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Category: NHL-Talk

Should The NHL Have Stuck With The Series Schedule?

from Mark Lazerus of The Athletic,

By scheduling two- and three-game series rather than the usual one-offs, the Blues didn’t have to go Winnipeg three separate times. The Kings didn’t have to trek up to Alberta three or four separate times. Detroit didn’t have to schlep to and from Florida a handful of times. And for the most part, players loved it.

They just didn’t get a chance to enjoy it. Because of the pandemic restrictions, there were no leisurely team dinners. No beers with the boys. No raucous card games in the back of the plane. It was all, as Stamkos put it, a big tease.

But now those restrictions are gone. NHL players are once again able to descend on Chicago steakhouses by the dozen, to enjoy some live music and a beer or two at Tootsie’s or Legends in Nashville, or to set up shop on a patio in Glendale’s Westgate Entertainment District.

Only now the schedule’s back to the frantic, always-on-the-move style of old. Instead of staying overnight after a game, it’s time to load up the bus and drive straight to the tarmac for a 2 a.m. arrival from Denver or Raleigh or Boston. Instead of getting a couple of full days of sunshine in South Florida, it’s maybe an hour by the pool between the morning skate and the pregame nap after an evening arrival the night before.

more (paid)

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Hockey Thoughts Today

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

- It looked weird to see Detroit’s Dylan Larkin pulled mid-game due to COVID protocol on Tuesday night. But, unfortunately, it happens. Most famous was Justin Turner during Game 6 of the 2020 World Series, before he controversially returned to the field during the Dodgers’ celebration. Tomas Nosek (then with Vegas) was pulled during a game last February. The reason Ottawa was temporarily shut down -- as opposed to other COVID situations -- is that enhanced protocols, such as testing every day as opposed to every three days, were not slowing the spread. That’s why doctors made the call; the virus could not be contained.

The number of false positives had players and teams very frustrated, but doctors fought hard against cutting the amount of testing....

- When it comes to Connor McDavid and John Tortorella, I completely disagree with Tortorella’s position on the issue (more on McDavid in a moment). What’s frustrating, however, is the way in which strong opinions are so voraciously shouted down in hockey. The greatest studio show in sports television history is Inside the NBA. If Tortorella said what he said on that show, everyone would laugh. Even if they ripped him, it would be in a fun way.

- As for McDavid, there’s a concern about in-arena attendance -- and not just in hockey. I don’t think we really understand yet where this is going, but it’s clear that fans are not returning in-person at the anticipated level. During the 2005-06 lockout, the NHL took a long look at its on-ice product, a move that wasn’t universally praised at the time, but history judges very favourably. I’ve said it many times, I think McDavid deserves many, many more calls against him than he gets. He’s a mugging victim every night. The question I’d be asking if I was the NHL is this: if we want to get more people into the building, are we going to have to give our fans reason to believe star talents will be given more of an opportunity to succeed? I know it’s sacrilege, but if I was concerned about the business, I’d be making sure this was a talking point.

more on COVID and many more topics, including the Vancouver Canucks...

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NHL Short Notes

 * The six newest members of the Hockey Hall of Fame were officially inducted Monday at a ceremony in Toronto. 

 * For the fourth day in a row, an NHL game featured a go-ahead goal in the last two minutes of regulation as the Blue Jackets rallied late to earn their sixth comeback win of the season. 

Ryan Getzlaf eyes his 1,000th NHL point and Troy Terry looks to match him on a franchise list as the Ducks put their seven-game win streak on the line against the Capitals on Tuesday. 

 

Continue Reading »

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The New Members Of The Hockey Hall Of Fame

from the CP at TSN,

Kevin Lowe waited 19 years for the call.

Doug Wilson's phone sat silent longer still — 24 consecutive springs of eligibility before it finally rang.

So another 365 days for the Hockey Hall of Fame's pandemic-delayed class of 2020 was probably no big deal, right?"

"Not at all," Lowe said with a laugh Friday. "We got to relish the moment even longer."

Lowe and Wilson are joined in the 2020 player category by  and  — elected in their first years of eligibility — and Canadian women's national team goalie Kim St-Pierre, while Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland is going in as a builder.

"I never even viewed the Hall of Fame as a reality," said Wilson, GM of the San Jose Sharks. "It's just a privilege that it happened."

"We got to be a unique class," Lowe added.

The inductees were originally announced following the 18-member selection committee's vote back on June 24, 2020, but the ceremony was delayed a year because of COVID-19.

The hall, which will officially welcome its newest members Monday, then made the decision to not have a class of 2021 so the current group wouldn't have to share centre stage.

"The health of people was the priority," St-Pierre said. "We knew that this day would happen."

A former captain and franchise icon with the Flames, Iginla put up 525 goals and 1,095 points in 1,219 games from 1996 through 2013 with Calgary before stops in Pittsburgh, Boston, Colorado and Los Angeles. The winger finished with 1,300 points in 1,554 regular-season contests to go along with 68 points (37 goals, 31 assists) in 81 playoff outings.

continued and you can watch the induction ceremony on the NHL Network and TSN5 beginning at 8:00pm ET.

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Cancer Does Stink

from Frank Brown at NHL.com,

Tonight, on the red carpet at Meridian Hall, I will confront the collision of a dream come true and a nightmare turned real.

Just as players refuse to touch the Stanley Cup until they've won it, I always had felt that, on Induction Monday, the red carpet should be reserved for people who had achieved the ultimate hockey honor: Hall of Fame recognition.

On Nov. 18, 2019, thanks to the voters of the Pro Hockey Writers' Association, my reservation came through. I had been chosen by my peers to become the 61st recipient of the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award, presented "in recognition of distinguished members of the newspaper profession whose words have brought honour to journalism and to hockey."

I received a black Media Honouree blazer and a replica of the plaque that will reside permanently in the Hall. Receiving the Ferguson comes with an added perk, a meaningful one to me: The Hall invites you back every year.

To cap the proudest day of my career, I walked on the red carpet -- my wife Nancy's right hand clasped firmly in my left, although I'm not certain my feet, or Nancy's, ever really touched the ground.

Three days short of two years later, I will walk the red carpet alone. A purple silk pocket square will emerge above the Hall of Fame patch on my blazer. A purple "Cancer Stinks" bracelet will ride snugly on my left wrist.

continued

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Videos- 32 Thoughts Tonight And To The Point

Ron MacLean and Jeff Marek (Elliotte Friedman off tonight) discussed two struggling teams, the  Vancouver Canucks and the Dallas Stars plus Jack Eichel's surgery and Kevin Hayes return.

via Sportsnet,

 

 

Below, the HNIC panel discuss penaly calls on Connor McDavid.

Continue Reading »

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Who’s In Charge?

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

What a coincidence that ESPN/ABC switched out of Blackhawks-Blues to Rangers-Bruins at 1 p.m. on Black Friday in the network’s first over-the-air national telecast since gaining NHL rights this season.

What, the NHL and network didn’t see the upside in showcasing the rotten Chicago organization that the league so proudly presented as a quasi-house franchise through the 2010s, creating as many national events as possible to cram the Blackhawks down our throats?

Now, not.

Guess this is not one that could readily be brushed aside by citing “off-ice distractions.”

Meanwhile, Bob Murray became the latest NHL-affiliated employee to resign in disgrace when he stepped aside last week as the Ducks’ general manager following revelations of a history of psychologically abusive behavior to co-workers.

Of course, just as with the Blackhawks, when the Wirtz ownership knew nothing of what was going on inside their fiefdom, the Samuelis had no idea what was going on inside their organization on the West Coast. Of course not. Why would they?

Apparently we are all supposed to believe that these one-percenters made their fortunes by being ignorant of their respective operations and just handing over all the responsibility to salaried employees.

continued with more topics which I believe you'll want to read...

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Video- 2020-21 HHOF Class Introduced Tonight At Scotiabank Arena

via Sportsnet's YouYube page,

Watch as the Toronto Maple Leafs hold a pregame ceremony for the class of 2020-21 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees which features names such as Jarome Iginla, Kevin Lowe and Marian Hossa.

Ken Holland is first.

 

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Dress Up

from Joe Warmington of the Toronto Sun,

When it comes to NHL hockey players arriving for a game, Don Cherry expects them to look like a million bucks.

Make that ten million.

“When you are making $10 million bucks, you should dress like $10 million,” he says, responding to recent images of Maple Leafs’ players arriving at the rink dressed casually without traditional jacket and tie.

The coach specifically called out superstar Auston Matthews, who he teased was “looking like he was going to a barbecue.”

On his Grapevine podcast and in our interview, Cherry rejected the idea that younger players are looking for a new way of dressing by saying he wants to keep the NHL as the only league that consistently dresses up before games.

continued

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Report- ASG May Have Outdoor Skills Competition In Vegas

Greg Wyshynski of ESPN,

The NHL is in talks with Las Vegas officials about holding two new All-Star Game skills competition events outdoors on the Las Vegas Strip, a source tells ESPN.

League executives were in Las Vegas this week to present the plan to city officials, local police and at least one hotel, The Bellagio. The 2022 NHL All-Star Skills Competition is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 4 (ESPN) and the All-Star Game is set for Saturday, Feb. 5 (ABC), at T-Mobile Arena, home of the Vegas Golden Knights.

The plan is to have traditional skills events such as hardest shot and fastest skater inside the arena. The outdoor events will be created specifically for the Vegas All-Star weekend, with themes inspired by Sin City itself. The NHL is deciding between a few different concepts for the events, "but they all have a Vegas touch to them," said the source.

continued

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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