Preseason Dramatics

Just when everyone thought the preseason was boring…the players decided to make this a very interesting one. There is still a week before the NHL season officially opens YET as the preseason has progressed, we have already seen a ridiculous amount of drama.

Dramatic Incidents & the suspensions handed out through September 23rd:

Sept.15th. LA Kings vs. Phoenix Coyotes.

Incident: LA rookie Jordan Nolan hit Phoenix defenceman Rostislav Klesla with an open ice hit which resulted in Klesla being knocked unconscious. Klesla was taken off the ice on a stretcher and taken to hospital.

Result: Jordan Nolan was assessed 4 minutes of penalties immediately following the hit. As soon as he returned to the ice he was a target of all the Coyotes. Bissonnette left the bench in order to fight Nolan resulting in an automatic 10-game suspension. He will be eligible to return to the Coyotes lineup October 24th. As a result of his fight with Bissonnette, Nolan was given a 2-minute minor for embellishment and a 10-minute misconduct. Even though Nolan’s hit on Klesla resulted in a dangerous injury, according to Shannahan he did not break any NHL rules and would not be suspended. Best of luck to Klesla as he recovers!

September 21st Vancouver Canucks vs. Edmonton Oilers

Incident: Dale Weise guilty as charged with making an illegal check to the head of Taylor Hall. Hall was not injured on the play BUT it is an extremely dangerous play to make in ANY game. An collision between Zack Kassian and Sam Gagner resulted in an accidental high stick to the face of Gagner. Not only did it result in the loss of a few teeth but also a broken jaw. I do not think Kassian had any intention to hurt Gagner but that doesn’t change the fact that it resulted in an injury. Best of luck to Gagner on a speedy recovery!(I may not be a fan of the Oilers, but you never want to see a player injured.)

Result: Dale Weise suspended the remainder of the preseason. Zack Kassian received a 4-minute double minor penalty on the play and suspended the remainder of the preseason and the first 5 games of the regular season. They will serve their respective suspensions and move on.

September 22nd Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Buffalo Sabres

Incident: Where to begin with the melee that ensued in this game?! A fight broke out between Toronto’s Jamie Devane and Buffalo’s Corey Tropp broke out that was quickly followed the incident between Buffalo’s John Scott and Toronto’s Phil Kessel. Rather than fight with Scott, Kessel took two chops at Scott with his stick and soon there was an all out brawl between the two teams. Even the goalies joined in the punching.

Result: David Clarkson was handed the automatic 10-game suspension for leaving the team bench on an illegal line change and joining the on-ice brawl. Kessel received a 3 game suspension through the rest of the preseason, and will eligible to play again opening night. Buffalo’s head coach Ron Rolston was fined for player selection and team conduct as result of the events that transpired in the third period. A total of 211 penalty minutes were divided between all the players involved.

I reiterate that it is PRESEASON and seems ridiculous to have had so many incidents take place BEFORE the regular season begins. That being said, the incidents have taken place and the punishments have been given whether fans agree with the decisions made by the league or vehemently disagree with the decisions that were made. It is safe to say that once again the NHL will once again be consistently inconsistent with suspensions handed out. It is also safe to say that whatever decisions are made throughout the year that not everyone will agree when suspensions are handed out. There will always be those who ask for harsher punishment and those who think the punishment given was too harsh. At the end of the day, whether we as fans agree with the decisions made doesn’t matter, what matters is how each team responds to that decision.

There are still a few days of preseason left, and with the way this preseason is going, anything could happen between now and next week’s regular season puck drop! We will have to wait see how these incidents affect these teams when they meet again in the regular season.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

And now we wait…

Fans around the globe are holding their colllective breath as all eyes on are the NHLPA as they are expected to respond to the NHL’s 50/50 offer in today’s Toronto meeting. Today marks possibly the most significant stage of CBA negotiations. Today either the NHLPA will accept the new deal [with a tweak or two to insure that 50/50 really means 50/50!] or the debate continues. Rumor has it that BOTH sides are bringing in the big guns..for the players that group will consist of 18 players, including: Crosby, Toews, Doan, Iginla & Eric Staal. The meeting is now expected to take place at 11:30AM Pacific time[2:30PM Eastern time]. I hope that whatever the discussion that occurs between the two sides…that they come to an agreement that BOTH can live with and gets the players back on the ice November 2nd! #endthelockout

Perhaps one hopeful fan[Barry Murphy] has captured it best with his desperate attempt to get an audience with Fehr & Bettman. Perhaps this sign he brought will capture their attention or perhaps his twitter handle @hockeyfansunite will rattle them? good luck Barry!!

Desperate times make for desperate measures…one hockey hungry fan was camped out early at the NHLPA offices in Toronto this morning with this sign…calling Gary Bettman & Donald Fehr…can you hear us???

Here’s hoping that the meeting today actually produces a new deal with 82 games having been cancelled already…a season starting on November 2nd would secure an 82 game schedule for EACH team! #endthelockout #wewanthockeyback

Until this afternoon’s meeting wraps…hockey fans everywhere will all be anxiously waiting to hear the result. Will we get a full hockey season beginning November 2? Lets get this deal signed, sealed and delivered ….and now we wait. Back to you, Gary and Donald. #fingerscrossed

Until next time which is hopefully later today and we get that long awaited announecment of #hockeyreturning, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

P.S. Congratulations to Zack Kassian & company in leading the Chicago Wolves to their 3rd WIN of the season! Those pesky #wolves are now 3-0 on the year…good luck in Abbotsford this weekend…#GoWolvesGo

4 year deal breaker for Doan? other thoughts on this & that in the NHL

Today is yet another deadline set by Shane Doan to getting closer determining where he will play next year. Rumor has it that he is seeking a 4 year contract worth $30 million(or $7.5 million cap hit per year) before he will leave Phoenix. There has been no official statement yet as to where Doan will sign if indeed he decides to join a team other than Phoenix, but it will interesting to see which teams are willing to pay. I’m not sure why Doan keeps “setting deadlines” which is simply a way of saying “I still need more time to consider all my options”. It just makes the media go crazy until his next “setting a new deadline” announcement is made.

Philadelphia has yet to address their major issues on the blueline having lost Matt Carle to free agency, and  losing Weber to Nashville since they matched that lofty offer sheet. Still refusing to make any statements on Pronger’s status, it has many people questioning whether he will be able to play at all and what will the Flyers do to fill the holes in their defense. Philly did  however re-sign forward Jakub Voracek to a 4 year $17 million deal…a far cry from the $14 million they offered to Weber, but still a pretty good pay cheque.

Scotty Bowman and Pat Quinn are confirmed to coach the alumni game at next season’s Winter Classic between Detroit & Toronto. Anyone else wish that the Canucks would take part in one of these Winter Classic games?! How exciting would it be too see them play in an outdoor arena?! I’m not sure it ever will happen that the Canucks take part in this event, but I will say that I for one WOULD LOVE it, if they did!!

Rumor has Darryl Sutter(yes the one who led those pesky but determined Kings to Stanley cup victory in June) has stated to various media outlets that he believes that the Calgary Flames could have WON the cup every year during his time there, perhaps in 2004 that may have been true, but an interesting statement considering the franchise has missed the post-season the last 3 years(and 2 of them he was part of their coaching staff).

Questions are arising in Toronto regarding their goal-tending situation as to whether or not James Reimer will able to handle to pressure of becoming the bonafide starter, or after last year’s injuries & inconsistent performances should they look elsewhere (*******I would HATE seeing Lou in a Maple Leaf jersey or back in a Panther one with Florida!…like I have said previously I can understand the situation and Lou possibly wanting to leave the city. BUT I really don’t like the idea of him not a Canuck anymore, in fact I HATE the idea…part of me secretly hopes that he stays & steals back the reigns of starter. I really have nothing against Schneider, he’s a great athlete an impeccable goal-tender, and he deserves his own opportunities too. I’m just not sold on him as the #Canucks #1 just yet. Whatever does happen, to ME,  LOUIE will always be Canuck.

In other news Carolina has landed Alexander Semin by signing him to a one-year deal worth $7 million. It looks like Carolina is building a competitive team that aims to make the playoffs next year. They acquired Jordan Staal who is one of the best penalty killers in the league, spent the 1st six years of his career playing with the likes of Crosby, Malkin, & Geurin. Needless to say playing with his also talented brother Eric Staal next season will be yet another great opportunity for him. Carolina has also signed or re-signed the following players: Jay Harrison, Drayson Bowman, Zach Boychuk, Marc-Andre Gragnani, & Justin Peters.

Well as the day dwindles it appears the public is no closer to knowing where Doan will sign just yet…perhaps next week if what I hear is true, we will know his destination. Until next time, we wait for the drama to continue! nuck said.

Sarah E.L.