Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
There will be some added onlookers at NHL games this season, and they won't be watching for goals.
In an effort to boost its ongoing concussion protocol, the NHL is in the process of hiring concussion "spotters" for all 30 arenas, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed to ESPN.com on Monday.
The move has the blessing of the NHL Players’ Association, as the union and league run the concussion program jointly.
There have been club concussion spotters for the past few seasons -- people hired by teams -- but this season they will be independent. There will be two designated people per building with varied backgrounds who will split the games.
Their only given job on any given night will be spotting for any visible signs of concussion. They will log all those incidents into a file.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
For a sport so accustomed to a clean image, the past 12 months have been a tough pill to swallow for the NHL and its players.
Suddenly, hockey is sharing some of the same dubious headlines normally reserved for other sports and leagues.
And while we can debate whether several disconnected arrests or incidents present a trend or just an unlucky year, all of it has perhaps served to raise awareness among the rest of the player membership about one's conduct off the ice and the pitfalls that exist.
"I think as players we're all aware of it," superstar center Sidney Crosby told ESPN.com this week at the Player Tour event. "The league and Players' Association do a good job of informing us and making us well-aware of certain situations and consequences, things like that. I think it's something that everyone, whether you're a professional hockey player or a professional athlete, in general everyone is trying to educate each other in terms of situations you could be put in and making the right decisions.
continued with comments from a few more players...
WHO: Gary Bettman/NHL Commissioner; Don Fehr/NHLPA Executive Director; Zdeno Chara/Boston Bruins; Sidney Crosby/Pittsburgh Penguins; Anze Kopitar/Los Angeles Kings; Henrik Lundqvist/New York Rangers; Ryan McDonagh/New York Rangers; Evgeni Malkin/Pittsburgh Penguins; David Pastrnak/Boston Bruins; Tuukka Rask/Boston Bruins; Brandon Saad/Columbus Blue Jackets; Steven Stamkos/Tampa Bay Lightning; James van Riemsdyk/Toronto Maple Leafs.
WHEN: Wednesday, September 9, 2015, 1:00 p.m. ET
WHERE: Air Canada Centre
from Eric Macramalla of TSN,
Richards was arrested when Canadian border guards found "some pills in a single bottle" during a random search of his car. According to Westhead's breaking report, it was small quantity intended for the hockey player's personal use.
That means Richards is looking at a simple possession charge rather than a charge for possession for the purpose of trafficking, which is a lot more serious. A trafficking charge means that a person was in possession of drugs for the purpose of selling or distributing. Richards is facing up to six months in prison and/or a $1,000 fine. Given the small amount, Richards is not going to jail assuming he's guilty of the offence (he may not be). Worst case scenario for Richards may include a fine and community service.
The issue being raised now is whether being charged will hurt Richards' likelihood of success in connection with his grievance against the Kings for unlawfully terminating his contract.
The short answer is no. Before criminal charges were filed against Richards, he stood a good chance of having an arbitrator overturn the termination of his contract. While Richards has now been criminally charged, nothing has changed as far as his chances of success.
I don’t expect the NHLPA and Kings are negotiating settlement. The NHLPA is unlikely to accept the termination of Richards contract in any form. For the NHLPA, it simply cannot allow this precedent to stand as it could adversely impact its members. By allowing the termination to go unchallenged, the floodgates risk opening with teams terminating problem contracts. ‘He’s fat, cut him. He’s slow, cut him.’ Ultimately, expect the NHLPA to see this case as far too important an event and precedent to go unopposed.
-Eric Macramalla at Forbes on the LA Kings/Mike Ricards situation. Much more at Forbes.
from Frank Seravalli of TSN,
It's the one phrase that can send a chill down your spine on the sweatiest summer July day.
Rest easy, for now: the NHL and NHL Players' Association has guaranteed labour peace for each of the next five seasons, through the 2019-20 campaign.
While another hockey work stoppage may not be on the radar of most - the lost half-season of 2012-13 still all too fresh - a group of the league's highest-paid players are already gearing up for the possibility.
New York Rangers forward Derek Stepan became the latest player to negotiate protection in his contract in case of labour strife when he inked a six-year, $39 million deal on Monday.
Technically, the NHL's Collective Bargaining Agreement runs through Sept. 15, 2022 - or shortly before the opening of training camps for the 2022-23 season. But either the NHL or NHLPA can opt out of the agreement on Sept. 15, 2020.
That's why quite a few players, like Stepan, have negotiated hefty signing bonuses to be paid on July 1, 2020 - before any side could possibly opt out.
from Frank Seravalli of TSN,
The first group of 18 players who filed for salary arbitration is scheduled to appear in Toronto for hearings starting on Monday, July 20. Quite a few big names – lead by New York Rangers centre Derek Stepan and Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby – have exercised their right to participate in the process.
The Maple Leafs chose to take goaltender Jonathan Bernier to arbitration, a decision that will make the arbitrator's ruling in that case binding, no matter how big the award. Teams cannot walk away from awards to players they decided to take to arbitration; Edmonton is in the same position with defenceman Justin Schultz.
This year, for the first time ever, both sides will be armed with new data to support their cases. The player and the club may submit "enhanced stats" as evidence, since the NHL added the section to their website in February with the help of sponsor SAP.
Any statistic provided on NHL.com may be used as evidence, the NHLPA confirmed on Monday. Even though "enhanced stats" have been in existence for years, they were inadmissible because they were not statistics officially kept by the league.
Even though "enhanced stats" have been in existence for years, they were inadmissible because they were not statistics officially kept by the league.
TORONTO (July 5, 2015) – Twenty-three players have elected Salary Arbitration:
from Stephen Whyno of the CP at the Brandon Sun,
Players preferred all three-on-three, Schneider said, not only because it doesn't add more time to games but because they believe it will produce better hockey.
"What it really boiled down to was, players said, 'If we want to end games sooner going three-on-three, then having three-on-three for the longest period of time was the way to go about it,'" Schneider said in a sit-down interview last week in Las Vegas. "They think it's going to be exciting, wide-open hockey."
The AHL had incredible success cutting down on shootouts in its first season under the seven-minute overtime format split four-on-four and three-on-three. The key to it working in the NHL might be how three-on-three is coached.
"I hope three-on-three does what everyone thinks it's going to do," Schneider said. "I hope coaches don't start coaching it defensively because it could turn ugly quickly. My position always was: If Mike Babcock wants to get to the shootout, he's going to get to the shootout whether it's three-on-three or four-on-four."
Schneider is a supporter of the shootout and had to put his personal feelings aside when talking to players and attending the competition committee meeting in early June. Commissioner Gary Bettman at one point asked players which they'd prefer — the status quo of four-on-four overtime or three-on-three, and Schneider said a great majority wanted the latter.
The question of the AHL format or status quo was never brought up, Schneider said.
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.
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