The second week of the 2014-15 NHL season is behind us and there’s been a lot of action. It’s almost too difficult to keep up with everything. Here’s an update on some of the most prominent stories at the moment.
The Los Angeles Kings have announced the indefinite suspension of defenseman, Slava Voynov, following his arrest for suspicion of domestic violence. While the formal investigation by the NHL is underway, he will be barred from all club activities. This is in full accordance with Section 18-A.5 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement which states: “The League may suspend the Player pending the League’s formal review and disposition of the matter where the failure to suspend the Player during this period would create a substantial risk of material harm to the legitimate interests and/or reputation of the League.”
He will continue to be paid in the meantime.
All-Stars in Nashville
The League has announced that the NHL All-Star Game will be taking place in Nashville from January 30-31, 2016. The event will be held at the Bridgestone Arena, home of the Nashville Predators. As commissioner Gary Bettman explained: “It’s not too far back to remember that Nashville was a terrific host for the 2003 NHL draft, and we know if that’s any indication of what to expect it’s going to be wonderful.”
The 2015 All-Star game will be hosted by the Columbus Blue Jackets January 24-25.
Red Wings Arena to be Demolished
It sucks to be playing in a broke-ass city and watch franchise memories be erased. That’s what the Detroit Red Wings are going through right now. The city of Detroit is planning to demolish the Joe Louis Arena as part of the settlement for its bankruptcy case. The land will be given to a creditor for development. Since the arena and parking garage will be destroyed, the team will be moving to a new home just a few miles away. The dismantling is expected to begin in 2017 with the resulting nine acres being used for a hotel, condominiums, office space or retail development. The property has been on the radar since it’s near Cobo Center, the convention hall in downtown Detroit.
Lucic Apologizes for Obscene Gesture
Hockey players are passionate people and we got to see some of that fire from Boston Bruins forward, Milan Lucic, last week when he made an obscene gesture to the Montreal Canadiens fans as his team fell 6-4 to the Habs at the Bell Centre. The League did fine him $5,000 and, over the weekend, he did address his actions. After the morning skate on Saturday morning, he said: “Obviously, I’m not proud of what I did there… I know (Canadiens fans) can get under your skin sometimes, but they are great fans. I apologize for my actions. I regret what I did.”
What exactly did he do? After being put into the box for a boarding penalty that he didn’t agree with, he used his right hand to make a motion to the fans and then acted as though he was lifting the Stanley Cup. Was it funny? A little, to be honest (and I’m a Habs fan) but it was inappropriate. Things only got worse after the Canadiens scored on an empty-net, power-play goal. He screamed at the ref and was ejected from the game.
Even though Lucic apologized, he stands by the reasons for his anger. He said: “It’s inexcusable, the way I acted. It was the call that was made, because I felt it did take away our opportunity of tying the game up. I disagree with the call 100 percent. When a guy turns at the last second … we even get video shown to us at the start of the year that it’s on the guy getting hit when you turn at the last second. I still disagree with the hit.”
His coach, Claude Julien, seems to be on his side, which is a good thing. He explained: “Everybody that knows Milan knows that he’s a really good person,” Julien said. “His teammates, coaching staff or any people he’s come into contact with knows that he’s a great person off the ice. I think his emotions sometimes on the ice have gotten the better of him and, to his defense, I think that penalty was probably a real tough call that maybe we don’t really agree on… the thing with Milan, it’s hopefully having the ability to control those emotions to a point that it doesn’t hurt the game, hurt the fans and hurts our hockey club. So, that’s what he needs to work on.”