Interesting week in the NHL, with some say-whaaaat on-ice action followed up by the-heeeellll off-ice drama. Sort of.
Ian Penny Sacked as NHLPA Boss
The rioters are at storming the gate again as the well-organized, entirely-transparent and eminently wise NHL Player’s Association fired/pushed out/accepted a semi-forced resignation from interim boss Ian Penny on Friday. What does this mean? In the short run, that they’re running around without much direction as they try to find a magic bullet to steady the ship. But in the long run, who’d want to take this job? After having two heads from 1967 to 2005 (Alan “the criminal” Eagleson and the other Bob “the bespectacled” Goodenow), they’ve had three in four years, which doesn’t exactly speak highly of their steady-handed nature as a union. And with the current CBA expiring after the 2010-2011 season, they’re in need of some focused leadership. Stat. Bob McCown brought up a good point Friday night when he said that the players all vote on matters of great importance anyway, such as a new CBA. But without a single voice with any shred of job security calling the shoots and speaking the party line, how are they not going to get fleeced in 18 months’ time? Story link.
The Leafs Breaks An Egg
They beat the Ducks 6-3 on Tuesday night. And they’ve lost three since. The sweet taste of victory, we hardly knew ye. Story link.
Coyotes to the NHL
In a bit of anti-climactic news, Jerry Moyes agreed to sell the Coyotes to the NHL on Monday, finally putting an end, at least in theory, to the hugely-strung-out melodramatic case. The only thing standing in the way of the sale — it seems as of now — was Gretzky’s filing an objection against the NHL, who won’t pony up the rest of his deferred salary as part of the purchase agreement. That’s no longer an issue as on Sunday, Gretz declined to do so (though he seems pretty peeved about it nonetheless). Story link #1. Story link #2.
Junior Player Fanelli Critical But Stable
Just wanted to draw some attention to a serious on-ice injury which occured Friday night in the OHL. Ben Fanelli of the Kitchener Rangers was hit into the boards by Erie’s Michael Liambis, and suffered skull and facial fractures as a result. As of Sunday, Fanelli was in critical but stable condition, and Liambis got kicked out of the game for boarding. No question on that one — you can see a video of the hit here. Story link.