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NHL finally gets act together...

Yes, yes. The NHL owners and the players' union have an agreement in principle. And I think I speak for hockey fans everywhere when I say: rah.

Although, really -- apparently the ink isn't on paper yet, and given the two sides' track record thus far of screwing things up, perhaps we shouldn't fill the Stanley Cup with champagne just yet. (Speaking of which, where *is* the Cup? Did they let the Lightning players keep it for an extra year, or what?)

http://www.boston.com/sports/hockey/articles/2005/07/13/nhl_players_work_to_complete_contract/

Now that they have a deal in hand, I will be shocked if the PA doesn't fire its head/negotiator, Goodenow. Moron. He would appear to be one of the main reasons for putting off the players' caving in the end until long past the last possible moment, in the process managing to sink several possible earlier deals that were far more favorable than what they actually settled for. Though really, it would also be good if the owners all got together the moment the ink was on the contract, and fired Bettman, too. Yes, you could say he finally got them what they wanted. Or, you could say that he was an key part in forcing the loss of an entire season. Surely, in 6 years, when this becomes an issue again, the NHL could do waaaaaaay better than Bettman.

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( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
raven_lore
Jul. 13th, 2005 01:44 pm (UTC)
I admit I don't know very well what the problem was and how we ended up without an entire season, but I'll be certainly glad if this agreement, whatever it is, ends up on ink and we get the game back.

It's already hard to follow a sport that in your country most people ignore, even harder to get infos and I'm sure my going around mumbling about why oh why they weren't playing... when everyone else here (italy) was following the various soccer championships helped a lot my fame as weirdos.

Also, please tell me your icon means you're a Canuck's fan lie if you have to *g*
eregyrn
Jul. 13th, 2005 01:57 pm (UTC)
Okay, you win. :) Here, we are used to discussing the marked difference between the popularity of the sport in Canada, and in America where it is far less on everyone's radar. There's been a lot of hand-wringing about the loss of the season, not least because of the theory that it's not a great ideat to give the U.S. market the chance to realize how much it didn't really miss ice hockey.

But, *Italy*? Okay, yeah. That wins, hands down. :)

I also hope the deal just get inked, and we get the game back. Truly everyone is talking right now as if it's a done deal -- though I suspect the hold-up is that the players have to actually vote on it. But there's been no indication they're likely to vote it down. I'm very interested to see what else the sport tries to do in the coming year to improve the game, because one thing's for sure -- the players, at least, know how pissed off the fan-base is. I think a lot of the owners do, too, but the players *really* do.

And, yes, though I live in Boston, the Canucks are my guys. :) It's a slightly convoluted story. The orca logo doesn't hurt, though. ;-) (However -- during the off-season, the Canucks got sold, or at least partially sold. Everything I've heard suggests it was a good deal, with the new owners being Vancouver locals and big hockey fans, so it's no danger to the team. But there's been speculation about whether they'll change the team's uniform look yet again, and perhaps go back to one of the earlier logos.)

How much of a Canucks fan am I? The jersey I have is #16, of course: Trevor Linden, Capt. Canuck. (Not that I -- along with the rest of Vancouver -- don't love Markus Naslund, the current captain, as well, and think he makes a great captain for the team right now; but Trev's my guy.) And I am very worried -- because Trev was the president of the NHLPA, and we all know that means one thing: he must have just had one of the crappiest years of anyone in the NHL. I remember, when the lockout was looming last summer, hearing speculation that if the season was scrapped, Trev might just retire after the contract wrangling was over. Am crossing my fingers that this isn't true, of course. *sob*
nangi_akki
Jul. 13th, 2005 11:47 pm (UTC)

Teal'c: "I believe the Canucks of Vancouver are superior warriors."

Jack: "Canucks, eh?" (pause) "So, lunch?"
eregyrn
Jul. 14th, 2005 01:15 pm (UTC)
Don't forget that classic Jack double-take, too. ;-)

They were being awfully mean. :) I think that at the time that episode was shot, the Canucks actually had a fairly good record. They've been considered a contender team over the last 3-4 years. Before that, though, apart from the heartbreaking 1994 run to the Cup finals, the Canucks *did* tend to be the butt of jokes. They've only become really, really good in the last 4-5 years -- and even then, their current established pattern is very similar to that of the pre-2004 Boston Red Sox. Which is to say -- play very well during the season, have a good shot at becoming Conference champions, then tank somewhere in the actual playoffs. Vancouver, therefore, regard the Canucks with a certain degree of wariness -- hoping that this year might be the year, but since it's never happened (i.e. the Canucks have never won the Cup), not counting on it.

To add background to that exchange in the show -- if I'm not mistaken, "The Other Guys" was shot *after* the season in which the Canucks and the Minnesota Wild wound up in a hard-fought and ultimately acrimonious second-round play-offs contest, in which the Wild ultimately triumphed. (The Wild would then be beaten by the Mighty Ducks, on the Ducks' way to the finals.) So, the Canucks had really just broken Vancouver's heart *yet again* (they had led their series against the Wild 3-1, and were considered favorites to win; and then they blew it).

At the time (and I think that somewhere, an actual picture exists of this, but I forget where I saw it), RDA had somebody make him a custom jersey, which was half of a Canucks jersey sewn to half of a Wild jersey -- because he wanted to support both teams. (Not exactly a popular decision in Vancouver at the time, but anyone can understand a native Minnesotan's desire to support the Wild, a relatively new team that Minnesota finally got after many years before having its beloved Northstars bought and moved unceremoniously to Dallas.)
nangi_akki
Jul. 14th, 2005 01:46 pm (UTC)
yeah, i remember that pic. i think it was in a vancouver sun article.
ah - here it is. found it at rdanderson.com
http://rdanderson.com/archives/a3-04-25.htm
eregyrn
Jul. 15th, 2005 07:02 am (UTC)
Yes! That's it! *So* delightfully goofy. Thanks for finding that!
raven_lore
Jul. 14th, 2005 11:38 am (UTC)
But, *Italy*? Okay, yeah. That wins, hands down. :)

Hehe! But, to be fair we have hockey here, but it is followed only by a small percentage of the population. The majority doesn't know anything about it, the games are never ever shown on tv and if you want to know the results or the last news, you have to go to the last sport page of the newspaper and cross your fingers... I'll let you imagine how hardimpossible it is to find infos on the Stanley Cup.

I also hope the deal just get inked, and we get the game back. Truly everyone is talking right now as if it's a done deal -- though I suspect the hold-up is that the players have to actually vote on it. But there's been no indication they're likely to vote it down. I'm very interested to see what else the sport tries to do in the coming year to improve the game, because one thing's for sure -- the players, at least, know how pissed off the fan-base is. I think a lot of the owners do, too, but the players *really* do.

Keeping fingers crossed here. *g*

Also the whole no season thing is almost unbelievable from where I stay. I mean try and tell people here in Italy that they won't have the Soccer National Championship... You'd have a revolution before that could happen.

And, yes, though I live in Boston, the Canucks are my guys. :) It's a slightly convoluted story.

Mine is simple. I went to Vancouver three years ago and to my first game. It was great and fun and the Canucks won and I have a soft spot for Vancouver and what can I say, I just like them. *g*

The orca logo doesn't hurt, though.

lol

Can I take the chance to ask why orcas? I'm curious.

But there's been speculation about whether they'll change the team's uniform look yet again, and perhaps go back to one of the earlier logos.

mmm.. I like the present logo...

How much of a fan I am? Well, as much as possible from here. I even have a jersey (with no number, because I didn't know the names at that first game...) and the scarf, which considering that I'm never cold, I wear just for fannish purpose. *g*

I'm going to keep my finger crossed for Trevor too and can I ask you what happened with Todd Bertuzzi? Last I heard of him (a long, long time ago...) there had been a bad episode on the ice and they were talking suspensions and things like that... but then USA TODAY (which was the only newspaper I could find here in Italy with news about hockey) disappeared as well.

Wow, it's good to have someone I can ask about hockey!

eregyrn
Jul. 14th, 2005 01:31 pm (UTC)
But, to be fair we have hockey here, but it is followed only by a small percentage of the population.

Huh! I didn't even know it had *that* much of a following there. Do you guys field an Olympic team?

You'd have a revolution before that could happen.

Yeah, but the equivalent would be the Canadians rioting. And can you imagine that? Canadians are pretty polite and even-tempered.

Can I take the chance to ask why orcas? I'm curious.

Why do *I* like orcas (as evidenced by several of my LJ icons and my username)? Or, why do the Canucks have an orca logo? ;-)

Me, it's hard to explain. I mean, I could give many explanations as to why I find the animals fascinating and compelling *now*. I'm not sure that I know quite how I got fixated on them or when it happened, although I can recall the interest going all the way back to when I was little. "Orca" has usually been my email address name or somewhere in my online usernames since the early 90s.

I like the current Canucks logo, too. Obviously. ;-) But there are mixed opinions on it in Vancouver, where some see it as having too little to do with the history of the team and too much to do with the current team owners' parent company, Orca Bay (which owns the stadium, etc.). The uniforms were changed the year that Orca Bay bought the team. Some fans point out that, whatever the reason for the change, the new look is synonomous with the team's recent successful history and the era epitomized by Naslund and Bertuzzi.

Last season, though, the NHL in general had a series of "vintage" games in which teams wore versions of the original uniform designs (or in the case of the oldest teams, just, designs from many decades ago). The original Canucks logo was somewhat boring (a hockey stick on a rink-shape that, if you squint, is also a stylized "C"), but the overall response to the vintage look was favorable in Vancouver. A lot of folks have said they ought to bring the original uniform and colors back. *shrug* We'll see what happens.

raven_lore
Jul. 17th, 2005 07:16 am (UTC)
Huh! I didn't even know it had *that* much of a following there. Do you guys field an Olympic team?

Yes, but the truth is I don't know much about it. i don't know, I went to two games here in Italy and maybe I was unlucky, but it looked pretty.... amateurish confronted to what I've seen in Canada and so my interest remained focused on the Canucks and the Stanley Cup. I've been looking for tickets for the Olympic games next year here in Torino, but I never really thought about tickets for the Italian team, only for the Canadian one.... (plus tickets for curling and ice skating, but the prices are just too high... :( )

Yeah, but the equivalent would be the Canadians rioting. And can you imagine that?

Oh my, I'm still laughing so hard, the image is so hilarious.

About orcas thanks for the explanation. I'm curios about what is behind people's passions and it was pretty clear your love for them.

About the logo... mmm.. I looked up the old one on google and, nope, I seriously prefer the new one. Also I'm a recent fan, so I identify them with the new logo.


eregyrn
Jul. 14th, 2005 01:39 pm (UTC)
and can I ask you what happened with Todd Bertuzzi?

Last I heard (and I've been checking in with all my old forums and stuff the last few days), Bert is still officially suspended, following that incident. It was originally left that he was suspended for the remainder of the season and the playoffs, and his status would be reviewed prior to the start of the next season... which didn't happen, obviously, because of the lock-out. The speculation at the moment is that once the CBA deal gets inked, next week after the owners vote on Thursday, the team will formally ask Bettman to review Bertuzzi's case. Someone from team management has commented that it is definitely on their minds.

Originally, there had been some speculation that Bettman might decide to extend the suspension through the start of the following season. Now, however, it ought to be taken into consideration that because of the suspension, Bert was unable to play on any Swedish teams during the lockout, because the European leagues have agreements to honor suspensions in the NHL. So, while teammates like Naslund and Morrison went and played for Swedish teams, Bert couldn't.

Also, the year-long break allowed some legal stuff to happen -- there was the criminal investigation and IIRC a civil investigation, and all those have now been settled, to the best of my knowledge. (But I have to go look that up, I forget *quite* where it all got left; except obviously, Bert's not in jail or anything.) I think the only possible pending legal action is the question of whether Moore is considering suing anyone. I haven't heard anything about that, honestly. But anyway -- there was speculation that Bettman and the NHL wanted to wait to see what the outcome would be from legal cases, and now those are settled. So -- crossing fingers -- the hope is that they'll just quietly reinstate him. They probably don't want any more publicity from that incident, and at this point, I have a feeling that *NOT* reinstating him would dredge up more negative press than they want.

There are other issues afoot, though -- such as, Naslund's contract. Rumors are flying at the moment. One rumor has former Canucks GM Brian Burke, who is now with the Mighty Ducks, trying to lure Naslund and perhaps Bertuzzi down there. Another (better) rumor states that both Naslund, and Colorado player Peter Forsberg, have publicly stated that, since they are both free agents and do not actually have contracts, and since they are very, very old friends, they are asking their agents to look into whether they could play on the same team. The main question there is -- what team could afford *both* of them, or, would both be willing to take a modest pay-cut in order to be on the same team together? There are some guesses that we could indeed wind up with a Naslund-Bertuzzi-Forsberg line for the Canucks this year... and if that actually happens? Wow!
raven_lore
Jul. 17th, 2005 07:36 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for all the infos! And please feel free to share with me any Canucks/hockey related things whenever you want to. It's almost too good to have someone to talk about it. Friday I kept going around smiling and people kept asking why I was so happy. My answer was that in a few hours I would have new SG1 and SGA and that a new hockey season seemed closer and then I had to explain what SG1 is, what SGA is, and the whole thing about hockey. By the end the other person was usually looking at me as if I had grown another head...

I really hope they will reinstate Todd and that he won't leave the team. Also, the better rumor? Cool. I can't help but think that this is the year. (optimistic fan here, if you couldn't tell it *g*)

eregyrn
Aug. 8th, 2005 06:37 pm (UTC)
Hi! I have some updates for you...

-- although it was somewhat in doubt, captain Markus Naslund *did* re-sign with the Canucks.

-- none of the other Big Rumors came to pass -- Forsberg ended up with the Flyers, Niedermayer with the Ducks, and Kariya with the Predators. Ah well! The problem was the whole salary-cap issue.

-- speaking of which -- many of the teams that had the biggest number of stars were forced to get rid of some of them, and they were snapped up by smaller teams who had had smaller payrolls and were thus able to spend the money on them. The Avalanche, for example, were able to retain Sakic and Blake, but had to get rid of Forsberg and Foote -- just couldn't afford them. This was a pattern throughout the league for teams that had had high-paid stars and big payrolls.

-- unlike any of the other elite teams, the Canucks were pretty much able to retain their core roster this year. Some of the non-UFAs haven't yet signed (they were made qualifying offers), but all the big guys are back -- Naslund, Morrison, Bertuzzi, Jovanovski, Ohlund, etc., and they are working on the others. The Canucks so far have only lost: d-men Brent Sopel and Marek Malik... both of whom were considered the least skilled of the team's 6 d-men.

-- the Canucks just signed r-winger Richard Park (formerly of the Wild; only Korean in the NHL). Reaction to this amongst fans is "cautiously pleased". He's known as a pretty solid player.

Biggest news:

-- today, Todd Bertuzzi's suspension was officially declared over. He was reinstated by Bettman and the League, and may start when the 05-06 season starts. Amongst the reasoning: that because his suspension barred him from play in the World Cup or in Europe, he did effectively miss 17 months of hockey, which is substantial enough. (In other news -- the guy he hit, Steve Moore, is close to being cleared to play hockey again; although it's not certain whether he wishes to or if any team would sign him.)

YAY!

Only remaining uncertainty (for me) is Trevor Linden -- but there has been no news yet that he is thinking of retirement, and in fact he appeared in a press conference recently with the GM on another topic. So, *crossing fingers*.

About orcas thanks for the explanation. I'm curios about what is behind people's passions and it was pretty clear your love for them.

:) It's hard to put into words, but I think that one of the things that has always fascinated me about orcas in particular is their intelligence. Yes, they're huge, and yes, they're arguably the ocean's apex predator -- they outclass sharks because of their brainpower and their cooperative hunting strategies.

But more than that, the more you get to know about them, the clearer it is how smart they are -- and also how highly social. There are theories that they (like other dolphin species) have what could be termed a language, and even that they have "culture" (i.e. sets of behaviors that vary between different social groups, that consist of behaviors that are taught by older community members to younger ones, rather than those behaviors being the product of instinct).

And all of that is contained in a life-form that is really...different. That's the other thing that really hooks me about them -- they're *so* different from land animals, it's almost like dealing with an alien. They *are* like "wolves of the sea" -- but I think there's evidence that they're even smarter than that, and to humans, they are less easily understood. And that, to me, makes them especially fascinating. :)
raven_lore
Aug. 12th, 2005 07:18 am (UTC)
Thanks for the update! And yay!! for Todd. I was really hoping it would end this way. If I'm not wrong there is also a possibility that he will be part of the Olympic team at Torino 2006, which, even if I doubt that I will be able to go to any game, because they are really too expensive, is good to know and, anyway, never say never :)

I'll keep my fingers crossed for Trevor Linden. And now I have to find out if there is any way for me to see at least some of the games. I doubt that there will be avi files like for tv shows and movies though.

About Orcas, you've intrigued me. I didn't know about the "culture" bit and it is really fascinating. Thanks for sharing.
telepresence
Jul. 13th, 2005 02:26 pm (UTC)
This is that sport with the big slidey rock thing and the brooms right?
eregyrn
Jul. 14th, 2005 12:57 pm (UTC)
You THINK you're funny. :P
raqs
Jul. 13th, 2005 06:56 pm (UTC)
rah.
eregyrn
Jul. 14th, 2005 12:59 pm (UTC)
Thenkew fer yer support. Especially as you are in grave danger of being dragged to an Islanders game, unless you can find someone to pinch-hit for you.

(... which you may think is mixing sports metaphors. But the weird thing is, hockey announcers, even in Canada, are constantly using baseball metaphors -- "stepping up to the plate", "knocking it out of the park" -- and if I'm not mistaken, ice hockey may have originated the "hat trick" but now everybody uses that.)
teand
Jul. 14th, 2005 09:57 am (UTC)
Definitely rah!
eregyrn
Jul. 14th, 2005 01:01 pm (UTC)
I admit, I'm starting to feel more genuinely excited now that folks are actually speculating about contracts and the reality is sinking in. (And look at all of us! The PA doesn't vote until next Tues. and the owners not until next Thurs. -- although, they've optimistically scheduled the draft for next Thurs. as well, so, *crossed fingers*.)
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