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.
For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”
They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:
- Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
- This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
- By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.
Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).
Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.
Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.
The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.
(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)
Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)
You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:
It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.
Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:
Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).
If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.
You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.
The pain goes beyond that … literally so.
For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.
(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)
The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.
Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.
It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.
The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).
The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.
One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.