They Must Use A Dart Board To Make Decisions At NHL Headquarters

LOS ANGELES — The first two days of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs are now in the books, but, disappointingly, one of the most memorable aspects of the playoffs so far is the fact that how the National Hockey League handles supplementary discipline is still little more than a joke.

Logo courtesy National Hockey League

Before you start rolling your eyes, this is not really about the merits of Los Angeles Kings center Jarret Stoll’s hit from behind on San Jose Sharks defenseman Ian White in Game 1 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series on April 14. It is also not about if Sharks defenseman Jason Demers should have been suspended for his hit on Kings left wing Ryan Smyth in the same game. Even the punishment Anaheim Ducks right wing Bobby Ryan should receive for stomping on Nashville Predators defenseman Jonathon Blum’s’s foot in Game 2 of their first round series on April 15 is not what this story is about.

These incidents shine an ultra-bright spotlight on the haphazard way the NHL hands out fines and suspensions. Indeed, it often seems that whether or not the incident results in an injury, along with the severity of the injury, dictates whether or not a suspension is handed down, not to mention the number of games. Read more of this post

Will The NHL’s Winter Classic Ever Come To Southern California?

Logo courtesy National Hockey League

LOS ANGELES — Heinz Field in Pittsburgh has long since been converted back into a football stadium after the National Hockey League’s 2011 Winter Classic, played on January 1. But, since then, there has been a lot of talk about other NHL cities that want to host the annual outdoor game.

To be sure, a lot of NHL cities, especially in colder regions of the United States, are already lined up, waiting for their chance to host the annual spectacle, and, if you listen to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, only cities with cold weather will host the Winter Classic.

“I think, for the foreseeable future, it’s more likely than not we’ll continue to do it in climates that we hope will be more hospitable, and we saw what happened in Pittsburgh this year,” said Bettman, noting that the NHL had to deal with unseasonably warm temperatures and rain, forcing them to turn a day game into an evening contest, starting at 5:00 PM Eastern time.

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