Kukla's Korner

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Shut It Down

from Jewels From The Crown,

...The lockout is going on, and the players are pretty much talking to any and every reporter that comes their way. Kevin Westgarth was no different, and so Rich Hammond talked with him about the lockout and posted it on his blog.

The NHL saw that interview and told the Kings to take it down immediately. You see, since Rich Hammond was technically a Kings employee, the NHL considered him to be a League employee. And League employees are not allowed to have any contact with players. It didn’t matter that Hammond was simply a beat writer that happened to be employed by a team rather than a newspaper, he was still employed by the Kings.

Both the Kings and Hammond fought this decision. They tried to figure out a way around it so that Hammond could continue to interview the locked out players, like every other hockey writer out there. They even considered shutting the blog down. But if we’ve learned anything from the past decade, it’s that the NHL is pretty stubborn. He could not talk to players.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, NHL Talk, NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rich+hammond

Comments

YzermanZetterberg's avatar

Okay, if league employees can’t have any contact with players, how do you rationalize Bettman and Daly participating in negotiating sessions that involve NHLPA members?

This problem can be easily rectified by firing lil’ gary and his sidekick Baldo immediately.

Posted by YzermanZetterberg on 10/11/12 at 01:20 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

I thought the Kings were smarter than that.

Fire Hammond. Give him a nice severance package that should see him through the lockout. Now he can speak to the players as much as he wants. He hosts his own blog and the Kings link to it from their home page. Problem solved with the added benefit of rubbing lil’ gary’s nose in it.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 10/11/12 at 01:22 PM ET

Avatar

Okay, if league employees can’t have any contact with players, how do you rationalize Bettman and Daly participating in negotiating sessions that involve NHLPA members?

Are you really asking that?

Posted by Garth on 10/11/12 at 01:59 PM ET

YzermanZetterberg's avatar

Are you really asking that?

No, just trying to underline the ridiculousness of it all a bit.

Posted by YzermanZetterberg on 10/11/12 at 02:33 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from Warm and sunny SoCal on 10/11/12 at 01:22 PM ET

That would’ve been incredible.

It is sad. Hammond has done such a good job over the years, and the concern of his objectivity being compromised when the Kings hired him never panned out (kudos to both Hammond and the Kings for that being the case).

At this stage, what’s to stop the Kings and Hammond from partnering back up when the lockout ends? You know, other than the rightful bitterness Hammond will have with the NHL after this…

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 10/11/12 at 03:15 PM ET

pautna's avatar

This pisses me off more than the lockout. Rich meant the world to a lot of us Kings fans. Once again, the NHL shows itself to be the 4th rate entity that it is. Pathetic.

Posted by pautna on 10/11/12 at 04:29 PM ET

shazam88's avatar

Haha, strong sentiments there, pautna. Rich is a decent guy and this is a petty ass move by the league. 

Nathan, not that the essence of this story is about Rich per se, but imo the Kings have really had their cake and eaten it too for the past few years with him as an “embedded” blogger. Rich generally comes across as relatively independent, but certainly there have some stories that he’s held onto. Whether that’s due to team guidelines, subtle pressure, or his internal sense of how he wants to operate, only Howie Meeker truly knows.

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 10/11/12 at 05:47 PM ET

Avatar

The league isn’t going to let the Kings provide a forum for the NHLPA. The decision makes sense.

Posted by timbits on 10/11/12 at 09:24 PM ET

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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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