Showing posts with label National Hockey League. Show all posts
Showing posts with label National Hockey League. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

NHL expanding to Las Vegas

Viva Las Vegas! According to the Providence, the NHL is expanding to Las Vegas, Nevada. Place your bets. I picture an arena with one armed bandits and black jack tables in it. All jokes aside, I think it's a great move. Now, I wonder if we can get a Frozen Four there?
Tony Gallagher, The Providence -- Sources close to the situation have indicated Las Vegas is a done deal, the only thing to be determined being which owner will be entitled to proclaim that he brought the first major league sports franchise to Sin City.

And given how dead set against a team in the gambling haven the commissioner was 10 years ago, this move into another player friendly state-tax-free zone represents a considerable about-face indeed.

But people have been betting on hockey games for years and to pretend games couldn’t be fixed just as easily anywhere as in Vegas is pretty ridiculous, so that posturing has fallen by the wayside.

A new team close to the newly renamed Arizona squad and California’s big three is all but assured, the only question being when and with which other city. Or should that be plural?

With all the activity going on in the Seattle area in the last little bit it would be quite a stretch to imagine that much time and effort being spent by so many wealthy men being frittered away for nothing.

Monday, August 25, 2014

NCAA Hockey: Six Part Must-See Non-Conference Series


I just finished up six blog posts: Five Must-See Non-Conference Series. I am in the process of writing a 10 Must-See NCAA Hockey Series. It should come out this week. As we move towards the 2014-15 college hockey season, this has been the most uneventful off-season that I can remember. For those that are wondering, the NCHC CBSSN television schedule is going to come out sometime in the next six weeks.





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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hump Day Links

There's only 46 days until the University of North Dakota kicks off the 2014-15 season. Here's a few links of interest from the world of hockey.





Saturday, August 16, 2014

TSN: NHL Loses Key Decision in TV Rights Lawsuit



I will be following this story closely, this sounds like a potential mess.
Rick Westhead, TSN.CA -- The lawsuit also attacks the NHL's tactic of charging customers $179.80 for its full-season offering of games available on cable and satellite providers. Again, both of those packages, known as NHL Center Ice, black out in-market games.

The NHL subsequently filed a motion to dismiss the case and a judge ruled this week against that motion. The ruling was unsealed on Friday.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs will spend the next few months asking for the case to be considered as a class action. It's unclear how many people might be involved in the case.

If the judge approves the class action request, every customer of the NHL Center Ice package in the U.S. would be included as a plaintiff. The case does not involve or affect broadcast rights within Canada.

"Disappointed, but still very preliminary," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told TSN on Friday afternoon. "We remain confident of ultimately prevailing on the merits."

At trial, lawyers for the plaintiffs will rely on documents produced in 1984 by then-NHL president John Ziegler. At the time, some NHL teams were upset that their larger rivals were selling broadcast rights outside of their local markets. Ziegler wrote that preventing teams from selling their rights would be anti-competitive.

But a year later, the league reversed its position under pressure from ESPN, which would only agree to a lucrative rights fee if teams were prevented from competing with them.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Minnesota Wild All Time Greatest Player



Well we all heard Eric's opinion on who the greatest player in franchise history for the Minnesota Wild is, Marian Gaborik, and that will probably be a lot of other peoples choices because of how dynamic of a goal scorer he is.

However, one has to argue for Mikko Koivu. The captain has been with the team for 601 games played, plus three playoff runs.  The captain is much deserving of this honor along with his 452 points and a +26 rating in his career, I'd say this honor goes to Mikko Koivu.

Monday, August 04, 2014

OMG! A Boston Bruins Hate Map



I was actually kidding when I said this. But there's actually a Boston Bruins hate map. It's official, everyone hates the Boston Bruins.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Parise Scores.....



Even more reason to be positive about the upcoming 2014-15 season. Parise scored 33 goals during the 2013-14 season and playoffs.

Subban gets his money (RW77)

PK Subban is, to me, an interesting case... and not the only interesting case on the Canadiens.

Yesterday, PK Subban signed an 8 year $72 million contract with Montreal.  For the math fans out there, that's a cap hit of $9 million a year.

Is this a good or a bad deal?  Fans and analysts alike are already batting around this question.  Ok, so maybe it is because we are now entering the boring part of the offseason and there's nothing really to talk about now that Sid the kid's surgery is postponed or cancelled.

Back a few years, Duncan Keith signed a mammoth extension with the Blackhawks worth $5.5 million a year and people questioned it and it turned out ok.  Others, not so much.  But in my opinion, the worthiness of this contract isn't questionable if you look at Subban's offensive numbers and even defensive capabilities.  Based on those facts alone, he's pretty solid.  Goon and I agree, he's most certainly the best player on Montreal.

However, he has a reputation most often scorned by those who were subjected to the Vigneault-led Vancouver Canucks of years past:  Embellishment, diving, showboating, etc.  Subban is the finest diver in all of the NHL (my opinion anyways) and he excelled at it last year in the playoffs.  Sadly, it's not the "haters" that were the only ones noticing it.... EVERYONE was.

There is talk that Subban will be named Captain or wear an 'A' on his sweater this season.  I, for one, hope this is just talk.  He's not yet matured enough to be an on ice leader.  Maybe he's great in the locker room.  His interviews seem good enough as well.  So, sure, he has the potential, but he needs to clean up his game first.

The problem lies in the necessity to do such a thing... you see, it isn't present.  More and more Captains of teams employ shady tactics on the ice.  The Kings' Dustin Brown is a good example.  Historically, there have been "cheap" Captains or superstars.  Heck, Gordie Howe was a cheap as they come back in his heyday.

However, I'd like to think that the Captain is a leader by example and exemplifies what his team is all about on and off the ice by such an example.  PK Subban doesn't lead in that way.  But that being said, the NHL isn't going to change its trends because of my opinion.  Oh well.

So, is Subban worth a big payday?  Yes.  Is it a bit high?  I think so.  I like Duncan Keith's numbers.  Something like an 8 year $44 million contract would have been perfect for Subban.  Load it with incentives if you want, that's fine.

So, he's a bit overpaid... but unlike the other "interesting" case, I think he'll back up his pay grade.

The next Habs player headed for a big payday apparently is Carey Price.  And I truly believe that last year he had a career year pre-injury.  He'll still be good, but he's not an elite goaltender.  The Habs will pay for a guy they almost let walk twice.  Soon after, they'll wish they had let him walk.

Just my prediction.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Nick Schmaltz impresses Chicago Blackhawks

While he may not be the second coming of Jonathan Toews, not many are, soon-to-be UND freshman forward Nick Schmaltz impressed the Chicago Blackhawks brass with his efforts during a recent development camp.
Scott Powers, ESPNChicago.com --- To eliminate that risk, the Blackhawks could look to sign those college prospects earlier. They could attempt to sway their top top-tier college players to leave after their sophomore or junior seasons and sign them to entry-level contracts. They have done this before with players such as Jonathan Toews and Nick Leddy.

The Blackhawks already appear to have a handful of players whom they might consider signing prior to their senior seasons. Forwards John Hayden, Vincent Hinostroza and Anthony Louis are coming off productive freshman seasons and continued to impress at last week's prospect camp. Tyler Motte didn't attend the camp, but he also had a strong freshman season. Nick Schmaltz, the Blackhawks' 2014 first-round pick, also played well in the camp and will be a freshman next year.
That being said, it doesn't appear that the Blackhawks are going to rush him to sign an NHL contract, either.
Scott Powers, ESPNChicago.com --- Blackhawks amateur scouting director Mark Kelley did a majority of the evaluating of the 6-foot, 172-pound Schmaltz and had him high on the list of the offensively-skilled players in the NHL draft. One of Schmaltz’s skills especially stood out to Kelley.

“His hands, they’re fast,” Kelley said at the NHL draft.

Schmaltz isn’t a finished product, and that also attracted the Blackhawks to him. The Blackhawks weren’t looking for someone in the first round they could rush to the NHL. They sought someone with a high ceiling, but who would need time to get there.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

NCAA Hockey: Expanded video replay criteria approved for men's, women's hockey

An ice hockey referee signals a penalty for hi...
An ice hockey referee signals a penalty for high sticking. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Here are some of the changes to come down from the NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved several changes to the criteria for allowing video replay in men’s and women’s ice hockey, effective for the 2014-15 season.
The replay changes were recommended by the Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee during its meeting in June as part of a number  of recommendations intended to improve the game and were circulated to coaches and conferences for comment prior to PROP’s approval.
The added scenarios are:
Goals may be reviewed to determine if they are scored before a penalty occurred.
• If an offsides or too many men on the ice penalty is missed and a goal is scored, the play may be reviewed if the puck remains in the offensive zone after the missed infraction. If the puck leaves the attacking zone, the offsides or too many men on the ice penalty is no longer reviewable.This replaces the previous wording that only allowed a review if the missed play directly led to a goal.
• It was clarified that the video used for replays may come from any source that is available to the game officials. Previously, the video used was required to come from a television broadcast.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

CBC: Wayne Gretzky's agent denies link to Seattle group interested in NHL



Interesting story, but from an expansion perspective, Seattle would be a nice place to put an NHL team. They "could" become an instant rival with the Vancouver Canucks.
CBC.CA -- Wayne Gretzky's agent is denying a report that the Great One is trying to bring an NHL team to Seattle.

The New York Post reported Friday that Gretzky is part of a group of investors working on a deal to bring either a new or existing franchise to the city.

Darren Blake, Gretzky's agent, told The Canadian Press in an email that the 53-year-old Hall of Famer isn't involved in any bid."As you can imagine prospective team owners from various franchises call frequently to gauge his interest in coming on board. Seattle is no different," said Blake.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly declined to comment on the report.

There would be significant hurdles to clear if Seattle were to host an NHL franchise, starting with the lack of an arena.

Wild sign Jordan Schroeder to a two year contract



The Minnesota Wild have signed first round bust and former Golden Gopher Jordan Schroeder to a two-way contract. Based on who the Wild have in their current lineup, I don't see Schroeder playing in Minnesota all of that much.



Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Chicago Blackhawks: Toews and Kane get paid



For their efforts, former Fighting Sioux forward Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are now locked into some nice, fat contracts that will make them very rich men. In my opinion, this is what a post 2013 lockout contract will looks like. It will be interesting to see what kind of issues the Blackhawks have with salary cap.
Chris Kuc, Tribune reporter -- Two of the NHL’s top players aren’t going anywhere after Toews and Kane agreed to terms on identical eight-year, $84 million contract extensions Wednesday, likely ensuring the Hawks will be Stanley Cup contenders for the next decade or so.

Hawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz, President John McDonough, general manager Stan Bowman and the rest of the Hawks’ hierarchy recognized and rewarded their young forwards’ rare talent with contracts that will carry salary-cap hits of $10.5 million per year apiece — the highest in league history — when they kick in beginning with the 2015-16 season.

That combined $168 million dedicated long term to two players carries cap implications that Bowman will have to work his way through when he assembles future rosters.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Minnesota Wild: Justin Fontaine files for arbitration



Former UMD Bulldog and current Minnesota Wild RFA forward Justine Fontaine has filed for salary arbitration. EDIT: Came from Hockey Wilderness blogger-> Apparently, the former Bulldog wants 2.75 million a year. So, I would say, it's probably going to be less than the above number.

This past season, Fontaine scored (13G-8a—21pts) in 66 games. Just for comparison sake, Fontaine was 4th on the Wild in goal scoring, so he isn't total hack making outrageous demands. It will be interesting to see what kind of a contract he signs. I don't think his salary demands are all that unreasonable.
Russo's Rants -- Wild right wing Justin Fontaine was the only one of the Wild's restricted free agents to file for arbitration by today's 4 p.m. deadline. He's one of 20 to do so in the NHL.

Fontaine's agent, Neil Sheehy, will continue to try to negotiate a contract with the Wild. He can do so up until the hearing, which will be scheduled from July 20 to August 4 in Toronto in front of an independent arbitrator. Most of the time, a contract is worked out prior to the hearing. By any player filing for arbitration, it ensures he can't be signed to an offer sheet by another club and it ensures no holdout from training camp.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Brady Skjei will return for Junior season



Now that the development camps are in full swing, the Minnesota Gophers got some good news. Defenseman Brady Skjei will return for his junior season.
By Brian Deutsch (GopherSports.com) - Gopher Hockey defenseman Brady Skjei has confirmed he will return to the University of Minnesota for his junior season in 2014-15.

The Lakeville, Minn., native is currently participating at the New York Rangers Prospect Development Camp at Madison Square Garden Training Center and informed the National Hockey League (NHL) organization of his decision on Thursday.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Sharks sign Road Cone John Scott



Western Conference team beware, especially if you're one of those players that skates with their head down. The San Jose Sharks have signed UFA road cone John Scott. The former Michigan Tech Husky inked a one year deal worth 750 thousand dollars.

One thing Scott will never be accused of is being dumb. Anyone that is this bad of a hockey players, and has been able to get paid this much money to play hockey in the best league in the world, has to be a genius.

Scott who has no redeeming quality other than he can fight, has played in 236 NHL games and scored a minuscule (2g-4a—6pts) and racked up an impressive 430 penalty minutes. In his second to last game of the season, Scott was assessed 24 minutes in penalties. Good thing that the Mr. Anger Management has a degree from MTU to fall back on when he's done with hockey.
SAN JOSE, CA - San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has signed free agent forward John Scott to a one-year contract. Scott, 31, ranked 13th in the NHL with 125 penalty minutes in 56 games during the 2013-14 campaign, leading the Buffalo Sabres in that category."John brings a physical, no-nonsense element to our lineup," said Wilson. "As we integrate more younger players to our team, John's presence alone can act as a deterrent and help keep teams and opposing players honest."

Monday, June 30, 2014

Another reason to stay in school



Here's a perfect example of why college hockey players shouldn't be in a hurry to leave college and play professional hockey. Even if they're a first round draft choice.

Four years after leaving college, former Minnesota Golden Gopher Jordan Schroeder has played in a mere 56 NHL games and scored an unimpressive (6g-9a—15pts). I know that hind sight is 20/20, but I do  wonder if Schroeder would still leave school early, knowing what he knows now? Stay in school and finish that degree.

Minnesota Wild: The second most exciting time of the year



Tomorrow is one of the most exciting times of the year. Starting at 11:00 A.M. Central, the 2014 NHL free agent signing period begins. I like many other Wild fans, are excited to see who the Minnesota Wild end up signing. Will there be some former WCHA players calling Saint Paul, MN home? Looks like the Wild aren't looking for long term commitments, either.
Chad Graff, Pioneer Press - Thomas Vanek, 30, is a pure scorer, the type the Wild lacked last season when they finished 24th in goals scored, netting 2.43 per game.

Matt Niskanen, 27, is coming off the best season of his career, having scored 10 goals and recorded 36 assists and a team-best plus-33 rating for the Penguins. He would instantly upgrade the Wild's defense.

But at what cost?

That's what Fletcher is trying to determine in the final days before free agency begins.

With Vanek and Niskanen interested in hearing the Wild's pitch, Fletcher's decision on the two free agents ultimately might be defined more by years than price.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Wild Kicking the Tires on Jarome Iginla



Looks like the Wild are trying to add another top-six forward for their lineup. This is interesting news right here. I wonder what it would take to get Iggy in a Wild uniform? I would also applaud the move if it happened.
Michael Russo, Startribune – The draft is over, no player trades were made, so whether it’s Sunday or Monday, bet that Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher and coach Mike Yeo will try to get together in Minnesota with pending free agents Matt Niskanen and Thomas Vanek.

While those have been the most well-publicized names surrounding Wild interest in advance of the market opening across the NHL Tuesday, the Wild has other lines in the water, too.

The Wild has been in contact with camp, according to multiple sources. It’s unclear if the interest is mutual, but it’s definitely clear that the Wild is interested in potentially signing the future Hall of Fame winger and, ironically, all-time leader in basically every offensive category against the Wild.

NCHC Players Drafted in the 2014 NHL Draft


North Dakota freshman forward Nick Schmaltz was the highest incoming NCHC player drafted in the 2014 NHL Entry Level Draft.  There were no incoming NCHC players taken in the second round of the 2014 NHL Draft. Nebraska-Omaha and North Dakota had the most players taken in this years draft.