November 14 2012 07:05PM
One of the best things about Nail Yakupov is the company he keeps. Yakupov's agent is the brilliant hockey man Igor Larionov, who spent his career earning the reputation as the "thinking man's hockey player"--his positioning was the stuff of legends. When Larionov speaks on any hockey subject it is worth a listen; when he's discussing the Oilers #1 overall pick from 2012, it is best to listen closely.
November 14 2012 08:58AM
There’s an idea floating around that the NHLPA has lost its grasp on exactly what its constituents are. It works something like this: owners are owners, employees are employees, and the latter have no right to be dictating to the former what share of company revenue they deserve.
I suspect it’s an idea born of frustration with the NHL lockout, and an apples-to-oranges comparison between employment as a professional hockey player and employment in a more blue-collar job. In that sense it’s understandable. It’s wrong, but it’s understandable.
November 13 2012 01:14PM
The most exciting game of the Barons’ season to date played itself out this morning.
The first period was the worst of the Oklahoma City Barons. They were down 4-0 to Toronto after one period, with the primary culprits being stars like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Justin Schultz. They were better in the second period. The third period was the absolute best the Barons could offer: those four players combined for nine points as the Barons turned a 5-2 deficit into a 5-5 tie in less than three minutes of third period action.
November 13 2012 11:13AM
The first time I saw Pavel Bure was at Northlands (now Rexall Place) when he played against Canada's under-17 Team Pacific. I was in the building watching my brother Colin play for Canada, but two minutes into the game Bure stood out. I remember literally hating the Russians before the game started, however, as the game went on I couldn't take my eyes of off Bure.
I'd never seen a player skate like him. After the game Colin and I talked about how ridiculously fast and explosive Bure was. My brother was an excellent skater, when he went to NHL camps he was one of the quickest, but he said Bure was on a different level. His first few steps were the quickest I'd ever seen, and he was so fast it seemed he could accelerate even when skating laterally. I was 14 years old when I saw Bure for the first time, and it wasn't until four years later that he surfaced again in the NHL. When he joined the Canucks he was even more exciting than I recalled that cold night at Northlands.
Bure was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame yesterday, a few years too late if you ask me, and during his highlight reel I pondered if I'd seen a more exciting player in the last 30 years. I'm not suggesting Bure was better than Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux, of course not, but as a pure electrifying and dazzling player, there are few who could compare.
November 13 2012 07:03AM
Ever since the start of this crazy lockout I always felt there was more to the league's stance then just the hockey-related revenue. Although getting to a 50/50 split is a pretty big chuck of change that the players will go without, it is just dollars and cents. It isn't a systemic issue. The money can be divided up.
After sifting through the tea leaves of all the talk the past week from both sides it is clear to me there are systemic issues. Here are the NHL's big four.