While some NHLers have signed contracts across Europe, the AHL will offer the most familiar hockey most NHL fans are used to watching.
The AHL was very stable in the off-season. There were no team changes, all 30 franchises remained in tact and where they were.
In an interesting twist Norfolk will be entering the season with a 28-game winning streak — but most of that team will now be in Syracuse.
There may be a lockout in the NHL but that doesn't mean there is no hockey.
Tyler Biggs, a first-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2011, made an instant impact with the Oshawa Generals - getting his first fighting major 7:33 into the second period of his first OHL game.
Despite the OHL introducing suspensions for any players getting into 10 or more fights in a season, London Knights' Russian defenceman Nikita Zadorov wasted no time getting his first two out of the way tangling with Erie's Johnny McGuire and Guelph's Ryan Horvat.
In the WHL, Keegan Lowe, taken by Carolina Hurricanes in the third round in 2011, starting the season with a Gordie Howe hat-trick for Edmonton Oil Kings against Kootenay Ice, dropping the gloves with Jeff Hubic in the second.
Twenty-five years ago the NHL put new rules in place to curb the amount of bench-clearing brawls that were happening in the league.
An AP report published Sep 18, 1987 via The New York Times gives us the scoop:
Under the new rules, the first player leaving the bench for a fight would receive a 10-game suspension as well as a game misconduct. His coach would get a five-game suspension and his team would be fined $10,000.
There are more lenient penalties for the players who followed.
This wasn't the initial rule, just a harshening of it. Players were thrown out, given a three-game suspension and some bonus penalty minutes that meant nothing.
There was another fighting-related rule change that included an instigator provision. As a reminder, in 1987 John Ziegler was president (not 'commissioner').
The KHL has the potential to get a ton of attention. It already scoops up former NHLers and AAAA* Euro players. If there is an NHL lockout, some current NHLers will definitely wind up playing for KHL clubs, at least temporarily.
The KHL is now a week into its season. The league released a PDF schedule with dates but no times, and the official league website is good for a quick visit for information, but I know many, including myself, were looking for a schedule with times. After putting the time in to create one and adding it to our site here I've decided to make the data public (for download, all of the data here is obviously public). The KHL schedule is available as a Google spreadsheet. You can then download it in various formats.
Without an agreement between the NHL and the NHLPA, the start date for the league, currently October 11, is iffy. The NHL preseason, scheduled to start September 23, looks like a question mark. Diehard fans waiting for the league to resume play in a month may be out of luck, but there's still plenty of hockey to be found.
After the jump we list out the start dates of leagues all the leagues we're following this season.
Canada Day, along with free agency day, has come & gone, and many of the league's tough guys were signed fast.
We've put together a list of the players who have signed within the past week, before and after the free agency deadline.
Who's made the best moves so far?
Canada Day & NHL "Free Agency Day", properly tied together.
For those near a television, you can watch live coverage on Sportsnet & TSN (if there are others, please let me know). If you're in the US, the NHL Network is simulcasting TSN's coverage.
If you're not near a television, you're in luck, both Sportsnet & TSN have their broadcasts streaming on the web:
This weekend sees the 2012 NHL Entry draft in Pittsburgh so we at hockeyfights.com figured it was about time we'd give you a run down on what physical, tough players are available out of the OHL, QMJHL and WHL.
Dumba is a devastating hitter, an excellent skater, and possesses great offensive instincts. Due to his aggressive offensive game he can sometimes be a liability defensively. Dumba didn't receive a fighting major in the WHL in 2011-12 but he did drop his gloves in the Top Prospects game. In the past he's shown a willingness to fight and is pretty good at it. The biggest question mark regarding Dumba is whether or not his physical game can translate to the professional level. While Dumba does play a high risk high reward type of game he certainly has huge upside.
Gaunce is a hard working player that always shows up. He has great instincts and a nose for the net. He has a big shot as well and knows how to find the net. He plays gritty and will stick up for his team-mates. He is the total package and should go early in the first round.
Congratulations to the Los Angeles Kings, the 2011-12 Stanley Cup champions.
This is the first Cup for the Kings in their 45-year history.
Some immediate coverage:
The New Jersey Devils refuse to give in.
Zach Parise and Bryce Salvador scored to give them a 2-1 victory at Prudential Center to take the Stanley Cup finals back to Los Angeles for a Game Six. It was the first loss on the road for the Kings this playoff season.
Future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur came up big for the Devils, turning away 25 shots including a Jarrett Stoll breakaway when the score was tied at 1-1.
Salvador has now scored four goals in the postseason after going scoreless through 82 games of the regular season and New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer said: "That's something that he's really kind of mastered here over the last month of the playoffs. He's had great composure back there for us, getting shots through. We wouldn't be here without him."