Monday, October 8, 2012

New Website Launched!

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Is a Lockout even Necessary?

        With the recent passing of the deadline for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the players and owners, on September 15th, the NHL has began it's third lockout in the league's history (all since 1994). Since the 2004-05 lockout, which resulted in the league missing an entire season, the NHL has made tremendous progress on the ice, on the financial side, and in the league's popularity. After 2004-05, many believed that the NHL could never be as good as it had been prior, but the league exceeded what it once was. Another lockout can and will erase all progress made since 2004-05, and it's a real shame, because locking out the players is not even an effective negotiating tactic. Sure, the fans are upset about the lockout (which is unfortunately irrelevant in this situation), but it puts no pressure on either side to make a deal faster. It only makes the players lives a little more difficult.
        The message that a lockout sends to the players is this: if you want to play this season, then you have to agree to our deal. The problem with that is that a lot of players will play this season regardless if it's in the NHL, or anywhere else. Many players, like Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin and Senators defenseman Sergei Gonchar, have signed contracts to play overseas in Europe. Malkin and Gonchar both signed contracts to play with Metallurg of the KHL, until the NHL and NHLPA reach an agreement on a new CBA. Sure, Malkin, Gonchar, and the other players playing overseas would much rather playing in the NHL (and why not; it's the best league in the world), but they are still playing professional hockey, which is what the objective of a lockout is to deprive them of. 
        The players, for the most part, are still playing hockey this season, so why not negotiate while playing a regular season? The unfortunate answer that we all have to live with: because that would make too much sense.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

NHL Lockout: Top 5 Ways Fans can get their Voices Heard

        It's becoming quite obvious that things are not looking good in the negations for a new Collective Bargaining between the NHL and the NHLPA. While these two parties continue to dispute about a new CBA, hockey fans all across North America are becoming uneasy because of the possibility of another lockout. Hockey fans have every right to be upset, as this will be the third lockout (if we have one) under the reign of commissioner Gary Bettman. It's just not right, and it's not fair to the fans, who spend their hard-earned money on a product  that locks down every time their is a dispute over money. Gary Bettman can say that "the NHL has the best fans in the world" all he wants, but that does not make it okay for the higher-ups in the league to continue to walk all over the fans for their own financial gain. 
        While it can be easily argued that fans have no say in the CBA negotiations, fans can make a difference in how fast the negotiation process takes. Here are the top five ways fans can get their voices heard by the two parties that will be responsible for a lockout, if we have one:

1. Boycott the purchase of all NHL merchandise

2. Boycott the purchase of all tickets to NHL games

3. Boycott the purchase of all items that are sponsors of the NHL

4. Unfollow/Unlike all pages ran by the NHL, NHLPA, or any player on social media

5. Join forces with other hockey fans on social media (groups, petitions, etc.)

        These five ideas can all show the NHL and the NHLPA that the fans are the most important part of the league, and we are not happy. By executing on these ideas, we, the fans, would show the NHL that we have the power to end the league if we wanted to. Obviously, we don't want to end the league, but by protesting and boycotting, we can show the NHL and NHLPA that the fans want hockey, and they want it now. By executing these ideas, the negotiation process between the NHL and NHLPA will go quicker, because of the fact that they will be losing money because of the boycotting and protesting of the fans. By doing this, we will be taking the NHL and NHLPA "hostage" (figuratively, of course), and they will have no choice but to resolve their issues quicker to stop the damage caused by the fans. The fans of the NHL are not being taken seriously, and it's a shame, because all we want is hockey. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

What I'm Expecting Out of the Hurricanes This Season

        This off-season, we saw teams make acquisitions that shook the entire landscape of the National Hockey League. Teams like the Minnesota Wild (signed Zach Parise and Ryan Suter) and the New York Rangers (traded for Rick Nash) come to mind when thinking about teams that made big splashes this summer, but a team that cannot be overlooked when talking about big moves this summer is the Carolina Hurricanes. At the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in late June, the Carolina Hurricanes traded promising forward Brandon Sutter, a prospect, and a 2012 first round pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins for center Jordan Staal. I like this move a lot for the Hurricanes, as I believe bringing in Jordan will help his own overall game, but it will also help his brother Eric, the captain of the Hurricanes, to rebound off of a disappointing season last year. Shortly after the trade, the Hurricanes locked up Jordan Staal to a ten year, $60,000,000, setting up the 1-2 punch at center of the Staal brothers for years to come.
        Late in June, it was announced that the Hurricanes signed former Washington Capitals winger Alexander Semin to a one year contract worth $7,000,000. While I believe Semin is being overpaid, I like this deal for both parties. It gives both sides the opportunity to experiment with each other, to see if Semin meshes well with the group the Hurricanes have. Semin, known player with the skills to be a superstar in the NHL, has the reputation of being an enigma. The amount of effort that he gives is often questioned, which is why he was not signed until roughly three weeks after the free agency season began. If Semin fits in well on Carolina, they can sign him to long term. And if not, they will not be stuck with him for a long time. I'm expecting Semin to have a great season, posting around 70 points, with the Hurricanes signing him to a long term extension next off-season. 
        Along with these acquisitions, the Hurricanes also brought back offensive defenseman Joe Corvo for his third stint in Carolina. Also, the Hurricanes signed teenage sensation Jeff Skinner to a six year contract extension. And let's not forget about superstar goaltender Cam Ward, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2006, when the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup. With Ward in goal, Carolina has the opportunity to be a perennial playoff team. As a team, I am expecting a strong season from the Hurricanes, ending up with them making the playoffs in one of the bottom four seeds. That would be a step up for them, as they came in 12th in the Eastern Conference last season. Not only will the Hurricanes be in contention to make the playoffs this season, but they will be contenders for years to come.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Power of the Puck Update: Back from Vacation

        Hello everyone! I'm back from my vacation, and as promised, Power of the Puck is back as well. I'm really excited to be blogging again, and I'm hoping to see Power of the Puck continue to grow even more than the way that it has since its birth in April of this year. Definitely remember to check back regularly for new blog posts, as we move toward the start of the 2012-13 NHL hockey season! 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Power of the Puck Update: Going on Vacation

        Hello to whoever is reading this. This post is to announce that I will be on going on vacation tomorrow June 23rd and will be returning on August 10th. I will try to post as often as I can during this time period, but don't be alarmed if you don't here from me for longer periods of time than you are used to. I want to thank all of those who have supported me from when I started Power of the Puck in April, until now when I recently hit the 2,500 viewer mark. Make sure you mark August 10th on your calendars, because Power of the Puck will be back and better than ever! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Why Jordan Staal Turned Down a Ten Year Extension with the Penguins

        Reports began to surface today that Pittsburgh Penguins center Jordan Staal rejected a ten year contract extension from the Penguins. Many criticized this move by Staal, as he would be given the opportunity to play for a stacked team for a long time, but that's the problem. With Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby filling up the top two center positions, Staal would not get the second line minutes that he deserves. Staal is capable of playing as a second line center, and he certainly would not get the opportunity to do so with the Penguins. On most teams, Staal would be a second line center, which is why he will likely leave the Penguins via trade this season or free agency next season, when his contract expires. 
        One possible destination for Staal next season would be the Carolina Hurricanes, along his brothers Eric and Jared Staal. In Carolina, Jordan Staal could get second line minutes, along with more time on the power-play than he would be used to. Rejecting Pittsburgh's offer is that right move for Staal, because he will not excel and reach his full potential as a player in the NHL if he stays in Pittsburgh, playing behind Crosby and Malkin for the next ten years. At this point, look for the Penguins to try to trade him, as they know by his contract rejection, that Staal wants to play elsewhere. It would be a smart move by the Penguins if they try to get something in return for a player that is destined to leave the franchise. Staal will leave eventually, but why not try to gain something out of his loss?