“The real problem is not that we are different, nor that we disagree and have conflict. It's that most of us automatically view conflict as something negative rather than as a tool God can use to help us better understand ourselves and one another.

--Robert Ricciardelli”

Thursday, January 17, 2008

01/18 Hockey Notes

The NHL is starting to limit the number of international players. The problem is most fo them end up in the minors.

According to the IIHF, out of the 59 European players who were signed by NHL clubs prior to the 2007-2008 season only six are on NHL rosters, 46 were assigned to the minor leagues and seven returned to their European clubs.
The Russian Ice Hockey Federation, which had refused the current two year agreement, is now being joined by other nations who want a better deal for their players. Whether an agreement can be made between the NHL and the IIHF, thought, depends on whether NHLPA allows the CBA to be modified.

If you haven’t kept up with it, the NHL All Star Game rosters are finalized. You can find them here:
Eastern Conference
Western Conference

There’s a new face to the ugly side of hockey. Fighting has been a well known part of the game for a long time. But, recently, it has expanded to abusing officials, too.
One involved an 18-year-old, top-rated female referee who was slugged by a midget player. Another saw a 21-year-old official suffer a broken jaw after being punched by a player. A third ref was hit so hard his glasses broke under his visor. And the fourth involved a linesman being thrown aside as he tried to protect a referee.


Statistics from the Ottawa District Hockey Association show incidents involving abuse of officials have almost tripled from 2005-06 to 2006-07 and there are indications that numbers this season may be as bad or worse.

In 2005-06, there were 15 incidents of physical abuse of officials at the minor level and four more at the junior level. Those numbers skyrocketed last season to 43 at the minor level and eight in junior, with two involving police investigations.
I know officials never call everything. And, I know tempers run hot over it sometimes. But this is a total lack of respect. Lack of respect for authority is never a good thing. It’s time for coaches to reign in their players, or leagues to dish out stiff enough penalties to bring this to a halt.