Graydon Carter Hosts a Cocktail Party for the Rising Stars of the NHL

Bettman on Shanahan: “He’s aged five years in five months”


Chances are, if you hold a job right now, it’s not perfect. I’d be willing to be that almost anyone reading this right now either has a job that’s a) not fulfilling, b) very difficult or c) a combination of both.

Even so, there are some roles that seem downright unenviable. If the NHL has a perfect example of that type of job, it would have to be whatever you want to call Brendan Shanahan’s duties.

In a way, hockey’s equivalent to being the U.S. President is some combination of the high-profile role that Gary Bettman plays and the thankless job that Shanahan has. Perhaps it makes perfect sense, then, that Bettman evokes the startling presidential aging process when explaining Shanny’s work so far:

“I think Brendan is doing a terrific job,” Bettman said. “I think, particularly with the videos, there’s greater clarity as to what’s expected on the ice and what won’t be tolerated. He probably aged five years in the last five months… Well, it’s because he has an extremely difficult job.  I think part of what’s happened is people have, on second look, given Colin Campbell a little more respect for the job that he did for 13 years in this field.  This is a hard, hard job that he has.  The decisions are hard and nobody is ever happy.”

That’s probably the key phrase: “Nobody is ever happy.”

It’s not totally different from being a goal replay judge; no matter what, at least some fans on the other side won’t be happy with your decision. (Even on the goals are painfully obvious to objective eyes.)

Does this mean you shouldn’t be upset if your team is “wronged” in the next Shanahan verdict? Not necessarily, but it might be fair to remember that these decisions – or at least the repercussions – seem to weigh on the man making them.

(Reporting via Matt Reitz.)

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.