Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
About 60 former players, some of whom hadn’t taken part in any alumni meetings, gathered Saturday to air their grievances and concerns and hear how their leadership was handling their problems.
None came away disappointed.
“It was very productive,” said Steve Ludzik, the long-time Chicago Blackhawk who has Parkinson’s and runs a Parkinson’s clinic. “There was no candy-coating. It was like a hockey room, a closed-door meeting. It was good.
“We can do a lot more for each other. Better communication. Different ways we can help guys that are in trouble. I would like to build a retirement home for hockey players.”
As the room emptied, former players thanked NHLA executive director Mark Napier one-by-one, including ex-Leaf Walt McKechnie, who declined an interview request. It was McKechnie who, by and large, brokered this meeting as a peace deal between the warring factions.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
The NHL and the players’ association came up with a protocol when it comes to dealing with head injuries. It would be a positive step toward dealing with the head injuries if anyone took it seriously. But teams and players continue to circumvent the protocol by denying a player has suffered a concussion.
The latest case in point involves Canadiens forward Dale Weise, who missed Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final against the New York Rangers with what Montreal coach Michel Therrien described as a “body injury.”
I’m not a doctor and I’ve never played one on television, but all my experience covering sports tells me that Weise suffered a concussion when he was hit in the head by the Rangers’ John Moore in the third period of Game 5. Weise was knocked to the ice and then lost his balance as he got to his feet. Weise’s eyes were glazed as P.K. Subban grabbed him and steadied him. In boxing, the referee would have been giving Weise a standing eight-count. Weise needed assistance as he made his way to the locker room.
Less than five minutes of playing time elapsed before Weise returned to the ice. When Therrien was asked whether Weise had been subjected to the concussion protocol mandated by the league, he said Weise had gone to the “quiet room” and had been cleared by doctors to return.
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 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.
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