Archive for August, 2010

History of the Winter Classic

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Jose Theodore at the first Heritage Classic in 2003

Jose Theodore at the first Heritage Classic in 2003

With the Winter Classic tickets now on sale, and the unveiling of the new Calgary Flames jerseys for the game, many people may be wondering, how much history is there behind the Winter Classic? And where did these crazy hockey fans get the idea to ice over a football field to have almost 60,000 dedicated hockey fans stand out in the cold to watch their team play?

Well, the first outdoor game of this kind was the NHL Heritage Classic, held in 2003 when the Montreal Canadians played the Edmonton Oilers at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton. The players and crowd of 57,167 people had to endure temperatures between -18C and -30C at the outdoor stadium. The game was almost canceled 30 minutes before game time due to concern over the temperature. It was so cold that Canadian’s goalie Jose Theodore wore a tuque over the top of his goalie mask.

The idea of playing an outdoor game originated from the Cold War series between U.S. College rivals Michigan State University and the University of Michigan (more…)

NHL to Investigate Luongo and three Other Contracts

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Canucks Roberto Luongo's contract will be reviewed by the NHL

Canucks Roberto Luongo's contract will be reviewed by the NHL

On Monday, NHL arbitrator Richard Block deemed the NHL was justified in rejecting Ilya Kovalchuck’s 17 year $102 million contract with the New Jersey Devils.

In the aftermath, there has been significant discussion about other, similar front-loaded and the NHL has stated that other controversial contracts will be up for review. Long term deals that continue paying high salaries long after a players peak performance years are becoming more and more popular in the NHL as a way to circumvent the league’s salary cap.

Specifically named in Block’s report have been: Vancouver Canucks Robert Luongo, Chicago Blackhawks Marian Hossa, Philadelphia Flyers Chris Pronger and Boston Bruin‘s Marc Savard.

Mike Gillis, Vancouver Canucks‘ general manager has said that the league will (more…)

Breaking News: Decision on Kovalchuk Contract

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Ilya Kovalchuk

Ilya Kovalchuk

It has been reported that NHL mediator, Richard Block, has sided with the NHL and against the NHLPA’s suite filed for Ilya Kovalchuk.

The controversial, 17-year, $102 million contract with the New Jersey Devils went to arbitration after the NHL rejected the front loaded nature of the contract. The league initially denied the contract, stating it circumvented the salary cap. At the heart of the issue were the final five years, paid at the salary cap minimum of $550,000 and having the contract expire when Ilya Kovalchuk was 44 years old (contract details). (more…)