Deal In Principal: Although the deal must still be ratified by both sides (there are some rumours saying the players may actually turn it down) it looks like the longest lockout in pro sports may finally be over.
Closure. Err... I guess not.: I thought all of these stories I've been reading were just wishful thinking. Then Rogers Sportsnet becomes the first major broadcaster (and only one at this point) to confirm that talks will re-start this weekend. Is this for real? This lockout is like a monster in a bad horror movie that will... not... die.
Hope Springs Eternal: I've grown tired of discussing the boardroom antics of the NHL and NHLPA. Instead lets follow Terry Frei's lead and have some faith. If there is a miracle on Wednesday and agreement is reached what kind of hockey season would we have? Terry proposes 3 possible options. I would hedge my bets on option number 2. (Via Colby Cosh)
World Jrs. Final Tonight: For hockey fans this will have to tide you over til the World Championships (baring some sort of act of God). A matchup between Canada and Russia should produce the best game of the tournament. The game is being hyped as Sidney Crosby vs. Alexander Ovechkin and it should be a classic. It will hopefully put a exclamation point on what has otherwise been a fairly dull tournament.
Are the players starting to cave?: A few stories have started to pop up in the last couple days that seem to indicated that the lower tier players have had enough. With the NHLPA meeting coming up in a few days are these players just tring to get their message out, since it's unlikely any of them will be at the meetings? Or are we starting to see the beginning of the end for the players?
The Best Sport City = Boston.: The SportingNews has picked the best sports cities again. Boston came out on top. They also picked the best sports cities by sport. The worst sports city, in case you were wondering, is Pine Bluff, Ark.. The complete list is also available. How did your hometown fare?
Nieminen suspended one game.: The NHL has once again decided that the severity of the injury to the player is the main deciding factor in suspending a player. Should that really be factor is the reason the player was hurt has more to do with not wearing his equipment properly that the actual hit?
When Trophies Go Bad.: The Stanley Cup is, bar none, the best professional sports trophy. However hockey will now have to take credit for this abomination. The damn thing looks like a toy. Seriously I thought this was a joke. Via ColbyCosh.com
Gee, that didn't take long.: Ottawa is wasting no time in cleaning house. Jacques Martin was fired just 2 days after losing game 7 to Leafs. I think this is good move. In the end the coach is the one who has to find a way to get the most from his players (see all 3 coachs nominated for the Jack Adams). Martin has never ben able to inspire the team to reach that next level. It's time to let someone else have a try.
NHL Award Nominees Named.: The NHL has announced the finalists for this years awards. I don't think they missed anyone, but it interesting to note that not a single Maple Leaf made the list.
Faking It.: At lot was made about Mike Ribeiro's acting a couple of days ago in the Montreal / Boston series. Now Montreal's Alexei Kovalev bascially cost the Canandian's a playoff series because he was trying to draw a penalty in double overtime. How bad was it? His own teammates are saying things like this... "I guess he got slashed. Maybe. But do you stop playing?". I know everyone wants to win, but why is it that some players always try to get the upper hand by fooling the referee.
NHL Cracking down?: A melee at the end of the Calgary - Nashville game has resulted in a 2 game suspension of Brian Sutter, and $50,000 fine against the Flames because of Sutter's player selection at the end of the game. Over-reaction by the league or justified?
The NHL hasn't learned a damn thing.: How can you on one hand suspend Bertuzzi for all of those games, and yet when Bryan Marchment (Toronto) hits Byron Ritchie (Florida) from behind and breaks his collarbone you give him NOTHING.
Do star players need more protection?: (Sorry, I couldn't find a link to a video clip.) Although it happened a couple of nights ago a lot of people are still talking about the hit to Markus Naslund. Was it a dirty hit? Does the NHL need to do more to protect it's star players? Perhaps getting rid of the instigator rule is what's needed to fix this 'problem'... if there actually is one.
Don Cheery Is Correct.: Don Cheery (hockey commentator on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada) has gotten in a lot of hot water by saying only Europeans and French (French Canadian) guys where visors. People have been calling his remarks discriminatory, and the CBC ombudsman, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council and the official languages office are all investigating the comments. The problem is.... the numbers say he is right.
Getting better by goin' back.: Darren Eliot figures that the best thing the NHL can do to make the game more entertaining (read: increase scoring) is to revisit some old rules. Some of his ideas make sense (re-introduce the tag-up rule), some seem crazy (no limit on stick curvature!??!) . Do you agree with his ideas? What would you change?