Thursday, June 12, 2014

Mid-week link roundup

So much has happened in the last few days, it was time for another roundup. Here, Indiana Ice memorabilia is headed for the Hockey Hall of Fame, USA Hockey looks to curb fighting, the ECHL recaps the Kelly Cup Final, the Blackhawks sign Swedish forward Dennis Rasmussen, a handful of proposed and enacted NHL rule changes (which would likely filter down to the ECHL, which, as one of two official developmental leagues for the NHL, adopts a similar rulebook), and NBC follows Doc Emrick around for a day.

ECHL/Indy Fuel
  • The ECHL has a notebook recapping the Kelly Cup Final, which the Alaska Aces won in six games over the Cincinnati Cyclones. 
  • The Chicago Blackhawks signed Swedish forward Dennis Rasmussen earlier this week. The  center had 40 points in 52 games this past year in the Swedish Elite League, and also represented Sweden in the World Championships. He was an undrafted free agent who turns 24 in July. With the Indy Fuel being a Blackhawks affiliate, it's always worth keeping an eye in Chicago signings. 
USHL/Indiana Ice
  • The Clark Cup champion Indiana Ice will have a presence in the Hockey Hall of Fame this summer. Playoff MVP Jason Pawloski's sweater & the puck Brian Pinho fired into the net for the Clark Cup-winning goal will be sent to Toronto for a North American Year in Review display. 
  • Looking ahead to the NHL Draft, caught up with Josh Jacobs & Ryan Mantha at the NHL combine to discuss their Clark Cup championship experience. 
  • Speaking of the USHL, USA Hockey has approved a rule that would couple a fighting major with an automatic 10-minute misconduct -- essentially creating a 15-minute penalty for fighting -- to discourage fighting in the game. It will be operational in the USHL & NAHL. It's already much less prevalent than it had been in the past, so I'm not sure how much of a deterrent this will be. Expect similar changes to take place in Canadian Major Junior hockey. 
NHL/elsewhere in hockey
  • The New York Rangers won Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final by a 2-1 score, thwarting the Los Angeles Kings' attempt at becoming the first team to sweep the Stanley Cup Final since 1998. The one local connection on either team is Kings coach Darryl Sutter, the 1990 Indianapolis Ice championship coach. Game 5 is Friday night.
  • In the NHL, a few rule tweaks. These would likely filter down to the ECHL.
    • Most of the changes are to faceoff procedure and overtime procedure. A minor penalty will be assessed for a player using his hand to play the puck on a faceoff. Minor penalties will also be called for players who put their hands on the puck to conceal it or prevent it from being played by an opponent during the run of play.
    • The NHL GMs have approved a few changes recommended by the NHL's Competition Committee. Among them: dry-scraping the ice and having teams switch ends before overtime to try to increase the likelihood of an overtime goal. The USHL - which often incubates rules (it adopted hybrid icing before the NHL did) - used it in the past season. The "trapezoid" would also be widened to allow goaltenders more room to move the puck. Not only that, but embellishment could get more fines and penalties.
    • However, NHL GMs are hesitant to expand replay, which is currently used to determine whether or not goals were good.
  • In the AHL, the Texas Stars (Dallas) lead the St. John's IceCaps (Winnipeg) two games to one after a 2-1 victory in Game 3 on Wednesday in St. John's. Game 4 is Monday.
  • Sports Illustrated has an interesting discussion of the state of hockey media in 2014. 
  • A couple of Doc Emrick items. First, the transcript of an interview with NPR he did on Wednesday where he talks about his origins in broadcasting and hockey. Second, NBC followed Emrick around prior to Wednesday's Game 4, and used the hashtag #DayWithDoc to chronicle his game prep. Some of the highlights:

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