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2013 NHL Season will start on January 19

06 Jan

The 2013 48-game NHL regular season begins on Saturday, January 19.

For you non-math-types, that’s a three month season that starts in nine days.

I guess the quickest way to forget about this whole fiasco is to get things going as quickly as possible, before the fans have too much time to think about what just happened. Will the fans return? You bet we will, but we’ll feel icky doing it.

There are no winners here, all sides lost.

 

I haven’t posted anything in one month

07 Dec

And nobody noticed, how depressing.

I take solace in the fact that there was not one single piece of NHL news in the last 30 days. Even though all the NHL reporters are still NHL reporting. Also depressing.

 

NHL cancels season through November 30

26 Oct

The National Hockey League announced the cancellation of the 2012-13 regular-season schedule through November 30 because of the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL.

A total of 326 regular-season games – 26.5 percent of the season — were scheduled for Oct. 11 through Nov. 30.

Most importantly I was supposed to see the Calgary/Vancouver and Ottawa/Montreal season openers, the Hockey Hall Of Fame game in Toronto, and the Caps vs. Leafs during those six weeks. Now the NHL and NHLPA has ruined that. Thanks a lot.

I heard that when an agreement is made, and the games are scheduled (this year or next) that the fans should all show up at that first game dressed in black. For that game there will be no cheering, just 60 mins of black silence. Because we all know we’ll return to the game when the players do, so you may as well show some sign of solidarity.

 

One, two, three, LOCKOUT!

18 Sep

In a move that surprised no one, except for maybe those fans who thought the last CBA would last at least a decade, the NHL owners and their clubs have locked out the NHL players preventing them from being able to start the 2012/13 season on time.

Although I’ll miss hockey, and I’ll come back, I’ll do what I can to buy as little merchandise and attend fewer games this year. I have to be realistic in that I’m not going to boycott anything completely, I’m not going to miss watching any games in person. But I can stay away from the Saddledome more often this year as a way of trying to remind the owners and the players that it’s a game, not a business, for me. You know me, I’m that guy who gives you the money that you’re now bickering over.

Here is a letter from the Flames to their fans after the lockout began.

Despite the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the National Hockey League has been, and remains, committed to negotiating around the clock to reach a new CBA that is fair to the Players and to the 30 NHL teams. (around the clock, seriously? that’s not what I’ve heard)

Thanks to the conditions fostered by seven seasons under the previous CBA, competitive balance has created arguably the most meaningful regular season in pro sports; a different team has won the Stanley Cup every year; fans and sponsors have agreed the game is at its best, and the League has generated remarkable growth and momentum. While our last CBA negotiation resulted in a seismic change in the League’s economic system, and produced corresponding on-ice benefits, our current negotiation is focused on a fairer and more sustainable division of revenues with the Players — as well as other necessary adjustments consistent with the objectives of the economic system we developed jointly with the NHL Players’ Association seven years ago. Those adjustments are attainable through sensible, focused negotiation — not through rhetoric. (at it’s best? who says that? It’s been seven years of penalties and rule changes to increase scoring. Whee!)

This is a time of year for all attention to be focused on the ice, not on a meeting room. The League, the Clubs and the Players all have a stake in resolving our bargaining issues appropriately and getting the puck dropped as soon as possible. We owe it to each other, to the game and, most of all, to the fans. (now I may just be a fan, and not at the table – but maybe you guys need to focus first on the meeting room. Maybe this is why things aren’t resolved.)

 

Calgary Flames 2013/2014 season and broadcast schedule

06 Sep

Very optimistic schedule released today. If the October 11 game happens – colour me shocked. I guess we’ll find out on September 16.

Day Date Visitor Home Time TV
Thurs. Oct. 11 Vancouver Calgary 8:00 PM CBC
Mon. Oct. 15 Los Angeles Calgary 7:30 PM Sportsnet West
Thurs. Oct. 18 Calgary Phoenix 8:00 PM Sportsnet Flames
Sat. Oct. 20 Calgary Colorado 8:00 PM CBC
Wed. Oct. 24 Calgary Edmonton 7:00 PM TSN
Thurs. Oct. 25 Tampa Bay Calgary 7:00 PM Sportsnet Flames
Sat. Oct. 27 Washington Calgary 8:00 PM CBC
Tues. Oct. 30 Montreal Calgary 7:00 PM Sportsnet West
November          
Thurs. Nov. 1 Detroit Calgary 7:30 PM Sportsnet Flames
Tues. Nov. 6 Calgary Columbus 5:00 PM Sportsnet Flames
Thurs. Nov. 8 Calgary Nashville 6:00 PM Sportsnet Flames
Fri. Nov. 9 Calgary Detroit 5:30 PM Sportsnet West
Sun Nov. 11 Calgary Carolina 3:00 PM Sportsnet Flames
Tues. Nov. 13 Calgary Montreal 5:30 PM Sportsnet West
Thurs. Nov. 15 Florida Calgary 7:00 PM Sportsnet Flames
Sat. Nov. 17 Chicago Calgary 8:00 PM CBC
Tues. Nov. 20 Minnesota Calgary 7:00 PM TSN
Sat. Nov. 24 Edmonton Calgary 8:00 PM CBC
Wed. Nov. 28 Anaheim Calgary 7:30 PM TSN
Fri. Nov. 30 Calgary Chicago 6:30 PM TSN
December          
Sun. Dec. 2 Calgary St. Louis 5:00 PM Sportsnet Flames
Tues. Dec. 4 Ottawa Calgary 7:00 PM Sportsnet West
Thurs. Dec. 6 Dallas Calgary 7:00 PM Sportsnet Flames
Sun. Dec. 9 Nashville Calgary 5:30 PM Sportsnet West
Tues. Dec. 11 Calgary Nashville 6:00 PM Sportsnet West
Thurs. Dec. 13 Calgary Columbus 5:00 PM Sportsnet Flames
Fri Dec. 14 Calgary St. Louis 6:00 PM Sportsnet West
Sun. Dec. 16 Calgary Chicago 5:00 PM Sportsnet Flames
Wed. Dec. 19 Toronto Calgary 7:30 PM Sportsnet West
Sat. Dec. 22 Buffalo Calgary 8:00 PM CBC
Sun Dec. 23 Edmonton Calgary 6:00 PM Sportsnet West
Wed. Dec. 26 Calgary Vancouver 8:00 PM Sportsnet Flames
Thurs. Dec. 27 Vancouver Calgary 7:00 PM Sportsnet West
Sat. Dec. 29 San Jose Calgary 2:00 PM Sportsnet West
Mon. Dec. 31 Boston Calgary 7:00 PM Sportsnet West
January          
Wed. Jan. 2 Calgary Colorado 8:00 PM Sportsnet West
Thurs. Jan. 3 Calgary Minnesota 6:00 PM Sportsnet West
Sat. Jan. 5 Columbus Calgary 8:00 PM CBC
Wed. Jan. 9 Colorado Calgary 7:30 PM Sportsnet Flames
Fri. Jan. 11 N.Y. Islanders Calgary 7:00 PM Sportsnet West
Tues. Jan. 15 San Jose Calgary 7:30 PM TSN
Thurs. Jan. 17 Anaheim Calgary 7:00 PM Sportsnet West
Sat. Jan. 19 Calgary Philadelphia 11:00 AM Sportsnet West
Mon. Jan. 21 Calgary Pittsburgh 5:00 PM Sportsnet West
Tues. Jan. 22 Calgary Detroit 5:00 PM Sportsnet West
Tues. Jan. 29 Colorado Calgary 7:30 PM Sportsnet West
February          
Fri. Feb. 1 Chicago Calgary 7:30 PM TSN
Mon. Feb. 4 Calgary Toronto 5:00 PM Sportsnet West
Tues. Feb. 5 Calgary N.Y. Rangers 5:00 PM Sportsnet West
Thurs. Feb. 7 Calgary New Jersey 5:00 PM Sportsnet Flames
Sat. Feb. 9 Calgary Ottawa 5:00 PM CBC
Mon. Feb. 11 Dallas Calgary 7:00 PM Sportsnet West
Wed. Feb. 13 Minnesota Calgary 7:30 PM Sportsnet West
Fri. Feb. 15 St. Louis Calgary 7:00 PM Sportsnet West
Sun. Feb. 17 Calgary Dallas 4:00 PM Sportsnet West
Mon. Feb. 18 Calgary Phoenix 7:00 PM Sportsnet West
Wed. Feb. 20 Los Angeles Calgary 8:00 PM TSN
Sat. Feb. 23 Minnesota Calgary 8:00 PM CBC
Sun. Feb. 24 Phoenix Calgary 5:00 PM Sportsnet West
Tues. Feb. 26 Calgary Minnesota 6:00 PM Sportsnet West
Thurs. Feb. 28 Calgary Winnipeg 6:00 PM Sportsnet Flames
March          
Sat. Mar. 2 Calgary Vancouver 8:00 PM CBC
Sun. Mar. 3 Vancouver Calgary 5:00 PM Sportsnet West
Tues. Mar. 5 Calgary Dallas 6:30 PM Sportsnet West
Thurs. Mar. 7 Calgary San Jose 8:30 PM Sportsnet West
Sat. Mar. 9 Calgary Los Angeles 8:00 PM CBC
Sun. Mar. 10 Calgary Anaheim 6:00 PM Sportsnet West
Wed. Mar. 13 Detroit Calgary 7:30 PM TSN
Fri. Mar. 15 Nashville Calgary 7:00 PM Sportsnet West
Mon. Mar. 18 Calgary Los Angeles 8:30 PM Sportsnet West
Wed. Mar. 20 Calgary Anaheim 8:00 PM Sportsnet West
Fri. Mar. 22 Calgary Colorado 7:00 PM Sportsnet West
Sun. Mar. 24 St. Louis Calgary 5:00 PM Sportsnet West
Tues. Mar. 26 Calgary Minnesota 6:00 PM Sportsnet Flames
Wed. Mar. 27 Colorado Calgary 8:00 PM TSN
Fri. Mar. 29 Columbus Calgary 7:00 PM Sportsnet West
April          
Mon. Apr. 1 Calgary Edmonton 7:30 PM SN West – EDM
Wed. Apr. 3 Edmonton Calgary 7:00 PM TSN
Fri. Apr. 5 Calgary San Jose 8:30 PM Sportsnet West
Sat. Apr. 6 Calgary Vancouver 8:00 PM CBC
Thurs. Apr. 11 Phoenix Calgary 7:00 PM Sportsnet West
Sat. Apr. 13 Calgary Edmonton 8:00 PM CBC
           
 

The following note has been sent to the 30,688 Members of the NHL Fans’ Association

17 Aug

Welcome to our 134 new Members from the United States, Canada, Slovakia, Malta and Australia.

We are witnessing, again, two groups of greedy and ungrateful spoiled brats at war.

Two parties are fighting over the money we, the fans, annually dump into their laps for the luxury of watching the highest level of hockey on the planet.

The economic divide has been established between the NHL and the NHLPA in the latest round of collective bargaining. Both sides are content with maintaining a salary cap and revenue sharing system, however, the league is pushing the players to accept 43% of hockey related revenues (HRR), down significantly from the current 57% the players collectively earn each season. The players’ counter proposal calls for “delinking” the HRR from the salary cap. This alternative to the floating amount of income would see a fixed rate of growth for the players’ share over the next three seasons. In season one, the fixed increase towards the players’ financial share would increase by 2%; in year two increase by 4%; and, in year three increase by 6%. In year four, the players propose they hold an option to revert back to the full 57% against the floating or sliding increases/decreases in HRR.

Both proposals (NHL and NHLPA) contain additional, less contentious proposed terms, but let’s focus on revenue sharing and some other new ideas.

Both proposals are ridiculous. The league’s proposal goes too far, calling for a massive rollback in players’ salaries, equal to more than 24% of the players’ existing share of HRR. The players’ proposal is just as silly. It does not go far enough and is a temporary business solution that leaves owners with a cloudy financial future, and possibly nothing gained in year four and beyond.

It’s no surprise that both parties’ are playing a typical bargaining game, but let’s remember this is only the pregame warm-up and a few lightweights are posturing at the red line. These are the early days in the negotiations. The third period is September 10-15 and overtime is beyond that point.

For those of us sitting squarely on the fence, I believe a reasonable solution exists.

Both parties should agree to roll back salaries, to a level that is acceptable in the professional sports sector. To be fair to both sides, the players’ share of HRR should gradually roll back to a 50-50 spilt with owners. Each year, beginning this season, the players’ share of HRR should be reduced by 1%. After six years, the 50-50 split would be achieved. The players would barely notice the financial pain and the owners would be assured of greater gains in a few short years.

For the sake of all stakeholders in the game, especially the fans, the length of the new CBA should be 10 years.

The idea floating around about allowing teams to trade cap space is a good idea. It allows those clubs close to challenging for the Cup to make a push and rewards frugal clubs, who are perennially under the cap limit, to restock in other ways. It also increases player movement, which has been steadily declining over the years.

Penalties and fines for serious on-ice infractions should be determined by a third party group comprised of a player representative, a league representative and three elected fans (paid a per diem for their services). A league official (currently Brendan Shanahan) overseeing these duties does not foster a strong partnership between the league and players.

The fans, who are the primary stakeholders in the game, need a voice in the direction of the NHL. Rule committees need fan representation. It is time for the league and players to recognize that intelligent, unbiased fans exist and can contribute nicely to the game. The battling parties need to do something significant for the fans during these negotiations.

Let’s hope the greedy and ungrateful spoiled brats embattled before us come to their senses before overtime begins.

Jim Boone

 

Flames lose Jokinen, Moss, Hannan and Kostopoulos

07 Jul

Olli Jokinen signed a two-year deal, worth $4.5 million per season with the Winnipeg Jets. David Moss has been snapped up by the Phoenix Coyotes. The Flames also have not re-signed free agents Scott Hannan and Tom Kostopoulos.

Is Roman Cervenka and Jiri Hudler enough to replace Moss and Jokinen down the middle? Is Dennis Wideman enough to replace Hannan? (yes) How come Jay Bouwmeester is still a Flame?

The Flames have #3.5M left on the cap, and still need to pay Sven Baertschi his $1.5M. So they’ll likely need to shed some salary if they are planning on making any more moves.

 

Flames sign Jiri Hudler, $16M over 4 years

02 Jul

“Jiri Hudler is a highly skilled and dynamic offensive player,” said Flames General Manager Jay Feaster. “He is one of the very best goal scorers in the NHL at even strength and he puts a very high percentage of his shots on net, generating scoring chances for himself and rebound opportunities for his teammates. He fits our need to upgrade and improve our skill and we are very pleased to have him on board.”

Hudler has played 409 career games all with the Detroit Red Wings. Over his seven NHL seasons, he has accumulated 87 goals, 127 assists for 214 points and 160 penalty minutes. Last season Hudler scored a career high 25 goals and added 25 assists for 50 points and 42 penalty minutes in 81 games with the Red Wings. Hudler won a Stanley Cup as a member of the Detroit Red Wings in 2008.

So let’s speculate some lines  at this particular moment in time, shall we?

Glencross    Cammalleri        Iginla
Tanguay       Hudler                 Cervenka
Baertshi        Backlund            Stempniak
Comeau        Jones/Stajan    Jackman
 

Flames sign Dennis Wideman, Stempniak, Sarich, Jones, Comeau

30 Jun

The Flames acquired Wideman from the Washington Capitals and signed him to a five-year deal worth $26.25 million — 5.25M/year – making him the second-highest paid defenceman on the team. Soon to be the highest?? I guess we’ll have to wait for the trade market to dictate the future of Jay Bouwmeester.

The Calgary Flames have re-signed right-winger Lee Stempniak and defenceman Cory Sarich to a pair of two-year contract extensions. Stempniak will earn US$5 million, while Sarich agreed to a deal worth $4 million.

With Friday’s re-signing of Cory Sarich, the Calgary Flames now have nine defencemen on one-way contracts, a total that doesn’t reflect T.J. Brodie, who is still on his entry-level (two-way) deal. Here are the other nine rearguards in Calgary:

  • Jay Bouwmeester $6.68M
  • Dennis Wideman $5.25M
  • Mark Giordano $4.02M
  • Anton Babchuk $2.50M
  • Cory Sarich $2.00M
  • Chris Butler $1.25M
  • Derek Smith $.775M
  • Brett Carson $.575M
  • Clay Wilson $.525M

If I were a betting man, I’d say you Calgary blue line in 2012-13 will look like this:

  1. Dennis Wideman – Cory Sarich
  2. Mark Giordano – Chris Butler
  3. T.J. Brodie – Derek Smith

Uh oh.

The Flames also signed centre Blair Jones to a two-year deal worth $1.3 million, and Blake Comeau to a one-year deal worth $1.25M.

 

The Flames pick centre Mark Jankowski 21st overall

23 Jun

But what blockbuster deals did they make you ask? Where is Jay Bouwmeester playing next season? Jokinen? Jagr? Well – at the moment – Calgary, Calgary, and Philly.

Who’s this Jankowski you ask? He is a college player, Stanstead College, in Quebec. Although his 53 goals and 93 points in 57 games sounds impressive, remember that is collegiate hockey. Which is way different than the CHL.

“This guy is a long way away. This guy is raw. We want to make sure we handle his development properly. Whether its two years or three years or four years, that when he gets here he’s ready to go and we’ll play that as it comes.” – Flames Assistant General Manager of Player Personnel, John Weisbrod.

The Flames did make one deals, they traded their first round pick (14th overall) to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Buffalo’s first round pick (21st overall) and Buffalo’s second round pick (42nd overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

I can’t see how that is a bad deal. I guess we’ll know when we see how good Buffalo’s 14th pick turns out to be. Remember this name: Zemgus Girgensons. That is a real name.

Round
Pick
 Team
 Player
1 21    MARK JANKOWSKI (CENTRE) – STANSTEAD COLLEGE
2 42    Patrick Sieloff (DEFENCE) – USA – U18, USHL
3
75
 
 JON GILLiES (GOALTENDER) – INDIANA, USHL
4
105
 
 BRETT KULAK (DEFENCE) – VANCOUVER GIANTS, WHL
5
124
 
 RYAN CULKIN (DEFENCE) – QUEBEC ReMPARTS, QMJHL
6
165
 
 CODA GORDON (LEFT WING) – SWIFT CURRENT, WHL
7
186
 
 MATTHEW DEBLOUW (FORWARD) – MUSKEGON, USHL

If you’re interested, the biggest move of the day involved the host organization, as the Pittsburgh Penguins traded Jordan Staal to the Carolina Hurricanes for Brandon Sutter, the No. 8 pick in the 2012 draft and defense prospect Brian Dumoulin.

 
 
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