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Hockey News from the NHL, NWHL and more

NHL Suspends Cody Eakins and Mike Hoffman

The National Hockey League announced two suspensions on Friday afternoon.

Dallas Stars forward Cody Eakin was suspended four games by the Department of Player Safety for his hit on New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. During game number 452, in Dallas on Thursday night, Eakin received a major penalty and a game misconduct for charging Lundqvist midway through the opening period.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Eakins will forfeit his 85,555.56 dollars of his player salary. The money will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. This is the first time that Eakin has been suspended in his six-year career.

The DoPS released a video explaining the reasoning for the ruling. https://www.nhl.com/video/eakin-suspended-four-games/t-277440360/c-47459203.

The DoPS also suspended Ottawa Senators forward Mike Hoffman, two games for cross checking San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture during game number 441 in Ottawa on Wednesday. With just under eight minutes in the final period, Hoffman was assessed a major penalty for cross checking, along with a game misconduct.

The ruling video from the DoPS gives their explanation for how they came to this decision. https://www.nhl.com/video/hoffman-suspended-two-games/t-277440360/c-47444503.

The NHL also fined Sharks defenseman, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, for dangerous use of his stick towards Senators defenseman, Erik Karlsson. The incident occurred at the 19:04 mark of the middle frame during game 441 on Wednesday night.

Vlasic was fined 5,000 dollars, which is the maximum amount allowed by the CBA. The monies from the fine go towards the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

NHL Announces Plans for the Centennial

The National Hockey League on Tuesday announced their plans for the special events they are planning in preparations for the league’s centennial.

The NHL’s Centennial festivities will faceoff on January 1, 2017 in Toronto with the Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic at Exhibition Stadium. The Toronto Maple Leafs will host the Detroit Red Wings, in an “Original Six” matchup.

During the outdoor game, the league will present the first phase in the announcement of the 100 Greatest NHL Players. They will also set in motion the NHL Fan Arena, the traveling fan friendly experience set to visit every NHL market within North America throughout the year.

The 100 Greatest NHL Players is the centerpiece of the whole centennial celebration for the league. The list was compiled by an esteemed panel of executives, members of the media and NHL alumni.

Prior to the Centennial Classic, the league will reveal 34 of those players, the alumni from 1917 through 1966. The remaining 66 players, those from the second half of the century, 1967 to the present, will be revealed during the NHL100, taking place All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles on January 27, at the Microsoft Theater.

The star-studded, NHL100 will be open to the public and fans can purchase tickets to the 90-minute event at www.lakings.com/allstar. Los Angeles Kings season ticket members will receive priority access to the event beginning on December 13.

The NHL Centennial Fan Arena is a mobile tribute to the game. Some of the key features of the fan arena will include a museum truck, featuring interactive digital displays, video content, historic memorabilia and unique photo moments.

The Fan Arena will also feature a video truck, which will be a second 53-foot trailer with a giant video screen displaying team trivia and highlights, plus a pop-out stage for special appearances. The Centennial Fan Arena will also have a pop-up ball hockey rink for youth hockey players to show off their skills in clinics and games.

It will also include a virtual reality experience called Clear the Ice Zamboni. Fans will get the chance to race each other as they virtually resurface the ice. As the fans sit in the mini Zamboni they get the chance to feel what it feels like to clear the ice as they challenge other fans in a timed virtual race.

Hockey’s holy grail, the Stanley Cup will also make its rounds to every market through the NHL Centennial Fan Arena. Beginning December 19, fans will get the chance to RSVP for the Fan Arena by visiting www.nhl.com/fanarena. The RSVP program includes pre-registration to the free activities as well as event reminders.

During January and February, the Fan Arena will visit nine markets. Full details on where it will visit in the markets will be announced later.

December 31 to January 1: Toronto (Exhibition Stadium Lot 2)

January 6 to January 7: Arizona

January 12 to January 14: Dallas

January 18 to January 19: San Jose

January 21 to January 22: Anaheim

January 26 to January 29: Los Angeles (2017 NHL All-Star Game)

February 3 to February 5: St. Louis

February 11 to February 12: Nashville

February 24 to February 25: Pittsburgh

The league will also have a float in the 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California on January 2. The float presented by Honda and called A Century of Greatness, will feature floral replicas of a 55-foot long hockey rink, all 30 logos of the NHL teams as well as the official NHL Centennial logo.

Following NBC’s coverage of the parade they will show the Bridgestone Winter Classic as the St. Louis Blues host the Chicago Blackhawks from Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO.

The 2017 NHL Centennial Calendar of Events:

Jan. - Dec., NHL Centennial Fan Arena Traveling Tour

Jan. 1, Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic™ (Toronto, ON)

Jan. 1, 100 Greatest NHL Players Unveiling (Players who played from 1917-1966)

Jan. 2, Tournament of Roses Parade - "A Century of Greatness (1917-2017)" Float (Pasadena, CA)

Jan. 2, 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® (St. Louis, MO)

Jan. 27-29, 2017 NHL® All-Star (Los Angeles, CA)

Jan. 27, THE NHL100™ - 100 Greatest NHL Players Unveiling at Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles, CA (Players who played from 1967 to present day)

Feb. 25, 2017 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ (Pittsburgh, PA)

March 15-18, Stanley Cup® 125th Anniversary Celebrations (Ottawa, ON)

June, 2017 NHL Awards™ (Las Vegas, NV)

Jun. 23-24, 2017 NHL Draft™ (Chicago, IL)

Nov. 26, NHL 100th Anniversary of the Founding of the League

Dec. 19, NHL 100th Anniversary of the First Games Played

NWHL All Star Game Headed to Pittsburgh

The National Women’s Hockey League on Wednesday announced that the 2017 All Star Game will be heading to Western Pennsylvania and the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex on February 11 and 12.

The facility located 20 miles outside of Pittsburgh, in Cranberry Township, is the state of the art practice arena of the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League. All the events during the weekend will be held at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.

Penguins President and Chief Executive Officer, David Morehouse said, “We are excited to have the National Women’s Hockey League bring its showcase event to the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. Women’s hockey is growing rapidly both in Pittsburgh and across the world, and this will give our fans the chance to see the most talented players in North America and create new role models for aspiring players in the Pittsburgh area.”

New York Riveters forward, Amanda Kessel and Buffalo Beauts forward, Kelley Steadman, were chosen to be the captains for the 2017 NWHL All Star Game.

Both Steadman and Kessel have ties to the Pittsburgh area as well. Kessel’s older brother, Phil Kessel, plays for the Penguins, as part the team’s “HBK Line,” with Carl Hagelin and Nick Bonino. Steadman is the Director of Hockey Operations for Robert Morris University, in nearby Moon, PA.

Kessel said, “I am excited and honored to be a part of this year’s NWHL All Star Game, and it is especially awesome to have it in the city where my brother has found a new home and success. I have been lucky to experience first-hand what a great hockey town Pittsburgh is. To be able to showcase the talented hockey players of the NWHL to the passionate fans of Pittsburgh is going to be a lot of fun and a great opportunity to expand our fan base.”

The 2017 NWHL All Star Game will take place on Sunday February 12, 2017. The league will release more information on the rest of the events for All Star Weekend within the next few weeks. Those events will range from details about the skills competition, to the fan activities to the all-star selection process.

NWHL Commissioner, Dani Rylan said, “Our goal has been to grow our footprint outside of our markets so the elite athletes of the NWHL can demonstrate their amazing talents before new crowds. Since we started the league last year, we have received a lot of support from women’s hockey fans in Pittsburgh, so taking our all-star game there was a natural choice, and we are thrilled about it.”

Tickets for the 2017 NWHL All Star Game will officially go on sale, December 14 at 10:00 AM and can be purchased through www.nwhl.zone/tickets.

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