NHL Week in Review (Nov 27-Dec 3)

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The NHL is much like any other professional league in that they are driven by the media while at the same time being driven made by them.

Professional sports has reached a point where TV and other media coverage make a league what they are because without that attention they disappear.

The evolution of sports leagues to the monsters they have become has a lot to do with the ever-increasing coverage on TV.

The problem with that is that there are now 24-hour networks that need something to talk about all the time.

More often than not that can make things difficult for the networks forcing them to speculate and create bigger stories.

Every network wants to be the first to talk about big news whether it be a trade or a signing or a firing.

So they have a number of analysts reaching out and asking about potential moves or news that they can report on.

Sometimes that news comes from someone outside of the organisation and can be pretty inaccurate.

The sports networks will usually try to confirm before it becomes a major story but once it is out to the public they have to say something about it.

That rapid pace can sometimes lead to bad information and it can also be extremely frustrating for teams.

When this news is revealed before the team has a chance to release it themselves it can get players angry or just simply ruin a deal.

When a player all of a sudden learns that they are being traded from a TV network or from social media it can sour a relationship.

Especially if that rumour isn’t true as the player can end up distrusting the team while he remains on the team.

Executives can do whatever they want to convince the player but there may always be that thought in the back of the mind of the player.

A soured relationship is never a good thing and more often than not it leads to a player actually being traded.

These leaks can cause major issues on teams and quite often they are leaks based in truth after careful research.

That isn’t always the case though as sometimes inaccurate information does come out and then is reported as fact.

It can cause rifts and executives hate it but more often than not they stay silent preferring not to make enemies of the media and trying to do damage control.

Brian Burke is not the typical executive though as he has no problem telling it how it is and using the media to get a message across.

This past week he did just that after rumours that the Calgary Flames were shopping around defenceman Dougie Hamilton.

The rumours came about after other teams had asked about Hamilton during this year’s draft only to be denied and then were brought back up when someone from inside claimed they were ready to move him.

Burke went on TSN radio and was asked about the rumours and he claimed that there would never be a trade involving Hamilton.hockey-sidebar

He came out to say that a team would need to give them 20 first round picks to trade for Hamilton.

Then Burke went on a rant about the leak and that he had launched an internal investigation about who had released the information.

There are still many people who believe that Burke was just angry that it got out and that he was trying to move Hamilton to Arizona.

Speculation remains despite his refusal of any reports and that is the balance that professional teams have to worry about.

They have to work with the media in order to get the recognition they need to be a big team on the national stage.

Then again they hate the media because things that were true but secret have a tendency to get out while things that have never been true are made into stories.

Burke just expressed the opinion that so many others had but whether he was entirely truthful remains up for debate.

After all, Hamilton has not been getting a lot of ice time and the Flames signed him to a big contract.

Many see that as a sign that they don’t want him to get hurt before they move him while others will state that he just hasn’t earned those minutes despite his pay.

Whether the rumours are true or not will be proven as they will either go away or they will continue and Hamilton will be moved.

(More on this week in hockey)

Gallant Gone
The Florida Panthers became the first team to make a change this week as they fired head coach Gerard Gallant a year after he was a finalist for the Jack Adams trophy with GM Tom Rowe taking over behind the bench

The Top Man
The NHL analysts are preparing for the next draft as hockey is in full swing at every level and with that comes the speculation over the top pick with Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings seems to be the consensus #1 for now

No Go for Korea?
Last week the NHL gave the NHLPA an offer claiming that they would agree to send players to the 2018 Olympics if the PA signed a 3-year extension on the CBA this week the PA gave their answer rejecting the offer leaving the Olympics as a big question

Juniors Back West
Hockey Canada announced their roster for the Wolrd Junior camp this week but they also announced that the World Junior tournament will return to Canada in 2019 when Vancouver and Victoria serve as the hosts


Key Scores:
Arizona Coyotes 2-1 Edmonton Oilers
– They are two of the youngest teams in the league with some of the best prospects and they faced off at opposite ends of the standings with a surprising finish as the streaking Oilers were not themselves on the night

Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 Boston Bruins (SO)
– Two legendary American teams are not having the seasons that they wanted sitting in the middle of their divisions as they tried to get some momentum in this game playing a tight one that ended with the Flyers taking the shootout

Pittsburgh Penguins 6-2 Dallas Stars
– It was a match-up of two high powered offences but only one showed up on the night as the Penguins put up six goals against the Stars who could only manage two in the loss that dropped them further behind

Vancouver Canucks 3-2 Toronto Maple Leafs (SO)
– The first time these two teams faced off the cross-country rivalry looked like it was getting more heated as the game got very physical and although this time it wasn’t nearly as physical it still was a close one with the Canucks coming out on top in a shootout

Next Week:
Edmonton Oilers vs. Buffalo Sabres (Tuesday, December 6th; 7:00 pm ET)
– It’s Eichel vs. McDavid in this match-up as the two players will always be connected and now that Eichel is back from his injury both will be on the ice at the same time trying to prove who the better player is on the night

Nashville Predators vs. Dallas Stars (Thursday, December 8th; 8:30 pm ET)
– The Preds and the Stars are two teams that had high expectations this year but neither has been able to meet those expectations and now they face each other trying to find their way to the top of the division

New York Rangers vs. Chicago Blackhawks (Friday, December 7th; 8:30 pm ET)
– Two of the top teams in the league right now go head to head to truly test just how good they are as both teams sit on top of their divisions clearly eyeing another appearance in the playoffs with this game showing who could be the best

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (Saturday, December 8th; 7:00 pm ET)
– These two teams are getting very familiar with each other as they continue to be two of the best in the eastern conference and they face off again both near the top of their divisions in what is a meeting of two powerhouses in the conference

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