Every Sunday, FTR will review the best links across the hockey blogosphere from the past week.
New Ilya Kovalchuk deal filed: 15 years, $100 million. Will the NHL accept? They have until late next week to make a decision. Lou Lamoriello is confident, but honestly, what's he going to say? Jewels From The Crown has been all over this, as par for the course during the Kovy saga. I think I speak for a lot of hockey fans when I say that at this point (since I'm not a New Jersey Devils fan), I just want him to sign SOMEWHERE and be done with it. In the meantime, you can remember much simpler times when Brad Park was in a contract dispute.
NHL TV schedule released: The NHL released the upcoming TV schedule, and as expected, opinions varied from a mixed bag to criticism on the conservative nature of the American schedule. The thing is, I'm not sure if there's really a right answer here. Both a conservative schedule and one that pushes the extremes have pros and cons. The NHL Network is obviously a good supplement to the Versus schedule, and you can't complain with more games on Versus. There is a bit of been-there-done-that with the Versus schedule, and I think what might have helped create more balance is if you had more games like the December 20th Anaheim vs. Boston game as opposed to the January 10th Boston vs. Pittsburgh game. What I mean by that is we all know we're going to see a handful of teams again and again; how about using that as an opportunity to put variety into the schedule rather than both of those teams together? That's the closest happy medium I could come up with, but again, there may not be a right answer.
Donald Fehr close to taking NHLPA executive director position: Fear the Fehr? While Donald Fehr has yet to officially assume the position of NHLPA executive director, word is that he'll be in place on at least an interim basis to help guide them through the upcoming CBA negotiations. Of course, this has everyone talking Armageddon or at least a tough fight, even though Bill Daly takes a diplomatic approach. An FTR poll earlier this week spelled out the fan's opinion pretty simply: do what you have to do, but don't kill another season.
Hockey bloggers and mainstream media: The hockey blogosphere exploded this week with more talk about how NHL teams might create a standard for credentialing bloggers. Some teams have been notably resistive while some have embraced it as a balancing act between media outlets. I could personally take or leave an official credential (though most teams have been accommodating to me via phone/email in my various blogging incarnations), but I think some bloggers could do really wonderful work with that access. It's all about quality, and if a blogger does quality work and provides publicity/eyeballs while writing a thought-provoking piece, how can that be a bad thing? Some guidelines are absolutely necessary, but it really doesn't seem to be that difficult to come up with a sensible happy medium.
World Hockey Summit comes and goes: The World Hockey Summit was this week, and at times, it felt like a cable news show where everyone just yelled at each other.However, one of the most interesting things that came from all of the talking ends was the support for women's hockey. One of the problems is that this support has always been lip service surrounding Olympic years. Remember the chatter about a professional women's league following the Nagano Olympics? If there is legitimate support, this can only be good for the support as a whole, and NHL backing will mean a lot. We've seen this show before, though, and it's up to the powers that be to follow through.