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?
The Los Angeles Dodgers franchise dealt with a massive, ugly headache thanks to ex-owner Frank McCourt’s massive, ugly divorce. It’s hard to imagine any NHL team facing that much owner drama, but one of the Vancouver Canucks’ owners could face something close to it with his pending split.
Cloudiness regarding the Canucks
There’s talk that Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini’s squabble with long-time wife Taliah might affect his stake with the team. The Vancouver Province passes along his denial of those rumors, however, as Aquilini even used the Gary Bettman-approved phrase “business as usual” when discussing the impact (or lack thereof) on the Canucks.
Aquilini’s company owns both the Canucks and Rogers Arena, but as The Globe & Mail’s David Ebner reports, Francesco’s exact stake isn’t clear. That marks at least one obvious difference between the Canucks’ case and the Dodgers’ debacle off the bat, as TEAM 1040 points out that Frank McCourt held the “title directly.”
Confused yet? That’s OK, as it seems this story is in the early (aka “smoke screen”) stages.
It’s unclear if Francesco Aquilini is correct in saying that the Canucks aren’t in play in the divorce, but either way, this could be a distraction for the team – or at least fans and the media.
Then again, with all the chaos the franchise has endured – from riots to Roberto Luongo – this ordeal might just seem like a new flavor of weird.
Just about any NHL fan base could probably be guilty of imagining how much of an impact pending unrestricted free agent Zach Parise could make on their team’s lineup.
Still, some likely have a little more reason to dream big – and Minnesota Wild fans are in that group.
As SBN Minnesota’s Bryan Reynolds points out, Parise is a Minnesota native and his father (and former NHL player) J.P. Parise said that he expects him to live in the State of Hockey after he retires.
Parise’s dad said that “fun” and other factors are important – not just money. Reynolds breaks down why the Wild would clamor to add him (and why they might fall short of certain standards, particularly fun).
No one at Hockey Wilderness put very high odds on either player coming to Minnesota, and no one was willing to say there was better than a one in three chance Parise suits up in Iron Range Red.
Still, Parise seems to be the main target. Suter might provide the stability the Wild blue line needs, but Parise is the ticket selling signing. Parise adds the scoring touch the Wild haven’t had since the departure of Marian Gaborik. Parise would put the fans in the seats, and then provide the excitement to get them right back out of them. And… he’s a good Minnesota boy. The Wild’s Joe Mauer.
There’s only one problem. The money is there. The winning and fun are not.
Parise could be the Wild’s Joe Mauer? I demand his appearance in cheesy dandruff control shampoo commercials, then.
(H/T to Puck Daddy.)
If you look at a player’s media attention to talent ratio, Chad Ochocinco was once like Terrell Owens – worthy of all the buzz even with the headaches.
Now he’s a little more like Sean Avery – plenty of hot air, few results – but it’s tough to deny the inherent intrigue of a human who responded to a Sportscenter-appointed nickname by changing his actual name. (Granted, it’s not Ron Artest weird, but Mr. 8-5 blazed a weird trail, unless you give credit to “The Ultimate Warrior.”)
With all that in mind, one cannot help but be tickled a bit by Ochocinco Tweeting to ask his followers for some differences between Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. EJ Hradek gave his own take on what separates the two:
Either way, it’s charming to see Ochocinco’s near-child-like wonder about hockey, even if we might want to introduce him to the likes of Pavel Datsyuk, Claude Giroux, Steven Stamkos and many more. (His “introduction” to Evgeni Malkin was kind of adorable, by the way.)
Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs talks a pretty big game, which makes sense since he’s been in the Pro Bowl a whopping seven times. He participated in the Chicago Blackhawks’ Shoot a Puck competition, but he fell a bit short – much like the Hawks did in dropping a 3-1 decision to the Dallas Stars.
Not bad, but he’s no Jamie Benn.