Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Darren Dreger Report at TSN,
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr will meet with the IIHF in Portugal on Thursday.
Whether discussed at this meeting or not, there's a growing sense of urgency in determining the NHL's plans to continue to expand its European profile.
While it's not CBA related, the NHL and NHLPA did agree to work together to send four NHL teams back to Europe next fall for regular season games. Sources say there has been little progress in planning the NHL's return and time may be running out. NHL clubs are already making plans for their 2014 training camps and preseason games and the marketing impact required may suffer because of the loose ends.
The World Cup of Hockey is also on the list of items that IIHF executives would like to discuss this week.
Without question, both the NHLPA and the NHL are keenly interested in bringing this spectacle back, however, aside from some informal discussions, there appears to be little urgency to kick this joint initiative into high gear.
read on for more topics...
from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,
Chris Pronger walks a fine line between working for the Flyers in a scouting capacity and sitting in on meetings with management, all the while being a dues-paying member of the NHLPA.
Such is the life of a former player, struck down by post-concussion syndrome, and living between two worlds -- permanently disabled player and club scouting.
“I have yet to be told what my duties are,” said Pronger, who still suffers from headaches from an ocular concussion, and likely will for the rest of his life.
“As still an active player and a dues-paying member of the [NHLPA] and all that, I know my role will be somewhat limited still in what I can and can’t do," Pronger said on Thursday at Flyers training camp.
Pronger is not an active player in the true sense. He can’t retire without harming the Flyers' salary infrastructure. Under the CBA, they would be stuck with his near-$4.9 million cap hit for the remaining four years of his contract without the ability to place him on LTIR.
About 90 players attended the program which was designed to help them prepare for 'NHL life'.
from Andrew Gross of the Record,
Now running the NHL Players' Association and not baseball's players' union, Don Fehr could defer all questions on Alex Rodriguez and his looming suspension in the Biogenesis scandal on the basis of not being in the loop.
However, Fehr made it clear that A-Rod had every right to appeal the suspension, something the other 13 players handed bans chose not to do.
"All I can say is that I have complete confidence in the team that's there to represent the players to the best of their ability," Fehr said Thursday at Yankee Stadium as he was on hand for the announcement of outdoor hockey games between the Rangers and Devils on Jan. 26 and the Rangers and Islanders on Jan. 29.
"Any player, if he wants to have a hearing, it's an absolute right to have a hearing and the facts will be what the facts are," Fehr added....
Fehr had little to say when asked about the lack of performance-enhancing drug scandals in hockey, other than the NHLPA was satisfied with hockey's drug-testing program.
"Maybe the culture is different," Fehr said.
a bit more...
from Lewie Krashinsky of Sportsnet,
Organized by Dominic Moore, Smashfest is a charity ping-pong tournament created to raise funds for concussion research. Numerous players, including Martin St. Louis, Phil Kessel, David Clarkson and Kevin Westgarth, attended the second annual event Thursday.
“Great to see (Bettman) supporting a great charity event at Smashfest. Maybe we can get a dunk tank or something and make a little more money off of it,” quipped Westgarth, a tough Hurricanes winger who was heavily involved in the labour negotiations. “We want to bridge the gaps in our relationship, and hopefully (Bettman’s support for concussion research) can go a long way to doing that.”
The physical nature of hockey will naturally lead to concussions, Westgarth conceded, but that frequency and severity of head injuries is something worth trying to reduce.
“It’s an incredibly important topic to our membership in the PA. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure concussions are as small an issue as possible and that guys get treated properly and have long lives after their very short careers.”
“Although there were many details to discuss with our partners at the NHL and NHLPA, there was never any doubt in my mind that we would not continue the tradition from Nagano, Salt Lake City, Turin and Vancouver.”
“The modern Olympic era is about sportive competition on the highest possible level. This is what fans around the world expect from a 100-metre race or downhill skiing and this is also what they are entitled to expect from our sport.”
“It is the obligation of the IIHF towards our fans that the biggest sports show on earth has the best players and towards our member associations that they are able to select the best players that their educational systems have developed. I would like to thank NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr for their co-operation.”
-IIHF President and IOC Executive Committee Member René Fasel. More from the IIHF.
NEW YORK/TORONTO (July 19, 2013) -- The National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) announced today that an agreement has been reached with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to secure participation of NHL players in the upcoming 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
NHL players will be available to the 12 participating IIHF Member National Associations for the men's Olympic ice hockey tournament (February 12-23, 2014). This will mark the fifth consecutive time dating back to Nagano 1998 that NHL players have participated in the Olympics. More than 120 NHL players are expected to compete for their respective nations in Sochi.
"The National Hockey League features the most international player population in professional sports, and our outstanding athletes take tremendous pride in representing their homelands on the global stage," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "The decision to participate in the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi was in many ways a difficult one, but one that we know will be well received by our Players and, most importantly, by the vast majority of our fans and sports fans everywhere."
from Kevin Woodley of InGoal Magazine,
Henrik Lundqvist isn’t worried about the impending changes to goaltending equipment in the NHL – as long the New York Rangers’ star gets enough time to adjust to them.
“If they change it, as long as I have the new gear early August it should be fine,” Lundqvist wrote in an email to InGoal Magazine from his native Sweden.
It’s no longer a question of “if” when it comes to goalie equipment changes.
According to several sources close to the ongoing equipment talks, the NHL Players’ Association informally approved a reduction in the overall height of its goaltender’s pads at its meetings last week after an internal survey showed strong support for change. Unfortunately, that polling – and therefore the approval – wasn’t specific enough for the NHL, leaving questions about interpretation and implementation of the new pad height restrictions, while also failing to address the League’s request for smaller kneepads.
It set up a potentially contentious meeting between the two sides in New York late this week. Meanwhile equipment manufacturers, many with goalies already wanting new gear for summer skates, await final measurements so they can start producing next year’s equipment.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Back in 2003, after a lengthy and diligent study, the National Hockey League’s Injury Analysis Panel concluded that hard, bulbous moldings on elbow and shoulder pads were more likely to cause injury than soft Styrofoam, when applied directly to an opponent’s head.
Hard is more likely to injure than soft, the data showed. Another unintended finding, in documents obtained by Sportsnet.ca at the time, showed fire to be hot.
Yes, nobody does committees like the NHL.
Over the years, we have been blessed with such entities as the NHL/NHLPA Equipment Working Group, the Joint Health and Safety Committee, something called a “Blue Ribbon” committee, and various incarnations of the politically divided Competition Committee.
How many times have all sides convened for “frank and open discussion of the issues?” And how many times has anything tangible occurred?
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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