News And Notes From Around The NHL, 9.13.2011

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - SEPTEMBER 10: Fans of FC Lokomotiv Moscow light candles as they pay their respects to the victims of a plane crash carrying Russian hockey team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl during the Russian Football League Championship match between FC Lokomotiv Moscow and FC Zenit St. Petersburg at the Lokomotiv Stadium on September 10, 2011 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Dmitry Korotayev/Epsilon/Getty Images)

After claiming they were going ahead, but weren't sure how, Lokomotiv has decided to halt attempts to play the 2011-2012 season:

Lokomotiv to miss KHL season — RT
"The main priority now is to take care of the relatives and to pay last tribute to the late players and staff. The other aim is to re-build a competitive team," Yakovlev stressed, adding, "This will take some time as well as requiring human resources. But we are determined to resume participation in the KHL in 2012." 

I don't agree with the decision.  Going forward with the season without a team would have been difficult to pull off, but human beings are really good at solving difficult.  There were challenges to overcome -- paying a new roster while honoring the contracts of the deceased through the end of the season is the largest of them -- but challenges are central to the human spirit.  

Upon learning that Lokomotiv was thinking of holding the season, the reaction on Twitter was one of disbelief.  It would be too hard on the fans, the replacements would be put in a difficult situation.  But their comrades came forward, 30 players willing to return to Yaroslav to stand in their stead, to finish the season the fallen had started and they did so without prompting.  My first reaction was similar.  I'd volunteer to play on the team without a second thought, to continue on for those who passed, to honor their memory, to honor their work, to allow Lokomotiv fans the opportunity to return to normalcy, or at least to allow them to cheer and enjoy themselves in the wake of what happened.  

The players may have only been temporary replacements, but there's no doubt the effort and fight in the replacement team would have been beyond reproach.  The league and management owed it to the players to give them the opportunity.

 List of Passengers On Board Fatal Yak-42 Flight - Puck Worlds
"An official listing of the passengers on board the flight that killed nearly the entire KHL club Lokomotiv Yaroslavl"

How Can Hockey Absorb Such Losses? - Litter Box Cats
"This is how humans absorb a loss, but what about hockey? I didn't lose anyone I knew today, but as a hockey fan I'm still in a state of shock regardless. While the rain fell outside I was still trying to get inside the tragedy. I know what happened, I have an idea of why it happened, and I know it's over now. I just wish there was some kind of explanation besides a crash report. 43 people were killed and thousands are at a loss. How does hockey recover from this kind of tragedy?"

bringing back the glory: A Time For Reflection
"Few things in life are more difficult than telling someone you love that someone they love is gone."

First they ignore you… - mc79hockey.com
"Jones argues that he’s always going to have a high shooting percentage because of the kind of game he plays. His average shot distance last year was 29.3 feet." - That's not even particularly close.  308 forwards played 40 games or more last season, Jones tied for 138th in shot distance.

Do young forwards shoot more as they mature? - Broad Street Hockey
Interesting study for Oilers' fans:  "It's come up over and over this summer when projecting the growth of young players: people expect their young forwards to start shooting more. But is that a fair expectation?"

Why The Dallas Stars Will Be Just Fine Without Brad Richards - Defending Big D
"The prevailing assumption is that without Richards this incarnation of the Stars is destined for hard times."  The Stars stunk with Richards - they should have traded him for something of worth and used his excess salary to add more value.

The Neutral Zone Trap & the New Jersey Devils - In Lou We Trust
"The most important aspect that is that it requires all five defending players to know how to defend, skate, and work together in position.  This is what made the Devils' utilization of the neutral zone trap different..."

Be-Labor-ing the point: Sleektooned blog logos, Part 2 - Battle of California
From a cartooning perspective, the Oilers have always been a bit troublesome -- "oil" itself is a drawable concept, but it's tough to personify.  An oil drop with eyes?  An oil rig with eyes?  A guy who gets labeled as an "oiler"?  There's nothing really concrete to grasp onto.  Fortunately, I found an idea that seems to have worked, at least for a logo's purpose.

Hockey: the cure for rape? - Colby Cosh - Macleans.ca
This is how you counter ridiculous assertions without basis in reality. Well done, Mr. Cosh.

 

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