It’s official, hockey’s back.
Now, we know that deep down, you weren’t dying to see the new schedule or for games to start; instead, you just really want to read every little detail of the new CBA. Well, you’re in luck. This link includes detailed notes covering points both big and small.
For those very few who don’t print out vast scrolls of legal jargon so they can enjoy a good fireside read in a tasteful robe,* here are some highlights and quirks:
- Drug testing has been modified so that it can randomly take place during the summer, regular season and playoffs. A specific person must be placed in charge of monitoring players’ prescription drug use, as well.
- Excluding this shortened season, teams must play between six and eight preseason games.
- Players can be fined up to $10K for a disciplinary issue. Subsequent infractions can result in a fine up to $15K.
- Guys without entry-level contracts won’t have to share hotel rooms starting in 2013-14 (sorry rookies). Best part: no one can mock you for ordering the latest Katherine Heigl romantic comedy on pay-per-view! Unless they can hear you crying …
- The old dudes don’t get every break, though; 35+ contracts haven’t changed. The long-term injured reserve rules remain the same, too.
- Minimum salaries go from $525K in 2012-13 to $550K in 13-14 and 14-15, $575K in 15-16 and 16-17, $650K in 17-18 and 18-19, $700K in 19-20 and 20-21 and finally $750K in 21-22.
- Hockey will be on hiatus during the holidays. Specifically, the NHL will go on a break for Christmas, typically ranging from Dec. 24-26.
Feel free to add interesting insights of your own if you’re willing to brave that woolly beast of a document.
* – Fancy pipe optional.
Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.
Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:
… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.
(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)
Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.
You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.
Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.
Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.
You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.
It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.
Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.
Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.
Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:
Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.
If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.
Check out this incredible shot of that moment:
Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.
Tonight was supposed to be about a clash of two Eastern Conference titans who sport arguably the two best goalies in the NHL. That mattered to Montreal Canadiens fans for about half the game against the New York Rangers, give or take a few minutes.
Priorities are now shifting to calling upon higher powers/etc. in hopes that Carey Price is OK.
Mike Condon replaced Price in the third period and … well, people are concerned.
Again, people are pretty worried right now.
Price being replaced isn’t the greatest sign, yet it’s early, so stay tuned for updates. Maybe it will merely be a matter of playing it safe?
Update: The good news is that Montreal won by a significant 5-1 margin.
Yes, that probably isn’t much solace for Habs fans. Agreed.
It sounds like Price re-aggravated his previous injury.