Adieu Coyotes

The Glendale City Council unanimously approved a Arena lease proposal with Phoenix Coyotes buyer Jerry Reinsdorf Tuesday night.

The decision means that Reinsdorf, a Chicago sports mogul, and his group of investors will work with the city to hammer out the details of the lease and that Ice Edge Holdings is essentially out of the running.

It also means that Reinsdorf is on track to owning the team, pending the approval of the NHL.

The lease agreements voted on Tuesday described each buyer’s plan for boosting team finances and compensating Glendale to play at Arena.
The city pays off $180 million in debt that it took on to build the arena in 2003 with the team’s payments.

The Coyotes have not turned a profit since moving to Glendale.
The team was bought out of bankruptcy last year by the NHL for $140 million.
The league expects to lose an additional $20 million this season.

Both offers would create a community facility district in Glendale’s sports and entertainment hub off Loop 101 and Glendale Avenue.
The independent taxing authority, which would likely surround the arena and include Westgate City Center, could sell bonds, levy property taxes and collect revenue in other ways to prop up the team financially.
It’s possible that the charges would trickle down to shoppers and hockey fans.

Wait! What the fuck just happened here?

They are now gonna raise taxes and charge for parking?

Those fucking fans people wouldn’t pay money for this shit when it was free!

Enjoy what you can from this post season, Coyotes fans. You are now solely responsible for your teams future…

…or the lack there of.

Rebekah L. Sanders

Phanless Coyotes

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American Bad Ass


When and if he does decide to retire, be it at the end of this season or within the next few, he’ll retire as the greatest American hockey player of all time!

I for one would love to see him put in another season, but that’s just my greediness talking.

And for all of the attention that his Canadian counterparts have gotten – Wayne Gretzky, Super Mario, Mark Messier and Steve Y – Mike Modano had one thing going for him and it was that he hailed from Livonia, Michigan – USA.

Yes, he is a good old American boy and a guy who busted his ass just as hard as any of those Canadian’s ever did.

And he did it with the classiest of them all.

Thank you Mike Modano for all that you have done for hockey in America!

I’m proud to call myself one of your biggest fans and I wish you nothing but the best in what life has to offer.

NHL Career Totals:

1,458 Games played
557 Goals
802 Assists
1,359 Point’s
+ 119 (+/-)
918 PIM’s
156 Power Play Goals
29 Shorties
92 Game Winners

Mike Modano
Mike Modano – An American Bad Ass

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Decisions, decisions…

After three days of golfing meetings in Boca Raton, Florida, the NHL’s general managers have finally put forward a recommendation for rule changes to address hits to the head in league games.

The following language was agreed to unanimously by the group:

“A lateral, back pressure or blindside hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and or the principal point of contact is not permitted. A violation of the above will result in a minor or major penalty and shall be reviewed for possible supplemental discipline.”

I read this to mean that as long as you are facing your opponent, you can hit him in the head.
I guess the argument is that the players are given a chance to defend themselves, as long as they know the hit is coming. (You know, ‘Keep Your Head Up and all.)
I am surprised that the definition of the infraction is so specific.

What criteria will on ice officials use to determine the difference between a minor or major if they can’t seem to make the proper calls now?!?

Usually an injury or intent to injure is used to dole out major penalties.
I am assuming the same will be used for contact with the head, again, assuming that 4 on ice officials can manage to spot such an infraction.
I was also hoping for a more well defined supplemental discipline stance.
More specifically, I wanted minimum suspension lengths and dollar amounts for fines, but I’m just a fan and am not privvy to such imformation.

There were two other recommendations made by the group.

The first tiebreaker at season’s end will changed to regulation and overtime wins, not overall wins as is currently the case.
It’s clearly all about priorities, like protecting the players well being and new marketing strageties.

The NHL will request that the American Hockey League to go to a four-man officiating system in 40 percent of their games.
The AHL currently uses three-man system for all games.
The final decision belongs to the AHL but the NHL is prepared to support it, financially and otherwise, because we’ve all seen how well that’s worked out for the NHL, haven’t we?

I guess that 4 blind mice is better than 3.

It’s good to know the NHL is doing so good that it can pay for bad officiating in another league, before it gets the current morons re-trained.

Oh, and does this also mean that the league will no longer be supporting that fanless franchise in the desert?
I mean, c’mon. Really?

By the way, none of these recommendations will affect play this season.

All recommendations must get the approval of the competition committee, the Board of Governors, the NHLPA, President Obama, Donald Trump, the Keebler Elves and Simon Cowell.

This should all happen between now and next March…

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If The Skate Fits…

Foreword: Soon after the United States of America won its independence — to be free and equal among all nations — John Adams and Thomas Jefferson paid an official visit to the Court of King George III.
The king literally turned his back on them.
Adams and Jefferson, having had their knowledge and notions of aristocratic mistreatment reaffirmed, were united in their hatred of the king and all his loyal subjects ever after.
They were right then, and they are right now…

Any resemblance to events, people or places in the following work of fiction is purely coincidental.

Slidsy Cornsbie of the Porkburgh Pinkins lies on the ice, his eyes barely open and already glazed over.
His right arm twitches slightly.
His legs don’t move.

The brilliant center, a national icon in Canada at age 22 and the most complete champion in hockey, never saw the hit coming.
Backing into the high slot to improve his shooting angle, an opponent attacked from the blind side.
The blow coldcocked Cornsbie.
His head snapped violently right to left, his body followed, and he fell in a heap.
Since he had released his shot and the puck was 50 feet away when he got hit, few actually saw the contact — not the four on-ice officials, not his coach, not even most of his teammates.

The replays show that the offending player was a marginal winger, thrice suspended.
He clearly targeted Cornsbie’s head.
The player came from an angle behind Cornsbie’s right ear (the absolute blind spot for a left-handed shot) and — even though he could have checked Cornsbie body-across-body, surely taking him down — elected to go right past the bigger and more proper target to hit him in the head.

The offending player, in hockey parlance, plays “on the edge.”
But his rap sheet is way past the edge.
His two most recent suspensions, both within the last 14 months, have been meted out for extraordinarily similar-looking hits — but this one on Cornsbie is easily the most vicious and the most blindsided.
It is as if the crimes are escalating after each sentence served, the picture of horrifying recidivism.

The player who delivered the hit said, in the dressing room, “It felt like shoulder on shoulder.”
His words stretched beyond the point of what is believable, even to his teammates — none of whom defended him on the day of the game.
Lying about a fact does not change the truth of the fact.
It just reveals the speaker to be a liar as well as a criminal.

The league’s rule book has several instances that seem to cover this kind of intentional contact.
Rule 21(i) calls for a match penalty for “an attempt to injure (in any manner).”
From Table 7, on page 135 of the rule book, Automatic Game Misconducts: “for a major elbowing penalty to the face or head.”
Shoulder? Elbow? The elbow definitely comes up in the replays. It’s hard to tell exactly what part of the anatomy made contact with Cornsbie’s head.
But the head was the target, and the offender’s aim was dead on.

Did the referees’ inability to see the infraction mean that the player should not be punished in any way?
The league can review and punish, regardless of infractions called or not called in the course of a game.

Giving a man a concussion is injuring a man.
There is little question for anyone of a balanced mind that, instead of targeting the body, the offending player targeted Cornsbie’s head, which certainly qualifies as “an attempt to injure (in any way).”
He hit Cornsbie not to separate him from the puck but rather to separate him from consciousness.
He fully succeeded.

Surely, the league would act quickly and decisively as the young icon of hockey lay in his woozy purgatory.

An hour after game, reporters call up video of the offender’s “priors” on their handheld devices.
It is believed that a certain senior league official also owns such a device and he certainly has access to extensive video resources.
Yet, in the first few hours, there is no word of any involvement in a disciplinary procedure from the league.

Canadian networks edit the two previous suspension incidents to the hit on Cornsbie and run the segments of video in succession.
There is a distinct pattern to the offender’s blindsided knockout attempts.
Some journalists even characterize them as “identical.”
Sentiment is unanimous among commentators, some of whom are former professional players, that this is exactly the kind of hit and the kind of player that should be banished.

The day after the hit, the offender’s general manager reminds the media that no penalty was called on the play, efficiently attempting to spin his rhetoric to make the act seem as if it is something allowed within the normal course of events in a game.

The senior league official does nothing.
He is attending meetings that have to do with hits to the head.
The senior league official appears on several talk shows, spending at least an hour answering a variety of questions on television and radio.
But he apparently does not have time to issue a ruling on the hit that nearly crippled Cornsbie.

Cornsbie is examined by team doctors and found to have suffered a Grade 2 concussion.
Not only will he be out of action, but the team won’t even evaluate his condition for four to five days.
It is a long-term injury, jeopardizing the team’s season.

The senior league official enjoys the Florida sunset, not ruling on the status of the player who knocked Cornsbie unconscious.
There is outrage in Porkburgh. “What is keeping the league from making up its mind on what so clearly was a felonious act?” fans wonder.

Porkburgh’s organization seethes.
The offending player has hidden behind the instigator rule for his entire career.
He was suspended in 2004 for spearing.
He was suspended in January of 2009 for what the senior league official described as “a deliberate check to the head area” of a player.
He was suspended in November of the current season for what the league official described as a “result of a blow delivered to the head” of another opponent.
Previous punishment obviously did not change the offending player’s behavior.
Previous punishment had the same effect as making a wayward son pay for his own gas to drive Dad’s Lamborghini to the prom.
Son got a speeding ticket on the way home.
Dad told him not to do it again, again.
The state police radar clocked the boy doing 91.
Son said it felt like he was going 45.

How has a player such as this escaped the “un”official punishment, the kind that comes from his peers?
The offending player has taken full advantage of the commissioner’s surge to purge fighting from the game.
He is one of several examples of the species that hockey’s voices of reason warned would appear out of the primordial slime when the instigator rule came into being: dirty players who don’t have to be directly accountable for their cowardly actions.

Old hockey players, the ones with the great stories and the ugly scars of which they can be proud, told us this would happen.
A Cup winner once said, “The best form of negative reinforcement is to beat the shit out of a guy in front of 17,000 of his friends. That’ll stop that kind of behavior right away.” But league management, consisting of an outside-the-sport guy and his cronies, legislated frontier-justice fighting out of the game in a gauzy, lace-framed fantasy of drawing soccer moms to Sun Belt arenas.
Old hockey players were right.

The offending player, his record shows, has taken part in only 13 fights in an 11-season career.
Six of those fights have been against players from Europe, where pugilism is not part of their game.
Two of his opponents’ only career fighting majors are their bouts with the offender. Another of his opponents fought only twice in his career.
A Web site that polls fans on every fight in the league has the offender’s lifetime record at zero wins, eight losses, five draws and one “turtle.”

Cornsbie’s injury put the Pinks, fighting for a playoff spot, in the position of having to choose between what was right and what was necessary.
If they had exacted revenge right away, they almost certainly would have been assessed extra penalties, forcing them to play shorthanded in the final minutes of their game — virtually forfeiting their opportunity to win two precious points in the standings. Their retaliation also would have brought automatic suspensions and fines after the senior league official examined the video — whenever he got around to it.

Porkburgh tried to take the high road for two years, but saw the league do little or nothing to defend its players.
It saw one player nearly killed on the ice, another one having his face driven into the glass with five seconds left in a two-goal game, another cross-checked across the face in the closing minute of a playoff series — only to have the senior league official take little or no action.
And now this.

Justice delayed was so disrespectful as to be justice denied.

It was arrogance they would never forget.

Jack Edwards

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Coyote Ugly – Deserted Dogs

Keith Jeffries of Huntsville Sports Ventures has been the owner of the Havoc, a member of the Southern Professional Hockey League, for all six years – the longest stint of the city’s four previous franchises.

Admittedly, he didn’t know that much about the sport before he became an owner, but he did love watching the game.

After selling his business several years ago, it was a search “for that second career” that led Jeffries to the front office of the minor league team.

Decorating the walls of the team’s main office are framed jerseys from past years.
His office, off to the side of the main office, is modestly decorated with bookshelves, pictures, a couple of hockey masks, pucks and a family picture prominently displayed.

Last week, Jeffries talked about the team and the sport with Times business editor Budd McLaughlin.
The conversation has been edited for space and clarity.

Q: What is Huntsville Sports Ventures Inc.?

A: It’s the parent company of the Havoc and I’m the only stockholder. We called it Huntsville Sports Ventures instead of the Havoc because we may go into other promotions in sports entertainment. We owned the (Tennessee Valley) Vipers (arena football team) for a couple of years and were involved in the Arenacross (motocross) at the VBC and were a small backer of the Big Spring Jam one year.

Q: Is there a relationship between the Havoc and the Vipers?

A: No. We’re tenants in the same building. That’s all. We get along extremely well, but there’s no business relationship.

Q: What is your relationship with the Von Braun Center administration?

A: I own the Havoc; they own the building. We co-promote the hockey games and share revenue and expenses. We’ve done it all six years. It’s a great way to do it.

Q: Why did you become an owner?

A: (Then-VBC Executive Director) Ron Evans wanted to get hockey back in here (the Tornado folded after its only season, 2000-01) and asked Donn Jennings if he knew anyone who was interested. He mentioned my name because I had inquired before about the Channel Cats but the timing wasn’t right, at that time. When I talked to Ron about it, it felt right.

Q: You are involved when other teams want to join the SPHL and you helped run another team a few years ago. What is your position with the SPHL?

A: My official position is treasurer, but for the first three years I was chairman of the board. I’ve always been able to be active for the league because of the staff here. (President) Kevin (Walker) and (vice president of business operations) Ashley (Balch) actually run the place, its day-to-day operations. Because I have the time, the commissioner would ask me to help out. In the first year (2004), the owner of Winston-Salem (Polar Twins) also owned Asheville (Aces), Macon (Trax) and Jacksonville (Barracudas). We didn’t think one person should have that many teams, so the league ran Winston-Salem. We were led to believe someone was ready to run it and I was listed as the owner, but Fayetteville, Columbus and Knoxville were in there with me.

Q: At the recent league meetings an ownership group met with the board, and the SPHL has two new teams this season (Louisiana and Mississippi). Has the recent (SPHL) expansion affected the team?

A: Long term, it will have a positive effect. But because with seven teams now, we’re not able to maximize our Friday and Saturday night games as much. Our biggest rival, Columbus, plays here on a Saturday (March 27) just once (the Cottonmouths have played at the VBC on a Friday and a Thursday and will also visit on a Tuesday – Feb. 16), and that’s the last game of the year. Our attendance was down – prior to Dec. 28 – but is up over last year, since then. It’s because of our success and a return to Huntsville-style, in-your-face hockey.

Q: What was the best moment – on- and off-ice – you’ve had as an owner?

A: Really, just enjoying the game and the excitement of the home crowd. But it was the second year of the Melissa George (Neonatal Memorial Fund) fundraiser in 2008 that really got me. The people spent $65,000 (in the auction of player jerseys and donations). They opened up their hearts and wallets. This year, with our economy, it was over $38,000. It was exciting and humbling.

Q: Do you have any advice for someone who would like to be an owner.

A: No matter how much money you have, treat it like a business – not a hobby. You may say you can afford to lose $200,000 or something, but eventually you won’t want to lose money anymore. The best chance for long-term stability is to run it like a business.

The Huntsville Havoc are in their sixth year of operation and are the fifth minor league hockey team in the city’s history, since the Huntsville Blast laced up the skates in 1993.

6 years.

6 years in Huntsville, Alabama.

6 years in Huntsville, Alabama, successfully.

The population of Huntsville, Alabama in July 2008: 176,645.

That has to be one helluva dedicated fanbase right there!

The Phoenix RoadRunners died in 4 years, and they were a part of a much bigger league – the ECHL.

The Phoenix Coyotes have been in place for 14 years and have never turned a profit, and they belong to the almighty NHL.

No, really. They literally belong to the NHL.

The Winnepeg Jets Phoenix Coyotes were scooped up by the league when they flopped for their 14th stright year in the profits column.

Why, you might ask?

I dunno. I’ve been trying to figure this out my damn self.

Glendale, Arizona – Population in July 2008: 251,522.
Phoenix, Arizona – Population in July 2008: 1,567,924

There is a pretty substantial difference of people between the Alabama hockey market and the Phoenix market, yet the Coyotes give away tickets, with all the trimmings, (free parking, free transportation, free food, buy 1 get 1 free deals) they are kicking ass this season, yet they still can’t pack the house.

Why are they still in the desert, sucking on the teets of the NHL?
How are they entitled to any profit sharing when the NHL is paying their bills?
Why don’t we, the fans, have a say so in this?

It is our money afterall that is being spent on this failed experiement.

Our ticket prices went up.
Our parking fees went up.
Our beer and food prices are utterly ridiculous, yet these lazy, ungrateful sand creatures are handed the world but they refuse to embrace it.

Mr. Bettman, we have had enough!

Get them out of the desert and remove yourself from office!

By the way. I here that Toronto is looking for a team…

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Hockey Police? Really?

Dangerous head hits in hockey are spinning out of control.
The NHL pretends they don’t really exist and junior players get the kind of suspensions that don’t seem to act as a deterrent, because no sooner does the hype from one near-decapitation die down that anothert one takes place.

Hockey leagues of all levels in Canada are pledging to do more to improve players’ safety in the wake of recent violent headshots.
But one observer believes the sport could use a little help from the legal system.

Peter Donnelly, director of the Centre of Sport Policy Studies at the University of Toronto, counters that severe punishments like the one Cormier received don’t do enough to deter players.
“If there are any blatant attacks where clearly one person has gone after a person that was not expecting it, as in the incident with Cormier, I think that’s a criminal act,” Donnelly said.
Unprovoked attacks really have to be dealt with by criminal justice.

Donnelly said prosecutors have been wary of laying criminal charges following vicious attacks because sports organizations have never encouraged them to do so.

“The law needs to take more responsibility here and so do hockey leagues themselves,” he said.

The severe sanction handed out this week by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League to Rouyn-Noranda Huskies forward Patrice Cormier for elbowing Quebec Remparts defenseman Mikael Tam was hailed as an exemplary punishment by the hockey community, one that would send a clear message to the players that such acts of violence have no place in the sport.

The elbow hit on Jan. 17th sent Tam into convulsions before he was taken off the ice on a stretcher.
He suffered a brain injury and had a few broken teeth.
Tam, who doesn’t remember the hit, is now recoving at home but there is no timeline on his return to hockey.

David Branch, commissioner of the Ontario Hockey League and president of the Canadian Hockey League, has said he is not in favor of a greater involvement of the legal system in the sport.
Branch prefers to deal with the issue within the sport’s boundaries.

Hockey Canada is working on a summit, to be held next summer, where the problems of headshots and vicious attacks could be addressed.

“We have been talking for months about a summit with hockey partners and one of the topics could very well be players’ safety, we have been discussing a series of topics including players’ safety for months,” said Hockey Canada communications manager Andre Brin.

Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson, who previously expressed alarm about the growing incidence of concussions at every level of hockey, said: “If the player isn’t safe, he’s not going to play. The player is the focus; and safety is the major component of that with all level of players.”
“It’s all about the player – player safety, player skills, player movement – but it will all be focused around the player.”

Donnelly said that hockey doesn’t need another summit, but rather a real change at all levels of the sport, including behind the bench.

“The coaching association has no regulatory guidelines where they can suspend or ban coaches. So there is no real enforcement and perhaps it’s the sports itself that needs to step in and say if there is any clear evidence that a coach has been encouraging illegal behaviour in the sport, then that coach is punished as well,” he said.

The Huskies announced Tuesday they are appealing Cormier’s season-long suspension, calling it excessive.

The Quebec provincial police are still investigating the incident.

The IIHF, under president Rene Fasel, has stressed that there will be a no-tolerance policy in place for hits to the head.
Nicholson said he has already had two lengthy discussions with Fasel on the issue.
“Personally, I thought there could have been some further suspensions at the world juniors,” said Nicholson. “I know they will emphasize in the coaches meetings at the Olympics that they’re going to call penalties on hits to the head.”

The larger issue is what will happen with the NHL and its – to date – secondary role in leading the discussion?
Most of the major penalties assessed for head shots this year came at the junior level thus far, while the leadership on the issue has come at the major junior level, not from the NHL.

Now, my questions for you, regarding the Comier suspension, are:

1. Was the punishment was too harsh?

2. Was the punishment too lenient?

3. Does the time fit the crime?

Here is a short list of some NHL players that were suspended for similar infractions within the last ten (10) years:

10 games
Scott Niedermayer, for hitting Peter Worrell in the head with his stick in March, 2000.

11 games(3 playoff, 8 regular season)
Tie Domi, for knocking out Scott Niedermayer with an elbow to the head during the 2001 playoffs.
Domi was suspended for the balance of the playoffs and the first eight games of the following season.

11 games
Owen Nolan, for a hit to the head of Grant Marshall in February, 2001.

20 games
Brad May, for a slash to the head of Steve Heinze in November, 2000.

20 games
Steve Downie, for deliberately targeting the head with a body check on Dean McAmmond in September, 2007.

The Rest Of The Season(20 games)
Todd Bertuzzi, for serious injuries sustained by Steve Moore when Bertuzzi jumped him from behind in March, 2004.
Bertuzzi missed 13 regular season games, plus seven playoff games.
His suspension is listed as indefinite, but the following season is cancelled due to a labor dispute and he was allowed to return when the NHL resumed play in the fall of 2005.

The Rest Of The Season(23 games)
Marty McSorley, for knocking out Donald Brashear by swinging a stick at his head in March, 2000.
McSorley missed 23 regular season games.

25 Games
Jesse Boulerice, for a crosscheck to the face of Ryan Kesler in October, 2007.

The Rest Of The Season(minimum 25 games)
Chris Simon, for a slash to the face of the Ryan Hollweg in March, 2007.
Simon missed 15 regular season games plus all of the Islanders’ playoff games.
The suspension carried over to 2007-08 to meet the 25-game minimum.

Again, regarding the Cormier suspension:

1. Was the punishment was too harsh?

2. Was the punishment too lenient?

3. Does the time fit the crime?

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Has it been 30 years now since the US beat the Soviet Union at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid?
(It seems like only yesterday…)

The Americans went on to win the gold medal in hockey that year – something that hasn’t happened since, but don’t expect any miracles next month at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
No, the United States still isn’t favored to win a gold medal in hockey.
In that respect the Americans remain underdogs.
But with a roster stacked with young talent, they certainly are a medal candidate – one that the powerhouses from Canada, Russia and Sweden can’t afford to overlook.
“A little bit different situation [than 1980] in my opinion,” said United States team captain Jamie Langenbrunner, a forward with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. “As much as Canada deserves all the credit that they’re getting for the players they have, the 23 players named to the [United States] team play in the same league as those guys and we feel quite comfortable playing against them on a nightly basis. We feel we belong on the same ice.”

That’s a far cry from goalie Jim Craig and the 1980 team!
US coach Herb Brooks had to convince that group of college All-Stars that it could compete with the grown men the Soviet Union sent over.
But since 1998 the NHL has allowed its professional players to compete at the Winter Olympics.
So this group of Americans is baffled by the notion that they would be intimidated by any of the major hockey powers.

Told of stories in the Canadian press that listed him as the only American capable of making the loaded Team Canada roster, forward Zach Parise chuckled.
“I think that’s kind of a bold statement,” said Parise, also a New Jersey Devils forward. “I don’t think there’s going to be too many people that would agree with that.”

The average age of Team USA is just 26.
Parise is virtually a veteran among the forwards at 25.
He will play on the top line along with Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane – a 21-year-old already in his third full NHL season, who ranks sixth in the league in scoring (59 points).
Colorado Avalanche forward Paul Stastny, 24, will center that line.
Forwards Phil Kessel, 22, Bobby Ryan, 22, Dustin Brown, 26, Ryan Kesler, 24, and Joe Pavelski, 25, all will be key contributors – at this Olympics and beyond.
This group is on average five years younger than the 2006 squad in Turino (31.6 years) that finished a disappointing eighth.
“We have turned the page generationally for USA Hockey” said general manager Brian Burke, who holds that same position with the Toronto Maple Leafs. “And that was not done without a great deal of agonizing thought on behalf of the committee that put this group together. But we’re excited about a team that we think has balance and versatility and speed and youth.”

Team USA notes:

» Team USA head coach Ron Wilson led the Capitals to their lone appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals in 1998.
He currently coaches the Toronto Maple Leafs. (NOT a good sign!)

» Longtime Team USA members Chris Chelios, Bill Guerin, Keith Tkachuk and Mike Modano were not selected for this year’s squad. (Mikey was ROBBED!)

» The United States has medaled just once in men’s hockey since 1980, earning silver at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. (Hmmmmm…)

When the Olympic hockey tournament finally gets rolling, most of the fans in Canada are aware of the obvious rule changes between the NHL and the IIHF.

Everyone knows they use no-touch icing because Canadian blow-hard Don Cherry and his idiot side-kick Ron MacLean discuss it every other fucking week!

And from years of watching the World Championships and World Juniors from Europe, fans tend to be aware the clock runs forward to 20 minutes instead of backwards from 20 minutes each period.

But that’s just the beginning.

Take for example, faceoff rules:
Because the Olympics is such a short tournament and the team designated home has not earned that home advantage by virtue of playing in the other team’s building on another day, the IIHF has wisely taken steps to mitigate that home advantage.
In the faceoff circle, the centre in the attacking zone puts his stick on the ice first, as opposed to the visitor in the NHL.
Needless to say the linesmen are going to have to be constantly policing these guys to avoid a delay on every faceoff.
“It’s a real problem getting used to the change,” says Henrik Sedin, who has developed into one of the better faceoff men in the game. “I know during the lockout back in Sweden the change took a lot of getting used to and with most of the guys from the NHL it’s an adjustment, for sure.”

One of the top faceoff men for the Americans doubtless will be Ryan Kesler, who may well be called upon by Ron Wilson to take the key defensive-zone draws.
Putting your stick down first, thinking you’re the visitor, could get you thrown out – or not putting your stick down first could produce the same result.
Also, a faceoff after a penalty is at the spot nearest the infraction, not in the offending team’s defensive zone, as it is in the NHL now.
When you look at the importance of the key draws in all of these sudden-death games, it’s potentially a huge factor.

“You can’t play the puck with your feet either, can you?” says Kesler. “At least that’s the way I understand it.”
At this point, everyone in the discussion agrees Kyle Wellwood would be screwed.

It goes beyond the faceoff dot.
If you lose your helmet during the game, you can go fish for it and put it back on or you can go to the bench.
But if you keep playing without the lid, you’ll get a penalty.
“I know the rule, but the NHL player’s natural instinct is to keep playing,” says Christian Ehrhoff, who laughs at the possibility his team will have an advantage given Germany has fewer NHL players.
“I know that rule, and you’ve got to have your chin strap done right up,” says Henrik, pointing with his finger right up into his throat and making a face like he’s being guzzled in the process before smiling.

Let’s keep it going.

If you don’t wear your helmet during the warmup, that’s a penalty.

There are no video reviews to be conducted to determine whether a puck hits a skate and goes into the goal.
Only a crossing-the-goal-line question can be answered by video review.
The referee’s ruling on the ice stands, period.
And that’s crucial because the rule is different.
There is nothing in the IIHF rule book about kicking the puck into the net with a deliberate kicking motion.
Instead, the rule reads “a goal is allowed only if the kicked puck subsequently deflects off a stick of an attacking player and goes into the net.”
None of the Olympic players in the Vancouver Canucks dressing room could answer the question as to whether a puck hitting your skate if you’re absolutely dead still in front of the net would be allowed, but the rule indicates anything off any attacking skate going directly in is disallowed.
“But that’s if the ref sees it,” says Daniel Sedin.

I see you...
Because of that comment, they’ll now be watching!

Cliff Ronning could help your team because any hit to the head is an automatic penalty, period.
It can be a major, too, if it’s deemed hard by the ref.

Any player can take a penalty shot, not necessarily the offended player, or even a player on the ice, which means anyone taking down a Russian on a breakaway is taking down Pavel Datsyuk, no matter who’s actually wearing that jersey.
(Keep that in mind, fellas!)

And while this is something of a generalization on the maze of penalty interpretations, you can get a match penalty for virtually any offence if it’s deemed sufficiently serious by the referee.

By the way, does anyone know if that Auger prick is gonna be an Olympic official?


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