Showing posts with label John Tavares. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Tavares. Show all posts

Sunday, October 20, 2013

NHL hockey: Michael Grabner hit on Nathan Gerbe



There could be another suspension coming, very shortly. New York Islanders forward Michael Grabner has a hearing on Monday with the department of player safety for this hit on Carolina Panthers forward Nathan Gerbe. My question, at what point to the players start realizing that you can not make these types of hits anymore. I think this is a violation of the NHL's Rule 48. In my opinion, this is an illegal check to the head. What do you think?


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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Few more Ramblings by Redwing77

Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As usual, I will caution you that what I'm about to say is my OPINION only.  If you wish to consider it fact, that's fine.  I try to infuse as many facts as I can in my OPINION, but I'm not shooting for a run of the mill blog entry here.

Boston's Overcoming of Odds or Toronto's Epic Collapse?

Boston came back from a 4-1 deficit to win 5-4 in OT which can only be described as an incredible collapse by Toronto.  Sorry Goon, you can say that it was the determination and skill of Boston players to fight back from being down that much to win if you wish, but.... Toronto should have won this game.

Is the series a collapse by Toronto?  This one I'm not so sure of.  Neither team held a two game advantage.  It was 1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 2-2, 3-2, etc.  I think it was a pretty good series overall, but one, again, Toronto should have won.

The Hart Trophy

Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, and John Tavares are the three finalists.  Not Toews.  Brad Schlossman wrote a nice article explaining this and how some nice hockey media writers are questioning why, but...  Comon.  In a shortened season you go to your go-to player if that player puts up respectable enough numbers.

Sidney Crosby is going to win it.  Does he deserve it?  His stats are not poor enough to say "No," but then again, Ovechkin had a rough start and really poured it on.  At one point, I believe Washington wasn't even very competitive early on...  Tavares is just the dark horse on a team that played better than expected.  Tavares is the Stamkos of this year's Hart Trophy finalists.  Bless him he's good enough, but the NHL has other ideas.

Crosby will win it hands down.  Gives the media and the NHL the PR angle for the offseason.

Crisfield decommits from UND.  What does that mean?

Overall, not much.  Things happen.  Not sure why, but whatever the reason is, it happened.  What does it mean for UND?  Our game is changing.  And it has to thanks to the rules and the officiating.  It took long enough but I think it was bound to happen eventually anyways.  In short, North American hockey is becoming more European (Don Cherry is probably having a stroke about this...well that's karma because his suits just about give me epileptic seizures).  Physical hockey is being squashed for finesse.  Good news for my Red Wings.  Bad news for my UND.

So next year you can expect UND to be NOT very physical on D.  The only physical D we really have are Panzarella and Senkbeil (who might not have even played D last season?  Don't remember... and I don't know if he's especially that physical either).

Good news for Haters though.  They'll be able to diversify themselves away from the usual "Fire Hakstol" to "Hakstol is recruiting Gopher wannabes and wusses!"  Whatever.  We saw it last year as your PIMs went down again last season.

Minnesota Pro Sports Fall on their Faces again

Folks, I've watched Minnesota Pro Sports all my life and I've watched some collegiate endeavours as well.  I was watching when UMN Football coach Glenn Mason just about did cartwheels because they made it to the Music City Bowl.  And listened as he explained that just making a Bowl game is the mark of a successful program.

I was there when Twins GM Terry Ryan said Free Agency solves nothing and proved it by signing awesome players in Ruben Sierra, Rondell White (who he said would be a middle of the lineup power hitter that will hit 30 homers.. yet his career high was around 23), and a few fat pitchers.  No, Mr. Ryan, the way YOU run free agency solves nothing.  And the Twins have a bunch of conference titles and first round exits (showing that their conference was weak to begin with).

I was there when Wolves GM Kevin McHale signed Latrell Spreewell and all those incredible contracts and explained that he built a winner... Yup.  Wolves up until VERY recently, were the punchline.

The Vikings.... they don't sign free agents and they can't draft... or they couldn't for a long while.  They sniffed the promised land once but well.... they left their "dominant" offense in the hands of a kicker.

The Wild... OY.  Talk about a flawed team.

The attitude that a well rounded team is one that mixes a random strategy, a dart board, and the word "potential" pervades Minnesota pro sports.

The truth as I see it is this:  None of these teams will win it all.  They're not run the right way.  Some have bad ownership (Wolves, Wild, Twins for the longest time).  Some can't draft (Wild, Wolves, Vikings for the longest time).  Some can't evaluate talent (all.. though the Twins SOMETIMES hit home runs).  Minnesota Wild sign Parise and say that their goal scoring problems are over.... and you guys believe it!  Really?  It's the same statement they said when they went out and got Havlat...and Heatley...  I hate Pittsburgh but they didn't stop at Crosby.  They seemed to focus on one basic need at a time.  They drafted offense and then goaltender... their D stunk.  Then they worked on D... and now mediocrity like Fleury and Dupuis have their names on the Cup.  Minnesota's strategy?  Draft two way players, gritty defensive forwards, and some speed.  No finishers.  No scorers.  No grit in the offensive zone.  PM Bouchard is overrated and he's a perimeter player anyways.  Koivu and Parise... that's it.  Granlund might be good but who knows?  You all thought Brett Burns was good too.

What I'm getting at is that there seems to be absolutely NO strategy to building a Minnesota Pro team.  They just focus on the long term (how many times did Terry Ryan say the word, "potential" when describing any Twins player?  No "Now" talent at all) and never seem to get restless for the present.  Hey, I know the feeling.  I used to be a Cubs fan.  Offended that I'd compare teams that have been to the championship game far more times and far more recently than the hapless Cubs?  Think about it.  Take away the 105+ year futility streak and what do you have?  You have Minnesota.

The Wild need scoring.  They need to draft scoring.  They need to sign scoring.  They should basically do that ONLY for a year or two.  It's lopsided, I know.  But you aren't going to win the Cup with a team of Zuckers, Veillieuxs, Clutterbucks.  You've got Koivu and Parise... You need 2 or 3 more scorers.  You need two SOLID lines of scoring talent.  Pittsburgh can roll almost 3 lines and that's excluding their D.  It's why Pittsburgh will win, I kid you not, 2 more Cups, before Minnesota plays Game 1 of the Finals.

Minnesota is getting better... but will it continue?  What will this offseason bring?  I think the draft is a BIG indicator.  IMO, if the Wild draft anything but scoring talent in the first 3 rounds of the draft, I think they're just destined for a higher payrolled version of the same old same old.
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dion Phaneuf blast John Tavares from behind.



Not a good hit by Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneauf on Islanders forward John Tavares. I am also shocked that there was no penalty on the play as the referee was standing where he could see the play.
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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday Links – NHL = No Hockey League?

As most of you know the NHL Commissioner threw cold water on the NHLPA’s proposal and now NHL hockey fans have to worry if there is going to be a work stoppage that could cost us a good share of the NHL season. To quote Gary Bettman, "There's still a wide gap between us with not much time to go."

A while back, my good buddy Redwing77 suggested that the NHL contract a few teams – over on Sportsnet.CA Michael Grange has suggested the same things as well.
Perhaps the biggest challenge facing NHL owners is that they are in business with some real dog-and-pony shows. On one hand you have Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which -- on-ice performance aside -- is perhaps the most sophisticated sports ownership group on the planet. According to Forbes, the Leafs' 2010–11 operating income of $81.8 million nearly matched the next two most lucrative operations -- the Rangers and Canadiens -- combined. (And if you're looking for a staggering figure, the other 27 teams combined for $44.4 million in operating losses.)

On the other hand you have the New York Islanders, who could hold a rat rodeo in the bowels of the decrepit Nassau Coliseum and have taken John Tavares hostage. Phoenix is Phoenix. Columbus is a joke, and Florida can barely draw Canadians during March Break. But what if we chopped two teams and moved two more? More revenue for the league and the players to share, and less bad news for the rest of us. No-brainer.

Lopping off two teams (and before you say that's crazy, I talked to one former NHL governor who wished it was six) makes the league six percent smaller, but as the former governor told me, “You know that revenues wouldn't drop by six percent.” Right away, each remaining team's share of revenues would increase as they would only have to divide by 28 instead of 30; it would also mean two fewer clubs on the receiving end of revenue-sharing cheques. Lopping off the Islanders and Panthers would cut league revenues by $144 million (based on 2010–11 figures compiled by Forbes) but would increase the average earned per team from $103 million to $105 million.
I found a post by a Devils fan on the NJ.COM site that I really agree with… I thought I would share it with you because it probably the same way a lot of NHL fans feel. I wonder sometimes if the NHL would be better off spending their 7.5 million dollars on someone else.
Gary Bettman is a buffoon threatening a lock out, Last year was a breakout year for the NHL with TV coverage of all the playoff games. Building from that, the popularity is finally going in the right direction and he wants to derail the whole thing. The cap system he scrapped an entire season to get was supposed to save the team owners from themselves. The owners find a way to get around this "savoir cap system" with enormous long term contracts, spending themselves into financial trouble once again. Now Bettman wants to scuttle the progress the league has made withe the fan base by sabotaging the CBA negotiations, he should keep his mouth shut and the the process work. The attitude of of closing up shop if I don't get my way is counter productive, nobody wins with a lockout financially everyone loses; teams, players, cities, vendors, parking, restaurants/bars all lose a revenue steam
It does appear that he owners want to move back to 2004-05 lockout era and I am not sure that is even possible? The more I read – the more I think there is not going to be any easy solution – that is going to happen any time soon.
Under the NHLPA's offer, the difference would be much less significant.

Donald Fehr, the union's executive director, bristled at the parallels Bettman drew to other pro leagues -- "every sport has its own economics," he said -- and indicated that the gap in talks was actually created by the NHL's initial proposal in July.

"There's a pretty substantial monetary gulf which is there and when you start with the proposal the owners made how could it be otherwise?" said Fehr. "I mean consider what the proposal was: It is 'Let's move salaries back to where they were before the (2004-05) lockout started, back to the last time.' That's basically what it was.

"'We had a 24 per cent reduction last time, let's have another one.' That was the proposal. That's what creates the gulf."

The sides broke off from talks with two completely different offers on the table and no meaningful negotiation sessions planned for a week. A sub-committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday, but Bettman and Fehr won't sit down together again until Aug. 22.

It's impossible to ignore the looming threat of a lockout.[TSN.CA]
I also don’t know how the owners can sign players to outrageous salaries and then say – we would like to have the players take a 24% roll back in salaries – especially after the Weber, Parise and Suter Salaries. I think this is why the players and fans are cynical if not downright dismissive of the owners.

Think about this, the NHL has a works stoppage every 5.25 years – I don’t know if any professional can make that claim.

Glean what you what you want from Fehr’s statement about the owners.

Also, there was a feelings of optimism after the NHLPA made its proposal on Tuesday – those feelings of optimism – expressed by many on Tuesday – were squashed on Wednesday when the Owners led by Gary Bettman rejected the NHLPA proposal saying, “there’s still a wide gap between us with not much time to go,”
Pat Leonard, New York Daily News --- A lockout this fall would be the fourth NHL work stoppage in the past 21 years, and once again it’s clear that Bettman and the owners believe it to be their best negotiating tactic – dig their feet into the sand until they get what they want.

The league filed the notice of termination of the current CBA in May. The NHL’s opening proposal in July then was intentionally, drastically far from what the owners knew the players would accept. Finally, Bettman confirmed last week that the owners would lock the players out on Sept. 15 – when the current deal expires – if a new agreement isn’t in place.

“There’s only one party here that’s talking about Sept. 15,” Fehr said. “You make of that what you will.”

The players made clear they’re not caving to all of the owners’ demands, but at least their proposal indicated a desire to compromise with the NHL. The NHLPA is still waiting to hear similar rhetoric from the league.
In summary, yesterday, we found out that the NHL owners are not impressed with the NHLPA’s proposal – on the other side of the equation we found out that basically the NHLPA is not impressed with the NHL owner’s stance either.

Donald Fehr said. “I mean, consider what the proposal was. It is ‘Let’s move salaries back to where they were before the lockout started, back the last time.’ That’s basically what it was.

“‘We had a 24 percent reduction last time, let’s have another one.’ That was the proposal. That’s what creates the gulf.”

Gary Bettman said, “So there’s still a wide gap between us with not much time to go. … The sides are still apart – far apart.

It’s time for the NHL and the NHLPA to sit down and work out their difference and to come an agreement on a new CBA. They should make them sit in a room and tell them not to come out until you have an agreement. The owners and the NHLPA shouldn’t take the NHL fans for granted – if there is a lockout – some of these fans will not come back after the work stoppage is over.
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