Archive for the ‘NHL’ Category

Despite the attempts of sports talk radio call-in programming, spouting poorly formed opinions on the current National Hockey League labor presumably reached its zenith of stupidity back in September when Canada’s Donald Trump suggested that NHL owners should simply fire all the players, sign replacements with incentive-laden contracts and be done with the matter entirely. Not to be advised by what is rational, hyperbolic commentary on the lockout – with outlooks ranging from the implementation of indentured servitude for players to guillotine sprees for the aristocratic owners – has continued to emerge, much to the detriment of the impressionable.

Thinking beyond sports, it seems that the more severe the conflict, the less likely a true victor is to emerge. In hockey, we have come to expect identifiable winners and losers. In fact, since the introduction of the shoot-out, each contest in the NHL can only result in win and lose outcomes. And so, as hockey fans turn desperate for the thrill of competition, we find ourselves taking sides in a dispute about dollars rather than goals, and aligning ourselves with negotiators in a similarly vicarious sense to how we once followed the sport.

Read the rest of this entry »

This is what Daly thought of the NHL's request (pic from newstodaydigest.com)

Well here’s a frustrating tidbit that popped up on the Twitter machine last night: The NHLPA requested a meeting with the NHL today, and the league told them to go suck an egg, in slightly more professional terms.

The players executive board had a conference call on Tuesday night, which they followed up with the request.

Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star wrote on what came next:

“We informed the NHL we are willing to meet (Wednesday) or any other date, without preconditions, to try to reach an agreement,” the union said in a statement. “We hope to hear from them soon.”

The answer came quickly — no.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said because the players were unwilling to bargain off the league’s last proposal, there’d be no point.

“Given their rejection of our proposal and their indication that they aren’t prepared to make a new one, what is there to meet about?” Daly wrote to the Star in an email.

If I may steal a line from Peter Griffin, that last line really grinds my gears. “What is there to meet about?” Eff you, man. Read the rest of this entry »

I understand that this is likely a minority opinion because it’s terrible business, but if I were an NHL player, I’d rather we just drop the puck on the season and earn less. I’d rather accept the most recent NHL proposal (after one more counter) than sit out.

$1.7M instead of $2.3? Kay. I’ll live. I’d want UFA rules to stay the same, and I’d want entry level contracts to stay at three years. Most of the rest of it…I mean, guys can’t believe how much money they make. I played with a guy who got called up for two weeks and matched his entire season’s AHL pay. He was flabbergasted.  Read the rest of this entry »

This morning I thought I’d pass along a cool book for you hockey fans interested in how the NHL took it’s shape – intoducing Breakaway: From Behind the Iron Curtain to the NHL: The Untold Story of Hockey’s Great Escapes.

It can be difficult for some players to leave their home country to play in the NHL now – decades ago, it was damn near impossible for a handful of them. They simply weren’t allowed to up and leave.

Below is an except from the third chapter “The Beginning of the Czech-sodus,” which tells the story of how Petr Klima worked his way out of Czechoslovakia, and onto the Detroit Red Wings roster. If you’re interested, you can grab a copy for about $18 on Amazon. Read the rest of this entry »

Take the Roof Off

In its natural element, hockey is a very short-term game. In the mind’s eye, Canadian winters are magnified to epic proportions, as though they bled on year after year like the decade-long freezes of Westeros. In real life, though, even in the parts of the world that have the climate for the game, that climate only holds steady for three or four months at a time. For most of the Canadian population, living low along the south border, hockey played on natural ice is of necessity an irregular thing. It gets more so every year, as we look at the forecasts and grumble louder and louder about global warming, but the truth is that even in our grandfathers’ classical winters, good ice would come and go, battered by sun and snow, rain and thaws.

Read the rest of this entry »

The return of The Dream Team

If you’re a fan of a Canadian team and living in the US, NBC would like to pass along a message: “go kick rocks.” In their defense, Canadian hockey fans suffer no shortage of hockey coverage in their native country, so there’s no real reason to pander to those who’ve left.

The TV schedule for NBC and the NBC Sports Network was released today, and the good news is that they’re covering more games than they ever have before. Before we address that, here’s a quick look at the amount of times they’re going to show the teams north of the border: Read the rest of this entry »

ESPN does a yearly feature over in their neck of the woods called “Uni Watch” wherein they rank the quality of uniforms across the four major North American sports. Conveniently, they’ve broken down the rankings into league sections as well so we can see where the World Leader in Tebow scores the NHL’s threads.

List below the jump.
Read the rest of this entry »