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    Hot Ice: NHL Thread

    As sure as the sun dawns on a new season Raffi Torres gets another suspension. This time a record 41 games. You'd think that would finally put his career out of its misery, but I'm guessing it won't.

    #2
    Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

    It would be a huge indictment of the NHL were he to get another shot (so to speak).

    The suspension video is very instructive in the way it captures his prior offences.

    Comment


      #3
      Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

      By the way, I am increasingly certain that is going to be a long season for Amor, myself and other fans of the Canucks, though it is quite unlikely to extend into the playoffs.

      Management appears to be completely clueless.

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        #4
        Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

        Not NHL, but there tends not to be sufficient interest in (ice) hockey on here to keep two threads active.

        Tonight sees the return legs of the matches in the Round of 32 in the Champions Hockey League.

        The following have qualified for the "Sweet Sixteen", once again demonstrating the domination of the Nordic and Czech clubs (recall that KHL teams do not participate); HC Davos and Eisbaren Berlin are the only non-Nordic and non-Czech teams left in the competition.

        Tappara Tampere (FIN)
        Bili Tygri Liberec (CZE)
        Lukko Rauma (FIN)
        TPS Turku (FIN)
        HC Davos (SWI)
        HV 71 (SWE)
        Espoo Blues (FIN)
        AIK Skelleftea (SWE)
        Sparta Praha (CZE)
        HC Litvinov (CZE)
        Eisbaren Berlin (GER)
        Karpat Oulu (FIN)
        Djurgarden (SWE)
        Frolunda (SWE)
        Storhamar Hamar (NOR)
        Lulea (SWE)

        One NHL-related angle to this is that Auston Matthews' ZSC Lions were unceremoniously dumped out by Sparta Praha 6-0 on aggregate.

        Matthews, an 18 year old from Arizona who is the consensus number one pick in next year's NHL draft had controversially bypassed both Canadian Major Junior hockey and NCAA College Hockey to play his "draft year" professionally in Switzerland for a former NHL coach. Needless to say, Matthews did not score as his club were shut out twice.

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          #5
          Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

          ursus arctos wrote: By the way, I am increasingly certain that is going to be a long season for Amor, myself and other fans of the Canucks, though it is quite unlikely to extend into the playoffs.

          Management appears to be completely clueless.
          I'm not sure. They were written off last season with a team that on paper was no better but lasted well, until the play-offs at least. It probably depends on how much other teams in their division have improved, or not. I like that they've three rookies in the squad, and they're not afraid to dump their mistakes (Bonino and Vey.) It's also encouraging that they seem to have a bona fide all-star in the making with Horvat. OTOH, top pairing aside, the defence was a mess last year, and will be again most likely. Why Sbisa, we ask? The returning silence is profound.

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            #6
            Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

            Bruins fan checking in here, and I'll be watching the season through the gaps in my fingers.

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              #7
              Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

              Devils fan here. My team teacher bought tickets upon hearing "major announcement about Marty Brodeur," hoping they'd retire his jersey on opening night.

              He bought the tickets.

              They then announced they were retiring his jersey in February.

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                #8
                Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

                Just checking in here, I'll see you again on page 31 during the second round of the playoffs, if Montreal is in it.

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                  #9
                  Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

                  I watched about 5 minutes of an Islanders home preseason game. Holy skycam, batman. The TV angles from the new places are gonna be interesting.

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                    #10
                    Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

                    I have tickets for later in the season and really wonder how much of the ice I will be able to see. Some of the seats are scandalous.

                    Back in Europe, here's the draw for the last 16 of the Champions Hockey League



                    There will be at least one non Nordic team in the last eight, given that Davos and Liberec have been draw together, but that may well be it.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

                      Not NHL, but we have a new AHL team in town, the San Diego Gulls. It looks like there's lots of churn with a bunch of teams moving to places in California which you don't necessarily associate with ice (San Diego, Bakersfield, Ontario, Stockton, San Jose ...).

                      Is the AHL of sufficient quality that I should try and watch the matches, go to games, etc? Should it actually generate atmosphere? Or will it be tin pot with tiny crowds and no interest?

                      Given that MLS isn't coming here, the Chargers are off to Milton Keynes and the Padres are useless, I feel I ought to show some love to the only pro sport that seems to want to be in San Diego.

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                        #12
                        Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

                        The quality's there. Most of the players are fringe NHL or better. The rosters can turn over pretty quickly, as players are called up/sent down, especially late in the season. Attendances vary a lot. (see below) There are a few longstanding franchises that consistently draw well. Others draw flies. It's predominately an Eastern league so Western teams tend to struggle and not many survive long TBH.

                        AHL attendances last season.

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                          #13
                          Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

                          Thanks for that. They seem to be creating an entire western conference to associate with western NHL teams, looking at it. So maybe there's more chance of survival.

                          I love some of those team names: Icecaps, Checkers, Wolfpack, Ice Hogs, Barons and Crunch.

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                            #14
                            Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

                            So maybe there's more chance of survival.

                            Maybe. The Gulls are the Ducks farm team, so the relatively local connection should help some.

                            Conversely a couple of years back Calgary put their AHL team in Abbotsford, which is basically a Vancouver suburb, and they barely averaged four figure attendances.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

                              The AHL can be great.

                              It's been around for 75+ years and some of the teams (including "my" Hershey Bears) have been there for essentially the entire time. During the Original Six era of the NHL, the best AHL clubs could genuinely challenge the bottom club(s) in the big league.

                              As the NHL has gone from 6 to 30 clubs, all "minor league" hockey in North America has been challenged, but this incarnation of the league is the most sensible "Second Division" set up we've seen for decades.

                              The AHL's California expansion was achieved through what essentially amounted to an exchange of franchises with the ECHL (the closest thing we have to a third tier league), with the ECHL's California clubs joining the AHL and the ECHL getting some of the AHL's smaller market Eastern clubs, so the clubs have some history and a fanbase.



                              The Gulls are actually a bit of an anomaly, in that their club came from Norfolk (at least another Navy town) rather than the ECHL, though it is in fact the fifth incarnation of a San Diego Gulls hockey team. Like the Padres, the Gulls can trace their history back to a quite successful Pacific Coast League club



                              The Western NHL teams were sick of their top prospects being 3000 miles away, and will be much happier with the new division.

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                                #16
                                Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

                                It looks like tomorrow's opening game is basically a sell-out. There's no 2 seats together available on the official website. Which is a good sign, I guess. Prices look reasonable. Nothing more than $60, cheapest are $18.

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                                  #17
                                  Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

                                  There is something uniquely Islanders about the first goal scored in their new building being an opposition shorthander...

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                                    #18
                                    Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

                                    Armchair / social media Devils fan (though I did manage to see them live twice earlier this year), and while I've got Premier Sports I'll rarely get round to watching full games so will check in on here to help keep track of the season.

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                                      #19
                                      Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

                                      Don't bother.

                                      The phrase "you stink on ice" comes to mind.

                                      My daughter's hockey coach is a Devils hater, and has them skate slow with the command "I want you to skate like the Devils...REAL SLLLOOOWWWW."

                                      I'll never forgive the Stockton Thunder for the 2005 ECHL Playoffs, when this douchebag checked Scott Gomez into the open door during the playoffs against the Alaska Aces - breaking his hip. It deprived the Trenton Titans of playing against him (even if it turned out good, the Titans beating the Aces in 7 then winning the Kelly Cup against the Florida Everblades.)

                                      Re: Manchester Monarchs
                                      As you said, I had no idea of how New Hampshire was the AAA team for Los Angeles. Even Walter White had a shorter distance to travel to the Granite State.

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                                        #20
                                        Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

                                        Worcester was San Jose's for a while, also.

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                                          #21
                                          Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

                                          Gulls win 4-2 with a 13,000 crowd!

                                          I bet it doesn't last...

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                                            #22
                                            Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

                                            Has anyone seen Red Army yet? Only it's out in London now and I'm tempted to see it.

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                                              #23
                                              Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

                                              Oh, I am so up for seeing that when I can.

                                              In NHL news, after two home games, Bruins Matt Irwin is on pace for a -210 season.

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                                                #24
                                                Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

                                                It's ace

                                                Though it would be hard for them to screw up that material

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                                                  #25
                                                  Hot Ice: NHL 15/16

                                                  Funny seeing Mike Condon for the Habs last night.

                                                  Saw him at Baker Rink in 2013. My daughter's preschool classmate's father was actually his goalie coach, Greg Gardner.

                                                  Neat story of Mike Condon's road to Subban's Slappers.

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