News of the Washington Capitals hosting the 2015 Winter Classic broke almost a year ago in September 2013, but as of this writing, there’s still no decision on a venue.
The Capitals and Blackhawks are scheduled to play outdoors in Washington on New Years Day.
According to a story in the Washington Post, there are still on-going discussions regarding a venue for the game.
NHL officials visited Nationals Park home to the Washington Nationals, RFK Stadium where the MLS’ D.C. United play home games and FedEx Field home of the Washington Redskins.
The report says FedEx Field has already been ruled out due to a Dec. 28 football game between the Dallas Cowboys and Redskins. According to the Post, there wouldn’t be enough time following the football game for an outdoor rink to be assembled for a 1 p.m. puck drop on Jan. 1.
Events DC CEO Greg O’Dell confirmed that the NHL is currently in discussions with the Nationals to host the Winter Classic at the ball park.
“I have not been told definitively by anybody that they have ceased discussions,” he said.
The January game will be the second one outdoors for the Capitals while the Blackhawks played in the 2009 Winter Classic and played against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a Stadium Series game last season.
Related: Blackhawks talk up 2015 Winter Classic
You can always count on Paul Bissonnette to take things to the next level whether it’s through his Twitter or Instagram feed.
Well… he’s done it again. This time with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge:
Bissonnette, who is currently an unrestricted free agent after spending five seasons with the Phoenix Coyotes
, calls out Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, Green Bay Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers and Super Bowl champion, Russell Wilson in the video.
Rodgers was quick to offer his critique:
Perhaps if he can’t land another NHL contract, a movie career is the next logical step for Bissonnette.
Bissonnette is just the latest NHLer to take the challenge, earlier this month Penguins captain, Sidney Crosby joined in.
Pete Frates is credited with starting the ALS Ice Bucket challenge. Frates was diagnosed with the progressive neurological disease, which slowly affects those suffering from the illness of the use of their muscles, in March 2012. Since then Frates has organized several charity baseball games to raise money for ALS awareness, but its’ his latest creation the Ice Bucket Challenge, which has really taken off.
For those interested, here’s the link to donate to the ALS Association (United States) or ALS Canada.
Canucks chairman Francesco Aquilini confirmed The Buffalo News story Friday that he had interest in purchasing the Buffalo Bills.
However, Aqulini told the paper through a statement that he wouldn’t be pursing the NFL club further.
“I’m always exploring potential business opportunities, and I’m passionate about sports. So this is something that interested me. However, we are not planning to pursue the opportunity further.”
According to the report, Aquilini had signed a nondisclosure agreement for access to the Bills’ financial data.
Aquilini, 53, has been the majority owner of the Canucks since November 2006.
The Buffalo News story also reported that John Bitove, the man responsible for landing the Raptors in Toronto, is among those who signed a nondisclosure agreement.
The paper’s sources say as many as 60 nondisclosure agreements were distributed, but just 16 to 20 were signed and returned.
The NFL club is for sale after its founder and owner, Ralph Wilson, died in March.
Related: Report: Sabres’ owner Pegula makes bid for NFL’s Bills
When news about the NFL New Orleans Saints’ bounty system broke out, which was a rule breaking program that rewarded players for injuring opposing players, sports fans could only hope that this was an isolated incident. Stars coach Glen Gulutzan weighed in on Thursday to say that he’s never seen any evidence to suggest that a similar program exists in the NHL.
“I have never heard of it in my days being around rinks. I’ve never seen it. I don’t think it’s a problem,” Gulutzan said. “There’s no internal, ‘Let’s get this guy’ talk. But they know who the best players are, and come this time of year, they’re going to play them hard. Sometimes that crosses the line, and sometimes it doesn’t. But as far as something organized, I’ve never seen it in hockey.”
Dangerous hits are still a point of concern and the NHL has been dealing with them on a case-by-case basis. On Friday, for example, we might see Duncan Keith get handed a big suspension for his hit on Daniel Sedin. However, bounty programs are a much different beast and hopefully the Saints program is the only one that was out there in professional sports.
Brendan Shanahan and the NHL’s disciplinary decision-makers face a big call whenever they determine a proper punishment for Duncan Keith regarding his elbow on Daniel Sedin.
The Chicago Blackhawks defenseman is a one-time Norris Trophy winner while Daniel came just short of winning a Hart Trophy like his brother Henrik last season. Combine the high-profile status of the two stars, Sedin’s indefinite absence and murmurs of it being a premeditated hit and it only makes sense that Nick Kypreos reports that the meeting might come “much later” than the original afternoon appointment.
The Vancouver Canucks already won a game (2-1 against the Dallas Stars last night) with Daniel Sedin on the sidelines, but the Blackhawks won’t play again until Sunday. Shanahan might want to take advantage of that gap, as The Globe & Mail’s David Ebner points out the high stakes.
The decision on Keith will be one of the bigger calls this season by NHL senior vice-president Brendan Shanahan and the newly created department of player safety. The Keith-Sedin situation involves two of the league’s best players and what appears, at least on tape, to be a fairly deliberate elbow to the head.
The NHL appeared to endorse the staged brawl between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils on Monday, playing highlights prominently on NHL.com. Then came the NFL on Wednesday and its hammer on the New Orleans Saints for three years of bounty hunting. While the situations vary in severity, the NFL was unequivocal in its decision. The NHL’s enforcement, on ice during games, and in head-office reviews, seems to ebb and flow.
In other words, this is a chance for Shanahan to make a statement, although one can bet it won’t be anywhere on the suspending a Super Bowl-winning coach for a full season level.
While we await Shanahan’s tough call, share your thoughts. What kind of punishment does Keith deserve? Will this decision become a “yard stick” for future calls?