Reimer Budaj

The first messages fired in my brain this morning were the opening notes of CBC’s old Hockey Night in Canada theme song: dunt dudunt duduh… of course, up here in Canada TSN bought the rights, the CBC got a new song (it’s actually good, and could easily become as revered), and we were all reminded that tradition is BS and hockey is a business and nothing lasts forever, but ANYWAY: DUN DUNDUNT DUDAHHH!

The NHL season! Leafs/Habs! Blackhawks/Capitals! Oilers/Jets! Tonight, for real points and real stats! Awesome.

It’s an obvious statement, but from an individual standpoint, man is nice to get at least a point on that first night. Get the ball rolling, get off to a decent start, starting piling up those numbers – that’s the goal. Oh, and two points for the team would be nice too. More on Day One coming later today.

To the newsmobile!

***

Contract talks: Kessel’s heat up, the Sedin’s cool down

Phil Kessel has made a point of saying “he won’t negotiate during the season,” so it kills me that the height of the negotiating period was apparently taking place the night before the first game of the season (arguably one of the times you’d like to be thinking most about hockey to get the mental aspect of the game back), and is still apparently taking place today. …Game day. …Again, the first one.

The rumors from Bob McKenzie are that Phil’s likely going to get paid somewhere in the eight-million per-season range for seven or eight years. That’s fair for what he’s done so far in the league, and what he’d command on the open market, so it would be tough for anyone to be too upset about that.

For a guy who gets it done by being lightning in transition and having a rocket shot, will he be worth it when he’s 30. 31, 32? Probably (with what the cap will be by then), maybe not, whatever – elite talent costs money and you can’t win without it. You certainly can’t let it walk.

Oh, and by the way: I love the Sedins attitude on getting their extensions done:

Little less hostage-holding going on in that negotiation, but then, I suppose they aren’t working on deals with the same amount of term.

***

Hybrid icing has been approved by the players, will be in effect this season

I weighed in on this when the news first broke yesterday:

Now, logically, if you could change any NHL rule so that it would keep a handful of players from getting seriously injured, and all you had to do was make a tweak that would result in a few more disputed calls, you would do it.

And so, logically (and surprisingly), the NHLPA has agreed to make said tweak. Cool, safety first and stuff!

BUT, if you’re viewing hockey as a product, it probably didn’t just get better.

We’ll still have the races to negate icing, but there will almost certainly be a number of times where they feel muted by a ref’s whistle before the action can develop. It’s like rooting for a hypothetical exciting moment. And, there will be moments when refs botch calls (as is bound to happen with human officials) and goals are incorrectly scored (or potential ones are negated), and we’ve got another reason for teams to scream and shout at the poor refs.

Practically, from a human viewpoint, the game is safer now, and that’s a good thing. An internet +1 for that. I’m just genuinely surprised the players made that call given their general penchant for being pro-hurting one another. (My hunch is that a lot of players who played with it in the American League last year had votes and gave it the thumbs up.)

The link at the top of the post will take you to the official wording of the rule, as well as some player feedback on it. I also tried to diagram it last season when the AHL adopted it here.

I’m not 100% sold that your average fan will love the decision, but your average fan hasn’t snapped a femur playing it the old way, so tough beans I guess.

***

Two quick Leafs notes, since they play tonight

James Reimer earned the right to start over Jonathan Bernier tonight, and 19-year-old Morgan Rielly made the team (for now).

***

Max Domi brained a kid in his first game back in junior

There’s a funny thing that happens when you return to play a level you know you’re probably a little better than: you no longer feel like you need to take anyone’s s**t. Overall, it’s a really, really good thing. Some call it confidence. When I would go play in the American League on a call-up, then get sent back to the ECHL, I was less inclined to let a guy take whacks at me without turning around and decking him, but f*** this scrub, right?

I have no idea if that’s what happened in the case of Max Domi, but if you watch the video below, you’ll see Domi get run early in the shift and get shoved to the ice. Immediately after, the puck comes back to him, and he knows the guy who just ran him once is all full of adrenaline and licking his chops at the chance to hit Mr. Fancy Almost NHLer again, so, let’s set some ground rules: I, Max Domi, will not be tolerating getting run all year.

It’s a brutally cheap elbow he throws, and as much as what I’ve written above sounds like a defense, there has to be a better way to protect yourself than this:

***

The Flyers are cap compliant…barely

They snuck under the cap by a whopping 25k, which is pretty remarkable when the cap is 60 million-plus. Their ace in the hole: hand in a 21-man roster for the day, put Pronger on LTIR, then have room to sign Hal Gill. Neat!

***

Jonathan Drouin “had no clue” the Lightning were considering sending him back to junior

I don’t really get how – it seems a little naive to assume you’re going to be handed a roster spot at nine years old or whatever he is, but here we are.

He has to deal with life without Nathan MacKinnon on his line now, which ought to make things a little more difficult, but I have a hunch he’ll be just fine. Though apparently MacKinnon drove him everywhere too, so now he has to get his driver’s license, which is a real hassle.

…Y’know, on second thought, it sounds like the demotion might be for the better.

And finally…

***

The last day of relaxation for Pavel Datsyuk

I love this guy. Good for him for taking advantage of his time away from the rink.

Hey, nice Northern Pike, Jackfish, Muskie or whatever that is. Has to be one of those.

Comments (15)

  1. I don’t like hybrid icing. I get the safety aspect, but if that’s the way you want to go, just do no-touch and be done with it. I’ve seen lots of ECHL games with no-touch, and while it isn’t as good as the old touch icing, you notice it less and less the more you watch it. How many times in a game does someone actually beat out icing anyway? Maybe once? If that?

    • It’s a step though. There was no way it ever would go from regular icing to no-touch. this is a step in that direction (hopefully).

  2. I don’t think icing is that big of a deal so making it safer is always a good option to lean towards.

    The one thought I do have on it though is during a 1 goal game and the puck is iced, how much time on average is now saved from when the whistle blows with the hybrid icing compared to the old icing rule where the player had to touch the puck and at the end of a game if that could play a difference.

    It might seem far-fetched but just a thought

    • A second here, and a second there, pretty soon you’ve got enough time for Bill Mosienko to score a natural hat trick. Those seconds aren’t trivial. Maybe we’ll see a revival of the patented J.C. Tremblay thirty foot in the air dump out.

  3. You give Domi a lot of credit to imply that his intention was “setting the tone” or protecting himself. Looks to me like it was straight up retaliation for the extra shoves about 6 seconds beforehand. Wonder if those two had a grudge from earlier as well that prompted the initial confrontation.

  4. On Domi: Cheap, yes. Brutal, no. Fortunately for all involved, it looks like Domi, just managed to get somewhat of a glancing blow via a VERY extended glove/fist on the kid’s chin and didn’t connect with all the weight/force of a full-speed elbow. Pretty sure that kid’s been hit way harder before and will be just fine.

    • Really? The way he jumped into him elbow-first (*both* skates off the ice prior to impact)? He’s going to sit for a while, which ought to do him good. The less like his father he plays, the better he’ll do (coming from a former fan of Tie, before I came to my senses).

      • An anagram for Ti Domie is Me Idiot. And Sidney Crosby becomes Disney Crysob ( which delights my boys no end).

    • I love reading the nitty gritty distinction between what constitutes cheap and brutal. Now i know that a flying “Joe Pesci” elbow to the face is only cheap, but not brutal.

  5. That Mr. Bourne is a Northern Pike.

  6. Jackfish and Northern Pike are the same thing, and that is what that fish is

  7. Is it me or does the fish look kinda like Datsyuk?

  8. Domi’s no Mr. Hockey. On a brighter note, the Leafs-Habs tilt should be good, especially now the Habs have beefed up with the addition of Danny Briere.

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