Daily Cupcakes- Links from around the NHL - March 13th, 2012

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 08: Ryan Ellis #49 of the Nashville Predators goes down to block the shot of Jamie McGinn #11 of the Colorado Avalanche at Bridgestone Arena on March 8, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)



Might the NHL go back to a red line?

It’s the sort of debate that rages only in the background, far away from fans and the games, in the NHL.

Is the league too fast?

Was it a bad idea to take out the red line and allow two-line passes coming out of the lockout seven years ago?

Ask a different general manager and you’re likely to get a different answer, something that will come to a head next week in Boca Raton, Fla., as all 30 head honchos assemble for their semi-annual meeting to discuss potential rule changes.

The NHL is happy that there hasn't been an increase in concussions this past year - although there hasn't been less either.

You have to hand it to the NHL. Here is a league that readily admits the amount of concussions sustained so far this season is on par with last season, and yet this is somehow spun as good news. As though the status quo were something to be proud of. As though scrambled brains have become a necessary hazard of the game, like lost teeth or a cut on a chin.

How many concussions have occurred this season? The league would not reveal the actual number. What percentage resulted from legal or illegal hits? Your guess is as good as mine.


One website, the concussionblog.com, reported last month that instances of concussion had risen by 60% this season. The NHL, which is not exactly forthcoming with injury information, claimed then the number was closer to 10%. On Monday, if there was an increase, it wasn’t mentioned.

Saku Koivu just played his 1,000 th game.

He played 792 regular-season games, 846 including playoffs, as a member of the Habs for his 16 years and five days from the date he was drafted at age 18.

It was in Montreal, as the face of both good and poor Canadiens teams, that Koivu became a father, where he healed his broken bones and torn joints and dealt with near blindness – his own, caused by an opponent’s high stick, and that of others, who were short-sighted with bigotry and ignorance.

And through it all, you would never get fewer than 100 cents on the dollar from this athlete who led both on and off the ice, a centreman who always played larger than his 5-foot-10 and 185 advertised pounds.

He would transcend hockey during his years in Montreal, his public battle against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2001-02 an inspiration to cancer patients and those blessed with health.

Brian Burke says he did not ask that Don Cherry be fired.

The thing about media feuds is that, like most conflicts, they rarely stay self-contained. Now the alpha dog throwdown between Don Cherry and Brian Burke has spread to engulf the NHL and CBC.

On Saturday, The Globe and Mail reported that, at last month’s NHL all-star game, a meeting between CBC and the NHL board of governors got heated over two main issues brought forth by representatives of the Canadian teams: Cherry’s criticism of the Leafs’ management and coaching; and a feeling that Hockey Night in Canada is too focused on Toronto. Both may play into CBC’s ability to renew hockey rights after the 2013-14 season.

Cherry opened the door over a week ago, when he accused Burke of going to CBC bosses to get him fired for criticism of the Leafs on Coach’s Corner. Burke has denied this and said he does not want to engage in any further feud with Cherry.

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