It was a bit of an eventful weekend with the CBA Memo of Understanding signed, Burke getting off his parting shots, Nonis making his big splash with the signing of Mike Mottau, and we finally have a schedule for the season (Full Schedule can be found here.) [more…]
“He had a good dream. It's the only dream you can have - to come out number-one man. He fought it out here, and this is where I'm gonna win it for him."
- Happy Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
I can’t say I am as distraught as some of the other writers on this site about Burke’s departure (I’m not). I will say I’m shocked by the timing. Coming out of a Collective Bargaining Agreement that sees many of Burke’s personal principles put into play league wide, and the amount of cap space he to work with this summer, it gave me the feeling that he would've been given the benefit of doubt running the team through the 2013-14 season. Guess not. Can I blame them? No. [more…]
I used up all my lockout glee in yesterday's post (feel free to read it here) so here's a collection of links around the interwebs covering the one on and only topic that matters today, the return of the NHL. [more…]
A Quick and Dirty Look at the new CBA and How It Affects the Leafs (All that Matters)
What World Juniors? The Marlies played, who cares? We’ve got NHL hockey back!
Right or wrong, that’s the attitude that is prevalent again, and while I enjoyed going to WHL games, getting up at 2am to watch prospects, and streaming Marlies games online, I am thrilled that we'll get see the game played at its highest level this winter.
The coming weekend and half will likely see a whole summer’s worth of previews, speculation, and training camp analysis crammed in to it (personally I can’t wait to see the schedule, and plan a trip to Toronto), but I’ll get us started off with what we can expect for the Leafs out of the new CBA in the short and long term. [more…]
It may seem odd to praise USA Hockey on a site that is predominately filled with Canadian hockey fans, but as the US lost to a much more skilled Team Canada 2-1 yesterday it seemed clear that the Americans were much more capable of playing as a team and it was their strong systems, positional play, and familiarity that kept the game so close. [more…]
Rather than more pointless lockout talk, I thought Iâ€™d look back at the Friday Night game between the Moose Jaw Warriors and the Edmonton Oil Kings.
There are a few things that stood out and are worth pointing out about Riellyâ€™s performance last Friday.
The first forty minutes were some of the most conservative Iâ€™ve seen Rielly play. He was reluctant to pinch or join rushes, and was constantly looking out for Oil Kings sneaking through the neutral zone. Of course I wouldnâ€™t say this is a bad trait, but this isnâ€™t the true selling point of what Rielly brings to the table either. If Friday night was your first look at Rielly, Iâ€™d say you didnâ€™t see what he truly brings to the table. [more…]
So we had three Marlies game this weekend, two televised Morgan Rielly Super Series games heading into the weekend and a Biggs multi-goal game as well. By midday Monday I'm sure all the talk will have shifted back to the CBA and the potential for talks.
There was some brief optimism after it was reported that Ed Snider might be distancing himself from the owner's stance.
"Behind the scenes, there seems to be a seismic shift going on among the NHL's Board of Governors, also known as the group that Bettman answers to collectively.
And Flyers chairman Ed Snider may be the big mover-and-shaker behind it all.
Multiple sources confirmed to the Daily News on Friday that Snider, once seen as a supporter of the Bettman's push to rein in the players' share of revenue, has soured on the process after it became apparent that a deal would not be brokered in time for a Dec. 1 puck drop.
Put simply: Snider and the rest of the NHL's owners were promised a big win by Bettman, with player concessions on revenue division and contracting rights. The best they'll get now is a small win in revenue split - coupled with a demoralized fan base and all-important corporate sponsors that are ready to quit.
A source familiar with Snider's thinking characterized it as: "If this is the deal we are going to get, what's the point of dragging this out?"
The lockout doesnâ€™t matter today. For that matter, neither does a Marlies sweep of Texas, or another weekend full of strong performances by Leafs prospects.
I couldn't care less about any of it today and thatâ€™s because the Leaf who is statistically the greatest of all time is entering the Hall of Fame today. First ballot, too, I might add.
Despite the confession from the man himself that he was a Habs fan growing up, I canâ€™t be deterred from honouring his greatness. Also, who can blame him for not being a fan of the 80â€™s Leafs? Thatâ€™s almost as bad as being a fan of the present Leafs. [more…]
It looks like the NHL and Players Association are ready to resume talks this week (most likely Tuesday), and now we can briefly have hope again.
Certainly, a marathon talk between Bill Daly and Steve Fehr is a good start, and it gives even more reason for optimism that nothing was leaked from this meeting.
Where I lose some of my optimism is in a) the fact that this deal will rely on Jeremy Jacobs' ability to compromise, and b) we live in a world where players value the opinion of clowns like Allan Walsh.
Neither side is content to reach the compromise we all envision for them, and both sides will need to let go of this â€œtrying to winâ€ philosophy that has cost them a quarter of a seasons revenue.
Iâ€™ll cap this rant early, but root for radio silence on both sides (an understandable challenge for the PA with 700+ members). [more…]
On a week (possibly day) when the NHL is likely to cancel the Winter Classic - the most significant game the Leafs would have played in almost a decade - it seems like a great opportunity to look at the inches both sides are fighting for.
The latest player to speak out, surprisingly directed at a team owner rather than the league, was Ryan Suter (in an ESPN.com article):
â€œIt's disappointing. If you can't afford to (sign contracts) then you shouldn't do it. (Owner Craig Leipold) signed us to contracts. At the time he said everything was fine. Yeah, it's disappointing. A couple months before, everything is fine, and now they want to take money out of our contracts that we already signed.â€
Seemingly some very direct words for Craig Leopold, and given Zach Pariseâ€™s earlier criticism of Gary Bettman, both of these players are awfully quick to play the victim card. This was a very shrewd move by the Wild owner, as he knew what the owners would be proposing this summer and arguably was a key architect of it. [more…]
So this week is do or die time for the 82 game season. Odds are we will see one last save face meeting between the league and PA and the result will be somewhat similar to what weâ€™ve seen so far.
At this point neither side has been able to get past posturing and resentment. While I donâ€™t doubt that the current proposals arenâ€™t too far off of what will ultimately be the final deal, neither side is ready to make additional concessions.
For the NHLPA, there is a need to move to past the fact that this is the second recent lockout demanding serious concessions. Thatâ€™s not to say don't voice concerns if they take issues with the current agreement, but as long as everything is being done relative to last CBA they wonâ€™t be able move forward. [more…]
Â Friday Night I had the opportunity to take in the Edmonton Oil Kings game.Â Their opponent just so happened to be the Moose Jaw Warriors and one Morgan Rielly. The Oil Kings proceeded to pummel the Warriors 5-1 and by the end of the second the shot total was 30-10 for the Oil Kings. As you can imagine, this doesnâ€™t lead to a glowing review of Rielly or the Warriors in general.
My notes on Rielly below reflect what I witnessed in what clearly a lackluster night for him. They may seem harsh, but it doesnâ€™t change the fact that I believe that Rielly will soon be the top unit powerplay quarterback for the Leafs. The viewing did not change my prior concerns that he may not be a defensively sound player.
Also, a while back DefenseWinsChampionships penned this thoughtful piece on his viewing of Morgan Rielly. Iâ€™d encourage everyone to use that as a basis for comparison and I think it accurately captures a typical game Rielly puts up in the WHL. [more…]