Friday, June 23, 2006

Bye bye Bert!

The secret is official on the Canucks web site now. Luongo is a Canuck. Allen, Auld and Bertuzzi were the high price. Well we did also get a first round Czec defenseman named Lukas Krajicek and a sixth round pick this year. And Keenan had a good chuckle too.

Vancouver, B.C. - Vancouver Canucks Senior Vice-President and General Manager Dave Nonis announced today that goaltender Robert Luongo, defenceman Lukas Krajicek and a sixth round pick in tomorrow’s Entry Draft have been acquired from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Bryan Allen, Alex Auld and Todd Bertuzzi.

"We are very excited to be making this announcement today," said Nonis. "We believe that in Roberto we are getting a player who has represented his country at the highest level, has been nominated for the Vezina Trophy and has proven that he is among the elite goaltenders in the world. Lukas is a young, skilled, puck-moving defenceman who has a very bright future in this League. I would like to thank Todd, Bryan and Alex for their contributions to our hockey club over the years and wish them and their families the best of luck in the future."

Friday, June 16, 2006

How Much Do Hockey Refs Get Paid?

I noticed in the Google searches that bring people to this site that there have been some queries on how much a NHL Referee gets paid. It does make you wonder how much Mick (Mr. Magoo) McGeough gets to tweet his whistle and waive his arms in obvious, yet never successful, attempt to take flight.

Now I don’t think the NHL would publish such personal information so here are three sources:


“Incidentally, while the National Hockey League's (NHL) athletes make less than their brethren in football, basketball and baseball, no other officials in any of the four major sports leagues make more than those in the NHL, where starters get a $115,000 salary. After a 15-year career, an NHL referee may be looking at an annual pay upwards of $220,000."

“The base salary range for NHL referees is $110,000 to $255,000 and $72,000 to $162,000 for linesmen. But no NHL official is getting paid during the lockout. Most are essentially unemployed, according to Walkom, although referee Don VanMassenhoven is selling cars and Bill McCreary is installing cabinets.”


“The entry level salary is $90,000 a year, while the most senior officials can make up to $225,000. The referees are paid extra for each game they work over 70 games -- overtime, if you will -- and the 20 referees and 19 linesmen selected to work in the playoffs earn bonus money.”
If we throw out the high and the low the number is about $110K for starters and $225K for veterans. Average the numbers and the range is $105K to $233K. I’d assume these are all current US$.

I wondered how Mr. Magoo was selected to work the finals. For example where’s Kerry Fraser – for my money a very creditable yet much less influential part of the games he stewards. Much to my surprise there is an entire site dedicated to hockey referees. They referenced the following story. The bottom line is the league picks the officials for the finals based not on experience but by their past performance in the playoffs. So Mr. Magoo is your ref for the finals because this is the ‘style’ the league wants. *roll your eyes now*

TORONTO, Ontario, Canada — The NHL has announced the four referees and four linesmen on the officiating team for the Stanley Cup Finals. Taking charge will be referees Bill McCreary, Brad Watson, Mick McGeough and Paul Devorski with linesmen Greg Devorski, Jay Sharrers, Jean Morin and Pierre Racicot assisting.

NHL director of officiating Stephen Walkom selected the officials based on their performance in the playoff’s earlier rounds, a source said.

The Stanley Cup Finals starts with the Carolina Hurricanes hosting the Edmonton Oilers Monday in game one.

McCreary, 50, is making his eleventh appearance ... Watson, 44, and Devorski, 47, are making their third appearances … McGeough, 48, is making his first … Greg Devorski, 36, is the brother of Paul Devorski … He is making his first appearance … Sharrers, 38, the league’s first black official, is back in the finals after several seasons trying to become a referee … Morin, 42, is working his second finals, while Racicot, 39, is in his first … All eight officials are Canadian, though some of them have resided in the United States since joining the NHL.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

And Mister Richard Pound Responds...

This one is from the AP.

WADA Calls NHL Doping Test Meaningless

© 2006 The Associated Press

MONTREAL — The NHL is trying to fool the public with a flawed anti-doping program, the chairman of the World Anti-Doping agency said Tuesday.

Dick Pound said league statements Monday that there were no positive tests among 1,406 administered during the season were meaningless given the loopholes in its anti-doping program.

"All we can do is keep drawing the attention of the public to its shortcomings and make sure the public understands that it's being fooled by the NHL when it says it has a serious testing program," Pound said.

He said the NHL does not test for stimulants and other banned substances and does not test at times when players are likely to be caught, such as during offseason training.

Pound did not back off a statement he made in November that up to a third of NHL players may be using performance-enhancing drugs "if you include the full range of drugs, most of which they don't test for.

"I think they should make clear what they test for and what they don't. And make it clear when they're testing out of competition and in competition. And make it clear they don't test before and after games. And they don't test in the offseason and that they only test for steroids."

NHL players, management personnel and representatives of the NHL Players Association expressed delight when it was made known that none of the tests taken since January were positive.

And many mentioned Pound, saying the results proved his estimate was wrong.

NHLPA executive director Ted Saskin said Pound "should be embarrassed by his baseless and uninformed allegations.

"I would hope that in the future he refrains from commenting on NHL players since his last remarks were so off-base."

Pound said the league's program lacked transparency and that it should make public its "whole testing protocol," including who is administering the tests, how they were taken and which players were tested at what times.

The league said each of the league's roughly 700 players was tested up to two times between Jan. 15 and the end of the regular season. The tests were administered by the independent lab Comprehensive Drug Testing of Long Beach, Calif.

The program is run jointly by the league and the players association. It is the first time the league has had anti-doping tests.

Players were not tested for the drugs on WADA's list of banned substances that are prohibited only during competition, such as stimulants. Some cold remedies that contain stimulants, such as ephedrine, are suspected to be widely used by hockey players.

Bill Daly, NHL deputy commissioner, said the test results showed that "doping is not a problem in our sport.

"We're pleased but not surprised by the results," he said.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Well Mister Richard Pound?

From the Canadian Press (CP) - Think Don's gonna have a comment on this?

NHLers come up clean

1,406 drug tests this season

(CP) - There were no positive drug tests among the 1,406 administered under the NHL's new anti-doping program, The Canadian Press has learned.

Sources confirmed no violations were found after doping tests began in January under a program jointly run by the league and the NHL Players' Association. It's the first season the NHL has had an anti-doping program.

A first-time offender under the league's policy faces a 20-game suspension. The ban is increased to 60 games for a second offence while a third offence means a permanent suspension.

Dick Pound, head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, wasn't immediately available for comment Monday.

Pound said earlier this year that NHL's anti-doping program was "very seriously flawed."

He also made headlines last November during a speech in London, Ont., when he claimed one third of NHL players were likely taking performance enhancing substances. Players as well as league and union officials unanimously denied his claims.

Defenceman Bryan Berard of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche goalie Jose Theodore both failed out-of-competition tests administered by their respective national anti-doping organizations. But neither was suspended by the league because the failed tests didn't come under the NHL program.

Berard's urine test on Nov. 12 showed traces of the steroid 19-norandrosterone. He was banned from international competition for two years. He tested by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency because the blue-liner was on the U.S. Olympic hockey preliminary roster released last September.

Theodore, who was on Canada's preliminary 81-man Olympic eligibility list but not named to the final squad, failed a doping test Dec. 9. The urine sample showed Finasteride, a masking agent for steroids that is also commonly found in hair-restoration drugs. Theodore used the hair product propecia and that's what led to the failed doping test. He had been taking the drug for years didn't realize it contained a banned substance.