December NHL News

Cotillion

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Jun 11, 2019
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The NHL is soft floating the idea with media if no deal with the NHLPA is reached on the Return to Play, it can unilaterally invoke Force Majeure and cancel the 2020-21 season.

There are so many flaws to this, I don’t know where to start. Does the NHL really think it can demand an additional $300M in concessions from players after negotiating the financial terms of the 20-21 season DURING the pandemic 4 months ago? 2/
More at the link
 

RedOctober3829

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"The Bruins have been in contact with state and city officials about different options. I had heard specific mention of Fenway Park, and was told that is in an “exploratory phase,” but it was stressed all venue options are being considered."

Pierre LeBrun of the Athletic confirms the report and says the Bruins are exploring the possibility of playing multiple games this year at Fenway Park.
View: https://twitter.com/ConorRyan_93/status/1334558671611813889
 
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cshea

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Doesn't seem ideal from a competitive balance standpoint, but I guess in these times you do whatever you can to squeeze out extra revenue.

Also, they should probably work on an agreement to actually play games before worrying about where to play them.
 

RedOctober3829

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Doesn't seem ideal from a competitive balance standpoint, but I guess in these times you do whatever you can to squeeze out extra revenue.

Also, they should probably work on an agreement to actually play games before worrying about where to play them.
Fenway is a pretty awful venue for hockey. I went for a Frozen Fenway and there is literally no other seats good for viewing other than Pavillion boxes. Even the Monster seats are pretty far away from the ice. Harvard or BC football stadiums would be better venues from a viewing experience. If there's no fans and they decide to do it anyways, then go for it at Fenway.
 

kenneycb

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Doesn't seem ideal from a competitive balance standpoint, but I guess in these times you do whatever you can to squeeze out extra revenue.

Also, they should probably work on an agreement to actually play games before worrying about where to play them.
Meh, they can parallel path it. Would rather them explore all options for plausible outcomes under the assumption games will be played instead of scrambling for something during the pre-season / mid-season.
 

kenneycb

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From LeBrun at the Athletic today. Sounds like there's been decent progress in the last couple of days. Summary of major points:
  • Jan 1 start is off the table, most likely mid-January
  • Season will likely be between 52 and 56 games ending in early July before the Summer Olympics
  • There may be a 7-day voluntary camp for the non-bubble teams
  • Things may be delayed further depending on COVID developments
https://theathletic.com/2239596/2020/12/04/nhl-nhlpa-56-game-schedule/
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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Hopefully they work out the outdoor games where they can let in a reasonable amount of fans. Not attending sporting events really sucks.
 

Fred not Lynn

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Fenway is a pretty awful venue for hockey. I went for a Frozen Fenway and there is literally no other seats good for viewing other than Pavillion boxes. Even the Monster seats are pretty far away from the ice. Harvard or BC football stadiums would be better venues from a viewing experience. If there's no fans and they decide to do it anyways, then go for it at Fenway.
In a non-Covid year, I have always been hoping for some outdoor play in a stadium with a set-up to offer fewer seats, but a better viewing experience for the seats you have...but the idea in a Covid world is to spread people out, so save that for another time.

There’s also the though that playing outdoor during Covid could mean using some interesting spots that don’t have space for seating. Lake Louise in Alberta, for instance.

I would love to see a league some day that features all-outdoor play, and re-establishes ice hockey as the indoor/outdoor game it should be...
 

NYCSox

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Hopefully they work out the outdoor games where they can let in a reasonable amount of fans. Not attending sporting events really sucks.
Fenway is a bad example but if you can get 20% in a football stadium that can get you to 14-15,000 which is pretty close to what most teams average in a typical NHL season.
 

McDrew

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MiracleOfO2704

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Hey, remember the guy that sings the anthems in Vancouver? You know, the one that was huge when the Canucks played the Bruins in the Final, got bariatric surgery, and lost a ton of weight?

Yeah, he was fired after taking part in an anti-mask rally in Vancouver over the weekend, saying BC's restrictions have been "draconian" and "tyranny". The money quote, after he was fired:

"Sports figures, entertainers, politicians, et cetera, can stand for anything as long as it supports the narrative. You can support rioting, looting, destruction of livelihoods and reputation, but take a position against the narrative and you are worthy of exile or worse."
 

Bozo Texino

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Hey, remember the guy that sings the anthems in Vancouver? You know, the one that was huge when the Canucks played the Bruins in the Final, got bariatric surgery, and lost a ton of weight?

Yeah, he was fired after taking part in an anti-mask rally in Vancouver over the weekend, saying BC's restrictions have been "draconian" and "tyranny". The money quote, after he was fired:
The Canucks organization has no problems with either rioting or looting.
 

cshea

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Traded Carolina for Pittsburgh after the original reports. Not good. Assuming it's top 4 make the playoffs, there's 5 solid teams (BOS, WSH, PIT, PHI, NYI) from a year ago plus an emerging NYR squad that wasn't too far away. BUF is kinda in who the hell knows territory.

That central division is trash.Only 2 of the 8 were legitimate playoff teams last year. I believe NSH and CAR were the only other legitimate playoff teams from a year ago (inside the top 8 at shutdown).
 

NYCSox

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I thought Washington was in the other division according to previous reports? Anyway yes this is lacking in balance. And I can already pick the four in the Pacific with the three garbage CA teams plus what's left of AZ.
 

cshea

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Still no official word from the league about the season. TSN update lays out some of the remaining issues:

View: https://twitter.com/frank_seravalli/status/1338995036722253828?s=20


- Roster size, layering etc. It sounds like there could be an expanded rosters as well as teams being able to carry a taxi squad with them. They are trying to figure out how this will work re; salary cap, service time and other related elements. Salary cap will probably work just like sending a player to the AHL.

- Their second segment was focused on Canadian teams, but the general idea is players basically need to start heading back to their NHL cities soon to comply with local quarantine guidelines in advance of camp. The 7 non-RTP teams from last season will get a 3-day jump on camp.

- Preference is to play in home cities and fan attendance will be driven by local guidelines. Apparently Fauci has advised that the best/safest thing to do is start in Hubs but the NHL prefers not to. At this point, it appears the San Jose Sharks will practice and play out of Scottsdale, Arizona due to the Santa Clara County restrictions.
 

Haunted

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It's positively insane to me to allow fans in to any sporting arena.
 

cshea

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Alex Steen also retired.

View: https://twitter.com/StLouisBlues/status/1339586288232484864?s=20


Says retired in the release, but I think it's going to be another LTIR. $5.75 mill cap it, $3.5 million owed in cash. St. Louis is over the cap and have RFA Vince Dunn to sign to a Grzelyck-like contract (I think). So they had work to do, but bam!, Steen retires and suddenly they can LTIR him to free up space for Dunn.

Kinda wish this stuff was addressed in the new CBA.
 

Salem's Lot

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Alex Steen also retired.

View: https://twitter.com/StLouisBlues/status/1339586288232484864?s=20


Says retired in the release, but I think it's going to be another LTIR. $5.75 mill cap it, $3.5 million owed in cash. St. Louis is over the cap and have RFA Vince Dunn to sign to a Grzelyck-like contract (I think). So they had work to do, but bam!, Steen retires and suddenly they can LTIR him to free up space for Dunn.

Kinda wish this stuff was addressed in the new CBA.
Don’t they still have to be below the cap on day 1 before they can put people on LTIR? Or did that change?
 

RedOctober3829

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NHL is having problems getting the Provincial governments in agreement on protocols, testing and such. As a result, Hubs are on the table as well as moving the 7 Canadian teams to the US. Likely a leak by the NHL to up public pressure on the governments.

View: https://twitter.com/frank_seravalli/status/1339688897689870341?s=21
Montreal playing at UVM in Burlington, VT for the season? Kidding, but that would be awesome.

I would move one of the teams to Nassau Coliseum for the year. The team could live in the Marriott for the season and a bunch of teams are close by.
 

NYCSox

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I doubt it gets to that point but if the Canadian teams all wind up playing in the US, would that make it more likely that we'd go back to regular divisions?
 

cshea

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Some more details filtering out.

- Opt out date is 12/34 for non-playoff teams, 12/27 for playoff teams

- Camps are 12/30 for non-playoff teams, 1/3 for playoff teams

- 36 skater limit for camps with unlimited goalies. During the season teams will be required to carry 3 goalies at all times (1 on the taxi squad essentially).
-
- 4/12 is the trade deadline

-ELC slide threshold is 7 games as opposed to the normal 10 games.

Up in Canada, the league is leaking that British Columbia health authorities are not budging. May have to move the Canucks. Vancouver was originally supposed to be a hub in the summer before they couldn’t get approval from the Heath folks and Edmonton took its place.
 

Ale Xander

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Blues also got hosed (in terms of travel), but more expectedly. (I would have put Stars there). But F the Blues.
 

cshea

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Three goalies . . . Will that hurt the AHL teams? and development of that goalie?


Or will the third guy be a journeyman of sorts?
In the Bruins case, hard to really figure out how they will handle it. They signed Callum Booth who is 23 but has primarily played in the ECHL with only 15 AHL appearances. I don’t think he is a developmental goalie, just a body to play somewhere. They could just keep him on the taxi squad to fulfill the 3rd goalie requirement

The real prospects are Vladar, Swayman and Keyser. Swagman hasn’t played a pro game so it won’t be him. Keyser is coming off an injury riddled ECHL year ago. It’s unlikely to be him. They’ll want those guys playing regularly, I think.

Vladar was with the team in the bubble and played the 1 game in relief. He’s currently in the Czech Rephblic on loan. I think they’ll want him to play regularly, so I think he ends up in Providence, but there is a gap between the NHL camps and when the AHL starts so maybe the first 2-3 weeks he is the taxi squad goalie until the AHL season starts.
 

Dummy Hoy

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RTP is finally announced.

View: https://twitter.com/pr_nhl/status/1340757002927153152?s=21


Divisions are the same as the most recent report. Bruins get hosed, IMO. Play is entirely in division until the semi-finals.
I’d rather be away from TB and TOR.

We’ve matched up well against Patrick division teams over the last few years- the Capitals have been the problem, but I think it’s more of a Holtby problem.

unless Pasta/Marchy take too long to come back or do so at less than optimal performance, I like the Bs as a playoff team here
 

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I’d rather be away from TB and TOR.

We’ve matched up well against Patrick division teams over the last few years- the Capitals have been the problem, but I think it’s more of a Holtby problem.

unless Pasta/Marchy take too long to come back or do so at less than optimal performance, I like the Bs as a playoff team here
Yea I'm not really sure how the Bruins get "hosed" here.

They avoid Tampa - who have owned us the last few years. They don't have to run through Carolina or Toronto who've played the Bruins tough. I'm not scared of an aging Pittsburgh or Washington (especially with Lundqvist calling it quits), Philly is good but doesn't have the depth, Buffalo sucks, NJ and NYR are too young to be competitive yet. The Islanders may be the best team in the division next to Boston top to bottom.
 

cshea

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Yea I'm not really sure how the Bruins get "hosed" here.

They avoid Tampa - who have owned us the last few years. They don't have to run through Carolina or Toronto who've played the Bruins tough. I'm not scared of an aging Pittsburgh or Washington (especially with Lundqvist calling it quits), Philly is good but doesn't have the depth, Buffalo sucks, NJ and NYR are too young to be competitive yet. The Islanders may be the best team in the division next to Boston top to bottom.
Hosed might be strong, but they swapped out Ottawa and Detroit for decent/mediocre teams. 6 of the 8 teams in the new division were part of the return to play, with 5 being true playoff teams. Given only 4 can make it, I think the Bruins are worse off.Dealing with Tampa and Toronto sucked but I think a top 4 finish was much more guaranteed.

Edit: My worry is Marchand missed 2 weeks, Pasta misses a month, they get off to a slow start and have trouble digging out of an early hole with the shortened season.
 
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Catcher Block

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Blues also got hosed (in terms of travel), but more expectedly. (I would have put Stars there). But F the Blues.
Yeah, not thrilled about all of those 9:30pm start times.

The immediate impact of this is really nice to see. My friend with the Stars organization texted me that he goes back to work tomorrow.