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The Zamboni

03/22/2020 at 8:43am EDT

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

Trailing the bulky beast with its top speed of 15.6 km/h, there’s a surprising history, a lot of water under the blade. For nine decades, it has been the first on the ice every day and last off, still doing laps around everyone.

“It’s hard to believe it has been as successful as it has,” company president Richard Zamboni told the Toronto Sun in a previous interview from his office in Paramount, Calif....

Steven Galyean, who steers for the Carolina Thunderbirds of the Federal League, tried to convey the contraption’s unusual romance for spectators.

“It’s something being driven on the ice, a machine on wheels, it’s just something different,” he told “It’s got a weird name. Every kid loves the Zamboni, even the big kids. The truth is everybody wants to drive it.”

much more

Hockey Topics Of Interest Today

03/21/2020 at 7:37pm EDT

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

The NHLPA held a membership-wide conference call Friday in which the players essentially decided to defer a decision on how to handle upcoming crushing escrow losses until a verdict on this season is rendered, per a source who participated in the give-and-take.

As we reported Thursday, the league has informed the union that cancelation of the season could mean a revenue loss of up to $1 billion. That would translate to approximate escrow losses of up to 35 percent per player.

If there is nothing the union can do about that, and it seems to be locked in by the collective bargaining agreement 50-50 partnership on hockey-related revenue, the players are sure going to want to hold next year’s number down as much as possible, which is why it is impossible to predict what that cap might be, and what the personnel fallout might be across the league.

more, plus items like this...

... do you know whose ownerships have generally escaped scrutiny as the impact of the coronavirus moves at warp speed through society and we careen from one trauma to the next?

The ownerships of the Sharks, Blue Jackets and Capitals, that’s who.

Despite the fact the Santa Clara County public health officials recommended canceling sporting events, the Sharks opened their gates and played a March 5 home game against the Wild that had an attendance of 14,517...

Hockey Notes During The Pause

03/21/2020 at 7:36pm EDT

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- So you’re Gary Bettman and you have all your plans on computers and on paper and just about everywhere else. When are your playoffs? What are your playoffs? Where are your playoffs? When is the draft? Is there a draft combine? When does free agency start? Are you doing awards? If so how and where? And none of us with a clue as to when there will be games again and under what constraints. I’m figuring nothing before June and all that is just a guess. That’s all we have. And it’s the same for Adam Silver and the NBA. Who knows who and when and what and where — nothing has prepared anybody for anything like this shutdown.

- Tampa coach Jon Cooper likes John Carlson for the Norris Trophy, assuming there are trophies to pass out this year. His general manager, Julien BriseBois, likes his own defenceman, Victor Hedman. Postmedia national hockey writer Michael Traikos favours Roman Josi. Me? I’m a Hedman guy. Just about every year. Three good choices from a season that is certainly over.

- Bobby Orr turned 72 the other day. In the 1970s, he scored 659 in 407 games played. That’s a ridiculous 132 point pace between injuries. Erik Karlsson led the past decade in scoring for defencemen, averaging 69 points a season, and Nicklas Lidstrom led the decade before that with 62 points a season. Orr remains in a world all his own.

- The NHL media blackout during these days of shutdown makes little sense to me. The teams are happy to control the message and send out the player washing his hands video — like you wouldn’t know how to wash your hands without Morgan Rielly — just not letting the player talk about anything more interesting than soap and water.

a few more hockey notes...

Evening Line- Billy Jaffe

03/21/2020 at 6:08pm EDT

Quick vent time. I’ve had it w people who aren’t taking this seriously. Enough of your shit. Good buddy has the virus & says it’s unlike anything he’s had before. Grow up & do your part to help, not just what you “want” to do. None of us want to be isolating for weeks/mos

Stop playing your b-ball, football, rugby, hockey, etc. Stop hanging out like nothing is happening. Take 2-3 freaking weeks off like the rest of us. My family isn’t making a penny right now. We aren’t having any “fun” or “living our best life.” God damn, Be a better human

stop being so selfish/arrogant that U think your life is worth more than someone else’s. The virus is just starting to ramp up here. Do your part to stop it, not help it grow.

-Billy Jaffe via Twitter

Players Trying To Stay In Shape

03/21/2020 at 5:10pm EDT

from Matt Porter of the Boston Globe,

Zdeno Chara was sweating away his 43rd birthday Wednesday morning on his stationary bike at home. Fellow Bruins defenseman John Moore was doing pushups with his two young daughters on his back.

Elsewhere on social media, star Colorado winger Mikko Rantanen was doing Bulgarian split squats — flexing his forward leg in a deep bend, trailing leg resting on a chair — while holding two armfuls of his mud-bellied Labrador. Vegas defenseman Deryk Engelland was bench-pressing his son. Sergei Bobrovsky, the Panthers’ $10 million goalie, was using his hands to catch tennis balls from an auto-serve machine.

In this new work-from-home environment, NHL players were doing what they could to stay active. Spending quality time with kids, pets, and spouses was a goal — “We’re getting to know each other,” one NHL coach texted, jokingly alluding to the catch-up many in the sport were playing with their loved ones — but players were trying to get a sweat in however they could.

A TSN report this past week indicated players were discussing the idea of a training camp that begins in early July, with the end of the 2019-20 season later that month, followed by playoffs in August and September, a shortened offseason, draft, and free agency in October, and the beginning of a full 82-game schedule in November.

It looks like wishful thinking.

continued plus more topics...

Awards Time

03/21/2020 at 3:30pm EDT

Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press with a few awards..

Most disappointing defenseman

Dennis Cholowski: Veterans Trevor Daley (seven assists, minus-22 in 43 games) and Mike Green (11 points, minus-32 in 48 games before being traded to Edmonton) disappointed, but they aren’t part of the team’s future and both struggled with health. It’s Cholowski (eight points, minus-26 in 36 games) who disappointed the most — he seemed like he was off to a good start, but while he’s a good skater and can move the puck, he didn’t show the assertiveness the coaching staff — and general manager Steve Yzerman — has urged him to play with. Cholowski, 22, is from the same draft as Hronek (2016) and was drafted in the first round (20th overall), but he had a chance to show he belongs in the lineup this season and failed to do so.

Most disappointing forward(s)

Abdelkader, Nielsen, Filppula: A group award that goes to Justin Abdelkader (three assists, minus-14 in 49 games against $4.25 million salary cap hit), Frans Nielsen (nine points, minus-13 in 60 games against $5.25 million cap hit) and Valtteri Filppula (21 points, minus-42 in 70 games against $3 million cap hit). I anticipate Nielsen and Filppula will still play in Detroit next season, because they can still skate/take faceoffs/kill penalties, but Abdelkader will be waived and sent to Grand Rapids.

more awards...

There Is An 'If' When It Comes To The Boston Bruins Paying Part-Time Staff

03/21/2020 at 12:28pm EDT

NHL Owners Will Have A Conference Call On Monday

03/21/2020 at 11:51am EDT

via TSN,

Earlier in the week on Insider Trader, Dreger noted that there is a growing concern that losses could mount upwards of $1 billion, certainly around $500 million.

Video- Big Hits

03/21/2020 at 10:22am EDT

Just over three minutes of recent big hits in the NHL.

Video- And The Cup Winner Is?

03/21/2020 at 8:04am EDT

via TSN's YouTube page,

With everyone wondering what the NHL playoffs will look like when the season resumes, Gino Reda, Ray Ferraro and Craig Button decided to examine the current field. With Button taking the East and Ferarro taking the West, they break down the whole bracket and crown a Stanley Cup champion.

Buyout Candidates

03/21/2020 at 7:42am EDT

from David Staples of the Edmonton Journal,

There’s no shortage of unknowns about the world, including the smaller question of unknowns about the immediate future of the National Hockey League. But what we do know is that the NHL is likely to take a massive short term hit in terms of revenues, and that this may force the league to do something it hasn’t done since the 2012-13 lock-out: allow for compliance buyouts.

NHL insider Brian Burke talked about this possibility with Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now this week: “I’ve heard discussion of compliance buyouts to help teams get to this new cap, to solve some of their problems. Which they gave in the last CBA, each team got two cap-compliance buyouts which were exempt from the cap. I’ve heard talk of that.”

When a player is bought out under the Collective Bargaining Agreement now, a percentage of his contract is paid out to him over time, and that amount still counts against a team’s salary cap....

Who might the Edmonton Oilers and other teams buy out if there’s a compliance buyout scheme this year?

That will come down to numerous factors, with perhaps the most important factor being the willingness and ability of a team owner to pay out a buyout, then replace that salary on the team. Given the financial hit folks are taking right now, some owners may not be willing to do so.

read on, candidates mentioned...

Video- Quick Game Recap Detroit/Atlanta

03/21/2020 at 7:03am EDT

Wings win 6-3.

from awood40,

Detroit Red Wings @ Atlanta Thrashers. March 20th, 2009. Last ever Red Wings win against Atlanta. FSD Feed Commentators - Ken Daniels & Larry Murphy.

Nice work here by awood40 so click here for complete coverage.

Watch the highlights below too.

All Options Are Open

03/20/2020 at 3:42pm EDT

from the CP at TSN,

"It's different," Daly said. "It is surreal in a lot of respects, especially coming to New York City during the day, there's not a lot of people here. There's not a lot of traffic. It's really like a scene out of a science fiction movie.

"Important issues are at stake, so everybody wants to do the right thing."

The NHL, which like most other professional leagues paused its season last week, is far down the list of priorities in this new world gripped by the novel coronavirus outbreak that's already killed thousands of people around the world.

There are, however, lots of hockey questions and not many answers in a fast-moving situation.

Daly said the league has been in near-constant communication with the NHL Players' Association, its teams, general managers and medical experts. The NHL also had its first confirmed case of COVID-19 this week when a member of the Ottawa Senators tested positive, and it's safe to assume more will follow.

"Surprisingly very busy," Daly said of how his days currently look in a phone interview with The Canadian Press. "And right now it's all coronavirus-related. I'm hoping to get to a point that I'll be able to turn my attention to some of the other things I need to get done.

"Since we hit the pause button, it's been a full-time job ... all related to coronavirus."

One unknown — and there are many — is what this all means to the NHL's bottom line.


KK- Health Update

03/20/2020 at 1:36pm EDT

I met with my Dr. today and the news is not so bad, yet I was hoping for a little better news.

I will have to undergo treatment to clear up any remains of the polyps I had in my sinus area.

The treatment can wait for at least another month. I am considered a high risk patient due to type 2 diabetes plus my age factors in and they want to avoid and coronavirus coming in contact with me.

I feel okay, would feel much better if our game was back, but I can control only certain things.

I will continue to do what I do and hope this finds all of you in good health.

Audio/Video- Topics Of The Day With Elliotte Friedman

03/20/2020 at 9:29am EDT

via Sportsnet,

Elliotte Friedman joins Lead Off and discusses how the NHL still wants to award a Stanley Cup this season and play a full 82 game schedule next season.

Hard To Plan For The Future At This Point

03/20/2020 at 8:08am EDT

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

There are daily texts with general manager Steve Yzerman and many others in the Detroit Red Wings organization, but little planning, because so much is unknown.

Like everyone else, the Wings are trying to navigate day-by-day in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. No Wings players have reported symptoms, and they have been told to use this week and into next week as down time, like players normally do when their season ends, before resuming workouts.

The NHL paused the 2019-20 season March 12, leaving the Wings to head home from Washington, where they had a game scheduled that night. The league postponed the season in hopes of resuming it (and a report this week said players may be willing to push the playoffs as late as September), even though on Monday the Centers for Disease Control advised against public gatherings of more than 50 people for at least eight weeks....

For now, everything is uncertain. Coach Jeff Blashill said daily exchanges with Yzerman and his circle of hockey operations personnel has focused on everyone’s well being.

“Is there anybody that needs help, are our people taken care of, how do best utilize this time,’ Blashill said Thursday. “Life favors the prepared, so how can we be as prepared as possible for when we all come out of this?

“It’s so fluid that it’s impossible to plan weeks in advance. So daily contact is important, because everything kind of changes. We’re all trying to do the best we can.”

read on

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