When Is It Time For Clubs To ‘Give Up’?

Whether you consider it adorable or laughable; news that New Jersey still had designs on a play-off berth spread across social media last week, as the club rebuffed talk of trading veterans like Jaromir Jagr. At the time the Devils had 25 games still to play, but sat 12 points shy of 8th, and their stance was largely met with derision as a result – especially as they were coming off the back of a 4-game skid. Despite reversing that trend and picking up four straight victories, the Devils still find themselves trailing Boston by 8 points; and with a deep draft this summer, and trade deadline day looming, at least half-a-dozen clubs currently face the same decision as New Jersey – at what point do you throw in the towel? Read the rest of this entry

British Officials Need Major Investment

Benjamin Franklin once said there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes.

British hockey can probably add a third item to that list – complaints about officials.

Guaranteed, every weekend, there will be at least one gripe about a call, a referees performance or the general standard of officiating in the UK. And while some complaints can inevitably be dismissed due to a healthy slice of ‘home town’ bias, or a basic lack of understanding of the rules from the plaintiff, it should not distract from the wider issue – British officials are under supported and short staffed, and have been for too long now.

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Clan Seek Continued Progression

Currently leading the Elite League by 6 points, Braehead Clan’s rapid rise to the summit of the UK’s top tier has been nothing short of impressive.

Now in their fifth season, Braehead tasted Gardiner Conference success in 2012/13, followed by a third place finish in last season’s play-offs.

Currently on a six game winning streak; Ryan Finnerty’s side now find themselves in the driving seat as the Elite League approaches the home stretch. And for Clan Hockey Operations Director Gareth Chalmers, it’s all part of the plan.

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The Jake Gardiner Conundrum

A healthy scratch for the third time this season on Saturday, Jake Gardiner’s future with Toronto continues to be hotly debated.

A 5-year, $20m extension, signed in the summer, made Gardiner the second highest paid blue liner on the Maple Leafs roster – but with a potential cap crunch coming this summer, his place on the team was pulled under the microscope again yesterday.

Whilst a knee jerk reaction is unlikely; at some point soon, the Maple Leafs are going to have to make a decision on the 24-year old’s future.

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Guest Spot On Behind The Glass

I’ll be joining hosts Craig Anderson and Chris Duke on Eklipse Sports Radio’s Behind The Glass tonight to discuss all the latest news from the NHL.

Behind The Glass is on the air from 9pm; with Craig and Chris also talking to Allan Crow of the Fife Free Press about Fife Flyers weekend, while Greg Collins will provide the inside track on the Edinburgh Capitals recent good form.

You can listen live via the website, on DAB digital radio or via the TuneIn or RadioPlayer apps.

The Rock Sport app is also available for iPhone/iPad and Android.

Anyone wishing to contact the show can do so via the Behind the Glass Facebook page, on Twitter @BTGlassEklipse or email craig.anderson@eklipsesportsradio.co.uk

What Do KHL Woes Mean For Hockey?

With the Russian economy in free fall, the Kontinental Hockey League’s future appears increasingly precarious.

Rumours of teams on the verge collapse are rife, with some player and coaches going unpaid for several weeks. And the situation looks set to get worse before it gets better.

But the impact of any of the leagues 28 teams folding mid-season won’t just be felt in the Russia, the knock on effect could reach across the hockey world.

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The Need To ‘Make An Impression’

Wingers Damien Brunner and Matt Martin both hit the headlines last week.

Despite one being under the microscope for his poor play, and the other seemingly in the Department of Player Safety’s cross hair, their situations may not be as different as they first appear.

In the highly competitive world of the NHL; players need to ‘justify’ their place in the line up, on an almost nightly basis in some cases.

There’s always someone else who wants to take their job – and both Brunner and Martin have fallen ‘victim’ to that need to ‘make an impression’ over the past 7 days.

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