KK Members Blog
Entries with the tag: nhl
I have to admit, I am kind of bummed. I have always been proud to be a hockey fan. We (at least us in the States) are a bit of an anomaly. A community that sticks to their team with passion only found in the NFL after 5 hours of pregame beer and brats. Or the NBA after dropping a few hundred bucks on some Jordan’s (or Kobe’s?). And even during the best moments in the MLB (World Series), baseball has that pastoral picnic quality then we can jump in and out of during the course of 162 games.
If anyone doubts the pure passion hockey fans bring to the table, browse some of the archives posts of A2Y, Malik’s relentless reports or basically anything in the comments section of any post found here (seriously just pick any random post).
I am secretly satisfied whenever the latest controversy pops up in the other 3 major U.S. professional sports. Who is the latest to cheat, break the law, talk bad about their team. What insanely strong man has decided to "teach" his wife a lesson? Who shot who? Who got shot? Money, drugs, fame. I can’t pretend to understand the world of professional sports other than to know I am more likely to end up on the front page of the paper for doing something stupid then Pavel Datsyuk.
I know hockey isn't perfect. We have our fair share of controversy. I understand that the lack of most Americans caring about hockey probably helps damper the drama. But still. Hockey players are walking cliché machines. They say the right things, they stay out of the spotlight.
They have foundations and charities and are saving the world one goal at a time. Ok, maybe I wearing blinders.
The concept of academic extra credit has forever puzzled me. Despite the occasional motivation to exploit it, the notion of offering additional points as a means of atonement for under-performance has always felt fundamentally wrong to me.
Academic instructors typically distribute a syllabus at the beginning of each semester which, among other things, outlines the course’s key dates and includes a grading plan which specifies a value by which a student’s performance is ultimately evaluated. The National Hockey League has such an outline which contains similar criteria; although the NHL refers to theirs as a season schedule.
Like the aforementioned syllabus, the NHL’s season schedule consists of key dates otherwise known as games in which the league’s students—referred to as teams—are tested with points awarded dependent upon performance in those “exams”. While the number of tests each team receives is equal, the tests’ cumulative value is not.
How can this be you ask? Extra credit, of course.
NHL officials, general managers, and media members convened in Toronto Aug. 18-19 at the Maple Leafs’ practice facility in a veritable who’s who of league power players. They gathered to observe 33 projected top 2011 draft prospects competing in scrimmages designed to allow NHL Vice President of Hockey and Business Operations Brendan Shanahan and his staff to experiment with 28 prospective rule changes and variations.
Nearly all of these proposals are either too bizarre or radically progressive to ever be heard from again (one faceoff circle centered in each zone, draws conducted by whistle rather than puck drop), but a few caught the eye of those in attendance and the Twittersphere was abuzz with speculation. Much of the discussion centered on potential changes to the icing rule in the quest for increased safety.
What caught my eye, however, was what I perceive to be contradictory philosophies employed in the support and/or rationalization of some of these proposed changes.
The debate over touch or no touch icing has been on the radar of this born and bred Minnesotan since Kurtis Foster’s leg was shattered in a March 20, 2008 collision with San Jose’s Torrey Mitchell as the pair chased down an iced puck at the Shark Tank. The event immediately brought the issue to the forefront of league discussion.
Forbes has recently put out a list of the best fans for the four major sports leagues in North America (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL). The list includes the top four teams from each of the leagues. The NHL is represented by the following teams:
3. Detroit Red Wings
6. Pittsburgh Penguins
11. Montreal Canadiens
16. Chicago Blackhawks
This excerpt from the Forbes article explains how the list was comprised:
By: Mark Marino
It was just a month ago where the Bruins were looking decent – playing well enough for second-place in the Northeast Division, and fifth overall in the East. In fact, their 19-11-7 record [43 points] was just five points away from the top team in the Division – the Buffalo Sabres.
Fast forward 14 games, plus a few injuries, and the Black and Gold have tanked to their nethermost point of the 2009-10 season. After stinking up the RBC Center last night – losing 5-1 against the 29th ranked Carolina Hurricanes – the Bruins find themselves down four spots into ninth-place overall in the Eastern Conference [54 points].
The Bruins have now dropped eight of their last nine games [1-7-1] and had recorded a pitiful 4-9-1 record since the “good ‘ol days” just four weeks ago. Over this 14 game span, the B’s have managed to muster just 11-of-28 possible points, as they continue to slip down the proverbial slide. Now 51 games into the season, and the Big Bad Bruins are still searching – a little too late – for an identity to this team.
There has been a lot of talk over the past few months about removing fighting from hockey. Let’s be honest, there are a few in the media who continuously bring this up at every opportunity that they can get. Unfortunately this season there have been two incidents in particular (the tragic death of Don Sanderson the result of a fight in the OHA and shortly thereafter a fight in the AHL that resulted in Garrett Klotz being taken off of the ice on a stretcher). This was fodder for the anti-fighting proponents in the media and in the NHL. Ever since it seems like you can’t go to TSN.ca without having to read an article that is anti-fighting or listening to a Versus/NBC telecast where one commentator completely rips a part the idea of fighting in hockey.
Despite what some might like you to believe—for example TSN continues to have headlines on their main page that would have you thinking that most fans want to get fighting out of the game. For example, a headline a few weeks back that indicated that “Majority Want Fighting Eliminated!”—However, when you read the article you see that the survey was conducted not just of hockey fans but amongst the general population of Canada. In fact the article even specified “68 per cent of NHL fans who follow the NHL closely say the gloves should continue to drop.” How can you run an article on the front of your website with such a misleading title? Why would anyone care what a typical Canadian thinks of fighting in hockey? Wouldn’t it seem obvious that the people who actually watch hockey, pay for season tickets, pay for individual games, pay for NHL apparel would be the one’s whose opinion would count? If 68% of NHL Fans are in favor if fighting—why is this even an issue?
With the recent suspensions to Montreal Canadien Tom Kostopolous and Ottawa Senator Jarkko Ruutu for head shots, the NHL’s disciplinarian, Colin Campbell recently sent out a memo to all 30 teams reminding them that the league is not going to take head shots lightly.
An excerpt of the memo stated, “We cannot and will not tolerate blows to the head that are deliberate, avoidable and illegal.”
There is always a lot of talk about how the league doesn’t approve of head shots and that they need to stop, but yet it seems that every week a player is being helped off the ice with a concussion after a dirty hit to the head. It’s time for the NHL to step up to the plate and do something about it as opposed to sitting in the dugout hoping for a rain delay.
When looking for someone to blame, it’s easy to blame the player who committed the hit but it’s time for the NHL to look into the mirror and take responsibility themselves. They have the ace up their sleeve that can trump the entire situation. Take out the instigator rule.
As it is now, people skate around like dogs without a leash taking runs at people because they can get away with it. Players know they have free reign to do whatever they want to an opposing player and the opposing team cannot do anything. Sure they can stick up for their teammate but the player will just turtle and take the five minute penalty while the injured player is forced to leave the game. Penalizing players for sticking up for their teammates contradicts everything teams preach