Kukla's Korner Hockey
via CBS Detroit,
Aaron Ward, a 16-year NHL veteran and University of Michigan alum who previously hit the ice for the Red Wings and Carolina Hurricanes, was reportedly arrested for assault on a woman, per WNCN.
Ward, currently an analyst on TSN Hockey, was arrested on Friday in Cary, North Carolina, the report says, and also charged with interfering with emergency communication.
Ward spent five years of his career in Carolina after leaving Detroit, and also played for the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins and Anaheim Ducks.
He’s reportedly being held in jail on suspicion of domestic violence for 48 hours.
via the LA Kings,
The Los Angeles Kings have reached an agreement with Mike Richards to resolve the grievance filed in relation to the termination of his NHL Standard Players Contract. The terms are agreeable to all parties. We will not be commenting further on the terms.
According to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, the Kings will pay a cap recapture penalty for the next five years. He adds that the team will face an annual cap hit equal to the dollars being paid out annually to Richards, while the cap hit will last as long as the payment schedule.
The Kings terminated Richards' contract in June after he was arrested at the U.S.-Canadian border and later charged with illegal possession of a controlled substance, seemingly alleviating themselves of the $22 million and five years left on his deal at a $5.75 million cap hit.
from the Wall Street Journal at Nasdaq,
Yahoo Inc. and the National Hockey League have barred employees from playing in paid fantasy-sports contests, moves that come amid questions over whether workers at big fantasy-sports companies have access to inside data.
Yahoo, a relative newcomer to paid fantasy sports, said Friday that employees are no longer permitted to play paid, daily contests on any site. Yahoo workers already were banned from playing on the company's site.
The NHL said Friday that employees are banned from playing this season, which started Wednesday.
The purveyors of the industry's biggest fantasy sites, FanDuel Inc. and DraftKings Inc., came under fire this week after an employee of one startup with access to inside data won big money on the other's site. Both companies said they would permanently ban employees from playing in daily fantasy contests for money, and would enlist attorneys to review their processes.
First about me. Had a tough 48 hours or so and was told to take it easy the rest of the day, but here I am with a quick update.
I have a small growth in my small intestine which causes all sorts of trouble. The good thing is most of the types of tumors are not cancerous and can be removed with a simple procedure.
I will probably face that soon but in the meantime, medication should help with the issues I was experiencing.
Thanks to all for the well wishes and I will be taking it easy the rest of the day.
Also this, hockey related...
RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that defenseman James Wisniewski will undergo surgery on his left knee after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Thursday night’s game in Nashville. Recovery time for the injury is estimated at six months.
Acquired by the Hurricanes on June 27 from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Anton Khudobin, Wisniewski skated just 47 seconds of his Hurricanes debut prior to suffering the injury. Wisniewski, 31, is in his 11th NHL season, after totaling eight goals and 26 assists (34 points) in 69 games with Columbus and Anaheim in 2014-15. The Canton, MI, native was originally selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the fifth round (156th overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. He has appeared in 552 career NHL regular-season games with Chicago, Anaheim, the New York Islanders, Montreal, Columbus and Carolina, totaling 53 goals and 221 assists (274 points) and 459 penalty minutes.
Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Logan Pyett is out indefinitely after being diagnosed with sarcoma, a form of cancer, in his upper left leg, the Flyers announced Friday.
"The club asks that the media respect Logan and his family's privacy during this time," Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said in a statement. "Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the Pyett family."
Pyett, 27, signed a contract with the Flyers' American Hockey League affilliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, on Aug. 21, and he attended training camp with the Flyers. He had spent the previous two seasons playing in the Kontinental Hockey League. In 53 games last season with Vladivostok and Cherepovets, he had five goals and 15 points in 53 games.
A seventh-round pick (No. 212) of the Detroit Red Wings in the 2006 NHL Draft, Pyett spent five seasons in the AHL with the Grand Rapids Griffins and Connecticut Whale before moving to the KHL in 2013-14.
From the Associated Press:
Count Washington Capitals defenceman Matt Niskanen among those around the NHL taking a wait-and-see approach when it comes to the league’s new 3-on-3 overtime.
A few things do seem clear about the setup: It will make goalies’ stats uglier, result in fewer shootouts and force coaches to decide whether to focus on defence or an all-out attacking style.
"I wasn’t really sure about it at first," said Niskanen, whose team hosts the New Jersey Devils in a season-opener Saturday. "Now I think it’s probably going to do what it was designed to do: Teams are going to get ‘grade A’ chances, and if that’s what people want to see, then let’s do it. Fans are going to love it and the forwards are going to love it. Goalies and ‘D’? Maybe not as much."
As the hockey season gets going this week, how teams deal with the switch from 4-on-4 in OT to one fewer skater per team could wind up having a real effect on the standings.
Consider this: A year ago, with 4-on-4 rules, 44 per cent of overtime games were decided by a goal before they got to a shootout, according to STATS, about the same percentage that it's been in the 10 years since that format began in 2005-06.
But during this preseason, the first NHL test of 3-on-3 after it was tried in the AHL, 72 per cent of OT games ended before a shootout, STATS said.
Factor in that nearly a quarter of all regular-season games over the past decade went to overtime, and what might seem like a minor rule change takes on more significance.
Continued, and here was Jason Garrison's OT winner from last night's Bolts-Flyers game:
TSN's Kerry Fraser was asked to weigh in on the coach's challenge today:
The game, as you know, is very fast. One of the most difficult decisions that a referee has to make involves goalie interference in the often high traffic area of the goal crease. There is no more helpless feeling for a ref than having the puck enter the net and being uncertain if, or how, illegal contact with the goalie took place. In those moments the four officials would conference on the ice in an effort to determine the correct call from their various perspectives. As the conference was taking place the rest of the hockey world had the advantage of watching multiple replays on their television monitors.
The procedure worked to perfection on opening night when Toronto coach Mike Babcock initiated the first coach's challenge at 6:36 of the second period in their game against the Montreal Canadiens. The successful challenge resulted in referee Dan O'Rourke's reversal of his original decision, disallowing a goal scored by Jeff Petry as a result of incidental contact by Tomas Plekanec on Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier. Last season that illegal goal would have stood.
I must point out that Rule 69 (Interference on the Goalkeeper) is three pages long and has many components to it. As such, goalie interference is not cut and dried. The referee(s) must exercise considerable judgment to determine the presence of goalie interference even through the use of video review. It is imperative that the team spotters in the press box (assistant coaches) have a full understanding of the rule and the standard that is employed by the referees for them to initiate the coach's challenge. If the challenge does not overturn the referee's initial call the team loses their timeout. Without a timeout the coach forfeits his right to initiate another challenge in the game.
The new rule has already proven its benefit to the game by assisting the referees with the technology that is readily available for them to get the call right in the two scenarios that are allowed. It's a very good beginning. I hope that the process will be expanded over time to allow referees to initiate a video review on their own if they determine that they need a second look at goalie interference or offside and the team/coach does not have a timeout remaining. I will perhaps expand on this thought as the season moves along and we monitor the challenge process.
Sports Illustrated's Michael Farber tells quite the gritty tale as to how Mike Babcock went from working in a slaughterhouse to working for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and I'll spare you the gore...
Theoretically, this is the perfect marriage. After last season Babcock was a free agent with a gilt-edged résumé—10 straight playoff appearances with Detroit, a Stanley Cup (in 2008 with the Red Wings), two losses in seven-game finals (’03 with Anaheim, ’09 with Detroit) and Olympic gold with Team Canada in ’10 and ’14. Toronto was seeking a credible coach. After turning down a five-year, $20 million extension from Detroit and an offer by potential-rich Buffalo that essentially mirrored the one from Toronto, he cashed the golden ticket—$50 million over eight years. Six-point-two-five average. First-line money, and more than double the salary of Joel Quenneville, whose Blackhawks have won three Cups in six years. Says Red Wings GM Ken Holland, “Babs won the lottery.”
Why Toronto? Consider a theory. You know how the NHL suspends a player for one game in the playoffs for an offense that would have cost him two during the year because of the postseason’s relative importance? Well, there’s also Stanley Cup math. One Cup in Toronto would be exponentially greater than two or three elsewhere (e.g., 1994 New York Rangers 54-year drought). So an ambitious coach in Toronto gets a two-for-one deal: Win a Cup, get a statue. “I couldn’t see leaving Detroit for someplace other than an Original Six team, but I wanted to try something new,” Babcock says. “The hockey market, let’s be honest, it’s been a coach’s graveyard. Why would I be naive enough to think I could be different? I guess I just am. [We have to] be patient. Get good things going. Not deviate from the plan. Set ourselves up for a 10-year run. It’s probably going to take us three years to get that run set up.” When Babcock was introduced on May 20 in a press conference televised across Canada, he memorably cautioned, “If you think there’s no pain coming ... there’s pain coming.”
But this comment from Henrik Zettererg is very telling for Wings fans...
Playing for Babcock takes a toll; this coach accepts only exact change. “It was time. I think Mike felt that, and [the players] felt that,” Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg says. “The way he locked on things. The criticism. Hockey was 24/7 for him, and he demanded that of his players.” Zetterberg volunteers that he never thought this in 2008, of course, when Babcock was coaching Detroit to the Cup. “He’ll straighten things out in Toronto, no doubt, because he’ll structure ’em up.”
And Farber continues...
From TSN's Frank Seravalli:
With early revenue projections in place, the NHL and NHLPA set the escrow withholding rate for players at 16 per cent for the first quarter of the season on Thursday.
That means every player will have 16 per cent of earnings deducted from their paycheque and put aside until after all of this season’s hockey-related revenue is counted to ensure a perfect 50-50 revenue split with owners.
“Escrow” is the dirtiest word in hockey locker rooms.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said earlier this month the league is projected to pull in more than $4 billion in revenue, but he was not comfortable divulging a more specific estimate publicly.
Players will receive their first of 13 paycheques for the season on Oct. 15. They will also each pay $30 per day in NHLPA union dues, according to Gavin Management Group, for each day on an NHL roster - or $5,580 per full season with 186 working days.
Based on past returns, it is unlikely the players will receive that escrow money back in full. Since 2009-10, players have given a chunk of their escrow fund to the owners every season, resulting in what amounts to a pay cut.
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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