Last night we shared some thoughts from Gary Bettman as quoted by
Dave Lozo of NHL.com, that came from a press conference held before last
night’s Kings and Canucks game. It turns out, as expected, we didn’t
exactly get the full story of what went down.
Turns out there was
some back and forth between Bettman and the Vancouver media, who seem to
be perpetuating this ‘conspiracy’ talk and are determined to uncover
the truth behind the mysterious decision that waived off a goal by
Daniel Sedin. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun shares the back and forth; here’s a snippet:
Q: Has the so-called DVD that was sent to teams, has that
actually changed the rules? Because in the rules, it says there has to
be a distinct kicking motion. Now, apparently, there does not have to
Bettman: Well, I’m going to take issue with your
characterization of a “so-called DVD.” The DVD exists. Whether or not
you’ve seen it or are aware of it doesn’t make it “so-called.” Secondly,
all the rules, obviously, have to be interpreted, standards have to be
applied. And this is something that was reviewed with the general
I can’t believe that I’m siding with the
NHL and Gary Bettman on this one, but as I’ve covered numerous times the
past few days, the league has already established precedent that there
doesn’t not have to be a ‘distinct kicking motion’ for a goal to be
disallowed. This has happened multiple times in the past few years and
each time the NHL has explained that intentional or not, ‘distinct
kicking motion’ or not, if a puck is propelled into the net by a skate
by anything other than a deflection they’ll call off the goal.
should the NHL clarify the rule book so that the rest of us aren’t as
confused? Absolutely, and the NHL should also make public the DVD that
was sent to teams. The media and the fans are calling conspiracy, while
we’ve yet to hear any of the players or the Canucks officials cry bloody
murder (although Alain Vigneault wasn’t happy with the call after the
game). Perhaps this is because they’ve remembered this DVD that
clarified this rule, along with others.
Jyrki Jokipakka was one of the three Finnish d-men added to the World Cup roster last week but, according to Calgary president Brian Burke, Jokipakka isn’t a lock to play this fall.
“He had hip surgery after the season, and it’s not 100 percent that he’s going to be able to compete in this tournament,” Burke told Sportsnet’s Fan 960. “But the fact he was named recognizes his accomplishments to date, and we’re very proud of [him].”
Jokipakka, acquired in the Kris Russell-to-Dallas deadline trade, appeared in 58 games last year — 18 for the Flames, 40 for the Stars. He finished with two goals and 12 points.
Still only 24 years old, Jokipakka could be a nice piece for the Flames moving forward. He’s 6-foot-3, 215 pounds and was rated highly enough to crack the Finnish roster (granted, the country isn’t overwhelmingly deep on the blueline).
So it’s understandable why the club might be wary of letting him play in the World Cup. In addition to coming off major surgery, Jokipakka is headed into the last of a two-year, $1.8 million deal with a $900,000 average annual cap hit.
Once that expires, he’ll become a restricted free agent.
PITTSBURGH — Kris Letang will play tonight. He confirmed it this morning, albeit in rather unusual circumstances.
Letang did not participate in yesterday’s Media Day at the Stanley Cup Final. He didn’t practice either. The Penguins said it was simply a “maintenance day” for their best defensemen, but when it was learned he would hold a press conference this morning, all of a sudden people started to wonder about his status for Game 1 against the Sharks.
He was asked if he was playing.
So, no problems?
And that was that.
No explanation was provided about yesterday, but Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said a few minutes later that he was confident that Letang would be able to log his usual amount of minutes.
“Very confident,” said Sullivan.
Penguins center Nick Bonino also confirmed that he’ll be able to go tonight. He didn’t skate Saturday or Sunday, but was on the ice this morning.
Jan Bulis, who appeared in 552 games with the Capitals, Canadiens and Canucks, announced his retirement from professional hockey today, per Czech news outlet Ceske Noviny.
Bulis, 38, last played in North America with Vancouver during the 2006-07 campaign, and has since carved out a pretty lengthy career in the KHL, playing for both Mytishchi Atlant and Chelyabinsk Traktor.
Picked 43rd overall by Washington at the 1996 draft, Bulis’ best years came with the Habs. He posted a career-high 20 goals and 40 points in 2005-06 — that year, he also represented the Czechs at the Winter Olympics in Turin (capturing bronze) and at the World Hockey Championships (capturing silver).
It seems there will be no NHL comeback attempt by Alex Semin. At least not in 2016-17.
Instead, Semin has inked a one-year extension with Magnitogorsk Metallurg, according to Sport-Express writer Igor Eronko.
At 32 years old, Semin still could have a lot of years left in him as a professional hockey player, but at this point it wouldn’t be surprising if he has played in his last NHL game. Early in his career his talent was clear and demonstrated by some great showings offensively, but he was plagued by inconsistency. In recent years though, he wasn’t so much inconsistent as he was underwhelming.
After being limited to six goals and 19 points in 57 games with Carolina in 2014-15, the one-time 40-goal scorer was bought out of his five-year, $35 million contract just two seasons into it. Montreal took a chance on him for 2015-16, but he only appeared in 15 games with the Canadiens before they put him on unconditional waivers on Dec. 9.
He’s fared better in the KHL though, with five goals and 14 points in 20 regular season games followed by another seven markers and 15 points in 23 playoff contests.