News release from Defending the Blue Line:
Defending The Blue Line (DTBL) will host a NHL Players Charity Hockey Game on Saturday, August 3 at 3:00 p.m. at Ridder Arena on the University of Minnesota Campus. The game will feature U.S. born NHL players vs. Canadian born NHL players.
On Monday, July 1, tickets to the game and the player autograph session will go on sale exclusively at http://www.DefendingTheBlueLine.org. An initial roster of players participating will also be released and jerseys for the event will be unveiled at Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub on July 1 from 6 to 9 p.m.
“We are very thankful for the great support NHL players continue to show our organization,” said Shane Hudella, Defending the Blue Line President. “This game will provide hockey fans an excellent opportunity to watch NHL players away from the pressure of the pro game, and at the same time, help ensure military kids can play the game we all love.”
Defending The Blue Line is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by a group of National Guard soldiers from Minnesota. The charity assists families of all branches of the military with costs associated with hockey. They provide financial assistance for registration fees, free equipment, summer hockey camps, and send many deserving families to watch National Hockey League games.
Defending The Blue Line is excited for this opportunity to further help military families and celebrate the service of our military heroes. Keeping the kids of military families focused and active in hockey is a great way to help keep their minds off of a parent’s upcoming deployment.
The National Hockey League’s Competition Committee met yesterday in Toronto and recommended three significant changes in the game, with two focused on player safety.
The Committee has recommended mandatory visors for all players coming into the League during the 2013-14 season. Under the proposal, players who are currently in the NHL will be grandfathered in and not be required to wear a half-shield.
According to NHL.com, 73 percent of NHL players wore visors this season.
During preseason, the NHL will experiment with hybrid icing before deciding to use it in the 2013-14 regular season or stick with the current form of icing.
Shallower nets could also come into play next season. The Committee recommend nets that sit 4 inches shallower, down from 44 inches to 40 inches, to allow more room behind the net.
Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations for the NHL Colin Campbell spoke about the suggestions, as did the Special Assistant to the Executive Director of the NHLPA Mathieu Schneider.
All proposals must be approved by the League’s Board of Governors before changes become permanent.
The Competition Committee — which featured five players from the NHLPA, five NHL executives, an NHL referee, and members of the League’s hockey operations department — also announced other potential changes and recommendations for next season, including:
- All double minor high-sticking penalties will be subject to review.
- Elimination of the attainable pass, which gave linesmen the discretion to wave off icing infractions on attempted passes that are deemed to be attainable. With the new standard, there must be contact with the stick.
- A sub-committee will be formed as early as next week to study all equipment worn by goaltenders and skaters. Schneider said all equipment will be examined.
The Board of Governors will meet later this month to discuss and vote on the proposals made by the Competition Committee.
Wild prospect Tyler Graovac was honored at the Canadian Hockey League Awards ceremony when he was named the FRAM Sportsman of the Year. The 19-year old was named the OHL’s Most Sportsmanlike Player earlier this spring.
Graovac, who was traded from the Ottawa 67′s to the Belleville Bulls mid-season led the Bulls in scoring with 38 goals and 35 assists for 73 points in 60 games. His 18 penalty minutes was the lowest amount for any player among the OHL’s top-20 scorers.
The 19-year old signed an entry-level contract with the Wild on April 2, who selected him in the seventh round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
“I’d just like to take the opportunity to thank the CHL, the Ottawa 67′s, and the Belleville Bulls for the opportunity to develop my game,” Graovac said after accepting the award in Saskatoon on Friday. “This is a very prestigious award and I’m honored to receive it.”
Mikael Granlund scored a goal and added an assist in Finland’s 3-2 shootout loss to the US National Team in the Bronze Medal Game at the IIHF World Championships on Sunday.
Granlund tied the score in the third period with a nifty inside-out move and finish. He also just missed on a one-handed attempt in the shootout. In the tourney, the forward posted a goal and two assists in four games.
Check out the Bronze Medal Game highlights:
For those attending Saturday’s Twins vs. Red Sox game be prepared for a little hockey flavor. Minnesota Wild players Zach Parise, Tom Gilbert, and Josh Harding will be trying their best to hit it out of the park.
The Wild players will be taking part in a celebrity home run contest along with the Minnesota Twins mascot, TC, prior to the game’s 6:10 PM start. Come early to see which member of the team can out slug TC.
Wild fans around the State of Hockey know all about the special atmosphere inside Xcel Energy Center.
Well, Stadium Journey Magazine has taken notice and ranked Minnesota’s home barn the top arena experience in the National Hockey League in 2013. The magazine is dedicated, “as a way to go into greater depth about the great stadiums in the various sports played around the world.”
Here is what the magazine’s website had to say about the experience at Xcel Energy Center:
“The fans know the game and appreciate the little things, such as clearing the puck on the penalty kill, or a good defensive play to prevent a scoring chance. That is what gives the Xcel a truly special atmosphere and, even though the initial luster of having the NHL back in Minnesota has worn off, there is still a buzz around the building.”
The acknowledgement comes on the heels of ESPN The Magazine ranking the Wild’s stadium experience tops in the NHL last fall.
Wild goaltender Josh Harding will be a guest on NHL Live today at 4:20 PM. NHL Live is the NHL Network’s daily pregame show that features analysis, guests and daily NHL news for fans. Harding was nominated as a finalist for the Masterton Award today, along with Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid.
The Masterton Trophy is given annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
For more on Harding’s story read his case for the Masterton Award here.