League gives NHLPA time to approve rule change

Nearly 24 hours after it seemed the NHL and the Player’s Association
would get locked in an ugly political battle o
ver what in reality is a
needed and simple rule change, both sides have come to their senses and
the new rule should be in place by tomorrow. From Ira Podell of the
Associated Press:

“We have deliberated and endorsed to
the NHLPA Executive Board the
League’s proposal to implement supplemental discipline this season for
blindside hits to the head,” the six players on the committee said in a
statement. “Our Executive Board will vote on this recommendation and we
will respond back to the League with a decision in the next 24-48

It’s an interesting turn of events.
Originally, the players were dragging their feet a bit and wanted to
submit their own counter proposal of a temporary ‘band aid solution’,
somewhat expected but still a bit of a power play by the NHLPA. After
word came down that the league went ahead and passed the rule anyways,
the Association decided that it’s perhaps best to give their blessing of
the new rule.

According to Bill Daly, NHL deputy commissioner,
the PA asked for some extra time to vote on the change.

“Following discussions today between the NHL and the NHLPA, including
player members of the Competition Committee, the NHLPA has requested
additional time to secure the approval of its Executive Board prior to
proceeding with the implementation of the proposed new rule regarding
hits to the head,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Wednesday
night in a statement. “In response to the Union’s request, the League
has agreed to wait until tomorrow before proceeding with implementation.

“Our strong preference remains to proceed on a cooperative basis with
the players on this important issue.”

That last part is most important, as it seemed that we were on the
verge of yet another nasty back and forth between the league and NHLPA.
Instead, cooler heads have prevailed and the NHL can move on with a very
important change in place. Expect for the change to be officially
adopted sometime Thursday.

Remember, it’s not an actual change to add any penalties to the
rule book that is being voted on. The change has to do with the NHL’s
ability to punish players for blind side hits to the head. Still not
exactly where we need to be, but at least it’s progress.

about that useless trapezoid behind the goal….

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    NHL on NBCSN: Red Wings face Lightning in ’15 playoff rematch

    Steven Stamkos, Henrik Zetterberg
    AP Photo

    NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2015-16 campaign tonight when the Detroit Red Wings host the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7:30 p.m. ET. You can stream the game online here.

    The Lightning made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015, but their journey almost ended in the first round at the hands of the Red Wings. Detroit shutout Tampa Bay twice in that series and the two squads were locked in a scoreless tie until the third period of Game 7.

    Despite the fact that the Red Wings were a mere hair away from advancing instead of Tampa Bay, the Lightning are often mentioned as serious Cup contenders while Detroit is typically regarded as a good, but not amazing team. However, that gap isn’t entirely unjustified.

    After all, Tampa Bay has a very effective core of forwards that features Steven Stamkos, Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov, and Ondrej Palat. If the highly regarded Jonathan Drouin, 20, is able to build off of his strong start to the 2015-16 campaign then the Lightning’s offense could be even more dangerous this season.

    Detroit certainly has some offensive star power too in Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, but the duo is 35 and 37 years old respectively. On top of that, injuries have been a recurring issue for Datsyuk, who isn’t expected to make his season debut until November after undergoing ankle surgery.

    As good as those two forwards still are, the Red Wings have to hope that their younger players will be able to lead the charge sooner rather than later. The good news is that 19-year-old Dylan Larkin‘s campaign is off to a strong start with three points in two games while 23-year-old Teemu Pulkkinen scored twice on Saturday.

    The Red Wings have opened the season with back-to-back wins against Toronto and Carolina, but tonight’s game represents their biggest test to date. Meanwhile, the Lightning are similarly undefeated after three games, but this contest will be particularly trying for them given that it’s their third game in four days.

    PHT Morning Skate: Columnist argues McDavid’s already NHL’s most important player

    Connor McDavid
    AP Photo

    PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

    Although Connor McDavid‘s NHL career has only just gotten started, is he already the league’s most important player? (Sportsnet)

    While we’re on the subject of McDavid, what should we expect from him for the remainder of his rookie campaign? (NHL Numbers)

    Jack Jablonski was paralyzed on Dec. 30, 2011 at the age of 16 while playing high school hockey, but that hasn’t ended his pursuit of a career in hockey. He’s spent the last two years hosting a weekly hockey-talk radio program and has now joined the Los Angeles Kings as a communications intern. (Orange County Register)

    Arizona State has earned its first NCAA victory. (Arizona Republic)

    The 2015 Calder Cup champion Manchester Monarchs got their rings. (LA Kings Insider)

    The Anaheim Ducks and the Make-A-Wish Foundation gave 13-year-old Kai Quinonez, who was diagnosed with aplastic anemia four years ago, a tremendous experience. (Orange County Register)