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Old 12-14-2007, 12:22 PM   #276
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:36 PM   #277
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Anybody see this headbutt by walker of the canes? good fight too!

Headbutt
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:44 PM   #278
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Default NEW NHLPA boss doesn't waste anytime

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By Michael Russo, Star Tribune

Paul Kelly, a Boston lawyer who was hired as the NHL Players' Association Executive Director in October, is on a 30-team tour to meet with his players and discuss what issues are most pressing.

Part of Kelly's job is repairing a fractured group still stinging from a yearlong lockout that ended with Bob Goodenow's departure and the eventual dismissal of Goodenow's successor, Ted Saskin, amid allegations he ordered the spying on player emails, one reportedly being the Wild's Mark Parrish.

During a wide-ranging interview with the Star Tribune on Nov. 30, Kelly's strongest statements were on his goal to get the NHL back on ESPN.

At the recent Board of Governors meeting, Kelly told NHL owners and executives, "If I have to take you kicking and screaming with me to Connecticut [where ESPN is based], I will do so."

After the 2004-05 lockout, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman turned to the new Comcast-owned cable network, Versus, when ESPN wanted a revenue-sharing contract. Versus offered guaranteed money and now owns cable exclusivity through 2011.

Kelly said it's critical to grow NHL revenues, and one way to do that is "to do a better job with television in the United States."

Q: How do you do that?

Kelly: We need something in addition to Versus. They do an excellent job of the telecasts that they produce, but, and I hear the numbers that they're now available in 73 million homes, the reality is most people -- the casual sports fan -- don't know they exist, can't find it on the dial. They don't promote, they don't advertise, they don't bring to the table what an ESPN or a Fox Sports on a national level could bring."

Q: So how do you remedy this considering the league has locked itself to Versus?

Kelly: This sport has got to get back on ESPN. The marketing and sponsorship activities will flow from a good, solid national TV contract, which this sport has lacked now for a number of years.

Q: Have you told Bettman this?

Kelly: At some length [laughing]. He has wanted to tell me the whole history of negotiations, and I've been patient to listen. I understand a few years ago ESPN drove a hard bargain. But times have changed. Not only do we need an ESPN, I think ESPN needs us. I mean, I've seen some of their programming. They have holes in their schedule that would be ideally suited for the quality sport that we provide.

Q: You're a lawyer. Can the exclusivity provisions be challenged or re-negotiated?

Kelly: In my view, all of that stuff can be overcome. It's all a question of discussions and negotiations. I've told Gary, 'Look, we are not only going to be a willing partner, I am going to be pushing the league in the direction of a national TV contract.' This is a major issue. My players want more exposure. We need to build more stars. You can take the three biggest stars off the Boston Bruins and walk them down the center of the busiest street in Boston and 99 percent of the public wouldn't recognize them. And something's wrong with that. The American public, other than Sidney Crosby, maybe with one or two other exceptions, don't identify with the stars of our sport. If you want to build a new fan base of younger kids, you've got to build star players. You've got to develop the equivalent of Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett in hockey. Hockey organizations try to build 'team,' not individual play, so there's this built-in hostility to developing stars. But we're in the world of professional sports. We're in the entertainment business. The Gretzky-Lemieux era that we had, we've got to have it again and we've got to have more than Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin.

Q: Do you think Versus would waive its exclusivity clause?

Kelly: If I'm the owner of Versus and some of the games are on my network and some of the games are on ESPN and ESPN says, 'Wednesday night's game will be on Versus,' and I'm getting the advertisement from a major sports network like that, that helps me immensely. So I don't know if I'm Versus that I would be hostile to this.
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Old 12-14-2007, 11:09 PM   #279
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Default Ducks land Weight, make room for Niedermayer

The Anaheim Ducks created the cap room needed to bring back All-Star defenseman Scott Niedermayer on Friday by sending center Andy McDonald to the St. Louis Blues for center Doug Weight, left wing Michal Birner and a seventh-round pick in the 2008 Entry Draft.

The trade allows the Ducks to make enough room under the cap for Niedermayer, who announced earlier this week he was returning to the Ducks after considering retirement. Anaheim would have been over the cap next season had it not shed significant salary.

Weight, 36, is a four-time NHL All-Star, but is off to a slow start this season with just four goals, 11 points, a plus-4 rating and 12 penalty minutes in 29 games. All four of his goals have come in his last five games. He is an unrestricted free agent after this season.
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Old 12-14-2007, 11:20 PM   #280
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Default NHL secretly testing themo blades

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Four NHL players are skating on heated blades said to enhance performance

Heated skate blades that are supposed to enhance performance are being used by four anonymous NHL players.

The four teams they play for asked that their names be kept secret so the Thermablades on their feet didn't draw media attention and their use become a distraction, says Kris King, the NHL's Toronto-based senior manager of hockey operations.

The product is manufactured by the Verdun, Que., company Therma Blade Inc., and both the NHL and the NHL Players' Association are assessing the experiment of using them in NHL games.

King says he's found no problems after conducting follow-ups with the four players who have been skating on them for several weeks now and their equipment managers. He's waiting for the players' association to complete its evaluation. The two groups will then huddle and decide whether to conduct further tests in conjunction with the company.

"We've looked at this from a safety concern," says King. "When you start putting battery packs and holders in the skate blade, we want to make sure the high-impact shots being taken don't lead to small pieces laying on the ice".

"From what I gather from my talks, I don't believe it to be a safety concern."

The names of the four players might be made public once the players' association weighs in, says King. No time frame is in place.

Thermablades use a rechargeable battery and microprocessor to maintain a blade temperature of 5 C. The slight heat is enough to increase the thickness of the water layer between the blade and the ice surface, and the company says its tests have shown this reduces gliding friction and starting resistance for skaters.

Therma Blade Inc. president Patrick Francey said during an Oct. 16 news conference at the Hockey Hall of Fame that he believes use of the heated blades will have a significant impact on performance.

"We are at the crossroads of hockey history," Francey said at the time.

King says he first met with company representatives about a year ago.

"It's a concept we haven't seen before," he says. "We want to make sure we do our due diligence in looking at all things may or not happen with these blades."

The batteries last for about two games. Fingers placed on sensors on either side of the rear of the plastic blade holder for three seconds activates the battery to signal the sensor to warm the blade. The system turns off automatically when a player is idle on the bench, and the energy of returning to the ice reactivates the system.

The blades are available in adult sizes in specialty stores at $399.99 retail. Buyers have to get them installed on their skate boots.
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Old 12-14-2007, 11:43 PM   #281
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Just stay away snoop ok just stay away

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Old 12-15-2007, 06:12 PM   #282
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Default New Russian League swiping NHLers

New Russian League May Soon Test NHL's Influence in Europe

In America, you play hockey.
In Soviet Russia, hockey plays you!

That type of joke, popularized by Yakov Smirnoff, pokes fun at America's cold war foe, the USSR. Soon that same nation, now a democracy, may form a hockey league that may be nothing to laugh at. The Toronto Star is reporting that Russian businessman Alex Medvedev, owner of the European natural gas supplier Gazprom, is leading efforts to create a league rivaling the NHL in Russia and western Europe. Whether or not this will ultimately be successful is anyone's guess, but one thing is for sure -- Medvedev has the money to do it. According to Wikipedia, Gazprom showed revenue of about $83.6 billion in 2006.

If the league can gain enough steam, let alone get off the ground, is something that remains to be seen. There's certainly interest in a European league as many countries are fed up with the NHL's transfer agreement, including Russia, which is not bound to any transfer agreement with the league right now. I imagine some type of league that spans Europe would be a huge success, similar to the UEFA Champions League in soccer. Imagine teams from Germany, Russia, Sweden and the like competing year round. In addition, Medvedev's deep pockets could lure many European players into passing on the NHL and staying on their home continent to play the sport they love. Those don't seem like bad theories to build on from my distant point of view. As of right now, the league plans to start in Western Europe, leaving open the option for further expansion.

Medvedev said the new league would probably start with teams in Western Russian cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg, and could also feature clubs in cities such as Kiev, Ukraine; Riga, Latvia; and Astana, Kazakhstan.

Teams are already feigning interest as Jokerit, the most successful team in Finland's Elite League, is not opposed to the idea of abandoning it's native league and joining up with the new Russian startup.

Jokerit, one of the most popular teams in Finland's elite league, would be a candidate to join, its owner said, even if it meant abandoning its domestic league.

Harry Harkimo, who also owns Jokerit's 13,464-seat arena in Helsinki, said his team would probably break even this year, even though it has more than 30 sponsors, plays in the largest arena in Finland, and receives several million dollars from broadcast contracts.

"A new league could mean more broadcast and sponsorship revenue," he said.

But there's still a punch line to all of this. While the league seems to have serious backing, one of the prime consultants in getting things up and running is none other than former NHLPA boss Bob Goodenow (cue the laugh track).
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Old 12-15-2007, 06:24 PM   #283
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Default What happened to all the offense in NHL?

Pretty interesting artical concerning how defense has adapted to the new obstruction rules.

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By MICHAEL RUSSO, Star Tribune

LOS ANGELES - Fifteen goals were scored in a game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Calgary Flames on Thursday, but as the saying goes, "Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while."

If you've scoured hockey boxscores or watched the games lately and noticed, like San Jose Sharks superstar Joe Thornton has, that every game "seems like it's 2-1 again," you're not seeing things.

Despite rule changes two years ago intended to boost offense, NHL scoring is again on the decline and nearing pre-lockout levels.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, through 455 games this season, 5.57 goals were scored per game, only half a goal greater than 2003-04. Through the same point in 2005-06, goals per game was at 6.22, or a 1.2 increase over 2003-04.

What does this illustrate? Despite the obstruction crackdown, two-line passes being permitted, bigger offensive zones and goalie puckhandling restrictions, teams have adjusted.

"There's no room out there," said Thornton, the three-time 100-point scorer who led the NHL with 125 points in 2005-06, when he won the Hart Trophy as league MVP.

All defense all the time

There are several factors for the decline (still supersized goalies, a decline in power plays because players know not to obstruct, better technology that has led to more blocked shots because players are fearless).

But the biggest factor seems to be defensive coaches making space tight.

"Look at all the hockey highlights," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "Teams are so good defensively. Ten years ago, half the teams didn't play sound defensively. Twenty years ago, maybe a quarter, 30 percent were solid defensively.

"Now it's 30 teams -- period. It's easier to teach guys how to stop scoring than how to score."

So all coaches emulate each other. "Teams are changing systems to what other teams are having success with," Anaheim Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said.

San Jose coach Ron Wilson agreed, saying: "Coaches copy the good defensive teams like us and Minnesota. You get imitated. Two decades ago, you didn't watch video. One, you couldn't find a tape. Two, with travel, you didn't have time to break down video. Now we watch each other."

Besides trapping in the neutral zone, the latest craze is packing five players around the net. "Everybody wants to play 0-0, 1-1 hockey," the Wild's Pavol Demitra said.

Wild veteran Brian Rolston was shocked against San Jose when he skated to the top of the Sharks' zone and San Jose wingers didn't even consider coming at him.

"I've noticed the same thing," Ducks checker Rob Niedermayer said. "You're in their end cycling the puck and everything's condensed. Then you get to the point and you've got to shoot through that mess."


This is the byproduct of the obstruction crackdown, Wilson said. Since players who skate into the corner are at risk of hooking and holding penalties, coaches have directed, "Don't leave the front of the net."

Check goalie equipment?

Wilson says it's time to again focus on goaltenders' equipment or making nets bigger. After the lockout, the size of goalie equipment was reduced by 11 percent.

"They're still enormous," Wilson said. "Back when I played, you wing a goalie with a shot, that hurt. Now goalies are fearless, so they're less likely to bail on a shot. Watch the goals going in back in the old days, you're going: 'He bailed on that. He lifted his head right out of the way,' because they were afraid. These are guys that are in the Hall of Fame now."

Wild General Manager Doug Risebrough agrees. "It's eye-opening watching these classic games and seeing how small the goalies were," he said. "You see so much more net. You see goals being scored from way out. You don't see that anymore.

"I don't buy the argument about more protection. With the fabrics they have today and the Kevlar that's there, these guys don't get hurt."

Recently, however, Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo suffered bruised ribs from a blast from the Wild's Aaron Voros.


"We've done our part," Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere said. "We shrank our equipment down. Now guys like Roberto are getting hurt. There's not much more we can do. At the end of day, it's not what the problem is. We'll shrink our equipment down more and goals are still going to go down."

Wilson suggests either making the nets bigger or changing the design of the back of the net to a lacrosse-type triangular net.

"Why do we have the big bloop out?" Wilson said. "It was to stop the puck to enable the goal judge to see if the puck went in. Well, we don't even have goal judges anymore. We have video.

"If you have a triangular back, you'll have more wraparounds, you can actually go stand behind a goalie's shoulder and make a flat pass off the post on the other side. You can't make that pass now because it hits the back of the net. It's just a way to confuse defensemen."

Risebrough and Lemaire said that would just cause more ugly, crashing-the-net hockey and that something dramatic needs to be done like Lemaire's idea to make the offensive zone half the rink (see Saturday's Wild notebook).

"There is an initiative now to make big changes," Risebrough said. "You can adjust to modest changes as evidence of goals going down again. So if you want the solution to be a lot more goals, we have to make a lot more, dramatic changes."
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Old 12-16-2007, 12:50 AM   #284
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Default Anaheim Ducks return defenceman Scott Niedermayer to active roster

ANAHEIM, Calif. - The Ducks added Scott Niedermayer to their active roster Saturday, clearing the way for the defenceman's expected return against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday.

Niedermayer had been suspended since the season started while he pondered retirement. The 34-year-old Stanley Cup MVP announced his impending return Dec. 5.

He helped the Ducks win their first Cup championship last season, when he became the first Anaheim player to lead NHL defencemen in scoring with 15 goals and 54 assists during the regular season.

The Ducks traded Andy McDonald to St. Louis on Friday, freeing up enough money under the salary cap to activate Niedermayer. McDonald was in the second year of a three-year, US$10-million contract
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Old 12-16-2007, 09:00 AM   #285
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ok this guy has got to be thrown out of the league, what the hell is he trying to do amputate ruutus foot ? i guess the nhl told him not to use the stick so he found a new weapon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36d6H92ADDc
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:28 AM   #286
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Ruutu seems to get himself in those situaitions all the time the dude is a little b**** we knew him well when he played for the canucks but i don't know what simon was thinking he just got off suspension this is the last thing he needs iam sure he will be sitting again.
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Old 12-18-2007, 08:23 PM   #287
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Default Islanders forward Simon meets with NHL disciplinarian Campbell

TORONTO (AP) -New York Islanders forward Chris Simon met with league disciplinarian Colin Campbell on Tuesday to discuss his latest penalty for attempting to injure an opponent.

Simon took a paid leave from the Islanders on Monday, agreeing with the team that he needed time away from hockey after he stomped on Pittsburgh forward Jarkko Ruutu during a 3-2 loss to the Penguins on Saturday.

Simon missed the first five games of this season while completing a 25-game ban - his sixth NHL suspension - handed out in March.

With the Islanders trailing 3-2 late, Simon drew a match penalty when he pulled out Ruutu's leg with his, sending the forward to his knees between the team benches. Simon then stepped on the back of Ruutu's leg with his skate.

Simon was ejected and the Islanders were a man short for all but the final 54 seconds of the game.
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Old 12-18-2007, 08:34 PM   #288
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Default Canucks GM's deposition muddies assault story

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The Vancouver Canucks' general manager has put another twist to the Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore debacle, suggesting in court documents released today that Moore was not specifically targeted for revenge by then-Canucks coach Marc Crawford.

In an Aug. 23 deposition, Vancouver Canucks general manger Dave Nonis told lawyers: "I have heard that Crawford pointed to a number of players and said that they must -- '... they got to pay the price tonight.'

"And my understanding is that it was before the game started. And my understanding is that included a number of players on the Avalanche, including their star players, you know, Hejduk and Sakic, and things that, I'm sure, coaches say on a regular basis."

Nonis said it was Canucks players Markus Naslund, Trevor Linden and Mattias Ohlund who told him what Crawford had said in reference to the March 8, 2004 game between the Canucks and the Colorado Avalanche.

Later, Nonis said he wasn't sure whether players had told him Crawford made his "pay the price" comment before the game or later during an intermission.

In the 2004 game, Bertuzzi attacked Moore from behind, driving his head into the ice. Moore, who had already fought another Canuck player earlier in the game and was targeted because of an incident during a previous game between the two teams, suffered a broken neck and severe facial lacerations.

Moore is suing Bertuzzi and the Canucks for $38 million.

Bertuzzi and the Canucks deny Moore's claims, which have not been proved in court.

In court documents released several weeks ago, Bertuzzi was quoted as claiming that Crawford, between periods, pointed at Moore's name alone when he made the "pay the price" comment.

Nonis, when asked about Bertuzzi's claims, said it was the first time he had heard that version of events.

Bertuzzi was asked during his examination his recollection of the assault.

"I'll give you exactly what I remember, okay, and I'll give it to you," Bertuzzi said. "What I remember is coming in at him with another player on our team, on the far side of the boards, bumping into him. I remember skating with him all the way up the ice asking him to fight. I asked him four, five, six, seven times to fight. Went all the way...

"I'm saying let's fight. Let's go ..."

Elsewhere in the court documents, Moore's lawyer Tim Danson is quoted as asking Bertuzzi what would have happened if he had not done something to Moore. Bertuzzi replied: "It would have been a pretty long week for me."

Bertuzzi's lawyer, Geoffrey Adair, told the Star that Crawford may be added as a defendant in the case. That would allow Bertuzzi to argue that if there are damages awarded in the case, the team and Crawford should share responsibility.

Bertuzzi's allegation that Crawford incited the assault surfaced several weeks ago and drew a strongly-worded denial from the Canucks. Crawford, now coaching with the Los Angeles Kings, refused to confirm or deny the claim.

Nonis's statements were made public in a Toronto court today after a court officer refused Bertuzzi's request to seal the case's depositions.

"The submission by the defendants that a fair trial for Bertuzzi would be put in jeopardy if the discovery transcripts were filed and thus open to public inspection and reporting by the press is speculative at best," Master R. Dash wrote in his reasons, explaining why he denied Bertuzzi's motion.

Adair has sought to have some court material sealed ever since the Star reported that he offered Moore $350,000 to settle the lawsuit.

"Mr. Adair argues that the press did not have the full background and the remarks in the (Moore's lawyer Tim Danson) letter were taken out of context."

Moreover, Adair argued that Bertuzzi would not be able to get a fair jury trial in Toronto, thanks to the Star article about the settlement offer and subsequent press reports.

Dash dismissed that argument, too.

"Any damage from the release of the ... letter has already been done and cannot be reversed," Dash wrote.
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Old 12-19-2007, 04:35 PM   #289
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Default Islanders Simon suspended for 30 games

TORONTO -- New York Islanders forward Chris Simon has been suspended for 30 games, without pay, for deliberately kicking Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jarkko Ruutu at 14:06 of the third period of NHL Game #472 on December 15, 2007. Simon will be eligible to return to NHL play in two months (February 21, 2008 vs. Tampa Bay).

"Several factors were considered in imposing the longest suspension in NHL history for an on-ice incident," said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. "While it was fortunate there was no serious injury to Mr. Ruutu as a result of Simon's action, the deliberate act of kicking an opponent with an exposed skate blade, especially where the opponent is in a vulnerable position, is and always has been a repugnant and totally unacceptable act in the game of hockey.

Related Links:

* Colin Campbell on Chris Simon suspension Conference Call December 19th, 2007

ďIn addition, while the act itself was extremely dangerous, the fact that this is the eighth incident requiring the imposition of supplementary discipline on Simon compelled me to impose a very severe penalty in this case. When a player repeatedly evidences the lack of ability to control his actions and conducts himself in total disregard of the rules, as well the health and safety of other players on the ice, each subsequent incident is deserving of enhanced scrutiny and more severe discipline. This response serves not only the purpose of imposing appropriate punishment for the player involved, but also the purpose of deterring the player and all other players from engaging in similar conduct in the future - hopefully creating a safer long-term work environment for all NHL players."

Based on his average annual pay, and the fact that he is considered a repeat offender, Simon forfeits $292,683.00. The money goes to the Playersí Emergency Assistance Fund.
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Old 12-19-2007, 06:36 PM   #290
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Default NHL Network to televise 2008 World Junior Championships

New York, NY -- NHL Network, the first national network dedicated entirely to hockey, today announced it has secured the exclusive U.S. rights to the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Pardubice and Liberec, Czech Republic, Dec. 26, 2007 Ė Jan. 5, 2008. The upcoming tournament marks the first time the World Junior Championship will be telecast live on NHL Network in the United States.

NHL Network in the U.S. will televise live coverage of the entire medal round of the 2008 World Junior Championship, including both quarterfinal games, both semifinal contests, the bronze-medal game and the gold-medal game. All games will be televised in HD and will receive at least one primetime re-air on the network.

Coverage on NHL Network in the U.S. gets underway on Wednesday, January 2nd with LIVE telecasts of the two quarterfinal games at 10:00 am ET/7:00 am PT and 2:00 pm ET/11:00 am PT. For the 2008 tournament, the second- and third-place teams from each of the two groups after the round-robin portion will play in the quarterfinals. The winners of each group after the round-robin games advance to the semifinals. The final four teams square off LIVE on NHL Network at 10:00 am ET/7:00 am PT and 2:00 pm ET/11:00 am PT on Friday, January 4th. The bronze medal game will be on the network LIVE at 10:00 am ET/7:00 am PT Saturday, January 5th, followed shortly by the Gold Medal game LIVE on NHL Network in the U.S. at 2:00 pm ET/11:00 am PT.

The World Junior Hockey Championship is an annual IIHF event featuring the best hockey players in the world under the age of 20. The tournament traditionally serves as a proving ground for tomorrowís NHL stars. Tune in to see who will be this yearís break-out star. For complete information on the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship, visit usahockey.com.

2008 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship Coverage on NHL Network US

Wednesday, January 2nd
10:00 am ET/7:00 am PT Ė Quarterfinal game #1 (LIVE)
2:00 pm ET/11:00 am PT Ė Quarterfinal game #2 (LIVE)
7:00 pm ET/4:00 pm PT Ė Quarterfinal game #1 (re-air)

Thursday, January 3rd
3:00 am ET/12:00 am PT Ė Quarterfinal game #1 (re-air)
12:00 pm ET/9:00 am PT Ė Quarterfinal game #2 (re-air)
7:00 pm ET/4:00 pm PT Ė Quarterfinal game #2 (re-air)

Friday, January 4th
10:00 am ET/7:00 am PT Ė Semifinal game #1 (LIVE)
2:00 pm ET/11:00 am PT Ė Semifinal game #2 (LIVE)
5:30 pm ET/2:30 pm PT Ė Semifinal game #1 (re-air)
10:00 pm ET/7:00 pm PT Ė Semifinal game #2 (re-air)

Saturday, January 5th
10:00 am ET/7:00 am PT Ė Bronze Medal game (LIVE)
2:00 pm ET/11:00 am PT Ė Gold Medal game (LIVE)

Sunday, January 6th
3:00 am ET/12:00 am PT Ė Gold Medal game (re-air)
5:00 pm ET/3:00 pm PT Ė Bronze Medal game (re-air)
7:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT Ė Gold Medal game (re-air)

*NHL Network reserves the right to change the schedule

After launching in the U.S. in October, NHL Network is already accessible to 80 million homes based on previously-announced carriage arrangements with Cablevision, Comcast, Cox Communications, Charter, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Time Warner Cable and others.
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Old 12-19-2007, 09:17 PM   #291
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Default Open letter to canada

Just a great post from battle of california:

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Dear Canada,

Hey, whatís up, ya hosers? (Sorry, I bet youíre really tired of that. By the way, how do you guys say ďBehoove?Ē I bet itís hilarious.) I hope youíre not too cold up there in the Great White North, and hopefully you were able to get all that snow out of the way. Itís been cold here in L.A. too; yesterday it was almost 40 degrees! Anyway, I think we have to have a little talk. You see, Iím a hockey fan here in L.A. (I know, they exist? Good joke, really, I canít hear it enough) and Iím starting wonder about your commitment to hockey. Iím not saying youíre not good fans, you guys are passionate and thatís great, but Iím starting to wonder if maybe youíre hurting the sport by loving it too much.

I think what Iím trying to say is that you guys are a more little focused on making sure hockey is still a ďCanadianĒ sport than worrying about its health overall. Read this thread or this article and tell me that Canadians really seem concerned with growing the sport. You guys are acting like that one Biblical dude who would rather split the calf in half than let someone else have it. (What was his nameÖ Jesus?) Look, if Nashville eventually has to move, fine, I get the economics of the situationÖ but you guys seem to be reveling in their failure, like it proves your hockey superiority or something. Itís not good for the sport if Nashville moves, no more than it was when Winnipeg and Quebec moved. The future of the game rests with the teams in the Southern part of the United States; if they fail, the league fails. Iím not sure you guys realize that.

Another thing thatís been bothering me: you guys criticize the NHL's position in the American sports scene a lot. Actually, there are 2 groups of people that constantly mock the NHL: idiot sports "personalities" like Jim Rome and Canadians. The first I can understand: radio talk show hosts are lower than Ducks fans. But the second? I think thereís something deeper here. I get the impression that you guys donít really want hockey to succeed in the United States. You want to keep hockey to yourself, and you justify it by saying, ďWell, nobody watches hockey in the United States, they donít even want the game.Ē I think I understand why, too; Iím not Canadian, so I canít really pretend to know the national psyche, but I think you guys might be a little worried about being irrelevant. Hockey is what makes Canada unique on the global scene, and if you lose that then the only thing youíll have left are moose and flannel. (Sorry, I couldnít resist.) Is that accurate?

You guys have to understand, though, that someone isnít going to watch a sport if they think they donít think itís important. Itís likeÖ you guys ever get the show Firefly? It was on a while ago, it was created by the guy who did Buffy I think. Anyway, it had a loyal fanbase that constantly talked about how great the show was and bombarded magazines with letters any time they mentioned it. What happened was, new people didnít watch the show because they didnít feel like they knew it enough to engage with it like the older fans. The result? The show got cancelled. Iím not saying hockeyís going to get cancelled or anything, but itís running the risk of being irrelevant. Basically, these constant articles questioning hockeyís relevance are fulfilling their own prophecy by pushing away people that might otherwise be attracted to hockey. You keep trying to gauge your importance in hockey, and youíre pushing away potential fans because of it. Youíre holding the game so close to your chest that youíre suffocating it.

Iím sorry if this is kind of rambling, but Iím not really trying to make a point, just trying to get a dialogue started. Iím still not quite sure what I think myself, but I think what Iím trying to say is this: you donít own hockey anymore. I know you created it, and hey, Iím very glad you did, I love the sport. But itís not yours anymore. I know you hate Gary Bettman because heís American and he doesnít understand the history of the game or whatever, but trying to expand hockey in America is a good idea. Moving teams to Hamilton is a step backwards for the league because those people are going to watch hockey whether they have a team or not. A team moving from Nashville or Pittsburgh or Anaheim (fingers crossed) will completely destroy hockey in that area.

If you think about it in terms of making the sport better, thereís a good chance the greatest hockey player in the world has never laced up a pair of skates because he decided to play basketball or baseball or football or soccer instead. Think about it like this: California leads the NFL, MLB, and the NBA in terms of athletes currently playing the sport. In contrast, there have been 18 NHL players in the history of the sport from California. (Iím not sure if thatís current.) In the last draft, a defenseman named Jonathon Blum was drafted by the Nashville Predators. He was the first Californian to be drafted in the 1st round in the history of the NHL. This isnít a fluke; this is the future of hockey. The choice is yours: do you want to keep hockey and watch it sink into an abyss shared by lacrosse, soccer, and paintball, or are you willing to let it go and watch it succeed? Itís up to you.


Respectfully,

Rudy Kelly
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Old 12-19-2007, 10:03 PM   #292
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travel distances for all 30 NHL teams so far this season (in miles):

1. Anaheim 26152
2. Los Angeles 24966
3. Edmonton 21926
4. Vancouver 20626
5. San Jose 19938
6. Colorado 19922
7. Columbus 16985
8. Phoenix 16915
9. Florida 16910
10. Calgary 16576
11. Atlanta 16303
12. Dallas 15610
13. Tampa Bay 15486
14. Philadelphia 14573
15. Minnesota 14542
16. Boston 13574
17. Nashville 13573
18. Detroit 13570
19. St Louis 13106
20. Pittsburgh 12294
21. Buffalo 12176
22. Chicago 11818
23. Toronto 11252
24. Washington 10990
25. Carolina 10855
26. Ottawa 10377
27. NY Rangers 9426
28. New Jersey 9214
29. Montreal 8071
30. NY Islanders 5667
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Old 12-19-2007, 10:19 PM   #293
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Default Kovalev washed up?

Check this out
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:47 PM   #294
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damn, that's pretty cool.
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:59 PM   #295
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Default Simon: 'This is unfair'

ROY MacGREGOR



The phone in Chris Simon's home in Long Island, N.Y., began ringing at 9:30 a.m.

First was New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow with the stunning news ó a 30-game suspension for "stomping" on another player's skate. Then the worst day of Simon's 15-season NHL career spun into an endless series of rings, beeps and voice messages.

He never felt so surrounded. He never felt so alone.

The toughest call ó the one he would have to make himself ó didn't occur until the evening.

Phil Fontaine, the Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, called to offer support. Dozens of players called. Agents called. Other general managers called. All the hockey people offered the same message: We stand with you. But privately.

"I wish some of those guys could speak out in public," Simon said, "but they can't. I understand that. You never know when you might find yourself in the same situation."

The exact same situation would be unlikely. The 30-game penalty marked Simon's eighth suspension. It also marked a record, breaking the previous NHL mark of 25 games ó set just last spring by Simon for slashing New York Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg across the face and equalled in October by Jesse Boulerice of the Philadelphia Flyers.

This one was for an incident that occurred last Saturday when the 35-year-old Ojibwa from Northwestern Ontario tripped Jarkko Ruutu of the Pittsburgh Penguins. With Ruutu down, Simon then brought his own skate down hard on the ankle side of Ruutu's skate.

It was, according to the game referees, a deliberate attempt to injure, with Ruutu fortunate to escape serious harm. It was, according to NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell, a repeat situation deserving of special attention ó and coming at a time when professional hockey is getting special attention from civil court proceedings involving the Todd Bertuzzi attack on Steve Moore in 2004.

"What I did was wrong," Simon said. He has apologized and taken a "leave" from the Islanders while he looks into counselling and contemplates his future.

"I don't think it was fair," he said. "I'm not a complainer. I've never complained before. I took my suspensions and moved on. But I don't think this one was fair.

Simon anticipated the suspension, but thought 10 games would be "on the high end." Online polls and radio talk shows, on the other hand, have suggested 30 games might be on the low end.

"I wasn't trying to injure him," Simon contended. "I tripped him and I was telling him to [expletive], and I did step on his foot. I pushed down on his skate, I don't deny that, but I wasn't trying to hurt him. I don't think a player has ever missed a game from one of my suspensions.

"I look at other guys who have been repeat offenders. One guy used his skate a second time and he got only five games. What I did was wrong, but this is unfair."

He is considering an appeal to the league, even if success is unlikely.

"It's a point of principle," Simon said.

He believes those who have seen only the video do not understand the inner workings of the game. Both players, he said, were simply doing their jobs, Ruutu being the pest and Simon the one who deals with the pest.

"He plays an agitator role," Simon said. "You have to let him know you're out there. That's not an excuse for stepping on his foot, but it's being described as something it's not. It's letting him know I'm there. It's like a shot in the arm."

At no point, he said, was there any intention to cut. "Guys were laughing on the bench," he said. "I don't think they'd be laughing if they thought he was hurt."

In arguing roles, Simon is on much the same ground as Bertuzzi, who has said in court documents that Vancouver Canucks coach Marc Crawford essentially ordered up the attack on Moore, then with the Colorado Avalanche.

"If I didn't go out and do something, fight someone," Bertuzzi said in testimony, "it would have been a pretty long week for me."

It is called the code in hockey. The unwritten rules of the game. Many believe such thinking archaic and out of step with society; those who follow the code know only the costs of failing to do one's perceived job. Back in 1982, Los Angeles Kings coach Don Perry told player Paul Mulvey to "Get out there and don't dance" ó and when Mulvey declined to fight, his NHL career was over.

Simon required no hint on what to do. His job was to deal with the pest, which he did. And he made a mistake that deserves punishment. But he can't help but wonder whether he isn't being sacrificed to appease a public roar for action on hockey violence.

"I don't want to think that's the way it is," he said, "but it's starting to feel like it."

The call he left for evening was to the oldest of his four children, Mitchell, off in the Dominican Republic on a school vacation.

If a hockey-mad 13-year-old thought it the wrong call, then Simon's next step would be to decide whether to appeal.

And convince not only the league, but the public, that 30 games is too much kick in return for what he did on Saturday on Long Island.
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Old 12-20-2007, 07:18 PM   #296
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Default The NHL Looks to Double Dip on Ticket Sales

The NHL is always looking for more ways to squeeze money out of its fan base, so the fact that the NHL wants tighter control over ticket resales is not surprising. Why just sell the ticket once when you can sell it again and make even more profit? That's the thinking behind the NHL's new partnership with the monopolistic Ticketmaster (who already control sales for 26 of 30 NHL clubs).

The National Hockey League (NHL) and Ticketmaster today announced they have entered into an exclusive multi-year agreement to create an NHL resale ticketing service to be powered by Ticketmaster. As part of the agreement, Ticketmaster has been named the "Official Resale Ticket Provider of the NHL."

"We could not be happier that the NHL has selected Ticketmaster to provide to fans the best possible resale experience," said Eric Korman, Ticketmaster Executive Vice President. "Hockey fans will benefit from greater protection, flexibility and the unparalleled efficiency of our technology. The NHL wins by providing to fans the ability to resell tickets in a safe and secure environment. Our partnership will also make it easier for the League and its teams to connect with its millions of fans directly."


Protection. Yes, let's bring out the scare tactics, shall we? How could fans possibly feel safe purchasing tickets from somebody on eBay or Craigslist? *Gasp* While buying tickets from a scalper or somebody else you have never met has always had an element of risk, it's not as if there is widespread fraud among existing ticket agencies and the average fans who just want to unload their ducats.

Let's face it, Ticketmaster is king of the service charge. By being able to resell the tickets, Ticketmaster will be getting at LEAST twice the amount of fees on a single ticket. The NHL clubs? They can buy back their tickets at a lower rate, and then sell the ticket for a nice markup. Why let the scalper get the profit when the team can do that itself?

I believe the NHL has every right to want to control the usage and sale of its product (my hometown Canucks already do this), but this whole exercise of double dipping, especially with Ticketmaster involved, just makes me queasy. Instead of providing a forum for the fans to sell/exchange their tickets with each other, the teams simply pull out the cash grab and shamelessly scalp their own product.
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:59 AM   #297
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The Ticket Exchange does work well with my season tickets for the ducks. The problem is have with them is when they add 10% to tickets that are not selling very well. We get 10% loss from what we post and it is credit for playoffs or next season (in the Kings case every year). I dont mind the credit and the buyer is paying only 10% (like stub hub). Also, i get my tickets for $15.25 (plus facility fee) but can sell my tickets at $30.50 or more. Now, that normally sounds great for a profit but if you cant get a buyer, i would love to sell for $20 to $25 if they would give us that opportunity. TM doesnt make anything on my season tickets unless I sell them on the exchange so that is the only way they make their money on ST holders. I dont think someone that buys from TM can put their tickets on the Exchange. I believe it is only for the exclusive rights of season ticket holders. I do wonder why teams that have a huge walk up dont rebuy those tickets at $30.50 and resell for $41 that is priced at the box office. The profit isnt huge but getting fans in and not frustrated would be a smart move. I would suggest that anyone that cannot go to the game and tickets would be unused to claim that in a box when posting so the team can keep those tickets active on their personal computer in the box office to resell. This makes season ticket holders, the walk up fans and the ducks all happy. It will keep the season ticket base happy and renew. I believe, though, that you would have to limit the times someone can do this or they would just keep the tickets to resell all home games.
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Old 12-21-2007, 07:35 PM   #298
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Coyotes/ Sharks Melee

Last edited by Bronx33; 12-21-2007 at 07:37 PM..
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Old 12-23-2007, 06:42 PM   #299
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The sharks have a new attitude this year. they know the reason they keep getting knocked out of the playoffs is the lack of toughness. Its been really hard this year because the power play has been so bad that teams are taking the cheap shots they wanted to take last year when our PP was #1 or #2 in the NHL. But this has been a frustrating year all around because the shark rabid fan base is getting tired of shooting our load in the regular season, only to look like a midlevel team in the playoffs. The toughness is lacking and some of our better players like to take shifts of. Michalek Im talking to you!
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Old 12-23-2007, 06:46 PM   #300
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On my Tivo at home, I noticed carcillo would have ben fine 'sept that the ref pushed the pile over and messed his knee. Weekend at bernier should have dropped his damn stick though. JR was trying to help.
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