Lockout Update Day 88: there is still a lockout.

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The NHL has agreed to the NHLPA's request to have a Federal mediator join their talks today in their undisclosed location. I like that the media doesn't know where it is. But I'll speculate that it will be held somewhere on a hill - and the NHL will die on it over the contract-length issue.

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Jonathan Huberdeau, who may have already played his last QMJHL game, has been suspended for four games due to an altercation with a linesman. Video on this is below.

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In case you missed it - I wrote this piece for The Hockey News on the impact of fantasy hockey on the NHL and vice versa - and their respective bottom line.

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The KHL named their players of the week. They name four each week, and as is often the case none of them are NHLers. Jan Laco for best goalie, Igor Skorokhodov for best attacker. Viktor Antipin is an interesting one - he was named best defenseman and also best rookie. Antipin is 20 - just turned last week actually - and he's undrafted. Wouldn't shock me to see him go in the seventh round in the summer NHL draft. Just teams taking a flyer, but I doubt they would tear him away from Russia.

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OKC Barons: The Best Thing to Happen to Justin Schultz. I wholeheartedly agree with THW's Carl Maloney on that one. The Oilers would have rushed him for sure. Now he's had time to dominate as a pro, get the confidence sky-high. Makes a huge difference.

Schultz, by the way, just keeps on trucking. Two more points for him - both assists - in last night's contest. Still leading the AHL. We'll let last night's minus-3 slide…

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Chicago prospect Philip Danault was the QMJHL player of the week. He's on pace for close to 90 points in that league and is a strong candidate to make Team Canada for the WJC. Danault is up to 144 on the Fantasy Prospects rankings, as he projects to be a tweener in that second/third line range. Could go either way. He's also at least two years away, probably three. He turns 20 in two months, so be careful about overrating this year's junior stats.

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Justin Braun suffered a broken bone in his hand while playing in Finland and is on his way home.

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Filip Kuba has finished off his contrat in the Czech League. Or at least he's decided to leave, wanting to be back with his family and believing that the lockout's end is near.

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Dallas prospect Matej Stransky is going nutty for Saskatoon of the WHL. He has five goals and 10 points in his last three games, including three last night. He's also a plus-9 in that span. He sits at 145 on the fantasy prospects list but will find himself higher next month for sure.

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The Fantasy Goalie Guide - "Hey, what else are you gonna read?" Buy it here. I think I'll adopt that as my slogan, until the lockout ends. The thing in quotes, not the buy-it-here part. Although…

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Alright, here's a suggestion/plug. The Best of Down Goes Brown. The most enjoyable hockey book I've ever read. Because of his 70+ chapters, each one of them made me laugh out loud at least once. And that includes the 20 or so that I had already read on his site. And now that I'm done the book, it's sitting in the bathroom of my man cave. And in my opinion, that the ultimate honor. Strongly recommended. Perfect gift for hockey fans. But the paperback here, or the Kindle here.

And while I'm at it, Washington Capitals fans will enjoy this offering by Ted Starkey - Red Rising: The Washington Capitals Story. I'm only halfway through this one, but it's a thorough account of the Caps and their climb from the NHL's basement up to the top - led by you know who. You can pick that up here.

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Huberdeau taking down the linesman:

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Chara hhhhhhhammers Satan! Check out 56 seconds in:


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Kofax said:

Kofax
Huberdeau I have to agree with the majority here. There was pretty clearly no intent to harm the referee in any way. He was trying to get away, referee lost his balance and they both go down.

It's Huberdeau's fault for trying to escape, so I think the 4 games is warranted, but no more.

It actually looks to me like Huberdeau lessened the referees fall a bit. He still fell the wrong way and was hurt, but I think he would have fallen harder otherwise.
December 12, 2012
Votes: +0

shingy said:

shingy
Huberdeau
I agree with Pengwin, the 4 games is fine for what he took part in. He shouldn't have been trying to escape.

The biggest problem I noticed was that the linesman was putting way too much pressure on Huberdeau. If you watch closely, the linesman pushes Huberdeau's skates back about 4 feet. Any imbalance or slight twist and you're down.

Worst than that, the linesman left foot dragged behind/underneath him and he tripped. It also looks like he banged the back of his head pretty hard off the ice when he hit likely causing his injury.

Tough spot for the official. I've had to get in between players older, bigger or stronger than me, generally speaking, if a player wants "go" that bad, let them go. You can penalize them for it shortly after.
December 12, 2012
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
Wrong VA, dude... you are wrong.

Huberdeau made the mistake of trying to escape the grasp of the referee. That was wrong. Given.

But watch that referee. As he's trying to issue some weight against Huberdeau, his left skate edge is sideways and catches the ice. Once it goes, his center of mass has no support. The right skate slides forward and the referee's grip actually pulls Huberdeau on top of him.

Huberdeau himself is actually going BACKWARDS when the referee falls.
Frame-by-frame it, slow-motion it, go and try it yourself on the ice.

I've been in these tussles before and been pulled down.
It looks worse than it was.
The referee lost his balance when that left blade caught.
The grip will pull both players down.

Leagues have to make an example of a player trying to escape a referee's grip... so 4 games is fine. But players do this all the time, trying to skate away backwards or sideways to escape a referee's grip. 99.9% of the time, there's no incident. So let's not slam Huberdeau for being the 1/1000.

This is just bad timing for Huberdeau, wrong slippery ref, wrong time.
December 12, 2012
Votes: +0

Veritas0Aequitas said:

Veritas0Aequitas
Defending Huberdeau - Are you f*cking nuts? How can you possibly defend Huberdeau? He's pushing through a linesman to get to a player. He's not defending himself, he's trying to push through and on ice official to fight a player. Yeah, he absolutely deserves his 4 games and frankly deserves more.

Newfcollins is the only sane one here. You never, EVER, EVER push through an official to get to another player. It doesn't matter how it happened, he pushed through a ref to fight a player. That's blatant disrespect for officials and if you think that's not a punishable offense, what's next?
December 12, 2012
Votes: +0

newfcollins said:

newfcollins
... I don't know. The linesman clearly has two hands on Huberdeau, and is trying to push him away from fighting. I can't tell, but I'm pretty sure the linesman would probably be saying something as well. If Hubs ignores him to go after another player, then it's his fault.
December 12, 2012
Votes: +0

Rollie1967 said:

Rollie1967
... I agree- looks more like the linesman loosing his balance than an actual shove or 'slam'. Unfortunate that it lead to an injury, but it sure didnt look like Huberdeau got overly physical with the linesman.
December 12, 2012
Votes: +0

Hey_Robbie said:

Hey Robbie
... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jhSNNwf8ns

Second video not working (for me at least); here's a link.
December 12, 2012
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
Hubs I agree with TeamFoster4.
When a player gets tied up by a linesman, they are simply looking past the linesman at an opponent that may be coming for them. He didn't push the linesman down, they were tied up, Huberdeau was trying to get away, some slipping, an unfortunate injury.

He most certainly did not intentionally push a lineman.

Four games is fine.
Huberdeau made the mistake of trying to get free, which does involves some amount of wrestling (away).

December 12, 2012
Votes: +0

TeamFoster4 said:

TeamFoster4
Huberdeau Was it his left hand that was bracing the referee's body under the ref's right arm so that the ref would not lose his balance or his right hand that we can't see in this video that shows that he pushed him down. At no time did Huberdeau, take his eyes off the player from the other team until the referee lost his balance and almost pulled Huberdeau down on top of him. If the referee had him restrained against the glass and Jonathan shoved him down or went after the referee for a call and slammed him, then 4 games or more is warranted. I have only seen this video here, so what he did with the other hand could be the evidence. My apologizes for making light of the incident, because someone did get hurt, but the word "slams" in the video title isn't accurate.
December 12, 2012
Votes: +0

newfcollins said:

newfcollins
... I think it's nuts he only got four games. Pushed down a linesman, who obviously got injured. Doesn't matter if slippery ice played a factor. He intentionally pushed a linesman.
December 12, 2012
Votes: -1

TeamFoster4 said:

TeamFoster4
Huberdeau.... In defense of Huberdeau, three seconds into the video, two other players that were not grappling with each other fell down as well. I would say that it was just slippery out there. smilies/cheesy.gif And I didn't see him discard the referee to the ground. Four games for the linesman losing his balance. Huberdeau wasn't even concerned with him. The referee falling was incidental.
December 12, 2012
Votes: +1
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