25 July 2005

Impeccable Timing

Hey pens fans,
Well, as usual I have impeccable timing. Well, I planned a vacation over a year ago and it falls this week, so unfortunetly I will be out of town without internet during the draft. This could very well be my last post for about a week. I am looking forward to the draft, unfortunetly I will not be able to share my thoughts until a few days after it has taken place, but at least I will be on a warm beach and i can still checkout who drafts who. Until then...

23 July 2005

Important Dates

Hey pens fans,
Mark your calander with this important dates as posted on NHL.com.

July 23
Compliance Buy-Out Period BeginsPeriod to Negotiate and Sign 2003 Draftees BeginsPeriod to Extend QOs BeginsPeriod to Negotiate with Own Club's RFAs/UFAs Begins
July 28
Deadline for Exercising Club Options/Player Options for 2005/06Deadline for Signing 2003 Draftees/Deadline for Making Required BFOs
July 29
Deadline for Initiating Compliance Buy-Outs (5:00 PM Notice)
July 30
2005 Entry Draft
July 31
Deadline for Qualifying Offers
August 1
RFA/UFA Period Begins
August 5
Deadline for Election of Group 5 Free Agency
August 10
Player-Elected Salary Arbitration Notification
August 11
Club-Elected Salary Arbitration Notification
August 12
NHL/NHLPA to Schedule Arbitration Cases
August 15
Qualifying Offers Expire Automatically
August 22
First Day of Salary Arbitration Hearings
September 1
Last Day for Salary Arbitration Hearings
September 2
Last Day for Issuance of Salary Arbitration Awards
September 4
Last Day for Second Buy-Out Period [Only for Clubs with Salary Arbitration Cases] (Latest Day for Clubs Receiving Salary Arbitration Awards on September 2 to Exercise Second Buy-Out Option)
December 1
Signing Deadline for Group 2 Free Agents

Can You Believe It?

Hey pens fans,
It is still so hard to believe. I keep wanting to pinch my self and see if I wake up. Not only is hockey back and we will get to see our Pens play again, but we also won the draft lottery and have the pick to get Crosby. I cannot wait to see him at the Igloo. I am also taking a stab in the dark and saying that our first line will probably consist of Lemieux, Recchi, and Crosby, but lets not get ahead of ourselves just yet. I have heard a rumor that Craig Patrick is going to try to get Kovy back in the burgh. So, my first line theory would probably be wrong if we could get Kovalev back, but yet again I am getting ahead of myself. The free agency signings are going to be nuts. This is going to be the best year for players changing teams that I have ever seen. I am excited just anticipating it. I cannot wait to see who we get. Can You?

22 July 2005

Rule Changes

Hey pens fans,
Here are the rule changes as posted on NHL.com.
The following rules changes will take effect for the 2005-06 NHL season:
DIMENSIONS OF THE RINK
The neutral-zone edges of the blue lines will be positioned 64 feet from the attacking goal line and 75 feet from the end boards in the attacking zone. The addition of four feet in each of the offensive zones should encourage more offensive play, particularly on power-plays.
The goal lines will be positioned 11 feet from the end boards, two feet closer to the end boards than previously.
The size of the neutral zone will be reduced to 50' from 54'.
The blue lines and center line will remain at 12 inches in width.
Click the thumbnail images below for larger diagrams of the new rink dimensions.

FEWER STOPPAGES, INCREASED "FLOW"
Passes from behind the defensive blue line to the attacking blue line will be considered legal. The center red line will be ignored for purposes of the "two line pass".
"The Tag-up Rule" will permit play to continue if offensive players who preceded the puck into the zone return to the blue line and "tag" it.
Click the thumbnail image below for larger diagrams of the two-line pass and "tag-up" offsides.

ICING THE PUCK
Icing the puck offenses still will be penalized by a face-off in the defensive zone of the team that ices the puck.
A team that ices the puck cannot make a line change prior to the ensuing face-off.
"Touch" icing will remain the practice, although the Linesman will have discretion to wave off apparent icing infractions if they are deemed the result of an attempted pass. Providing the discretion to the Linesman also should have the effect of reducing the number of situations in which a race for the puck might result in an injury to a player.
INSTIGATOR RULE
A player who instigates a fight in the final five minutes of a game will receive a game misconduct and an automatic one-game suspension. The length of suspension would double for each additional incident.
As well, the player's Coach will be fined $10,000 -- a fine that would double for each such incident.
LIMITS ON GOALTENDERS
The dimensions of goaltender equipment will be reduced by approximately 11 percent. In addition to a one-inch reduction (to 11') in the width of legpads, the blocking glove, upper-body protector, pants and jersey will also be reduced in size.
Goaltenders may play the puck behind the goal line only in a trapezoid-shaped area defined by lines that begin six feet from either goal post and extend diagonally to points 28 feet apart at the endboards.
Click the thumbnail image below for a larger diagram of the goaltender trap zone.

OFFICIATING POINTS OF EMPHASIS
Zero tolerance on Interference, Hooking and Holding/Obstruction.
Goaltenders who play the puck behind the goal line but outside the designated puck handling area will be penalized for delay of game.
Goaltenders will be penalized for delaying the game if they "freeze" the puck unnecessarily.
Any player who shoots the puck directly over the glass in his defending zone will be penalized for delay of game.
SHOOTOUT
Following a scoreless five-minute overtime, three players from each team participate in the order the coach selects.
Each team takes three shots. The team with the most goals after those six shots is the winner.
If the score remains tied, the shootout will proceed to a "sudden death" format.
Regardless the number of goals scored during the shootout portion of overtime, the final score recorded for the game will give the winning team one more goal than the score at the end of regulation time.

UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
In addition to the minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct/diving that may be assessed by the Referee during a game, Hockey Operations will review game videos and assess fines to players who dive or embellish a fall or a reaction, or who feigns injury in an attempt to draw penalties.
The first such incident will result in a warning letter being sent to the player.
The second such incident will result in a $1,000 fine.
The third such incident will result in a $2,000 fine.
The fourth such incident will result in a one-game suspension.
Public complaints or derogatory comments toward the game also will result in fines.
A SUMMARY OF THE RULE-MAKING PROCESS
In February, 2004, the League began a thorough review of all aspects of the game at a meeting of the 30 club General Managers. Three current and former players also participated. Following the meeting, the League requested that six potential rule changes be tested in the American Hockey League during the 2004-05 season.
In July, 2004, the "Game Committee," comprised of current and former players, owners, general managers, coaches, on-ice officials and broadcasters met in New York to further discuss the direction of the on-ice product. Following that meeting, the League continued to review and assess the merits of a number of rule changes implemented in the American Hockey League during the 2004-05 season.
The League's General Managers and nine current players met in Detroit in April, 2005, to further discuss potential changes and the League conducted a Research and Development camp with OHL players and Canadian University players in Toronto last month to test the merits of several suggested rules.
In addition, the League did extensive polling to determine changes desired by NHL fans. The League also spoke to numerous NHL players and coaches as well as representatives of the American Hockey League, East Coast Hockey League, Canadian Hockey League (major junior) and NCAA. As well, the League elicited input from managers, coaches and players from European leagues during the 2004-05 season.
The Competition Committee met for the first time on June 23 in Toronto and, after considering the significant body of information that had been developed over many months, arrived at a consensus for recommending the series of rule changes described above for the 2005-06 season.

Lockout Over Pens get 1st Pick

Hey pens fans,
Th Lockout is Over!!!!!!
The Pens won the lottery we got the 1st pick and the rights to Crosby.
Here's the official order
1.
Pittsburgh Penguins
2.
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
3.
Carolina Hurricanes
4.
Minnesota Wild
5.
Montreal Canadiens
6.
Columbus Blue Jackets
7.
Chicago Blackhawks
8.
Atlanta Thrashers
9.
Ottawa Senators
10.
Vancouver Canucks
11.
Los Angeles Kings
12.
San Jose Sharks
13.
Buffalo Sabres
14.
Washington Capitals
15.
New York Islanders
16.
New York Rangers
17.
Phoenix Coyotes
18.
Nashville Predators
19.
Detroit Red Wings
20.
Philadelphia Flyers
21.
Toronto Maple Leafs
22.
Boston Bruins
23.
New Jersey Devils
24.
St. Louis Blues
25.
Edmonton Oilers
26.
Calgary Flames
27.
Colorado Avalanche
28.
Dallas Stars
29.
Florida Panthers
30.
Tampa Bay Lightning

21 July 2005

NHLPA ratifies CBA

Hey pens fans,
NHLPA votes for the CBA. It has passed. The BOG votes tomorrow.

NHLPA VOte

Hey pens fans,
I know this is last minute but the NHLPA will be holding a press conference at 4 pm et. They will announce the result of their vote. It will be streamed live on NHL.com and I will post the results as soon as they are announced.

20 July 2005

Calling all hockey fans

Hey pens fans,
Well, if you were planning on watchin the draft lottery on Friday, as of now it is not being aired in the US. Go to the following link (which I found on a fellow bloggers site) and tell ESPN we want to see the lottery. Their sister station 9is carrying it in Canada, but it is not being aired in the US. Go to http://sports.espn.go.com/sitetools/s/contact/espntv.html and tell them what you think.

19 July 2005

Press Conferences

Hey pens fans,
Yes, it is plural there will be two press conferences. The NHLPA released a statement saying :"The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) will hold a media conference on Thursday following the outcome of the players’ ratification vote on a new collective bargaining agreement." I have also heard that the league will hold one friday following the Board of Governors Vote.

18 July 2005

All is Silent

Hey pens fans,
All is silent as the week of ratification begins. No one is saying anything. Speaking of saying anything, I would like to know what you, my readers think about the lockout, hockey in general, or anything about the Pens. Also, if you have a question email it to me and I will do my best to find the answer. I would like to talk about what the fans want. So email your thoughts, questions, complaints and just about anything else to me @ pensfan17148@msn.com. I will try to talk about it here on the blog. Well, I have a little hockey talk to get out. I have been hearing that the draft lottery is to be behind closed doors. What a jip, I was planning on watching it. I think that the NHL should televise it and really glam it up. I think it would get people back interested in the sport. What do you think about that? Just something to ponder. Please guys let me know what you think and email me.

17 July 2005

Awaiting the Votes

Hey pens fans,
Now that hockey is coming back, we will begin to have more to talk about. I have heard that free agency will begin August 1. Besides that Ihave not heard any more. I don't expect to hear a lot until after the votes and the press conference. Until then we can take comfort in knowing that hockey and our Penguins are back. As we prepare for the season ahead, I wonder what everyone is most looking forward to for the upcoming season. Did you miss the thrill of the game, a specific player, the mellon arena email me @ pensfan17148@msn.com and tell me what you are most looking forward to or anything else about the season or hockey and I will post it and my comments in the blog. Let's Go Pens!

15 July 2005

Agents

Hey pens fans,
The agents have been called to go and meet and have the CBA explained to them next week. All sides are still planning to vote next week. Announcement may be thursday. That's all I have for now. I am going away fishing again this weekend, so until next week....
(post any news regarding the CBA in my comment section while I am away)

14 July 2005

Vote on CBA next week

Hey pens fans,
Well, how many of you can already hear the sound of skates and pucks bouncing off the boards or the sounds of the fans or the unmistakable smell of beer and nachos that lingers in the E Balcony at the Igloo? Before we get there, some things need to first occur. Yesterday, my post was a tad hurried. I was so excited with the news that I was posting and calling everyone I could think of as fast as I could. Well, now that we have a deal in principle, the 2 sides need to vote. I guess that the p[layers vote will take a few days via email and phone calls to get it done, with them being so scattered. The BOG vote should not take long, but they will proably not vote until the players have started, which will be next week. The league will release details after it passes both sides. My guess is that the teams will have a fews days to get organized then, the draft lottery. A week or so after that the draft and then free agency, with a season starting in October, would be my guess, based on the current timeline we have so far, but all that is fact is that the vote is next week and an announcement will follow. The rest is an educated guess by yours truly.

13 July 2005

Deal reached in Principle

Hey pens fans,
The NHL and NHLPA have reached a deal in principle. This is not a rumor it really happened. The BOG and PA are set to vote by the end of next week. Following that an announcement will be made. No details will be released until after the votes. Hockey is Back!!!! Let's Go Pens!!!!

12 July 2005

The End is Near. Or is it?

Hey pens fans,
Well, no word on when it will actually end. Everyone is saying late this week or early next week. It is porbable the NHLPA will need a few days to a week to vote once it is over because are spread out around the world. The meetings continue today. All I am hearing is that it is close and that no one wants to jeaprodize anything by saying too much. It will be soon, but will it be soon enough? We need to wait patiently and hope it gets done. Until I hear something more...

11 July 2005

Almost there

Hey pens fans,
The meetings are continuing as I write this. No word on when it will be over, but they went into the wee hours this morning. According to the AP "Negotiators from the NHL and the players' association met until early Monday morning and planned to return to the bargaining table just hours later as they inched toward a deal that would end the lockout." How long this will take is unknown. Some rumors say an announcement could come as soon as Wednesday. I feel that it is a little premature to guess on a specific day. When the BOG meeting happens we will then be better able to guess amore definitive timeline. For now we just have to wait...

10 July 2005

Keep Your Fingers Crossed

Hey pens fans,
Well, today is a day that the hockey community needs to keep their collective fingers crossed. If all goes well, today is susposed to be the last day of meetings. Everything has been very quiet, which I am taking in the no news is goood news way. Hopefully I will have more later. And sorry for not updating i forgot to mention I went away to go fishing again this weekend. Let's hope the talks go better than my fishing did. I ended up with some of my fishing gear sunk in the bottom of the lake. This is D-DAy for the talks...

08 July 2005

Almost

Hey pens fans,
Well, the meetings that we susposed to end today will probably go into the weekend. However, the rumor is that the meetins for the votes next week will still take place and those involved are heading to new york as we speak. Also the draft may be in Ottawa around the 30th of the month.

07 July 2005

Tomorrow

Hey pens fans,
Tomorrow is said to be the last day of meetings. The BOG will meet early next week, no word on when the NHLPA will vote...

So Close

Hey pens fans,
From what I am hearing it is almost over, but they are still working on it. When it is done first the BOG and Players will vote. Then they need to finalize the way the draft lottery will work. Then freeagency will begin and they will hold a draft and the season should start close to on time, but maybe a few weeks late. That last part about the season maybe starting late is a guess on my part, but if you look at a calendar and know what needs to get done it is realistic.

06 July 2005

CBA INFO

HEy pens fans,
Check out this article from the Toronto Sun written by Bruce Garrioch. http://www.torontosun.com/Sports/Hockey/2005/07/04/1116370-sun.html This is the only info on what is in the CBA I can find

05 July 2005

it goes on

Hey pens fans,
Well, the talks continue this week, but no one is saying anything. This is said to be the probable last week of talks, but the announcement will not be until at least next week sometime. That's all for now, though I have said most of it before...

04 July 2005

4th of July

Hey Pens Fans,
Even on the 4th of July hockey talks continue that's right the 2 sides are meeting today. It is rumored that the board of governors has been told to be in New York for a vote by weeks end. I hope they are right about that this time. A player vote will be around the same time as well, with the lottery in the days following. More as I get it...

01 July 2005

not yet but soon

Hey pens fans,
Yesterday's meeting went into the wee hours of the morning. Both sides will continue to talk this weekend. It is expected to be over soon, but when? Nothing new on the specifics no one is saying much except that is is going well and it will be soon. I'll be away fishing again this weekend, so I will update again on monday if all goes well. Until then...
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