Monday, October 09, 2017

Through Opening week ... everyone is a contender!

Dreams of raising Lord Stanley's Mug may seem a ways off just now, what with the playoffs far over the horizon of the Spring of 2018, but as we head towards the end of the first week for the 2017-18 campaign, everyone is a contender for the glory and has a shot to see their name engraved on the fabled trophy.

Well perhaps almost everyone,  some cracks have already appeared in the pre-season planning, with the Winnipeg Jets finding Goals Against once again providing more than a few issues, though they have at least cracked the win column after three outings.

Not so a number of squads, including the Buffalo Sabres who have had a rough go of it three games into a brand new year. Joining the Sabres in the quest for a first win are the Ottawa Senators, Minnesota Wild, Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators, Arizona Coyotes and the San Jose Sharks.

Now obviously, the first week of the season is hardly the time to be sending out the SOS calls, and head coaches probably don't have to start thinking about who has the best rates when it comes to moving companies.

After all, for most all it will take is a quick run of a few games to reverse the bad karma and keep the home town fans (and one or two owners) on the bandwagon.

That task seems to be a lot easier in a few places as the first seven days of the 2017-18 season get close to completion on Wednesday.

The Leafs fans already have the plans in hand for the parade for Stanley, Washington is out of the gate fast, as are the Blues.

Chicago is not far off the pace and scoring goals at will, something they have in common with a few of the teams of the Central division who have been active around the net early in the season.

The defensive division to this point is the Pacific, where no team has yet to hit double digits in the Goals For stats, and the Goals Against markers for the most part tell a story of tight contests over the first few games of the year.

The young guns as expected are showcasing their stuff, with Connor McDavid, Austin Matthews and Evgeny Kuznetsov all finding their form quickly into the season.

The veterans are also serving notice that they still have something to say,  Alex Ovechkin is off to a torrid pace early on with 7 goals, thanks to back to back hat tricks to open the season.

Also making some noise in the first week of play, the Vegas Golden Knights a team playing with little of those expansion team struggles, set to host their home opener on Tuesday night as an undefeated squad with a 2-0 record.

As the teams move towards Halloween, the distances will begin to grow between the contenders and those that will quickly learn that there is still much work ahead should they hope to be part of the long haul story of  the 2017-18 season.

That's our goal as well as we return to the blog for a new season, holding through for the long haul, chronicling the high profile stories, the side interest items and previewing the upcoming tournament season, including an Olympic Games without NHLers.

We hope you'll come along for the ride.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

HockeyNation Headlines: October 2017

Our archives of notes for October

October 31 -- NHL relocation game heating up: Over the Boards
October 30 -- Why the Buffalo Bills' success might be a good thing for the Sabres
October 29 -- At the moment, the Leafs just need good, not great goaltending from Andersen
October 28 -- Alex Ovechkin helps out homeless man in downtown Edmonton
October 27 -- Gaudreau's scoring but wants to be better in both ends
October 26 -- Shane Doan brings new perspective to NHL office
October 25 -- Power Play lifts Blues to Victory
October 24 -- Who are the Vegas Golden Nights and how are they off to such a good start?
October 23 -- Jagr could be back by Sunday
October 22 -- Golden Knights' Subban 'probably out weeks' after injury versus Blues
October 21 -- Williams Karlsson's heroics lift Knights to 3-2 OT win
October 20 -- NHL admits Avalanche wuz robbed by video review
October 19 -- Oilers end four-game losing skid with win in Chicago
October 18 -- Hayley Wickenheiser says Downie's death feels like 'we lost a teammate'
October 17 -- Edmonton Oilers fail to show up again in loss to Carolina Hurricanes
October 16 -- Calgary man makes multimillion dollar donation to B.C. Junior Hockey Team
October 15 -- Golden Knights beat Boston 3-1 behind backup goaltenders Malcolm Subban
October 14 -- Flyers rout Capitals as Laughton, Couturier, Giroux net two goals each
October 13 -- Shutout goaltending and power play goals lift Senators past Flames
October 12 -- Luongo ties for 4th on wins list, Panthers beat Blues 5-2
October 11 -- Patric Hornqvist's return fuels Penguins to win over Capitals
October 10 -- James Neal, Golden Knights roll to 5-2 win in home opener
October 9 -- Matthews sparks Leafs past Blackhawks in OT
October 8 -- Henrik Lundqvist backs Rangers to first win after shaky start
October 7 -- Alex Ovechkin has second consecutive hat trick
October 6 -- Golden Knights win inaugural NHL game, 2-1
October 5 -- Brandon Saad becomes second Blackhawks player to score hat trick in season opener
October 4 -- McDavid runs wild on Flames with opening night hat-trick
October 3 -- As season starts, hockey fans deserve to be mad about NHL's Olympic decision
October 2 -- Reports say NHL Star Jaromir Jagr to join Calgary Flames
October 1 -- Longtime NHL Broadcaster Dave Strader Passes at 62

Archive of 2017-18 Season

NHL Headline Archives: 2017-18

Our archive of the headlines posted daily and archived by the month.



NHL Suspensions 2017-18

As the new season begins,  so to will the need for a watchful eye on nightly action for play beyond the rules and that puts player safety at risk through.

The task of NHL Justice falls to George Parros in 2017-18 the latest of former NHL enforcers tasked to oversee the day to day needs of Justice in the NHL

They will be reviewing on ice incidents and assessing what punishment, if any will be required on a nightly basis.

As they have in past years, video is becoming key to the league announcements when it comes to punishment delivered by league officials, a helpful way of explaining to fans just what has been taken into consideration with each infraction.

Our listings of his deliberations 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 Parros presiding.

Cases up to date as of October 16, 2017

The Case files of George Parros

Regular Season Suspensions

October 4 -- Washington -- Tom Wilson suspended for four games for boarding (details)

Total Regular Season Games suspended (by team)

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

Total Regular Game Suspensions to date --  4

Pre Season Suspensions

September 25 -- New York Rangers -- Andrew Desjardins, suspended two games for illegal check to the head (details)

September 23 -- Washington -- Tom Wilson, suspended two pre-season games for interference (details)

Monetary punishment

October 9 -- St. Louis -- Robert Bortuzzo -- fined $3,091.40 for cross checking (details)

Other Notes related to the Department of Player Safety

October 4 -- Whitney happy to have 'hand in the game' with Player Safety
October 4 -- Ray Whitney joins NHL Department of Player Safety

Resources From the Department of Player Safety

Department of Player Safety background

NHL Rule Book 2017-18

NHL Rules videos and explanations

News from the Department of Player Safety

Friday, October 06, 2017

The Expandables: Kansas City Archive

Our notes on developments from Missouri, where talk continues of a potential return for Kansas City to the NHL.

Kansas City




September 29 -- Lamar Hunt Jr. talks future of KC as possible NHL expansion market
September 27 -- Toronto Maple Leaf's sojourn to Quebec City brings up all sorts of bittersweet hockey memories


August 16 -- Kansas City on NHL expansion radar
August 15 -- Is Kansas City a viable NHL expansion location?
August 5 -- Kansas City has some holes to fill before it can become an NHL Expansion Destination

The Trading Post 2017-18

For many NHL teams, Septembers rosters will be pretty well set through the season, barring a major injury the teams that roll into the new season in high gear, rarely make major changes through the year, with only a trade deadline acquisition to perhaps shore up a weak spot or bring in depth for the playoff battle ahead.

Others however, quickly learn that the planning of July and August and September's training camps haven't really solved a lot of their problems and that the only way to get back on track is to bring new faces and ship out those that aren't fitting into where the team hopes to be going by the time the Spring rolls around.

It's at those points that the General Managers of each of the NHL's member clubs start to earn their pay, making decisions on which players need a fresh start, or which perhaps have seen their best days slip by, or when it's time to just shake things up and snap a team out of its lethargy.

Below we will track the deals of 2017-18, providing some background for the names that suddenly find that movers and change of address notifications are part of the NHL experience.

It all of course leads up to the Spring time madness known as the Trade Deadline, a day where hockey fans perhaps suddenly come down with a bad cold or some other suitable malady that will require at least a day at home, perhaps even in front of the television.

The preamble to the Spring trading deadline starts with the first puck drop of game one, the listings of the relocated can be found below:

Regular Season Trading Period commenced as of October 4, 2017.
Trade Deadline  -- February 26, 2018

Trades updated as to October 16, 2017


October 9 -- Philadelphia/Anaheim -- the Flyers acquire goaltender Dustin Torkarksi from the Anaheim Ducks for  future Considerations

October 6 -- Toronto/Las Vegas -- the  Maple Leafs acquire goaltendar Calvin Pickard from the Golden Knights, in exchange for Tobias Lindberg and a sixth round pick in the 2018 draft (NHL Trade Alert)

October 4 -- Chicago/Montreal -- the Blackhawks acquired forward Andreas Martinsen from the Canadiens for forward Kyle Baun (NHL Trade Alert)

October 4 -- Buffalo/ Montreal -- The Sabres send forward Nicholas Deslauriers to the Canadiens in exchange for defenceman Zach Redmond (NHL Trade Alert)

Transactions Counter:  4 Trades to date
(As of start of Regular Season)

Anaheim Ducks -- 1
Arizona Coyotes -- 
Boston Bruins -- 
Buffalo Sabres -- 1
Calgary Flames -- 
Carolina Hurricanes -- 
Colorado Avalanche -- 
Columbus Blue Jackets -- 
Chicago Blackhawks --  1
Dallas Stars -- 
Detroit Red Wings -- 
Edmonton Oilers -- 
Florida Panthers --  
Las Vegas Knights -- 1
Los Angeles Kings -- 
Minnesota Wild -- 
Montreal Canadiens -- 2
Nashville Predators -- 
New Jersey Devils -- 
New York Islanders -- 
New York Rangers --
Ottawa Senators -- 
Philadelphia Flyers -- 1
Pittsburgh Penguins -- 
San Jose Sharks-- 
St. Louis Blues -- 
Tampa Bay Lightning -- 
Toronto Maple Leafs -- 1
Vancouver Canucks -- 
Washington Capitals-- 
Winnipeg Jets --

The link to these Trading Post dispatches can be found in our right hand column in the GM's Office section.

NHL Trade Tracker  can be viewed here

Attendance Watch: 2017-18

For those that crunch the numbers on the NHL, beyond the salary caps, a free agency calculations, the bottom line for many NHL teams comes from one simple thing, bottoms in the seats.

And this year like the last few of the past, there are some locations that are giving indications that hockey just isn't winning the battle for hearts, minds and wallets.

With Las Vegas now aboard the NHL Club of member franchises and two more potential expansion franchises yet to be awarded, locations such as Quebec City, Seattle and Kansas City among others now look to get on the short list for that expansion, though they may also have an interest in going the relocation route should that option present itself.

At some time this season, someone is going to look at the listings of the NHL's trouble spots and
go, "how long can the league let this go on".

When they do, somebody somewhere will have a ready to go market up for consideration.

Once again this year, we will track the teams that some suggest are on the bubble, secure leadership or not, financially flush as they may say they are, no one likes to lose money, so we'll scan the attendance numbers through the year, looking for those bargain basement teams that could be looking for a relocation plan.

As we have in the past, we shall use attendance at the 13,000 mark as our cut off for review.  Only those games that have drawn less than 13,000 or less in attendance will be listed below.

We also will list which team was in town as the visiting squad for the night, perhaps offering an explanation as to the night's recorded attendance.

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

Attendance Figures as of November 7, 2017

Bottom Feeders (our three dim star selection)

The three teams with the lowest attendance, teams the most times below the 13,000 benchmark.

1.  New York Islanders (6)
2.  Carolina Hurricanes (5)
3.  Florida Panthers (4)

The Breakdown by Franchise location

Arizona Coyotes (3)

November 4 -- 12,019 (Carolina) (Event Summary)
November 2 -- 11,477 (Buffalo) (Event Summary)
October 18 -- 11,225 (Dallas) (Event Summary)

Carolina Hurricanes (4)

November 7 -- 8,828 (Florida) (Event Summary)
October 29 -- 10,108 (Anaheim) (Event Summary)
October 27 -- 10,069 (St. Louis) (Event Summary)
October 24 --10, 498 (Tampa Bay) (Event Summary)
October 10 -- 7,892 (Columbus) (Event Summary)

Colorado Avalanche (2)

November 2 -- 12,048 (Carolina) (Event Summary)
October 24 -- 12,823 (Dallas) (Event Summary)

Florida Panthers (4)

November 2 -- 9,311 (Columbus) (Event Summary)
October 30 -- 9,493 (Tampa Bay) (Event Summary)
October 26 -- 10,545 (Anaheim) (Event Summary)
October 12 -- 10,846 (St. Louis) (Event Summary)

New Jersey Devils (1)

November 7 -- 12,317 (St. Louis) (Event Summary)

New York Islanders (6)

November 7 -- 12,281 (Edmonton) (Event Summary)
November 5 -- 10,927 (Colorado) (Event Summary)
October 30 -- 11,113 (Las Vegas) (Event Summary)
October 24 -- 9,795 (Arizona) (Event Summary)
October 21 -- 11,877 (San Jose) (Event Summary)
October 9 -- 10,673  (St. Louis) (Event Summary)

Hired to Be Fired: 2017-18 Season

As sure as there are wins and losses (usually associated with the latter), there also will be change somewhere along the way between now and the end of June.

The day eventually comes for many NHL coaches, where they receive the phone call, or tap on the shoulder to go see the GM or owner.

A summons where the usual things are said, "you gave it a good shot, but we're going in a different direction", or variations of the theme.

Of the thirty members of the NHL coaching and managerial fraternity, sometime this year, maybe early, maybe late, the word will come that their services are no longer required.

We will provide the compilation of the summoned from this spot, listing those unlucky members of the club that find themselves outsourced in this 2017-18.

The archive of our list can be quickly referenced on our right hand side bar, in the Owner's Box section.

Tick, tock, tick, tock... the reaper stands ready...

The Listings to Date

The Reviews of the Dismissals

The Owners Box 2017-18

Our Archive of items regarding ownership of NHL franchises, highlighting the moves in the structure of team ownership and other newsworthy notes surrounding the NHL's 30 Franchises and Administration.

NHL Issues and Events



The Expandables -- Houston Archive

Our notes on development from Texas, where the new Rockets owner is expressing some interest in bringing an NHL franchise to Houston.


October 11 -- New Rockets owner interested in bringing NHL team to Houston
October 11 -- Tilman Fertitta Pledges to be Aggressive in bringing the NHL to Houston
October 11 -- NHL team could be in the works for Houston, Rockets owner Fertitta says
October 11 -- Rockets owner wants NHL team in Houston
October 8 -- The one way the city can get an NHL franchise
July 21 -- Could Houston Rockets sale precede NHL expansion, relocation to Toyota Centre?

The Expandable's: Quebec City Archive

Our notes on development from the Quebec Capital, everyone's favourite bridesmaid, but a city yet to make it's way back to the NHL altar.

Quebec City 


September 27 -- Toronto Maple Leafs' sojourn to Quebec City brings up all sorts of bittersweet hockey memories
September 12 -- Seattle looks set to get an NHL team, but what of Quebec City?
September 12 -- NHL players want next expansion team to be in Quebec City


June 25 -- Waiting for the Nordiques: Quebec City doesn't mind being NHL's Plan B

The Expandables: Seattle Archive

Our notes on development from the Pacific Northwest, where any number of arena proposals continue to percolate, though without any shovels actually making their way into the ground to this point.



October 10 -- Hansen: SODO arena project not dead; room for 2 arenas in Seattle
October 10 -- Chris Hansen won't try to block Oak View Group's KeyArena plan, pushes for two-arena scenario
October 4 -- Gary Bettman on possible Seattle NHL team: "We are nowhere near that"


September 25 -- Seattle bylaw bars subsidies for sports: What about KeyArena deal?
September 17 -- Chris Hansen needs game changer if he wants to climb  back in Seattle arena race
September 12 -- Seattle arena deal makes addition of another expansion franchise a no-brainer
September 12 -- See what Seattle NHL hockey might look like in a revamped Key Arena
September 12 -- Seattle looks set to get an NHL team, but what of Quebec City?
September 12 -- Seattle could be in line for NHL, NBA teams as arena deal takes shape
September 12 -- Seattle arena could be NHL ready by 2020
September 12 -- Seattle proposes $600M KeyArena Renovations to Attract NBA and NHL teams


June 10 -- Seattle NHL talks far too premature until arena issue solved
June 8 -- NHL team investors join KeyArena remodel effort after Murray selects Oak View Group bid
June 8 -- KeyArena to be renovated in efforts to lure NHL, NBA team to Seattle
June 7 -- Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Celtics minority owner David Bonderman join KeyArena renovation group
June 7 -- Jerry Bruckheimer investing in Seattle arena renovation
June 7 -- Producer Jerry Bruckheimer joins bid to bring NHL team to Seattle
June 7 -- Seattle inches closer to arena that could house NBA or NHL team

The Expandable NHL 2017-18

With the Las Vegas Golden Knights franchise now successfully in the fold and ready to welcome fans from far beyond Nevada, the NHL will turn its thoughts towards two more locations in the years to come

As the tire kickers come on by we'll keep track of who has the potential to become a pin on the NHL map and who may just have fanciful dreams that will never come true.

Along with those ready to embark on the NHL expansion process, others perhaps will be standing by, to take any wards of the NHL that may arrive from existing locations that may be struggling to attract fans in their current locations.

All of the items of note will be gathered below:

Looking for a seat at the table


Kansas City

Quebec City