Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
On the opening day of the annual NHL general managers’ meetings, the NHL Players’ Association proposed a new rule concerning hits to the head.
The proposal was delivered to the league’s GMs on Monday morning by NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly. It calls for three different penalties ranging from a two-minute minor to a match penalty for any player who “either intentionally or recklessly targets the head of that player and makes contact with any part of his body, whether it’s a hand, an elbow or a shoulder,” Kelly said.
added 12:57pm, from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
In addition to the head-checking issue, Kelly and Healy raised a number of other issues from the NHLPA perspective:
Kelly wants to see if NHL players may be able to participate in the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics. The tight turnaround of the NHL schedule break may currently prevent that, but the NHLPA believes it would be a wonderful marketing opportunity for NHL players to be included as part of the Olympics’ opening ceremonies as a number of them could end up as flag bearers for their respective countries.
from Tripp Mickle of SportsBusiness Journal,
The NHL is poised to keep more than $120 million in player escrow money at the end of this season, sources familiar with the league’s projections say.
The anticipated escrow return will be the largest ever made to the NHL and could deliver more than $4 million to each club’s bottom line at a time when the economy has softened and many have seen declines in single-game receipts.
It will be the second time since the league passed its current collective-bargaining agreement in 2005 that the NHL has kept a portion of the escrow money.
continued and thanks to SBJ for releasing the paid subscripition link to KK…
from Chris Johnston of the CP via TheRecord,
The executive director of the NHL Players’ Association still isn’t sure exactly how much impact the crumbling economy will have on the league beyond next season.
Kelly presided over an annual meeting with certified player agents on Thursday and spent plenty of time addressing economic issues.
He figures the salary cap will be between $54 million and $57 million next season, but he can’t say what will happen in 2010-11.
“It’s like predicting the weather - you get about three or four days out and you can’t do it reliably,” said Kelly.
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
...Being the league’s statistician, it was a simple matter for Andrews to release these numbers to the media, and in 1967, the league made it official. Plus-minus became a recognized statistic.
But that was more than 40 years ago and the game has changed a lot since then. Now, we have specialists. We have coaches who have elevated the art of line-matching to a science.
As a result, certain defensemen will always be on the ice against the opposition’s top lines. So if you’re constantly going head to head against the likes of Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk and so on, how can your plus-minus have any relevance whatsoever when compared to the defensemen on your team who only get off the bench to play against third and fourth lines?
more plus some Kelly/Lindros talk…
from the CP via TSN,
The head of the NHL Players’ Association believes it’s time to consider a rule mandating helmet use during fights, and to examine the role of one-dimensional enforcers in the game.
While a “clear majority” of players want fighting to remain a part of hockey, Paul Kelly feels his constituency is open to new restrictions on how the gloves are dropped.
“A couple that we’ve talked about that ought to be looked at anyway is, do you consider a rule whereby players need to keep a helmet on during the course of a fight, and perhaps require officials to step in if a helmet comes off during a fight,” Kelly told reporters ahead of Wednesday’s Conn Smythe Celebrities Dinner and Auction….
Kelly, however, didn’t stop there.
Acknowledging the role fighting has in policing the tenor of play on the ice, he added that so-called “staged fights” between two players with skill sets limited to chucking knuckles may no longer have a place on the ice.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Last summer, at union meetings in Chicago, Lindros arrived with a laundry list of complaints, including some directly aimed at Kelly. In the end, the rest of the key union executives backed Kelly and gave Lindros a rap across the knuckles.
That destroyed the relationship between the two men, and it was hardly a shock when Lindros departed yesterday, although nobody’s saying whether this was a resignation or a firing.
So the latest round of NHLPA bloodletting has again become public.
More specifically, a union that has in the past had difficultly dealing with dissension and disagreement in its ranks has again dealt harshly with an individual viewed as a troublemaker.
The NHLPA ombudsman Eric Lindros has resigned from his post, Sportsnet has learned.
Lindros was hired by the Players’ Association back in November of 2007. The newly created position was added under the ratified NHLPA constitution and allowed Lindros to resolve any complaints by members and/or staff of the NHLPA while reporting directly to the executive board.
from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,
...despite the ‘all’s well’ speeches from both management and the player’s union, the undercurrent is one of great unhappiness with what’s gone down so far.
Sources told Sportsnet.ca that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s decision to suspend Detroit Red Wings Nik Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk for bowing out of the festivities was viewed as a challenge to NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly. Conversely Kelly’s decision to use the gathering to announce that the players had voted not to reopen the contract and his thoughts on international play was a partial affront to the Commissioner as it came on his showcase turf.
According to one source the player’s union felt Bettman’s suspension was a part of a hastily devised policy that came without input from the PA and that it was arbitrary aas well as being patently unfair. They also felt Bettman’s statement on the players’ decision to extend the collective bargaining agreement was structured to read that he was pleased that the players were on board with the program as crafted by him in the wake of the lockout and that that was a subtle jab to let Kelly know who’s running the show here.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Zach Parise is 24 years old, one of the brightest young stars in the NHL and a pro athlete pulling down millions of dollars in annual pay.
Yet as of yesterday, Parise seemed unaware he was already out almost $170,000 in salary for this season, with another $310,000 or more still to lose.
The New Jersey Devils forward, a participant in tomorrow’s NHL All-Star Game, is one of hundreds of NHL players who are about to be struck by the bombshell that the deteriorating North American economy is about to take enormous bites out of their paycheques.
According to the projections of NHL Players’ Association boss Paul Kelly, his members will collectively return about $217 million back to the league this season as NHL revenues plummet.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Friday’s announcement that the National Hockey League’s players would extend the collective-bargaining agreement at least through the fall of 2011 may be seen by some as a kind of achievement, an end piece.
It’s not. It is a beginning.
And unless both the NHL and its players use the intervening time to continue to work at deficiencies in the current agreement and ensure labor peace well beyond the life of the CBA, then the announcement will be pointless.
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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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