Tag: NHL wide

Fehr and Bettman

NHL cancels first 60 preseason games


The NHL has announced the cancellation of its first week of preseason games.

The exhibition campaign was set to start on Sunday, Sept. 23 with a game between the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators. That contest, along with 59 others between the 23rd and 30th, have been scrapped as a result of the current work stoppage.

Several high-profile preseason games have been lost as a result, including the much-anticipated Frozen Fury, an annual Los Angeles Kings game held in Las Vegas, NV. (Frozen Fury 15 was set to go on Sept. 29 between the Kings and Avs.)

Other noteworthy games to be cancelled include:

Sept. 25: Minnesota vs. Dallas (was to be played in Boise, ID)

Sept. 26: Columbus vs. Washington (was to be played in Baltimore, MD)

Sept. 27: Edmonton vs. NY Islanders (was to be played in Regina, SK)

In addition, the 2012 Kraft Hockeyville preseason game, scheduled for Oct. 3 in Belleville, Ont., has been postponed to 2013.

(Bringing the overall total to 61.)


Cancelled: Isles-Devils at Barclays Center (make that 62!)

Report: Hockey Canada isn’t on board with Summit Series anniversary game

Campbell: NHLers want to “embarrass” divers, distribute list league wide

Kesler Dive

Following the commencement of the NHL’s Rule Enforcement Meetings, Senior Executive Vice President Colin Campbell highlighted one of the key developments from the two-day affair:

Players want to eliminate diving. Big time.

Here’s the skinny from Dan Rosen of NHL.com:

The players in the session, including Ottawa center Jason Spezza, Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa and Toronto defenseman John-Michael Liles, led an impassioned discussion on enforcing the diving/embellishment rule (Rule 64.1), Campbell told NHL.com. He said the players want to distribute a list of divers around the League so it can be posted in all 30 dressing rooms and be delivered to the on-ice officials.

“They want to get [the list] out there,” Campbell said. “They want the player to be caught, whether it’s on the ice by the referee or by us on video. They are all tired of diving. The object is to make them stop eventually and, by doing that, they can get it out there around the League, embarrass them. The referees will know it, too, so the divers don’t get the benefit of the doubt.”

The “diver’s list” became big news following the last lockout when, early in the 2005-06 season, then-Kings forward Sean Avery blasted Campbell after being placed on the list — one that publicly identified him not just as a diver, but a repeat offender.

Campbell responded to Avery’s criticisms with comments similar to those he made on Wednesday.

“We can tell a dive most of the time,” he said. “We’re just trying to get the emphatic ones and hope that players don’t want to be on a list with their names up in every dressing room.”


Poll: What is your biggest NHL rules pet peeve?

Journeyman goalie Auld signs in Austria

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Given the number of times Alex Auld has changed locales over the last seven years, it’s no surprise his travels are now taking him to Europe.

Salzburg, to be exact.

EC Red Bull Salzburg — the four-time Austrian League champion — recently announced the 31-year-old Auld has signed on for the 2012-13 campaign.

(Red Bull is same team that employed Marty Turco before he signed a late-season deal with the Boston Bruins. It’s currently coached by longtime NHL bench boss Pierre Page and features ex-NHLers Shawn Hunwick and Rob Davison.)

“Alex Auld is a highly talented goalie and a strong character,” Page told the team website. “He believes in the Red Bull Hockey Model and that his stint in Salzburg will help him to take another step in the right direction.”

Once a promising young netminder (he was Vancouver’s team MVP in 2005-06), Auld has spent the last few years bouncing around the NHL.

Since 2006-07 he’s gone from Florida to Phoenix to Boston to Ottawa to Dallas to New York (Rangers) to Montreal, then back to Ottawa last season — where he fell out of favor after the Sens acquired Ben Bishop.

Auld has a 91-88-2-32 record in 237 career NHL games with a .904 save percentage and 2.80 GAA.

Investor calls Seattle “the best market in the United States that does not have a hockey team”

Don Levin

The city of Seattle received some solid public relations on Thursday in the form of AHL Chicago owner Don Levin.

Levin told the Seattle Times the city is the best U.S. market without a team at the moment and, in an effort to bring the NHL to the Emerald City, he’s prepared to invest $100 million.

“It’s probably the best market in the United States that does not have a hockey team demographically,” Levin told The Times. “I imagine there’d be thousands of Canadians that would come to every game because they can’t get into the building in Vancouver because it’s sold out and it’s such a good team.

“That would give them an opportunity to come to the city for a weekend to see hockey.”

The Canucks have sold out 407 consecutive sellouts games at Rogers Arena. The sellout streak began on November 14, 2002 and includes 361 regular season games and 46 post-season games.

As for location — Levin’s idea is for the proposed arena to be housed in Bellevue, a nearby suburb of Seattle. Bellevue City Manager Steve Sarkozy confirmed he has had discussions with “a couple” of potential team owners, including Levin.

“Easy to get in and get out,” Levin said. “I think the city [Bellevue] has a good base of restaurants and hotels, so the teams could stay there and the fans could stay there. You’d be bringing in a lot of people to spend a lot of money.”

Related: Report: Wayne Gretzky discusses bringing NHL to Seattle area

Here’s your annotated history of smoking in the NHL

Kipper Phaneuf

Sports Illustrated’s Adrian Dater has compiled a great collection of hockey’s best smoking anecdotes.

Titled “When the NHL lit lamps and smokes“, Dater’s piece looks back at the laundry list of legends that routinely hacked darts — Stan Mikita, Guy Lafleur, Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy and Denis Savard, to name a few.

Here’s a great bit from the article:

One of the most openly notorious NHL smokers of all was Al “Planet” Iafrate, a defenseman known for his big slap shot and bigger appetite for nicotine.

“I remember my first NHL exhibition game as an assistant with Philly (in 1990),” says Ken Hitchcock, who now coaches the St. Louis Blues. “We were in Washington, and I went to give the lineup to the referees and you had to walk by the Washington dressing room. And Al Iafrate was lighting up with a blowtorch for bending sticks. Coming from junior hockey, I found that rather unique.”

Anyone who covered the NHL when Iafrate played from 1984 until his retirement in 1998 as a San Jose Shark probably saw him sitting on a chair outside the dressing room with his shirt (and sometimes pants) off, puffing away. Legend has it that Iafrate once bummed a cigarette off an Ottawa reporter between periods, lighting it up in his customary blowtorch blaze of glory.

While the number of smokers in today’s NHL has dwindled, you still hear/see evidence of it from time to time. Montreal goalie Carey Price has been spotted burning coffin nails (see here and here), Dion Phaneuf and Miikka Kiprusoff were caught while teammates in Calgary (pictured above) and Alex Semin was busted at the 2010 World Championships (see here).

In a similar vein, there are plenty of players that use chewing tobacco. Todd Bertuzzi seemingly can’t go anywhere without his chaw, but the most dip-friendly team might be the Toronto Maple Leafs (Jonas Gustavsson, Tyler Bozak and yes, even GM Brian Burke.)

Finally, there are the cigar aficionados. Former Tampa Bay Lightning teammates Stan Neckar and Dave Anderychuk have taken their love of stogies to the next level, co-founding a line of mobile cigar lounges.

“Me and Dave would always smoke cigars,” Neckar said of his playing days. “The day we won a Cup, we smoked lots of them.”