Hockey writers poke fun at possible rule changes from R&D camp

Thumbnail image for developmentcampone.jpgWhenever the NHL discusses making changes – particularly ones that are off the beaten path – they make life pretty simple and easy for satirists and bloggers. So it’s probably no surprise that while blogs such as our own did indeed pour over a ton of the details, some of the funniest hockey writers had a field day with the NHL research and development camp.

With that in mind, I thought I’d share three of the better parody articles on the subject.

First, here is some commentary from Colorado Avalanche blogger Jibblescribbits, who produced fake reactions from NHL team’s on potential rule changes.

5 Minutes of 3 vs 3 OT

Washington Capitals scout– Imagine an Ovechkin-Semin-Green line. Or we could be radical and use two forwards and a defenseman

A Minnesota Wild scout– It’ll be difficult, but I think we could still suck the life out of this.

A Philadelphia Flyers scout – Plays right into our hands, since we’re kind of used to playing 3 vs 5 anyways

[snip]

24 inch blueline

Detroit Red Wings scouts – Our players may finally be able to see it

Ottawa Senators scouts – More defensive zone to protect? At least it won’t change Jason Spezza’s game

A Vancouver Canucks scout – Wait they’re testing 24 inch blue lines? You don’t say. I just thought Wellwood fell on it.

scoutsatrandd.jpgNext, the Pegasus News has their snarky list of “long overdue rule changes” (that didn’t actually go through, obviously).

Long-Overdue Rule Change #16: Unattractive players will be given game misconducts.

Long-Overdue Rule Change #17: Special “Get Medieval” nights will feature players using spiked maces instead of sticks, referees dressed like bishops and plague-infected rats swarming the concession stands.

Long-Overdue Rule Change #18: Two-minute minors will be accompanied by the player’s mom showing embarrassing baby photos of the offender on the JumboTron.

Finally, you cannot have a story about hockey satire without blogger Down Goes Brown. Here’s an excerpt from the piece he wrote for his new gig with The National Post.

The league also looked at continuing to restrict line changes. One new rule would see teams that went offside be unable to change lines before the next faceoff, similar to what happens now with icing. This change is expected to be popular with the many fans who find themselves saying things like “This game is OK, but I’d enjoy it more if the players were constantly vomiting from exhaustion.”

This ongoing war on line changes is expected to someday culminate with coaches having the option to disable line changes altogether, but only if the opposing coach gets up to use the bathroom and leaves his Xbox controller lying around.

Icing has always been a mixed blessing for hockey fans. On the one hand, races for the puck are exciting. On the other, exploding hip fragments can sometimes fly up into the stands and get in your beer. The NHL is trying to find a way to keep the former while minimizing the latter.

The answer appears to be a concept called hybrid icing, which is just like regular icing except it gets better mileage. Experts agree that it will cost twice as much and cause your insufferable granola-snorting neighbour to strut around like he’s better than you.

Good stuff. I hope you enjoyed those parody articles as much as I did. Remember, even in some of the darkest (or driest) of times, someone – somewhere – will write something funny that makes fun of hockey. Kind of a comforting thought, isn’t it?

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    Vasilevskiy shines again as Lightning take top spot in NHL

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    Tuesday’s game in St. Louis was a showdown featuring the top two teams in the NHL.

    In the end it was the Lightning picking up the 3-0 win to extend their current winning streak to five games and to reclaim sole possession of the No. 1 spot in the NHL.

    Their win improves them to 22-6-2 on the season and puts them two points ahead of the Blues despite having played two fewer games.

    It was another impressive showing for Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy who has been one of the underrated stars of this year’s Lightning team. Most of the attention has been directed to forwards Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov (and deservedly so!) but let’s not lose sight of the fact that Vasilevskiy, in his first full season as the Lighting’s full-time starter, has been one of the best goalies in the league so far.

    Tuesday’s game was his third shutout of the season, and after his 32-save performance against the Blues his .933 save percentage is among the best in the NHL, while his 20 wins (in only 25 starts) are tops in the league. Nobody else in the league has more than 17.

    While Vasilevskiy was shining in net again, Kucherov scored his 21st goal of the season to move back into a tie with Alex Ovechkin for the top spot in the league. It was also his 42nd point which moved him into a tie with Stamkos for the league lead.

    Brayden Point also continued his breakout season by opening the scoring with his 13th goal of the season. He also added an assist on Tyler Johnson‘s third period goal.

    Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

    John Tortorella had no time for questions after blowout loss (Video)

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    Since being hired by the Columbus Blue Jackets John Tortorella has seemed to be a kinder, gentler coach.

    The blow ups and battles with the media don’t seem to happen as much. We don’t get as many rants.

    He just does not seem as angry all the time.

    Losing 7-2 at home to the Edmonton Oilers, however, might change a few things.

    That it was happened to the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night and Tortorella was in no mood to answer question about the game.

    His press conference consisted of him stepping to the podium, saying there is no point in answering questions about the game, then leaving.

    Here it is in all of its glory.

    The only question we have: Is this shorter than the night he said the New York Rangers “sucked from head to toe?”

    (Oddly enough, that game was also against the Edmonton Oilers).

    That press conference lasted, roughly, 14 seconds from the time he started talking until the time he walked away (and also included the line “I know you have a job to do”).

    Tonight’s comes in at just around 12 seconds. So we might have a record for the shortest John Tortorella press conference of all time.

    Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

    Former NHL defenseman Zarley Zalapski dies at 49

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    CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Former NHL defenseman Zarley Zalapski has died at age 49, according to the Calgary Flames. No cause of death was given.

    Zalapski, a native of Edmonton, played 637 NHL games for Calgary, Pittsburgh, Hartford, Montreal and Philadelphia from 1987 to 2000.

    He was with the Flames from 1993 to 1998.

    “We are proud that Zarley wore the Flames jersey, made Calgary his home following his playing career, represented our alumni executive and we will always remember him as a member of the Flames family,” Flames president and chief executive officer Ken King said Tuesday in a statement.

    “This is a terrible loss of a man with great character who truly loved the game of hockey. We express our sincere condolences to the Zalapski family.”

    Zalapski was a member of the Canadian team that finished fourth in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.

    He had 99 goals, 285 assists and 684 penalty minutes in the NHL. Zalapski was named to the all-rookie team in 1989 and participated in the NHL All-Star Game in 1993.

    Zalapski played stints in Austria and Switzerland after his NHL career and appeared in 11 games for the United Hockey League’s Kalamazoo Wings in 2004-05.

    He was the fourth overall pick by the Penguins in the 1986 entry draft.

    Taylor Hall puts on a show as Devils end Kings’ winning streak

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    The New Jersey Devils put an end to the Los Angeles Kings’ eight-game winning streak on Tuesday night with a rather convincing 5-1 win.

    The Devils dominated in pretty much every aspect of the game, limiting the Kings to just 17 shots on goal and scoring five goals against a team that had not allowed more than two goals (and never more than three) during its winning streak.

    The star of the game for the Devils was most certainly forward Taylor Hall.

    Hall continued what could be a career year with a pair of goals, including this highlight reel play in the second period that saw him force a turnover, split through the Kings’ defense (including Drew Doughty!), then beat Jonathan Quick with a backhander.

    With that performance on Tuesday Hall is now up to 11 goals and 31 total points on the season.

    His first year with the Devils wasn’t quite what he or the team wanted, but he has bounced back in a big way this season. His performance, along with the development of young players Nico Hischier, Will Butcher, and Jesper Bratt have the Devils back on track to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2011-12 season.

    Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.