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.
Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.
Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.
And what a look it was.
In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.
It was, in a word, fun.
Lots of fun.
A quick sampling of reviews:
Of course, not everybody was a fan:
Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.
But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.
Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.
Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:
Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).
The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.
Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…