HoopsHype NHL rumors

March 5, 2013 Updates

The NHL is borrowing a page from the NBA with the draft lottery. The NHL announced Monday that all 14 teams that miss the playoffs, or the teams that hold the rights to the top 14 picks, will be eligible to win the No. 1 draft pick when the lottery is held April 29. Under the previous system, the five teams with the fewest points had the opportunity to win the top selection since no team could move up more than four spots. St. Petersburg Times

February 3, 2013 Updates

Crayton said when she speaks to NBA teams about Wright, she can tell that perceptions about Wright's well-being cannot be changed. There aren't any known NBA players with MS, though Crayton said she wouldn't be surprised if there was somebody who was playing with the disease and concealing it. She thinks the stereotypes about MS could keep athletes from being open about it. In November, NHL goalie Josh Harding of the Minnesota Wild revealed he has MS. Crayton said she's encouraged Wright to get in contact with Harding. "It's really just about the label," Crayton said. USA Today Sports

December 21, 2012 Updates

Seth Jones probably should have wound up a basketball player. He is tall, with a great vertical leap, and his father is Popeye Jones, who played 11 years in the N.B.A. and is now an assistant coach with the Nets. But instead, Seth Jones, 18, is projected to be a top pick in the N.H.L. draft and may be on his way to becoming hockey’s first African-American star. “I’d be shocked myself if I heard a story like that,” Jones said, when asked if people are surprised by the combination of a basketball father and a hockey son. “Me and my two brothers all play hockey, so it was weird, I guess, that none of us played basketball.” New York Times

On the ice he is a commanding presence, a hard hitter. But more often he is the rare defenseman who can control a game’s tempo with his stickhandling and passing — a “full-package defenseman,” in the words of Phil Housley, the United States coach. Probably not what anyone expected from a son of Popeye Jones. “No one wants to live in their father’s footsteps,” Seth Jones said this week when the United States team held a three-day training camp at the Rangers’ practice rink in Greenburgh, N.Y., before heading to Europe. “I think the time will come when I stop getting those questions and everyone knows the story. That’s just my family and my background and part of my life.” New York Times

Jones acknowledged that the two sports did not have much in common, but said he learned from watching basketball players. “The persons I watched closely were Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd,” he said, recalling when his father was an assistant with the Dallas Mavericks. “You’d see Dirk back there behind the scenes taking jump shots before and after games, before and after practices. It just taught me to keep working hard when no ones’s watching, and the person you are behind the scenes is your true self.” Seth never played organized basketball, but some of Popeye’s basketball DNA seems to have rubbed off. “We played basketball in Ann Arbor a lot the last couple years, and he’s got a lot of talent,” said Brady Skjei, a United States teammate who spent two years with Jones at the National Team Development Program. “Great hands, a soft stroke, a terrific shot.” Jones said: “I actually am pretty good at basketball, I have to admit. I have a nice two-way game, I think.” New York Times

December 16, 2012 Updates

Fisher said current NHLPA executive director and former MLBPA president Donald Fehr has been in touch with the NBPA over the past few years. Fisher offered some advice for the NHLPA. “The most efficient way for everybody to get into a room and to get a deal done is to really stay together and have one voice and have one general focus in terms of how you try to get things accomplished as a group,” he said. “It’s tough, obviously in sports not only are the customers and audience growing in terms of a global perspective but your players have grown in terms of global perspective. So you’re trying to have one [players’] voice from around the world.” Boston Globe

October 22, 2012 Updates

Kirilenko, who will be in town Wednesday with the Minnesota Timberwolves in an NBA pre-season game against the Detroit Pistons at MTS Centre, spoke to the Winnipeg Sun on Sunday from Minneapolis after a team practice. It will be Kirilenko’s first visit to Winnipeg, but he said he’s aware of the hockey passion here and, although there’s no real time for them to explore the city, he’s looking forward to seeing something new. And he has one small goal, too. “Definitely I want to buy a jersey,” he said, undoubtedly endearing himself to Winnipeg Jets fans. “It’s a very rare opportunity because I’ve never seen the other parts (of Canada) but I like hockey.” Born in Izhevsk, in the western portion of Russia, Kirilenko was curious about the Russian influences on the Winnipeg Jets and then listed off his favourite players. “(Ilya) Kovalchuk, (Alexander) Ovechkin, (Evgeni) Malkin, those are the three I cheer for,” he said. Toronto Sun

August 23, 2012 Updates

You may remember Popeye from his brief stint with the Celtics, or his years as a well-traveled but serviceable rebounder, or his numerous coaching jobs around the league or his role as captain of the NBA’s all-time All-Ugly team. (Dale Ellis, Gheorghe Muresan, Jeff Hornacek and Sam Cassell round out the starting five). But I bet you didn’t know that Jones’ son is currently one of the best hockey prospects in the entire world. (I didn’t either, until I read about it this morning on Ben Rohrbach’s tumblr.) Seth Jones is a projected top-three pick in next year’s NHL Entry Draft and the 17-year-old is USA Hockey’s top rated underage prospect. He’s also the son of a well-traveled NBA player and coach.

 “I guess when you sit back and think about it, it is odd for a professional basketball player’s son to play hockey at such a high level,” Popeye Jones said in a phone interview with CSNWashington.com. CSNNE.com

June 21, 2012 Updates

That NBA player was LeBron James on Tuesday night. The Heat superstar went down in the fourth quarter with leg cramps. At first, he was able to stay in the game, hitting a one-handed bank shot before nailing a crucial 3-pointer minutes later. It wasn’t exactly a Willis Reed moment, but given that he’s the biggest basketball star on the planet, LeBron was receiving a healthy amount of praise for playing through the pain. But color some NHL players unimpressed. CBS Local

May 21, 2012 Updates

As I've said before, Spurs coach/non-NHL fan Gregg Popovich has been media gold recently. When asked if he watched and was relieved by the quick outcome of the LA Kings hockey game that could have pushed this Spurs-Clips game back to Monday if it went too long, Popovich said: "Absolutely. I watched it (long pause). I didn't know what was going on, but I watched it." Sulia

May 20, 2012 Updates

The unusual number of on-court slips and spills by both the Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder during Saturday’s Game 4 was not because of the ice rink beneath the court, according to Staples Center officials. The ice has been there since September and there have not been any previous complaints about slipping. Several Oklahoma City players complained of slippery conditions after point guard Russell Westbrook slipped near the sideline at the end of the first half. He was not injured and returned to play the second half. Michael Roth, spokesman for Staples Center, said the referees deemed the court safe. “The referees didn’t have any complaints with the court,” Roth said. “And everything was done as usual in these circumstances.” Orange County Register

May 15, 2012 Updates

We’re still more than a few weeks away from some team claiming the Larry O’Brien trophy, but we can go ahead and crown the undisputed champ of professional sports leagues on Twitter. The NBA wins in a runaway. The NBA’s Twitter feed has a robust 5 million-plus, and counting, followers (5,011, 814 as of this morning). That dwarfs the National Football League’s 3,332,082, Major League Baseball’s 2,044,861 and the National Hockey League’s 1,166,503. NBA.com

November 18, 2011 Updates

So you're suggesting the players' emotion got in the way of common sense? I've always felt what's most important thing in these negotiations and how you prepare from a business standpoint. It seems in the last month, maybe even from the very beginning, they brought too much emotion to negotiation and to a large degree that has driven them to a point that their resolve has been challenged. It's not a question of resolve but the judgment that's most important. If you go back and think about what happened in the NHL, they had a lot of resolve for the whole year. They missed the entire year. The union leadership failed to diagnose the winds of change that a salary cap is coming. They failed to recognize that was true. They had great resolve but made a poor judgment. I see that as similar here. USA Today

October 24, 2011 Updates

Jonas Jerebko: so #NHL posted the video of me skating. i fell 1 time in 90 mins and they show that? #NotCool Twitter

October 20, 2011 Updates

To all NBA players who stand unified against the godless owners, read these words of warning from a former NHL player about the reality of losing an entire season: "It's not worth it. Get a deal done," former Dallas Stars forward Bill Guerin said during a phone call last week. There was not a single NHL player during the Great Lockout of 2004-05 who was a bigger proponent of the union's fight than this man. No one believed in the cause more than Guerin, and to hear him admit this is a bit stunning. "I learned a big lesson: It's not a partnership. It's their league, and you are going to play when they want," he said. Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Today, Guerin has hindsight and his experience serves as a giant caution to any player who thinks losing a game, much less an entire season, to this lockout is a good idea. His message is simple: Get what you can; start playing; you are not going to win what you think. "It is not worth it to any of them to burn games or to burn an entire year. Burning a year was ridiculous," Guerin said. "It wasn't worth me giving up $9 million a year, or 82 games plus the playoffs, then having a crappy year and being bought out.... Guys in the NBA making $15 million or however much better think long and hard about this." Fort Worth Star-Telegram

September 30, 2011 Updates

The two sides are scheduled to meet beginning today, and NBA Commissioner David Stern has said the season will suffer "enormous consequences" if progress isn't achieved. The two lockouts have differences -- the NHL had no cap system or revenue-sharing plan in place prior to 2005 -- but the rhetoric is eerily familiar. Before each, owners had said they lost about $300 million during the previous season, with some small-market operators claiming they would lose less by not playing. Union representatives disputed the severity of the financial woes and dug in against radical economic overhauls. Even some of the names are the same, as five NBA ownership groups -- New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Washington and Toronto -- include NHL franchises in their portfolios. "Ours was a philosophical divide," one NHL executive told The Plain Dealer. "So it was difficult to handicap when the gap [between owners and players] was going to be bridged. Yes, we felt it might take a full season, although we obviously hoped it wouldn't." Cleveland Plain Dealer

June 30, 2011 Updates

The meeting lasted a little more than three hours and reportedly featured NBA commissioner David Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver, NBPA executive director Billy Hunter and NBPA president Derek Fisher, among others. But some of the biggest names guiding a league that annually takes in about $4 billion in revenue were unable to keep the game going. "If the NBA feels the gap [in issues] is just too wide, a lockout is a way of putting pressure on the players to make some more concessions," said Michael McCann, Vermont professor of law and director of the school’s sports law institute. The 2011 NBA lockout coincides with an ongoing three-month NFL lockout. Professional basketball’s work stoppage could ultimately have more in common with a 2004-05 NHL lockout, though, which resulted in a lost season and a fully revamped CBA. Several NBA owners have ties to NHL teams, and hockey has enjoyed a resurgence under its new deal. Salt Lake Tribune

January 25, 2011 Updates

Sports Business Daily has just released a new Harris Poll which indicates that NASCAR is the fourth-most-popular sport in America, ranking ahead of the NBA, the NHL, NCAA basketball, golf and — shocking, I know — the WNBA, among many others. The poll, which surveyed Americans who follow at least one sport, found that 7 percent of respondents named auto racing as their favorite sport. Not bad, considering the competition, but the runaway winner is, of course, the NFL (31 percent), followed by baseball (17 percent) and college football (12 percent). More statistical goodness: the percentage of adults who named NASCAR as their favorite sport in 1985 — you know, the good ol' days — was 5 percent, and it's up 2 percent since then. (Basketball has seen zero growth over that same period, and baseball has seen a decline of 6 percentage points.) Yahoo! Sports

January 15, 2011 Updates

Orlando Magic guard Jason Richardson has done exceptionally well playing a sport that wasn't his first love. He has become wealthy and famous, but playing pro basketball wasn't in his dreams even as he headed into his teenage years. His feet just got too big for his hockey skates. "I really wanted to play in the NHL," Richardson said. "At the time, I think there were only two or three African-American players. I wanted to be the fourth one." Orlando Sentinel

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