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Thursday, 27 September 2012

1 Reason Why Fans Wont Give Up on the NHL


The NHL has entered the beginning of a lockout. I say entered because until earlier this week the inability to agree on a new CBA had not resulted in the loss of any games. Now that we have missed a handful of pre-season games and are quite likely to miss the rest and the start of the regular season, the lockout is in full swing.

Since hockey fans aren't being allowed to watch the game they love they're extremely upset and sad. Many are saying that even if the NHL comes back theywon't hurry back. Some have even gone as far to say "they are done with the NHL". While I sympathize with those fans and am upset myself that the NHL has entered their 3rd lockout in the last 18 years, fans will be back regardless of what they sayNo matter what you say or "tweet" you know deep down inside the moment the NHL is back your duff will be back on the couch watching. Here's the reason fans will be: Gary Bettman

"What?! But everyone hates Bettman for destroying our game". While he certainly isn't in any hockey fans

good books, he is the main reason why fans will come back after this lockout. Bettman has become the antagonist to the NHL. Fans love the game and want to see it be successful, where as Bettman seems to be doing everything he can to make sure it doesn't succeed. In a story or movie you rarely want the antagonist to win the battle and become successful, which is exactly why hockey fans can't leave the game.

A lot of the hostility to the game stems from the comments the commissioner made that insinuated "fans are mindless sheep and they'll be back no matter what". For a lot of fans, including myself, those comments struck a nerve. But in reality all we are to the NHL are consumers, the league could care less about our thoughts, opinions or feelings. Due to Bettman publicly going on record and saying he believes the fans will be back no matter what, fans have decided they don't want to come back if they're going to be taken advantage of.

It's a harsh cycle, Bettman and the league don't care about the fans and just want their money, but fans can't give up the game they love. Turning away from the game would be admitting defeat, it's like saying Gary Bettman has succeeded in destroying the thing you love. As a die hard hockey fan you know you can't let Bettman win this battle.

Whether you like it or not Bettman is the reason fans will be back to the NHL as soon as the two sides reach an agreement. Walking away now would be saying the antagonist has won and Bettman has successfully destroyed the NHL. It may take you a few months to regain your faith in the league and you may not waist money on useless merchandise, but you will find yourself watching hockey games.

As a hockey fan you don't nor want to let Bettman win this battle and at the end of the day you will be back to make sure the game is still successful. The last thing you want is for the game to be ruined forever!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

What If the NHL Had Replacement Refs?


In the wake of the horrible ending between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks which saw the Seahawks snatch away victory from the Packers on a controversial hail mary pass that was incorrectly called by the NFL replacement refs. The players, coaches and fans are extremely fed up with the replacement refs, many insisting that commissioner Roger Goodell pay the referees so football can be officiated the right way. Some fans and players are even stating that with the level of officiating taking place over the first 2 weeks of the season the integrity of the NFL has been lost, wow! I'll post the video evidence and let you decide

To be honest I feel bad for the replacement referees. They were thrust into a role they weren't ready for nor are they capable of handling, a lose-lose situation.Their reward for stepping up? Coaches yelling at them all game long, analysts questioning their calls and blaming them for the outcome of games and most importantly the fact that once the NFL and the regular officials get a deal done, they'll be removed from the games and we may never hear about them again. Let's compare the NFL's situation to a 3 on 3 hockey tournament that consists of Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos against three first year players from the OHL. It's not going to be a pretty picture, the OHLer's will be outmatched and things would quickly get out of hand.

After the turmoil that broke out on twitter last night one reader suggested I look at the NHL and see what would happen if the full time NHL referees went on strike. 

Much like the NFL and Goodell I imagine Bettman would insist on using replacement referees until he could make peace with the regular ones. Both commissioners figure that fans will still buy tickets and the games will still be aired no matter who's refereeing,

after all you don't generally go to a game to watch the referees. The money Bettman could make and save by not having to pay the regular more expensive referees yet still have fans buying tickets would be too great for him to pass up.

Now that we've established the fact that Bettman would indeed play with replacement referees, we have to look at how it would effect the games.  Compared to the large role the officials play each game in the NFL the role of a NHL official is far less significant. Yes we need them to control the safety of the game and call penalties but they aren't necessarily involved in every play. Where as in the NFL each drive can be effected by the referees call. If the ref throws a flag on the play the next drive is immediately effected, if the ref rules an incomplete pass play is immediately blown dead and the next drive starts.

The next thing we have to take into account is the penalties. While it is rarely beneficial for a player to take a penalty during a hockey game the effect of the penalty on his team may or may not be taken into account. Sure the offending team has to play with 4 skaters compared to the other teams 5, but if the opposition fails to score during the 2 minute penalty the offending team gets it's fifth skater back and the game goes on like the penalty never occurred. If a team has exceptionally good penalty killing the chances they are negatively effected by a penalty are less. Compared to the NFL where each "penalty" directly effects the offending team. Let's say the quarterback and the wide receiver hook up for a 40 yard reception. If the referee throws a flag on the play that 40 yard reception would be virtually erased and the team would have to start the drive again with one less "down" and further back from their original field placement. There is no chance for the team to defend or neutralize the penalty.

Since the referees are not as influential in determining the outcome of every single hockey game. Yes I know there have been some horrible calls which ended up turning the game around, more often than not the games are whether we want to believe it or not officiated fairly. Because of this I believe the NHL would survive with replacement referees. But in case you're not convinced here's 2 more reasons why the NHL would be fine.

1. Less Penalties

While penalties are a necessity to keep the games in order, the most entertaining games to watch are ones where the referees put away their whistles and just let the players play. The games are exciting, fast paced and usually move along quicker. Sure the odd holding call gets missed but who really cares?
As we've seen with the NFL replacement refs the newbie rookies are afraid to call penalties and most of the time are concerned about making a call that will influence the game. The referees will be a little shell shocked when they first step into the game, they'll be hesitant to make any calls and as a result will allow the players to just play.

2. It's Fun to chirp Officials

Hockey games are mostly decided by whichever team can score more goals than scored against. But fans and coaches love to blame officials as a reason why their team lost the game. It doesn't matter who's officiating the game there will always be questionable calls and always criticism of the referees. Eventually like with the NFL the poor officiating will become a joke, a joke that fans believe it or not will pay to see.

When it all comes down to it the referees are just human and to err is to be human. They're going to mess up things, sometimes it will cost a team the game but those things happen. The NHL may be a little better off with replacement referees than the NFL currently is as they don't play as big a part. It would be nice if everyone would stop fighting over money and allow the sports we all love to be played properly.




Monday, 24 September 2012

Lockout Survival Guide

The September 15th deadline has come and gone and as many expected the NHLPA and the NHL could not agree on a new CBA. As Bettman said he would, he has indeed locked out the players. We have now entered a lockout, but don't fret hockey fans I'm sure the rich owners and players will get a deal done soon right?

But for now I have your lockout survival guide, providing you with the best alternatives to a lockout.

First Step;

The first step for any sports fan when their sport enters a lockout is acceptance. Now I don't mean be happy or just completely forget about the sport you love. I mean accept the fact that the two sides were unable to come to an agreement and accept the fact there is nothing you can do. Sure you can boycott the NHL and their sponsors or sign petitions until you run out of ink but at the end of the day those things aren't going the lockout. While as fans we are not happy about the lockout we must accept the fact it is out of our hands. It's between Bettman, the owners, Donald Fehr and the players.

Now that you have accepted the fact there is nothing you can do to get Bettman to change his mind, let's explore other things that you can do during the lockout.

  • Go out and play hockey

Whats better than watching the sport you love? Going out and playing that sport! Even if you don't own a pair of skates or know the basics of skating there's always ball hockey. But seriously instead of sulking over the lockout go out and make your own hockey. The NHL only wins if they take the game we love away from us the fans. Head down to your local rink and look into joining a recreational league or see when the "beer leaguers" lace up the skates. It's great exercise and you may meet some new people.

  • Family Bonding

Now that you don't have to be glued to your television set watching your favourite team go out and enjoy the people in you life. Take the wife out for dinner and a movie, teach the kids something new, offer to walk the dog or just go out to a restaurant or gathering and meet some new people. Humans need other human championship in order to function it's a basic principle, stop ignoring your loved ones and take this opportunity to spend more time with the family. You'll feel better and your family will be glad to have your full attention.

  • Support minor hockey

What a lot of people forget is the NHL isn't the only hockey around. While it is the best professional sports league there are tons of other league to check out and there's some pretty decent players playing in them. Every NHL team has a farm team known as the AHL. The Buffalo Sabres have the Rochester Americans, the Toronto Maple Leafs have the Toronto Marlies etc. The point is the AHL teams aren't on strike go out and support them. There's also the OHL, CHL, QMJHL and WHL who would love a few new fans. If you don't want to spend the money or travel far chances are you live in a town that has a solid Jr. A hockey team. Go out and support some of the smaller leagues, the players give it all night in and night out trying to earn a shot at the NHL. You may be presently surprised with the talent you discover during the lockout. You never know, a player you discover may make it to the NHL one day and you can say you saw him when he was still in junior.

  • Watch some football

Who are you kidding as much as you love hockey you still have a soft spot for the NFL. I know I do, and while I wouldn't watch a football game over a hockey game the NFL is pretty much the next best thing. I mean there's hitting, passing, defence and offence the only thing missing is the ice. Go drive some die hard NFL fan nuts by jumping on a bandwagon and riding that team all the way to the Super Bowl.

  • Take up a new hobby

Try picking up that old dusty guitar thats sitting in the corner and play a few cords. Use the extra time to teach yourself new songs or just the basics. Before long you'll be surprising yourself and your friends with your musical talent. If music isn't your thing maybe try some photography. Head down to Wal Mart and buy yourself a digital camera before your long you'll be blown away with what you've captured. I bet it's been awhile since you sat down and read a book from front to back. Head down to your local library (yes those still exist) and take out a few books you'll be surprised how quickly you can become lost in a story.

  • Start a blog

How hard could blogging be right? I mean if I'm doing it you sure as heck could. Start a blog about your challenges during this lockout, how each day is slowly becoming more and more painful. But seriously if you have some thoughts or opinions get them out there for the world to seem, you'll be surprised how many people share the same feelings as you.

  • Watch the KHL

If you aren't up to watching junior hockey and insist on watching NHL players (who are partially responsible for this mess) you better brush up on your Russian. If you want to watch the likes of Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin then the KHL has you covered. While it might sound strange, I'm slightly happy the players are heading over to the KHL during this lockout. It's the break the KHL have been looking for and they're finally going to get some recognition outside of just Russian. Hopefully one day the fear of losing players overseas will keep the NHL from more lockouts.

  • Get hooked on a new TV series

My personal favourite show to watch besides hockey is Flashpoint which airs on Thursday nights on CTV at 10. They're entering the final season and are sure to end with a bang. Why not get caught up on the latest TV dramas such as Lost, Greys Anatomy, Glee. Or re-watch some of the classics which aren't aired anymore.

  • Get outside

Use this opportunity to get off your duff and do something productive! How about losing those 10 pounds you've been talking about for years, now's your chance. Start working out, running and transform your body into the best shape it's been in years. You always said you wanted to see your toes again one day right? Go fishing, go hiking just go outside and enjoy nature. It's a lot better actually being outside in nature than watching it on you HD T.V screen. Despite what sports networks and TV tells us, being outside and consuming fresh air is good.

  • Make your own video

It's 2012 the internet is a powerful tool. We've all seen the fan made videos about the lockout, well now it's your chance. Call some hockey starved friends over hit the record button and let the world see your pain and sorrow over the lockout, at the very least you can get your 15 minutes of fame.

  • Coach hockey

Now that you're not watching hockey on Saturday evenings you have some open time. Why not give back to the game you love by teaching the next generation the basics about hockey. It's extremely rewarding watching them play, it's all about fun at their age.

  • Take advantage of the lockouts effect on merchandise

If you're a hockey fan your room is covered with your teams merchandise and your closet is full of shirts, hoodies and jerseys that in some way support your team. Why not take advantage of some discount prices on t-shirts, pictures and bobble heads? With the money you're saving not having to buy tickets or purchasing TV subscriptions buy stuff to complete your "man cave".

  • School

If you're still in school you now have more time to focus on your school work. You know actually study for tests and complete projects. Now that your weeknights will not feature hockey now's the chance to get your grades up and make honour roll. You never know maybe your parents will be so impressed that they buy you that jersey you've been saving up for or promise to take you to a game once the lockout is over.

If you're not in school or chose not to pursue a higher education now's your chance. You also vowed to go back to school one day, now that you're not following the NHL every waking moment. Enrol in a University or College or just take some night courses, you can get that degree you always wanted.

  • Buy NHL 13

It may only be a video game but it's better than nothing, and for Sabres fans Ryan Miller is the highest rated goaltender what could be better? If you haven't bought the game yet now's your chance to see what all the hoopla is about. If you've been collected hockey video games from EA since the early 2000's you can play the games in order and see how the games developed.

  • Cry

It's okay we're all upset, it's okay to cry and let it all out. We all miss the game it's going to be a tough year it's okay to cry. If you need to join a support group and find other die hard hockey fans who are weeping on the inside.

There you go folks here's my NHL Lockout Survival Guide. Remember we can't change the fact there is a lockout but life will go on trust met. There's other hockey to watch such as the AHL, OHL, or local hockey. Hope you enjoyed my lockout survival guide, let me know in the comments how you're going to survive the lockout.

Friday, 21 September 2012

5 Fan Bases Hurt by the Lockout


Other than players signing in Europe or with the KHL there is not much new in terms of hockey, so I've decided to replace the weekly " What You Need to Know" with an idea that was once again  suggested by Jordan. Today we'll be looking at some of the teams whose fans may dump their teams all together after this lockout.

Hockey is Canada's game and for many Canadians hockey is the only professional sport they watch. But in America the NHL isn't nearly as popular. The average American sports fan would rather watch a Monday night football game than a Saturday night hockey game, heck most would rather watch the NCAA than the NHL. Sad but true. This lockout or work stoppage couldn't be happening at a worse time for the league. The NHL was just starting to gain popularity in the US, the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup and Americans actually tuned in to watch games. Now the NHL is about jeopardize their new found popularity.

If the lockout is going to last look for many fans to turn away from the game and their teams. Some will turn to football or basketball and others will just stop wasting money on their teams. I heard something crazy on the radio last night: The price of a hockey ticket is now more expensive than a NFL ticket! That in itself is not right.

Here's 5 teams whose fan bases will take a major hit because of the lockout.

5. New York Rangers

Right after the Rangers go out and acquire Rick Nash and finally appear to have a team that can challenge for a Stanley Cup the NHL decides it is a good idea to delay the season. Not only is the actually team going to be effected by the lockout but the New York fans may be fast to move on. New York City is a fast paced city the people move around from place to place quickly. Rangers fans that live or are from New York will naturally move on to the next thing if there is no hockey. Plus in New York City there are no shortage of professional sports teams: Yankees, Mets, Knicks, Giants, Jets and the Nets are teams who play or represent New York. The Yankees are the most storied franchise in all of baseball, the Giants just won the SuperBowl and the Jets have added Tim Tebow. With all the excitement following other New York sports franchises the Rangers fan base will take a major hit. Even if Tebow is the backup quarterback he still draws more attention to the Jets than Rick Nash does to the Rangers.

4. Los Angeles Kings

Considering the weather in California, hockey probably isn't on the minds of most Californians. I know it's hard to think that the team that just won theStanley Cup could be in danger of losing fans. Sports fans have very short memories a whole season without hockey and the average American will probably forget who won the last Stanley Cup. Things for people in California to do are endless: They can hit up the beach, tour Hollywood, play golf etc. They can also cheer for one of the 13 other professional sports franchises that call L.A/California home, including the Lakers. For now the Kings have their crown but they may not have the fans. *This also goes for other California hockey teams like the Ducks and Sharks as well.*

3. New York Islanders

Has there been a professional sports team who has done less over the last seven years? The Islanders always seem to find themselves near the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Even with John Tavares the Islanders can't seem to get a decent season going. The fans have to be getting fed up of being the laughingstock of the NHL. To boot the team will be up for relocation at the end of the year, thankfully they have an owners who is willing to back the team. But how much more disappointment can the fans take?

2. Columbus Blue Jackets

My heart breaks for the Blue Jackets and the lockout. They lost their franchise player in Rick Nash and got pretty much nothing in return. They were also scheduled to host the All-Star game. It seems nothing can go right for this desperate franchise right now who haven't made the playoffs since 2008. Like the Islanders the Blue Jackets are another team up for possible relocation. With the loss of Nash and the all-star game, what excitement or hope do the fans have left for their team?

1. Phoenix CoyotesPhoenix

While it appear Gary Bettman will fight to the death to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix a lockout wont help. The team filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and is currently owned by the NHL as they can't find anyone to bfan baseuy it and keep it in the desert. The team has been put through so much and already have a limited fan base. If the lockout lasts a full season expect that limited fan base to move on to other things. The Coyotes are also the favourite team for a relocation and whether Bettman likes it or not it will happen. Hockey in the desert is dead and the lockout will only help prove that point. Playing in an empty arena is no fun.

There you have it, 5 teams whose fan bases will take a major hit if the lockout does indeed last a full season. Hopefully Bettman and Fehr can wake up and realize how bad this lockout is for the teams, the fans and the game itself. If there is a full season lockout the NHL will be forever changed.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

5 NHL Players to Watch in the AHL


In anticipation of the NHL lockout NHL teams assigned eligible players to their AHL teams. While some of the players are prospects who are still a year or two away from breaking into the NHL, some of the players are full time NHL players. The good news for hockey fans is the AHL will only get stronger with the addition of players who have had experience in the NHL. For all you fans who are starved for hockey and upset with the lack of NHL hockey taking place over the next little while turn your attention to the AHL or other junior outlets to watch players who bust their butts each night. I present to you my 5 NHL Players to Watch in the AHL preview, look for these players to "light it up" in the AHL.

5. Cody Hodgson: Buffalo Sabres assigned to the Rochester Americans

Right from the day Hodgson was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks I fell in love with his game. Watching him play and develop into a leader in the World Junior Championships was amazing. I knew one day he would be a solid player in the NHL, unfortunately he never got that shot in Vancouver and because of the NHL isn't going to have that chance with Buffalo right now. With his development right now Hodgson has the ability to play on the 2nd or 3rd line on any NHL team but in the AHL he is easily a first line centre. His last season in the AHL (2010) was with the Manitoba Moose. He played in 52 games and racked up 30 points earning himself a call up to the Canucks. Add on some NHL experience and the confidence of not having to prove himself, Hodgson should flourish in Rochester.

4. Brayden Schenn: Philadelphia Flyers assigned to the Adirondack Phantoms

The younger Schenn brother has always been an interesting player to watch, especially since joining the Flyers last season. After being drafted 5th overall by the Los Angeles Kings everyone knew he was a talented forward with lots of upside and potential. Since joining the "Broad Street Bullies" his game has undergone a complete transformation. He along with teammate Wayne Simmonds have turned into the stereotypical Flyers players, and by that I mean they are much tougher physically. At 6 feet tall and just under 200 pounds look for Schenn to dominate the AHL, not only on the scoreboard but also intimidating some of the younger and smaller players. Another interesting aspect to watch will be his adjustment to the AHL, as he has not played a game at that level yet having played his junior hockey in the WHL for the Brandon Wheat Kings.

3. Jake Gardiner: Toronto Maple Leafs assigned to the Toronto Marlies

If there is anything positive to take away from the Leafs from last season it would have to be the play and development of Jake Gardiner. Early on in the season he was given the nickname "Gardiner Expressway" because of his offensive rushes up the ice, something rare for a young player to do so frequently. While he still made some defensive lapses he was a very solid defenceman and was in the Leafs top 4 defence. Like Schenn, Gardiner has not played a full season in the AHL as he virtually came right out of the University of Wisconsin. During the Marlies playoff run having the experience of Gardiner was beneficial. He should help to provide life to the Marlies blue line and be one of the top defenceman in the AHL. It will also be interested to see how he reacts to the coaching style of Dallas Eakins who has a much different style than Ron Wilson and Randy Carlyle.

2. Jordan Eberle: Edmonton Oilers assigned to Oklahoma City

Eberle is one of the new exciting players that have reached the NHL. Every time he scores a goal he looks just as excited as if it was his first goal, when he plays he looks like he's having fun. Fans love to watch players that are having fun, it's what makes him so relatable to the fans. It's hard not to stand up and cheer or sit on the edge of your seat when he's on the ice and in the offensive zone. Eberle truly won the hearts of Canadians with his late game heroics in the World Junior Championship in 2009 when he scored the game tying goal against Russia with 5.4 seconds left. Eberle has played just 20 games in the AHL yet has racked up 23 points. Watching Eberle play in the AHL will be awesome but may turn into a "man against boys" situation.

1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: Edmonton Oilers assigned to Oklahoma City

The first overall pick from 2011 has yet to step foot in the AHL as he made the transition to the NHL directly from the WHL. It the beginning of the season he looked a little lost and a little slow but thats to be expected with the jump he made. By the end of his first season in the NHL he had racked up 52 points and was a finalist for the Calder Trophy for best rookie. He fit in perfectly with his young Oiler teammates but his inexperience and lack of size played a part in a shoulder injury he suffered after being hit into the boards. With a year of some what easy playing, he'll gain some more experience and hopefully "bulk up" so he doesn't get shoved around so much when he's back in the NHL. Nugent-Hopkins should be able to challenge for the scoring championship and help Oklahoma City advance farther into the playoffs.

Other players to watch: Adam Henrique (last years Calder Trophy winner), Jeff Skinner (2011 Calder trophy winner), Braden Holtby and Zack Kassian.

To my surprise many of the players mentioned above have had little to none AHL experience. Many have come out of the WHL, and while it is a very solid respectable league the competition level doesn't match that of the AHL. In the AHL players are desperate to make a impression on their parent teams and earn a call up and eventually a spot in the big leagues. To quote the Toronto Marlies "Every game is a tryout". Despite not having NHL hockey I am extremely excited to watch the AHL and see the effect of adding young NHL superstars.

Monday, 17 September 2012

More Effective Defence: Offensive or Defensive


As you all know by now the NHL is officially in lockout mode. As many anticipated the deadline passed by without a new CBA. Since there is not any NHL hockey going on and there will not be much news to report on, I will be making the transition to cover some of the AHL and junior teams. I may even follow some NHL players in Europe. So bare with me over the next few month/however long the players are willing to hold out.

Todays article will be focusing on NHL defenceman and whether it is more beneficial to have a defensive minded defenceman or a offensive minded defenceman. Huge thanks to Jordan who suggested the idea via twitter make sure to follow him!
To make the comparison we'll looking at various aspects to a defencemans game; Goals, points, ice-time and plus/minus. In addition to those aspects we'll take a look at the effect they had on their teams.

Offensive Minded Defenceman

Erik Karlsson: 19 Goals and 59 Assists for 78 points. +/- 16, Averaged 25 minutes a game (27 shifts).
Karlsson was second in points for the Ottawa Senators who made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Karlsson had a fantastic breakout season that earned him the Norris Trophy. In addition to winning the Norris, he also set a new Senators record for points by a defenceman in a single season. His play this season was vital to the success of the Senators who came out and surprised everyone with their deep playoff run. Despite only being 22 and having only spent one year in the NHL Karlsson was a leader on the blue line. Every time he got the puck and broke out of his end goalies started cringe as he led all defenceman in goals and points.

Shea Weber: 19 Goals and 30 Assists for 49 points, +/- 21, Averaged 26 minutes a game (29 shifts.)
Weber was fourth in points for the Nashville Predators who made it to the Western Conference Semi Finals.

Weber is the captain of the Nashville Predators and has always been a steady reliable defenceman. He was a finalist for the Norris Trophy  and will likely have his name on that and a Stanley Cup one day. In addition to his ability to put the puck in the net, Weber likes to play a very physical game and has a large physical presence.

Kris Letang: 10 Goals and 32 Assists for 42 points, +/- 21, Averaged 25 minutes a game (25 Shifts).
Kris Letang led all Penguins defenceman in points last and helped his team make the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals.

While Letang's point totals are lower than the other two defenceman listed here, a large part of that is due to injury. He played in just 51 games (not including playoffs) and was still able to be the top scoring defenceman on the Penguins and finish the year with 42 points. There were defenceman who played all 82 games and didn't come close to 40 points. While Crosby, Malkin and Staal get the majority of attention from fans and media, Letang has quietly solidified himself as the top defenceman for the Penguins. During the stretch leading into the playoffs analysts were saying the Penguins would be in tough with Letang on the back end. Saying a team that has the star power of Crosby and Malkin may lose despite both of them playing is remarkable.

The "Stay at Home defenceman"

Hal Gill: 1 Goal and 12 Assists for 13 points, +/ -3, Averaged 17 minutes a game, 161 Blocked Shots.
Gill played on the Predators blue line along with Shea Weber.

Just by looking at the stats you can see the drastic difference between two teammates. Gill has always been a solid reliable defenceman, teams like that as they know what they're going to get. He's not a type of player who will be a top scoring defenceman but he's the type of player who will sacrifice his body to help the team. The biggest thing that stood out for me was his blocked shots. 161 shots is a lot of rubber to face for a defenceman but it just goes to show his dedication to his teammates he's willing to battle hard.

Zdeno Chara: 12 Goals and 40 Assists for 52 points, +/- 33, Averaged 25 minutes a game, 87 Blocked Shots.
Chara is the captain and leader of the Boston Bruins who made it to the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals.

Chara is a unique players, not just because of his height, but his style of play. He plays a mixture of a offensive/defensive game. But unlike some of the offensive d-man he plays a more "complete" game. Chara makes sure everything is okay in his own end before heading to the offensive zone and likes to use his lethal shot from the point. Due to his long reach he is able to break up 2 on 1's and take the puck off opponents with little difficulty.

Dan Girardi: 5 goals and 24 Assists for 29 points, +/- 13, Averaged 26 minutes a game, 185 Blocked Shots.Girardi is a key leader on the New York Rangers blue line. The Rangers made it to the Eastern Conference Finals.

At the beginning of the season Girardi was thrust into the role as an alternate captain and leader of the blue line due to an injury to Marc Staal. Girardi excelled with the added responsibility and was selected to play in the all-star game. Like Gill Girardi is not afraid to sacrifice his body night in and night out, during the 2011 season he led the league with 236 blocked shots. He's the type of player who doesn't get mention on the game sheet but is a key part of every victory, not bad for a player who wasn't even drafted!

Trying to decide which defence is more valuable to a team is extremely difficult as it's virtually like comparing pucks and sticks. Each team has 7 defenceman and each one of them is responsible for the success of a team. Most hockey fans don't enjoy watching two defensive minded teams battling it out and a successful team has unlikely hero's step up, so because of that I'd have to give the edge to the offensive minded defenceman. Watching Karlsson skate up the ice is pretty exciting and a lot of times helps benefit his team.

What do you think, which style of defence do you prefer?



Friday, 14 September 2012

What You Need to Know September 14

Welcome back to another edition of " What You Need to Know". Let's dive right in.

  • Justin Bieber, pop sensation and hockey star?

Your eyes are not deceiving you, like every good Canadian boy the singing sensation grew up playing hockey. Bieber had to put his hockey career on hold to follow his dream of singing. Earlier this week the Bakersfield Condors who play in the ECHL offered the singing sensation a contract to join their hockey team. The head coach of the Condors saw the footage of Beiber skating with the Toronto Maple Leafs and decided he would be a good fit for his team.
“Very rarely do you see this combination of skill and toughness, I think he could provide some elusive speed up front for us. Plus, he’s a right-handed shot, which we’ve been looking to add.” ~ Matt O'Dett head coach of the Bakersfield Condors.

Wow talk about a marketing plan, if Bieber does agree to go and practice with the team they might start selling out games.

  • September 15th is right around the conner

In Fact the deadline in which league commissioner Gary Bettman set is tomorrow night at midnight. Sadly I will be away in the woods with little internet coverage, but I'm not foreseeing a deal being signed in the next 24 hours. The two sides met again on Wednesday, during the meeting the NHLPA led by Donald Fehr submitted another proposal to the league and the league than countered that proposal with one of their own. The two sides are still extremely far apart despite the league submitting what will likely be the best deal the NHLPA will see during this process. Fehr described the leagues proposal as a ploy for them "Trying to see what else they can get". Any hope of an outside source coming to rescue the CBA talks was put to rest when the Board of Governors unanimously voted to have a lockout if there is not a deal by Saturday. I hate to say it but start preparing for a lockout.

  • Signings, Signings and more signings

With the lockout right around the corner teams are taking one last shot to lock up players before they are no longer allowed too. Signings over the last week include:

  • John Carlson signs for another 6 years with the Washington Capitals

  • Kari Lehtonen signs for another 5 years with the Dallas Stars

  • Justin Abdelkader signs for another 4 years with the Detroit Red Wings

  • Carlo Colaiacovo signs for another 2 years with the Detroit Red Wings

  • Jonathan Blum resigns a one-year deal with the Nashville Predators

  • Ben Scrivens signs a two year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs

  • Tyler Seguin signs a 6 year deal with the Boston Bruins


  • New Name but same home

The Florida Panthers have changed the name of their home arena in Sunrise Florida from BankAtlanticCentre to BB&T.

  • Sid the Kid is 100% healthy

One of the sad things about the impending lockout is that fact the world's number one player is finally healthy after 2+ years of battling with a concussion. Problem is there's nowhere for him to play. But the good news for the Pittsburgh Penguins and their fans is that Crosby has not had any setbacks to his health while training this summer. 

"Nothing. I've been feeling 100 percent. It feels good to not have to think about that, and to work as hard as you want. It's been really good."~ Sidney Crosby

  • Gaborik making progress

Marian Gaborik is back on the ice skating with his teammates after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. Gaborik says he is happy with the progress but will take his tame rehabbing and will likely be out until late November.

"I can play with the puck and shoot some muffins, everything has gone as planned, so I am very happy with the progress. I can feel the difference now and I can feel that it's getting better, so that's the most important thing." ~ Marian Gaborik

 That will do it for the news this week in the NHL.


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Where You Can Find Players During a Lockout


The mood around the NHL right now is sombre and tense. Will there be a lockout or will we get to see hockey?
The best way to lighten a mood and break the tension is to laugh. That's why today's piece is guaranteed to make you chuckle and forget about your lockout blues.

We'll be taking a look at where you can find some NHL stars and what they'll be doing while hockey is on hold.

Raffi Torres- Anger Management Classes

Torres is the type of player who skates the thin line between tough guy and all around idiot. He received a 25 game suspension for a hitting Blackhawks Marian Hossa in the head. Prior to the Hossa hit Torres had been suspended twice for hitting opponents in the head. During the lockout you can find Torres taking some anger management classes to help him channel another outlet for his anger so he no longer feels the need to take out star players because they get more ice time or score more goals than himself.  You can tell if the classes have taken worked when he goes to hit another opponent; Does he leave his feet and leap at the players head or simply drive his elbow into their head?

Ilya Bryzgalov- Teaching a class about the Universe

Did you know that the universe is "humongus big"? True story, I learned it from Bryzgalov. During to the the 24/7 series that followed the Flyers up to the Winter Classic, fans were treated to a little peak inside the Russian goaltenders mind. As it turns out Bryzgalov is obsessed with the universe, unfortunately for Flyers fans he wanted to see if he could get his Goals Against Average to be as "humongus big" as the universe which he studies. Good news for students you can expect the goalie to be at a school near year teaching about the universe and the solar system. In edition to teaching about the universe he will also be teaching courses on personality and how to handle the media.

Alexander Ovechkin- Starring in Music Videos

On top of being one of the best hockey players in Bryzgalov's "humongus big" universe, Ovechkin also likes to spit out the rhymes. A video came out in January that featured the Capitals captain rapping in a Russian Music Video. No need to cry for Ovechkin during the lockout, he has a pretty solid backup plan that pays just as well as a hockey career. Look for Ovechkin to realize his own music videos and maybe even sign a record deal this offseason, after all he's pretty "ill".

Henrik Lundqvist- Touring with his band

On top of being one of the best goalies in the NHL, the most stylist athlete and an al around classy guy, Lundqvist can "shred" pretty hard on the guitar. During the offseason the Rangers goalie spends time with his band and playing gigs, looks like he has his backup plan all worked out. Rockstars also make some pretty decent money.

Sidney Crosby- Reliving his glory days with the TimBits

Over the last two seasons Crosby has had nothing but trouble with concussions and "concussion like symptoms". Right now he claims to be fully healthy and ready to go, too bad there's going to be a lockout. Why would Crosby risk getting hurt playing in the KHL or in Europe when he can play with little 6-7 year olds who can't cause any harm to him, heck they can't even reach his head.

Tim Thomas- Run for Congress

Thomas has reached a point in his career where he no longer cares what people think of him, he made that very clear this season by expressing his multiple political views. Thomas had a crazy season mixed with poor play and politics. He's already stated he will take the season off to focus on his personal life and to once again become true to himself. Who know's maybe we'll see him run for congress, can you imagine President Thomas? If you get handed a pin with his face on it or see a poster that says "vote for Thomas" do society a favour and tear it down.

Ryan Miller- Protesting Hitting

After Milan Lucic ran over Miller in a game last season, Miller stuck around to share some words about his feelings towards Lucic. While I myself do not support the hit, the scenario itself turned out to be pretty funny. Look for Miller to be in the stands at OHL or AHL hockey games offering to do post game press conferences about dirty hits. Who know's maybe he can even get his own segment where he chimes in about how he feels about a player after a hit.

Patrick Kane- Party Rocking

Whether their is a lockout or not, Kane knows what to do when he's not busy playing hockey. Pictures and articles have leaked about Kane being a partyanimal and getting drunk. Kane will be happy with a lockout as it means he can party non-stop without having to worry about hockey. If you go to a pary during the lockout be on the lookout for Patrick Kane, he'll be the life of the party. Special tip, don't ride in a taxi cab with him!

There you have it folks, a light-hearted article poking a little fun at some of the players. Hopefully there is no NHL lockout and we wont see the players in the scenarios above.


<p>This post is an official entry in the <a href=""></a> <a href="">Writing Contest</a>.</p>

Monday, 10 September 2012

Why The NHL Is Doomed For a Lockout


Time left until September 15 is ticking as fast as a Zdeno Chara slap shot, yet the NHL and NHLPA are taking their sweet time in negotiating a new CBA. Just like everyone else I was puzzled and frustrated by the lack of urgency between the two sides to start the season. While listening to the Fan 590 this weekend, I was introduced to a new theory of whats going. The reason there is no urgency to get a deal done is because they don't want to get a deal done!

You're probably thinking i'm out to lunch with this idea, "of course the two sides want to get a deal done." You're right the two sides do want to orchestrate a new deal but not as quickly as the fans are hoping. So why are they in no hurry to work out a new CBA? Because neither the owners nor the players care about the first two months of the season! The NHL season of 82 games is a pretty long season, the games played in October and beginning of November don't really play a major part in who wins the Stanley Cup. Besides the die hard hockey fans who really follows hockey before Christmas, especially in America?

Interestingly enough the NHL's television deal with NBC and some other American networks doesn't kick in until January (Winter Classic). The majority of fans, players and owners could care less about the games in the first two months, which is why we will not see hockey before mid November at least! That may not be a bad thing for the NHL after all Americans are consumed by football, basketball and baseball until after Christmas anyways.

Remember a year ago when the NBA was going through the pains of working out a new CBA and we laughed at them for cancelling games before Christmas? Well the NBA season still worked out, in fact they had more viewers because of the shorter season and still made tons of money, not to mention no one even talks about their mini-lockout! It turns out Gary Bettman was paying a little to much attention to the NBA and wants try and imitate what they did.

When you really think about it, it makes perfect sense!  It explains why instead of taking every single chance to meet the two sides have cancelled several meetings, explains why the NHLPA took their sweet time sending a proposal to the league and explains why Bettman thinks the fans will be back.... because they returned to the NBA.

The only problem with Bettman's experiment is hockey isn't nearly as popular as the NBA. The NBA could afford to take that risk as roughly 8 million people tune in to watch games. The NBA unlike the NHL was not threatening their third lockout in the last 18 years. NBA fans have been loyal as a result they've been awarded with basketball. NHL fans are loyal yet are faced with our third lockout in less than 20 years. Sorry Mr. Between but your logic is off.

The NHL is playing a very dangerous game any sort of delay on the season will hurt the game. Good news for fans is Bettman and the league would be absolutely crazy to lose out on the winter classic. It's a major money-making event and a chance for the league to reach out to Americans. This year the winter classic features two of the largest hockey markets in Toronto and Detroit, two original 6 teams. If the NHL were not to have the game they would lose millions of dollars, something Bettman and the league wont let happen.

Whether we like it or not the first two months of the season mean nothing to veteran players, owners or Bettman. If the NHL can figure a way of getting out of the first two months they will take that opportunity, even if it means a lockout/work stoppage. After seeing the NBA still have a successful season despite not starting till December, Bettman and the NHL want to see if it will work for them. After all the average fan would rather watch a game that has playoff implications rather than a meaningless game.

They say "Imitation is the sincerest from of flattery" and it appears the NHL is trying to follow the path the NBA took last season; Who cares about the first 2 months?

Friday, 7 September 2012

What You Need to Know September 7

Welcome back to another edition of " What You Need to Know" where I go over multiple stories you may have missed over the past week.

  • 1 year since Lokomotiv tragedy... some horrid details arise

It's a sombre time around the NHL, theres uncertainty about the CBA and today marks the 1 year anniversary of the Russian plane crash that claimed the lives of 45 people including the players from the KHL hockey team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. It was a Wednesday afternoon when the team boarded their Yak-42 plane, the plane did not leave the runway properly and as a result could not gain altitude while in the air. at 4:05 local Russian time, the plane hit a radio tower and landed in the Volga River. The plane immediately burst into flames and claimed the lives of 43 of the 45 passengers on board. The two survivors of the crash later died in hospital due to their severee burns. Here's a great story on the one year anniversary.

On Thursday evening I was watching SportsNet when they began to talk about the crash and illegallysome details that had emerged from an investigation into the accident. What I heard sent chills down my back. The two pilots flying that Yak-42 plane shouldn't have been in charge. One of the pilots forcified his flying papers while the other had not finished his flying certification. Meaning the two pilots were illegally flying the aircraft. The fact that this horrible tragedy could have been avoided had they had proper pilots is sad. For these two pilots to be allowed to fly with innocent people on bored is just wrong and careless by the KHL and the airport. The darkest day in hockey history just got a little darker.

  • 7 days till September 15th deadline

Until Friday morning the NHL and NHLPA had taken a recess from meetings after the league did accept the players latest proposal. But the two sides decided to put their differences aside and met for 2.5 hours on Friday. One can only hope that the two sides meeting for so long can only be positive. The players themselves were not involved in the meetings but are planning on arriving in New York sometime next week. The attempts of the meetings today were to "close the gap" between the two sides.

  • Little ball of hate staying in Boston

announced mere minutes ago the Boston Bruins and Brad Marchand have agreed to a 4 year extension worth $18 million that will keep the little ball of hate in Boston through to 2017. The deal will have an annual cap hit of $4.5 million each season. This is a fantastic deal for the Bruins, who keep one of their key character players who along with Milan Lucic plays a true "Boston Bruins" style of hockey. Marchand played a major role in helping the team win the Stanley Cup in 2011.

  • Shane Doan staying in the desert?

News broke Thursday evening that Shane Doan has a verbal commitment to resign with the Phoenix Coyotes. Under normal circumstances a verbal agreement would mean next to nothing, but Doan has made it clear his first choice is to stay with the Coyotes.
"We have a deal worked out, that we just want to make sure the team gets signed, and everything gets done, and it gets done before the 15th (of September). ~ Shane Doan

There was little doubt that the Coyotes captain who became a free agent in July would actually leave the desert. To cover all the bases Doan visited with the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks (amongst others), but things got interesting when an anonymous Eastern Conference team offered Doan a 4 year deal worth $30 million. Bur it appears to be all for not for teams hoping to land Doan;
"The Coyotes have been more than fair to me in their offer as well. Obviously to pick up your family and move would be difficult. And I've stated to anyone that has ever listened this whole time, my goal is to stay in Phoenix. And until I believe that the team is in that much trouble, then I was going to do everything I could to make it so that I had a chance to stay here."

  • Bruins sign Malcolm Subban

The Boston Bruins have signed  their top pick from the 2012 draft goaltender Malcolm Subban to a 3-year entry level contract.

  • Senators resign Smith

The Ottawa Senators have signed forward Zack Smith 4 year contract extension which will see the young centre make roughly $1.9 million a season.
"It's very exciting. I got a call from my agent two weeks ago saying Ottawa was interested in doing a long-term deal. It's pretty exciting and very flattering that they want me around for another four years. I couldn't be more happy to get the deal done. It's a great ending to the summer."~ Zack Smith

Smith has played 152 career games and has 20 goals and 18 assists during parts of 4 seasons. He's a solid 3rd line centre and should help enhance the Senators offence.

  • Avalanche name surprising young star captain

Many including myself expected Matt Duchene to be named the next captain of the Avalanche, but instead the team turned to young rookie Gabriel Landeskog. He made the team as an 18 year old and captured the Calder Trophy as top rookie after a productive season of racking up 52 points and led the team with 22 goals.
"I was a little bit shocked at first. I didn’t expect this at all, especially this early in my career. But I feel like I’m ready for it and this organization feels like I’m ready for it." ~ Gabriel Landeskog

Landeskog becomes the youngest player to be named captain at 19 years and 286 days, beating Penguins captain Sidney Crosby by 11 days. A few eyes were raised by naming him captain with only 1 full season under his belt, but it will give him and the new young core time to grow together.
"It’s something you dream about as a kid, just being a part of an organization like the Avs and getting the honour to put the "C" on with the history that this club has, It's a pretty humbling experience. I’m really excited and I’m looking forward to the challenge."

  • Roberto Luongo has a firm destination in mind

The disgraced Vancouver Canucks goalie has once again reiterated the fact he wants to be a Panther;
"[The Panthers] makes sense for myself, for my career and my family. This is a preferred location for obvious reasons. "Obviously, I want to start. That's a given," ~Roberto Luongo

Where Luongo will end up going when dealt from the Canucks is an unknown. It's obvious he can't stay in Vancouver with Cory Schnieder but the Canucks are having a tough time trying to get a team to take his monster contract.

That'll do it for this weeks edition!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

How Important is Good Goaltending?

It is often said "if you show me a great goaltender I'll show you a winning team."  Often times the difference in a hockey game will be decided by how well the masked men play. There is no question that goaltending is important to the success of a team, a series can be won or lost based on the goaltending. But it's time to take a statistical look at how a goalie can truly effect a team.

Today we're going to look at 3 of the top goalies from last season (statistically speaking) and take a look at how it effected their respective teams. Then we'll take a look at a couple teams who didn't do so well and see how their goalies performed.

Top 3 Goalies

Jonathan Quick: 35 wins, 1.95 GAA (2nd), .929 Save Percentage (3rd), 10 shutouts (1st), 133 Goals Against.

Team Result- Won the Stanley Cup

When a goaltender backstops a team to a Stanley Cup Championship and wins the Conn Smythe you know they've had a good season. Jonathan Quick's stats only reiterate what everyone all ready knew, he had a fantastic season. Looking at the stats from last season you find Quick's name in the top 5 of almost every category. Without the solid goaltending the LA Kings had they wouldn't have been able to hoist the Cup. Quick came up big for the Kings who found themselves on the winning side of many one-goal games. Quick out-duelled his counterparts helping the Kings knock off the 1st, 2nd and 3rd seeded teams en route to victory.

Henrik Lundqvist 39 wins, 1.97 GAA (4th), .930 Save Percentage (2nd), 8 shutouts (3rd), 123 Goals Against.

Team Result- Conference Finals

King Henrik had another outstanding season between the pipes leading the New York Rangers to first place in the Eastern Conference. This season Lundqvist became 1 of only two goalies to have 7 straight seasons with 30+ wins, what does that mean? It means he's consistent, when the Rangers need a win they know they can count on him. The Rangers were able to climb on his back and ride a hot goaltender deep into the playoffs. Despite having his best season as a Ranger, he was still unable to catch the elusive Stanley Cup. Hopefully one day the king will get his cup.

Brian Elliott- 23 wins, 1.56 GAA (1st), .940 Save Percentage (1st), 9 shutouts (2nd), 58 goals against. * Elliott only played in 38 games*

Team Results- Conference Semi-Finals

Despite splitting the goaltending duties with Jaroslav Halak for most of the season, Elliott was able to win the starting job at the beginning of the playoffs. Elliott lead the league in Goals Against Average and set the record for the highest single season Save Percentage. As a result of his great year, Elliott earned some hardware at the NHL awards bringing home; the William M Jennings trophy for lowest goals allowed and the Roger Crozier trophy for highest save percentage. If it wasn't for the St. Louis Blues running into a hot goaltender in Quick the Blues likely would have gone deeper into the post-season.

Now it's time too look at two goalies who didn't fare as well and as a result their teams missed the postseason.

Ryan Miller- 31 wins, 2.55 GAA (23rd), .916 Save Percentage (21st), 6 shutouts (8th), 150 goals against.

Team Result- 9th place in the Eastern Conference

While I hate blaming goalies for a teams performance, Ryan Miller was a huge reason why the Buffalo Sabres missed the playoffs. The Sabres and Miller were expected to have a fantastic season and challenge for the Stanley Cup, but they stumbled out of the gate and as a result found themselves in 14th in the Eastern Conference. As much as Miller is to blame for the poor start he also deserves credit for the late season turn-around in which the Sabres narrowly missed the playoffs. Bottom line Miller has to be better in order for his team to win, he had a rough season and as a result the Sabres suffered.

Carey Price- 26 wins, 2.43 GAA (18th), .916 Save Percentage (20th), 4 shutouts (18th), 160 goals against.

Team Result-  15th in the Eastern Conference.

To be honest I'm not too sure what happened in Montreal this year. The Canadiens weren't expected to gave a outstanding season, but they also weren't expected  to have the poor season they did. Unfortunately for Price, no one on the Canadiens really stepped up to the plate, so even when he had a solid game they still lost. The good thing for fans is their goaltender did a lot of growing up this season and didn't quit on the team. Price didn't perform nearly as well as he could have and as a result his team tanked.

One difference between teams who made the playoffs and those that didn't was goaltending. Those who got steady consistent play from their goalies advanced farther. A goalie is said to have done his job if he keeps his team in the game and gives them a chance to win. The top 3 goalies all gave their teams a chance to win each night and their statistics reflect that. Want your team to make the playoff? Better hope  they have solid goaltending.


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

CBA Deadlock


By now I'm sure you've heard the NHL (Gary Bettman and the owners) did not accept the NHLPA's second offer on Friday. As a result the talks have been

recessed and the two sides have not met since. Bettman said the league would not accept a deal that didn't include a salary deduction for the players, funny howhockey players are the least payed professional athletes.

When I read the news on twitter that the owners had not accepted the proposal my heart instantly dropped. Time is running out and with both sides seemingly far apart, now more than ever we face the prospect of a third lockout in 18 years. With just 11 days left until the September 15th deadline, it's time we take a look at what the sides are really wanting from each other.

Here's a few valid points each side has in this never ending battle over who will back down first.. the millionaires or the billionaires.


Let's start with the owners. Right now whether the players like it or not the ball is in the owners court. For the owners it's not about the love of the game, it's about how much money they can make and how little they can pay the players. The league made a record $3.3 billion last season, but the owners are crying poor?

  • The owners and the league believe they deserve a bigger cut of the pie known as revenue. Right now the players own 57% percent of the generated revenue, compared to the leagues 43%. That's a pretty significant difference between the two sides. The other reason they want a bigger piece of the pie is to share with some of the smaller market teams who are on the verge of going bankrupt.

  • The owners and Gary Bettman believe that they pay the players too much money. In reality yes they do, no professional athlete should be making more than $5 million a year in any sport, period! They are payed to a play a game that millions of little kids play for free. But in terms of professional sports the players are underpaid. Take NFL quarterback Peyton Manning for example. He's arguably one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, his salary is $18 million a year where as Sidney Crosby one of the best players in the NHL makes a mere $9 million a year. No Mr. Bettman you don't pay your athletes too much money.

  • The owners are wanting to put a cap on the length of contracts offered to players. Right now we're seeing some very long deals that have players locked up for 12-13 years, the owners are wanting to rope those contracts back down to 5 year deals. Thus brings us to the point of why the owners, who want to shorten the contracts, have been handing out contracts ranging from 6-12 years right before the CBA? They have too. Let's say hypothetically the Pittsburgh Penguins only wanted to give Crosby a 5 year deal but he demanded a deal closer to 10. If the Penguins don't sign him for 10 years another team would gladly sign him. Which is why the owners (despite looking like hypocrites) are handing out long deals, if they don't another team will.


Next we move to the players, who don't really have much to fight over other than the fact the league is trying to take more money.

  • The players union feels like they lost in the CBA negotiations back in 2004-2005. They feel like the NHL got a better deal and pushed around the players union. To insure that this would not be the case again this season they hired Donald Fehr. The players refuse to lose this time around. On twitter and in the news you hear the players saying they want a "Fair deal", all they want is whats fair. Problem is there is nothing fair in business and the world of sports.

  • The players do not want a deduction in the revenue they earn from the league. Things included in this revenue are; ticket sales, jersey sales and memorabilia etc. Since the last lockout ticket prices have been raised 40%! The players believe they deserve the biggest cut of this pie, after all the fans are paying to see the players play.

  • The players are fighting desperately to win these CBA negotiations. They can't afford to lose again to the owners.

The sad thing is both sides are fighting because they don't know what to do with all the money they made last season. It was the NHL's best season and helped them land network deals with NBC and HBO (winter classic) deals with these larger markets would almost guarantee bigger profit next season. But the owners are willing to risk their TV deals just because they don't know how to handle the money now.

Take a minute to watch this fantastic fan made video, it will give you chills. Alone us fans have no voice but together we make a sound.

Bettman and the owners believe they can do anything they want and the players should just have to accept it. That may have worked in 2004 but it sure wont fly this time around. Hockey isn't about the money, it's about the moments and the memories that last a lifetime. Please give the fans the game they love and forget fighting over the money.