• New helmet-mounted camera could be the future of NHL broadcasts

    Jared Clinton
    HWKIMain

    When Rogers made their landmark deal for the NHL’s television rights in Canada, it became evident that the very way we watched hockey would change. Already this season, we’ve gotten looks that we’ve never seen before, for better or worse.

    Now a new product has come along, called HWKI, which could revolutionize the way we watch big moments, the view of the referees, or see our favorite players game by game. You can see the product in action below: Read more

  • Alec Martinez not close to returning because “they nearly cut his finger off”

    Jared Clinton
    Alec-Martinez

    In today’s terrible hockey news, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez is going to be out a while longer with a broken pinky because “they almost cut the thing off,” according to coach Darryl Sutter.

    That’s right: Martinez was nearly pinkyless after breaking the digit while blocking a shot during a game late last week, Sutter told the Los Angeles Times. Read more

  • Jack Johnson saga a sober warning for today’s NHL millionaire

    Jack Johnson (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

    Stephane Robidas has made $25 million during the course of his NHL career, with another $5 million coming to him within the next two years. That’s enough money to set himself, his children and probably his children’s children up for life if he’s responsible with it.

    That’s the best part of being a professional athlete. You’re among the best in the world at what you do and you get paid wildly enormous amounts of money to do it. The downside is that in working so hard to become that hockey player, you often become so singularly focused that other areas of your life, like money management, take a back seat. And that opens you up to having others manage your money, which can lead to situations such as the one involving Jack Johnson of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Despite career earnings of almost $21 million, Johnson filed for bankruptcy last month after firing his agent and leaving his finances to his parents.

    Given the circumstances, perhaps it’s surprising it doesn’t happen more often.

    “I find whenever you start making money, you have lots of friends,” Robidas said. “It’s tough to earn money, but it’s really easy to burn money.”

    And the more money you have, the easier it is to watch it burn, or at least have it burn without you knowing about it. According to the excellent report on the Johnson situation by Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, Johnson allowed his parents complete access to his finances without any accountability checks. And when he did ask questions about where his money was going, he took the answers at face value.

    Read more

  • Why Jason Spezza’s contract extension was horrible timing by Dallas

    Matt Larkin
    Jason Spezza has 18 points in his first 20 games with Dallas. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    Everything about the Dallas Stars’ season was a head scratcher leading up to Friday, so the announcement of Jason Spezza’s four-year, $30-million contract extension is fitting.

    Jason Spezza was a good get for the Dallas Stars in a summer trade with Ottawa that didn’t cost GM Jim Nill an arm and a leg. Spezza, 31, still had plenty left in the tank. He remained a point-per-game player, give or take, he was excited to play in a less hockey-mad market and there was a solid chance he would flourish as Dallas’ No. 2 center behind Tyler Seguin.

    Spezza’s short stay as a Dallas Star has delivered on expectations. He’s tallied 18 points in 20 games, racking up assists on the power play. He hasn’t been a world beater in his own zone, but Spezza was never mistaken for Patrice Bergeron to begin with.

    Note the term “short stay,” however. The man is 20 games into his Dallas Stars career. Why on Earth would this team sign him to a four-year extension now? The reasons not to stick out like a mason jar full of sore thumbs.

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  • Chicago star Duncan Keith: “Practices tire me out more than games”

    Ryan Kennedy
    Duncan Keith (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

    The first time Duncan Keith played in the Olympics, he returned to Chicago with a gold medal and then helped the Blackhawks win their first Stanley Cup in nearly 50 years while averaging about 27 minutes of ice time in 104 total NHL games between the regular season and playoffs. Last year he earned his second Olympic gold with Canada and would have won his third Cup had the Hawks not lost a heartbreaking Western Conference final to Los Angeles (admit it, New York…). You would think the compressed NHL schedule in those Olympic years would be tough to shoulder, but Keith sees things the opposite way.

    Read more

  • NHL’s opening salvo in concussion lawsuit battle with former players a clear case of victim-blaming

    Adam Proteau
    Bernie Nicholls (Getty Images)

    As reported Thursday by TSN, the NHL has made its first significant legal reply in regard to the 2013 lawsuit filed by former players who believe the league seriously mishandled its approach to concussions and head trauma. And one only need give the reply a quick perusal to recognize it as the worst kind of victim blaming.

    Filed in November of last year, the players’ lawsuit – now backed by a group of some 40 former NHLers including retired L.A. Kings star Bernie Nicholls and Toronto Maple Leaf Gary Leeman – alleges the league didn’t provide adequate protection from head injuries before a head trauma research committee was formed in 1997, and that, beyond that point, the results of that committee weren’t properly shared among players. Responding via legal documents filed in a Minnesota federal court this week, the NHL contends players forced to retire prematurely due to concussions should have realized on their own the risk they were taking and what could happen to them.

    “Publicly available information related to concussions and their long-term effects, coupled with the events that had transpired – i.e., the players incurring head injuries – should have allowed (players) to put two and two together,” the NHL said in court filings obtained by TSN.

    So let me get this straight – the league whose commissioner in 2011 said it was premature to link fighting in hockey with chronic traumatic encephalopathy is the same league that’s now saying players ought to have known what was up all along with head trauma in the sport because they should’ve read magazine and newspaper reports the league was questioning the veracity of? Does this make sense to anyone? Read more