My insane (but awesome) shootout solution


Look, the shootout was an absolutely adorable little confection coming out of the lockout. It was a cutesy way for the league to avoid the dreaded “kissing sister” effect* while also giving fans a final jolt of excitement at the end of the games – certainly a worthwhile endeavor considering the oozing wounds left behind by the lockout. But, come on people, it’s been five long seasons and it’s time to acknowledge the fact that there’s a mountainous difference between a real win and a win in that glorified skills competition.

Many level-headed individuals have hatched sensible solutions. Some want a system that awards 3 points for a regulation or overtime win, 2 points for a shootout win and 1 for a regulation or overtime loss. Others would just prefer to revert to the old system of 2 points for a regulation win, 1 point for losing in OT/kissing your sister* and none for losing normally.

* – It’s probably relevant to point out that kissing your sister means ending a game in a tie. We here at PHT do not endorse incest or any of its by-products.

Well, you know what? In this case I call shenanigans on all of those solutions. That’s right: those ideas are Hogwash. Balderdash!

Instead, the league needs to roll up its sleeves and be men (or adults?) about this one. I’m simply tired of sports teams getting away with playing not to lose. So what do I propose? If you win, you get whatever points the league wants. Why? Because you get nothing for a tie. You get nothing if you lose. You win or you get NOTHING.

Yup, that’s right. The real solution is to simply go for an all-or-nothing approach. Can you imagine how much more exciting hockey could be if teams had no choice but to actually go for the win (instead of trying to hold on for a tie or the coin flip that is a shootout)? Maybe teams would still go into trap mode, but at least they wouldn’t be encouraged to play coward hockey all the time.

Now, I acknowledge that this is a fairly bold solution, but I think that’s what makes it spectacular. After all, this is a sport in which people grow beards for good luck. That’s just awesome, folks. However, I imagine that there are plenty of dissenters out there so I’m willing to be proven wrong. What do you think the league should do to curb its ever-increasing trend of teams settling for charity points? Vote in the poll below. Heck, you can even try to come up with something I hadn’t considered if you’re feeling especially frisky.

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier
Leave a comment

Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench, and that’s only counting what the Flyers are paying Gagner.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.

Video: NHL drops hammer, suspends Torres for 41 games


One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.

On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.

“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”

The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”

“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:

Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.

Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.

Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.

Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.