Saturday, August 20, 2005

Rmours Afloat For Coveted Veteran

By Nick Faris
Red Line Corp. Writer

Back in his day, Peter Bondra could pot 30+ goals in a season effortlessly, sometimes in just over half a season, while scoring on nearly 20% of his shots, netting at least 5 shorthanded goals in that year.

Now he's 37, close to retirement, and fresh off a rough stint with the Ottawa Senators, scoring just 5 goals in 23 games. Last game, as one of the Washington Capitals' leaders, both in the locker room and on the scoresheet, he was only able to score 49 points in 77 games, hardly the point-a-game man he once was. Yet the Ukranian is the most coveted free agent in the game right now.

Hoping to add a sniper to their lineup for a few years, no less than nine teams have reportedly contacted Bondra. Most recently, Atlanta has been hoping to complement top scorers Dany Heatley and Ilya Kovalchuk with Bondra. He still owns a house in the city he's spent all of his career in (except for his latest stint), so a return there (Washington) isn't ruled out. Neither is a return to the other capital city of North America...but I'm getting ahead of myself. Here are the nine franchises reportedly interested in Bondra, and their chances of getting him:

1. Anaheim - They currently have $34,168,500 used in cap room, most of that from Scott Niedermayer, Sergei Federov, and Jean-Sébastien Giguere. With Federov, Peter Sykora, and Steve Rucchin up front, don't expect them to sign Bondra, especially with Stanislav Chistov, Ruslan Salei, and Samuel Pahlsson left to sign.

Chances: 2 of 10

2. Atlanta - With about $15 million left to spare in the cap, Atlanta should be a top contender. Even with Heatley and Kovalchuk left to sign, they could still sign the trio and still come up at least $3 or 4 million away from the limit.

Chances: 8 of 10

3. Buffalo - With 26 players under contract at approximately $18 million (10 are undisclosed, however), Buffalo certainly has the room. They don't need another top scorer, however - not with Chris Drury, Maxim Afinagenov, and Daniel Briere.

Chances: 5 of 10

4. Chicago - Chicago, a young team like all other re-builders, needs leadership, and scoring. Bondra would fit that description perfectly. The Hawks could sign Bondra for about $1 million, perhaps even less for the aging European. With only Adrian Aucoin, Nikolai Khabibulin, and Eric Daze proven top-calibre NHLers, the team could use another force. The problem is, would this be an attractive destination for Bondra?

Chances: 5.5 out of 10

5. Florida - The sunny beaches of Florida could be a great fit for Bondra - who wouldn't want to be there? After acquiring two bona-fide vets in Gary Roberts and Joe Nieuwendyk, as well as proven players Martin Gelinas and Jozef Stumpel, and still with just $15 million spent, could grab another star to lead this team into uncharted waters - the playoffs.

Chances: 7 out of 10

6. Ottawa - The future of this team could hang in the balance with the Marian Hossa arbitration hearing. If they can coax Hossa into signing a long-term deal before his Tuesday hearing, they might have just enough space (a slim chance) to sign Bondra to a one-year deal. If not, then don't expect the sniper to return. Either way, he probably won't be there.

Chances: 3.5 out of 10

7. Phoenix - This is not a strong possibility - with perhaps the best pure goal-scorer in NHL history, Brett Hull, already on the team, as well as Shane Doan, Peter Nedved, Ladislav Nagy, Mike Comrie, and Mike Ricci, don't expect Bondra to be heading to the Great One's land.

Chances: 1.5 out of 10

8. St. Louis - St. Louis' question is, are they wanting to indulge in another veteran? They already have Keith Tkachuk and Doug Weight signed. Of course, after that, the list drops off, leaving them with plenty of cap room and few free agents of their own to sign. Could Bondra be heading here? Possibly, but probably not.

Chances: 4 out of 10

9. Washington - Our last team has the strongest chance. Ever since Ottawa's season ended in 2003-04, rumours of Peter Bondra returning to the other capital were floating around. Those rumours are suddenly looking very legitimate. Bondra has played, save for the 23-game round with the Senators, every single game of his 984-game, 14-year career with the Capitals, and could be looking to move back there. It could certainly use him, on a team with approximately five players old enough to earn UFA status.

Chances: 9 of 10

Will Peter choose to stay in the capital he is in, or go back to the head city of America? Could he head to the beach or the Windy City? The desert or DisneyLand? The rumours are floating everywhere, and it will be soon where we'll know where they're surfacing.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Tale Of The Tape -- Chara vs Redden

By Nick Faris
Red Line Corp. Writer

After the 2005-06 playoffs are completed, the Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Trophy awarded, the rest of the NHL awards given out, then the off-season will begin. And for one team, that off-season will be the toughest it will have faced in its' entire existence.

The Ottawa Senators have a dilemna: their two top defensemen will be unrestricted free agents after the season, and both will be looking for salaries in the neighbourhood of the player restriction - $7.8 million. Add in the possible unrestricted free agency of top scorer Marian Hossa (if he continues his route to arbitration and a one-year deal), and it is sure that the Senators won't be able to award all three with marquee money, and still fit under the cap. Those two defensemen are Zdeno Chara and Wade Redden.

Both Redden and Chara are earning the same amount of money ($3.724 million) this season. Both will be looking for money like Scott Niedermayer ($6.75 million) or Chris Pronger ($6.25 million) received. Hossa is already looking for money like Jarome Iginla's ($7 million), so it would be impossible for the Sens to keep all three. Ottawa wants to retain the forward out of the three, so here's the question: Chara or Redden. Who to keep and who to let go?

Here is the tale of the tape:

Scoring: Last season the scoring race between these two was close, with Redden edging out Chara in goals and assists by one each time (17-16 -- 26-25). You can't eliminate Chara on those counts, obviously, so let's look at the past few years.

Redden's scoring actually decreased from 2002-03, as he was able to put in 45 points over 43. He beat Chara again, this time by a wider margin of 6 points. The year before, Chara's first with Ottawa, he only mustered 23 points, losing again to the career Senator, this time by 11 points. Both player's point totals have increased in the years they have played in Ottawa, however, and Chara's have gone up more dramatically. However, Redden gets the nod in this category.

Experience: This concerns both NHL and international experience. Both players are the same age (28), and Redden has played one more season than Chara (8-7). However, Redden has played in nearly 200 more games than Chara, saying something about Chara's early seasons in which he would only play 50-60 games. In major international competitions, Redden has made it about the same amount of times as Chara, both representing their countries in last year's World Cup. Chara has made it to the World Championships four times with Slovakia, redden just twice. However, Redden was on Sens teams that were making the playoffs and missing those Championships, while Chara was tolling on dismal Islanders squads. Redden has also competed on two gold-medal World Junior Championship squads, enabling him to edge out Chara in this category.

Awards: This is an important category. Basically, neither has won any major awards (ie: Hart Trophy, Norris Trophy), but Chara did finish second in the voting for the Norris last year after a dominant season. He was also named to the season-ending first all-star team, while Redden was named to the All-Star team for his second year. Chara, surprisingly, was not named an All-Star, but still beats Redden in this area.

Defense: Chara is obviously the bigger of the two, with his 6'9, 260-pound frame looming large over opposing forwards entering the zone. That was the main reason he was named to the first All-Star team and finished second in the Norris voting. He dominates along the boards, and almost never gets knocked down. His +/- suggests that he is the Senators' top defender - (-33) last season and (-92) since joining Ottawa. Redden is certainly not known as a top defender, although he has led Ottawa in +/- several times in earlier seasons. However, that lead has gone to the Slovakian in past years. Chara beats out Redden again.

Style: This is probably the most important area, seeing as the NHL is looking to shift into another style of play, from defensive to offensive. Chara is mainly known as a defender, with his Hulk-like frame and ability to dominate in Ottawa's zone. He can still contribute offensively, but Redden looks like he will be more of an asset than Chara. His scoring ability is fantastic - he is Ottawa's power play quarterback, scoring all but five of his goals in that situation. Redden certainly beats out Chara in this category.

Local Impact: This, the last category, is definitely Redden's to lose. He does it all - organizes the program Wade's World for CHEO (Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario) patients, buys a suite for those patients to watch games in, visits those children in the hospital, supports Roger's House...the list goes on. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Chara. He is like all other Senators, a helper in the community, but Redden stand out above all. This may be the one category Redden blows Chara away in.

Verdict: Zdeno Chara is a fantastic defenseman, hard worker, dominant force...but Wade Redden is the man Ottawa should keep in this situation.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Coffey To The Rafters

By Nick Faris
Red Line Corp. Writer

Paul Coffey is joining Wayne Gretzky.

No, he won't be making his head coaching debut on October 5th, but he will be joining him in he rafters of Rexall Place. Coffey's #7 will be retired on October 18th, joining Gretzky (99), Jari Kurri (17), Grant Fuhr (31), and Al Hamilton (3). Ironically, Gretzky's Phoenix Coyotes will be in town that day as Gretzky makes his Edmonton coaching debut.

When the 7 is lifted onto the roof of Rexall Place, it will be icing on the cake for Coffey, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in Toronto last November (with fellow defencemen Ray Bourque and Larry Murphy, as well as builder Cliff Fletcher.) Coffey, of course, won 2 Norris Trophies and helped Edmonton win three Stanley Cups in four years (He wasn't with Edmonton for their 1988 win).

Coffey is Edmonton's fifth-highest career scorer, netting 209 goals and 669 points, en route to setting 10 NHL records during his 21-year career (he is second in the race for that record - Wayne Gretzky has 61, one of them for most records). Showing how fantastic the Edmonton dynasty really was, Coffey is the NHL's 10th-highest career scorer (but only the Oilers' fifth, of course).

Coffey was an integral part of the Oilers' 1980s dynasty, aiding them to their first three cups. Said to be the only player who could pick up speed while coasting, Coffey was arguably the fastest player in hockey history (although Bobby Orr is also a strong consideration). Coffey played like the great Orr, taking chances offensively and carrying the puck up. He was, in my opinion, the second-greatest defenceman ever, just behind the Bruins #4.

Kevin Lowe was extremely pleased to see Coffey's accomplishments recognized. "He had incredible skating skills, and could break out in the blink of an eye. Paul also had great hands and the ability to control the puck. It's great to see Paul's achievements as a player, and an Edmonton Oiler, recognized."

It ought to be an interesting contest the day the number 7 is raised to the rafters of Rexall Place, what with Wayne Gretzky being there to coach. Paul Coffey, obviously, is not joining Gretzky in the sense that he'll be a coach, but he'll have his special night just the same.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

NHL TV Deals -- Jokes, Right?

By Nick Faris
Red Line Corp.

The NHL, already with TV deals with US hockey giants ESPN and NBC, inked a two-year deal with cable giant Comcast for $100 million. Comcast will air two games a week nationally once the season starts. Those games are thought to be aired on one of Comcast's channels...The Outdoor Life Network.

OLN? Why would anyone want to watch hockey on the Outdoor Life Network? Last time I checked, there had been one regular-season played outdoors, and that was made to be a classic. Hockey isn't outdoor life - that title falls to the Calgary Stampede, fishing shows, and Lance Armstrong on a bike. Even if there are a few yellow jerseys in the NHL, they won't be worn outside arenas.

Has hockey really fallen to the level of the rodeo? As if anybody will watch hockey on OLN. No one in the US watched it in the first place - why would they want to see it on a channel that should be reserved for Caribbean Workout?

Which brings me to ESPN. After the Comcast deal is approved by the NHL's Board of Governers (basically just a formality), the NHL will forward it to ESPN, which has the right to match any offer. ESPN has carried the NHL since 1985. Who would watch hockey on a channel that shows hot dog eating contests, poker, and darts before the sport? No wonder the NHL's ratings are so low in the US.

But seriously, compared to NBC, ESPN is a hockey giant. NBC inked a two-year deal with the NHL prior to the lockout. Of approximately 1000 games during the regular season, NBC will televise seven. At least it's more than in the playoffs, where six will be shown, and all but the first two games of the Stanley Cup final. Realistically, that means as low as 15 games will be shown, and as many as 18.

These TV deals are jokes, right? At least in Canada the NHL is in a safe haven with Hockey Night in Canada on CBC (even with Leaf fans Bob Cole and Harry Neale announcing, but that's another story).

So when October 5th comes around, I'll be watching hockey on TV (finally) - quality Canadian hockey.

Gary Bettman, you can watch OLN.

I'll be away until Monday. A new article will appear then.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Love It Or Hate It -- Part 2

By Nick Faris
Red Line Corp. Writer

Todd Bertuzzi is back in the NHL. He was finally reinstated by commissioner Gary Bettman yesterday, exactly seventeen months to the day he brutally attacked Steve Moore (story here). That will certainly benefit his team, the Vancouver Canucks, in the new NHL. The league has implemented several rule changes, including a shootout after OT. Could Bertuzzi be one of the three shooters the Canucks will choose when they have their first shootout (its a little obvious that everyone will have one)? Nobody knows, but in part 2 of this article, I will note who I believe will shoot for each Canadian squad.

Drumroll please!

We begin the farthest west, in Vancouver. Yes, Bertuzzi will be a shooter, Mark Crawford will say, as will linemate Markus Naslund. Here comes a tough decision - who is their other shooter? Don't expect many defencemen to be taken, and not on this team. From where I see it, three men could be chosen for that spot - Brendan Morrison, or one of the Sedin twins, Henrik or Daniel. Matt Cooke could even be a dark horse. Now, neither Henrik or Cooke scored enough goals last year for me to take them. In a close battle between the other Sedin and Morrison, the latter gets the nod, for experience and scoring lead. (He was second in both goals and points of Canucks). Dan Cloutier is obviously the goalie for Vancouver, although if they do acquire a goalie in the free agent market, expect that man to stop the shots.

On to Alberta. Calgary's obvious shooter is Jarome Iginla, with tough decisions to be made after. This is a team with Chris Simon fifth in goals. Martin Gelinas would have been a shooter had he not left. Tony Amonte will also try to net some goals, while I dive down the Flames goals table and select Marcus Nilson as the third man. Mikka Kiprusoff will be in net.

Calgary's counterpart, Edmonton, will choose captain Ryan Smyth as one man. This team was not very tough for me, given their lack of top scorers. I would definitely choose Raffi Torres and Ethan Moreau as Smyth's counterparts. Ty Conklin will stop the shots.

In Ontario, Ottawa has several men who could shoot. Daniel Alfredsson (32 goals) will be left out of the shootout (at least by me) and in his place will be Marian Hossa, Martin Havlat, and Jason Spezza. This young core of players should be one of the best shootout teams in the league. Dominik Hasek, a veteran of shootouts, will be the goalie.

Toronto will obviously choose Mats Sundin, but unfortunately for the Leafs, two others that I would have picked, Gary Roberts and Joe Nieuwendyk, are both gone. In their place I will put newcomer Jason Allison and 21-goal scorer Darcy Tucker. Ed Belfour will be the netminder.

Last, but not least, we have Montreal. Montreal has no shortage of young talent, with former Calder Trophy candidates Michael Ryder and Mike Ribeiro shooters. Captain Saku Koivu, who I would have chosen a few years ago, is left out, and in his spot is Montreal top scorer Richard Zednik. Jose Theodore will be in the paint for the Quebecers.

Of course, those are only my choices. Who knows what Canadian team heads might do come the season? Nobody. But look for them to have to decide several times, because the shootout is coming!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Second Chance -- Bertuzzi Reinstated

By Nick Faris
Red Line Corp. Writer

This is a special Five Hole Hockey article. My normal column will appear tomorrow.

Todd Bertuzzi is immediatly able to resume his hockey career.

Gary Bettman addressed the media at a press conference Monday, and in a 4,500 word address he feels that Bertuzzi's 17-month suspension was fair enough. He notes that the emotional stress this had on the Bertuzzi family was punishable for the two-time All Star and his wife, Julie, in a strong way. Bettman believes that the Canucks forward, ''is genuinely remorseful and apologetic for his actions . . . and the consequences that have flowed from such actions.''

However, what I'm very interested in is the fact that Gary Bettman failed to mention a single thing about the slim chances of Steve Moore ever playing another NHL game.

Todd Bertuzzi was placed on probation in court on December 22nd, 2004. His probation will end December 21st, 2005, and until that date, Bertuzzi will not be allowed to play any hockey game in which Moore is an opponent. But, let's be realistic. What are the chances of that?

March 8th, 2004 was the day Steve Moore's career ended. You can be sure of it. I'm not sure any team would want to pick him up because of his injuries and the fact he was only a fringe player to begin with. It's very unfortunate, because, unlike Markus Naslund said, Moore was capable of playing in the NHL. Until March 8th.

Lawyer Tim Danson has stated recently that Moore has tried to begin training for a hopeful return to the NHL. Don't expect it, however. Danson has also denied rumours that a doctor has cleared for Moore to play again.

Where is the hate for Moore stemming from? His clean hit on Naslund which lead to Bertuzzi and Brad May putting a bounty on Moore's head? Naslund has been saying that he has no respect for Moore, the victim, while putting his full support behind Bertuzzi. Obviously, he is a linemate of the agressor, but it sounds a little low to saying you have no respect for the man in the hospital bed.

Unfortunately, no NHLers have been supporting Moore - all the big names have come out and said they want Bertuzzi back. Not even any Avalanche players (Moore's former teammates) have come out and said they want him back.

It's sickening, really. This is not to say I think Bertuzzi should be banned forever - I will never look at him the same way, but I still believe he deserves a second chance. The same goes for Steve Moore, however, he will probably never get it.

Love It Or Hate It -- Part 1

By Nick Faris
Red Line Corp. Writer

You can say it's just a breakaway contest. A useless 1-on-1 tournament. An individual doing things that should be done by a team.

Yes, you can hate the shootout, one of the new implementations in the revolutionized NHL. You can hate it like its a combination of Gary Bettman, Bob Goodenow, and Tie Domi. However, love it or hate it, its there...and I love it!

In the new, supposedly improved NHL, the shootout will be utilized after a 5-minute OT period, if the game is tied fter regulation, of course. Should the OT not find a winner, a shootout will!

Remember these words of wisdom: "A tie is like kissing your sister." With the shootout, that won't happen. Ties have been thrown down along with the Berlin Wall and Saddam. Three men from each team (not five, three) will shoot on the opposing netminder to decide who gets the W. Now, there is the age-old chant of hockey being a team game and not a breakaway contest. However, what is more exciting than one breakaway deciding a tight game, with all on the line? We loved the shootout at the 1994 and '98 Olympics, didn't we? So what if it didn't benefit Canada? It was exciting all the while! And at the 2003 All-Star Game, when OT finished in a tie, instead of pulling a Bud Selig, the NHL allowed a shootout! That was great, wasn't it?

Besides, Detroit fans, your team doesn't have to pick Brendan Shanahan as a shooter. I'm sure each team can find three capable shootout scorers.

Which brings me to the, "Part One," part of the headline. Tomorrow, seeing as this is a Canadian column, I will give out the names of the shooters I would pick if I was Marc Crawford, Darryl Sutter, Craig MacTavish, Pat Quinn, Bryan Murray, and Claude Julien. Stay tuned folks. Get ready for the shootout, coming October 5th!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

No Playoffs? No Problem

By Nick Faris
Red Line Corp. Writer

Does it matter that these teams haven't made the playoffs in years?

Does it matter that they've been re-decorating the cellar of the NHL's mansion for those seasons?

Does it matter that, instead of a case of trophies in their locker rooms, they have a case of ping-pong balls?

Obviously not, according to these stars.

A week into the NHL free agent market, the biggest names have all signed with teams. Some, like Peter Forsberg and Brian Leetch, went to teams that have been successful in recent years. Others didn't take that route.

We'll start with the biggest-name defenceman out there, perhaps the most coveted UFA of them all. Norris Trophy winner Scott Niedermayer had been feasting on success with the New Jersey Devils. He had won two Cups in four years, and although a disappointing first round ended their season during the last NHL season, he still was able to celebrate with the Norris he beat Sens 6'9 monster Zdeno Chara to. Of course, that made Nieds liable to receive the player maximum of $7.8 million this season. New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello was interested in keeping his stalwart blueliner, but the asking price was much too high. Niedermayer bolted.

Of course, he could have gone to another playoff- (and possibly Cup-) bound team. There wasn't any lack of them in the Scott Sweepstakes. Philadelphia. Toronto. Vancouver. He could have gone to any of them. Perhaps he could have pushed them to the Cup. But, instead, he signs for less than $7 million a year to go to...Disney Land.

No, it wasn't a surprise that Nieds jumped to Anaheim (which, of course, previously belonged to Disney). The reason to head there was in his name. Brother Rob will be his teammate again, which hasn't happened in sixteen years, since the two were midget teammates. But even so, to head to 12th place Anaheim from a squad that had given him three more rings during his tenure? That had helped him push his way to several All-Star Games, First All-Star teams and an extra piece of hardware in his house? All essentially to play on a team inspired by a movie (yes, Mighty Ducks led to the creation of a NHL team). I'm not criticizing his move. Everyone would like to play with their brother in the pros. But it is still an odd move.

That is not the least of it. Former Tampa 'tender Nikolai Khabibulin jumped from sunny beaches and the Stanley Cup to the Windy City and Bill Wirtz. For the same details as Niedermayer (4 years, $27 million), Khabibulin will lose the Stanley Cup, the trio of St.-Louis-Lecavlier-Richards, a standout defence, and not make the playoffs. Surely he can sacrifice a little dough to hoist that cup again...or maybe not.

Two All-Star calibre defencemen, Sergei Gonchar and Adam Foote, both left the loft for the basement. Foote will head to the hinterlands to play with Rick Nash and Co. in Columbus, while Gonchar heads to the Steel City to team up with Mario, Sidney, and others.

Columbus finished 27th in the league, while Pittsburgh came last.

The Penguins, however, look to improve a lot with their additions of marquee names. Along with Sidney Crosby and Gonchar, Zigmund Palffy has joined Reneissance forces. He will earn a cool $4.5 million this year to play under other teams. He could have at least had a shot, however, at the playoffs with his former team, Anaheim's California counterpart, Los Angeles.

Khabibulin will also be joined by some top names. Adrian Aucoin of the Islanders will sacrifice a possible (a very thin margin, of course) playoff berth to suffer under Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz. Joining them are defenceman Jaroslav Spacek and checking winger Martin Lapointe. At least Spacek moved up one spot in the standings (he played with the Blue Jackets), wheareas Lapointe gained more money but lost more chance for the Cup (He was a Bruin).

Also notable playoff-sacrificers are: Bobby Holik (Thrashers), possibly Miro Satan (Islanders), and, of course, the duo of Gary Roberts and Joe Nieuwendyk (Panthers).

So, it seems we have just lost a number of top names in this season's playoffs. It will be told at the end of the year that gaining more green doesn't always pay off if you're looking to win a silver Cup.

Get ready to see some shocking names painting the cellar.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Confused? You're Not Alone

By Nick Faris
Red Line Corp. Writer

We are currently a week into the free agent market. There have been marquee signings, marquee trades, and enormous criticism of marquee signings and trades. However, none of these important transactions have been the most confusing thing I've seen this short month.

That would go to Tie Domi.

The enforcer from Windsor, Ont. was awarded a two-year contract by Toronto Maple Leafs GM John Ferguson Jr. The confounding thing about it to me, and several other hockey fans was the money involved.

Domi will receive upwards of $1 million per season, with his new $2.5 million contract (over two seasons). Why would the Leafs give this to an aging goon who will spend over 3 games, in retrospect, in the penalty box this season? Domi is fast approaching his 36th birthday, and with the Leafs lacking cap space to add another key name to their roster, this move is surprising.

Don't get me wrong - I would have been even more surprised had the Leafs not made an offer like this. In fact, he was offered more by Pittsburgh ($4.5 million over three years). However, the Leafs are not lacking toughness (and hard-headedness), with cheap-shots Wade Belak and Nathan Perrott. Both are under 30 and can be just as effective as Domi (meaning as a body in the sin bin). Both are unsigned (restricted FAs) and I'm sure once the duo are signed, both will have a salary under $1.25 million per season.

If the Leafs would forget about needing a player who will cost them over $1 million (in a salary cap era) to start fights from the penalty box, than perhaps a certain silver cup would find its way to Leaf Nation. Without Domi, another skilled player could be added easier. That player could produce without having to sit down as often, and could be a key addition to a Leafs cup run. They would still have Belak and Perrott (barring suspension, of course) under contract and in the box. But don't expect Toronto to realize this.

Don't expect Domi to do much more on the ice with his new, signed self than the above-mentioned box-sitting and hitting the crossbar on empty nets. Oh, and of course cheap-shotting players in the jaw who have a full face-mask (Domi vs Shaun Van Allen). In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see Domi skip on-ice training and simply sit down in the bin and watch his teammates prepare to suffer for management's mistakes.

That won't happen, of course. But if I saw it, I wouldn't be confused.