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Thread: The Official NHL Thread

  1. #1
    guwapo_rocker
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    The Official NHL Thread

    TSN.ca Staff



    7/13/2005 12:38:41 PM

    And now for the words everyone has been waiting to hear: The deal is done!

    The NHL and NHL Players' Association have finally reached an agreement (pending ratification) on a new six-year collective bargaining agreement that - if approved by the NHL board of governors next Thursday and the rank and file membership of the NHLPA next Tuesday - will officially end the stalemate on July 21.

    The agreement, a complex document reportedly numbering more than 600 pages, came after the two sides staged marathon negotiating sessions for nine consecutive days. Since the 2004-05 NHL season was officially cancelled on Feb. 16, the league and union have met on 82 occasions, leading to an agreement that will revamp the way the entire professional hockey industry conducts its business.

    The league went into this lockout, which started on Sept. 15, 2004, seeking cost certainty and believes it has achieved that with a new economic system from top to bottom.

    It is expected both the NHL and NHLPA will move to ratify the agreement within the next seven days, with a formal announcement on July 21. During that time, it is expected the new CBA will be distributed to all in the hockey industry so they can begin getting themselves up to speed on a myriad of new rules and regulations.

    Among the most significant are:

    - a hard team-by-team salary cap with a payroll of range of $21 million to $39 million (in the first year), which includes all player costs (benefits, insurance etc).

    - the league's total expenditure on player costs (salaries, bonuses, benefits and insurance) is not permitted to exceed 54 per cent of defined hockey-related revenue and the salary cap and payroll range will move up or down as revenues increase or decrease each year of the deal.

    - a 24 per-cent salary rollback for any NHL player who has time remaining on an existing contract, keeping in mind that the players will receive none of the monies they were slated to earn in the lost season of 2004-05.

    - liberalized free agency (including unrestricted status at 27 by year four of the deal), a more restrictive entry level system, totally revamped salary arbitration, improved pension benefits and a revenue-sharing plan.

    This agreement (pending ratification) will kick off the most bizarre and busiest off-season in NHL history after the league became the first major professional loop to lose an entire year to labour strife.

    As tutorials are conducted to allow NHL owners, general managers, NHL players and player agents to understand the new economic order, plans are already in the works for the two ratification votes.

    NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will be recommending acceptance of this agreement to the governors, so a simple majority of the league's 30-man ruling body will be enough to ratify it.

    It's also expected the NHLPA's executive committee, led by president Trevor Linden, will be endorsing the deal, which means a simple majority of the NHLPA's more than 700 members will be enough to make it binding. For those players who cannot physically make it to the membership meeting, the vote will be conducted through the NHLPA's secure website, The Source.

    Assuming both groups ratify, the NHL is expected to begin a brief transition period before the league fully re-opens for business.

    But before teams and players start to concern themselves with the specifics of transition - such as the buying out of some players to allow teams to meet cap requirements or the attempted signing of 2003 and 2004 draft picks who would re-enter the 2005 entry draft if not signed - the league is expected to unveil significant changes to the game, on and off the ice.

    Because no season was played in 2004-05, there is no order of selection for the 2005 entry draft, which is scheduled to take place as a scaled-down event in Ottawa on July 30. Usually, teams draft in inverse order of finish from the recently-concluded season, but this time there will be a weighted draft lottery (with the teams who have fared poorest over the last few years to get marginally better odds than those who fared well) to determine who gets the first overall pick and the right to pick young phenom Sidney Crosby. That lottery is scheduled to take place on July 21 when the NHL is expected to formally announce the new CBA.

    In addition to that major business, the NHL is also expected to unveil significant rule changes aimed at making the game more exciting and fan friendly, including shootouts to end tie games and the removal of the red line for the purpose of allowing two-line passes.

    While the regular season will remain at 82 games long for each team, the format of that schedule may be altered, along with a potential expansion of the NHL playoffs from 16 to 20 teams.

    Once the NHL's formal news conference is put to bed, along with the lottery and rule changes, the brief transition period should unfold in order to take care of the loose ends from the expired CBA. At some point, the NHL will declare itself open for business and NHL teams will be sorting through a huge pool of unrestricted free agents as many teams make themselves over from the ground up.

    Whether it is the brave new world the NHL hopes, remains to be seen, but the level of activity and uncertainty will be higher than at any other time in league history.

    For now, though, the only thing that matters in the short term is this: The deal (pending ratification) is done.
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    I will watch again, but they will have a hell of a time getting the average fan back....
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    JUst so long as they don't change too much....

    "No red lIne"

    Give me a break! Roller-Hockey, anyone?!?
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    I can hardly wait!
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    I'm just waitin' to see if the RED WINGS will be able to afford to bring back the Cap'N' for one final season!!!

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    Rightaway I notice a few things ...

    - This is basically a 54% cap, with an escrow system ala NBA. The max per team will be 55% ($39M) and the min will be 30% ($21M). This is a TERRIBLE deal compared to the the deal the NHL offered previously (I think in December). 54% hard cap is also a terrible mark compared to other leagues, namely the NBA (soft cap at 58%) and NFL (hard cap at 61%)

    - The biggest bone thrown to the PA is probably the 27 yrs UFA eligibility. Considering most players don't "come to age" until mid 20's, it'll be very difficult for teams, especially small market teams, to hold on to players they developed in house.


    A lot of questions still remain though, such as how will the revenue sharing work (include regular season revenue or post seson only? ... then again, it's less of an issue when the floor % is so low at 30% or $21M) ... what about contract restructuring / buyout? Is the 20% individual player salary cap somewhere in the CBA?

    I guess as we wait and more details come out we'll know.


    The NBA took a few days to get a deal and the NHL decides to cancel a season and take over 100 days! Looks good on em!
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    Hell ya, I'll be back....

    Things I'm looking for...

    Lower ticket prices, ESPECIALLY in the box seats close to the ice...

    Tag up offsides, also no line changes after icing the puck.... That should really keep the flow going...

    Also like the removal of the red line for two line passes.... It opens the offense up, backs up the defense, but at the same time doesn't make it like a "cherry picking" scenario...

    They're also going to taper the uniforms, meaning less fabric for clutching on the forwards, and less fabric for the goalies to shield the puck...

    Game on !!!!

    Poj, get the beer cold !!!!
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  8. #8
    guwapo_rocker
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    The Leafs have already emailed all of their seasons seat holders

    telling them ticket prices will not increase this year.

    If you know how the Leafs work, this also means ticket prices

    will definitely NOT decrease this year.

    And the idiots will buy every seat in five minutes as usual meaning

    zero chance for the average Joe to take his kids to a game.

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    So...rules changes?

    I've heard four-on-four OT, then three-on-three if no one scores?

    I also heard that they are going to have a mini-playoffs where four additional teams will fight it out in a mini-series of maybe three games.

    What I heard on the radio anyways...

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by Nickdfresh

    I've heard four-on-four OT, then three-on-three if no one scores?

    Then a shoot out.

    No ties.

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    I dunno, I don't like shootouts.

  12. #12
    guwapo_rocker
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    Is Buffalo still going to have a team?

    Seriously, I'm not being an ass here, weren't they

    looking for new ownership??

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by Nickdfresh
    I dunno, I don't like shootouts.
    neither do I.

    Terrible way to lose a hard fought game.

    And the way the Leafs shoot on breakaways...

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    Originally posted by guwapo_rocker
    Is Buffalo still going to have a team?

    Seriously, I'm not being an ass here, weren't they

    looking for new ownership??
    They got new ownership last year...

  15. #15
    guwapo_rocker
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    Originally posted by Va Beach VH Fan
    They got new ownership last year...
    Thank You,

    Guess that would be 2 years ago now though huh?

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    All they have to do is ENFORCE the obstruction calls and the game will flow. Eliminating teh red line might help but then teams with no skaters will just set up a "trap" around their own blue line
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    I'll be back.

    I am a diehard Red Wing fan.
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    Originally posted by guwapo_rocker
    Thank You,

    Guess that would be 2 years ago now though huh?
    Sorry, I missed that (three hours sleep last night): Tom GOLISANO is the Rochester Billionaire and philanthropist owner of PAYCHEX. He bought the SABRES after the ADELPHIA debacle. The former owner, John REGAS, has just been sentenced to 15-years in prison for his defrauding of investors in the ADELPHIA Cable scandal.


    http://www.puckupdate.com/archives/2...003_09_27.html

    Sabres Feeling Better

    Some nice news out of Buffalo. Tom Golisano, the new owner of the Sabres, is actually doing a pretty good job with the team so far.
    According to the Buffalo News, suite and season ticket sales are both up from last season.
    But Golisano isn't stopping there. He's also trying to expand the Sabres into a wider area. He's targetting Rochester, which neighbors Buffalo in upstate New York, and Southern Ontario.
    Obviously, it's still early to tell, but Golisano seems to understand sports. He also seems to have a lot of common sense. Owners around the league could really learn a lot from Golisano. He's getting creative to keep a once-struggling team in a relatively small market, He's not complaining. He's not fielding an AHL-worthy team. He's just using his brain.
    The whole thing is quite refreshing.
    Posted by Steven Ovadia on Tuesday, September 23, 2003, 08:06 AM
    Last edited by Nickdfresh; 07-13-2005 at 10:26 PM.

  19. #19
    guwapo_rocker
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    I'll have to get down to Buffalo for some games!!

    It's impossible to get Leaf tickets here.

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    Originally posted by guwapo_rocker

    It's impossible to get Leaf tickets here.
    Not if you take out a loan from the bank or mortgage your house....

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    Hockey's back!
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    Originally posted by guwapo_rocker
    I'll have to get down to Buffalo for some games!!

    It's impossible to get Leaf tickets here.
    The rumor here is that it might be difficult to get SABRES tickets this year. They're far more prepared than most teams for the season (the only team that had all of their players under contract during the lockout). They may even make a run.

  23. #23
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    Update:

    A BRAND-NEW NHL

    CBA may bring level playing field, big rules changes


    By BUCKY GLEASON
    News Sports Reporter
    7/14/2005

    Associated Press photo
    NHL players have been inactive since Dave Andreychuk hoisted the Stanley Cup in June 2004.

    No doubt, it was painful. The National Hockey League knew it would suffer irreparable damage long before declaring war with its players' association over a new collective bargaining agreement. The lockout definitely took its toll on the league, the players and frustrated fans caught in the middle.

    Calculating the losses, if possible, could take years. Already, we can count a full season and more than $2 billion in potential revenue that vanished during the 2004-05 season. There's no telling how many people disappeared in the crossfire as billionaire owners and millionaire players bickered over the almighty dollar.

    Losses, there were plenty, but think about what was gained.

    For starters, hockey fans get their league back knowing that each team has a legitimate chance to win the Stanley Cup. It's a refreshing change from recent years in which the rich almost always outperformed the poor. Ultimately, the new CBA should create more balance, better games, more interest and long-term viability.

    Commissioner Gary Bettman insisted there would be cost certainty once the smoke cleared, and he was right. The six-year agreement in principle reached Wednesday morning in New York will include the long-awaited and much-debated salary cap, plus a 24 percent rollback on existing salaries. Both should help bring the NHL back onto solid ground after many teams spent years on the brink of financial disaster.

    Looking back, it's fitting that it took exactly 82 meetings for owners and players to get it right considering they had already wiped out 82 games for each team. Funny, too, how a lockout that lasted 301 days had the opposite result of the one 11 years ago that lasted 103 days. The difference this time was the owners won.

    Perhaps things are back to being fair.

    The salary cap was the biggest hurdle in this grand debate because for months owners and players were equally steadfast in their positions. Last season might have been saved had the players, battlers by nature, caved sooner and accepted the fact that a salary cap was unavoidable. Once last season was lost, so was their leverage.
    Remember, the players' union dealt with virtually a different set of owners who had
    purchased teams since 1994-95, the last time there was a lockout. The current owners had much more money and far more resolve to withstand a long work stoppage, which was why they received the deal they needed.

    The players took a beating in negotiations, but many failed to realize certain concessions should eventually make them stronger as a whole. For example, a provision in the new deal prohibits one player from siphoning more than 20 percent of a team's payroll. It was designed to rid teams of payroll-swallowing, team-fracturing stars whose contracts threatened to drive the league out of business.

    But there could be a positive side effect. With less money being spent on them, more should be available to other players. Basically, it should create more balanced payrolls across the league. General managers will think twice before spending $7 million on one player when paying two players $3.5 million each makes more sense. Certainly, players can feed their families on $3.5 million a year.

    Are there loopholes? We'll see after owners, players and agents comb through the fine print in the 600-plus page document. Owners thought they had a solid deal after the last lockout, but the NHLPA quickly found ways to exploit its weaknesses. Average salaries soared from $572,000 in 1993-94 to $1.8 million in 2003-04, when player contracts and league revenue were mutually exclusive.

    In the new and supposedly improved NHL, the two will be linked.

    It should make should make for a healthier league, one that fosters stronger competition between markets large and small. The distance between New York and Long Island can be measured by miles and not by millions. The same goes for Buffalo and Boston, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The top 10 revenue-producing teams are expected to share a percentage with the bottom 10. That alone is progress.

    The salary cap is expected to be between $37 million and $39 million, but it will also include a salary floor of about $24 million. Teams previously drowning in red ink now know that 54 percent of league revenues will be tied to player costs. Players will get their money, but it will be a smaller, more reasonable amount given hockey's place among major professional sports. Conversely, teams will be forced to spend.

    Fans should see improvement on the ice, too, and for that they praise the hockey gods. The league didn't spend 301 days solely on contract issues with the NHLPA. Instead, the season away from the rink allowed players and league officials to address a sport that had alienated the very people who paid their salaries. They will be back if the product is worth watching.

    One way to make the game better is to change the rules, restoring speed and skill that had been harnessed by the neutral-zone trap. There's a chance the red line will be removed when the NHL returns, which would create more scoring chances. Goalie equipment is almost certain to be downsized, which would create more goals. Shootouts are a strong possibility, which should create more interest.

    Officials can tinker with the rules all they want, but the best way to improve the game is by fixing the NHL. It's what the owners hoped to accomplish last September, when they closed the doors and engaged in the longest sports labor dispute in North American history.

    No doubt, the lockout was excruciating. It was destructive. In the end, it was also necessary.

    e-mail: bgleason@buffnews.com

    http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial...14/1064579.asp

  24. #24
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    I am going to try to get a Sabres five game club package, and maybe


    more if I find others who are interested. All weekend games of course.

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    When it comes to my baseball, football, and basketball team, I'm a die hard......... win, lose or draw. When it comes to hockey? If the Sharks are good I'll watch.........if not, nope.
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    I love the spin....

    The Truth:

    "The League over-expanded in the 1990's & over-paid it's athletes. Now, in an effort to stop the blood-loss, owners are finally addressing the 30+ year problem of the "Haves" and the "have nots".

    Why did Wayne Gretzky get traded in 1988? Same problem addressed now: Small market clubs couldn't compete with the big market ones.
    About time this gets put to bed.

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    Originally posted by guwapo_rocker
    I am going to try to get a Sabres five game club package, and maybe


    more if I find others who are interested. All weekend games of course.
    I sat near some CANDIAN fans in a SABRES game many years ago.

    They have bus packages for SABRES games offerend by travel companies based in TORONTO. They feed you and provide much beer and alcohol, and you don't have to worry about border crossings or about driving. And from what I heard, the price was really reasonable. Maybe times have changed though, I dunno...

  28. #28
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    I think they still do it. I noticed a section for Canadians on the Sabres

    website, it's under construction right now, but it may offer packages

    when it opens.

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    Re: Update:

    Originally posted by Nickdfresh
    A BRAND-NEW NHL

    CBA may bring level playing field, big rules changes


    By BUCKY GLEASON
    News Sports Reporter
    7/14/2005

    They will be back if the product is worth watching.

    One way to make the game better is to change the rules, restoring speed and skill that had been harnessed by the neutral-zone trap.
    In my opinion, they didnt have to change the rules, THEY JUST HAD TO ENFORCE THEM!!!!

    I dont really care if they get rid of the red line...just call the goddam clutching, holding, one-hand-off-the-stick-grabbing-the-jersey bullshit.

    Keep both hands on the friggin stick (unless you are knocking the puck out of the air) and keep the sticks below the waist.

    Oh yeah, no more Michellin-Man goalie pads...and shootouts are cool.
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    Originally posted by Dave's PA Rental
    In my opinion, they didnt have to change the rules, THEY JUST HAD TO ENFORCE THEM!!!!
    The primary reason that Lemieux retired the first time, besides his back....

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    Originally posted by Va Beach VH Fan
    The primary reason that Lemieux retired the first time, besides his back....
    I know...

    But his bad back was really caused by the two-handers he was taking from the defensemen in front of the net...

    By the way, and this is coming from an neutral Bruins fan...and I saw them both live...Mario was better than Gretzky.

  32. #32
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    I saw them both live as well Dave and I think Gretz was better.

    What a treat to have been a fan with both those guys playing in our lifetime huh?

  33. #33
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    When I saw Gretzky...the thing that stuck out in my mind was you could tell that he 'saw' the entire ice surface at once...

    When I saw Lemieux, the thing that stuck in my mind was he was the perfect, most complete hockey player...

    Mario had better skills, but Gretzky saw the game in slow motion...if you know what I mean...

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    When Gretzky was a child he would have a blank piece of paper and a pencil with him when he watched a game. And he would just follow the puck around and trace and the paper where the puck was going as the game was being played. Amazing.

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    I wonder if his dad saved any of those pieces of paper...

  36. #36
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    hockey will never be the same
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    SI Weighs in

    What next?
    Owners won, but what will they do with the victory?

    Posted: Wednesday July 13, 2005 8:49PM; Updated: Thursday July 14, 2005 1:43AM


    Ken Sawyer
    Penguins president Ken Sawyer wore a big grin while discussing the settlement Wednesday, and no wonder. Under the new deal, the teams get to keep a bigger chunk of their revenues.
    AP


    RELATED
    • NHL, players reach new labor deal


    After 301 days -- roughly the length of the Franco-Prussian War, although with more entertaining news conferences -- the NHL officially wound up whipping the Players Association, which took a few systemic scraps from the owners that can they can use to line the woodshed where Gary Bettman had taken them.

    For all the huzzahs about a new economic order, the whole exercise, couched in fancy philosophical terms, was nothing more than a redistribution of income. Even if it might take some time to rebound in a poisoned atmosphere, the NHL probably will be again, as it was before the lockout, a $2.1 billion business. At its core the most significant change in the CBA is that now the owners get a larger share of it.

    After giving up 100 per cent of their salaries in the lost season, and agreeing to a 24 per cent rollback -- that's a minimum 124 per cent loss, if you are keeping score, and the NHLPA has to be -- the players are guaranteed no more (or less) than 54 per cent of the pot. The new lower age of free agency -- now available after seven years in the pros or age 27( before the end of the deal) -- certainly is a breakthrough, but a 20 per cent limit on any individual contract within a team's cap (a ceiling of $39 million) further limits the already reduced amount of money available for the players. Under the current cap, the most a player can earn is $7.4 million, far off Jaromir Jagr's previous league-best of $11 million. The new generation of free agents will be all dressed up with not too many places to go.

    No matter how often you hear the word "healing" in the next week, the lockout will be remembered as the year Bettman held his breath until the players turned blue.

    NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow, who was forced to backtrack on his no salary-cap vow, told his membership that it would take 18 to 24 months to settle the dispute, which called for a level of resolve the players simply did not have. Goodenow had a clear vision of the nature of the fight -- even if he misread the NHL's determination to hang on terrier-like to a cap -- but he was too far out in front of his membership, more committed than his membership to matters of principle. He should have seen it coming. When half of its membership began drifting to Europe for the winter, the glue of solidarity that held the union together began to dry.

    When the season was canceled in late February, Goodenow said that everything was off the table and bargaining would start anew. But for players without the stomach to stick around or stick to their fundamental negotiating positions, the offer of a 24 per cent rollback obviously remained and was topped off with a cap. The concept of linkage the PA once derided -- as the game grows, the cap rises even as the 54 percent share remains the same -- suddenly became a lifeline. If the game returns to a semblance of health, the players will merely have been routed, not crushed, in this labor fight that reduced a proud league to near irrelevance.

    But a return to a robust product is hardly assured. The wounds from the 1994 baseball strike lingered at least four years. While the hardy coterie of hockey fans, as blindingly loyal in their way as NASCAR fans are in theirs, might drag themselves back to the arenas more quickly, there is no guarantee. The thing that brought baseball fans back to the park was offense, specifically home runs in that synthetically muscular summer of 1998. The template has been established. The same kind of thing could kickstart the NHL, which is what makes the impending rule changes -- scheduled to be announced next Thursday after both sides ratify the agreement -- so critical.

    NHL Senior Vice-President Colin Campbell has been working for months to reshape the game, and it is liable to come back with bells such as the removal of the red line and whistles such as a shootout to forever end the infamous NHL tie. The goalie pads certainly will shrink to 11 inches, which is hardly enough, and goalie gloves and sweaters will be smaller. But without a commitment to a calling the rules against obstruction and preventing the NHL from degenerating into rodeo -- goals per game have dipped to near historic lows but muggings are at all-time highs -- the trumpeting of change is premature. After at least five crackdowns on obstruction in the past decade, fans should view the NHL's coming pledge of A Whole New Game with circumspection.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200....return/1.html

  38. #38
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    Want to fix the NHL?

    Put the rules back to 1972/
    1975.

    Playoffs, Leafs vs. Flyers, bloodbaths, that's hockey!!

    Don't like it? Wipe your pussy and fuck off!!!

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    I saw Sidney Crosby play here in Halifax last year. . .he has mad skills and can definitely see the game in slo-mo. . .crazy impressive to watch him as a 16 year old and be so good
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    Originally posted by UGS
    I saw Sidney Crosby play here in Halifax last year. . .he has mad skills and can definitely see the game in slo-mo. . .crazy impressive to watch him as a 16 year old and be so good
    Yeah, now watch him go to the Leafs or Red Wings...

    Just watch....

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