Thursday, January 31, 2013

An arena deal to change more than the fortunes of a hockey team

The deal announced last week between the Edmonton Oilers and the City of Edmonton will not only help to bring increased revenues to the hockey club, but may make for a bit of social engineering designed to change the fabric of a neighbourhood.

Much is being made about the 480 million dollar development, which could start as soon as August, with debate still part of the discussion as to whether it was the best possible deal for the City.

Gone it seems is the threat of moving the Oilers to Seattle, the prospect of the new destination building for Edmonton's downtown area more than securing the teams future as a fixture in Northern Alberta for years to come.

That prospect came to a positive resolution for hockey fans with the 10-3 city council vote of last Wednesday night, securing approval for the project and leaving behind he bitterness and anxiety over the past troubles that the project ran into over the last year.

There is one item that might leave Edmontonians wondering about the project however, there is some suggestion that the provincial government may provide some of the funding for the proposal, and the Alberta government isn't quite ready to write a direct cheque  to the cause.

There does seem money set aside in something called the Municipal Sustainability Initiative and most observers seem to believe that it's just a matter of moving money from one pile to another to solve that funding issue.

Credit is being shared among the three key components of the deal, Oilers Daryl Katz, Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who may not find anyone buying him drinks in twenty nine other cities (well maybe Phoenix, he has been kind there) but in Edmonton, he probably won't have to pay his bar bill well into the future.

Both Daryl Katz and The City of Edmonton were quick to trumpet the deal forged last week.

Some suggest that it was through Bettman's hand holding in the last few weeks, that the deal finally got from discussion phase to signing phase.

The new arena already is getting notice, marked by some as the most ambitious development that the city has seen, which puts it in rather impressive company we imagine, up there with Commonwealth Stadium and the West Edmonton Mall to name a few.

It obviously will be much more than a hockey rink, it will be more of an entertainment destination, providing a forum for any number of events, some of which perhaps were passing Edmonton by owing the aging nature of the Northlands palace of shinny.

When it opens, we imagine it will be the envy of many a community across the nation, wit the most likely jealous looks coming some two hours from the south.

Stand by Calgary, we suspect that soon, very soon, the competition with the cousin's to the north will be renewed.

The Oilers website featured a few items of interest on the latest developments on the arena proposal.

City and Katz Group Score Framework on New Arena
Edmonton's Downtown Arena Deal: We Are A Great Northern City
A Landmark Day (video)

Some other background on the deal between Daryl Katz and Edmonton can be found below.

Edmonton Journal-- Devil's in the details for new arena
Edmonton Journal-- What's in the Edmonton arena deal?
Edmonton Journal-- Council approves revised downtown Edmonton arena deal (video)
Edmonton Journal-- City Council takes leap of faith for new arena
Edmonton journal-- Arena deal greeted with rousing round of ... silence
Edmonton Journal-- We owe thanks to Mandel, Katz and Bettman for this arena deal
Edmonton Sun-- A year and a half later, city council approves Katz Group deal very similar to one approved in October 2011
Edmonton Sun-- City makes 'absolute deal ' to build downtown rink, says Edmonton's mayor
CBC-- Arena approval
CBC-- Arena construction will go ahead
CBC-- Agreement for Edmonton arena passed by council

Monday, January 28, 2013

Roots is rooting for a Nordiques return

We won't place too much prognostication possibilities on the current offerings of the Roots brand of clothing, but should the NHL return to the Quebec capital, then the Canadian clothing chain will clearly be ahead on the fashion curve.

A province that is renowned for its fashion sense, has a fascinating line available for the folks in Ville de Quebec, a line that could serve to stoke the rivalry with that other city down the river.

In their current advertising campaign, Roots has launched a line of hockey themed clothing, celebrating the return of hockey (and perhaps helping to move all that product that perhaps sat on shelves during the lock out period).

There's the usual array of Maple Leaf, Canadien, Senator, Jets, Flames, Oilers and Canucks material there for the purchase, from jackets to caps, shirts and scarves.

And for the hopeful of a seventh NHL franchise, there's a selection of Nordique themed items, ready to celebrate what seems like possibly the most sensible decision that the NHL could make coming out of the lockout drama.

The momentum continues to build to bring Quebec City back into the NHL collective and there are perhaps more than few potential franchises in southern outposts of the league that may be of interest to the folks at Quebecor who at the moment seem the favourite to bring hockey back.

Though as outlined above, the NHL being the ATM that owners seem to try to make it into from time to time, may instead go the route of expansion. Something that seems rather foolish considering the issues of recent years in some locales, but never underestimate the ability to try to make as much money as possible, when it comes to the folks around the board table.

Regardless of the road north,  whether through an established team or an expansion version, should they prove successful, the folks in Quebec will be more than dressed for success.

National Post-- Sidney Crosby shares his feelings on Quebec getting another NHL team
Toronto Star-- Can Canada save the NHL?
The Score-- Quebec City and other prospective NHL towns are the winners of this lockout
The Toronto Sun-- Which cities are in line to receive an NHL team?
CBC-- Canada could support 3 more NHL teams, study says

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Owners Box 2013

Our Archive of items regarding ownership of NHL franchises, highlighting the moves in the structure of team ownership and items of interest surrounding the NHL's franchises.

March 14-- Board of Governors-- Realignment plan approved by Board of Governors

March 14-- Los Angeles-- Kings, AEG no longer for sale

March 8-- Buffalo Sabres -- Sabres acquire deed to begin construction of $172 million hockey-entertainment complex

March 8-- Board of Governors-- Board of Governors vote next for realignment plan

February 28-- Carolina Hurricanes-- Hurricanes add four to ownership group

February 26-- Board of Governors -- NHL proposes realignment, new playoff format

February 18 -- Los Angeles -- Former Kings owner Jerry Buss dies at 80

February 2-- Phoenix-- A new migration pattern for the Coyote (HockeyNation)

February 1-- Phoenix-- Greg Jamison misses deadline to buy Coyotes

January 31-- Phoenix-- Jamison faces deadline in bid to buy Coyotes

January 31-- Edmonton-- An arena deal to change more than the fortunes of a hockey team (HockeyNation)

January 23-- Edmonton-- Edmonton City council approves new arena deal

January 15-- San Jose-- Original Sharks owner George Gund III dies

January 9-- Board of Governors-- Board of Governors ratifies terms of new CBA

January 9-- Board of Governors-- Statement from Jeremy Jacobs, Boston Bruins owner and Chairman of the NHL Board of Governors

January 3-- New Jersey-- Vanderbeek gains sole ownership of Devils


October 27-- New York Islanders -- Islanders Make a Commute (HockeyNation)

September 29-- Edmonton Oilers -- Burning multiple bridges with Daryl Katz (HockeyNation)


The Trading Post 2012-13

The trade, it can change a players career for good and sometimes for the bad. An opportunity for a fresh start for some players, or just one final indication that their days in the pros may soon be coming to an end.

Perhaps like few seasons in recent years, this years abbreviated schedule will find General Managers a little more fidgety than usual, with a short dash towards playoff positions, the opportunity to add on to a lineup for some, may find many GM's in a particularly trading frame of mind this season.

For the General Manager it provides the opportunity to improve a team heading towards a playoff spot or fill in some gaps that suddenly become urgent due to injuries. For teams that are going nowhere fast, the trade can line up future prospects or remove burdensome contracts in preparation for a better tomorrow.

We track the deals as they come to pass during this 2012-13 season, providing some background for the names that now trot off to the Post Office for change of address cards.

April 3-- Anaheim/Minnesota-- The Wild pick up some insurance in the nets with a trade that brings Jeff Deslauriers to Minnesota, the Ducks receive future considerations in exchange (NHL Trade Alert)

April 3-- Nashville/Washington -- The Predators send Martin Erat and Michael Latta to the Washington Capitals in exchange for Fiillip Forsberg (NHL Trade Alert)

April 3-- Anaheim/Phoenix-- The Coyotes continue to clear the decks, sending Matthew Lombardi to Anaheim in exchange for Brandon McMillan (NHL Trade Alert)

April 3-- New Jersey/Phoenix-- The Devils bring back Steve Sullivan for another tour of the swamps, sending a seventh round pick to the Coyotes (NHL Trade Alert)

April 3-- St. Louis/Boston-- Wade Redden changes a uniform once again, heading to Boston to join the Bruins, reunited with Zdeno Chara and Peter Chiarelli (NHL Trade Alert)

April 3-- Toronto/Colorado -- The Leafs and Avalanche make a trade, Ryan O'Byrne heads for Toronto in exchange for a fourth round pick (NHL Trade Alert)

April 3-- San Jose/Phoenix-- San Jose picks up some of the toughness they lost when they traded Ryan Clowe, as they grab Raffi Torres from the Coyotes, Phoenix or wherever they may end up next year receives a third round draft pick (NHL Trade Alert)

April 3-- Calgary/Columbus-- The Flames pick up a fifth round draft pick, sending Blake Comeau to the Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL Trade Alert)

April 3-- Buffalo/Minnesota-- The Sabres continue to move players, sending Jason Pominville to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Johan Larson and Matt Hackett (NHL Trade Alert)

April 3-- Columbus/New York Rangers-- The Blue Jackets pick up Marion Gabork, sending a draft pick and Derek Brossard to the Rangers (NHL Trade Alert)

April 3-- Columbus/Philadelphia -- The Blue Jackets send Steve Mason to the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL Trade Alert)

April 3-- Ottawa/Tampa Bay -- The Senators make a deal with Tampa Bay sending Ben Bishop off to Florida (NHL Trade Alert)

April 3-- Pittsburgh/Carolina -- The Penguins pick up some help to tide over the Crosby convalesence, with Jussi Jokinen making his way (after Mrs. Jokinen delivers the baby) to the Penguins, the Hurricanes get a 7th round pick in the deal and turn over diaper duty to the Penguins (NHL Trade Alert)

April 3-- San Jose/Nashville -- The Sharks reacquire Scott Hannan, sending a 7th round conditional pick to Nashville in return (NHL Trade Alert)

April 3-- Edmonton/Florida-- Edmonton picks up Jerred Smithson from the Panthers, sending a fourth round pick off to Florida (NHL Trade Alert)

April 3-- Boston/Chicago-- Minor leaguers change up some uniforms as Maxime Sauve heads for Chicago for Rob Flick who joins the Bruins (NHL Trade Alert)

April 2-- Tampa Bay/Chicago-- Tampa Bay picks up Phillipe Paradis from the Blackhawks, in return the Hawks acquire the rights to Kirill Gotovets (NHL Trade Alert)

April 2-- New York Rangers/ San Jose -- The Sharks made the much anticipated shipment of Ryan Clowe, sending the physical left winger eastbound as it turns out, Broadway bound, in exchange the Rangers send the Sharks a 2nd round pick in the 2013 draft, a 3rd round pick in the 2013 draft and a conditional 2nd round pick in the 2014 draft (NHL Trade Alert)

April 2-- Colorado/Dallas -- Tomas Vincour is Colorado bound, after the Stars traded him to the Avalanche in exchange for Cameron Gaunce. (NHL Trade Alert)

April 2-- Montreal/Los Angeles -- Montreal picks up Davis Fewiskie from the Kings in exchange fro an fifth round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft (NHL Trade Alert)

April 2 -- Boston/Dallas -- Jaromir Jagr is on the move again, the consolation prize it seems for Bruins fans who watched Jarome Iginla head for Pittsburgh over Beantown. The Stars picked up a conditional second round pick in the 2013 draft as well as a pair of prospects, Lane McDermid and Cody Payne. (NHL Trade Alert)

April 2-- Edmonton/Washington -- Edmonton picks up defenseman Garret Stafford from the Capitals in exchange for Dane Byers (NHL Trade Alert)

April 2-- Vancouver/Dallas -- The Stars continued to move some of their assets, sending veteran Derek Roy off to Vancouver, receiving a second round pick in the 2013 draft and a prospect defenseman Kevin Connauton (NHL Trade Alert)

April 2-- Carolina/ Tampa Bay -- The Hurricanes pick up defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron from the Lighting, sending Adam Hall and Carolina's seventh round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft (NHL Trade Alert)

April 2-- Washington/Phoenix -- Minor league players change address cards on Tuesday, as the Capitals sent Matthew Clackson to Phoenix for forward Joel Rechlicz (NHL Trade Alert)

April 1-- Buffalo/Los Angeles-- The Sabres continue with their next year plan, sending Robyn Regehr to the Kings, picking up two second round draft picks from the Kings, one for 2014, the other in 2015. The trade is contingent on Regehr passing a medical for the Kings (NHL Trade Alert)

April 1 -- Calgary/St. Louis-- Calgary continues with the clearance sale, this time sending defenceman Jay Bouwmeester to the St. Louis Blues, on the way to Alberta, the Blues first round pick in the 2013 draft, minor league defenceman Mark Cundari and goaltender Reto Berra, currently whiling away the hockey hours in Switzerland (NHL Trade Alert)

April 1-- Chicago/San Jose-- Chicago picks up some depth for an already impressive lineup, securing Michal Handzus from San Jose, sending a fourth round pick in the 2013 draft in return. (NHL Trade Alert)

April 1-- Anaheim/Philadelphia-- The Ducks and Flyers exchange forwards, with Anaheim picking up Harry Zolnierczyk in exchange for Jay Rosehill (NHL Trade Alert)

March 30-- St. Louis/Buffalo-- St. Louis isn't waiting for the trade deadline to try and shore up their lineup, swinging a deal with Buffalo on Saturday which sees Jordan Leopold from Buffalo in exchange for  a second round and conditional fifth round pick in the 2013 draft, the conditional pick moves up to number four should the Blues win a playoff round, if they make the playoffs (NHL Trade Alert)

March 30-- Philadelphia/Detroit -- The Flyers continue to try to rebuild their lineup picking up Kent Huskins from the Red Wings in exchange for a conditional seventh round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft (NHL Trade Alert)

March 29-- Phoenix/Edmonton-- The Coyotes and Oilers swap a pair of junior prospects with Tobias Rieder moving to the Coyotes list, while Kale Kessy gets inked with the Oilers (NHL Trade Alert)

March 27-- Calgary/Pittsburgh -- The Flames send the face of their franchise, Jarome Iginla, off to Pittsburgh, receiving the Pens first round pick in 2013 as well as the rights to a pair of unsigned draft choices Kenneth Agostino and Ben Hanowski. (NHL Trade Alert)

March 25-- Pittsburgh/San Jose-- Pittsburgh adds to their depth on Defense with the addition of Douglas Murray from the San Jose Sharks, the cost of the defenseman was second round pick in the 2013 and 2014 drafts. (NHL Trade Alert)

March 24-- Pittsburgh/Dallas -- Pittsburgh adds some more experience to the lineup as the Stars send captain Brenden Morrow to the Penguins in exchange for defenceman Joseph Morrow and a 2013 fifth round pick. Pittsburgh also receives third round pick in the 2013 as part of the deal (NHL Trade Alert)

March 22 -- New Jersey/St. Louis -- New Jersey adds a veteran to the line up picking up Matt D'Agostini from the Blues in exchange for a conditional draft pick in the 2015 NHL draft (NHL Trade Alert)

March 15-- Florida/Buffalo -- The Panthers pick up defenceman T. J. Brennan in a deal with Buffalo, sending a fifth round pick in the 2013 draft to the Sabres (NHL Trade Alert)

March 15-- Anaheim/Toronto -- The Anaheim Ducks make use of their new scout Brian Burke, swinging a deal with Burke's old team the Toronto Maple Leafs, with Center David Steckel moving to the Ducks in exchange for right winger Ryan Lasch and a seventh round draft pick in the 2014 NHL Draft (NHL Draft Alert)

March 14-- Toronto/Washington-- The Leafs acquire defenceman Kevin Marshall from the Washington Capitals, sending Nicolas Deschamps to DC in exchange (NHL Trade Alert)

March 14-- Washington/Minnesota-- The Capitals picked up a minor leaguer as they swing a deal with Minnesota that sees Chay Genoway move to the Washington organization, in exchange the Capitals sent the Wild a conditional pick in the seventh round of the 2014 draft (NHL Trade Alert)

March 12-- Ottawa/Minnesota-- The Senators pick up Matt Kassian from Minnesota sending a sixth round draft pick to the Wild in exchange (NHL Trade Alert)

March 12-- Philadelphia/Columbus-- Future considerations and a minor league player make up the Flyers/Blue Jackets transaction of the day, as Philadelphia sends Matthew Ford to Columbus in exchange for future considerations (NHL Trade Alert)

March 12-- Anaheim/Tampa Bay-- A pair of minor league forwards change organizations as the Anaheim Ducks pick up Kyle Wilson from the Tampa Bay Lightning, sending Dan Sexton to the Lightning organization (NHL Trade Alert)

March 10-- Columbus/Winnipeg-- The Blue Jackets have sent Tomas Kubalik to Winnipeg with the Jets sending forward Spencer Machacek to the Blue Jackets with his destination their AHL affiliate in Springfield (NHL Trade Alert)

March 4-- Toronto/Edmonton -- Mike Brown is moving west, the Leafs traded Brown to the Oilers for a fourth round pick in the 2014 draft (NHL Trade Alert)

February 28-- Calgary/Nashville-- Brian McGratton makes a return to the Calgary organization, as the Flames swing a deal with Nashville to bring the renowned scrapper back to the fold, in exchange the Flames send Joe Piskula to the Predators (NHL Trade Alert)

February 26-- Dallas/Montreal -- Michael Ryder is heading back to Montreal, the one time Canadien was packing for Quebec as the Stars and Canadiens closed a deal, with Erik Cole heading for Dallas apparently in a bid to clear up some cap space for the Habs. The move was the first major trade put together by new Montreal GM Marc Bergevin (NHL Trade Alert

February 26-- Los Angeles/Philadelphia -- It's reunion time in Philadelphia, as the Flyers bring Simon Gagne back from the west coast, the Flyers send a conditional draft picks to the Kings in exchange for the popular Gagne. (NHL Trade Alert)

February 25-- Calgary/Philadelphia -- The Flames and Flyers appear to be stocking the shelves of their respective farm clubs, as the Flames picked up the services of Mike Testwuide in exchange for Mitch Wahl, both players are expected to report to their new AHL teams. (NHL Trade Alert)

February 13-- New Jersey/ Winnipeg -- The New Jersey Devils re-acquire Alexei Ponikarovsky once again, picking up the forward from the Winnipeg Jets for a seventh round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft and a fourth round selection in 2014. (NHL Trade Alert)

February 13-- Winnipeg/Pittsburgh-- The Jets picked up Eric Tanardi from the Pittsburgh Penguins, sending a seventh round draft pick in 2013 NHL Draft in return to the Penguins (NHL Trade Alert)

February 8-- Los Angeles/Florida-- Keaton Ellerby is LA bound, as the Kings make their second trade in three days sending the fifth round pick obtained on Wednesday to Florida for Ellerby (NHL Trade Alert)

February 7-- Boston/NY Islanders-- The Bruins have moved their recalcitrant goaltender Tim Thomas, sending the suspended now former Boston Goaltender to the Islanders. Whether Thomas ever suits up for the Islanders however would seem to be something for the future to provide for us. For now the Islanders surrender a conditional second round pick in the 2014 or 2015 draft (NHL Trade Alert)

February 6-- New Jersey/Los Angeles-- Andrei Loktionov is leaving the California shores for the Jersey shore as the Devils and Kings make a trade with the Kings receiving fifth round pick in the 2008 draft in return (NHL Trade Alert)

January 24-- New York Rangers/Pittsburgh -- A minor league change of address as the Rangers pick up Benn Ferriero from the Pittsburgh Penguins, sending the Pens Chad Kolarik. (NHL Trade Alert)

January 21-- Chicago/Caglary-- Chicago adds some depth at Goaltender picking up Henrik Karlsson from the Flames, Calgary collects Chicago's seventh round draft pick in this year's entry draft. (NHL Trade Alert)

January 14-- Montreal/Florida -- The Habs and Panthers exchanged minor league defencemen with Brendon Nash heading for San Antonio in the Panthers system, while the Canadiens picked up Jason DeSantis, who heads for Hamilton. (NHL Trade Alert)

January 14-- Edmonton/Dallas -- The Oilers pick up defenseman Mark Fistric from the Dallas Stars, giving the Stars a third round pick in return (NHL Trade Alert)

January 13-- Philadelphia/Carolina --  the Flyers send minor leaguer Luke Pither to Carolina for goaltender Brian Boucher and prospect Mark Alt (NHL Trade Alert)

Trade Summary

April -- 27
March -- 16
February -- 9
January  -- 5

Most Active Traders

Anaheim-- 5
Boston-- 4
Buffalo-- 4
Calgary -- 6
Carolina -- 3
Chicago -- 4
Colorado -- 2
Columbus-- 5
Dallas-- 6
Detroit -- 1
Edmonton -- 5
Florida-- 4
Los Angeles-- 5
Minnesota -- 4
Montreal -- 3
Nashville -- 3
New Jersey-- 4
New York Islanders--1 
New York Rangers-- 3
Ottawa --2
Pittsburgh-- 6
Philadelphia -- 7
Phoenix -- 5
San Jose -- 5
St. Louis -- 4
Tampa Bay-- 4
Toronto -- 4
Vancouver -- 1
Washington -- 5
Winnipeg -- 3

Attendance Watch 2013 - AKA, Mr. Bettman's Box Office

While it may be a new season and everyone happy that #hockeyisback, there is still one elephant in the room these days in the NHL, some of the member cities it seems, don't particularly like hockey.

At least, that is what we could surmise if we check the attendance figures from the nightly contests of last year.

However, since we're all turning pages and all of that with hockey's return, perhaps hope will spring eternal of a Renaissance of sorts in such locales as Dallas and Columbus, with an eye watchful on developments on Long Island (hang on Brooklyn, we are comin') and Phoenix (no really, anyone want to buy a hockey team?).

So with the 2013 season now underway, we'll keep an eye on the attendance listings (all be it sometimes perhaps less than, oh shall we say, reflective of the actual numbers) from some of the teams that may make up our talking points later in the season.

For our faithful readers in Quebec City, Seattle, Hamilton and other would be NHL host cities, the numbers may provide some hint as to who may one day be making moving plans in the future.

It's an arbitrary number on our part, but we will use the 13,000 mark as the cut off for our attendance review, so only those games which are listed as having 13,000 or less in attendance will be listed below. We also will include which team was in town that night to perhaps provide some explanation as to the recorded attendance.

We will be watching with interest to see if the numbers grow or if teams stabilize as the season moves forward, regardless as sure as a puck will find the net, somewhere along the way this year rumours will start to swirl as to possible troubles in some hockey paradise locations, the numbers below will probably help explain some of those percolating points.

The review can be accessed from our GM's office links on the right hand sidebar.

Attendance figures as of April 16, 2013.

Bottom Feeders (our three dim star selection)
Three teams with lowest attendance, teams the most times below 13,000.

1. New York Islanders 
2. Phoenix Coyotes
3. Columbus


February 26, 2013 -- 11,523 (Dallas)
February 11,2013-- 10,837 (San Jose)
February 7, 2013-- 10,484 (Calgary)
February 5, 2013-- 11,019 (Los Angeles)
January 28, 2013-- 10,475 (Dallas)

New York Islanders

April 2, 2013-- 11,819 (Winnipeg)
March 21, 2013-- 11,012 (Montreal)
March 19, 2013-- 10,668 (Ottawa)
March 5, 2013-- 9,498 (Montreal)
February 28, 2013 -- 9,222 (Toronto) 
February 26, 2013 -- 12,788 (Boston)
February 24, 2013 -- 10,048 (Carolina)
February 11,2013 -- 9,622 (Carolina)
February 9, 2013 -- 12,608 Buffalo
February 5, 2013--  11,318 (Pittsburgh)


April 2, 2013-- 12,934 (Los Angeles)
March 7, 2013-- 11,482 (St. Louis)
March 4, 2013-- 11,024 (Anaheim)
February 28, 2013-- 11,547 (Minnesota)
February 4, 2013-- 9,508 (Minnesota)
February 2, 2013-- 12,151 (Dallas)
January 30, 2013-- 12,995 (Edmonton)
January 28, 2013 -- 8,581 (Nashville)
January 23, 2013 -- 8,355 (Columbus)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Bad Boys, Bad Boys 2013 edition

A new season has arrived (finally) and no doubt a new set of case files will start to arrive for the review of the NHL's Chief Justice Brendan Shanahan, who will pick up where he left off when last the NHL had physical contact

Shanahan, who also carries the more formal title of NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety, will once again make much use of video to outline how the infraction under study and to showcase how the infraction has violated NHL rules.

The visual review was one of the much appreciated changes to the justice process in the NHL, the new more transparent mode of advising fans as to the crime and the punishment actually seems to put the NHL ahead of other leagues in communicating with their fans.

Through this shortened season we will follow his efforts, watching with interest how he works to keep NHL players on the straight and narrow road. Our listings can be found below, outlining those that have been summoned to the tribunal.

Offenders may now approach the bench, the court is now in session, Chief Justice Shanahan presiding:

Cases up to date as of April 8, 2013

March 30-- Tampa Bay-- Nate Thompson-- Suspended for 2 games (details) (video)

March 22-- Vancouver -- Alexander Edler-- Suspended for 2 games (details) (video)

March 21-- Toronto -- Joffrey Lupul -- Suspended for 2 games (details) (video)

March 20--  Florida -- Eric Selleck-- Suspended for 1 game (details) (video)

March 13-- Anaheim -- Corey Perry -- Suspended for 4 games (details) (video)

March 8-- NY Islanders -- Brent Thompson -- Suspended for 2 games (details)
(Thompson is the Islanders Assistant Coach)

March 4-- Buffalo-- Patrick Kaleta -- Suspended for five games (details) (video)

March 3-- Philadelphia -- Harry Zolnierczyk -- Suspended for four games (details) (video)

February 25-- San Jose-- Ryane Clowe -- Suspended for two games (details) (video)

February 22-- Edmonton-- Taylor Hall-- Suspended for two games (details) (video)

February 20-- Vancouver-- Jannik Hansen-- Suspended for one game (details) (video)

February 2-- Washington -- John Erskine -- Supsended for three games (details) (video)

January 30 -- NY Islanders -- Colin McDonald -- Suspended for two games (details) (video)

January 23 -- Philadelphia -- Brayden Schenn  -- Suspended for one game (details) (video)

Regular Season suspension tally by team

Anaheim-- 1 suspension (4 games)
Buffalo--  1 suspension (5 games)
Calgary -- 
Carolina -- 
Columbus -
Detroit -- 
Edmonton - 1 suspension (2 games)
Florida--  1 suspension (1 game)
Los Angeles-- 
Minnesota --  
New Jersey--
New York Rangers -- 
New York Islanders- 2 Suspensions (2 games) (2 games Asst coach)
Philadelphia  -- 2 Suspensions (5 Games)
Pittsburgh --  
San Jose-- 1 suspension (2 Games)
St. Louis -- 
Tampa Bay-- 1 Supsension (2 Games)
Toronto -- 1 Suspension (2 games)
Vancouver -- 2 Suspension (3 games)
Washington-- 1 Suspension (3 games)

Total regular season games suspended in 2012-13 (33)

Cash out of pocket  (Fines but no suspensions)

San Jose-- Marc-Edouard Vlasic $8,378.38 (April 4)
Los Angeles-- Jordan Nolan $1,436.94 (March 24)
Dallas-- Jamie Benn $10,000 (March 2)
Nashville-- Rich Clune $1,452.70 (February 20)
Minnesota-- Devon Setoguchi $8,108.11 (February 19)
Calgary-- Mark Giordano $10,000 (February 19)
Columbus-- Brandon Dubinsky $10,000 (February 6)

Notes: Other Notes of interest from the Department of Player Safety

February 28-- Player Safety video examines kneeing incidents
February 27-- Player Safety video examines tripping/slew footing
February 25-- Player Safety video examines goalie interference
February 22-- 'Evolution of a Suspension' video explains process

Thursday, January 17, 2013

He's back!!!

For those that sit on every word of Donald S Cherry, this is going to be a very, very enjoyable opening night come Saturday.

For those that recoil in horror with every mangled syllable, ear plugs perhaps are your best bet.

Donald S, will double shift on Saturday nights.

The CBC announced that the King of the Coach's Corner throne will work double duty on opening night, holding court in his usual spot in the first intermission of the early game featuring the Leafs and Habs and then making a return engagement in the same place in the second game of the evening's fare when Anaheim plays in Vancouver (we are going out on a limb here to suggest he won't be involved in the Ottawa at Winnipeg afternoon opener)

Whether you love him, or you're on the other side of the emotional scale there, one thing is certain, controversial or not, he's a money magnet for the CBC, which normally sees spikes in their broadcasts whenever Mr. Cherry steps up to the pulpit.

Perhaps, having missed half a season, the CBC is seeking to get full value for their salary envelope and is hoping that the option of Cherry testing the producers nerves twice a night, might provide for even more viewers (and with it we assume more revenue).

CBC-- Don Cherry has his pulpit back
Toronto Star-- Don Cherry to get more time on Hockey Night in Canada
Globe and Mail-- CBC's plan to win back hockey fans - more Don Cherry, social media

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pucks Drop and TV screens come to life January 19

While hockey fans may still be a tad annoyed that they were held hostage for four months or so, we imagine for the majority the resumption of the NHL day to day will be a welcome thing come Saturday.

And for those fans who frequently are heard to say that the regular season of the NHL is too damn long anyways, 2013 may offer up the tempting concept of a short jog for the lengthy playoff runs.

Training camps, such as they are, have opened, the GM's (those that kept their jobs anyways) are busy looking to fill voids, weighing options, calculating cap space and scouting out roster wire  movements to see what may fit where.

There may yet be a mad dash of player moves heading into Saturday's puck drop, with more than fair amount of drama and discussion to come as to which team comes out of the lockout in the best position to capture Lord Stanley's Cup.

With hockey back on the ice as of Saturday, television networks are busy handing out their broadcast assignments, sending play by play, colour and technical personnel to the far reaches of Gary Bettman's fiefdom, eager to share word of this game of hockey upon its return.

Canada's usual Saturday night appointment kicks off with a triple header, as Hockey Night in Canada launches season number 60, no doubt in the nick of time for the accountants at the CBC who probably had a scorched earth financial forecast prepared had the madness continued much longer.

TSN as well is ready to roll, with hockey on tap to carry the network through the late winter and into the spring and God help us, maybe towards the summer solstice as well..

Sportsnet will not be left outside in a snowbank, their regional schedule offers up no shortage of hockey to follow for fans of all of Canada's NHL teams.

And much to relief of Gary Bettman, the NHLonNBC and the NBC Sportsnetwork will finally get to highlight their comprehensive hockey package.

Having been denied the showcase of the Winter Classic and the All Star Game this season, they will no doubt be hoping for some great rivalry games to help fill in the gaps between episodes of Poker after dark, The Dakar Rally and American Outdoors and all those other programs that fill the broadcast day.

The full NHL schedule can be found from the NHL website here.

Folow your favourite team from here.

The network offerings can be found below:

CBC's Hockey Night in Canada



Maple Leafs

NBC Sportsnet and NHL on NBC

NHL Network Canada

NHL Network USA

12 Angry Men

The weekend brought hockey fans one step closer to the rink and the start of the 2013 NHL season, but not before a little bit of housekeeping between the NHL and the NHLPA.

Before anyone took a physical or sat in for a team meeting, the NHLPA conducted its vote on the contract agreement put together by Don Fehr and Gary Bettman and the stable of lawyers involved in the latest labour disruption to the game.

While the NHL ownership group signed off on the deal on January 9th, the NHLPA membership took a more leisurely look at the paperwork before weighing in with an opinion on it.

Over the course of Friday and Saturday NHLPA members took part in an electronic vote, registering their approval or dissent at the proposal provided to them by their executive.

As the results were released, the vote totals provided for an interested tally, 98.2 percent of the players  voted said yes, 12 however remained steadfast and voted NAY.

No word on who the 12 Angry men might have been,  though we're pretty sure hockey fans probably can pick out one or two players over the last four months of discussions and anger festered as the negotiations to the many twists and turns to ratification day.

One thing seems certain, NHL observers will be watching with interest as to who does and doesn't find an invitation to an NHL roster spot and let the imagination roam from there.

Still, despite the dissent of the dozen, the majority carried the day by a wide margin, setting in motion abbreviated training camps, what could be an amazing trade and free agent scramble and most importantly of all, the much anticipated resumption of the schedule to come on January 19.

The Hockey News-- Lockout Over: NHL, player's association finalize memorandum of understanding
Calgary Herald-- NHLPA ratifies new CBA
CBC-- NHL, players' association officially end lockout
Sportsnet-- NHL Players Agree to Ratify New CBA
Bloomberg-- NHL Players Approve Agreement as Hockey season set to start

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Brian Burke's day timer opens up

It wasn't quite on the scale of historical importance of  MacCarthur's I shall return speech, though there was a vow of sorts that he "would return", all be it not to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

But for the hockey world, Saturday afternoon brought to the Leaf Nation, Brian Burke's farewell address.

And as might be expected there was a lot of material to work with.

It was an event broadcast live on Sportsnet One and a press conference that seemed to offer up the "A" list of Canada's hockey journalists and hockey broadcasters as key observers and participants.

For those hoping for the full bluster of Burke, he didn't disappoint.

In an opening statement and follow up wander down memory lane, he was at times funny,  sometimes snarky, cryptic and yes, honest as well. Sometimes all of them in the same sentence, in short, it was vintage Burke as we've come to expect from the Irishman with the gift of gab.

He expressed shock and said he was stunned at his dismissal from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Over the course of the mid day session he didn't duck many of the questions, deflected a few with the ever popular "you would have to ask them" and for the most part took ownership on the main point of any firing, public or private, that success dictates your longevity and in Toronto a lack of success seemed to be the main theme of his dismissal.

In the course of his press conference which ran about twenty five minutes or so, he reviewed the events of Wednesday, directed a few glances towards the upper offices of the new owners of the Leafs, a direct shot or two at the media, in particular Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun who we gather he doesn't particularly like and as always, never seemed to surrender any ground.

He made a point of thanking Larry Tannenbaum, which suggests that the minority opinion on the Maple Leaf Board wasn't to fire him, though Burke was cautious enough not to mention any further personal insight into his relationship with the executive offices of the MLSE empire.

He offered up the thought that he wished that the deed had been done prior to his departure to Russia over the holidays for the World Juniors, not so much we imagine that it was a trip that offered up less than enjoyable hospitality from the Russians, but rather that it seems to have accounted for a cold, which probably has added to his misery of the last few days.

The outgoing theme of his departure from the MLSE spotlight being that he wasn't going to change his way of conducting his business, though perhaps he might like to work for a company "that doesn't get sold while he's in charge". 

A scenario that has provided for unemployment twice in recent times for Burke, first in Vancouver and now in Toronto.

As for his immediate plans, his title is special assistant to the Board, the same board that for the most part decided that they didn't want him around anymore and which apparently changed the dynamic of the position after the firing of Wednesday.

So, much as he said he loathes collecting a cheque and doing nothing; for the short term, one imagines that would seem to be his fate.

Or as his daytimer might suggest:

1.     Arrive at work, open the doors,  turn on lights, sweep the entrance way
2.     Water the plants
3.     Adjust the shades on office window
4.     Make coffee, wait,  no that should be number one
5.     Cancel cel phones with Bell and Rogers
6.     Cancel cable subscrpition, open up Shaw Direct account
7.     Open up Koodo account
8.     Read up on cel phone etiquette, review section on when to turn phone off (ha, I was right)
8.     Cancel Toronto Sun subscription
9.     Phone Toronto Sun, ask for Steve Simmons, hang up
10.   Call Gary Bettman, see how things are going in the NHL these days
11.   Open door to office, see if anyone has any photo copying to do
12.   Try and arrange lunch date with...
13.   Adjust shades on office windows to account for sunlight
13.   Learn how to hook up electronic equipment on own
14.   See if anyone wants to talk hockey at coffee break
15.   Close shades on office window
16.   Get early start on the rush hour traffic on the Don Valley Parkway

And well, that's pretty well the day, repeat and rinse (minus the cancellation phase).

Though, as the Irish like to say, "truth be told" we suspect that Brian won't have to hang around the office for long.

Either MLSE starts mailing his cheques to the homestead, or considering the state of many NHL teams these days, he finds himself a new GM's offering, and we suspect that will be sooner rather than later.

Like any fine theatrical presentation, and with only the top line of reviewers in attendance the recap of  Burke's farewell have been most instructive.

Toronto Star-- Maple Leaf's new ownership gives knife in Brian Burke's back another twist
Toronto Star-- Brian Burke on Maple Leafs firing: "Like getting a two-by-four upside your heard"
Toronto Star-- Fired Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke wants a job "tomorrow"
Toronto Sun-- Brian Burke press conference recap
Toronto Sun-- Brian Burke dismissal shrouded in mystery
Toronto Sun-- Hopefully, Burke firing was for the right reasons
Globe and Mail-- Questions remain as bombastic Burke exits Toronto stage
National Post-- Brian Burke tells us how he really feels about Maple Leafs firing
National Post-- Brian Burke admits his 'brand' probably played a part in Maple Leafs firing 
CBC-- Former Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke "stunned" by firing
CBC-- Even Peter Puck felt Brian Burke's brusqueness
Sportsnet-- Belligerent to the end
TSN-- Burke points to lack of success for early dismissal