Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
The division between Gary Bettman and those who play in the National Hockey League has never been so extreme. If there was once trust between players and commissioner — and when was that? — there is almost none now.
Bettman’s continued denial of the link between concussions and the brain disease, CTE, have had many shaking their heads since a 24-page letter to a U.S. Senator became public this week. The letter showed Bettman at his stubborn worst, continuing to argue that the Earth is flat.
Sometimes with Bettman, it isn’t always what he says but how he says it and sometimes when he says it. In this situation, the NHL is facing several lawsuits relating to brain injuries and premature death of certain ex-players. Always the lawyer, Bettman is taking the denial stance, which best serves the commissioner and the owners in the NHL.
But at what point does he speak for the game, the sport, the people playing it? Or is that day and that belief completely gone?
a bit more
added 7:22am, from Daniel J. Flynn of Breitbart,
from Jared Clinton of The Hockey News,
James Oldham’s most notable decision as the NHL and NHLPA’s neutral arbitrator appears as if it will also be his last.
According to the Sports Business Journal’s Liz Mullen, the NHL has dismissed Oldham from his post as neutral arbitrator. Oldham, a law professor at Georgetown University, was the arbitrator assigned to the Dennis Wideman suspension case. Oldham’s decision on the suspension saw the Calgary Flames defenseman have his 20-game suspension for checking linesman Don Henderson reduced to 10 games.
It was well within the NHL’s power to relieve Oldham of his duties, and either side would have had the power to do so if they believed it was time for a change in neutral arbitrator. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Oldham’s time with the league is up, though, considering the NHL has since sought to have Oldham’s biggest decision, the reduction of Wideman’s original 20-game ban, overruled.
TORONTO/NEW YORK (June 21, 2016) – The National Hockey League Players’ Association and the National Hockey League today announced that the Team Payroll Range established for the 2016-17 League Year, pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, provides for a Lower Limit of $54 million, an Adjusted Midpoint of $63.5 million and an Upper Limit of $73 million.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Donald Fehr, the executive director of the National Hockey League Players Association, doesn't seek the media spotlight. But, at the beginning of what promises to be a monumental week for the NHL, he agreed to talk with ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun about a variety of topics facing the NHL and its players, including expansion, future Olympic participation, 3-on-3 overtime, drug testing and labor peace. Here's an edited version of that conversation:
ESPN.com: During your fall tour of all 30 teams, which has become more of a fall/winter tour now, outside of escrow, what would you say has become the next most popular topic amongst the players?
Fehr: That's a hard one, because it really varies depending on the team you're with, whether it's a veteran team or a young team. The other issue that commands a fair amount of discussion at virtually all meetings is what we hope will be significant growth in international hockey; or games outside the normal North American format in various venues and various kinds of tournament play. I think the guys recognize that that's the next step. And it's the next step that you pretty well have to take in order to move hockey to the forefront of international team sports which is where everybody thinks it should be. It has to become much more of an ongoing, regularized high-visibility international product as distinct from a North American one. Now, I don't mean to suggest by that, that I would ever expect that to overtake the regular season and the playoffs and so on in terms of what they mean for players. But that's where the growth is, or a big aspect of where the growth is.
You can read the legalese by clicking the link in the tweet.
IMO, not the best timing with a possible Stanley Cup clinching game tomorrow night.
from James McClure of Civilized,
To find out more detail on the NHL policy, we reached out to the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) - the labor union representing athletes in North America's top hockey league. The union handles grievances as well as negotiating with the league on rules and procedures, including guidelines for drug testing.
An NHLPA spokesperson - who spoke with Civilized on the condition of not being quoted - said that the league does not condone marijuana. However, it is not part of the NHL's testing for performance-enhancing substances. When testing players each season, one third (which is no fewer than 200 athletes) are randomly selected to be screened for stimulants like amphetamines, narcotics like cocaine, and cannabinoids such as marijuana and hash.
Players aren't identified - regardless of the results. And those who who test positive aren't disciplined. Instead, the anonymous stats are presented to the NHL and NHLPA's Performance Enhancing Substances Program Committee for review so that they can decide how to handle testing moving forward.
However, if a player is found to have a dangerously high level of a narcotic or cannabinoid, he is subject to mandatory assessment by doctors working for the NHL and NHLPA's Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program.
from Paul Lysenko of SovSport (roughly translated),
Just about the relationship between the leagues. Meeting with NHL, why?
- Just a courtesy visit. In the last 22 years we have a good relationship with the NHL. No problem! Of course, it's a completely different world - the North American League with a huge budget. Sports there - the entertainment industry.
We are a little different. But the NHL has performed in the last five Olympics. In June, we will hold two rounds of talks with the league and the union about the trip NHL players in Pyeongchang and Beijing.
And we in the Old World must have a strong hockey. If there is fragmentation - KHL, Finns and Swedes, Central Europe, themselves Czechs and Slovaks - nothing good will come. Only the strong can compete with North America.
- The IOC does not want to give $ 10 million to fly NHL players and pay their insurance. For NHL is - a stumbling block. It is because of such a small amount goes wrong such an ambitious project?
- A little? - Laughs Fasel.
- This is one of Ovechkin salary per year.
- Try to take away the money Ovechkin. Let's see what he will tell you! - Jokes Kukushkin.
- $ 10 million general - a lot of money for the IIHF. Our annual budget - $ 45 million - says Fasel. - In the Olympic season it increases to $ 70 million in a typical year, we spend $ 21 million to organize tournaments among men and women of different ages.. You also need to include the state of the IIHF, to pay various expenses, invest in the development of hockey.
Personally we can not put a third of the budget to pay this amount. Of course, we are slightly disappointed by the decision of the IOC, which was previously paid insurance and relocation of NHL players. But they have a reason, and we must accept them. And my goal - in the negotiations to resolve this issue.
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
The NHL Players’ Association and a former senior consultant are locked in a behind-the-scenes battle that has brought into question how the NHLPA pursues claims of NHL teams misreporting revenue and whether players are being kept properly informed of those claims.
Richard Rodier, a former NHLPA consultant, alleges the union’s executive director, Don Fehr, didn’t tell players about several cases where teams were potentially misreporting revenue – including one case that Rodier said could have resulted in a $400-million claim against the NHL.
Rodier, a corporate lawyer who was fired by the union in 2015, has shared his allegation against Fehr with at least two NHL team player representatives, three player agents, and staff at the union’s headquarters in Toronto, five sources familiar with the matter told TSN.
At least one of the team player reps contacted by Rodier raised the issue with NHLPA senior staff, who denied Rodier’s allegations.
Would the Washington Capitals be better off if forward Marcus Johansson had been unable to return to the ice during Monday night’s loss to the Penguins? No one would seriously hope for such an outcome. And yet the NHL’s disciplinary process for dangerous hits at least raises such questions.
-Dan Steinberg of DC Sport Bog where you can continue reading on this topic.
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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