First Big Test
I’ve been a critic of the NHL’s wishy-washy stance on headshots and the inconsistent way they dish out suspensions for things they pretend to care about – well, here’s the first big test of their new headshot rule.
The new rule was mostly aimed at blindside hits to the head, but on Thursday night, Colby Armstrong of the Atlanta Thrashers delivered a flying elbow of sorts to the face of Mathieu Perreault of the Washington Capitals.
After the game, Armstrong told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “I didn’t mean to get my arms up in his kitchen like that. It just happened so fast. I tried to get a piece of him.”
See it for yourself:
If James Wisniewski’s hit on Brent Seabrook was eight games, this is at least a suspension…according to the NHL’s way of doing things. We’ll see though!
NHL charging in the US?!
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is apparently telling league owners (and potential owners) that TV revenue is about to get serious.
Yes, the NHL may actually charge broadcasters (NBC) to show games when their current contracts are up! Crazy, eh?!
The Globe and Mail reports the US television contracts bring in about $75-million per year with what they charge Versus and what they split with NBC – Bettman says that number could more than double after June 2011.
Along with what they make from the Canadian networks, that could mean as much as $500-million for the league and its 30 teams to share.
David Shoalts’ article also touches on the still-delicate Phoenix Coyotes situation – where June 30th pops up as an important day.
That’s when the NHL, who still owns the team, can legally break the arena lease with the city of Glendale and potentially sell the team to someone who will give it a nice home elsewhere. Ironically, Bettman and his deputy commissioner, Bill Daly have been working on a backup plan for the Coyotes which could see them back where it all began – Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Bettman and Daly have apparently been talking to Canadian billionaire David “Not Jim Balsillie” Thomson just incase neither Jerry Reinsdorf nor Ice Edge Holdings wind up purchasing the team.
Imagine the Coyotes wind up back in Winnipeg as the Jets – that would be something else!
Eave of Destruction
If you didn’t know who Patrick Eaves was before this week, chances are you do now!
Eaves earned a bit of infamy last weekend during a 1-0 win for his Detroit Red Wings when, deep into the sudden death portion of a shootout, he totally biffed on his opportunity to put the Wings ahead.
I’m not talking about missing the net or losing the puck – Eaves miscalculated on his approach and fell down face first, not even getting a shot on goal.
It was nice to see him laughing right afterwards, because personally I’d be all kinds of embarrassed and would be busy trying to disappear from sight.
Speaking to the Detroit Free Press a few days later, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock was very philosophical in his reaction to what happened, saying:
“What I liked best is that he was laying on the ice, smiling. That’s what life is about – you get out there and you give it everything you’ve got. Sometimes it doesn’t work out and you get up, you have a smile on your face, you get ready to do it again… The reality is, I think it’s a great message to kids, I really do – you get up and you just keep plugging.”
In a story that makes last Wednesday’s Champions League draw between Arsenal and Barcelona even more epic – Cesc Fabregas is done for the season with a cracked right fibula.
Why does that up the epic-ness?
If you watched the game, it was all Barca for long stretches of the game including a first half where they should have been up by a handful of goals. At the stroke of half time, Arsenal’s Fabregas earned a yellow card, which ruled him out of the return leg, but his night wasn’t over.
Barca went up 2-0 with goals in the 46th and 59th minutes off the foot of striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but the home side got one back when Theo Walcott burst down the wing and beat Victor Valdes. Then, in the 84th minute, Fabregas was taken down by Carles Puyol in the box and was awarded a penalty kick.
The former Barca standout put it away with ease and immediately went down clutching at his leg – which basically means he scored a hugely important goal in what was a classic game…with a cracked bone in his leg.
What a hero.
For the record, Puyols maintains he's the one who was fouled, and I think I see his point.
Happy Easter Everybody!