When it comes to this blog, I usually try to switch it up from the norm and try not do fall into the same discussion everyone else is doing, mostly because every angle has been eaten up. With this new Long Line Change gimmick-- I'll try to find another angle and if not; just another opinion.
Alright-- so the big thing today is Zdeno Chara and what he'll be punished with. As new starts to come out concerning Max Pacioretty's injuries, you can bet that could weigh in on the decision that Mike Murphy will have to make in terms of discipline for Chara. For those who don't know, Pacioretty has fractured vertebrae, which is in layman's terms is a broken neck; not to mention a severe concussion
Of course, the debate amongst fans is whether or not Chara had the intent of doing what he did, which was to ride off Pacioretty enough to put him into the turnbuckle between the benches. You have all the theories of him not knowing where he was on the ice, Chara kinda blaming the victim saying he jumped into the glass area, and whatever. Fact is, you know where that break is at between the benches and you have seen a lot of other times of this happening, but not everyone who gets hit like that gets carried off. Those guys got lucky, because it's a dangerous play to get caught up in and even though there's padding-- it doesn't cushion the impact as many think it would.
In the end, Chara should get at least a couple games, mostly based on the outcome of what happened. There's many times where other, worse hits go unpunished while the victim is out for a prolonged period of time-- so Chara's hit should at least get noticed due to the severity of the outcome. One can't say the 5-10-Game he got was enough, nor can one say that the hit should be over five games because it's a fine-line you have to walk. Happenstance is something that happens through and through in the game of hockey and this is one where it had a devastating outcome, whereas other hits have had guys get up right after it and be fine.
Moving in a drastically different situation, the Phoenix Coyotes. In a deal that was supposed to be done years ago, in a deal that Bill Daly was saying at the Heritage Classic he was happy was over.....it still goes on. With the City of Glendale threatening to sue the Goldwater Institute for holding up the deal that could happen to sell the team to Matthew Hulsizer to the Goldwater group threatening legal action should the City sell bonds and violate the Arizona constitution.
With Gary Bettman speaking out yesterday in Glendale, you can sense he doesn't want to give up on the area because the onus will be there that even if you build a new arena; it doesn't mean the team will stay (take note Long Island). There doesn't seem to be a different vision for the NHL other than staying in Arizona, NOR SHOULD THERE BE. Let's not kid each other, the moment that the NHL starts to focus on relocation or even give the HINT the Coyotes will move; the team is gone. The only objective should be trying to keep the team in Phoenix and talk up the team and city as much as you can-- not only to convince the people, but convince themselves this is a battle that is for the greater good.
Much to the chagrin of Winnipeg or Quebec City, the odds are the NHL won't be thinking about relocation until they get tired of the Phoenix mess and pulls the team unilaterally. It's not like Bettman wants to have this debacle at the forefront, but at the same time-- he's doing what he can for damage control and try to rally the troops and actually show the level of interest for this team.
This has been a the third year of a five year plan, it seems-- the same story over and over again. The NHL is doing their best to not give up on a city cold-hearted, but also not shutting out the other cities that could be vying for their services and actually acknowledging they're out there without giving too much hope.
With all that's going on and off the ice-- I don't envy Bettman and the NHL brass in these situations.