Glendale Episode MMLXVII: A New Hope

The City of Glendale extended the arena management agreement with the NHL from now until infinity.  Have you ever been to the fourth dimension?  The city of Glendale has.  And it made an agreement with the NHL there too, so don't you try taking their arena away.

The Phoenix Coyotes exist within the Matrix.  Remember, always take the red pill.

Mizzou–Kansas Border War in Independence Tentatively Set for January 17th

The Mizzou–Kansas Border War hockey showdown – one of the few places you can still see Mizzou and Kansas play each other – will take place in Independence once again on January 17th, 2013.  It's true.  No official word yet, of course.

The January 17th meeting will be the third and final meeting between the two rivals this upcoming season.  Mizzou is the defending Mid-America Collegiate Hockey Association Division II champion.  MACHA is a collection of college level club hockey teams throughout the United States.

Remember last year's game?  What a mess.

Vintage Fight: Dody Wood Fights Because Dody Wood Was Awesome

For your viewing pleasure – shot on NOT a cell phone camera but a real camera instead – here is a fight between Dody Wood of YOOOOOUUURRRRRR Kansas City Blades and some guy named Mick Vukota who played a few seasons in the NHL and fizzled out of existence shortly after this game.  Wood, meanwhile, went on to greatness in the British Ice Hockey Superleague, and retired as the most popular Blade of all-time.

This fight comes from a regular season game in 1999 – two years before the Blades' demise – and although this fight leaves something to be desired, the best part of the clip is the Kemper Arena crowd reaction.  You can't see how many fans were at the game, but you sure could hear them.  Ah, the old Kemper stands, the cool respite from the bitter cold outside.  The scores of intoxicated hockey fans, constantly screaming for blood even during the intermission break.  The thrill of a Blades goal, you could feel it from the other couple of thousand of your closest friends around you, and the despair of an opponents victory, how everything got quieter in the concourse despite the increased volume of people.  Kind of like a Mavericks game now.  If you go to a Mavs game, it sucks you in, and for that night you live and die with the team.  But, that's not the best part of the clip.  That would be the guy wearing the full Western gear, cowboy hat and everything, losing it over a hockey fight.  I'm sure he's seen some crazy scraps out on the range, or gun shop, or wherever he came from.  Props to you, Mr. Cowboy-Hat-Wearing-Hockey-Fan-Guy, we miss you.  That, in essence, is Kansas City hockey.  Those who love it, love it, and they love to see it.  Those who are indifferent – when giving it a chance and with enough hockey saturation within the city – will grow to enjoy it.  Remember when you were a burgeoning hockey fan in the middle of America (or wherever), what experiences did you have that brought you back to the sport?  Maybe you didn't fall in love with it at first, but now you can't get enough.  This city does not satiate your appetite, not by a long a shot.  But you won't let your hockey fandom just disappear.  Nope.  Something keeps bringing you back.  Back to the Sprint Center.  Or the IEC.

 So, as we approach the Greatest Month of Hockey in the History of Kansas City Since 1976™(debatable), and you go out to the Ice Breaker Tourney, or a Mavs game, or (possibly) the NHL exhibition game, remember to take someone along who may not enjoy the game as much as you do.  Show them what they are missing.

Or, just go to a Mavs game whenever.  Watching minor league hockey fights might be the best fights you see all season...
* * *
Thanks to the random people that upload old IHL clips to YouTube.  You really don't know how cool it is to have your existence validated because something you care about meant something to someone else enough for them to take the time to upload it online.  Or something like that.

The real issue here: Who brings a late 1990s camcorder to a hockey game?

ICYMI: Tickets Selling For Preseason Game Despite Lockout Worries, McGannon Hopeful for KC-Friendly CBA

What was the deal with the bow?
An article early last week in the Kansas City Business Journal took a look into ticket sales for October's preseason game at the Sprint Center.  And, hey, sales are good despite the looming storm clouds of a lockout.  Sooo, bully for that!

Of course, NHL21's own Paul McGannon was interviewed on the issue, and the most surprising thing about that is NHL21 still apparently exists despite not really still existing.  You may remember early this summer the formation of KCIce, spearheaded by McGannon and former KC Blade Ken Morrow, McGannon's foray into youth ice sports and ice rink management.  Perhaps NHL21 still does exist, it's just McGannon with a plaque above his bathroom door (or whatever) that says NHL21.  Anyway, he had something to say about the new CBA, and let me tell you, he's siding with the players on this one:
“We’re hopeful that the new collective bargaining agreement will be Kansas City-friendly, meaning we’d like to see some revenue sharing in there, like baseball and football, that would help a city like ours flourish in the NHL,” McGannon said.
Kansas City friendly?  Well, that depends on the owner.  David Glass takes the MLB's shared revenue and does with it what he pleases.  And Clark Hunt benefits as much as any other NFL owner in the league, but, again, that money does not have to go towards team salaries or stadium repairs, etc.  Obviously.

But, to be fair to the situation, McGannon is referring to the desire of the players and poorer owners to have revenue sharing – along with the current hard salary cap.  This, in turn, would disperse a portion of all league revenues to every team, instead of allowing the rich to get richer.  Sure, this would be great for a small market like Kansas City...if there were a team.  What McGannon is implying is that he hopes to see an NHL team in KC over the course of (let's say) the next six to eight years – the likely duration of a CBA.  And why shouldn't he?  As little influence as he may have over NHL ownership in Kansas City (which should be pretty obvious by now), he, like us all, expected to have a team shortly after the construction of the Sprint Center.

Is a team in the next six years realistic?  Well, the Coyotes are in an odd position with Greg Jamison right now as he keeps gaining and losing possible investors.  Plus, there is no guarantee that things will go smoothly with new ownership in Glendale.  A franchise like New Jersey is financially struggling.  Florida is always in a bad place because they are Florida.  There is always talk of expansion, but there's just as much talk of contraction.  Anything is possible, but it's not like McGannon is doing much to help the situation.  So, really, he's just like the rest of us.  Hopeful.  For now, let's just hope we have a preseason game to go to this season and just go from there.

So don't be afraid to buy tickets, because you will get a refund anyway.

Stop Asking Henrik Lundqvist Frivolous Questions

The other day the New York Rangers twitter folks did a Twitter Tuesday question and answer thingy with All-Star goalie Henrik Lundqvist.  Basically, you tweet a question to the @thenyrangers account with the hashtag #askhank and Henrik makes a video responding to your question.  Simple enough, right?

Nope.  People had to go ask outdated questions about nothing.  Good job, people!  As you can see in the photo above, someone asked Hank his favorite Blink 182 song.  Yep, that Blink 182.  It doesn't really matter if he listens to Blink 182 before games or whatever the hell he does concerning Blink 182 because, seriously, that's the best question you have?

Anyway, I have no idea what he responded because the accompanying video was deleted for reasons undetermined.  Oh well.  Let's all just assume it was some popular song like All the Small Things (because he's a pro athlete...what else would it be?), or something obscure to show his zany hipster side.  Really, who cares.  Let this be a lesson that you should never rely on people to do anything.  That's exactly what this teaches us.

And that's the point, because, in contrast, the Sprint Center's official twitter account (@sprintcenter) went out of its way to ask Hank – the guy who will probably-maybe-hopefully-okay-definitely-not be playing an exhibition game in this city in October, and coming here for the first time in his life – if he has ever had world famous KC style barbecue.  Alas, Hank and the Rangers shrugged off this pressing question for some crap about a '90s punk rock band – who is fine in their own right, don't get me wrong.  Good show, Rangers.  That's strike one.  First to three loses out on my affection for that one cool night in October (psst...that's supposed to make you sad and beg for my forgiveness because you wouldn't like the Internet when it's angry...).

Experiment: Internet Determines the NHL's Pending Work Stoppage

Are you worried about a possible NHL lockout?  Upset you may not get to see your beloved Rangers or Avs play at the Sprint Center this season.  Well, you have come to the right place.
To soothe your shaken nerves, I decided to do a scientific test using the Internet to determine whether or not the NHL and NHLPA will agree on a new collective bargaining agreement before the end of the summer. Why the Internet, you ask? Well, because the Internet knows everything. That is not an opinion – that is science – amazing device quite frankly. So let's see if it can help us to see into the future.

The methodology of this experiment relies on both the randomness and wealth of knowledge one will find when on the Internet. By putting my trust in some computer programmers somewhere, the intention is to see if sites using artificial intelligence algorithms to generate automatic responses to human users can come to a common consensus on one particular issue. The question presented in each case is "Will the NHL and NHLPA agree on a new collective bargaining agreement before the end of the summer." Here are the results.
First Test
The first site I visited trumpeted "Ask the Magic Eight Ball." So, I did. Basically, you input a question, and the Magic Eight Ball graphic will dispense an eight-ball-esque answer. It's first reply to my question was, "Reply hazy, ask again later." So, I waited a minute, got impatient, did something else for a while, remembered what I was doing, and asked again. This time it replied, "It's decidedly so." So according to the Magic Eight Ball, no lockout. Yay. Result: No lockout (more or less)
Second Test
I then went over to an old friend, Cleverbot. With Cleverbot, human users can have conversations with the AI. After our in-depth, yet disjointed, conversation on the proper diet of a ferret, I asked about the possibility for a new CBA. It replied by saying, "Interesting." My further attempts to elicit a useable response led to Cleverbot dancing around the question like the NHL danced around "Clockgate." Result: Inconclusive
Third Test
For the final test, I simplified things a bit by just flipping a coin. Not my own coin, of course, a virtual coin. The rules were easy. Heads, no lockout. Tails, lockout. Pretty simple. Much to my amazement, I could choose from various different coins. So, I flipped a Canadian $2 Toonie, because, well, Canada seems to like hockey. So, Elizabeth II, no lockout. Polar bear, lockout. The result....ELIZABETH II BITCHES!!!!!!!! AWWWWW YEEEEAAAAAAAA HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN FOR THE WIN!!!! Result: No lockout
Overall, through this experiment, the Internet ruled the possibility of no lockout at about 66%. And the Internet is smart. Like, it killed encyclopedias it's so smart.
Yet, it's reckless to say the Internet knows exactly what will happen. I mean, Cleverbot couldn't even give a straight answer. That's not very encouraging. And that Eight Ball had a bad attitude. Plus, lest we forget, the Internet harbors people like Lenny Palumbo. Oy. In hindsight, that's not a good track record. Maybe this wasn't a good idea.
I guess we will all have to be patient and wait to see what happens. Goooooo no lockout!

Getting to Know U: Comparing and Contrasting NCAA Football and Hockey

Remember, the NCAA Hockey Ice Breaker Tournament is this October 12-13 at the Sprint Center.  Yay!  It's a two day tourney to – more or less – open the NCAA Hockey regular season featuring four teams from four different conferences (cool!).  We should be so honored to host this here in our fair city, so don't take it for granted.  Heck, the NHL season might not get under way for a while (please play please play please play), so you may not get a chance to go to a preseason game this year at the Crystal Kool-Aid Bowl.  There is a host of reasons why a lockout might be detrimental to KC hosting a preseason game in the future, but let's not get into that right now, 'k?

Here's the schedule of the tournament, by the way:
I think Saturday's schedule means any one of those teams could play any of the other teams at any given time.
Anyway, this tournament is sure to get lost in the shuffle among KC sports fans more interested in the world of college football that will be well underway once the Ice Breaker rolls around (even though, y'know, Kansas...).  Since no area schools have an NCAA hockey program (although club teams abound – look to the links on the right), it may take more of an understanding to help get you emotionally invested in something you don't understand but totally should because I said so.  So, let's compare the two sports, shall we?  Oh, we shan't?  No no, that won't do, for you see, knowledge is power. Open your mind, mofo.

Jump for learning.

NCAA Football and NCAA Hockey are the same.  They are also different. (Best. Thesis. Ever.)

Football – NCAA Football has three divisions, with two subdivisions in Division 1.  Division 1 Bowl Subdivision has Mizzou, Kansas, K-State, Michigan, USC, etc.  Division 1 Championship Subdivision has Missouri State, Northern Iowa, etc.  Division 2 features NW Missouri State, Pitt State, etc.  Division 3 features Mount Union, UW-Whitewater, Washington University in StL, etc.  For further discussion, we will only refer to D1 FBS.

Hockey – NCAA Hockey has three divisions, but D2 only has six teams and does not sponsor a championship.  D1 features all of the teams in the Ice Breaker tourney – Maine, Nebraska-Omaha, Army, and Notre Dame.  D3's closest school is Lake Forest College in Illinois.  There are 138 member schools for men, and 86 for women.  For further discussion, we will only refer to D1.

Football – NCAA Football has...hold on... (*checks) eleven conferences – still? – with four independent schools.  In total, there are 124 member schools in D1 FBS.  But remember, with all of the conference instability, this could still happen one day.
Hockey – There are five conferences in D1 hockey, and six beginning next year.  There are two independent programs.  59 member schools in total.  There is no Sun Beast.

Football – haha almost.  Four teams starting next year decided by a committee that everyone will soon hate because they are old and white and from Texas.

Hockey – The Frozen Four, a sixteen team tournament, also selected by a committee.  Resembles playoff format of D1 FCS, D2, and D3 football, with regions and all of that good stuff.  Conference tournament champions get automatic bids, with at-larges filling in the rest.  Sixteen spots for 59 schools is pretty good, eh?

Football – Yes.

Hockey – No.

Championship Trophy:
Football – AFCA National Championship Trophy
Now with detachable crystal ball!
Hockey – Generic NCAA trophy with hockey guy on it
Football – Heisman Memorial Trophy, won by such greats like not-Reggie Bush.

Hockey – Hobey Baker Memorial Award, known best for its mention during Pittsburgh Penguins telecasts.

Via – eh...that's most of the schools, I think.
Via (not pictured: Penn State – that's not a joke, see below)
Penn State:
Football – What, you don't know?

Hockey – Former club team, beginning its first year of play at the Division 1 level as an independent.  Will be a part of the newly formed Big Ten (Hockey) Conference next season.

Football – Usually a twelve team schedule, plus one bowl game.  Possibly with a conference championship game unless you are the Big XII.

Hockey – Most teams play about forty games, playing multiple games at a location and typically over the course of a weekend.  Teams will then play in the conference tournament at the end of the season, which could see a best of three series throughout the tournament.  However, the Frozen Four is a one and done tournament.  The season runs about 25 weeks.

College to Professional:
Football – The NCAA is the minor league of the NFL, for all intents and purpose.  Players from colleges at every level literally make up the entire NFL.  Rarely does a player from another country or league (i.e. NAIA or CIS) find work in the NFL.

Hockey – Typically, NCAA players are not as attractive to NHL clubs as amateur players in the Canadian Hockey League or those in Europe or Russia.  About thirty percent of the NHL is made up of players with an NCAA background, which is a growing number.  Though many do get drafted – as this chart will show – they are not the centerpiece of the draft by any means.  Take, for example, Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, a Hobey Baker Award recipient in 1999 and Team USA goalie, was drafted 138th overall.  More recently, the last two Hobey Baker winners have gone undrafted.

Football – Fighting is illegal in college football.
Hockey – Fighting is illegal in college hockey.

Football – Each offense starts at the 25 yard line and attempts to score more than the other team.  Works like an inning system in baseball.  Must go for two point conversion after second OT.

Hockey – Five minutes of OT.  After that, TIES!!!

Native American Mascots
Football – Allowed


Now you should be able to talk about NCAA Hockey around the water cooler or to your friends with confidence!  Stay tuned for more posts in the "Getting to Know U" series to become somewhat invested in NCAA Hockey.  It's really more like NCAA Basketball in that you don't have to know everything to act like you care.

As always, visit USCHO for ALL relevant NCAA Hockey info.

Page-by-Page Breakdown of the NHL's 76,000 Page Financial Report

Via Kevin Westgarth on Twitter @KWesty19
If you haven't heard, the NHL turned over a 76,000(!) page financial report to the NHLPA earlier this week. It's easy to speculate what actually went into the report, but then again, the NHLPA's Donald Fehr said this is just part of the financial information the players' association requested. It is the hope that with this information, the NHLPA will be able to form a counter-proposal to the NHL's proposal early in July.
Well, lucky for you, I called around, and asked nicely, and did some things I'm not proud of, and I have obtained a copy of that report. You can see the page-by-page breakdown after the jump. Are you ready? Prepare to set your mind to blown.

Page 1: Title page
Pages 2-4: Copyright pages
Pages 5-120: Table of contents
Pages 121-509: A very special message from Gary Bettman
Pages 510-903: Introduction by Scott Howson
Pages 904-1,102: The definition of "labor", as described by William H. Sylvis, leader of the National Labor Union of 1866-1873.
Page 1,103: Another title page
Pages 1,104-1,672: Rundown of basic league financials
Pages 1,673-2,109: Charts and graphs
Pages 2,110-2,459: Breakdown of expenses of last six years, team by team.
Pages 2,460-2,598: A chapter simply titled "The Coyotes".
Pages 2,599-3,978: Important stuff
Pages 3,979-6,003: Eh...I don't know, I just skimmed over this stuff.
Pages 6,004-6,201: Expense report on food purchased and consumed by Kyle Wellwood each year of his career (because, you see, he is fat. Harf harf harf).
Pages 6,202-6,204: Some hidden insults about Donald Fehr's mother.
Pages 6,205-6,509: Sidney Crosby's concussion hospital costs.
Pages 6,510-6,608: Report on money – including ad revenue – lost by the league due to Crosby's injury.
Pages 6,609-7,000: Expense report on the construction of a bionic brain and its placement in Crosby's skull.
Pages 7,001-8,489: Charts and graphs of ad revenue
Page 8,490: Cost to cut down the Dustin Penner National Forest (also known as his playoff beard).
Pages 8,491-8,879: Something about Hockey Related Revenue. I don't gets awful preachy.
Pages 8,880-10,012: Blank pages
Pages 10,013-13,003: Copies of senior NHL administrators dinner receipts from company meetings. Expensive dinner receipts.
Pages 13,004-13,503: Advertisement section and listing of bands coming to Toronto
Page 13,504: Full page ad congratulating the Los Angeles Kings on winning the Stanley Cup! WOO!
Pages 13,505-13,903: A plea from New York Islanders' owner Charles Wang titled, "Please Play for Less Money or I'll Move You to Kansas City."
Pages 13,904-15,549: Pages appear to be torn out by Bigfoot.
Pages 15,550-15,979: The NHL's stance on contract structuring.
Pages 15,980-17,150: The entire text of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, used as a metaphor to explain the crux of the NHL's issue with front-loaded contracts.
Pages 17,151-17,670: Conclusion of contract structure stance.
Pages 17,671-19,101: Flip book of Bill Daly's butt on a copier.
Pages 19,102-21,993: Blank pages
Pages 21,994-22,302: NHL's agreement with NBC to tape-delay NHL games starting in 2012-13 since tape-delay's use has been so positive with the public during the Olympics
Pages 22,303-22,304: Magic Eye photo that if you squint real hard you can see a penguin
Pages 22,305-22,909: Expense report on getting Will Ferrell to show up at the Hockey Hall of Fame (he's not cheap, folks)
Pages 22,910-24,600: Report of financial damage caused to other NHL cities based on the clock stopping during Kings–Blue Jackets game.
Pages 24,601-27,309: Report on financial damage caused to City of Vancouver after successful completion of multiple conspiracies over the past twenty years (Take my word, this is an excellent read!).
Pages 27,310-27,311: Two page photo of Bettman and Darth Vader high-fiving members of the Illuminati.
Pages 27,312-46,999: Classified information
Pages 47,000-49,230: Afterword
Pages 49,231-53,789: Annotated bibliography
Pages 53,790-61,324: Index
Pages 61,343-68,009: French index
Pages 68,010-74,342: Spanish index
74,343-76,000: About the authors
Back cover: Book review from Zombie Franz Kafka
"This text has the most disorienting prose I've ever seen in a novel this size. I can't believe I didn't write it!"