Showing posts with label Toronto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Toronto. Show all posts

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Toronto's Clarkson to have hearing for hit on Sobotka

The Department of Player Safety might not be the Christmas spirit when it talks to Toronto's David Clarkson. The Maple Leafs forward has already been suspended this season and could be looking at another lengthy one.
NHL.COM -- Toronto Maple Leafs right wing David Clarkson will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Saturday morning for a hit on St. Louis Blues left wing Vladimir Sobotka in a game Thursday night at Scottrade Center.

At 6:28 of the second period, Clarkson was assessed a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head of Sobotka, who remained in the game.

The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: illegal check to the head. However, the Department of Player Safety retains the right to make adjustments to the infraction upon review.

St. Louis won the game, 6-3.
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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

NHL Hockey: Sharks Hosed by Blown Call in San Jose Last Night...

s/t Duck Daddy. Check this out, the San Jose Sharks got hosed last night, it appears that the Sharks did in fact score the game-winning goal. I am surprised that this wasn't reviewed by the war room in Toronto. The Buffalo Sabres would go on to win the game in a shootout, that was only the third win of the season for the Buffalo Sabres.

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Former UND Standout Matt Frattin traded to the LA Kings (RW77)

LA @ Van, Round 1 of Stanley Cup Playoffs
LA @ Van, Round 1 of Stanley Cup Playoffs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Former UND standout Matt Frattin is now joining former UND standout Matt Greene in Los Angeles.  Frattin was traded as part of a trade that involved Toronto and LA.

The trade as it is written sends Frattin and former Cornell goaltender Ben Scrivens (and a 2nd round pick in 2014 or 2015) to Los Angeles for Jonathan Bernier, a goaltender who has spent his entire career thus far as a backup.

Bernier had a great year backing up Quick but it is apparent that Quick isn't about to be usurped and that his Stanley Cup performance was more the norm rather than Giguere-esque.  Scrivens is young and, at least at this point, seemed destined to be a good career backup goaltender.  Frattin has had 27 points (15g-12a) in his 82 game NHL career thus far.

Who Won?

I think Bernier is the winner in this trade.  He now comes into a fluid goaltending situation in Toronto and can more than likely take over.

Who Lost?

It's a toss up between Frattin and Toronto incumbent goaltender James Reimer.  Frattin was getting a ton of chances with Toronto and it's not all that guaranteed with Los Angeles.  Who knows if Frattin will stick in the NHL next season with LA when he suredly would have with Toronto.

As for Reimer, he sits at home having thought that Toronto was high on him.  He did do a lot for Toronto this year after all and he is young.  So Toronto goes out and acquires another young goaltender.  Bernier isn't being acquired to ride the pine.  In the end, I believe this amounts to a slap to the face to Reimer.  The NHL is a business and sometimes the business is harsh.
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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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Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Bruins vs. Leafs

Tyler Seguin during a game against the Buffalo...
Tyler Seguin during a game against the Buffalo Sabres during the 2010-11 season (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Boston 28-14-6 vs. Toronto 26-17-5 

Season Series: The Bruins had a 3-1 record against the Maple Leafs this season. 2-0 in Boston and 1-1 in Toronto.

For the first time in nine seasons, the Toronto Maple Leafs are in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That’s right, last time the Maple Leafs made the Stanley Cup Playoffs was during the 2003-04 season.

So, starting tonight, the Leafs are trying to shed the label as the Make Me Laughs. Looking at the history books, the Maple Leafs are also the last “Original Six” team to win a Stanley Cup Championship (1967). That means If my math is correct, that 46 years since the Toronto Maple Leafs last won the Stanley Cup. The Bruins ended a 39 year drought when they won the Stanley Cup in 2011.

One of the stories lines is former Boston Bruins forward Phil Kessel, who was traded to Toronto and the struggles he has had against his former team scoring (3g-6a—9pts) in 22 games against the Bruins. Kessel also didn't want to talk to the media in Toronto this week, either.
Steve Simmons, Toronto Sun – Phil Kessel has managed the impossible — he’s pulled a disappearing act before the playoff series begins against the Boston Bruins.

And in doing so, refusing to fulfil his contractual obligations and meet with the media, he wound up embarrassing team management in the process.

“That’s the first I’ve heard of it,” said general manager Dave Nonis, when apparently informed of Kessel’s unwillingness to play meet the press on Monday afternoon and doing his best to explain why. Nonis was clearly unimpressed with Kessel’s silence.

“We’ll deal with it internally,” said Nonis, who added. “Our players will be available on a going forward basis.”
Lets hope that the Boston Bruins make young Nazem Kadri eat his words, I don't know about you, but that looks like bulletin board material to me.

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Joffrey Lupul's dirty hit to the head on Victor Hedman

This is an illegal hit to the head and a violation of rule 48. Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffery Lupul is going to get a call from the Department of Player Safety and if he isn't suspended, I will be very surprised. Apparently, this isn't the first time that Victory Hedman has been hit with a questionable and dirty hit this week. Zac Rinaldo also caught Hedman with a very questionable hit earlier this week, but he was able to go tonight.

s/t  cjzero for the cool gif.

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Sunday, January 06, 2013

So the NHL wants us back... (RW77)

English: NHL Commisioner Gary Bettman in 2007.
English: NHL Commisioner Gary Bettman in 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So the NHL is back with pretty much a joke of a season...but wait!

They have to get all those players back...  Will they succeed?  I'm not sure everyone will return.  There has to be concern that injuries may take control and there is no room to develop talent and anything that makes a team a team.  It's basically the ultimate scramble tournament format.  Who can get started fastest and play the best the quickest.  That's the test.

What does the NHL need to do to get the fans back?

Barry Melrose talks about how the fans always come back after a work stoppage, but I am hoping that they do come back... next season.  I think the fans should sit back and watch what the teams and the league does to try to earn our support back.  Here's a list of things that should be done:

1.  You know NHL Center Ice?  Yup.  Free for the season, playoffs, and ALL of preseason next year.  If they do anything for the offseason, that's free too.

2.  NHL Network - Free view for the same period of time NHL Center Ice is free (if possible... this might be more on the cable providers than NHL Network itself).

3.  The Players become available more than ever before.  ENDLESS autograph signings, school visits, community outreach programs, volunteer sightings.

4.  Promotion nights fall on EVERY GAME IN THE SEASON.  Teacher in the metro area?  Show us your ID and get $5 tickets!  Military?  FREE tickets to you and $5 tickets for one friend or nonmilitary family member with the display of a Military ID.  Civil Servant Night (see Teacher Night).  Got a hockey team of 12 year olds or younger?  Call ahead for seating and your entire team gets $1 tickets (Coach goes free) when they show up wearing their jerseys!

5.  Radio promotions - Give away ticket packs to the local radio stations

6.  The average ticket prices for NHL games (per Hooked on Hockey Magazine) for the 2011-12 season ranged between just under $30 (Dallas) to just over $123 (Toronto).  Well....  Dallas residents can look forward to $15 tickets.  I can see a Detroit game in Detroit for $25 (regularly $53.28).  Toronto residents still overpay at $61.50 per ticket but still...  Season tickets would be restructured to accommodate for the loss of games either by making this season tickets cost less than 50% of normal cost or discounting next year's season tickets by, say, 40% (I don't know....  either way it should be SIGNIFICANTLY discounted).

You cannot change existing TV contracts so unfortunately there is no free TV showings outside of what's mentioned but if it was possible, I'd do it.

I'd love to say Gary Bettman resigns but the smug so and so survives yet again to pull another work stoppage in 8 years.  You can market Sidney Crosby all you want but Gary Bettman is the face of the NHL and NO ONE outside of the ownership likes him.  What a better image saver than to offer Bettman early retirement?  The owners will never fire him, but surely Bettman could take the golden parachute and have roses pave his way back to obscurity if the League really cared about fan opinion (but they don't).

In any case, we'll see how things pan out but...  It's now or never for Columbus' Stanley Cup hopes.  :D
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Former PSU Recruit Thomas Welsh makes Team Canada East Selection Camp

Cross Posted at the Hockey Writers - Combine...

I just found out via email this morning, that former PSU recruit Thomas Welsh has been selected to the final evaluation camp for Team Canada East, in hopes of playing in the 2012 World Junior A Challenge.

Welsh is a kid that I have profiled the blog on two previous instances for Inside Hockey. [Link 1] and [link 2]

Welsh had committed to play at Penn State over going to the OHL but changed his mind and decommitted from PSU and is currently considering his options, the NCAA and the OHL are both options that he is considering.

Q: I read on a blog that your son’s rights were traded from Sarnia to Mississauga. Is the CHL still an option as well?

Mike Welsh: Thomas was initially drafted by Sarnia in 2011 but was recently traded to the Steelheads this spring (2012).  There has been some discussion with the Steelheads but that is as far as it goes.  Thomas will need to explore other Div 1 schools.
The selection camp is scheduled for Oct. 28-31, will be held at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto, Canada.

Thomas found out he was selected to Team Canada East selection camp roster on October, 18, the day after his father Mike died from throat cancer.

According to a Tradition of Excellence, UND Hockey recruits Wade Murphy Penticton-BCHL)Adam Tambellini (Vernon-BCHL) are expected to take part in the WJAC Canada West selection camp as well so there is a good chance that Thomas Welsh could cross paths with UND recruits Murphy and Tambellini in November.
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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Not so fast - NHLPA and NHL Owners no closer to a deal

English: NHL Commisioner Gary Bettman in 2007.
English: NHL Commisioner Gary Bettman in 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On Tuesday the NHL owners put forth another proposal for a new CBA – shortly thereafter there was a lot of excitement that finally we might get an NHL season.

Donald Fehr came out on Tuesday and said, "Simply put, the owners' new proposal, while not quite as Draconian as their previous proposals, still represents enormous reductions in player salaries and individual contracting rights."

Today, the NHLPA put forth three (3) counter proposals to the NHL owners and Gary Bettman and the NHL owners balked at all three of them.
TORONTO NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman received three counterproposals from the players’ association on Thursday and left the negotiating table “thoroughly disappointed.”

No new talks have been scheduled, and the possibility of a full hockey regular season is quickly shrinking.

The union offered multiple options in response to the NHL’s offer on Tuesday that called for an 82-game season and a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenues between owners and players.

Bettman said that proposal was the “best that we could do” and added that the two sides are still far apart.

“None of the three variations of player share that they gave us even began to approach 50-50, either at all or for some long period of time,” Bettman said. “It’s clear we’re not speaking the same language.”

After today's revelations, I think we're right back where we were before the lastest round of proposals and counter proposals. This tweet by the Breaking News Twitter feed give me pause to think that we're not going to have an NHL season this year.

Easton Synergy EQ50 Sr. Hockey Equipment Combo (Google Affiliate Ad)
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bettman's taking NHL fans for granted.

It sounds like the NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is taking NHL fans for granted – his logic is – because the fans came back after the two previous lockouts - they will come back this time again.

I am sure there were a lot of fans that weren't happy today with Bettman's condescending, pompous and arrogant statement statement, I don't like reading that statement.
Tim Panaccio, Flyers Talk --- And that’s what NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is counting upon. That you, the fans, will come back again when he locks the doors on Sept. 15.

A week, a month, an entire season. He’s pretty confident you’ll come back.

How do we know that? The Commish all but said so today in Toronto at the CBA meetings.

After a brief, 90-minute negotiating session with the NHLPA in which nothing was really bargained and nothing was gained on either side, Bettman was asked about the damage another lockout could do.

“We recovered last time because we have the world's greatest fans,” Bettman said.

That, in a nutshell, is why the owners are willing to do it again. They know the sport will recover. They have past history to prove it.

Hockey fans are like addicts. They can’t resist the ice. They come back. Again and again.
First, I am not sure how Gary Bettman can start making ridiculous comments like he did today – does he have research to back up his claims? How does he know that the fans will be back after the lockout is over – there might be some fans that might just decide to not renew their season tickets or spend the money on something else – the country is in an economic down turn and some fans might decide that they won’t by the tickets and save the money for a rainy day.

This is one of the reason I believe that there is no reason to remain optimistic. The owners and Gary Bettman are taking NHL fans for granted – the owners and Bettman are making the assumption that the fans will forgive the owners for locking out the players after the labor dispute is over.

Today Gary Bettman said, "the only way to make progress in ongoing labour talks is to solve the "fundamental economic issues."
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

T.J. Oshie going to arbitration

English: T.J. Oshie takes a faceoff against An...
Former Fighting Sioux forward T.J. Oshie looks like he will be going to salary arbitration this Friday if he is unable to agree to a new contract with the St. Louis Blues. Oshie is coming off a career year (19g-35a-54pts) where he tied for the team lead in points with former Minnesota State University Mankato Maverick David Backes (24g-30a-54pts).
Jeremy Rutherford, --- In a sign that the Blues aren't expecting to reach a contract extension with forward T.J. Oshie before Friday's arbitration case, general manager Doug Armstrong is headed to Toronto on Tuesday three days in advance of the hearing.

"We're going to Toronto to work with our counsel on preparing for the case," Armstrong said Monday.

Oshie was one of 16 restricted free agents who filed for salary arbitration July 5, but since then seven players, including the Blues' David Perron, have re-signed extensions with their current club.

The Blues and Oshie's agent, Matt Oates, could still reach a resolution before Friday's hearing, but are now down to just three days of potential negotiations before an arbitrator hears the case.

In a text message to the Post-Dispatch on Monday, Oates indicated that he was gearing up for Friday's hearing but added that he was "open and looking to continue talking."
With the Wild picking up Ryan Suter and Zach Parise - some fans have suggest to me that the Minnesota Wild should go after T.J. Oshie and try to sign him to a contract.

While I do think that Oshie would look really good in a Wild uniform, I don't know if the Wild could afford to lose a bunch of draft picks if they signed Oshie to an offer sheet. It would be counter productive - based on how good the Wild have drafted lately. The Wild are also up against the cap with the signings of Parise and Suter. I also don't see the Blues wanting to lose Oshie, who is one of the faces of their organization.
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Farwell 'NCAA has been similarly accused of making it attractive financially to keep these players playing in their system'

To tonight while I was riding my bike and I was listening to the Pipeline show on Team 1260 A.M. out of Edmonton, Alberta .

The hosts Guy Flaming and Dean Millard had on Mike Farwell who is a radio analyst for Kitchener Rangers hockey team and works for  570 A.M. News. Farwell is also a sports anchor on the Sportsnet 590 A.M. The Fan out of Toronto, Ontario.  

You can listen to the show in question by clicking on this link or you can download the show on iTunes store.

Guy asked Mike Farwell about the various allegations surrounding the CHL and if there is any truth to some of these rumors.  The response to the question was quite interesting.

“In my personal opinion and I am heading into my thirteenth season in this league,” Farwell said. “Where there is smoke there is fire and we hear unfortunately about these types of situations far too often. “

“You listed some of the power houses but again; I don’t want to get into a naming of names and who said what and he said – she said sort of thing again. It’s not too hard if want to just Google it you can find the members clubs across the entire 62 team Canadian Hockey League that have been accused of these things before.”

Then Farwell dropped this little throw away nugget out there, “having said that, the NCAA has been similarly accused of making it attractive financially to keep these players playing in their system, despite that fact that it goes against their rules and regulations as well.”

“I want to make that abundantly clear we hear this so often, you have to ask what is going on.  To me this is really the elephant in the room for the Canadian Hockey League and its incumbent on the league to do something.” 

Wait, What? I was disappointed that the hosts didn’t dig a little further and ask for clarification from Farwell, he also gave no specific example of what he was referring to.

College is pretty regulated and there just isn’t a lot of dirty under the table stuff going on in college hockey. When is the last time a team in the NCAA hockey was given the death penalty for improprieties? You don't have the violations in college hockey that happen in NCAA Division I Basketball and Football. If you don't think the NCAA is looking up North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Boston College and Denver's rear ends you're highly mistaken.

This is also not the first time I have heard Major Junior Hockey Fans make the charge that NCAA hockey has questionable recruiting practices. Really! There has not been a lot in the recent past and there has only been six NCAA violations since 1974 according to Joe Meloni of the College Hockey News. 

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Sunday, July 01, 2012

$925,000 question answered - Schultz to the Oilers

Edmonton Oilers
The Edmonton Oilers have won the Justin Schultz sweep stakes and have signed him to a two year entry level deal.The former Wisconsin All-WCHA defender was one of the most sought after free-agents this year.
Chris Johnston, Edmonton Journal --- Justin Schultz was able to pass the baton off to Zach Parise.

After being courted by NHL teams at the Newport Sports offices in suburban Toronto for much of the week, Schultz agreed to terms with the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday afternoon. The first big free-agent decision of the summer came several hours before the floodgates were set to officially open at noon ET Sunday and left Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini in a celebratory mood.

"What a way to start the free-agent period," Tambellini told reporters in Edmonton.

It gave Schultz plenty of time to clear out of Don Meehan's high-powered agency before Parise's expected arrival on Sunday. The former University of Wisconsin defenceman took advantage of a loophole in the collective bargaining agreement to become a free agent and garnered plenty of interest.
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

NHL to re-look at their obstruction fouls in off-season

When I saw this tweet from TSN's Darren Dreger today, I thought it's a little late to the party but I welcome the discussion in the off-season.  This is a long time coming and some tweeks need to be made to the NHL game.

In my opinion there has been way too much obstruction, hooking, holding and stick fouls in this seasons Stanley Cup Playoffs and the officiating has degraded from last year to this season. The later in the game the more a players can get away with on the ice
Other items on the agenda:

Hooking, holding and interference: Instead of holding a research and development camp this year, the NHL will hold a meeting of GMs, coaches, players and referees in August in Toronto. It will focus on the standard of enforcement of hooking, holding and interference penalties.

Some GMs complained the standard slipped this season, but Campbell said they needed to discuss the matter in the off-season, when people could put aside their self-interest and speak in more detail. []
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Monday, April 02, 2012

It's all Kessel's fault...

This is predictable and you could see this one coming, the media in Toronto and Montreal are hard on their athletes. some might call them brutal and their fans have an entitlement mentality as well.

Just ask Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel, who is having a career year (37g-41a—78pts) and scoring almost a point per game and has a chance to score 40 goals yet this season but will be the focus of the fans ire. The last time the Toronto Maples Leafs made the Stanley Cup Playoffs was during the 2003-04 season.

Michael Traikos, National Post --- If Phil Kessel were to reach the 40-goal mark in a year in which the Toronto Maple Leafs missed the playoffs, what would be the reaction?

Would you cheer? Would you boo? Would you even care?

It might be a tree-falls-in-the-forest type of question. Kessel, who set a career high by scoring his 37th goal in a 4-3 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, has been one of the NHL’s top offensive players this season. And yet it is difficult to celebrate his breakout year when you try and digest all that has gone wrong with the 14th-place team in the last two months.

Had Toronto made the playoffs — had they played their way to home-ice advantage, something that was not unthinkable not that long ago — Kessel might have received Hart Trophy consideration.
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gaustad crushes Liles

You want to get off of the track when the train is coming. Check out Buffalo's Sabres forward Paul Gaustad as he absolutely blows up Toronto defenseman John-Michael Liles during tonight's game.This is a text book example of a league body check.
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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Milan Lucic hit on Zac RInaldo

Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for this hit on Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo. In looking at the video, and watching the game, I don't think you will see a suspension to Milan Lucic.

The reason I say that I don't think that Lucic will be suspended is that last night Toronto Defenseman Dion Phaneuf  buried Buffalo Forward Zack Kassian into the boards and wasn't suspended. In my opinion that hit was worse than Lucic's hit on Rinaldo. So I don't see a this and there was no suspension given to Phaneuf.

I know that if Lucic isn’t suspended by the NHL we are going to hear the conspiracy theorist claim that the NHL is in bed with the Bruins because Colin Campbell’s son Gregory plays for the Boston Bruins, however, I don’t think this hit is suspension worthy.

After Milan Lucic's questionable hit on Flyers goon Zac Rinaldo, who has been in eight fights this season, goes after and challenges Bruins forward Nathan Horton to a fight. As a Bruins fan, I get a little worried  seeing one of the Bruins top six forwards, who has suffered a concussion in the past year, fighting an experienced fighter like Rinaldo. Rinaldo (1g-4a—5pts) is a cement head and is on the ice for one thing. Rinaldo is there to fight and cause havoc, you would think he should have challenged Lucic to the fight.
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Monday, December 05, 2011

NHL re-alignment, NHL opts for four conferences

According to the USA Today this is the  NHL is going to look like next season. The good news is that everyone will play everyone twice a season. 

East 1: New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Carolina and Washington

East II: Florida, Tampa, Montreal, Toronto, Buffalo, Ottawa and Boston.

Central: Columbus, Detroit, Winnipeg, Nashville, Dallas, Minnesota, St. Louis and Chicago

West: Phoenix, Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose, Vancouver, Colorado, Edmonton and Calgary

Here are a few more detail from Darren Dreger of TSN.

Monday, September 19, 2011

2011-12 NHL rule changes

Brendan Shanahan and of the NHL and Mathieu Schneider of the NHLPA explain the rule changes for the 2011-12 season. The rule that one that everyone is concerned about is rule 48, illegal hits to the head. Gone are the words, lateral and blindside, also, the head can not be target or a principle point of contact. If a player puts themselves in a vulnerable position that will be taken into consideration as well. There is also some flexibility to call a 2 minute penalty instead of a 5 minute major.

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