Overwhelming Proof That Basketball is for Pansies

God, I hate the NHL right now. Usually when I hear about a “fight” or a “brawl” at the Garden I get pretty pumped up. Most of the time it’s Thornton or Lucic dropping the hammer, or if we get really lucky a ‘good old fashioned donnybrook‘ breaks out and we get multiple Jack-Edwardisms to enjoy. Well apparently there was a fight at the Garden last night, though I use the term very, very loosely.

After a vomit-inducing flop by Kevin Garnett the likes of which would make Sidney Crosby cringe, Rajon Rondo got into it (again, used loosely) with Brooklyn big man Kris Humphries and basketball mayhem ensued. By mayhem we of course mean some pushing and shoving, which resulted in numerous technical fouls and some ejections, along with a 2 game suspension for Rondo.

See it for yourself:

Perhaps even bigger news was that Humphries tweeted out his “battle wounds” after the game (click the link to see the picture):

 

Where to even begin with this. Let’s start with Humphries.

Steven Stamkos

Hint: This is one of the least gruesome of the bunch.

Really though? You got a little scratched up? Time to take to the Twittersphere? Scratches! The outrage! First of all, scrums like that happen multiple times during a hockey game, and the worst that comes of it most of the time is two minutes in the box (alone, and you feel shame). Second, I am continually baffled at the ridiculousness of basketball players and what a huge deal it is when something like this happens. The incident itself was an absolute nothing event, and then you have a huge scrum and this clown tweeting a picture of his injuries. Next time, do me a favor and check out this article first. It’s called the ‘Top 5 Mangled NHL Faces on Twitter.’ This page should be the gold standard before anyone posts an injury shot to Twitter. I think this is pretty self explanatory.

Next, I can’t get over the announcers in that clip. Overall I think Celtics color man Tommy Heinsohn is a pretty funny guy. He’s to the Celtics what Jack Edwards is to the Bruins. But really, this was just a joke. Garnett didn’t get “hit in the face.” Humphries’ hand brushed over it, and Garnett went down trying to draw a call (which laughably he also failed to do). In the NHL, though diving is still an issue, if you pull a ‘Ryan Kesler‘ your teammates will defend you, except they have to defend you from getting jumped instead of going after a player that did absolutely nothing to you. Crazy right? Not to mention you’ll probably end up on the league list of diving queers next to Sid and Mike Ribeiro. I’d even have a hard time believing that Jack or Brick would defend such a gigantic dive and Oscar-worthy embellishment even if it were a Bruin (…ok, maybe Jack would).

On top of it all, here comes Rajon Rondo to save the day! Standing up for his teammate! Ok, if Humphries actually had even legitimately fouled KG, I’m probably for this play. But the fact that it came off a flop and everyone is so jacked up is absolutely hilarious. This had to be the most exciting part of the game, right?

I could spend time explaining why I love hockey or how similar incidents play out on the ice, or I can just show you instead. First, this is an actual reason to defend a teammate. You have Bruins defenseman Andy Ference, with good reason, responding to Adam Burish’s post-whistle shot on Tuukka Rask. There are numerous other examples of Ference doing the same if you need further proof. Second, and perhaps more importantly, you have Burish willingly obliging, and settling business right then and there. Maybe he meant to take the shot, and maybe he didn’t, but he’s game. Third, Burish gets his face broken on the play (literally – orbital bone), but no tweets after the game?

Well, I hope that’s clear. All the more reason to hate the NHL and NHLPA right now, since we’re relegated to hearing about this nonsense with no Bruins games, and thus no real scraps to talk about. Fuck you, NHL. I’ll never understand basketball.

Fail

NHL Fail

The latest shipment arrived in New York this afternoon.

Well, that didn’t take long. The latest news out of New York is that after meeting with federal mediators for the second time in as many days, the NHL and NHLPA have once again broken apart. Federal mediation will not continue at this point, so the NHL lockout continues. From Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly:

“Today, we concluded two days of mediation with FMCS mediators and representatives of the NHL Players’ Association. After spending several hours with both sides over two days, the presiding mediators concluded that the parties remained far apart, and that no progress toward a resolution could be made through further mediation at this point in time. We are disappointed that the mediation process was not successful.”

No one should really be shocked by this development, as even going in, most folks “in the know” weren’t overly excited about the possibilities. With both sides deeply entrenched at this point, it’s not really a surprise that significant progress wasn’t made.

So what’s next? Well, the other report out of New York is that Commissioner Bettman made an interesting proposal to the NHLPA, a closed door meeting between owners and players only, with none of the brass from either side (Bettman, Daly, Fehrs, etc) involved. The catch so far is that not all of the owners would be invited, likely a point of discussion before the NHLPA makes a decision. In usual form, the Fehr and the players are considering the option, but no response has yet been made.

Of course the possibility of NHLPA decertification remains in play (if not more-so now), which as discussed previously would likely mean another season lost. Though with the state of negotiations currently, that may very well be the end result anyway, which could make the process worth it for the players. In 2004-05, the season wasn’t cancelled until February, but this time around there are numerous rumors of mid-January being the deadline to get something done. It’s of course speculation with another month and a half to go, but it would make sense if neither side is really committed to getting back on the ice this season without getting all of what they want, which seems is the case at the moment.

So while we continue to wait, here are a couple things for you to check out:

  • Fellow B’s blog Days of Y’Orr has a follow up to the rage against Jeremy Jacobs yesterday, if you’re interested in all the different places you can stick it to JJ and Delaware North. I have to admit, the list is longer than I expected.
  • Huffington Post has an interesting blog post about whether or not anyone really cares about the lockout, and how dumb the NHL is being by not learning lessons from past work stoppages, never mind their own.
  • Lastly, I can’t help but laugh at every statement that Bill Daly has made during this lockout, because every single one has included: “I am/We are disappointed.” We get it Bill, you’re sad. With that, we give you the new “Disappointed Daly” meme gallery. Send us yours and we’ll add them in!


Jeremy Jacobs is Likely the Asshole You Think He Is

Comcast Sports Net New England’s Bruins writer Joe Haggerty had a very interesting article today (check it out here) about one of the driving forces behind the NHL’s lingering lockout, and of course it’s Jeremy Jacobs, the owner of our beloved Boston Bruins and the TD Garden. While this isn’t a surprise to anyone who’s been following negotiations, it’s the details mentioned in the article that confirm what most probably thought anyways, that Jacobs is in fact a heartless, greedy bastard whose only focus is on making as much money as possible regardless of the consequences to the game or its fans.

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NHL Lockout: Mediation Time

NHL Lockout: Mediation

In what appears to be the next logical step in an attempt to end the now laughable NHL lockout, both the league and players’ union agreed today to meet with a mediator. Talks had recently broken off (again), with the only communication over the past few days taking place via phone calls between Bill Daly and Steve Fehr. The sides announced that they had accepted an invitation to meet with representatives from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, with the first session reportedly taking place on Wednesday.

FMCS director George Cohen released the following statement earlier today:

“At the invitation of the FMCS, and with the agreement of both parties, the ongoing negotiations will now be conducted under our auspices. I have assigned deputy director Scott L. Beckenbaugh, director of mediation services John Sweeney, and commissioner Guy Serota to serve as the mediators.”

Then, in the latest comical twist in this debacle, news broke that FCMS commissioner Guy Serota had been immediately removed from the case after his Twitter account was found to have had a stream of controversial comments (head over to PuckDaddy for the details of that mess). In true Twitter fashion, when questioned by ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, Serota said his account had been hacked.

On the plus side of this decision, the FCMS, director Cohen specifically, has been involved with many sports-related labor negotiations in the past, with the MLB, NBA, and most recently the NFL, during its dispute with league referees. Some fresh faces at the table certainly can’t make things any worse. However, with the current collection of egos and the currently strained relationship between them, a quick resolution still seems somewhat unlikely.

While the league had previously found the option of mediation unattractive,  it probably seemed less so after rumors started to swirl that the NHLPA was discussing decertification as the next step to gain some traction in negotiations. As we mentioned yesterday, the option to decertify would mean the union itself would cease to exist, with the judicial route taken instead, ending with the players threatening the league with antitrust and labor lawsuits in an effort to find a quick resolution. There are numerous downstream impacts to doing this that could seriously jeopardize the future of the league, which is one reason why this option so far hasn’t gone beyond discussion. The NY Times’ Slap Shot blog has some more detail on this if you’re interested. Here’s hoping that this route isn’t taken, as it can be an extremely slow process that would likely mean an end to the possibility of playing games this season.

So, it’s time to play the waiting game again. While this move seems like a step in the right direction, whether or not it will provide a real return remains to be seen. Check back on Wednesday for more.

NHL Lockout: One Step Closer to the Edge

nhl lockout

Sorry Columbus.

‘Black Friday’ took on some added meaning this year, as yesterday the NHL cancelled more games, this time through December 14. As expected, this round of cancellations also included this year’s All Star Game, which had been scheduled for January 27th in Columbus. This latest move comes as no surprise, as talks once again have broken off between the league and the Players’ Association after the union’s latest offer on Wednesday. A total of 422 games have now been axed as part of the current work stoppage.

 

Significant damage already has been done, from fans jumping ship to sponsors (especially in Canada) reporting large losses, and as the days pass it is only going to get worse. It’s hard to believe that a league coming off a season of record growth now struggles to avoid slipping further into obscurity over what amounts to pennies in the big picture. ESPN’s John Buccigross had a great write-up earlier in the week on the current situation, how we got here and why it doesn’t bother him, and it is that apathy towards the NHL as an entity that could be the biggest enemy to both the owners and the players. There’s plenty of other hockey games to be found, and fans of the game will find them.

 

The clock continues to tick towards zero hour as the time to salvage some semblance of a season runs short. While the union’s latest offer was a clear attempt to bridge the gap that remains by working off the NHL’s framework for a deal, the league and the owners continue to play hard-ball and have made no such concessions. Some believe that the basis for a deal is now out in the open, but there is no doubt that there is still a good amount of work to be done. The union’s option to decertify and take the battle to the courts further jeopardizes the situation, and once again the fans (the ones that remain anyways) are left waiting to see what will become of 2012-13 campaign. With no further talks planned, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain a positive outlook.

 

Loose Pucks – November 24

  • Johnny BoychukDefenseman Johnny Boychuk became the latest Bruin to sign up for an overseas workout, joining the Salzburg Red Bulls in Austria last week. He was expected to make his debut either last night or in a game tomorrow, and should help the 10th place team on the blue line.
  • Heading in the opposite direction is Tuukka Rask, who will be returning to Boston to wait out the remainder of the lockout after a stint with HC Plzen in the Czech Republic. Rask was stellar during his time with the team, posting a 12-4 record along with a 1.99 goals against average. Let’s hope he can continue that performance when/if the season begins.
  • Tyler Seguin has picked up right where he left off after a short break in the EHC Biel schedule, notching his 20th goal in his 20th game of the season today. He now has 32 points with the team, which sits in 7th place at the moment.
  • Probably accurate: