Fans, players, and the league probably expected this sooner or later. A la former NFL players, a group of former NHL players are suing the league in a class-action suit regarding concussions. The NFL group had about 4500 players involved. Here? Ten. These 10 guys played between 1970 and 1997, and none of them are what you could consider star caliber players, but all suffered career ending injuries related to concussions.
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Biggest story of the week
Not a lot of big headlines this week, so I figured we’d look at one of the biggest stories through the first two months of this season: the Western Conference is better than the Eastern Conference. Head-to-head matchups are heavily lopsided in the West’s favor, and the amount of points teams have compared to the East's top teams is striking. There’s always been a lot of talk over the last few years that the Western Conference is a tougher, more physical brand of hockey. It’s not something that is easy to measure, but there is no question that there is a difference between the two conferences.
One possible explanation for the lopsidedness could be that Western teams are used to heavy travel. Eastern teams only go out to the West Coast a few times of year, while West teams travel through time zones like it’s no big deal.
Read on for goals of the week, top five teams, and more...
Welcome to another installment of Hockey Fights of the Week. This week we're preaching balance. Three of the five fights this week are pretty lopsided, but all five bouts fall into a similar category. Each scrap you see below is solid, but it's highly doubtful any of these altercations will be remembered as one of the year's best.
Ottawa's Jared Cowen delivered a nasty elbow to the head of Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk. The incident looked pretty bad live, but replays proved Cowen went out of his way to stick Datsyuk in the head with his elbow long after the puck left the area.
Surely Cowen would receive some sort of punishment from the NHL after this hit, right? Of course not. This is the NHL and things rarely make sense. The league determined his elbow on Datsyuk was "accidental" and that no punishment would be handed down.
Doesn't appear to be any supplementary discipline for Senators D Jared Cowen. No hearing scheduled today. #Sens
Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov has officially been handed down charges by the Denver District Attorney’s Office stemming from an incident last month. As first reported on by the Denver Post, Varlamov will be heading to court on one count of assault in the third degree, a Class 1 misdemeanor in the State of Colorado. If you’re unfamiliar with the details of the incident, we did a write-up on it when Varlamov was first arrested and posted bail.
I was at the NHL's announcement on Monday that they were going forward with NHL Revealed: A Season Like No Other, a seven-part series providing inside access to the nine teams involved in the Stadium Series and Heritage Classic. It was an impressive presentation in New York City. I have complete faith in the league's partners -- networks NBCSN and CBC, producers Ross Greenburg, Julie Bristow and Steve Mayer -- to make this one of the better things the league has ever helped produced.
That said, I couldn't help but get a feeling that this is a well-woven path. We've seen the sports reality show before, with Hard Knocks and 24/7. While this will be done on a remarkable scale and weave a lot of storylines in and out, it won't be much from a technical standpoint that we haven't seen. It's time to think up the next big idea for hockey and access-driven television.
Here's my pitch, to anyone listening: Stanley Cup Playoffs, The Movie.
We all remember the incident a week ago in Chicago where Adam Pardy was knocked into the glass, the glass fell backwards on some fans, and a very drunk guy took the opportunity to steal Pardy's helmet while his significant other made it rain beer on Pardy's head?
Any who, a local Winnipeg radio station DJ, Dave Wheeler, decided to turn the Blackhawks' visit to the Jets tonight into a #HelmetPardy. What does that entail? Why, wearing your beer league helmets to the game, of course! Ha ha ha passive aggressive mocking of drunk people and the Chicago Blackhawks, all in the name of good fun. The MTS Centre is home of some of the loudest heckling chants in the NHL. Jets fans enjoy trolling much in the same manner that Thrashers fans loved yelling "YOU SUCK" at goalies who didn't - it makes them (and made us) feel better.
It feels like the 2013-14 season just started, but here we are with our seventh installment of Hockey Fights of the Week. So far we've seen a little bit of everything. We've seen fights which are early candidates for best of the season, fights which cast a negative light on the sport and fights which can barely be classified as fights.
The media loves to debate the topic of fighting in hockey. As the NHL places more restrictions on fights (helmets on with mandatory visors), the debate rages on over whether the NHL should ban fighting in hockey once and for all.
However, there's one group that's consistently in favor of fighting: the players. Some 98% of players want to keep fighting in the NHL. Why? Jarome Iginla gave an interesting interview with Sports Illustrated in which he detailed why he believes fighting still has a place in the NHL.