Breaking Sports

Saturday, April 02, 2005

mlb- Bonds says he will be Back

Barry Bonds greeted fans for the first time this season Friday. Not at SBC Park, but at a downtown San Francisco charity event where he received a standing ovation.
The seven-time National League MVP gave fans a better reason to cheer: Bonds, who hinted 10 days ago he was unsure when, if ever, he would play again, said he is not retiring from the game.
Bonds did say, however, that he no longer wishes to speak to the media.
No word on how long that edict will last.
As for a timetable for his return, Bonds said Friday he's taking his rehab day to day, although the Giants are expected to put him on the 15-day disabled list Saturday. He's off crutches but walking with a noticeable limp, careful not to put a lot of weight on his knee.

ONE GREAT MAN

The Canadian youths gave the Pope a hockey stick with his name, John Paul, inscribed on the back. And his number: 2, in Roman numerals, of course. It was Roger's idea.

"Because I love hockey," he explained, gently shrugging his shoulders.

The Pope surprised them by confiding, "60 years ago, I too played hockey!"

mlb- Detroit Tigers Minor Trade

The Detroit Tigers found their 11th pitcher. Matt Ginter was acquired today from the NY Mets in exchange for pitcher Steve Colyer. Ginter will be the Tigers long reliever and a spot starter in case of injury.

nhl- Canadiens may acquire Free Agent

Youppi! may be a two-sport mascot. The Montreal Gazette reported Wednesday that the former Expos mascot may be joining the Canadiens.
"I can confirm that the Canadiens organization has shown some serious interest in adopting Youppi!," Canadiens vice-president Donald Beauchamp said, although he did not confirm the deal was done.

nhl- It could get Worse

from Stan Fischler and msgnetwork, When Gary Bettman finishes his meeting – likely in Toronto -- with Bob Goodenow some time on Monday (April 4) afternoon, the war between management and labor is likely to get bloodier than it has been for the past seven months.
Goodenow, the NHL Players’ Association boss, is expected to reject the last two offers made by the league’s commissioner.
One bid was for a $37.5 million hard cap without linkage or the second; a linkage between salary and income, which has been so despised by the stickhandlers.
The hope is that the union will respond with an attractive enough offer to at least have Bettman take it to his owners for consideration and – one would hope – a Collective Bargaining Agreement that would put the league back on track.
But there isn’t a soul between here and the nearest ouija board who believes that such an armistice will take place.

All about Grapes

Don Cherry sat down with the National Post yesterday to discuss the left-wing pinkos, pirates, and drinking pints with Ron MacLean.

1. You end Coach's Corner with a thumbs up. You end telephone calls with a "Toodleloo." Toodle-loo?
DC My mother always used to say, "Don't swing on my gate." For me, it's Toodleloo -- "I'll see ya." I don't know what it signifies or anything, and I don't know where it comes, and it's habit now -- I don't even know I'm saying it.
2. Why (the nickname) Grapes?
DC I played for the Springfield Indians, and there was a guy on that team called Tex (Gerry) Ehman. He had a lot of misconducts -- and he was a favourite of Eddie Shore. And I had a lot of fighting and game misconducts, and I wasn't a favourite of Eddie Shore. Shore would pay all Tex's NHL fines [players were fined $25 for misconducts] at the end of the season, but he didn't pay mine. So I told Tex I didn't care anyhow, and that he was just a suck -- and he said to me, "Ah, that's just sour grapes." He saw I didn't like that very much, so from then on it was Grapes.
The interview goes on and on and on...

nhl- Too Much Hitting

from the globeandmail(reg. req.), Don Cherry just spilled his coffee.
A collective shudder from traditionalists shakes the game.
Hockey Night in Canada analyst John Davidson has just said there is too much hitting in the National Hockey League. And that's one of the reasons the game has become such a dismal spectacle.
"It's called stick-and-pin," Davidson said. "In other words, you take the guy in the zone, stick him into the boards and pin him so he has no chance of getting back into the play. It's just another way of stopping something that could have happened."
Davidson doesn't suggest eliminating hitting. A clean bodycheck in the open ice is an important part of hockey. But so much of the stuff today is actually boarding and it produces nothing meaningful, except head injuries.
"I hope people don't take this the wrong way, that I'm a wimp and don't like hitting," he said. "That's not true. Hitting is one of the great spectacles of our sport. But when we eliminate every single player who has the puck along the boards, we eliminate him from the play. And a lot of time that's two or three steps after he's made a pass.
"A lot of times these are boarding plays and you wonder how the player can get himself off the ice. I honestly don't know how they do it. These are not small players any more. They're giants."

Friday, April 01, 2005

nhl- Some Hope Exists

from foxsports, As the upcoming meeting between the NHL and NHLPA draws near, there is some speculation as to what the association might propose in what's believed to be its counteroffer to the league's last proposals.
At this point in the negotiations, expectations are rather low among those following this dispute. Since the league's previous offer consisted of tying salaries to 54 percent of league revenues or a de-linked hard cap set at $37.5 million, the more cynical feel NHLPA director Bob Goodenow will merely offer a rehash of his previous offers.
It's easy to feel that these negotiations only exist in word only, that both sides are merely going through the motions as they prepare for the next phase of this lockout to shift to the labor boards.
Still, as per the National Labor Relations Act, both sides must continue to bargain in good faith, and the possibility exists of a new, original offer from the association.
One possibility could see Goodenow proposing a $45 million hard cap with even tougher luxury tax penalties to kick in at a certain level (say, $37.5 million?) or demands for a better system of revenue sharing.
Based on the NHL's last offer, however, it seems highly unlikely commissioner Gary Bettman or the 30 owners will consider a cap set at that level.
Another option could see the PA agree to a $42.5 million cap as proposed by the league prior to the cancellation of this season. All that'll accomplish, however, is ignite a firestorm of anger toward Goodenow and the players from the press and the fans for not accepting that amount back then when the 2004-05 season still could've been saved.

nhl- Changes Coming

from Bob McKenzie of tsn, Everyone knows changes are coming to the NHL's on-ice product, once it gets back on the ice, of course. Whether it's in the form of wider blue lines or more penalties being called or the introduction of the shootout or smaller goalie equipment, all these changes are coming, of that there is no doubt.
The big question, though, is how much further will the changes go.
That's something to be discussed by NHL general managers, when they meet next Thursday at a Detroit airport hotel. Some radical notions will be explored and some of them could very well be introduced in the post-lockout NHL.
continued....



nhl- Bettman, The April Fool Poster Boy

from the Thunder Bay Chronicle, Gary Bettman, the “April Fool Poster Boy” of the National Hockey League, has long been espousing his position that, if it’s broken, then fix it. But, don’t “Red Green” it. Don’t use duct tape where a couple of six inch spikes will nail it down nicely.
So what’s he up to besides looking resolute, iron-jawed, and holier-than-thou? Well, he’s busy, in his little hard hat and little tool belt constructing an everlasting peace on ice. In his eyes he’s taking the high road by refusing any white-flagged capitulation by the Players Association.
Their 24 per cent salary rollback didn’t fix the rip in the NHL’s pants. Their acceptance of the dreaded “cap” word didn’t patch the blowouts in the NHL’s socks. Bringing in The Great One, Wayne himself, along with Magnificent Mario, to make nice with the owners, didn’t plug the holes in the soles of the NHL’s Gucci Topsiders.
Gary’s busy running up cab fares between the League offices and the National Labour Relations Board. He and the rest of the NHL’s briefcase commandos are wearing out the carpets at the NLRB offices, fighting the Union’s stance on possible scab players, fighting the Union’s threat to decertify agents who represent scabs, and for all we know, fighting plaque in their spare time.
As if that wasn’t enough of a workload, Gary and the Union Gap are tirelessly restructuring the game. While there is no actual “game on the ice” that hasn’t stopped his industrious little helpers from getting ahead of themselves with how NHL hockey is going to look when it does get back up on its skates....read on...

Will MLB Push for Salary Cap

About two weeks ago I mentioned the NHLPA was looking for support from the other major sports unions. This article may be the reason why the player unions may want to get involved in a show solidarity.

from cnnmoney, The tussle between owners and players in the National Hockey League may have set baseball on a course to another bruising labor war.
The NHL owners locked out the players and stayed the course even though it meant losing an entire season. After holding firm through much of the talks, the NHL Players Association eventually agreed to the concept of a cap on team payrolls in February, just before the entire season was cancelled.
Now, it seems likely that whenever the NHL does reach a labor pact, limits on team payrolls will be part of the deal.
The National Basketball Association and National Football League will also have labor negotiations before the current baseball pact expires Dec. 19, 2006. But both those sports already have salary caps in place, and neither will disappear in the next contract.
That means the NHL's impact could be felt most keenly in baseball's next labor negotiations.
The NHL owners' success in breaking union opposition to a cap could embolden baseball's hard-line owners who have long wanted a cap of their own, according to a source familiar with the owners' position.
If baseball is the last league without a cap, those salary hawks will only get louder in their demands for a limit on team payrolls.
"If NHL gets a hard cap and then comes back to less than a 20 percent drop in attendance without a several-franchises collapse, the MLB owners will be on war path for sure," said Gary Gillette, editor of the Baseball Encyclopedia, and co-chairman of the business of baseball committee for the Society of American Baseball Research.
The best chance of baseball avoiding another nuclear labor war, Gillette thinks, is for NHL attendance to plummet.
"If the NHL has a 30 to 40 percent drop in attendance and several franchises collapse, then I think there will be a pause before the (baseball) hawks put on war paint, " he said.

NHL- AHL Rules Not Working

from tsn, According to a report in the Pioneer Press, Minnesota Wild coach Jacques Lemaire and general manager Doug Risebrough don't think the AHL game has changed much despite rule experiments designed to increase scoring.
"At the next general managers meeting, somebody is going to have to talk me out of making the nets bigger," Risebrough told the Pioneer Press. "And I'm not talking about a half an inch or an inch.
At the urging of the NHL, the American League adopted several new tactics this season. The nets were pushed back, the blue lines were widened and puck-handling by goalies was limited. None of it has worked, according to the Lemaire and Risebrough.

If you want to read the original story(reg. req.), here is the link the Pioneer Press article.

nhl- Monday's CBA Meeting

I have been told that the NHLPA will be coming in with a very unique proposal that will try to sway the established NHL teams to urge Bettman to get a deal done.
Many NHL owners are not on the same page and this proposal will push the "have" and "have nots" further apart. Will it be enough to get a deal done or at least force both sides to continue to talk, we will know more on Monday.
The proposal as I mentioned earlier this week will be one of revenue sharing and luxury tax. A salary cap of around $42 million will be the base but teams will be able to go over that amount if certain criteria is met. The PA will stress a working arrangement with the NHL, now is the time for the sides to start bargaining in good faith. Many sponsorship and television contracts will be reviewed in the next month, this is the time to make a deal.

ESPN.Com Celebrates 10 years

ESPN.com today celebrates its tenth anniversary. The site will feature a look back at its evolution and examine the 100 best games of the past decade. ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell will also look ahead to the next ten years of sports and technology. When the site launched as ESPNET SportsZone, the online landscape totaled approximately 16 million total users worldwide. ESPN.com now boasts an average audience of nearly 15 million unique users per month

blog- Making a Major Change

I have thought long and hard about this and have decided to transform Breaking Sports into a rumor blog.
I will only post rumors from now on, if you wish to contribute to the blog, please feel free to email me any rumor you hear.

I am going to start this blog off with a bang!!!

Rumor has it that the CBA may be settled on Monday. You heard it hear first!!! If it doesn't happen, remember it is only a rumor.
My sources have told me that there is a chance Bettman may be fired at the next BOG.
Another source told me Goodenow may be fired in a week or so.
One reliable source said Gary Bettman will not be fired and also thinks Goodenow will not be fired.
I just received an email from a reliable source, I checked it out and yes, it was an email. The source tells me that hockey will be played again.
An agent left me a voicemail and said hockey will be nets will be raised to 10ft. All goals beyond the faceoff circle will be worth 2 goals. I will check with other sources and get back to you to confirm this.
I received a telegram from Russia today, I have been told the players are heading back home. Looks like we just may have a deal, of course, the season is over in Russia.

Enjoy April 1st!!!

Thursday, March 31, 2005

nhl- Talking Rule Changes

Bob McKenzie of TSN talks(will open WMP video) possible rule changes the NHL is contemplating.

McKenzie also wrote an article for TSN on the same topic as is his norm.
There are two things you should know about next week's General Managers' meeting in Detroit.
One, the get together comes at a time when the concept of change in the NHL will be considered to a greater degree than it ever has in the history of the game. Two, the GMs will spend only about six hours next Thursday talking about how the game is played, with another six-hour session on Friday devoted entirely to collective bargaining updates and issues.
That said, everyone feels that when the NHL game returns to the ice, whenever that may be, it's imperative the product is better and more fan friendly than it was when we last saw it.
Initiatives to improve the game fall into two categories: those that are coming for sure and those that need discussion. Today, we focus on the sure things, read on...

Congress asks for Drug Data

The same Congressional committee that conducted hearings into steroids in baseball has asked NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue for information about how football regulates the performance-enhancing substances.
The Government Reform Committee also said Thursday it will ask for similar data from the NBA, NHL, NCAA, U.S. Track and Field and Major League Soccer.
"As the committee has stated publicly numerous times, its focus on the performance-enhancing drug use in sports is not limited to professional baseball," the committee said in a letter signed by committee chairman Rep. Tom Davis and ranking Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman.
"As part of this investigation, we are requesting basic information on steroid policies from a number of sports leagues."
Tagliabue responded in a letter that he has directed his staff to be fully responsive to the committee's request.
The committee asked the NFL to provide details on the testing procedures and how they were negotiated between the league and the union. It also requested summaries of all test results during the time the testing has taken place, although not the names of individual players. The committee set next Friday as the deadline for the league to provide it with the information.

mlb- Higginson On the Roster

for the Detroit Tiger fans, much speculation on what the Tigers would do with Bobby Higginson. He has made the 25 man roster and Marcus Thames was sent to Toledo. If Mags cannot play opening day, Higgy will be the starting right fielder.

nhl- League Not Filing 2nd Complaint

via sportsnet, The National Hockey League won't be filing a second charge with the National Labour Relations Board, at least not yet. The NHLPA met yesterday's deadline and the two sides are apparently exchanging further correspondence with regard to a speculated threat that agents who represent replacement players risk decertification by the union. Meanwhile, sources tell Sportsnet today marks the deadline for all teams to submit a detailed "homework" assignment, dealing primarily with the financial and marketing aspects of a league furnished with temporary players. Several scenarios are said to be included in these packages, including an educated guess from each of the 30 teams as to how many players they believe would cross over. Sources say the Dallas Stars hosted a meeting earlier this week by invite only to discuss the marketing and advertising of the league and while it is believed a league representative attended, not all of the teams were aware of it, which caused a mild level of grumbling among some on the outside.

nhl- Buyout Still Breathing

from the bostonherald, A multibillion-dollar proposal by Boston financiers to buy the National Hockey League may still be alive.
The controlling partner of the New Jersey Devils is urging his fellow hockey team owners to give a fair hearing to the $3.5 billion league buyout offer from Bain Capital and sports dealmaker GamePlan LLC.
And GamePlan's Robert Caporale said unnamed team owners have sought out his group to quietly offer encouragement.
Meanwhile, GamePlan and Bain are also prepared to up the ante, if necessary, on their $3.5 billion bid. That offer was based on somewhat dated numbers from the 2002-03 season, Caporale said.
In addition, the would-be hockey czars are now ready to negotiate separate prices with each of the league's teams, he said.
``We haven't reached out to them, but some have reached out to us,'' Caporale said. ``They said that they were interested in our presentation and hoped there would be further discussion.''

nhl- Big Picture doesn't Change

from the torontosun, Harry Neale, in the kind of moment only he seems capable of, once described the frustrations of a young player this way: "He can't play better if he doesn't play more," Neale said, "and he can't play more if he doesn't play better."
It is in that strange vacuum that hockey finds itself now in this season without NHL games. It is not playing and yet it is trying to fix its problems. It can't get better if it doesn't play more and it can't play more if it doesn't play at all.
So instead we debate. They debate. Everyone debates. Damn, it gets annoying after a while.
And the real problem -- putting the despicable labour nonsense aside -- may be just like the dilemma Neale eloquently outlined in the young player. The difficulty of fixing hockey, in making it more fan-friendly, in changing the game from defence to offence is this: To accomplish what needs to be truly accomplished, the game as we know it has to be blown up.
And to tinker with this rule change or that rule change -- as is constantly being discussed -- will do little to solve the big-picture problems with the NHL game.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

nhl- What Could Happen Monday

from tsn (will open WMP video), the TSN Insiders discuss what could happen in the CBA meeting on Monday and the BOG meeting on April 20th.
Both Burke and McKenzie say there are some owners who will not filled out their "workbook" that Bettman asked them to fill out.

nhl- More on the "Net"

One of the longest stories I have ever read about a prototype hockey goal.

from canada.com, Bigger nets. Smaller goalie equipment. Less handling the puck.
Enough already, says Sean Burke. "Leave the game alone, stop messing with all the rules," the Philadelphia Flyers goalie said Wednesday. "To me, it just sends the wrong message. It tells people there's something wrong with our game because we're always messing with it. I really have a problem with that."
"To me, it's a microcosm of this whole situation between us and the league," veteran NHL netminder Steve Shields said Wednesday, when asked about the bigger nets. "If they wanted to have real solutions to these problems, don't you think it would be a good idea to talk to some goalies?
"I mean, making the nets bigger, all it's going to do is increase the score. But you're still going to have to watch - or not watch - the same hockey that's basically been unwatchable on TV for the last five or six years."

nhl- Jose Theodore, "Bigger nets are Junk"

from tsn, Following reports that the National Hockey League was considering bigger nets, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jose Theodore didn't hold back on his opinion.
"Excuse my French, but this is bull----," Theodore told The Montreal Gazette from Stockholm, where he tended net for Djurgarden in the Swedish Elite League this season.
"This is junk, and I hope it's not serious," Theodore said. "The idea of a bigger net is crap. I was drafted as a goalie who has spent his life, since I was 7, learning to play the angles. And now, all of a sudden, they're thinking of doing this?"
"Basketball has its three-point play which rewards teams for taking risks on offense," said Campbell. "We don't have that. Do you take a long shot late in a game when you know the odds of scoring are very low? No. Instead you drop back and play defense. We need to find a way to reward teams for taking chances on offense to encourage coaches to coach a more offensive style."
"Colin is really wrong," said Theodore. "I respect the guy, but this is not smart.
"This would change the entire game. It's ridiculous, even stupid. It's wasting energy, and it's not looking at the right places to improve the game."

nhl- Edmonton CEO Speaks Out

from the jasperbooster, The president and CEO of the Edmonton Oilers says he’s confident NHL hockey will return in the fall. But the game won’t be the same. That was one of many messages delivered by Patrick LaForge last week
He was also quick to take a shot at NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow, by framing the union as greedy. “The players’ association is led by a guy who likes to invent boogeymen. The players’ association management has lost its way, and seems to be succumbed by the finances.”
The impact of the lockout on the NHL’s fan base is a serious concern for the corporate executive, who said there will be changes to how the game will be played.
“I think you’ll see in the fall four, five, 10 rule changes,” said LaForge.
Not surprisingly, Laforge expects the number of die-hard hockey fans coming out to games once the NHL starts up again to be smaller than in past years.
“That will be the most difficult part. Fans who really love the game of hockey will be the most difficult to get to come back.

nhl- Shootout Coming

from Al Strachan and the torontosun, When the National Hockey League comes back, it will come back with shootouts. But the form the shootouts will take? No one is quite sure yet.
When the NHL general managers meet in Detroit next week, they will try to decide which way they want to go.
In the Olympics, a team submits a list of five shooters. Should the game still be tied after those five have taken their turns, the same five continue to shoot until a winner is determined.
But in the old International Hockey League, every non-goalie has to take a shot before anyone gets a second crack.
But whatever the format, there is no doubt that the new-age NHL intends to use shootouts to determine a winner if the five-minute overtime doesn't do the job.
The biggest disadvantage to the imposition of a shootout system is that it will upset the purists. To this day, there are Canadian players who insist that they didn't lose that game to the Czechs in the 1998 Nagano Olympics. "We lost the sideshow," they growl.
But if the owners' lockout ever ends, the NHL is going to have to battle to win back its market share, and the shootout should contribute in a number of ways.
First, it keep fans around. If there's a boring game, as is so often the case, the four-a-side overtime is usually exciting, and the prospect of a shootout only adds to the entertainment.
It may mean that hockey becomes like basketball in that the last stages of the game are all that matters, but that's a chance that has to be taken.
Also, the shootout puts an end to tie games, and whether the traditionalists accept it or not, tie games are an anathema to many would-be fans.

nhl- Will it be good Enough

Next Monday, the NHLPA is expected to submit a new proposal to the NHL. Word is it will include a salary cap around $45 million, with heavy emphasis on revenue sharing and a luxury tax.
The intent of the offer is to sway some of the owners into thinking an offer like this would work if the owners agree to revenue sharing. Will the majority of the owners put pressure on Bettman to get a deal done or will the next step be a move towards replacement players. With the BOG meeting coming up on April 20th, we should have an answer to what direction the NHL will be moving.

nhl- ( goalie )

I have just one question, how does the goalie hug the post with the posts looking more like parentheses than posts?

from the toronto sun, Curved nets? Larger nets? In the current hockey climate, nothing is beyond the realm of consideration. When the National Hockey League's general managers meet in Detroit next week, they will do so with open minds, and one of the options under review involves a change to the size of the net.
It could be bowed or it could simply be larger.
The GMs will also look at changing the configuration of the pipes, which have been round as long as there has been a game.
But it has been suggested that if the pipes are made almost triangular, shots that hit the post would be more likely to bounce in than is presently the case.
The principle behind the bowed net is that because it is wider at the sides, the league's shooters would have a bigger target, even though the traditional six-foot width at the base would be unchanged.
But some feel that a change of that nature is simply a step along the way to what is inevitable -- nets that are wider and higher. That's another one of the proposals that the general managers will discuss.
However, changing the dimensions of the net, while garnering some support, is a move that the purists don't want to make for the time being, and as a result, it will probably fail.
Even though the GMs want to increase scoring, they don't want to make a travesty of the game and many of them feel that before they change a standard that has been in place for as long as the game itself -- a net that is six feet wide and four feet high -- they should exhaust all the other options. The most obvious method would be to return to the kind of goalie equipment that was in place throughout most of the game's history.
In general, the principle is that goalie padding should be something that is functional -- in place to stop injuries, not shots.
In the meantime, changes in goal configurations, no matter how innovative, are not likely to receive approval. But they will be heard and given serious consideration.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

nba- Larry Brown May Retire

Larry Brown has undergone many health issues this year. First hip surgery, then recently an undisclosed procedure that has taken more out of him than expected.
This is not a problem with the team or wanting to move on to another position in basketball. He may simply not want to put up with the daily grind of the NBA lifestyle.
Brown just may hang it up in the next few days, but then again he may feel he wants to go on.

nhl- Meeting on Monday

Reports are beginning to surface that the NHL and NHLPA will resume talks on Monday. I will keep you posted of further details.

update 9:15pm, tsn now reporting meeting on Monday.

nhl- For Your Viewing Pleasure

from tsn (links will open WMP video).

Bob McKenzie says everyone will want to pick at Colin Campbell in light of the talks on net size.

Dan Pollard goes 1-on-1 with Bill Daly on NHL Network.

Bigger nets and the Trailer Park Boys are just a couple of topics touched by Damien Cox and Steve Simmons.

nhl- More Legal Talk

from usatoday, The NHL has asked the players' association to disavow media reports it is threatening to decertify agents that represent replacement players if the season begins without a new labor deal.
The league made the request in a March 24 letter, obtained by The Associated Press, that was addressed to NHLPA lawyer Ian Pulver and signed by NHL vice president Bill Daly. Daly wrote that the union's threats to punish player agents, if true, violate the National Labor Relations Act as well as the league's now-expired collective bargaining agreement.
Barring what he termed as "an appropriate response and resolution of this matter," Daly wrote the NHL would file a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board as soon as Thursday.
NHL spokesman Frank Brown declined comment, suggesting the AP contact Daly by e-mail. Daly did not respond to a message sent to his address.
A players' association spokesman said it would be premature for the NHLPA to comment at this time.
The NHL has said it would explore the use of replacement players if a new deal can't be reached in time for next season. The former collective bargaining agreement expired last September and resulted in a lockout that canceled the entire season.
Daly's letter to the union was also distributed to player agents.
"On the assumption that these media reports are accurate, we hereby request the NHLPA to officially and expeditiously notify in writing all certified agents ... that these threats are being withdrawn ... and no certified agent will be disciplined in any way for representing a player either returning to play in the NHL, or agreeing to play as a temporary replacement player," Daly said.

blog- A Wasted Day

I noticed performance issues with blogger on Saturday and it came to a head yesterday. I apologize again for the problems and blogger finally posted a status today.

Blogger Status
Tuesday, March 29, 2005

We're currently in the process of rolling back a bad kernel upgrade that has significantly impacted the service. Restored app servers are coming back online and all should be repaired by the end of today.

I do hope this problem is now fixed.

nhl- Daly, "We Want a Solution"

from tsn, National Hockey League vice president and chief legal counsel Bill Daly appeared on NHL Network Tuesday and said the league remains determined to work with the union on a solution to the NHL lockout.
He cautioned, however, that the NHL was not about to change its opinion about what needs to be done.
We are very committed to an objective, and we think that objective is neccesary for the long-term future and viability and health of this sport," Daly told NHL Network's Dan Pollard in an exclusive interview.
He also confirmed stories about the league filing a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board and said another one could be in the offing, pending the union's response to questions about the possible decertification of agents who broker deals for potential replacement players next season.
"We believe that would be a violation of the National Labour Relations Act,if that in fact is true, so we've asked for informatin with respect to those stories that we've heard, and we've asked for a retraction of the policy if, in fact, one exists," Daly said. "We're waiting to hear back from the Players Association on that information request. Barring a satisfactory response, we will file another charge (with the NLRB)."
So can that be seen as a re-emptive strike for the move to replacement players?
"Clearly it's important and prudent for the National Hockey League to make sure that there are no illegal impediments to legitimate business alternatives it might have," Daly noted. "Obviously, the use of replacement players or the use of cross-over players, in the event we were to unilaterally implement new terms and conditions of employment are business alternatives that are open to us."

hockey- Yzerman a No Go

from tsn, Star centre Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning may have to skip the world hockey championship because of a nagging knee problem while future Hall of Famer Steve Yzerman is a definite no-go.
Yzerman had talks with Team Canada officials this week but sources said Tuesday that the Detroit Red Wings captain feels he can't bring himself up to a level where he would feel comfortable physically.
The 39-year-old hasn't played competitive hockey this year and pulled out of last summer's World Cup team, citing his recovery from a serious eye injury suffered in last season's NHL playoffs.

nhl- There will be a Draft

from a Q & A with Thrasher GM, Don Waddell.
Q: Don, thanks for having this forum, it's very cool for us hockey-starved fans. My question is about the draft. Will it be held in June if there is no CBA in place, and what will the NHL decide to do in terms of setting a draft order?

DON WADDELL: One way or another there will be a draft before the next season. We may not know when that’s going to happen right now, but there will be one. All of the eligible players will have to be drafted before they can turn pro. Until we have a new CBA, we don’t know all the points of the draft and how it will work, but we are preparing for it. We’ve been scouting games and getting together our draft list.
Setting the order for the draft is the wild card. We all have our own feelings about how it should be done. Obviously, we don’t think it should be the way it was last year because the teams that got the top players in the draft would have been better this year and wouldn’t have necessarily had such high picks. To me, there has to be some kind of lottery. I think there should be a weighted lottery, and every team should have the opportunity to draft a Sidney Crosby, but maybe the non-playoff teams would have a better shot at it.

nhl- League Considering Bigger Nets

from the hockeynews, The NHL has developed two prototypes for bigger nets that will be shown to GMs at their upcoming meetings in Detroit.
NHL senior vice-president Colin Campbell told The Hockey News the league will ask GMs to view and consider the two super-sized net models at their “improve the game” summit, scheduled for April 8-9. No decision has been made to use the bigger nets in NHL play.
Campbell said one net features pegs that remain six feet apart at the base, but has bars that curve out at the sides to make the goal larger. The second net is two inches bigger all around, both in height and width. Nets are currently six feet wide by four feet high.
With scoring and excitement on the decline, the NHL has been under pressure to make adjustments to open up the game. When the lockout ends, it is almost certain the NHL will ntroduce shootouts to end tie games in the regular season. The league is also looking at decreasing the size of goalie pads and has a host of other potential changes on the table. Now, bigger nets are officially part of the discussion.

nhl- Yzerman May Play in World Championship

Over the last week or so, I have been hearing rumors about Yzerman not even being asked to play for Canada in the WC. I knew it was a rumor since I heard Ken Holland on a Vancouver radio station stating the decision to play was up to Yzerman.
If he decides to play, this could be the last games of competive hockey for him.

from the torontosun, For the 2002 Olympic Team Canada, there was no doubt who would be captain. Mario Lemieux. For the 2004 World Cup team, it was the same story.
But for the 2005 world championship team, there will be no Lemieux. Even though he tried his best to answer the call, he has decided that after six months of hockey inactivity, his 39-year-old body can't get ready in time.
So who will be the captain this time? If the organizers have their way, it will be Steve Yzerman. The last survivor of the old guard.
At the 2002 Olympics, with the gold medal on the line and Canada holding a 3-2 lead over the United States at the second intermission, four Canadian players spoke to the assembled troops to rally them to the cause.
They were Lemieux, Joe Sakic, Al MacInnis and Yzerman.
MacInnis finished his career with an eye injury. Lemieux isn't ready to play. Neither is Sakic.
As a result, the organizers are doing everything they can to convince Yzerman to answer the call.
Knowing Yzerman, he'll give it his best shot. He missed the World Cup because he was recuperating from a shattered orbital bone, but even on that occasion, he didn't rule out participation until he was absolutely sure he couldn't do it.
When he broke into the NHL, Yzerman was a brilliant offensive player. But when he started to lose a step, as everyone does, he didn't let the slide into oblivion continue. He made himself into the best two-way player in the game and, with the possible exception of Mark Messier, the best leader.
This is the reason that the organizers want him so badly. They'll have plenty of quality players on this team, with at least a dozen members of the victorious World Cup squad returning. But even the best players need a forceful leader, someone who can point out what needs to be done and can lead by example. And more than anyone in hockey today, Yzerman is that man.
On the goal that salted away the Olympic gold medal -- the one scored by Jarome Iginla to make the score 4-2 -- it was Yzerman who stepped around a defender at the blue line, then laid a perfect pass on to to Iginla's tape for the one-timer that beat Mike Richter.
The organizers hope to have Yzerman's decision this week and according to reports, he's leaning toward involvement. His only concern is the one that might be expected. While he's fully willing to make the commitment, he wants to be sure he can make a worthwhile contribution to the cause.

nhl- Move May Pay Off

from Stan Fischler and foxsports, The NHL's first move with the National Labor Relations Board could help decide the CBA war.
The league is filing a charge against the "union" over the NHLPA's policy that appears to fiscally penalize members who become replacement players. Bill Daly calls the policy "coercive," adding that it violates "the players' rights under the labor laws to decide individually whether to be represented by the union."
If the league wins, it figures to be the first of many moves at the NLRB to bolster the NHL's stance.
Continue reading more of Stan's views....and believe me when I tell you, there are plenty of them!

Posting Issues

Blogger problems have started all over again. You may experience problems posting in comments and I have serious problems making new posts.
Only about one more week until I make the switch to a dedicated server and more stable software.
Sorry for the problems.

Monday, March 28, 2005

nhl- More Charges Possible from NHL

from sportsnet, Sportsnet has learned the National Hockey League is poised to file its third charge in less than a week with the National Labour Relations Board.
Sources tell Sportsnet if the NHL does not receive a "satisfactory" response from the NHLPA this week, another charge will be filed with respect to this practice.
Once charges have been filed, the NLRB conducts an investigation to determine whether to issue a complaint, or ultimately seek emergency relief.
On Thursday of last week a story broke on the league's first filing with the National Labor Relations Board in the United States against the NHLPA over a union policy that appears to financially penalize members who become replacement players.

nhl- All About Labor Law

I remember making a post about a month ago basically stating I am not at all interested in the labor battle that would come about between the NHL and the NHLPA.

So I leave it to spector from foxsportsnet to break it down for you. The labor battle between the NHL and NHLPA took an unusual turn late last week, one which may herald the settlement of this dispute before the National Labor Relations Board.
The Canadian Press reported on Friday the league filed an unfair labor practices complaint against the PA with the NLRB, based on reports that association members who opt to become replacement players next season would have to pay back their lockout stipends.
Since last December, every NHLPA member has received a lockout allowance worth between $7,500 and $10, 000 per month as compensation for lost wages over the course of the now-cancelled 2004-05 season.
CP also reports of speculation the league could file another complaint with the NLRB over the possibility of player agents losing their certification with the NHLPA should they negotiate contracts for any client wishing to become a replacement player next season.
It's been widely believed that, if the league opts to go with replacements for the 2005-06 season, with or without declaring an impasse, the PA would file a complaint with the NLRB accusing the league of bargaining in bad faith.
The association's hope would be that the NLRB would file an injunction preventing the NHL from hiring replacements while it considers the NHLPA's complaint.
By striking first, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman not only probably caught the NHLPA off-guard (not to mention the rest of the hockey world), but is also hoping to create divisions within the association.

mlb- Tiger Fans, No Dean Palmer

Sources inform me Dean Palmer will be released unless someone suffers an injury in the next few days. He will remain with the Tigers until the end of camp.
Palmer was attempting a comeback at the age of 37. He had missed the last two years due to a neck injury.
I wonder if any team would take a chance on him but I recall Palmer saying he only wants to play with Detroit.

nhl- The Legal Breakdown

from the delcotimes, If there was ever a wonder as to why the NHLPA dragged it’s feet and continues to do so this week now you know why.
They wanted the draft to be cancelled. They want the possibility of these kids becoming free agents, because they know the owners won’t be able to control themselves and will throw money at these kids almost immediately.
And to think that this is just the beginning of what will become an even more ugly scenario that won’t end until the New Year.
With the NHL Draft cancelled (although a watereddown version of the draft could conceivably still happen if a deal comes to fruition soon, but don’t hold your breath) the big question is, what happens to Sidney Crosby?
Crosby, the expected first pick in the draft were there one, and the player being called the next Wayne Gretzky, has nowhere to play hockey once his junior season ends for the Rimouski Oceanic in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Having already stated he won’t play as a replacement player, his agent Pat Brisson is trying mightily to have his client declared an unrestricted free agent.
The move is unprecedented, but so is canceling an entire sports season.
If he does become a free agent, the NHL owners will take a huge hit.
That’s because in the world of hockey jargon where the league spouts repeatedly that it wants all 30 teams to be financially healthy and competitive, this would revert things back to business as usual.
Why?
Because Crosby would never sign with a Nashville or a Carolina or a Florida. Instead, he would target the top tier teams in the NHL (including the Flyers), only adding more of an imbalance to the league.
And if you think its just Crosby who would cause this ruckus, you are sadly mistaken.
If he were to become a free agent, then all of the other top 18-year-old prospects would do the same, turning the NHL once again into a league of haves and have-nots.

nhl- Fans Want a Say

from Russ Conway and the eagletribune, "We want to be able to have a say. The way we look at it, you establish a contract when you sign for season tickets," he claims. "Every team seems to be offering different incentive packages and what not. I don't think it's fair because a season-ticket holder in one city gets a certain percentage on his money and a season-ticket holder in some other city gets a different deal.
"We found discrepancies everywhere," he points out. "In Boston they're giving 7 percent on the ticket money they're holding and supposedly that's going to increase. The New York Islanders are giving less."
In Tampa, along with interest, Farina said "they're getting Tampa Bay dollars as a credit in return. When you think about it, what are you getting? You go to a game, pay $6 for a cup of beer. We all know a can of beer only costs 50-75 cents at the supermarket.
"They're giving a percentage in interest to keep your money as a season-ticket holder, but the value of your dollar isn't worth that in what you're getting in return."
Do you think leaders of the game would get the point if 100,000 season-ticket holders started demanding that they get complete refunds?
"They're using the money and the fans aren't getting what they paid for, NHL hockey," says Farina. "I think they're subsidizing the war chest by the teams keeping the fans' money, or at least some of it."
Another angle that gets Farina riled is the subtle threat season-ticket holders face by deciding whether to request a full refund for the 2004-05 season, a lockout approved by club owners. They authorized its cancellation.
It's like buying tickets to a concert, having the show dumped, then being informed the tickets will be honored at next year's show. Except you don't know who's going to perform, and you're out X amount of dollars...
"Some of the teams, if you let them keep your money, you can maintain your tenure with season tickets," he says. "And others, if you ask for your money, you lose tenure.
"So if you've been a season-ticket holder for 30 years," like one of Farina's friends that he named, "and you want your money back for a product you never got this season, you lose the season-ticket location for your seats. That's not right. The fans didn't cancel the season. That's why they deserve to have a say in what's happening."

Sunday, March 27, 2005

blog- Some Stats

I thought visitors to Breaking Sports would like to know some stats about this blog.

March 1-26, 2005
Location of visitor
USA 48%
Canada 33%
Unknown 6%
All the rest of the countries, United Kingdom, Australia, Sweden, Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic, France, Singapore, Brazil, Japan, Spain, Italy, India, Ghana, Burundi, Qatar, Ukrain, Protugal, Mexico, Greece, Hungary, Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, Iraq, Germany and US Military (could be anwhere in the world).

Browser
IE 71%
Firefox 24%
Other 5%

Visitors----- Page Views
68,255 ------198,769

Busiest Time of Day (by hour)
2pm-3pm 7.96%
12pm-1pm 7.29%
10am-11am 7.27$
3pm-4pm 7.12%
11am-12pm 7.10%
1pm-2p 6.84%
9am-10am 6.74%
8am-9am 6.34%

nhl- NHL not close to NFL

from Larry Brooks and the nypost, "There's nothing that we do that I would want to compare to the NHL." — NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, this past Monday, as quoted by USA Today
Let that be the epitaph for Gary Bettman's reign as commissioner of the Never Hockey League. Let that withering condemnation — offered not by a union man, not by a writer, but by the leader of the most successful pro sports league in history — stand for all time as the indelible carving on the NHL's headstone.
You know how Bettman has said repeatedly that the NHL would do very well in its partnership deal with NBC, that when all was said and done the league wouldn't take anywhere near the financial hit that has been suggested by writers and media analysts? He said it again last month on WFAN to Mike and the Mad Dog, so it must be true.
Well, do you know how much of a hit Bettman told the PA the league would suffer in its TV deal? A $64.8 million hit. That's the amount of reduced television revenue the league had projected and budgeted for 2004-05 in its Feb. 9 Revenue Share Model submission to the NHLPA that has been obtained by The Post.
It's in print. A projected loss of nearly $65M in revenue on television. A year ago, the league earned $130M from its joint, and now expired, ABC/ESPN contract. The league was scheduled to earn $60M for 2004-05 on its new deal with ESPN. Which, according to the NHL's calculations, would have meant a sum earning of $5.2M from NBC for an uninterrupted, full 2004-05 — or $173,333.33 per team.
Maybe that's why Tagliabue won't allow his league to be compared to Bettman's league in any manner or form.

nhl- Potential for Ultimate Gain or Loss

from the dallasnews, The NHL Players Association's executive committee had probably its most introspective meetings ever last week in California.
In the next month, the players will have to decide whether they can "win" this labor war, and at what cost.
The term both sides are throwing around is "end game." Basically, it means potential for ultimate gain or loss. The owners have motivation to stay strong throughout the lockout, because a restrictive economic system will not only lower their costs but also increase their franchise values. There is a pot of gold at the end of their rainbow, so to speak.
The players, however, have admitted that no matter what, they will have to take less money and can only hope to control how much less. If they can maintain some semblance of a free market (a soft salary cap, or a luxury tax-based system), there is hope big-market teams will eventually spend money. All the NHLPA wants is a legal loophole, but members are asking, "At what cost?"
Both sides' strategy is to force economic hardship. If the owners start to feel enough economic heat, the players believe there will be compromise. The problem is they will be forcing hardship on those who determine their salaries. If that happens, there's a chance ownership will simply not spend, that teams will self-impose tight budgets.
NHLPA boss Bob Goodenow said all he's asking for is a system in which owners control their budgets. But isn't missing a year or more (potentially $1.5 billion in pay) a large price to pay for such a victory?
It's difficult to find the benefit in the players' end game, and that's what they'll be discussing in coming weeks.