There's no denying the popularity of Twitter. Almost everyone has an account these days, and those involved with hockey are among the many. Executives, coaches, officials, players and others all have active accounts, almost all of them chronicling their daily lives inside of the sport.
A surprising trend is the increasing power that social media is gaining within the sport, both inside and outside of the game. This became clear during the NHL's trade deadline, where thousands of players and fans alike took to Twitter to voice their opinions on that Monday's moves.
Analysts at TSN and Rogers Sportsnet, two of the top news outlets on deadline day and for potential transactions in general, are some of the busiest Twitter users out there and kept a strong pace until the deadline hit.
There was only one fight tonight. With 41 seconds left in the Blue Jackets-Flames game Mark Giordano put a hit on Derek Dorsett. Dorsett wasn’t too thrilled about it and followed Giordano to return the favor when the whistle blew. They dropped the gloves and Giordano got in a few punches before wrestling Dorsett down. Not the typical Dorsett fight.
World pimpin’ leader
The site got a quick shout from ESPN’s SportsNation today.
SportsNation is on weekdays at 4pm eastern on ESPN2.
Derek Dorsett vs Mark Giordano Oct 20, 2009
Martin Lapointe vs Ole-Kristian Tollefsen Dec 31, 2006
Taylor Pyatt vs Steve Staios Dec 30, 2006
Jeff Cowan vs Jean-Francois Jacques Dec 30, 2006
Grant Marshall vs Jamie Allison Jan 23, 2000
Jeff Brubaker vs Barry Beck Mar 14, 1981
Norm Barnes vs Tom Laidlaw Mar 14, 1981
Last week I published Legal, but Dirty a collection of thoughts on whether or not a legal hit can also be a dirty hit.
PJ's opinion is very clear, I'm a little mixed - and also toss out a couple of not-so-hot predictions for opening night.
Thanks again to all who took the time to share opinions.
While I was hoping to go into some detail with previews this year, having no cable service has put a bit of a damper on that.
So here's a round-up of some draft coverage:
TSN: Draftcentre | 2009 NHL Draft Tracker
Sportsnet: Spector's NHL draft notebook | Sportsnet.ca live NHL Draft chat
ESPN: Draft | 2009 NHL Entry Draft Preview (video with Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun)
CBS Sports: Draft Tracker
NHL.com: Phil Coffey's Draft blog
CBC: NHL Entry Draft Live Blog
Yahoo!: Live Coverage: NHL Draft 2009 in Montreal
A couple of quick notes:
- The Islanders did draft John Tavares first overall, despite what seemed like a massive Canadian media conspiracy to persuade Garth Snow and the team not to.
- Chris Pronger was traded from the Ducks to the Flyers for Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa and two first rounders. Has there ever been a player so highly-regarded who's played for so many teams?
If it's possible for me to update again, I will. If you're following the draft online somewhere not mentioned, feel free to leave a link in the comments.
Update 845pm: Ryan Dingle was included in the Pronger trade, going from the Ducks to the Flyers.
I’ve purposely held off editorializing about the death of Don Sanderson and fighting in hockey. I didn’t want to make any sort of knee-jerk counterarguments to the anti-fighting members of the media in a time of mourning and sensitivity to his family, friends and the hockey community in general.
For those who haven’t followed the story: Don Sanderson played for the senior AAA Whitby Dunlops. He was in a fight and lost his helmet. His head hit the ice, and he fell into a coma after a brief period of consciousness. Sadly, three weeks later, Mr. Sanderson passed away. His funeral service was yesterday.
From the first day of Mr. Sanderson’s injury, the debate about fighting in hockey, and equipment regulations has heated up in the media, although there has been little to no talk from professional leagues about any rules changes.
Greg Wyshynski, editor of Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy NHL blog contacted me with some questions regarding the tragedy of Mr. Sanderson, and fighting in general. I did my best to answer his questions directly, without rant or tangent, as my position about fighting in hockey is obvious. I’ve included Wyshynski’s questionset below, and you can read his thoughts and the thoughts from his commenters here.
Vancouver was good enough to host the oddly-timed 4pm local game against the Leafs to accomodate Hockey Night in Canada viewers. Things got nasty mid-way through the first period when first-round pick Luke Schenn dropped the gloves with Rob Davison after Davison dropped Nikolai Kulemin with a big hit.
After the Canucks opened up a 4-0 lead, Ryan Hollweg was more than willing to go with Darcy Hordichuk to try and spark his team. Later in the second, when the Canucks kept hitting, Pavel Kubina wound up having a short go with Mattias Ohlund.
Steve Ott and Daniel Carcillo had the fight of the night. The closer-than-expected scrap is already rating high. So is the Josh Gratton-Georges Laraque fight. Laraque dominated the smaller man. The Habs forward was clearly looking to silence those who criticized him for not stepping up more during this past week’s Bruins game where Milan Lucic hammered down Mike Komisarek.
Use the force Looch
Alan Siegel of the Eagle Tribune has a piece about fan-favorite Lucic littered with a couple of quotes from yours truly. Apparently I said “He does what seems like everything on the ice”. A little Yoda-y, but the point was simple: he’ll do anything for the team. A rare powerforward, he’s on pace for more than 20 goals this season.
Chuck Kobasew vs Paul Mara Nov 15, 2008
Steve Ott vs Daniel Carcillo Nov 15, 2008
Pavel Kubina vs Mattias Ohlund Nov 15, 2008
Ryan Hollweg vs Darcy Hordichuk Nov 15, 2008
Luke Schenn vs Rob Davison Nov 15, 2008
Josh Gratton vs Georges Laraque Nov 15, 2008
Chris Neil vs Tim Jackman Nov 15, 2008
Leaf fans: Get ready for a Burke-quake
Outside the box
Tampa Bay’s Tocchet to install high-tempo game
Same chef, new fixin’s
Defense suffers another bad break as Andrew Ference out 6-8 weeks
Bailey’s presence tad premature, but that’s OK
Thanks to New York Islanders television analyst Billy Jaffe for this one. Apparently Jeff Tambellini was disappointed Tuesday night that he picked up a double roughing, rather than a major, against Nigel Dawes of the Rangers. Only majors are added to the logs here at hockeyfights.com and Tambellini, who’s never received one, wants in on the site. Here’s a clip of Jaffe talking about it:
Just for fun, we gave Jeff his own profile page here. I’m sure we’ll fill it in at some point.
Jeff Marek of CBC interviewed me for his blog on CBC’s website, Upon Further Review.
Part one consisted of a few fight and site-related questions, along with some younger and AHL players I think you could see make their mark on the NHL soon.
Part two is a couple of top tens: top ten fighters, and the top ten fights from last season. My top tens are fairly flexible. Everyone can be moved up or down two spots easily. Anything can happen on any night which is what makes them fun to do. I’ll try and highlight both of these lists more soon.
The 2007-08 hockeyfights.com Awards are coming soon, and you’ll be able to pick your top fighter and fight of the year.
On a related-note: I also had a few words with the owner of My Hero Of The Day where I was featured. Fun, and flattering to say the least.
We’ve always been fans of Ian Laperriere here. Besides his willingness to drop the gloves, he just keeps going. At 34, he’s currently tied for 8th on the fighting majors leaders list. He also doesn’t have a case of NHL Oak, an affliction turning many a player into wood during interviews.
Jim Matheson of The Edmonton Journal profiles Lappy’s pugilistic studies.
His favourite website is hockeyfights.com. The site lists all the fights over an NHL year, describes them, and lets fans vote on who won or lost.
“We all look at it, even if guys say they don’t,” said Laperriere, who’s had 15 fights this year.
“I’m 34, that’s pretty good. More than I expected.”
He also rips on your fight reviews. Yeah, you know who you are.
I suspend you, I suspend you not
The NHL handed suspensions out like candy this week as Andrew Peters, James Wisniewski, Steve Ott, and now Georges Laraque have all been given mandatory breaks. Peters (punching Colton Orr from the bench) and Wisniewski (cross-checking Mikael Samuelsson) received a game each while Ott and Laraque have both been tossed for three.
Ott was tossed for a high hit on Jordan Leopold Sunday night. Ott maintains that it was a legal hit and both of his feet didn’t leave the ice. Leopold remains out of action with concussion-like symptoms.
Meanwhile Laraque will sit because of an elbow to the head of Sabres’ winger Nathan Paetsch in what turned out to be a scary moment Wednesday night. After laying motionless on the ice for a few minutes, Paetsch left the ice on his own power. He too will be out indefinitely due to a concussion.
Suspension-related, but not Pronger-related as Anaheim’s pretty far from the border: Luke DeCock of The News & Observer took a look at how often suspensions are handed out and found Canadian teams get leniency from the league.
Lastly, Alex Burrows and Daniel Carcillo got into it in the Canucks-Coyotes game. It was a bit of a mess for a couple of minutes, but there were no further altercations in the end. Although if Carcillo had his way, he might have had another.
David Clarkson vs Chris Simon Mar 13, 2008
Alexandre Burrows vs Daniel Carcillo Mar 13, 2008
Eric Godard vs Eric Boulton Mar 13, 2008
Eric Godard vs John Erskine Mar 12, 2008
Rob Davison vs Nick Tarnasky Mar 11, 2008
NHL’s Western Conference Brings Back Rock ‘em, Sock ‘em Hockey
Breaking down the NHL’s oddest couples
Call it the injustice of justice
Draper out with slight groin tear; Helm recalled, McCarty skates
Time for Kyle Okposo era to begin
Giving Peca an ‘A’ could be letter of club’s intent
Hanson brothers hit home with Dallas Stars’ Matt Niskanen
Weller ‘a tremendous story’
“We Stand Ready to Help the Town of Hempstead”
O’Ree brings message to Nova Scotia
Rangers’ success attributed to the right balance
With April 15th quickly approaching (that’s tax deadline day here in the States), I can’t forget this Fortune Small Business article: Write-offs for your home business
Ok, ok, they link to hockeyfights.com and it is fun to see when unexpected.
* John Chandler contributed to this post.
TSN listed Jesse Boulerice‘s suspension as being finished on their set of transactions for December 12th. That is not the case.
To date, Boulerice has served 16 out of the 25 games on his current suspension according to Flyers beat writer Tim Panaccio. The Flyers have been shipping Boulerice back and forth from their AHL affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms in order to create room for call-ups since his punishment began.
According to the AHL’s transactions page, Boulerice was not recalled for Philadelphia’s contests against Pittsburgh and Montreal this week so the number remains the same.
It seems that TSN might just be counting down the number of games that have taken place since Boulerice was suspended by the league. Yahoo! Sports and CBS Sportsline both made a similar mistake when they ended Steve Downie‘s suspension one game early.
Boulerice will be eligible to play in the AHL starting this Sunday. The Phantoms play the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins that afternoon.