A report lays some of the blame for the Vancouver riots upon the NHL…Flyers GM Paul Holmgren injured in bicycle accident…Another call for the NHL to ban fighting…Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane ahead of schedule recovering from wrist injury….Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist excited about upcoming season…Lightning home arena score $40 million facelift.
THE GLOBE & MAIL: reports the city of Vancouver’s recent report into the June 15th riot that ripped through the downtown core following the Canucks Game 7 defeat to the Boston Bruins in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final lays blame upon the NHL for its alleged lack of approach, policy and strategy to work with municipalities toward addressing potentially rowdy post-game crowds. A league spokesman dismissed the report, noting the league has programs in place to deal with rowdy fans at their venues, and are happy to work with civic officials when asked for assistance to help with league events.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the riot occurred inside the Canucks arena, then yes, the league would deserve criticism. It’s not up to the NHL, however, to provide crowd control outside the grounds of that arena. That’s the city’s responsibility. I don’t believe the league in any way deserves blame for that riot, nor do I believe it will adversely affect their brand, as the reports suggests. Those rioters used the Canucks loss to the Bruins as an excuse to go on a rampage. It’s not as though the league antagonized the fans.
PHILLY.COM: Frank Seravalli reports Flyers GM Paul Holmgren was injured last night in a bicycle accident. Details of the accident weren’t released, but Holmgren was admitted to hospital with multiple fractures and cuts which required stitches. He was reportedly wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Holmgren for a speedy recovery. By the sound of the injuries, it was a serious accident and he may be lucky to be alive. Good thing he was wearing that helmet.
TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox calls on the NHL to ban fighting in the wake of Wade Belak’s death last week. Cox believes the league could ban it tomorrow if it wanted to, but believes fighting sells. He also doesn’t believe the NHLPA will do anything.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Every poll I’ve read in the wake of Belak’s passing which asks fans if fighting should be banned indicates the majority believes it belongs on the game. And as long as fans support hockey fights, the league won’t eliminate it. I even doubt that would change if an NHL player were killed as a direct result of a hockey fight. Personally, I believe it should be banned, not because I haven’t enjoyed a good hockey fight over the years, but because it’s now merely a brief sideshow to the game, which more often than not, contributes nothing to the outcome. But I also know my opinion is in the minority.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Chris Kuc reports Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane’s recovery from off-season wrist surgery is ahead of schedule, and he expects to be “good to go” for the opening of Blackhawks training camp next week.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Andrew Gross reports NY Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist is excited about the upcoming season, believing his club is better than it was a year ago with the addition of Brad Richards, plus the re-signings of teammates Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Brian Boyle, Artem Anisimov and Mike Sauer.
TAMPA BAY ONLINE: Erik Erlendsson reports work is nearing completion on a $40 million renovation of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s arena. One of the features will be bolts of lightning generated from 25-foot Tesla coils in the ceiling whenever the Lightning scores a goal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gotta admit, that would look cool.