Here it is folks! For the first time in two years, Dobber Sports is having an event in Toronto. It's going down…TODAY! Tonight at 6pm, actually. At the Sports Centre Café (Yonge/St.Clair). Details here. But come sit down with me, let's talk some fantasy hockey. Also meet Steve Laidlaw, Michael Amato, Gates Imbeau, possibly Thom Drance, as well as at least a half dozen other writers from these here parts. It's right on the subway line, come on down (or up) and have a pop with me.

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I've felt that the NHL should not - and likely will not - participate in the next Olympics. I felt that the league does not want:

a) To stop the season for two weeks

b) "Showcase" their talent at 6am or whatever ungodly hour the games would be on over here

I won't get into it too far here, because I already talked it up in the forum. They can have a World Cup in September - with all games on prime time (and that more than makes up for the hype that the Olympics brings) and they won't have to shut down for two weeks. But with the John Tavares injury (Islanders best player) and the Mats Zuccarello injury (one of the Rangers best players), further case is being made. If this injury happened in mid-September, said player gets two extra weeks to heal before having to return to NHL game action. And if he misses time, it's early in the campaign.

Garth Snow really went off yesterday on how ridiculous the Olympics arrangement is and how the IOC gets all the money and all the glory, but do not compensate for teams losing best players. He has a point.

I love this tournament, but I wish the NHL didn't do it. I wish the same tourney were held in September -  The World Cup - and that it was on prime time. It's incredibly annoying watching games at noon and trying to get work done and picking up my girls from school/daycare either a couple of minutes late…or I miss overtime. And although the latter reason won't be a reason in 2018, the former reason will still apply. I don't like stopping NHL hockey for two weeks. I don't like stopping fantasy hockey for two weeks. And I don't like only half-watching games because I'm trying to get work done. /rant

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And I promise - above rant was my feeling early this month, last month, last year, always. It has nothing to do with my owning Tavares and Zuccarello in my fantasy league. Honest. Honest?

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John Tavares was all over the forum yesterday - at least 10 threads on trade offers using him or for him, as well as injury chatter and the Garth Snow thing. Here is one trade offer in which I advised the poster ("boneman") not to give up Tavares for Patrick Kane/Drew Doughty/Alex Pietrangelo. Am I nuts? It's an example of different league rules warrant different responses. And since his league only keeps six - there is no need to add depth and upgrade the other manager's best six.

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Alex Tanguay is out for the season. He is to undergo season-ending hip surgery. Which, for Nathan MacKinnon owners, is a good thing as it doesn't disrupt the flow. He was in the zone prior to the Olympics - so assuming the shutdown doesn't disrupt that, he doesn't have to worry about Tanguay messing with his power-play time, etc.

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Detroit finally gets some good news - Johan Franzen should be back when the NHL returns, and Stephen Weiss will be right behind him. Weiss has a lot of making up to do, I'm very curious to see if he's 100% healthy and can actually be a 60-point player again. He sure didn't look like it in October/November. Jakub Kindl is also hoping to return (sprained MCL) when play resumes.

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This is concerning but not terrible - Tyler Johnson missed practice with a bruised foot. He has been nursing the injury for a couple of weeks and even played a couple of games with it. I don't think he'll miss any time, but hopefully it doesn't affect his play.

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I don't think that Tomas Vokoun gets back into the Pittsburgh lineup before the end of March, but he is now medically cleared for activity and is getting close to practicing. I can see him getting into a game just before the playoffs, and maybe a few AHL conditioning games. The Penguins know all too well that they may need him in the postseason. Glean from that what you will…

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Thomas Vanek is taking a lot of heat for "partying too much". Apparently, he was out until six in the morning getting hammered the night before Austria was eliminated. And so forth…

I've never been a huge fan of Vanek. He used to make me eat my words for 20 or 30 games to begin every season, but now I've caught onto his game and no longer care if he gets 50 points in 30 games to start the year - because I know he'll end with 10 in 50 games. I've never had him on my team and don't think I've ever made an offer to get him unless I was treating him like a throw-in.

Vanek, along with Raffl and Grabner, apologized to Austrian fans.

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Alex Ovechkin's father underwent heart surgery and there is a chance that Ovechkin does not make it back for the first couple of NHL games when the season resumes.

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The Bruins recalled Alexander Khokhlachev and Craig Cunningham - likely just for fill-ins at practice with Krejci, Eriksson and Bergeron are away. For Khokhlachev, it's his first NHL call up. Here is his fantasy hockey profile and scouting report.

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Ryane Clowe missed practice Thursday with "general soreness".

"Just general soreness. Pretty natural for the first day back," DeBoer said. "Nothing I'm worried about. Just not going to take any chances with things. You always deal with these things coming back off a break like we had."

DeBoer said the Devils are using the same approach to these practices as they did coming out of the NHL lockout last year.

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Jason Zucker had an operation on his leg at the start of the Olympic break and is not yet ready to return. They say it's "not serious", but he will miss the first two games at the very least.

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Mike Green (concussion) has been cleared for contact. He should be ready to go next week. And Mikhail Grabovski (ankle) is also skating "well" and "seems fine". The interesting one is Jack Hillen, who has been unable to stay healthy after having a good second half to last season. Hillen is still limping and I would guess is still some weeks away.

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Viktor Fasth is now "fully ready to go". After he gets in some AHL starts, if they're successful (they weren't last time) then he'll come up and get some NHL starts, likely pushing Andersen back down. Because it's the stretch run, Hiller will still get the bulk of the starts. Especially after his Olympics performance.

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It's starting to look very realistic that Josh Harding does not return again this season. He left the team December 18 for MS treatments and at this point he has not yet returned…and no projected return has been discussed.

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Pekka Rinne practiced with his teammates for the first time since October. The Predators have 23 games left and I wouldn't be surprised at all if Rinne started 18 of them. I think a safe bet is 15.

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Terrible news regarding David Poile. As most of you know, he took a puck to the face a couple of weeks ago and was rushed to hospital with an eye injury. It turns out that he still can't see out of that eye. Here is an interview from the Tennessean:

 


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Comments (20)add comment

donpaulo said:

donpaulo
... back to the regular 9am NHL faceoff time for me.

I am thankful to be able to watch the NHL and wouldn't put conditions on its level of enjoyment due to "time differences".

Somehow because I can't watch it with my buddies or family this is bad right ? Don't buy this position for a second sorry pfft...

As far as fan base arguments go, perhaps if and when the professional hockey enters the Chinese market those in the marginalized North American time zones can watch hockey at 6am yes ? After all 33% of the worlds people live in China & India

http://www.alhockey.com/ smilies/smiley.gif
February 21, 2014
Votes: +0

Red John said:

Red John
Olympics Why can't we have the Olympics with NHLers and still have the World Cup every 4 years in off-years as well.

That way there's 2 years between competitions - similar to the Ryder Cup in golf, etc. Every other year to see a tournament like this would be amazing!

Does it have to be one or the other.
February 21, 2014
Votes: +0

germant said:

germant
Hey king Selfish Add my voice to those who don't really care how it affects you personally (and economically?) and who want pros to continue to play in the Olympics. There's something special about representing your country at the Olympics moreso than any World Cup (and yes, I'm well over the age of 38 and LOVED the World Cups!).

We're part of a global hockey community. It's not Canada's game only. Wake up Dobber and stop being so arrogantly selfish. smilies/grin.gif
February 21, 2014
Votes: +1

frozenpools said:

frozenpools
Olympics Olympic hockey is great for the game and for the fans. If you cant make the games, your loss.

Sure there is the 200 million of revenue lost but its a massive marketing tool. The residual benifit is massive.

If they can afford a lockout every 10 years, they can afford an olympic tourney every 4. Lost revenue but the fans come back in spades.

Don't worry Dobber, I still read the ramblings smilies/smiley.gif
February 21, 2014
Votes: +0

Rad64 said:

Rad64
... Another vote for the Olympics. The time zone rant is meaningless with pvr's these days. I pvr the olympics during the day and watch the action at night. It's not a big deal. Players are crushed when the don't get selected to the Olympic squad, this is a chance in a lifetime for most players.

Injuries happen all season long, many have nothing to do with hockey. From what I can see in the ramblings, most of the news is about how "good" the Olympic break is for players recovering from injuries.

Today I took the day off to watch the semi-finals live. smilies/grin.gif
February 21, 2014
Votes: +0

Rad64 said:

Rad64
... Another vote for the Olympics. The time zone rant is meaningless with pvr's these days. I pvr the olympics during the day and watch the action at night. It's not a big deal. Players are crushed when the don't get selected to the Olympic squad, this is a chance in a lifetime for most players.

Injuries happen all season long, many have nothing to do with hockey. From what I can see in the ramblings, most of the news is about how "good" the Olympic break is for players recovering from injuries.
February 21, 2014
Votes: +0

slufoot said:

slufoot
I'm in the majority it sounds, with regards to pros staying in the Olympics.

Its nice to watch good hockey with your buddies, but I don't need my buddies to watch, and appreciate good hockey. And to suggest that mid-February NHL hockey would be better than a Spengler-style Olympic tournament is I guess a matter of preference. But personally, any NHL games played between non-divisional teams outside the last 15 games of the season and playoffs are usually worse than those Spengler games.

I'm a shade younger than 38, so I only really lived through one meaningful Canada Cup, but I'm not too young to remember the LAST World Cup of Hockey. Which was good, but what happened to it?

The nice thing about the Olympics is they are a constant - bigger than NHL/IIHF profits. Having NHL players there means there will always be a global competition for the best players in the world every 4 years - the owners or NHLPA can't hold it ransom during the next CBA negotiation, because it is happening with or without them.

And how would one determine the nations that would compete in the World Cup? Is it invitational? Dependent on the last World Championships? Would we ever see a Latvian upset of the Swiss, or Belarussian upset of Sweden? Likely not because those teams don't draw money or corporate sponsors.

So no thanks, I'll keep Olympic hockey the way it is - even if I have to watch at work over my lunch.
February 21, 2014
Votes: -1

Dobber said:

Dobber
... Excelsior - that's one. Okay

Nic - best hockey in the world I would like moved to September under "World Cup" moniker. I would also be happy with Akkei's solution - summer Olympics (so I guess time zone isn't the deal-breaker for me). Am I the only person who enjoys watching high-caliber hockey with my friends and children? That's only possible in the evenings/nights. If that's selfish, then call me King Selfish
February 21, 2014
Votes: -1

Akkei said:

Akkei
... The soluton is simple: Hockey should be in the summer olympics smilies/wink.gif
February 21, 2014
Votes: +1

niconasr said:

niconasr
... I'm a Canadian living in Montreal and I'm kind of tired of hearing people complain about time zone. It's a big world guys, we're not alone. Sure, we're the center of the world when it comes to hockey but that doesn't mean we get the right to decide where and when games must be played to our convenience.

Sure, we could go back to a World Cup of Hockey always being played in our time zones but then you penalize every fan of hockey who live outside North America. How selfish are we? I know it's a selfish world out there but it doesn't mean we have to be selfish.

I haven't watched a game with my buddies either. Haven't watch a game with anyone actually. I've missed games because of work. It sucks. But so what? That happened to others in 2010, it's only fair it's my turn now.

As for injuries, they're the same wether they happen in February or September. Tavares would've missed the whole year in both cases. Saying injuries hurt more because it's the stretch run doesn't make any sense. All the games are worth the same in the regular season. Injuries stink, no matter when they happen.

So, obviously, I'm all for the Olympics. This is the best hockey in the world and we want to stop it because of time zones? Injuries? Cash? Urgh, humanism is dead. Selfish, selfish world out there.
February 21, 2014
Votes: +2

Excelsior said:

Excelsior
... Sorry Dobber but wrong on ALL counts for me.

-under the age of 38 ( I wish ) Loved the Canada Cup, actually had front row seats for the World Cup ( I think it was called ) back about 6 or so years ago in Ottawa
-live in Europe- nope
-casual fantasy hockey player/fan and don't obsess over it- I've actually been accused several times of the complete opposite. I think and work at my fantasy hockey every day.
February 21, 2014
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I suspect that the people who are the most against my little rant are either under the age of 38 (and thus forget just how amazing the Canada Cup was) or live in Europe (and thus prefer the current time zone).

Honestly, my two biggest regrets here are not being able to watch a game with my buddies until Sunday (and if Canada doesn't make it, then we don't watch any Canada games at all) and not being able to capitalize on the hype with my daughter. I'll be taking her out of school today to watch the Canada - USA game, my other daughter will remain in daycare. We'll see if I can salvage it.

Also - yes, I do miss fantasy hockey. I don't like it being on hold for two weeks. But I guess some of you are just casual players who don't obsess over it the way I do - but that's why you come here, to read thoughts from someone who is obsessed about fantasy hockey.


Hope to see you all tonight and we'll discuss over a beer!
February 21, 2014
Votes: +2

Potatoeman said:

Potatoeman
Olympics I personnally feel that the NHL (or the KHL, SHL, Liiga, ...) has no place in the olympics. Not because of time zones, since as it's been said before, it would be presumptuous to want for the rest of the world to adapt to our schedule (and vice-versa), but because the olympics were created for amateur athletes only. I find it unfair that some athletes have to hold down jobs as they train while others make millions (or at least hundreds of thousands) while training. Of course this my opinion doesn't apply only to hockey, but every other olympics sport as well (Basketball, Baseball, Volleyball, etc...). What we have now isn't what the olympics were meant to be IMO. If you really want the best in the world, amateur and professionnal, create a whole other event (like the "World Cup" idea) for it, but leave the olympics to the amateurs as it was supposed to be. /rant
February 21, 2014
Votes: +0

mounD said:

mounD
re: time zone I think Dobber actually brings up a really valid point with the time zone "complaint." I would honestly think that the highest concentration (and raw numbers) of hockey fans, globally, are in Canada / North and East Cost United States, so the point about catering to the EST and PST time zones isn't entirely irrelevant. Sure, you're going to offend someone's sensibilities in whichever time zone the games are played; however, since the "bull market" of hockey that is being catered to resides in Canada and the Eastern United States, those areas should get some degree of deference when it comes to when games are played.

Not necessarily saying one geographic area deserves it more than another; just saying that wherever the most fans / most $$ reside, that's where and when the games will be played. That's just a fact of life ... I wouldn't say Dobber is complaining. Just recognizing that the biggest hockey market in the world suffers when games aren't played on a EST, CST, MNT, PST schedule.

Cheers
February 21, 2014
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... UK - you are right, it's selfish of me. But that's what it's about - my rant about me.

Anyway, the Games are almost done and guess how many games I've seen with my buddies? 0.
Guess how many games I've seen with my daughters? 0.

It's a special event. But special events lose their luster if you can't share it with people who are special to you.

As for your question about a WC and injuries - if you have to have an event at all, then I would rather it be in prime time before the season with the two extra weeks before the season begins. That's the best you can do to combat injuries.

And yes, I'd like Amateurs representing Canada at the Olympics. I'm okay with that because if the hockey is bad I can change the channel and watch NHL action, which won't have stopped. You like NHL hockey, right?
February 21, 2014
Votes: -1

UKflames said:

UKflames
Olympics Sorry Dobber but your rant at the top about the Olympics comes across as a spoilt brat that has had his favourite toy taken away for two weeks (which you have). How you can complain that you are missing some of the games becasue of the time difference is laughable. If i made the compaint that every NHL game should start in the early afternoon so that European fans didn't have to sit up past midnight to watch a game, you would say tough.How do you think European hockey fans felt when the games were in Vancouver last time, perfect for you but bad for us, i bet you weren't complaining about game times then.
The Olympics are also not about the NHL, they are about the best players in the world representing their country and I bet if you ask the players they enjoy and want to take part in the Olympics, it i special in it own way. Yes the Stanley cup is the pinnacle of hockey to hockey players but to win something for your country is completly different.
I am not sure you are really thinking out this idea of having a world cup in September either. What happens if Tavares gets injured in that tournament and is out for the whole season, how is that any different to the current circumstances? Do you really want Canada represented at the Olympics by a team similar to the team that plays in the Spengler cup (look it up) every year (excluding the lock out year of course)?
February 21, 2014
Votes: -1

Excelsior said:

Excelsior
... Have to agree with the others. That a game doesn't fit into our personal schedule all the time is a poor complaint considering the Olympics rotate various time zones from Olympic to Olympic.

Very disappointed that although it isn't fantasy relevant that you did not mention the classic women's Gold medal game yesterday. What a game! The women played their hearts out and had everyone on the edge of their seats till the final goal. Congrats to Kevin Dineen in what he was able to accomplish in only two months with Team Canada.
February 21, 2014
Votes: +0

TheWherewithal said:

TheWherewithal
World Cup of Hockey I have to agree with both of the posters below. Although I am Canadian, I live in France. Olympic hockey is incredibly popular here, as it is in other parts of Europe. Why should the World Cup (emphasis on World) be in a prime time North American time zone? It makes no sense to me now, and it wouldn't make sense to me if I still lived in Canada. The World Cup of football/soccer has taken place in different time zones for decades and everyone accepts that. Why would the Europeans buy into this? It's not about the NHL, it's about the sports and the highest level of competition. Sorry for this little rant, but it's the third time I hear this argument in the last few days. As a side note, I completely agree with a World Cup of hockey, as I did before the Olympics and do now, but one that rotates host nations. Late August, early September would be ideal, to avoid clashes with European leagues as well.

The other argument I've heard is that the World Junior Championships should take place at the Olympics. The problem here is that 19-year old kids in an Olympic year are at a huge advantage to take part in the Olympics. Others, will never even be able to participate by definition due to their year of birth, unless the tournament opens up to 4-year age intervals (ie. 17-20) - but then I still can see issues related to the participation of certain young blue chip NHL players.
February 21, 2014
Votes: +2

crosby87 said:

crosby87
... Have to agree with donpaulo. Inconvenient because people in the wrong timezone can not watch the games in prime time, come on! Excellent argument.

Participating in the olympics is not about NHL showcasing their talent. Thats an incredibly narrowminded view.
It is about giving athletes the chance to compete for their country in the biggest sporting event. I can not imagine that there are many players who would rather have world cup than the olympic games.

February 21, 2014
Votes: +1

donpaulo said:

donpaulo
... terrible news about Poile, Tavares and Zuc. I enjoy the olympics but perhaps it makes sense to go back to the amateurs

as far as the olympics and game times the good folks that reside in North America get ZERO support from me as I live in East Asia. Wanna talk about inconvenient ? smilies/smiley.gif

The worst part is that sites like TSN etc often post the biggest hockey stories of the day right on the splash page so I cannot visit these sites if I want to enjoy the game without already knowing the result. Its happened so many times that I cannot visit facebook, read hockey league emails nor visit this fantastic site until I watch my game of choice.

So spare me the boo hoo's about having to watch a game at noon. The game is at noon every fricking single day for me. Oh the sacrifices we make for the sport we love to watch
February 21, 2014
Votes: +5
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