Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cap-Cutting Measures

Amazingly, this picture was not Photoshopped.
Labour negotiations between the league and the players' association are still in their infancy, despite the lockout deadline looming ever larger. The two sides are set to meet again today after the league tabled a new proposal that is much softer than their initial ludicrous demand. It still likely isn't going to go over well with the player's association, but it's a start.

The league's offer would cut the salary cap to $58 million next season, down more than $12 million from the current figure. As it stands now, there are 16 teams already over that limit, yet the league's offer did not include any sort of salary rollback. How are teams supposed to become cap compliant? Well, a contract amnesty would be a good start.

A few weeks ago I wrote an article for The Good Point on the benefits of a one-time contract amnesty. With the league's proposal there would have to be a five-time contract amnesty for some teams (looking at you, Calgary).

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Anti-Fantasy Hockey

Did you draft Nino Niederreiter as a sleeper in your fantasy pool last year only to be rewarded with a disastrous one point, minus-29 rating in 55 games?

What if instead of being a total bust, that was an MVP-calibre season. No, I don't mean what if Uncle Nino scored 100 points, I mean what if that terrible season was exactly what you envisioned.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Many Faces of Gary Bettman

It isn't a stretch to say that Gary Bettman isn't well-liked among fans. Case in point: Every year fans boo Bettman mercilessly as he hands the Stanley Cup to the winning captain. It doesn't matter if the home team won either, fans just love booing Bettman. They can temporarily put aside their euphoria over winning the cup.

Bettman also hasn't found many friends in the media. It isn't as obvious as a cascade of jeers in front of a national TV audience, but by examining the pictures reporters use for their stories, it's clear they aren't fond of the NHL commissioner.

Almost none of the pictures used make Bettman look serious. In fact, many of the photographs are so utterly comical that you'd think the piece was satirical. Wrong. Most of the following photos come from actual news stories.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Falling Down

"I'm done. Good luck with Niklas Kronwall as your No. 1 defenceman."
It's a sad state of affairs when every article has to be prefaced with "if there is a season." It makes reading and writing about hockey almost a futile venture, unless of course you're actually reading and writing about labour negotiations (and I'm with most fans in the 'wake-me-when-it's-over' boat).

But in the face of an impending lockout, I'm taking the stance that there will be a season, facts be damned. The league is making too much money to throw it all away with another lost season. I'm sure the Sept. 15 deadline will pass and the players will get locked out, but this won't be a repeat of 2004, when the season was eventually cancelled.

So if there will be a season (and there better be), I might as well act like it's going to happen. Here's an article I wrote for The Good Point looking at a group of teams that are poised to drop in the standings this season (you know, if there is one).

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tomas Kaberle: A Trade Rumour History

Tomas Kaberle Leafs trade
Not so long ago, Tomas Kaberle was the only bright light during increasingly dark times in Toronto.

With the Leafs attempting to rebuild, Kaberle's name was linked in just about every trade rumour imaginable. Finally, after what seemed like years of endless rumours, Kaberle was dealt to the Boston Bruins for Joe Colborne, a first-round pick, and a conditional second-round pick, which eventually went to Toronto after Boston won the 2011 Stanley Cup.

However, Kaberle has been involved in trade talks long before Brian Burke struggled to bring respectability back to Toronto. Here are five major trades that would have seen Tomas Kaberle packing his bags and the history of the Toronto Maple Leafs change dramatically.
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