Gary Bettman

Bettman: NHL hasn’t planned “alternate” schedule in case of a lockout


If a lockout shortens the 2012-13 season, a tough question might emerge: should the NHL “compress” its schedule to squeeze in as many games as possible?

Lance Hornby reports that Gary Bettman says the league hasn’t run through that scenario just yet.

“We haven’t even focused on what the timing should be, because my hope is we make a deal on a timely basis,” Bettman said.

The NBA’s 2011-12 season kicked off on Christmas Day 2011 with a compressed schedule of 66 games.

Bruce Arthur discussed the challenges that came from doing so.

Due to the shortened season, teams played an average of 3.9 games per week this year instead of 3.5. That might not sound like a huge difference, but not only does it mean more games, it also means fewer practices and weight-lifting sessions throughout the year. Throw in a shortened training camp and the inability for players to work with their teams’ strength-and-conditioning coaches during the lockout, and players came into this season in wildly varying degrees of shape. Strength coaches tried to develop a plan for this during the lockout, but NBA teams have a routine that is based on playing 82 games over 5½ months.

One can only imagine the impact it could have in a physical sport like hockey.

(H/T to Joe Haggerty)

Kings, NHLPA announce settlement in Richards grievance

Los Angeles Kings v New York Rangers

The Los Angeles Kings announced today that they have “reached an agreement with Mike Richards to resolve the grievance filed in relation to the termination of his NHL Standard Players Contract. The terms are agreeable to all parties.”

The club said that it will not be commenting further “on the terms” of the settlement.

The NHLPA released a similar statement.

It was reported earlier in the week that a settlement was close to being reached; however, it wasn’t clear what salary-cap penalties the Kings would incur.

We’re starting to find out some details now:

How the final numbers differ from what the Kings would have incurred if they’d bought Richards out will be interesting to see. And if there are differences, how will they be justified?

Stay tuned.

Report: Ex-NHLer Aaron Ward arrested for ‘assault on a female’ (Updated)

Brad May, Kevin Hodson, Jiri Fischer, Aaron Ward

Aaron Ward, a 16-year NHL veteran that appeared in over 800 career games, has been arrested for “assault on a female,” per WNCN.

Ward was arrested on Friday in Cary, North Carolina and also charged with interfering with emergency communication, according to the report.

Currently working as an analyst for TSN, Ward spent five years of his career in Carolina, helping the ‘Canes capture the Stanley Cup in 2006.

Update: Per WRAL, Ward’s wife called 9-1-1 after the two had a confrontation around 1 p.m. ET. Police confirmed Ward was arrested at his home in Cary.

According to the warrant for his arrest, he took away his wife’s phone.

Because of the nature of his charges, Ward will spend a mandatory 48 hours in the Wake County jail. Anyone arrested on a domestic violence charge is held for 48 hours before bail is set.

And here’s a statement from TSN: