Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 hr ago
Back in June, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sent a letter to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. He wanted to know why the League had been “dismissive and disappointing” in its reaction to an NFL official linking concussions with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, earlier this year.
Among his questions to Bettman: “Do you believe there is a link between CTE and hockey?” and “Do you dispute that the documented CTE of former NHL players, like Derek Boogaard, is linked to injuries sustained while playing in the NHL?”
On Tuesday, via New York Times reporter John Branch, we have Bettman’s answer: “The relationship between concussions and the asserted clinical symptoms of CTE remains unknown.”
On CTE, Bettman wrote:
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 3 hrs ago
When the NHL gets litigious, it’s usually because it’s desperately trying to maintain the status quo against an interloper that threatens it.
Like when Jim Balsillie attempted to use bankruptcy court to circumvent NHL rules and obtain ownership of the Phoenix Coyotes. The NHL fought him in court, and ultimately reinforced its right to determine the owners of its teams and the locations of its franchises.
And like when the NHL filed suit against the NHLPA after arbitrator James Oldham reduced the suspension of Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman from 20 games down to 10.
But when you look at Oldham’s ruling, it’s also about trying to stop “the concussion defense” from being a valid one in matters of supplemental discipline.
But there’s another aspect to the concussion defense that’s worth exploring.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 7 hrs ago
In the NHL, there’s usually a trade-off between average annual value of a contract vs. term on free-agent contracts. The shorter the term, the higher the AAV; the longer the term, the lower the AAV.
Again, in theory.
The Detroit Red Wings signed 26-year-old defenseman Danny DeKeyser to a six-year, $30-million deal on Tuesday that carries a $5 million cap hit. That makes him the 11th highest-paid defenseman between the ages of 25-27, making slightly less than Torey Krug of the Boston Bruins (25, $5.25M AAV) and slightly more than T.J Brodie of the Calgary Flames (26, $4.65M AAV).
Did the Red Wings overpay here?
The Detroit Free Press spelled it out here before the signing, with comments from GM Ken Holland:
“The player and the club both know what the range would be on a one-year deal,” Holland said. “We continue to have conversation on a longer-term deal. I’m comfortable we can avoid the process. … Danny is Detroit born, he’s happy with his role, happy to be a Red Wings. We are happy with his play.”
The contact breakdown:
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago
Twitter planted its flag in the world of live sports streaming with a $10-million deal with the NFL earlier this year, providing a digital platform for select Thursday Night Football games.
But it wasn’t until Wimbledon this summer that fans saw what that streaming experience will look like: a video window planted above, or to the side, of tweets discussing the event in real-time.
It was a beta test, but it showed promise. So much promise that MLB Advanced Media is bringing baseball and NHL games to the platform, as was announced on Monday.
“It gives us a chance to take advantage of the platform in ways we haven’t been able to do so in the past,” Stephen McArdle, NHL executive vice president of digital media and strategic planning, told Yahoo Sports.
“[Wimbledon] was a very interesting execution. You consume the content in real time, and comment on it in real time, on the same platform.”
“We’re for allowing hockey fans to act like hockey fans, providing them content from around the league. This is another step in the process,” said McArdle.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago
If you’re a St. Louis Blues fan, these are strange days.
How many conference finalists bid farewell to their team captain and starting goaltender in the following summer? How many general managers of conference finalists are willing to admit that to get over the hump, they might need to scurry back a few yards and get a running start?
“We don’t want to take any backwards movement in our organization. But sometimes you do expose yourself to maybe taking half a step back to take a couple steps forward,” said GM Doug Armstrong, to the Boston Globe.
Essentially what he’s talking about is transferring the leadership responsibilities – and in some cases, ice time – to the large collection of under-30 players that now dominate the Blues’ roster.
This is the team of Alex Pietrangelo, who could be the next captain. It’s the team of youngins Colton Parayko, Robby Fabbri and Jaden Schwartz. It’s Vladimir Tarasenko’s team, of course, and now it’s Jake Allen’s team.
From Fluto Shinzawa:
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 3 days ago
I’m sitting at the same table that I was one year ago, laptop next to coffee mug, early hours of a summer morning. Except this time, as I write about Lou Lamoriello, there’s considerably less shock, awe, Eastern Conference plate tectonics and bafflement.
Growing up as a New Jersey Devils fan, imagining that Lamoriello would leave the general manager’s chair wasn’t too outrageous. We all get old. We ride off into the sunset, content that we’ve left a legacy behind, which in his case was three Stanley Cups, five conference titles, and the basic survival of the franchise through frequency of playoff appearances. Not too shabby.
What I never imagined was seeing Lamoriello step down from the Devils to become another NHL team’s general manager. Sure, he could slide into some NCAA front office or USA Hockey role. That made sense. But seeing Lamoriello running another franchise was like seeing your franchise player wearing another sweater before retirement.
Here’s how we’d answer them after his first year at the helm.
Kris Versteeg was one of those names still floating in the unrestricted free-agent pool that surprised you.
He split last season with the Carolina Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings, amassing 15 goals and 23 assists in 77 games, playing an average of 15:23 per night. (His Kings average brought that down, as he was a spare part after the deal.)
Versteeg is a serviceable and versatile winger, having bouncing around six different teams since 2007, including two different stints with the Chicago Blackhawks. He could have helped someone’s top nine, but perhaps that’s the issue: Versteeg, 30, might not want to latch on with a lottery team, and many contenders that could use him are pushed up against the cap.
Plus there’s that whole “seemingly traded every season” thing, which must get tiring.
Rather than wait on PTO season, Versteeg is taking his talents to Bern.
According to Darren Dreger, Versteeg is expected to sign with SC Bern of National League A, a.k.a. the Swiss League.
Just speculating here, but we wonder if Devin Setoguchi might have put a bug in Versteeg’s ear about this move.
Evander Kane of the Buffalo Sabres has been arrested for “misdemeanor criminal trespass” among other charges, according to the Buffalo News.
Police sources had said that Kane was facing “non-criminal harassment charges” after a June 24 incident involving two women at a local club called Bottoms Up. (A third woman involved in the incident had yet to come forward to police as of early July.
Kane had been in Canada, and voluntarily turned himself in when three Buffalo police detectives met him outside City Court around 11 a.m. on Friday.
— Aaron Besecker (@AaronBesecker) July 22, 2016
This is what the New York Rangers and Chris Kreider do. They wait until the door to the arbitrator’s office is nearly open and then end the drama with a new contract before walking in.
Two years ago, it was a two-year deal with an annual cap hit of $2.475 million. On Friday, it ended up being a four-year contract with an annual cap hit of $4.625 million.
After a controversial trade earlier in the week, this one is a slam-dunk for GM Jeff Gorton and the Rangers.
First off, it was imperative to head off arbitration, which would have resulted in a one-year deal that would have really given Kreider, 25, some leverage on his next contract, with unrestricted free agency looming.
Recently, Jaden Schwartz of the St. Louis Blues received five years at $5.35 million per season. Alex Killorn of the Tampa Bay Lightning went seven years at $4.45 million. So Kreider falls in between those recent contracts, despite the Rangers getting a shorter term on it.
That’s a win.
DENVER, CO – FEBRUARY 27: Detroit Red Wings center Brad Richards (17) celebrate his game winning goal with Detroit Red Wings center Luke Glendening (41) during the third period February 27, 2016 at Coors Field. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Colorado Avalanche 5-3. (Photo By John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Brad Richards had 932 points in his NHL career, which began in 2000 and ended officially this week with his retirement. He’s one of those offense stars who straddled two eras – the methodical trap years before for the 2005 lockout, and the NHL 2.0 rules changes that stretched the ice and mandated speed.
“The game has changed so much from when I came into the League,” Richards told TSN Radio 1050. “I don’t want to sound older, and ‘everything that’s better back in the day,’ but a little bit of creativity is gone from the game.”
Here are Richards’ full comments on the state of the game:
Richards said the most fun he’s had in recent years is playing 4-on-4 and 3-on-3, which is very much not “get pucks to the net/create rebounds.”
But that said: Isn’t that, like, hockey?