11/28 – Quick Links

New posts on my other blogs: Steve Yzerman comes in first at No. 19 (BTJ19), Wings defeat Flames, 5-3 (Winging It In Motown), and Wings controlling the All Star vote in the West (WIM).

Bob Duff at the Windsor Star has an interesting article about the importance of pro scouts to NHL teams especially after the implementation of the salary cap.

High above the ice, Nick Polano busied himself feverishly filling a notebook with pertinent data.

A pro scout for the Ottawa Senators, Polano, the former Wings coach, was among 14 of his brethren who populated the end seats of the Joe Louis Arena press box for Tuesday’s contest.

“When I first started as a pro scout, the first season (1985-86) after coaching in Detroit, there were only two or three of us (in the entire league),” Polano said. “Now, every team has at least two or three pro scouts.”

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league is considering more international NHL games, but no decisions about locations for next year have been made. In addition, the NHL may prevent its players from participating in the 2014 Olympics when the games are held in Russia.

“Our experience in London was terrific,” Bettman told Reuters on Tuesday about the NHL’s season-opening games this year between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks.

“There are rumors rampant that we might go to Prague or Stockholm next,” Bettman said at the Reuters Media Summit. “We’re looking at the options. …I could envision at a point in time in the future to maybe go to a dozen different cities over time. There are lots of hockey markets with tremendously avid fans throughout Europe.”

Bettman mentioned Moscow, St. Petersburg, Helsinki and various German cities among the possibilities.

James Mirtle takes a look at the instigator rule and why Bettman may not mind that the NHLPA is pushing for a change in the rule.

But I disagree with Tom when he says this is “the last thing Gary Bettman wants to see.” My guess is that, after two and a half years with a completely dysfunctional — and for all intents and purposes useless — players’ association, the commish is just fine with the fact the very first order of business for Paul Kelly and Eric Lindros is wading into this old, essentially unwinnable instigator tiff.

In the grand scheme of things, there are far more prickly subjects the union could be broaching — player safety, the definition of hockey-related revenues, marketing the stars, improving television coverage and media attention — instead of chasing down a relatively minor rule change. (The board of governors isn’t going to be all that concerned, relatively speaking, if there’s a sudden push for their employees to punch each other in the head more often.)

Damien Cox writes in a special to ESPN.com about the rise of the Original Six and lists the playoff chances for each six franchises. The Wings were given a 5 out of 5 rating or basically a lock to make the playoffs. Why? The longevity of their success and despite being in the “best” division (the only one where each team has a winning record), the Wings are number one in the West. My second favorite team, the New York Rangers (a distant second, but second nonetheless), was given a 3 out of 5 saying that things may be looking good there are still some trouble spots up ahead.

Alanah at Canucks and Beyond interviewed author Gare Joyce about his new book, Future Greats and Heartbreaks.

The Blue Seats discusses the difference between the Wings and Rangers’ use of European players and that style of play.

What this all has to do with the Rangers is this: we complain about the Jagr-ization of the power play, decrying it as European hockey when it’s not exactly that simple.

Yes, the style played in Europe differs from that in North America, but players can be molded and directed by effective coaches and management into playing the system that benefits the club. Detroit is an example of how European talent has been married to North American grit and determination to reap great success. It’s also proof that it’s possible … even in New York.

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