways of encouraging games ending in regulation.
Schneider says players would like to see more interference allowed to slow game down. Removal of trapezoid to relieve pressure on D-men...
TORONTO/NEW YORK (February 27, 2014) – The National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today that each have agreed to terms with The Upper Deck Company on multi-year agreements to be the exclusive licensed manufacturer of NHL Trading Cards, beginning with the 2014-15 season.
Upper Deck had been the exclusive trading card partner from 2004 through 2009-10, and is currently one of two licensed manufacturers through the 2013-14 season. Upper Deck has held NHL and NHLPA trading card licenses since the 1990-91 season, and will release the 25th edition of Upper Deck Series One Hockey this coming fall.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Pierre LeBrun: Where does this go after Sochi in terms of future NHL Olympic participation? Every single player we've talked to here at the Games wants to remain involved. We all understand it's more complicated than that, but ...
Donald Fehr: It's always an issue to have to shut down a business for a length of time. It's always a greater issue when you're shutting the business at a point in time in which the substitute product, if you will, is not prime time back to the areas that you are. There's always people [who] worry about the additional games and the injury risk and so on.
And the question is a couple things: Is this something that NHL players should do because it's good for the game overall, good for worldwide marketing and approach and all the rest of it? It is a question as to what the players would like and prefer to do.
And then it's the question of negotiating the details and arrangements to make sure we can make it work. People have a tendency, I think, of thinking I'm being cagey or holding my cards close to my vest. But in fact, what we'll do is that after this is over, we'll let it digest for a while; we'll begin to talk to the players; we'll talk to the parents; we'll see what kind of reaction federations had.
And then, I'm sure, at our executive board meeting this summer, we'll have long discussions. And either then or after my meeting with the players in the fall, the players will tell me what they want me to do and then I'll go try and do it. That's basically it.
LeBrun: All 700-plus NHL players are not here in the Olympics. What's always intrigued me is the idea of how rank-and-file players who never get to play in the Olympics really feel about shutting down the game for the Olympics and whether their input is heeded.
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
The most exclusive club in Sochi is not in the city. It is not in the Olympic Village, where the athletes have their own hot spot to relax and socialize. It is tucked inside the Bolshoy Ice Dome.
There are two ways in: You can walk from the dressing room area down a red carpet, or you can squeeze through a nondescript gate in the Olympic Park right across the from the flame, if you know the gate is there.
But there are only two ways to get in: Be an NHL Olympian. Know an NHL Olympian.
This is the PA Lounge, a little upscale sports bar like you might find in, say, Toronto. It is one of two sanctuaries the NHL Players’ Association set up for its members, families and friends during the Olympics. The other is the PA House, an event tent with food, beverages and even a live band at the Bridge Resort, where families and friends are staying nearby.
The National Hockey League (NHL) was non-committal about players' future participation in the Olympics on Tuesday, leaving open the possibility that the Sochi Games might be the last to showcase the world's best players.
The three most powerful men in hockey - Rene Fasel, head of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Players Association chief Donald Fehr - had no firm answers for reporters when asked whether NHL players would be back in four years' time.
"Yes, Rene would love for Don and I to say today that we are coming (to Pyeongchang), but he knows that's not the case," said Bettman. "This is the fifth time we have participated in the Olympic tournament - where we are in this process should not be a shock to anybody."
In North America, talk persists that Sochi will mark the final time that NHL players will be seen on Olympic ice. Bettman insisted nothing has been decided and negotiations would continue, as has been the case after every Winter Games.
"Let's try to be very clear, it's nothing that's been discussed, it's nothing that will be discussed while we are here in Sochi," said Bettman.
On Tuesday, NHL commission Gary Bettmann, players association chief Don Fehr and Rene Fasel, president of the International Ice Hockey Federation, will meet with the media in Sochi. What they’ll say is unknown, but the league’s braintrust — Bettman and his No. 2, Bill Daly — have been saying that Sochi will be the last go-round for the NHL and there won’t be any NHL players in Pyeongchang in 2018. Their desire is to relaunch the World Cup, but they’re dreaming in technicolor if they believe that tournament would generate the kind of passion and following the Olympics inspire.
In the space of about five minutes, for example, American T.J. Oshie became a worldwide phenomenon when he scored four goals in six shootout attempts in the Americans’ 3-2 win over Russia on Saturday. Just under a million tweets were sent out about Toshie in the 4-1/2 hours following the game. U.S. president Barack Obama tweeted about the St. Louis Blues forward. So did movie stars and NFL and Major League Baseball players.
Do you think that would happen at a World Cup? Let’s ask a tougher question. Do you think Vladimir Putin owns a box set of Fawlty Towers?
-Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province. More from Willes at Canada.com looking at the injury factor of players.
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 Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Its mission is to help former players and their families who are in financial distress. Reasons vary, from failing health to salary mismanagement. Approximately 75 to 100 receive assistance from the fund at any time.
In 2009, former Montreal tough guy Chris Nilan received help from the fund. Nilan was living in Oregon after undergoing treatment for alcohol and painkiller abuse. Nilan accepted approximately $1,000 per month for about eight months.
“It wasn’t a lot of dough,” Nilan said. “But it was much-needed at the time. It really helped me out a lot the first few months.”
This season, under the guidance of senior vice president of player safety Brendan Shanahan, the NHL has identified 33 acts worthy of fines or suspensions. The amount of fines is $1,574,204.01.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
If you ask anyone from the National Hockey League how business is, they will smile widely, almost blushing, and say, “Business is gooooood.”
Which begs to repeat a question that was brought up a few years ago in Philadelphia: Why aren’t the alumni compensated for generating the interest, excitement and money they did on Tuesday?
They had their hotels paid for. Many were bussed in for the game.
But compensation? No, there wasn’t any of that.
It is really just part of the great paradox of professional sports, and an uncomfortable dilemma for the ever-growing hockey business. The more money made, the more bothersome it seems to hear of former NHL players in financial difficulty, unable to pay medical bills, in some cases penniless, and depending on the age of the player, a pension that is somewhat laughable.
The league has never been richer.
And, probably, it has never had more former players in need.
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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