Tuesday, April 28, 2015
League News

League News

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His second suspension in his 243-game career sees Nazem Kadri sidelined for the next four games and out $141,463 in salary. The infraction is similar to his first last November against Minnesota goaltender Niklas Backstrom, where he clips the head of a vulnerable player; not with a high hit or an extension of his elbow, but both were deemed a reckless collision due to the path he's taken to the puck and his failure to attempt to avoid contact with the head. Explanation provided by the NHL Department of Player Safety.

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In late November, Canadian hockey fans mourned the passing of legendary coach and player Pat Quinn. He was a two-time NHL Coach of the Year, with the 1980 Philadelphia Flyers squad and the 1992 Vancouver Canucks in 1992. He never brought home the Stanley Cup as a coach, but he did lead Canada to Olympic gold. When people talk about Pat Quinn, they speak of him as a good man and a good coach. However, they also remember Quinn the player, and the thing they remember most is the 1969 hit that knocked out Bobby Orr. Although he and Orr...

Phil Kessel and Tyler Seguin Shake Hands

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The player least interested in the spotlight took center stage again at the NHL All Star Draft. Who else but The Phil. In a classy move by Jonathan Toews, he drafted Kessel with his first selection and called him the most coachable player in the League. https://vine.co/v/OI0Xd7OM6e3 Kessel took a moment to enjoy some eye candy before the sudden realization hits that he's on national television: https://vine.co/v/OI0DwW2ad1J Toews then turned his back on Phil and peddled him for Tyler Seguin: Just another day in the life for a nice guy who tries hard and loves the game.

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Fans of the Blue and White who have yearned for a bona fide first line centre since the departure of Mats Sundin (for a forgettable half season with the Vancouver Canucks) had their ears perk up this week when it was announced that the Colorado Avalanche filed for Club-Elected salary arbitration with Ryan O’Reilly. In case you’re unfamiliar with O’Reilly, he’s the 6 foot tall, 200lb and 23 year old centre who put up 28 goals and 36 assists this past season playing around 20 minutes a night, while averaging just under a point per game and north of 21...

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Writing on the topic of salary negotiation between agents and clubs back in 1993, then-GM of the Hartford Whaler sand disciple of Lou Lamoriello, Brian Burke, had this to say in an article for the Marquette Law Review: “A huge problem has developed in recent years with regard to player contract negotiations. With the onset of collectively bargained salary systems, there is an incentive for general managers to work with agents to circumvent the confines of those systems… In two sports you have a salary cap, and several instances of agents and general managers circumventing the salary cap have occurred....

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Picture it: You’re at the gym for a game-day workout, visions of an afternoon nap dancing in your head, and suddenly Duthie’s beaming face (appearing in the flat screen mounted to the wall) is informing you that you, yes you, have been traded to the (sigh) Edmonton Oilers. As the blood rushes in your ears you sort of miss what the return is; and besides, you’re suddenly distracted by the onslaught of messages your iPhone is now receiving. Everybody and their cousin wants to know how you’re feeling about becoming an Oiler. Quick man, defuse those t-bombs! But what...

Gary Bettman

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How will it happen & what does it mean for the Toronto Maple Leafs? A. Background In a memo released in September of this year, the Chief Operating Officer of the NHL notified all league employees of initiatives and staff changes to take effect during the 2013-2014 season. In the memo the league identified a plan to increase annual gross national revenue by $1 billion dollars by the end of three years, or in other words, in time for the 2016-2017 season. To put that type of increase in perspective, it had previously taken the league from 2005-06 to 2011-12 –...

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Good morning MLHS, First off, let me start by thanking Alec, Michael and Michael for inviting me to participate in Maple Leaf Hangout Episode #17 - if you guys and gals had nearly as much fun watching as I did filming, then you and I are off to a good start! Secondly, I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself to anyone that didn't catch the Hangout and wonders what the heck I'm doing here. I've been following Alec's writing since he started out at that 'other site' and I quickly moved over to the greener pastures of MLHS when...

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Just how much money can someone expect to make as a professional athlete? Contrast the NHL against the other leagues above. See more at: http://news.sportsinteraction.com/sports/how-to-make-money-in-pro-sports-infographic-45774/#sthash.HaR06B0c.dpuf

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The always tedious Hockey Night in Canada Hot Stove brought us a worthwhile nugget to examine this weekend, and that’s our first look at the proposed four new conferences that the NHL will be rolling out next season. Earlier in the week, both Darren Dreger and the more reliable Bob MacKenzie hinted that we are only a week or two away from this realignment being finalized, so we can assume this is pretty close to being set in stone: Conference #1 Conference #2 Conference #3 Conference #4 Carolina Boston Chicago Anaheim Columbus Buffalo Colorado Calgary New Jersey Detroit Dallas Edmonton NY Islanders Florida Minnesota Los Angeles NY Rangers Montreal Nashville Phoenix Philadelphia Ottawa St. Louis San Jose Pittsburgh Tampa Bay Winnipeg Vancouver Washington Toronto   Of course, we thought we might be close to a...

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This just in tonight from Pierre Lebrun of ESPN, describing the cap benefit recapture component of the new CBA on existing deals over 6 years. To wit: let’s say the Canucks trade Luongo soon. Luongo has played two years of his 12-year contract, the Canucks paying him $16.716 million in salary but only absorbing a $5.33 million cap hit each year. That’s a cap savings of $6.056 million over two years so far for Vancouver. Under this new rule, should the Canucks trade him now and he retires with three years left on his contract, Vancouver would be charged that...

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The NHLPA has invited U.S federal mediators into today's meetings. They were of little use in late November but do re enter the picture at a more progressed stage than last time around. Bettman expressed zero interest in going the mediation route when talks broke down last week, Bill Daly is setting the bar low for today already, and no owners will be present, so there's no sense in getting your hopes up too high for today. If the five year limit on contracts really is the hill the owners will kill the season fighting on, it's going to be...

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There's no anger left to give. Last night's events were just hilariously bizarre. Four press conferences later, a deal had been all but agreed to and then fully removed from the table. The reality is that, if the deal was as close as Donald Fehr originally depicted, he wouldn't have been holding a press conference about it. There would be silence in the media and intense chatter in the board room late into the night. What it was, was more posturing and power plays from both sides as the core issue moves from make-whole transition costs to contract and CBA length. It...

Maple Leafs are the Richest Hockey Team

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Forbes released their annual NHL franchise valuations today alongside an article detailing the financials of league's 30 teams. Unsurprisingly, the Toronto Maple Leafs top the list — by a lot. With the recent sale to Bell/Rogers, the value of the team became more concrete and Forbes has estimated they are worth $250,000,000 more than the next team, The New York Rangers. Simply staggering numbers. The Leafs are the first team to break $1 billion dollars in value. On the ice, the National Hockey League has never been more competitive than it has been over the course of its of its...

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There might have been a little somethin' somethin' crowding your Twitter feed last night, forcing you to miss the updates (or lack thereof.. in this case, possibly a good thing) from the latest round of NHL/NHLPA meetings. No word about what went down, but the negotiating session lasted seven hours and ended with plans to resume talks today (Wednesday). Considering the last meeting between the two sides took about 10 minutes and preceded two weeks of stalemate, this seems to be a good sign. They're talking at length, and a process that's been riddled with posturing has broken for some...

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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...

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Anyway, if you’ve read me or listened to me on the radio throughout this process, you know I’ve been very pessimistic about a deal getting done. I would say I’ve switched to cautiously optimistic now. I have been given hope that the two least turbulent leaders in this negotiation are sitting down talking about things that actually matter, and without storming off in a huff and a puff. This is a math equation now. Solve the math equation, save some face, catapult this league back onto the national landscape and make sure that a large portion of the 2012-13...

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...is what Michael Grange should have called his terrific Sportsnet article from yesterday (SPOILER ALERT: Cold water). If only because A) this whole thing's about money, B) wuns are punderful, and 3) it's probably what Bettman and his negotiating team screamed in frustration when Fehr didn't fall into the baited mudslinging trap that was the NHL's first CBA proposal. Grange almost gets there. He goes as far as referring to the Trojan horse myth when describing the NHLPA's counter proposal, insinuating that it's far more nefariously designed and player-favourable than it may seem from the limited details we've received. And...

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With NHLPA representatives set to make their counter-proposal to the NHL today, a lot of talk in the last 24 hours has centered around the possibility of a luxury tax system. Apparently it's something that is right up Donald Fehr's alley, as it's been said he'll try as hard as possible to get away from the hard cap system the league currently operates under. For those who are a little unfamiliar with it, a luxury tax system is simply where a tax threshold is implemented (instead of the hard cap), and when a team...

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Editor's Note: We're pleased to welcome Ian Dudgeon to the MLHS blogging team. Ian was one of the co-founders of McKeen's Hockey.com. He's been busy at work assembling a database of profiles on Leafs prospects for MLHS, which you'll be able to enjoy before long. He's also going to be chiming in with a blog here and there. Everyone please calm down and resume taking your medication. I have some extra Valium if you need some. There is no imminent NHL lockout. You will not be forced to watch basketball in October or November, or whenever they start...