SJSU hockey roadtrip update

San Jose State hockey update

After a 12-5 win over Palmer College and a 10-4 win over Weber State last week, the San Jose State Spartans found themselves at 7-0 among the top of the ACHA Division 2 teams.

A. Sheldon recaps the fiesty Weber State game:

Midway through the final period of Saturday night’s match between the San Jose State Spartans and Weber State Wildcats, the WSU captain cross-checked SJSU’s captain Ray Kellam in the back of the neck, knocking the 5’9” forward to the ice.

The rowdy Logitech Ice Center crowd fell silent during the few minutes that elapsed before Kellam was able to regain his feet and skate back to the bench - apparently unharmed, but obviously shaken. The referees immediately ejected the Wildcat’s captain from the game – and as he exited the ice, San Jose supporters erupted into a frenzy of deafening jeers.

Read the full article here.

SJSU went on a 3 game road trip this weekend to face a strong BYU team, a former Spartan goalie now playing with Utah State [#31 Chris Webber], and a re-match with Weber State.

San Jose lost their first game of the season Thursday night, a 6-5 overtime loss to Utah State. Jon Barney took a 5 minute fighting major penalty late in the game. SJSU picked up a 2-1 win Friday over BYU without Jon Barney or Adam Dekeyrl. Sean Scarbrough and Chris Lee scored goals for San Jose. The road trip ended with a 6-1 Spartan win over Weber State.

The Spartans now have a 9-1 record, with 9 wins and 1 overtime loss. More updates on these games as they come in.

The next SJSU home game is Friday night [7:45 PM] at Logitech against UC San Diego, with a followup Palmer College game Saturday [8:15 PM]. Berkeley plays three home games this weekend: Thursday against Oregon [8:45 PM], Friday against UW [10:45 PM], and Saturday against UW [10:45 PM].

[Update] USA Hockey selected current Shark Tom Preissing, and former Shark Tony Granato to represent their country in the 2004 Deutschland Cup. The tournament takes place in Hannover and Hamburg from Nov 10-14. Ty Conklin, Rick DiPietro, Jeff Halpern, Jason Blake, Ryan Malone, Richard Park, Dave Tanabe, Tim Connolly, Ted Drury, Brian Gionta, David Legwand, and Mike York will also being suiting up for Team USA. Good luck in Germany.

[Update2] Current NHL standings.

[Update3] Toronto Maple Leafs Nik Antropov signs on with AK Bars Kazan of the Russian Superleague - Toronto Star.

[Update4] NHL players are restless - SF Chronicle.


Shark Notes - Yanni edition

- According to Leigh Weimers of the San Jose Mercury News, the HP Pavilion in San Jose is first in the US and third worldwide in non-sports ticket sales. The arena formely known as The Tank ranks only behind the Manchester Evening News Arena in Manchester, and the Bell Centre in Toronto. Billboard magazine and Pollstar conducted the survey. The article ended with this:

No wonder theres no rush to settle the hockey impasse. With ticket sales like that who needs hockey (except our downtown businesses).

I will just leave that as is without any of my thoughtful and respectful analysis. Yanni is coming to the HP Pavilion on the 12th. Who needs the Sharks when you have Yanni?

- Many diehard hockey fans already visit TSN.ca for hockey news, but I wanted to mention this for the young hockey fans and their parents who have been emailing me about the lockout. TSN.ca is like ESPN for Canada with half the shouting, and twice the hockey coverage [or more]. Now that ESPN has canceled NHL2nite, I highly recommend watching the video clips streamed on their website.

Right now there is an excellent segment where Bob McKenzie compares AK Bars Kazan of the Russian Superleague to the New York Rangers. Not content with suiting up Ilya Kovalchuck [who is struggling] and making an offer to Nikolai Khabibulin [best name in hockey], AK Bars is also making a run on Brad Richards and Vincent LeCavalier. Kazan is a town in Eastern Russia in its 1000th year of existence. The city-owned team is pushing hard for a championship to celebrate the millenium.

A second video segment by Ellen Pinchuk has to be my favorite of the year. It covers Fred Braithwaite's move from the Columbus Blue Jackets to guess where? AK Bars Kazan. Anyone who has been lost in a foreign country will identify with Fred being on a first name basis with the employees at the local McDonalds.

I am not sure if it is ok to directly link to the past Braithwaite clip, but it is a must see. I am going to contact TSN for their permission, and try to contact Fred himself to see how his season is going. Or as the local fans call him, Fareed.

For current Russian hockey news in English I would recommend Russianprospects.com or Rushockey.com.

For more information visit the official AK Bars Kazan website. Here is a Russian-English translator. I only know how to say "cheers" and "more vodka please". But here is a McDonalds quote just for you Fred [11th one down].

- Where is Alexander Korolyuk? Redwingscentral.com has Korolyuk playing for second level Russian team Vityaz Podolsk in the city of Chekhov. They mention Alexander has 17 points in 12 games.

- Sharks prospect Miroslav Zalesak is tearing up HK36 Skalica of the Czech Extraliga. He has 9 goals and 11 assists in 14 games. As usual, visit Jes Golbez for all your Slovakian and Czech hockey information needs. As soon as I mail him photos of his trip to SF [nice Red Sox game, eh?] he should be able to point me to more on Zalesak or Michalek.

- Rob Davision is playing well with the Cardiff Devils in the UK. Rob scored the only goal Saturday in a 4-1 loss to Nottingham. The concept of selling dvds of Cardiff games on the front page should make its way to the NHL. Great idea. I have already been offered dvds of games in Finland and Germany by fans.

- Many consider the Swedish Elite League to be the closest in level of play to the NHL. Sharks forward Nils Ekman is playing for Djurgarden of the SEL in his hometown of Stockholm. The official website is unfortunately a prime example of flashploixtation. I want to throw something heavy at my monitor. I dont want to see animated lightning and clouds, I want to find stats. Click the player profile in the first link to see a streaming video introduction of the entire Djurgarden team. It sounds like Axl Rose is singing a Rolling Stones song for that clip. More on Swedish hockey and Nils coming soon. [Note: Ekman has 6 goals and 8 assists in 14 games].

More on Djurgarden and the Swedish Elite League from McKeens Hockey.

- The NHLPA and NHL are talking about having talks?

- Fissure in union wall? - Prince of Pucks asks another pertinent question in his new column for Foxsports.

- No international Sharks update would be possible without mentioning the German DEL. Prohockey.de has Ingolstadt in fourth place overall. The official Deutscher Eishockey Liga website lists Marco Sturm among the top scorers with 9 goals and 6 assists in 14 games played. In addition to former SJ goalie Jimmy Waite, Gryph over at the Feeder noted former Sharks defenseman Ken Sutton is also suiting up for Ingolstadt. The Hannover Scorpions recently signed Paul Mara from Phoenix making the number of NHL players in Europe 236.

- LetsgoKings covered the AHL Manchester Monarchs 5-0 win over the Utah Grizzlies at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Click here for the photo gallery. Hopefully I can do something similar for the Cleveland Barons game in San Jose.

- FYI, the Mens Hardball Roller Hockey World Championships comes to San Jose August 2005.

- Many Shark fans contributed to this list of updates. Thanks. Also take a look at the new and improved sitemap.

[Update] More on Ingolstadt from the USA Today: Players warm up to less pay, more fun - Kevin Allen. Thanks to the Ice Block for the link.

[Update2] Brad Richards signs with AK Bars Kazan according to the St Petersburg Times. Thanks to Boltsmag for the link.


San Jose State University 12 Palmer College of Chiropractic West 5

SJSU Mason Nave

A. Sheldon recaps the SJSU vs Palmer game from last night and interviews SJSU head coach Ron Glasow, forward Mason Nave, punishing forward Jon Barney, Palmer goaltender Kevin Bruinsmaand, and Palmer defenseman Brent Brown. Read the full article here.

The ACHA d2 West rankings can be found here. SJSU and Weber State play at 8PM tonight at the Logitech Ice Center.

The San Jose State student newspaper has an article on the hockey team, Fire on Ice. Nice photo gallery too.

[Update] From Offwing, a Harris Poll asked Americans: What is your favorite sport? Even with the lockout, hockey is not in too bad a position.

[Update2] A week after I took down a link to his columns, Kyle Woodlief writes a new Red Line Report for USA Today. Sidney Crosby, Gilbert Brule and Jakub Kindl are Kyle's top 3 draft eligible prospects for the 2005 entry draft [Ottawa, June 25-26].


Interview with Long Beach State goaltender Mike Bergman

SJSU vs Long Beach State Mike Bergman

A. Sheldon interviewed impressive Long Beach State goaltender Mike Bergman. Read the full interview here.

[AS] San Jose State said the only possible way they were going to get a puck past you was to obstruct your vision of the play. During games, how do you manage to keep your positioning when screened?

[MB] During a screen, the most important part is to get as close to the screen as possible and try your best to look for the puck, which is definitely not always possible, but you do what you can.

[AS] What opposing team this year has been the most challenging to play against and/or might present the biggest challenge?

[MB] The teams we have played so far, probably San Jose has been the hardest. They never quit. They skated the entire 60 minutes and they’re excellent passers. We had a lot of missed opportunities. We hit the post a couple times and had a few missed shots. The hardest team I expect to face this year is Colorado State or Colorado College. We have never played them before, but they have consistently gone to the (ACHA) Nationals.

[AS] What are your plans and/or specific goals for the future?

[MB] After I graduate I would like to give the ECHL’s Long Beach Ice Dogs a try. Our goaltending coach is their goaltending coach. I have played with some of the players in pick-up leagues and adult leagues.


San Jose State wins 5th straight game 8-1 over University of Washington

San Jose State vs University of Washigton hockey

San Jose State won their 5th straight game 8-1 against an undermanned University of Washington hockey team Sunday afternoon at the Logitech Ice Center. SJSU goaltender Ryan Lowe picked up the win.

For more on the San Jose State Spartans visit SJSUhockey.com, for more on the University of Washington Huskies visit Huskyhockey.com. Photos of the SJSU vs UW hockey game can be found here.

Sharkspage will be off for a week. Check back next week for a post on Japanese hockey, a guide to Americans following Swedish hockey, and an update on the SJSU team and the SJ Sharks prospects and players playing abroad. Contribute your thoughts or tips here and the best will be posted next week. Thanks.

[Update] The Long Beach website has an article on the 3-1 SJSU victory Friday Night. That was the best game of the season, with 2 goals deciding the game late.

[Update2] Bob Goodenow, too much lion, not enough fox - ESPN.

[Update3] Time to take the Finnish Elite League [SM-Liiga] seriously - Fox Sports. Landon Wilson, Ryan Malone and Sharks prospect Tero Maata are playing for the Espoo Blues. Marek Zidlicky, Jere Karalahti, and Jarkko Ruutu skate for HIFK of Helsinki. Riku Hahl and Jani Rita are playing for HPK. Steve Kariya, a player I thought the Sharks should have drafted, is skating for Ilves along with defenseman Sami Helenius. Tim Thomas and Juha Lind play for the powerhouse Jokerit. Pasi Nurminen starts in net for the Pelicans. Ville Nieminen, booooooooooo, plays for Tappara. Marko Kiprusoff skates for TPS. Janne Niinimaa and Michael Nylander are also playing for Karpat.

The official SM-Liiga website is here.

Top 6 teams:
1. Karpat - 28P
2. Jokerit - 26P
3. HPK - 26P
4. Assat - 22P
5. HIFK - 21P
6. TPS - 21P


San Jose State 3 Long Beach State 1

San Jose State Long Beach State hockey

Two of the top ranked teams in the ACHA Division2 West met tonight at the Logitech Ice Center. SJSU was playing for the second time in two nights, after a 6-3 win in Berkeley the night before. The 3-0 Spartans and 3-1 Beach played a very close game that went down to the third period, when San Jose scored two goals to ensure the win.

All of the photos from the game can be found here. The ACHA D2 West rankings are not up to date, but they can be found here. University of Washington [where my sister is a sophomore] plays SJSU Sunday afternoon at 1:30PM.

A. Sheldon took quotes from the team after the game. Click here for the full article.

[AS] What is your opinion on each line?

[Coach Ron Glasow] We were able to go four lines and just roll them a bit. We were just so intense and the other teams just can not match up. They are playing one or two or three lines and we are going four and they just run out of gas, we are that deep. Any one of our lines could be a first line. So, I feel really good about this team.

[AS] What was the highlight of the game?

[RG] It was nice seeing (freshman forward) Skyler Yu score his first goal, one of the new guys. It seems like every game we have to get one of the pucks because someone is scoring their first goal ever, which is great.

[AS] What are your thoughts on Andy Whiteside's performance and the rest of the Spartan defense?

[RG] (Whiteside's) the anchor of the whole defense. He is a horse, he can go every other shift. He is just been playing great. It just seems like everybodys feeding off of everybody else. Great chemistry and leadership, even some of the young kids are stepping up. You can see who is going to be the leaders of the future.

[RG] It is going to be a real exciting year and I think with all the young kids it is only going to get better next year, too when these young kids grow into their bodies a little bit more and get a little more beef and strength, when that happens this team is going to be good for the next few years.

[AS] What was the turning point of the game?

[Forward Chris Lee] We closed out the third period. We needed to come out strong and we needed to get in front of the goalie. We went into the third period with almost 30 shots and we only had one goal. The problem was, we were not blocking his vision enough. In the third period we did well blocking his vision and made sure he could not see. We worked well as a team.

[AS] Provide the play-by-play on your goal (the Spartans third) in the final period.

[Defenseman Andy Whiteside] It started in the corner and (the puck) came up and Jon (Barney) hit the guy and pinched him off on the boards and (the puck) popped out to me. I walked out to the center and Lonny (Lovins) and Chris Lee were screening in front and I just ripped it past (the goalie). I beat him short side.

[AS] What happened on that first Long Beach goal early in the first?

[Goaltender Joe Best] The guy shot it and it bounced off my pads and into the corner and right back onto his stick and he shot it into the empty net. Basically, I tried not to panic and freak out. Luckily, I did not lose my composure, nor did the team. I would rather have one of those goals in the first period rather than the third - just so we have time to try and get it back.

[AS] Your thoughts on tonights match-up?

[JB] We're actually had to earn the goals this game. Last night (against Cal Berkeley) we had a few lucky bounces. We're earned it, but we had to fight for this one a bit more. It was not the easiest of games, but it felt really good because we actually had to come together and play as a team and we developed a lot this game and matured as a team.

You can tell questions are solid when the answers paint a good picture of what happened on the ice. I am going to steal a few of those when I interview NHL players. Visit SJSUhockey.com for more on Spartans hockey, and CSULB for more on Long Beach State.

[Update] A quote from the SJSU program about last nights 6-3 win at Berkeley:

The San Jose State Spartans return home after traveling to Berkeley last night, with a 6-3 win over Cal Berkeley. Max Ramsey led the way with a goal and two assists, and freshman Gabe Sackman notched his first two goals as a Spartan. Gabe scored the first two goals of the game. State took a commanding 4-0 lead in the first period and then had to hold on to gain the victory.

The Spartans took 9 penalties in the 3rd period last night, which allowed CAL to come back and make a game out of it. Stellar goaltending of Ryan Lowe held off the Bears. Coach Glasow was very disappointed at the lack of discipline that was shown by the team. Though the 3-0 record is a great beginning, the team has a long way to go to be considered a favorite in the hunt for a national title.

[Update2] U.S. minor leagues to host Mexican national hockey team - ESPN.

[Update3] The Cleveland Plain-Dealer talks a little about Marcel Goc: Talent Too Hot to Ice, As NHL fiddles Barons Goc bides his time - Dennis Manoloff. From the official Barons website, Marcel Goc scored two goals in a 6-4 home opening loss against the Manitoba Moose on Saturday. The Hockey News has a feature on NHL players in the AHL.


Hockey Notes - game on edition

- On Tuesday, NHLPA senior VP of business affairs Ted Saskin and NHL Executive VP and Chief Legal Officer Bill Daly sat down and answered questions from a TSN panel of hockey reporters. The Hot Seat program transcripts are available for Ted Saskin and Bill Daly.

- On the scheduled opening day of the season Wednesday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman entered into a live online chat with fans. A transcript of the chat can be found here.

- The NHLPA has re-published Trevor Linden's Oct 10th op-ed in the New York Times.

- Opening night update: San Jose 3, Vancouver 0 with Vesa Toskala earning a shutout, Dallas 3, Phoenix 0 in Brett Hull's return to Dallas, and Philadelphia 5, Tampa Bay 4 in an Eastern Conference Finals rematch.

G4 Sports will simulate all 1230 games of the 2004-2005 NHL season, and commentators Luc Robitaille and Jim Fox will provide the video game highlights. As much as I like this idea, they should play the games with NHL 97 instead [which would simulate contraction as well].

- Scott Burnside, in his own indomitable fashion, looks at the ghost of seasons past, and the ghost of a season that may never be. A season of what might have been - ESPN.

- My apologies for not being able to attend the Berkeley home opener at 8:30 PM tonight against SJSU at Berkeley Ice. There will be CAL photos from as many games as I can make this season. Traffic permitting.

- More German hockey updates, this time ERC-Ingolstadt photos from Stefan Bosl and Ed Stenner of Kbumm.de. Kbumm has many amazing photo galleries of the action on the ice, and the German fans in the stands. They use a Canon 10D and a small Casio Exilim for pictures.

Marco Sturm ERC Ingolstadt

ERC Ingolstadt photo

Thanks to Markus of ERCI-Online for the link. A photo or two from Markus of the Ingolstadt arena will come in a later post.

Still waiting on Oktoberfest updates. There are two local Oktoberfest celebrations this weekend in the Bay Area, one in San Francisco, and one in Campbell.

[Update] Ross McKeon wrote a flurry of columns on opening day for the San Francisco Chronicle. The Puck Stops Here and Lots of Talk, little listening are two I would recommend. He also has an update on the letter San Jose mayor Ron Gonzales sent to the NHL, NHLPA, and the San Jose Sharks; San Jose mayor gets cool reply to letter.

Click here to see an original scan of the letter that was sent, and here for my interview with the mayor of San Jose.

[Update2] Amelie Paul recently finished the re-design of her website. Very well done. The hockey gladiator and national anthem photos are the two I liked the best. Here are her thoughts on the NHL lockout.

[Update3] Was it me, or was that Cam Neely and Lyndon Byers making cameo appearances in the finale of Denis Leary's FX show Rescue Me last night? The series was picked up by FX for a second season. [Note] I was right, Cameron Neely appeared as Mungo, and Lyndon L. Byres appeared as Ryan.


Interview with Scott Parker by David Singer of Hockeyfights.com

Scott Parker interview

David Singer of Hockeyfights.com posted one of the best interviews with a player I have read in a long time.

Scott Parker talks about the role of an enforcer in the NHL, how he is working to round out his game, his first fight against Bob Probert, and about how a car accident fired him up for a fight with Andrei Nazarov.

[DS] When San Jose traded for you they specifically mentioned Jody Shelley as a reason as why they acquired you. Did that set the bar kind of high? I think it was already a given that you had to meet up with him a few times during the season, but did their comments step it up a level – now you didn't just have to fight him, but beat him too?

[SP] To a degree, I think they just wanted an enforcer. The last real tough guy they had was Brantt Myhres. You almost need a guy that's big and has that type of a role, almost like a police officer in a way where stuff like the Jody Shelley and Brad Stuart incident won't happen. It's unfortunate it happened and I know what my biggest role is. There are different parts of my game that I definitely want to improve on and I want to help out the team as much as I can, in any possible way.

[DS] You know what your role is. It seems like some forget it as their careers go on because they feel they can't move on while still fighting as frequently. Can you break out of the enforcer-only role without lowering the frequency at which you fight?

[SP] I think you can be more effective. If you're playing three minutes a game, I think you might know what your role is. I want to get into a role where I play 10-12 minutes a game and if I have to fight, then I'll fight. If I can go out and hit somebody or I can go out and draw a penalty or if I can go out and do something else to help the team in different aspects, other than just going out, fighting and being in the box for five minutes, I think it definitely helps. You can't forget what got you there, and fighting was one of those things that got me to this level. I can never forget it, there are always kids chompin' at your heels wanting your job so it's definitely something I have to stay on top of. You got a lot of guys coming into the league that want to try you. It's a little overwhelming at times, but you have to do what you have to do to keep your job and help your team.

Scott Parker on his first fight with Bob Probert:

[DS] When you first came into the league it seemed like you really wanted to have a go with Bob Probert...

[SP] Probie, he was my idol.

[DS] The first couple of games, nothing happened, but when it did, well, you remember the fight, I don't have to remind you.

[SP] I remember that fight pretty vividly. Well, a couple of seconds I don't remember there when he hit me. Like you said, I tried him earlier in the year and I respect him immensely for everything he's done and the guys he's had to mess with. I was just another kid chompin' at his heels saying “let's go”. I kind of know what he was going through now that I've been in the league for a few years. They were losing 4-1, and he comes up to me and says “let's go kid” and I was like “whoa, ok let's go”, thinking it might be my only opportunity. I just tried to re-grab and he's a smart fighter and did what he had to do and cracked me in the temple.

[DS] Do you regret not having the opportunity for a rematch?

[SP] I was just glad he wasn't really pissed off at me and didn't want to kill me to tell you the truth. The next time we faced off I was like “hey Probie” and he's like “what's up kid”, and I was thinking “ok, he's not really pissed off at me”. I don't know, it was a good run, and at least I can say I got to fight Bob Probert. I didn't give up though.

Scott Parker Garrett Burnett fight

This quote perfectly explains my view on the Bertuzzi incident. When talking about a Garrett Burnett cheap shot on one of his own players in the AHL, Scott Parker said:

[SP] You don't cheapshot one of my players like that, it doesn't make any sense. Fight a guy straight up, whoever wins, wins. But at the end of the day, respect yourself for being a fair player, and a fair fighter.

Click on the HF videos link to watch his fights, and score the bouts for yourself.

Excerpts posted with permission. Read the full interview here. Discuss this interview on the HF messageboard. Submit your lockout articles to his comprehensive CBA list here.

[Update] In other news, right wing Jonathan Tremblay was assigned to the ECHL Johnstown Chiefs yesterday. Tremblay had 316 penalty minutes last year with the QMJHL Acadie-Bathurst Titans. There are a few photos of Tremblay in action in the NHL rookie tournament photo gallery.

[Update2] Take a look at this photo of Keith Tkachuk that metered the ice instead of the player. An interesting mistake.

Keith Tkachuk

[Update3] Offwing notes the fine Jake Plummer will receive for honoring San Jose native Pat Tillman. Eric details a number of ways you can help Plummer, and support the Pat Tillman Foundation. He was a special person, and I was lucky enough to meet him. I hope those from San Jose who read this website do what they can to help.

[Thank You] A thank you also goes out to the 6 people who recently donated to this site. More hockey news is on the way.

[Note] From Ray Kellam: All Logitech Youth Hockey League players get in free when they wear their jerseys to the SJSU vs Long Beach State hockey game Friday. Parking is tight, so get there early.


Photo Updates - Rob Davison and Miikka Kiprusoff

Thanks to Brian Candy of the Cardiff Devils and Joachim Sandstrom of Timra IK, here are photos of Sharks and former Sharks playing abroad.

Rob Davison:

Rob Davison Cardiff Devils

Rob Davison Cardiff Devils

Miikka Kiprusoff:

Miikka Kiprusoff Timra IK

Miikka Kiprusoff Timra IK

The heart of the NHL lockout

Trevor Linden, president of the National Hockey League's Players Association, wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times Sunday. Trevor Linden told the NY Times:

I'm often asked by fans and reporters: What do the players want in these talks?

A player wants to have the ability to sit down and negotiate his value with his team. A player does not want to work under a contrived formula that artificially limits his value to a set percentage of what the league and its 30 clubs declare as their revenues.

Bill Daly, Bettman's chief lieutenant and the league's lead negotiator, made some revealing comments during a recent interview on ESPN radio. When challenged about how the Rangers, of all clubs, could be reporting some of the largest losses in the league, Daly asserted that Cablevision, their parent company, may lose money intentionally as part of a broader corporate philosophy that raises the value of Cablevision as a whole.

Daly's comments illustrate the problem players have with the clubs' financial representations. They highlight the impracticality of negotiating an agreement based on the self-reported results of the 30 N.H.L. clubs.

The opposing position is taken by NHL Executive VP and Chief Legal Officer Bill Daly in a regular question and answer session with fans on NHLcbanews.com. This answer speaks directly to the point made by Trevor Linden above.

[Dennis from Tampa] The league has stated that the teams have offered to open their books for the Union to review, but the Union has declined. On the Union's website, they claim the league has refused to reveal the financials of the franchises. Can you clarify why there is a difference of opinion on this issue?

[Bill Daly] Well, it's certainly not true that we have ever refused to reveal the financials of the franchises to the Union. In fact, we have presented complete, detailed, team-by-team financials to the Players' Association going back six years now. And, when we first began to provide the financials in March of 1999, we expressly invited the Union to hire an independent auditor to verify the financial results of our clubs. That is something the Union was unprepared to do then and has never expressed an interest in doing since.

Additionally, after completing his own independent review and audit of NHL team finances, Arthur Levitt also invited Union leadership to meet with him to review both the scope of his audit and the conclusions he had reached. The Union again refused. Any contention that the true financial condition of the league and the clubs has not already been established to a certainty, including through the detailed review and verification of underlying and supporting documentation, is unfounded and disingenuous.

In two not-so-short quotations, we have found the heart of the NHL lockout.


SJSU wins second straight game, 4-1 over UC Davis

SJSU vs Davis hockey

San Jose State defeated UC Davis 4-1 in front of another large crowd Saturday Night. Lonny Lovins [#16] and Sean Scarbrough [#18] each had 2 goals and 1 assist. Joe Best [#32] made 18 saves for the Spartans.

There were a lot of talented players on the ice, but last night was really the John Barney [#55] show for many fans. On the North end of the rink alone he delivered 3-4 huge hits. A few Davis players had to be helped off the ice, but later returned to action.

The San Jose State defense was strong for a second straight game. UC Davis scored late in the third period to prevent a shutout.

The rivalry heated up towards the end of the game, with Berk Nelson [#8] providing most of the physical play for UC Davis. Every time he took to the ice, skated with the puck, or looked at the stands, a hail of jeers rained down from the crowd.

UC Davis goalie

SJSU goal

Photos from last night are posted here. Visit the official UC Davis website, or the newly re-designed SJSUhockey.com for more on both teams.

From SJSU captain Ray Kellam:

- John Barney had 3 bone crushing hits, and 5 semi bone crushing hits. 2 injured Davis players later returned with clean hits of their own.

- Defenseman of the game I'd give to Andy Whiteside for never getting beat, and for being a constant physical presence.

- Play of the game goes to rookie Chris Clark in his first ever game for his back check. He tracked down a UC Davis player from behind on a breakaway, took the puck from his possession, and pounded him into the glass behind the net.

- Quote of the game: when the player complained to Chris about the level of aggression in his play around the SJSU net, Chris replied "You need a permission slip to get into this area."

From A. Sheldon on the opening game of the season:

On the evening of October 2nd, a slew of hockey-starved fans piled into the North Rink at San Jose's Logitech Ice Center to catch the home opener for San Jose State University's ice hockey club against Cal Berkeley, many of them donning their teams colors: blue, gold... and teal.

With the NHL on hiatus until a new Collective Bargaining Agreement can be reached between the owners and players, members of the San Jose Sharks have migrated to other regions in search of a hockey season - and many of their fans have followed suit.

Read the full column here.

SJSU's student newspaper, the Spartan Daily, also has a nice article on the start of the hockey season: Overhauled Spartans outshine rival Bears by Sara Spivey.

[Update] SJSU schedule changes: Sat Oct 16th vs Long Beach is canceled. Nov 7th vs Washington is canceled. The Washington game has been moved to this Sunday, October 17th at 1:30pm at Logitech. The friday night, Oct 15th game vs Long Beach is still on.


Crunching the TSN Solution

TSN put together a panel of experts including owners, GMs, players, agents, and media to develop a solution to the NHL's current labor crisis. These suggestions are sure to be considered at length by the NHL and the NHLPA. And by at length, I mean about 24 hours.

The TSN Solution:

[1] A hard cap of $6 million on individual player salaries with no cap on how much teams may spend on total payrolls

This will give no cost certainty to the owners, and players will object to any solution with a "cap" in it. I wanted to be impressed with this solution, but the first bullet point is the most contentious item in the whole plan. The disparity between teams with no $6 million players, and teams that could pay every other player $6 million will still be there.

[2] A dollar for dollar, or 100 per cent, luxury tax on all team payrolls in excess of $40 million with the tax monies to be redistributed to those teams with payrolls of less than $40 million but more than $30 million.

The second item in the plan had to be the result of intense negotiations from the panel. For me, the point of a luxury tax is to help the teams with lower payrolls put an entertaining and competitive product on the ice. The $30 million threshold seems to be designed to punish teams that can not afford to pay an accepted level of player salary.

[3] A revamped salary arbitration system that allows the teams, as well as the players, to file for arbitration and baseball style "final-offer" arbitration.

Arbitration in the NHL is broken, and the TSN solution offers a solid plan to fix the process. A two-way system is a big step in the right direction.

[4] Liberalized free agency with the age for unrestricted status moving to age 30 or after 10 years service in the NHL, whichever comes first.

The age for free agency is moved down by a year. This is another compromise between the status quo, and lowering it to 29, which was rumored to be a player preference in the negotiations. This is starting to be a game, guess where the negotiations led.

[5] Qualifying offers to be 75 per cent of the player's most recent salary level.

I have no feeling towards this positive or negative. The NHLPA will not be happy.

[6] An entry-level salary and signing bonus cap of $850,000 per year, with no more than 25 per cent of that amount in signing bonus, plus allowable performance bonuses to another $850,000, effectively capping entry-level salaries at no more than $1.7 million a year.

This should be one concession that is easier for the NHLPA to make than others. The previous system capped rookie salaries at $1.3 million, but allowed players to make up to 50% more in bonuses. There was also an exception, Exhibit V, which allowed star players to make much higher salaries. TSN lowers the rookie cap to $850,000, and significantly modifies Exhibit V bonuses.

The NHLPA was quoted describing the solution as "extremely anti-player". An unnamed NHL GM suggested "if that's the solution, then there would be 15 teams up for sale tomorrow". TSN offered a window into some of the sticking points in the negotiations, but the big picture of revenue distribution between players and owners still remains the biggest ideological difference.

TSN is promoting the fact that their solution offers both a luxury tax and a salary cap? I liked that idea the first time, when it was called the Swenson Plan.

My plan nearly doubled the hard salary cap proposed by the owners, created a tiered luxury-tax system to help small market teams, and discourage NHL behemoths from spending their way into a financial crisis. And if you are going to sit out a whole year, at least include something in the solution that addresses the lack of space on an NHL sheet of ice, and the inability of referees to call anything even remotely related to a clutch or a grab in the playoffs.

ESPN polled the Hockey Media for their thoughts on when or if the season will start, if a lockout will morph into a strike, on what the league has to lose and more. Long time no see Hockey Media. How goes it?

[Update] Rob Davison has reportedly signed with the Cardiff Devils of the English EIHL. Cardiff head coach Dave Whistle told the official website:

Davison is going to be an excellent all round defence man for us and coming here will give him the opportunity to get some offensive play as well.

He's a young guy and has said himself that he's too young to be sitting at home while the NHL sorts out the lock out, so he's coming over to see a bit of Britain and Wales in particular, and keep as fit as he can.

If I was going to describe Rob Davison to Cardiff fans, I would say he has earned his spot on the San Jose Sharks roster over some very talented defenseman. He plays solid in his own zone, and can drop the gloves in a heartbeat if opponents take liberties on the ice.

[Update2] According to Gretchen, ERC-Ingolstadt is no longer undefeated in the German Elite League. Ingolstadt is tied for first place with a 5-0-1-1 overall record. In 7 games played, Marco Sturm [+4] has 5 goals, 3 assists, and 8 PIMS. Former Shark Jimmy Waite is the starting goaltender for ERC-Ingolstadt.

Hockeyweb.de emails to say:

Marco Sturm has been elected as "Player of the month" by the german Eishockey News. A jury of experts, fans and journalists voted for Sturm who made low budget Ingolstadt one of the top teams in the league so far.

FYI, there is a permanent list of German and Danish hockey links to the right of this page. Email me updates or photos and I will post them. Here is a FAQ on the German Elite League from prohockey.de.

[Update3] Hockey Gladiators looks like it might take place early next year in Lowell, Mass. Did this blog actually break a story?

[Update4] There is a post on Japanese hockey coming next week. Stay tuned.

[Update5] College hockey notes: Stanford plays Davis friday the 8th at Belmont Ice. San Jose State plays Davis saturday at Logitech Ice. Berkeley has its home opener against SJSU at Berkeley Iceland thursday the 14th.


Question for NHL Executive VP and Chief Legal Officer Bill Daly

From today's Daily Mailbag:

[Q] What are fans specifically going to get out of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement?

[Bill Daly] A new economic system will produce a more stable and competitive League, which should mean that each fan's favorite franchise will operate in an environment of economic stability and will be able to compete for championships on the same basis as all other teams in the League.

We believe that an economic system that is more equitable, and which provides all Clubs with relative equal abilities to compete for championships, will also produce more compelling competition and a more attractive product. The style of play can and should be improved simply by the fact of improved parity throughout the league as lower-payroll teams with lower-salaried players with have to depend less on defensive systems and defensive tactics to compete on a nightly basis.

Finally, we believe that in a more certain cost environment, Clubs will be less dependent on ticket price increases to finance competitive payrolls, leading to a more consistently affordable product in many markets.

Thank you for your response.

[Update] The AHL Cleveland Barons will play in the San Jose Arena against the Edmonton Roadrunners on November 9th. Tickets for non-season ticket holders go on sale October 15th, and require a $5 donation to the Sharks Foundation. Season ticket holders receive complimentary tickets. Very well done.

Maybe it would be possible to borrow the November 9th Fresno Falcons home game with Toledo and make this a double-header? Cleveland loses a home game, but will gain a lot of publicity, not to mention a few Sharks in the lineup. Fresno would also lose a home game, but it would gain a number of SJ fans who might make that short hop down highway 99.

[Update2] According to the official Sharks website, Fox Sports Bay Area will offer "Shark Byte Classics" in lieu of NHL games this year. The programs will broadcast edited version of classic Sharks games.


San Jose State downs University of California Berkeley 3-2

Ray Kellam SJSU

Behind a 34 save effort from goaltender Ryan Lowe, SJSU defeated Berkeley 3-2 to open the season. #55 Sean Haq made a few impressive stick-handling plays in the neutral zone for Berkeley, #55 Jon Barney delivered hit after hit, and #4 Ray Kellam was a fixture around the net for San Jose. The crowd was the largest I have ever seen it at Logitech Ice, with a line of fans that wrapped around the stairs and back again.

This gallery has more pictures from the San Jose State vs Berkeley game.

From Ray Kellam:

#33 Ryan Lowe [60 MINS, 29 shots, 27 saves, 2.00 GAA, 93.10 sv%], Mason Nave [2 assists], Ray Kellam [1 PP goal, 2 PIM], Andy Whiteside [1 goal, 2 PIM], Sean Scarbrough [1 GWG goal], Michael Villalobos [1 assist, 2 PIM], Paul Fuller [1 assist], Gabe Sackman [1 assist]

Visit SJSUhockey.com for more information about San Jose State hockey, and CALicehockey.com for more information about Berkeley hockey. Here are the standings for ACHA Division II.

Across the street the SJSU football team put up 70 points at Spartan Stadium. They beat Rice 70-63 after coming back from a 27 point deficit.

University of California Berkeley hockey
Martin Moody
san jose state vs cal

Also take a look at this Sharkspage interview with SJSU coach Ron Glasow.

[Update] From the INCH college hockey weblog, a profile in the Star Tribune of NHLPA Executive Director Bob Goodenow. The odds on there actually being an NHL season just doubled. This article is worth the free registration. One quote:

At times, though, [Goodenow's] communication infuriates the agents who must answer to him. According to multiple agents who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Goodenow or an NHLPA associate occasionally calls to ask about contract negotiations before a deal is done to make sure the agent is seeking enough money.

[Update2] Major Change Is Inevitable for Hockey, Now or Later - NY Times.

[Update3] Holy ****. 13,000+ image downloads in the last 24 hours? It must be the goalies. If there is an NHL goalie out there with some spare cash, feel free to help me cover my bandwidth.

Note: Viewing the images on Pbase does not add to bandwidth, viewing images on sharkspage.com does.


CBA Updates

[Update] A few weeks before the lockout occurred, I took a look at the NHLPA.com website, and was a little shocked. There was nothing on their site about the possible lockout. Nothing on the press release page, nothing on the news page, nothing on the front page, not even any contact information. In order to be fair, that has changed:

1. A Finn-tastic Feeling - Jarkko Ruutu talks about playing for HIFK Helsinki during the lockout.

2. NHLPA Executive Director Bob Goodenow's statement on the lockout - NHLPA press release.

3. NHLPA 4-Point proposal underscores players willingness to play under new system - NHLPA press release.

4. NHLPA statement on meetings with the league - NHLPA press release.

[Update2] For more information from the NHL's perspective, visit NHLcbanews.com. The website currently features former SEC Chair Arthur Levitt discussing the economic situation. There is an audio interview with Levitt from Toronto's MOJO radio, a transcript of the interview, and a link to the original Levitt report. There is also a list of selected quotes from the media, what the media are saying.

[Update3] Fans sent in a lot of email about my suggestion that a few members of the San Jose Sharks organization, and players still in the area, should attend the SJSU opening game of the season. The game is 8PM tonight against Berkeley. A few also brought up the support for fans and local hockey that they already contribute. The San Jose Sharks support for Hockey Fights Cancer, the Doug Wilson Scholarship Award given to 6 local high school hockey players, and the Sharks and Parks street hockey program. Kathy also emails about an article on the official site detailing the appearances of mascot SJ Sharkie.

I would add to that list, the efforts made to work with the fans to improve the safety netting, working to put conflict games on the Fox Sports Plus channel, and not raising ticket prices for season ticket holders last year, and hopefully this year. That being said, with the loss of an entire NHL season a definite possibility, showing up at the opening night of an SJSU season would send a positive message. With the gag order on comments from the NHL and a strict party line held by the NHLPA, I am not sure if this is possible.

NHLPA NHL cba Showdown

[Update4] TSN created a hockey panel that will announce what they are calling, The TSN Solution. No doubt influenced by the ground breaking concepts offered in The Swenson Plan. It will be broadcast live on TSN Monday Oct 4th at 3:30PM PT, and it will be available on the TSN.ca website at 4PM.

Accoring to TSN:

This in-depth feature will be hosted by The NHL on TSN's Gord Miller, TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie and TSN hockey analyst Pierre McGuire. It will tackle all the tough issues of the CBA, such as entry level restrictions, qualifying offers, free agency, salary arbitration and the hottest topic of all - the salary cap vs. the luxury tax.

[Update5] Another reader asks "why all the interviews"? Initially I wanted to do a week of interviews to get a feeling of where the sport was at from the people who play, watch, and cover the game. Now this will continue up until the scheduled opening day of the season, October 15th. That day I would like to post answers from the NHL and NHLPA if they are given.

Questions will be taken from 5 other hockey website owners, together totaling many thousands of visitors a day, and sent to the NHL and the NHLPA. All will be very informed questions about the issues of contention, and those that furthur the discussion will be encouraged. I no longer buy any arguments that talking about this in public will hurt the negotiating process, or hurt the business. If owners and players expect fans and communities to support this business, and make no mistake it is a business, then they must answer our questions. Period.

[Update6] ESPN page3 has NHL lockout diversions: Chris Pronger talks about hockey related TV shows, Luc Robitaille discusses hockey related movies, Anson Carter on music and Michael Peca on books.

[Update7] Finally, this link has been posted before, but after the start of the lockout it needs an encore appearance. From CBC's Faceoff 2004 section, interesting notes from the 1992 and 1994 flashback page:

1992: NHLPA boss Bob Goodenow, in just his first year on the job, led the players on a 10-day strike. It was the first-ever strike in league history. Players walked off the job on April 1. They returned April 11 after the two sides agreed on a two-year contract. The strike didn't cost the NHL any games. The 30 games that were supposed to be played during the strike were re-scheduled.

1994: To the surprise of many, NHL camps did open on Sept. 1 [1994], but the season never started. On Oct. 1, the league's owners locked out the NHL's 600 players. The lockout ended on Jan 11, 1995, after 104 days, and games resumed Jan. 20. A total of 468 games were lost. At several points during the lockout both sides were close to a deal, but things fell apart each time. The biggest stumbling block was the salary cap – the owners wanted a cap, the players were adamantly against it.

From January 31st, 2003:

NHL Players Association is firm on no salary cap - South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Some things have not changed.

Com·pro·mise [n.]
1. A settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions.
2. The result of such a settlement.


Interview with the mayor of San Jose Ron Gonzales

The mayor of San Jose, Ron Gonzales, was kind enough to answer a few of my questions. He talked about the letter he sent to the NHL and NHLPA about the lockout, the San Jose Sharks playoffs, the San Jose Earthquakes possible relocation, and the efforts to bring BART to San Jose. Thanks to his Communications Director David Vossbrink for making this happen.

[Q] What did you want to accomplish with your letter to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA Executive Director Robert Goodenow, and Sharks CEO and President Greg Jamison?

[RG] We wanted to make a point to the owners and players that more is at stake than just hockey labor issues. Although hockey cities are not at the table, we hope they will consider us in the negotiations. Finally, maybe it will help them get to resolution sooner, which is the outcome everyone wants.

[Q] Have you received a response?

[RG] Not yet. Letters were just posted this week.

[Q] You also forwarded that letter to mayors in 29 other NHL cities according to the Mercury News. What have you heard from them, and is there a possibility of a second letter being drafted and signed by all 30 mayors?

[RG] Again, those letters just went out and it's too early for any response. We wanted to let NHL and the players know that this is more than a San Jose issue -- it's a community issue throughout the league. Each city and each mayor will do what they think will work best. At this time we haven't had a conversation regarding acting in concert, though that could be possible.

[Q] The Sharks got farther in the Stanley Cup playoffs this season than they ever have before, beating Colorado to go to the Western Conference finals. What did that success mean for the team and the city? What was your favorite moment from this year?

[RG] We are always delighted when our local teams do well. It's good for the people in our community and for local pride, it helps boost San Jose's recognition around the country, and the deeper we go into the playoffs, the additional games help our local economy, businesses, and downtown.

As for a favorite moment, it has to be those nail-biter games down the stretch as the series go longer and the playoffs hang on each goal scored. That's exciting.

[Q] You made a bet with the mayor of Calgary, Dave Bronconnier. When the Sharks lost to Calgary 4-2, your office became the Calgary Flames fan club headquarters in San Jose. How was your stint as president of the Calgary fan club?

[RG] We honored our wager with Calgary -- all in good spirit, though I would have much preferred to have the opposite role. We actually earned good points from hockey fans in other cities (especially Flames fans, of course) and received a lots of e-mail acknowledging our good sportsmanship as we lived up to our commitment.

[Q] Were there any local laws that you could have passed to order the Sharks to win at home that series?

[RG] Interesting suggestion. Do you think it might work? Or would each city do the same and we all would end up in the Supreme Court?

[Q] What is the status of SJSU football, and the San Jose Earthquakes? How can fans help support each?

[RG] The future of football at SJSU is a university decision. SJSU continues to weigh the issues, especially as the money and attendance figures pose serious challenges for the entire athletic program and the campus. Although we would certainly miss the tradition if the university ever does decide to end football, we also understand that tough times require tough decisions.

For the Earthquakes, we continue to work with the team to try to find solutions that will keep them playing in the area. Right now the ownership of the team is up in the air, and the question of a new stadium is part of challenge. We believe the Earthquakes would have a good future in Silicon Valley because of our long and deep soccer tradition. However, we also have serious limits on any potential public investment in a new stadium. The best thing that fans can do (both for the Earthquakes and for SJSU football) is to demonstrate their support by going to games, getting more people to join them, and keeping the community interest level very high.

[Q] What is the status of BART to SJ, and how can residents help support its completion? How much more difficult will it become if the project is delayed?

[RG] VTA continues to make progress with the preliminary engineering and the environmental studies for the project. We also are pushing ahead in the marathon effort needed to secure federal transit funding to match the strong local support we have. Although the current economic recession has complicated the effort because of its impact on the financial strength of local transit agencies across the country, we believe bringing BART to San Jose will be vital to long-term transit solutions that will benefit our region and the country. This is a long and complex challenge, but I'm confident that we will get there.

[Q] How would you describe the success of revitalizing downtown San Jose?

[RG] Outstanding. Downtown San Jose today is very alive as we see more and more businesses, restaurants, hotels, and nightclubs opening up. Recently the restored historic California Theatre opened, and that will be a genuine catalyst for the South First area, just as we have seen the Improv at the Jose Theater and the newly opened Camera 12 put a big charge into our downtown. We are seeing a great deal of solid interest by potential high rise homebuilders in downtown, as well as national and local retailers looking at us. Even the new King Library accounts for millions of visits a year, which helps support business and puts people in the neighborhood. Despite the recession, downtown San Jose today is much more active than it was a half-dozen years ago, and I'm confident it will continue on this path.

[Q] Finally, the most difficult question. How is the NHL lockout going to hurt downtown San Jose? How much revenue do you think the city will lose, and how will that effect the hospitals, police or fire departments? Is San Jose in a different position than other NHL cities?

[RG] Because downtown is stronger and more vibrant today than a decade ago, we expect the impact of the lockout will be felt mostly by businesses that heavily depend on game-day activity. They and their employees are will be hurt most. The rest of our downtown businesses that are doing fine without the games in the off-season and non-game days will be less effected. It's hard to calculate the financial impact on the city from lost sales taxes or hotel taxes because of the uncertainty of the duration as well all the other factors that go into our revenues. Any reduction, however, does not help as we continue to struggle to keep our city budget balanced and provide the basic services expected by our residents.

Visit the mayor's website for more information on San Jose, www.sjmayor.org. The letter the mayor sent to the NHL and the NHLPA can be found here.

Thanks again for your time. I hope San Jose Sharks fans do not mind my straying into a few other San Jose issues. And I appreciate the mayors honest and informed responses. The city is lucky to have him.