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Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs to receive Lester Patrick Trophy 08.12.15 at 1:15 pm ET
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Jeremy Jacobs

Jeremy Jacobs

Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs and longtime scout Bob Crocker were named recipients of the 2015 Lester Patrick trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the United States, the NHL announced Wednesday.

“By honoring Jeremy Jacobs and Bob Crocker, the Lester Patrick Award selection committee has recognized the dedication and drive of two important contributors to hockey in the United States,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said. “Jeremy Jacobs — as owner for 41 years of the NHL‘s first U.S.-based team and long-serving Chairman of our Board of Governors — has provided unparalleled vision, innovation and inspiration to the advancement of hockey and the NHL. As a coach, a scout and a hockey executive, Bob Crocker has devoted decades to the development of young American players. Congratulations to both on this long overdue recognition.”

The trophy honors the memory of Lester Patrick, who devoted 50 years of his life to hockey as a player, coach and general manager and was a pioneer in developing the sport.

Read More: Gary Bettman, Jeremy Jacobs,
Sources: MLB Advanced Media to take over NHL Network, web operations, apps, streaming video 08.03.15 at 5:05 pm ET
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Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 11.50.05 PMMajor League Baseball Advanced Media will take over the NHL‘s web operations, apps, streaming video and more in 2016, multiple sources told WEEI.com Monday. The partnership, which is expected to be announced on Tuesday, will also involve Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) taking over the NHL Network.

In addition to running MLB.com and all 30 MLB team sites, MLBAM runs the websites for Minor League Baseball, the YES Network and SportsNet New York. It also provides the backend infrastructure for WatchESPN, the WWE Network, CBS Sports’ March Madness and HBO Now, among others.

It remains to be seen how much change will come from MLBAM taking over the NHL Network, which was launched at the beginning of the 2007-08 season, but the partnership is expected to provide several improvements. In addition to shows focusing on highlights and analysis such as NHL Live! and NHL Tonight, the NHL Network carries multiple games each week during the season.

While the NHL‘s digital presence will change, it is unknown how staff members of the NHL‘s websites (NHL.com and team sites) and the NHL Network will be impacted. A source noted that multiple employees of Bell Media in Canada, who operated NHL Network, have already lost their jobs as a result of the change. According to the source, multiple producers were not retained past July 1.

As for the online side, MLBAM could simply train those currently in place rather than hire new staffs, but staffers throughout the league had yet to hear as of Monday.

The news of the partnership was initially met with some concern that the partnership could put an end to the growing community of in-game animated GIFs on social media (which could cost some people their part-time gigs) and YouTube videos, but MLB’s strict policy on footage is their’s, rather than MLBAM’s. Because the NHL owns the rights, they would make the decision on whether such content could continue to be posted.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and NHL chief operating officer John Collins will be present for Tuesday’€™s announcement.

Read More: Gary Bettman, MLB Advanced Media, NHL, NHL Network
Gary Bettman: NHL still not considering a Capgeek-style feature 07.29.15 at 6:28 pm ET
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Gary Bettman

Gary Bettman

FOXBORO — Since Capgeek.com was taken down in the final months of founder Mathew Wuest’€™s life, hockey fans all over have been without a state-of-the-art, up-to-the-minute destination for the NHL‘€™s ever-changing salary cap scene. They have options, but none are as good.

With Capgeek, Wuest created a site that listed where teams were in relation to the cap down to the dollar in a format that displayed team rosters in terms of individual players’€™ cap hits.

When the ailing Wuest took the wildly popular site down before succumbing to colon cancer in March, many wondered who would step up with a proper replacement. The NHL‘€™s official site seemed like one feasible option, but Gary Bettman poo-pooed that in late February, saying that such a feature was ‘€œnot something that seems to be driving fan interested as much as perhaps the [media].’€

That foolish statement was rightfully criticized and has been proven wrong time and time again in the months since. Not only do fans want it, but even B’€™s president Cam Neely made a tongue-in-cheek reference to GM candidates not being able to prepare for job interviews as well without the site.

Given all of this, Bettman was asked Wednesday if any more consideration has been given to making cap information available in a one-stop destination.

“No,” he replied.

There was no elaboration, so in the meantime everyone will have to settle for the myriad of sites doing their best to manage the nearly impossible task of carrying on Wuest’€™s work.

At this point, war-on-ice.com, perhaps the best NHL site these days for NHL statistics, does the best job. It isn’€™t perfect (ex. details of no-trade provisions), but that’€™s where the opportunity exists for the NHL to step in and make the perfect option. It’€™s silly for them not to.

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General managers propose 3-on-3 overtime 03.17.15 at 2:45 pm ET
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General managers have approved three-on-three regular-season overtime for next season, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced Tuesday. Such a change is still pending the approval of the NHL Players’€™ Association, which could take place when the Competition Committee and Board of Governors meet in June.

It is unknown how three-on-three overtime would be used, though the current AHL format would seem to be logical. Starting this season, the AHL has done four minutes of four-on-four play followed by three minutes of three-on-three. Games not settled by then go to a shootout, though the new format has settled games in overtime more often, with only 5.7 percent of games going to a shootout as of Sunday. That number is down quite a bit from 15.6 percent last season.

Such a rule change would be welcome to the Bruins, who are just 3-7 in shootouts this season. Earlier this month, Claude Julien bluntly said shootouts ‘€œsuck.’€ He followed that up last week by saying he hoped that general managers would approve three-on-three at this week’€™s GM meetings in Florida.

Also proposed by general managers is limited replay challenge, which would apply to goaltender inference and delay of game penalties.

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Gary Bettman: Hard to prove whether a team exploits playoff cap loophole 02.24.15 at 10:45 pm ET
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Gary Bettman

Gary Bettman

In an interview that will air on this week’s episode of Sunday Skate, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman shed some light on the possibility of teams sitting players for the rest of the regular season in order to go over the salary cap come playoff time.

This situation applies to the Bruins and how they could handle things with David Krejci, who they recently announced will miss four-to-six weeks with a partially torn MCL. Because there is no salary cap in the playoffs, the Bruins could, in theory, sit Krejci for the rest of the regular season, put him on long-term injured reserve and exceed the salary cap by his $5.25 million cap hit (as well as Kevan Miller’s $800,000 hit).

Such action, whether done by the Bruins or another team, could mean teams sitting healthy players for longer than they are injured and using LTI space by dishonest means. Asked whether the league would take issue with such maneuvers, Bettman said that while the NHL “frowns upon the use of loopholes,” the league would have a tough time proving teams were doing it.

“You can only ice a certain number of skaters,” Bettman said, “and the fact of the matter is, who’s to say how severely the injury will impact his play longer term, what kind of shape he’s been in? These are all speculative kinds of questions, and I’m not trying to duck them. It’s just simply, let’s wait to see what happens before we try to draw any conclusions.”

Added Bettman: “We frown upon the use of loopholes, but I don’t think an injury was sustained in order to create a loophole,” he said. “The rules are the rules. They’re competitive. The collective bargaining agreement tends to be fairly clear and we try to enforce it pretty consistently across the board.”

For the rest of the interview, tune in to this week’s episode of Sunday Skate at 8 a.m.

Read More: David Krejci, Gary Bettman,
NHL commissioner upholds Shawn Thornton’s 15-game suspension 12.24.13 at 12:39 pm ET
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The NHL announced Tuesday that commissioner Gary Bettman has upheld the 15-game suspension given to Bruins forward Shawn Thornton for attacking Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik on Dec. 7.

Thornton, who has missed eight games since the incident, appealed the original decision by NHL senior vice president of player safety Brendan Shanahan that was announced on Dec. 14. He met with the commissioner in New York on Friday, along with his agent, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli and three representatives from the NHL Players Association.

The NHLPA argued for a suspension in the range of 10-12 games, noting that Thornton had never previously been suspended and the punishment was not consistent with previous penalties for similar actions.

Wrote Bettman in Tuesday’s announcement: “I have no trouble concluding that a very lengthy suspension is warranted and that the decision to impose a 15-game suspension is supported by clear and convincing evidence. In fact, in light of all the circumstances relating to the underlying conduct, it is certainly possible to argue for a more severe punishment, but I am comfortable relying on Mr. Shanahan’s judgment.”

Added Bettman: “The objective evidence makes it clear to me that Mr. Thornton’s conduct was premeditated and an act of retaliation, and I do not believe that any person with experience in the game could conclude otherwise.”

Thornton, who can appeal the decision to a neutral arbitrator as per the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, will forfeit $85,615 in salary. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

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NHL cancels games through Nov. 1 10.19.12 at 2:17 pm ET
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The NHL announced Friday that it has cancelled games through Nov. 1. Games through Oct. 24 had already been cancelled previously.

The news comes a day after negotiations between the league and NHLPA for a new collective bargaining agreement took “a step backward,” according to commissioner Gary Bettman. On Tuesday, the league offered a proposal that would include an 82-game schedule this season that started on Nov. 2, but the NHLPA countered with three proposals that the league did not find acceptable.

With the new cancellations, 10 Bruins games this season have now been cancelled.

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