Comparing Vancouver noise levels in Stanley Cup finals to Chicago and Philadelphia in 2010

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Last year, we followed the competing noise levels between Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers fans during the 2010 Stanley Cup finals. NHL.com is keeping track of the ear-splitting volumes of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals as well, so we thought it would be interesting to follow those trends again.

Before we get into the Decibel Meter readings for Game 2 in Vancouver, NHL.com provides some context about how these sound levels would affect your hearing (and comfort) during a game.

Level at which sustained exposure may result in hearing loss:      90 – 95dB
Pain begins:     
125dB
Loudest recommended exposure WITH hearing protection:      
140dB
Loudest sound possible:      
194dB

Looking at last year’s first four games, Chicago’s crowd hit 121dB and 122dB peaks in their first two home games while Philadelphia hit 114dB and 118dB in Games 3 and 4. While we couldn’t find readings from Game 1 in Vancouver, NHL.com provides some of the highest levels of noise saturation in Game 2. Here are some of the most interesting readings.

Pre-game “Manny! (Malhotra) chant: 98dB – like a snowmobile
Malhotra’s first shift, appears on video screen: 108dB – Power saw
Burrows’ first goal: 111dB – Sandblasting
Daniel Sedin’s tying goal: 114dB – Loud rock concert
Burrows scores the OT winner: 117 dB – Loud rock concert
Fans chant “We Want the Cup” – Snowmobile

Obviously, it became very loud at points in Rogers Arena during Game 2, yet Chicago’s crowd hit higher peaks in both of their games and Philadelphia managed a higher peak in Game 4. That doesn’t mean that they were louder over the long haul, but it might give some credibility to Philly and Chicago as strong hockey markets if they can hang with a Canadian one.

The Canucks crowd’s loudest times provided a stark contrast to some long stretches when it seemed like you could hear a pin drop in Game 2 in Vancouver (or so it seemed on TV, at least). The Vancouver audience seemed substantially subdued when Boston was holding onto a 2-1 lead in the third period, prompting many (myself included) to wonder why they were so rattled when the Canucks were only trailing by a single goal. Obviously, that solemn atmosphere didn’t last forever, especially once Daniel Sedin notched things up by scoring on a yawning net.

It’s quite possible that Vancouver fans were simply terrified that the team might let its best chance to win a first-ever Stanley Cup slip away. That’s an understandable fear and they certainly showed great passion when the Canucks got back into the game (and also showed fantastic spirit when Malhotra completed his courageous comeback).

Please keep in mind that there probably aren’t big differences in these results; ultimately these fan bases are making a ton of noise. That being said, it’s fun to back up (or refute) assumptions about loud crowds with hard numbers. We’ll let you know how the crowds in Boston perform as the Bruins try to fight their way back into this series and we’ll also keep an eye on Vancouver’s crowds if the series stretches to five games or more.

Cullen signs with Wild, opting against retirement (and Penguins)

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Matt Cullen is going home, but that doesn’t mean that he’s retiring from hockey.

Instead, the Minnesota native decided to sign a one-year, $1 million deal with the Minnesota Wild. It’s unclear why, precisely, Cullen didn’t ink a deal to try to “threepeat” with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Wild note that his deal also includes $700K in potential performance bonuses.

This will be the 40-year-old’s second run with the Wild. His first run came from 2010-11 through 2012-13, where he appeared in 193 regular-season games and five postseason contests for Minnesota.

Cullen managed back-to-back 30+ point seasons with the Penguins while providing useful all-around play as a veteran center. If he can maintain a reasonably high level of play, this gives the Wild quite the solid group down the middle, even with Martin Hanzal gone.

Oilers ink Draisaitl to monster eight-year, $68 million deal

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The Edmonton Oilers have locked up their cornerstone players for the foreseeable future.

They didn’t come cheap.

Just weeks after signing Connor McDavid to a eight-year, $100 million deal, the Oilers signed fellow forward Leon Draisaitl to an eight-year, $68 million deal. The contract carries a $8.5M average annual cap hit and, combined with McDavid’s $12.5M, will now cost the Oilers $21M annually through 2025.

McDavid certainly warranted his payday. The same can be said of Draisaitl.

The 21-year-old just wrapped his three-year, entry-level deal, and couldn’t have done so in finer fashion. Draisaitl enjoyed a terrific season, platooning between the second-line center position and the wing alongside McDavid, and finished with 29 goals and 77 points.

Then, the playoffs happened.

Draisaitl had a terrific postseason, racking up six goals and 16 points in 13 games. At the time of elimination he was sitting second among all scorers — trailing only Evgeni Malkin — and was downright brilliant in Edmonton’s seven-game loss to Anaheim, finishing with 13 points.

More to follow…

 

Report: Vegas among teams in on Pens draftee Byron

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Will Butcher isn’t the only college free agent garnering interest in free agency.

University of Maine senior Blaine Byron, Pittsburgh’s sixth-round pick in ’13, has passed on signing with the club and can now ink with a team of his choosing. Per The Hockey News, the four “lead suitors” for Byron are Vegas, New Jersey, Ottawa and Buffalo.

Byron, 22, is coming off a great year. He racked up 18 goals and 41 points in 36 games, finishing tied for 18th in the country in scoring. It’s unclear where he would’ve fit in the Pittsburgh organization, though, and one has to think the signing of Northeastern’s Zach Aston-Reese might’ve played a factor in his departure.

In a recent Tribune-Review piece, Byron did make a list of the club’s top-20 prospects, coming in at No. 17.

Yesterday, Butcher — the reigning Hobey Baker winner — announced that he wouldn’t sign with Colorado, the team that drafted him four years ago. Instead, Butcher will parlay a successful senior campaign at Denver University into interest on the open market.

Under Pressure: Barry Trotz

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This post is part of Capitals Day on PHT…

When the Capitals hired Barry Trotz three years ago, they said he was “the only coach we coveted,” calling him “an ideal fit to help lead our club.”

And in many ways, Trotz has been an ideal fit. He’s led to the club to consecutive Presidents’ Trophies, racking up 156 wins over the course of three seasons. He won the 2016 Jack Adams as coach of the year. Players have performed exceptionally well on his watch: Braden Holtby won his first-ever Vezina, Alex Ovechkin racked up a pair of Rocket Richard trophies and both Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov were named All-Stars.

Despite all this, Trotz is now coaching for his job. Essentially.

A string of disheartening playoff failures — each more painful than the last — have put him in an uncomfortable and pressure-packed situation. He’s heading into the the last of his four-year deal with no contract certainty beyond.

Yes, it’s true Caps GM Brian MacLellan didn’t make any changes with Trotz or to his coaching staff following the Game 7 loss to Pittsburgh.

But MacLellan didn’t offer an extension, either.

Brian Burke once likened this scenario to being a lame duck. Trotz refused to see it that way, insisting that he wasn’t worried about the spot he was in.

“No,” he told CSN Mid Atlantic in June, when asked if not having a contract changes his approach at all. “It has 0.0 effect on me, actually. Not at all. I think it might have [had] an effect 10, 12 years ago for me. Not now. It has zero effect.

“I’m not worrying about that at all.”

This is pretty much on par with Trotz’s messaging from the moment Washington crashed out of the playoffs. While his players were visibly dejected and downright hurt during locker clean-out day, the 55-year-old was upbeat.

Defiant, almost.

Trotz talked about how the team’s window wasn’t closed, and how it would eventually “break through that barrier.” He suggested “laughing at the past” could “ease us into the future.”

The assembled media took note of this, which contrasted the vibe of his visibly distraught players. So it was asked — why did he seem more upbeat than his players?

From the Washington Post:

“Put it this way — I haven’t slept in two friggin’ days. To say that I don’t feel very distraught, that really sort of angers me, because talk to my family to see if I’m distraught.

“I have to be positive in terms of, ‘do I think we’re going in the right direction?’ Yes, and I’m positive of that. But we haven’t broken through. That’s why I’m probably the way I am. I also said we didn’t get to where we wanted to get to.

“That angers me. When something doesn’t go your way, you can roll up in a ball and feel sorry for yourself. I don’t.”

That Trotz took this approach isn’t surprising. Coaching is a leadership role, and there didn’t seem to be any point to piling onto what was already a fairly miserable day in D.C.

So hey, why not keep that vibe going when it comes to contract uncertainty?

Trotz will likely continue to do so, even in the face of growing pressure. And pressure will continue to grow. Remember, there’s one final and very important dynamic at play — right next to Trotz behind the Washington bench is assistant coach Todd Reirden. The same Todd Reirden who’s thought to be a head-coach-in-waiting, and has been tied to previous openings in Colorado and Florida.

Fun times in Washington. As they always are.