NHL Morning Headlines – Tuesday, September 6, 2011.

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.




  1. Just a couple quips, comments, what have you:

    1) The City of Vancouver is totally trying to deflect blame for their own failures. They rioted in 1982, they rioted in 1994…of course they were going to riot this past June. If Team Canada had lost the gold medal game, I’m sure that there would have been rioting then too. The police had to know from past history that they had to be ready for mayhem if the Canucks choked it like a chicken in Game 7 (which, as we see, they did). For the City to blame the NHL for something that has dick-all to do with League jurisdiction is only serving to highlight their (the City’s) incompetence and lack of foresight.

    2) It wouldn’t surprise me if Homer got nailed by some assclown that hates cyclists–sadly, a lot of motorists these days will happily run a cyclist down rather than share the road with them. If that is the case, I hope the state’s attorney hunts down and prosecutes the driver to the fullest extent of the law.

    3) The NHL will grow out of fighting–but it will take a long time. “Organic” fighting, where tempers flare and fisticuffs get thrown, is one thing. That’s totally a part of the game and I don’t think it should be banned. The staged gladiatorial spectacles, however….those need to go, right along with the so-called “fans” who think a game that doesn’t have a fight is a “bad” game. They’re pretty pointless and don’t really do a whole hell of a lot.

  2. 3) I agree 100%. The fighters on teams don’t contribute to the game at all. Fights between good hockey players like Datsyuk and Perry is a real fight that should never be taken out of the game. Those types of fights are definite game changers. Just eliminate the players lacking real skill and then you will eliminate the pointless fighting. It’s up to the GM’s to not give out contracts to goons and to stop provoking fighting during games. Let it happen naturally.

  3. The Vancouver report is nothing more then city and PD hierarchy covering their butts. Fact they were undermanned. Fact those that were working were not properly deployed. Yes this kind of thing happens from time to time we have seen it in many cities, even world wide, However it is interesting to note, that it does not happen in NY. Yankees win the series, nothing, Rangers in 94, nothing, why? The answer is simple it doesn’t get the chance to start. Crowd control is something that department has down almost perfectly, this includes the propper use of the resources that they have, Vancouver authorities should ask for some lessons on crowd control, to blame the NHL is a joke and very transperant.

  4. Here’s a solution to weed out goons. Put a max cap on any one player’s penalty minutes, something that 90-95% of the league is currently under. Go over that, suspended fo the rest of the year. Playoffs included. The occassional, more meaningful fight will still happen, but the players that are out there to fight and make dirty hits would be gone.

  5. Fighting does belong, if you don’t want to fight simply keep your gloves on, don’t provoke, don’t partake in after whisle bullshit….pretty simple solution!
    A 25 foot Telsa coil that produces lightning bolts would be AWESOME. I wonder how the safety aspect of that is approached, nonetheless, awesome!

  6. At first, I thought Lyle was referring to the report written by the two independent investigators – neither of whom have anything to do with the City of Van or the VPD. But the report he’s referring to is indeed written by the City of Van. They are delusional if they believe the NHL has a responsibility to ensure crowd control outside of their venues. Ridiculous!

  7. Vancouver would’ve rioted win or lose.
    I’m mixed on fighting. If we banned it wouldn’t there be more cheap shots because you couldnt fight the guy.Then again I don’t like it when tough guys try to fight talented players just to try to take them out of the game.Like Chara and Lucic since I’m a Bruins fan I see guys continually try to take Chara off the ice.

  8. AQ, I would not be surprised if you are right about what happened to Holmgren….that being said, I also would not be surprised if he did some bone headed move like run a stop sign/red light or road the wrong way dwon a one way street…like those idiots I say a few hours ago…but at least they were wearing helmets. I do wish Holmgren a speedy and complete recovery, wwhat ever the circumstances.


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