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Video- Saturday Headlines

The HNIC panel discussed- The Canadiens discussing Marc Bergevin's future, the easing of Covid protocols, , the salary cap with the Leafs, Adam Larsson contract negotiations going well and Victor  Hedman out tonight with a lower-body injury, is going to need surgery in the summer.

via Sportsnet,


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Player Safety Talk

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Lost in the uproar created by the enfeebled Department of Player Safety’s failure to suspend Wilson, along came another example of inexplicable leniency from Parros’ office, which gave teh Flyers’ Shayne Gostisbehere just a two-game sentence for his cross-check that sent the Penguins’ Mark Friedman into the end boards after the Pittsburgh winger had scored an empty-net goal.

The puck was in the net. The play was over. Friedman began to swing away. Gostisbehere, one of two Flyers chasing, then delivered the gratuitous cross-check/shove. Not only was that dangerous, it was a breach of hockey etiquette, if not quite in the same territory as the 1993 Dale Hunter-Pierre Turgeon episode, but nevertheless entirely unacceptable.

Gostisbehere should have gotten 15 games to carry over into next season. Instead, he got two. That apparently was Parros’ statement.

more topics like this...

Finally, upon reading that the Rangers’ statement generated support for Parros among NHL general managers, I am reminded that was the august body of gentlemen who once gave VP of officiating Stephen Walkom a standing ovation.

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Vaccinated Teams Will Have Relaxed Covid Restrictions During The Playoffs

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

The NHL will relax its COVID-19 protocol for fully vaccinated teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs, according to a memo distributed to clubs on Friday.

The modified protocol will allow playoff-bound clubs greater freedoms with regards to masks, testing, team meetings, social gatherings and travel - once 85 per cent of a team’s traveling party is fully vaccinated.

The NHL considers a person fully vaccinated once two weeks have passed since receiving the final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine.

That is welcomed news to the 12 American-based NHL teams, many of which have already reached the 85-per cent vaccination threshold for their traveling party, which includes players, coaches and team personnel. But with slower vaccination rates and limited availability in Canada, the belief is none of the four playoff-bound Canadian clubs are anywhere close to that mark.

Here are the notable changes:

> Almost all of the accommodations made are for “fully vaccinated individuals.” As the NHL and its 31 clubs did not make the vaccine mandatory, there are believed to be one to two players per team - in many instances - who chose to not receive the vaccine. Any member of the traveling party who chose not to receive the vaccine must continue to abide by all of the previous (and stringent) preventative measures that were in place in the previous COVID-19 protocol.


added 4:32pm, NHL/NHLPA statement is below.

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Morning Line- Damien Cox

Bettman is almost 70 and has been on the job since the winter of 1992. Many of his key people have been with him for at least 20 years. The overall leadership looks tired and out of fresh answers. Once-profitable international hockey has vanished. Bettman couldn’t arm twist the NHLPA into starting the season on Jan. 1 and had to wait another 12 days until the union gave the okay. J.T. Miller of the Canucks stared down the league over COVID-related scheduling and the league backed down....

The 2020-21 season has been a massive headache for the NHL, and some of the pain has been self-inflicted. At some point, the league’s board of governors is going to start wondering if new blood at the top is needed.

-Damien Cox at the Toronto Star where you can read more on this topic.

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A Roller Skate Which ‘Mimics An On-Ice Stride

from Michael Traikos,

When the inventor of a new type of hockey skate claims that it can make Connor McDavid even faster than he already is, the first instinct is to roll your eyes and add it to the pile of failed gimmicks collecting dust in the back of your local pro shop.

But Per Mars is not just another snake-oil salesman. And Marsblade is not just another version of the Reebok Pump.

Since 2011, the former NHLer-turned-inventor has been disrupting the in-line hockey market with his unique roller skates, which employ a “flow motion technology” that mimics an on-ice stride. In the past year, more than 300 NHLers have been using Marsblades as an off-ice training tool. That includes McDavid, Cale Makar, Quinn Hughes, Evgeni Malkin, Roman Josi and Auston Matthews, with the latter becoming an investor in the company.

This week, Shane Wright, who is projected to go No. 1 overall in the 2022 NHL entry draft, was named an official Marsblade ambassador.

If it’s a gimmick, then it’s a gimmick that is fooling a lot of high-end hockey players.


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NHL Short Notes

* The idle and NHL-leading Hurricanes became the first team to capture a division crown this season, securing the No. 1 seed in the Discover Central. 
 * All four playoff spots in the Honda West are now accounted for after the Blues locked up the No. 4 seed with one point and an Avalanche regulation win over the Kings.
 * The Stars earned a crucial win over the Lightning to keep their playoff hopes alive. Dallas trails Nashville by two points in the Discover Central and both teams have two games remaining.

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Evening Line- Pat Maroon

First time the two Florida teams will meet in the playoffs.

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The Latest On Wayne Gretzky As A Studio Analyst For TNT

from Andrew Marchand of the New York Post,

ESPN is out on Wayne Gretzky, paving the way for The Great One potentially going to TNT as an analyst for its NHL studio coverage, The Post has learned.

Gretzky’s role with Turner would be akin to Charles Barkley’s on Inside The NBA. If a deal is done, Gretzky, 60, is expected to command in the $5 million per year range, according to sources.

Even in a time when ESPN/ABC is trying to make many of its broadcasters’ contracts more reasonable, it was willing to go to the $2 million range for Gretzky, sources said. The bidding, though, has now gotten too high and ESPN has decided to bow out.


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Statement From John Davidson

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Video- Chris Cuthbert And Jim Hughson Together

via the YouTube page of The Bob McCown podcast,

Two Canadian broadcasting legends, CHRIS CUTHBERT and JIM HUGHSON join the podcast for a rare "Play-By-Play" edition of our friday roundtable talk.

Watch th 46 1/2 minute show below.

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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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