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Coach Noel: "Atmosphere Like a Stanley Cup Final"

"How bout them Jets?"

It's a question Winnipeggers have been asking their friends, family and co-workers for a decade and a half when awkward situations arise. But as of September 21, anyone who walked out of MTS Centre after the Jets handed the Columbus Blue Jackets a 6-1 loss would finally have a unanimous, legitimate answer for you.

Surreal.

Incredible.

But the overall majority went with: Electric. From the moment the players began warming up to the Go Jets Go chants, that crowd was there for one reason an one reason only, to welcome back what they've missed for so long: Their Winnipeg Jets.

And not to dim their 6-1 tr...

And The Islanders Will Finish In....

The New York Islanders are in the middle of training camp; plenty of fresh faces are looking to surprise the coaching staff and crack the line-up while a few other seasoned and whithered faces look to continue their NHL career with an impressive tryout.

But what everyone is hoping for is a successful season that will result in the Islanders FINALLY making the playoffs after the slow and steady rebuild began three seasons ago.

Let's take a look at some of the major events that have transpired in Islanders country during the off-season thus far:

1. General Manager Garth Snow re-signed Kyle Okposo and Michael Grabner to five-year contract extensions at an affordable pri...

Jets fans rejoice

 

Here we are, folks. A day before the Winnipeg Jets officially return to the National Hockey League. For the first time in 15 years last week, the Jets took to the ice for training camp. And chances are it was the most packed training camp in the National Hockey League. A packed MTS Iceplex, the location of the Jets training camp, was packed on Saturday as all the stars took to the ice. Fans waited all day to get a glimpse of their new-found heroes. Andrew Ladd, Winnipeg Jets captain, took time at the end of practise to sign a few autographs and take photos with fans. And of course the main attraction was the Jets performance. For the crowd, every second was outstanding...

Thoughts On Recent Rash of Extensions

Despite the period known universally as "free agent frenzy," passing weeks ago, there was still some unfinished free agent business left. As training camps approached around the league several high-profile RFA's remained unsigned and dangerously close to "holding out." No one benefits from holding out. The player can damage his reputation among his peers, clubs are usually left without one (or more) of their better players, and fans are left bewildered at all parties. In a perfect world all RFA's would be signed ahead of camp. This week several of them did reach new accords while a couple still remain unsigned. Let's take a look.

Brad Marchand - To be...

Tavares Nets Six Year Contract Extension With Isles

The news was running rampant all over the twitter feeds and message boards yesterday that the Islanders were going to have a big announcement regarding number one center John Tavares and his future with the New York Islanders franchise. But as of today's 1 PM press conference, it became official: John Tavares has signed a six-year contract extension worth $33 million.

The contract has been said to be worth $5.5 million a year.

Tavares is only 20 years old and has led the team in scoring for back to back seasons while improving his numbers in the process. The first overall pick in the 2009 draft ended his rookie campaign in 2010 with 54 points in 82 games (24 goals, 30 assi...

Social Media Ban Or Protecting the Media That Pays Your Bills?

The National Hockey League and its so-called partner the National Hockey League Player’s Association have come to an agreement on social media.  Officially, both sides have decided to limit or even shut down the use of social media on game days. 

“In addition to suggested guidelines and tips around use of decorum and protection of sensitive information, the key mandate is around game days and blacking out certain windows of time.”

In truth, this is a ban on the use of twitter.  What NHL player uses their Facebook page or foursquare for anything anymore?  Players may not tweet or use social media from two hours before the puck drop until af...

Bailey's Clock Is Ticking

Charles Wang has always had a very strict rule that he has enforced since the day he bought the New York Islanders; if any player that was considered property of the organization were to not have a new contract before the start of training camp, they would be forced to miss the entire season.

It's a rule that I have always approved of since it clearly sets the tone that this is Wang's team and he won't be jerked around by players who wish to play the waiting game for more money. He's also shown that he isn't shy about using it either.

Most Islanders fans remember the year that Sean Bergenheim spent playing hockey in Sweden since he refused to accept the con...

RFA's Could Be Ruining the NHL, Here's a Way to Fix It

Recently, James van Riemsdyk of the Philadelphia Flyers signed a 6-year contract extension worth an average of $4.25M.The huge problem with this extension is that it completely defeats the purpose of Restricted Free Agency. In 2004 the NHL had a lockout because of skyrocketing costs of player salaries. A 24% rollback in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement seemed to remedy this issue, along with caps on individual contracts and finally, new rules for UFA and RFA status.

First, this contract needs to be analyzed and picked apart to show why it's a problem. To do so, a "debate" will be held to show why JvR never deserved it. This "debate" will be shown by li...

Crosby's comments offer cover for NHL head-shot dinosaurs

How much cover does the National Hockey League need before it can summon the nerve to outlaw players from pointlessly whacking each other on the head?

The league is terrified of ruling against head shots for fear it will be accused of lacking the manly qualities it believes fans expect of it.  And some of the handful of fans attracted to games in no-hope hockey towns in the southern U.S. might decide to stay home and watch crocodile wrestling on TV instead. Gary Bettman and his pals can't back down without fear of looking all sissified or something.

But now Sidney Crosby has provided all the cover required to make a change, the need for which has been painfully obviou...

Hockey's Darkest Day

There are no words to encapsulate what happened today.

Perhaps the darkest summer in hockey history continued with perhaps the darkest day in hockey history. A devastating tragedy occurred. 27 hockey players­ and the coaching staff—an entire hockey team, full of veteran NHLers we all knew and came to love over the years—completely wiped out.

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl coach Brad McCrimmon, players Pavol Demitra, Ruslan Salei, Karel Rachunek, Josef Vasicek, Alexander Yasyunov, Jan Marek, Karlis Skrastins, among so many others, passed away in the most nauseating disaster in hockey history.

This crash did not just affect the KHL, or Russia alone.

It affec...