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Category: Around the League

The Slava Voynov arrest fiasco

Voynov and family

Voynov and family

LA Kings’ defenseman Slava Voynov was arrested early Monday morning on charges of domestic violence, a story that unfortunately made more headlines than your average NHL story. Voynov has been suspended indefinitely pending the investigation, which came after his girlfriend was rushed to the hospital with injuries.

Of course, when something heinous happens, it’s very easy to assume things. We think we know everything because we have a nasty habit of wanting to know the news as soon as possible, regardless of its verity. The facts here as we know them are that a woman involved with Voynov was rushed to the hospital, and that the doctors deemed it necessary to alert police. We also know that, although we rip on Gary Bettman mercilessly, the NHL doesn’t want to channel their inner Roger Goodell, and would rather the player be suspended to handle the situation than be playing and glorified when they’re accused of a disgusting crime.

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Around the League Update

Coming to a Garden near you...

Coming to a Garden near you…

We’re almost two weeks into the regular season, giving teams a light litmus test of where they stand against the league. It’s important to remember that it is still very, very early in the season, but 5 or 6 games gives coaches enough of an idea of which lines are working and which aren’t.

Here in Rangerland, we’ve spent a lot of time analyzing defensive woes and arguing over whether or not we should be worried. It’s easy to forget that there’s a whole league out there, even though there’s a team only 15 miles away from us. In the spirit of keeping our friends close and our enemies closer, we should take a look at what’s going on around the league.

So… what exactly is happening outside of the Garden? Read more »

When the “top six” became the “top nine”

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The faces of a dying breed in hockey. (Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports)

When Lockout: The Sequel happened and wiped out the entire 2004-2005 season, the NHL was at an all time low. Too much clutch and grab, too little skill, and too many “enforcers” that couldn’t actually play the game of hockey. The game was in a bad place, and something needed to be done.

This was also the time when coaches routinely deployed their lineups in the following manner: Two scoring lines, called the top-six, one checking line, and one line of enforcers to “keep the peace.” As the game has evolved since Lockout: The Sequel through Lockout: I Can’t Believe We Are Going Through This Again, the anatomy of a lineup evolved as well.

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Chris Pronger leads Player Safety

Caption this

Caption this

With the season beginning, the topics of conversation are all over the place. Some interesting ones from around the league include the Avalanche start (abysmal at best, someone really needs to start a Patrick Roy bail fund for when he loses it) and the shaky starts of some elite goaltenders (Jonathan Quick and Tuukka Rask), among many great single games to discuss.

Since we’re always trying to find fun new ways to open Rangers fans eyes to league happenings, today we’re going to play Devil’s Advocate. Here, two of us (Dave and myself) will argue both sides of an issue. Perspective – it’s a hell of a thing.

Today, we discuss the NHL hiring Chris Pronger to head the Department of Player Safety.

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Around the League Report

Senators makin' waves

Senators makin’ waves

Today marks the last day of the preseason for hockey, with just one game being played at 3pm between Carolina and Washington. The season is three short days away. The endless summer is over. Is this music to your ears yet?

It certainly has been around the league, where several teams have been forced to make moves based on what they’ve seen over the past couple of weeks. Injuries have struck, tryouts have gone decidedly well or poorly, extensions have been signed (and some haven’t been considered), and leadership moves have been made.

Let’s take a look at what you need to know before the season starts on Wednesday. Read more »

NHL to move 24/7 from HBO to EPIX

For fans of HBO’s 24/7, you were disappointed this weekend when news broke that HBO would no longer be carrying the show. For those who have HBO for that sole reason, you can cancel your subscription today. The show isn’t going away, and Scott Burnside is reporting that the NHL will produce it’s own version –without the soothing dulcet tones of Liev Schreiber– to air on EPIX.

Puck Daddy pointed out that the NHL was carrying the financial burden of producing the show, and that HBO was unwilling to do a second show for the other outdoor game (Kings/Sharks) this year.

For those of you trying to figure out what channel EPIX is, don’t you worry. I googled it for you, and have no fear, Cablevision doesn’t carry the network.

New Rules for the 2014-15 Season

Study up, boys!

Study up, boys!

With only 23 days til the open of hockey(!!!!), the officials with the National Hockey League have, as is often done, made provisions to the rulebook. This is done to keep up with the ever-changing sport, to give referees a reason to have pop quizzes, and to confuse (and sometimes upset) the common fan. But fear not, faithful BSB reader! I have done some research for you and I’ll zero in on what you need to know.

There were only ten changes made, some having to do with penalties, some having to do with ice space, and a couple about overtime. A spark notes version of the changes is as follows: Read more »

Checking in on the New York Islanders

Jaroslav Halak is a major upgrade in goal for the Isles

Last year: 34-37-11, eighth in the Metro Division. Missed the postseason by 14 points.

Key additions: Jaroslav Halak, Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolai Kulemin, Cory Conacher, Chad Johnson, T.J. Brennan

Key subtractions: Evgeni Nabokov, Radek Martinek (likely)

Franchise direction: The Islanders’ rebuild has been very slow, but it really does look like things are starting to change. The additions of Halak, Grabovski and Kulemin were major pieces and the Islanders clearly are hoping to make a splash when they begin play at the Barclays Center in 2015-2016. New York needs several of its prospects to fulfill their promise in order to become a perennial playoff team, but they certainly have the talent to make that a reality over the next couple seasons.

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Missing Captains around the League

The Rangers aren't the only team who need a C

The Rangers aren’t the only team who need a C

As discussed last week, there is much speculation to who will follow in Ryan Callahan’s nearly three season footsteps and lead the Blueshirts as their fearless captain this year. The Rangers aren’t the only team to be facing this kind of indecision. Though Tampa was able to name a captain immediately after trading Martin St. Louis, several teams who have lost their captains to free agency or trades during the offseason are currently suffering a hole in their leadership groups.

Of the 30 teams contending in the NHL, seven have no current captain, and 11 have at least one missing alternate captain. Of these teams, some have lost their captains to trades or free agency, however at least one has stripped their leaders of their letters. Let’s take a look at the six clubs besides the Rangers who are missing captains leading up to training camp.

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Thoughts on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Unless you’ve been hiding beneath a social media-free rock over the past few weeks, you’ve seen videos of people – regular Joes and celebrities alike – dousing themselves in ice cold water. Heck, you might have even taken part in these actions. So is there some sort of heat wave causing this outbreak of sudden ice showers lately? Nope: it’s just people being charitable, raising funds and spreading awareness for a disease that has taken too many peoples’ lives.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, affectionately hashtagged as #ALSIceBucketChallenge, is an event where the participant either douses themselves with a bucket of ice water or donates $100 to the ALS Association in hopes of finding a cure (or both….preferably both). The participant then nominates three friends to partake in the challenge. While this all seems fun, several people are questioning the point, and it’s really quite simple.

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