Citing various sources, TSN is reporting NHL teams have voted 23-6 (with one abstention) in favor of introducing a ranking system that places a greater emphasis on playoff performance than regular season results.
Under the existing format, non-playoff teams were placed one through 14 with the lowest regular-season point totals getting the higher pick in the draft, subject to the draft lottery which allows the winning non-playoff team to move up as many as four places.
The remaining 16 teams were seeded 15 through 30 based on inverse order of regular-season finish with one exception - the Stanley Cup-winning team automatically received the 30th and final pick of the first round.
The new format will work as follows:
According to a report in today's Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, despite Springfield Falcons President and General Manager Bruce Landon denying Edmonton rumors at a recent booster club meeting, the newspaper states, "Itâ€™s widely believed that both sides will agree to terminate the deal, opening the door for Edmonton to align with Springfield and Tampa Bay to move its prospects south to Norfolk."
Landon had informed Falcons boosters the fact the AHL club and Lightning have two years left on their current affiliation deal.
The Times Leader cited a story in Sundayâ€™s Edmonton Journal stating the Oilers could announce an affiliation deal with the Springfield Falcons shortly.
The Times Leader reported media sources in both Springfield, Mass., and Edmonton, Alberta, couldnâ€™t confirm the Journal report, but the sources said that chances are good that the deal could come to fruition, possibly within the next week.
Springfield has been the Tampa Bay Lightningâ€™s AHL affiliate for the past three seasons.
The Falcons are in the midst of their eighth straight losing season.
Dimitri Kazionov was once again out of the lineup as #1 Kazan defeated #16 Novokuznetsk 7-3 to take a 2-0 series lead.
#3 Ufa defeated #14 SKA 4-2 today to take a 2-0 series lead. Anton But had 2 penalty minutes in the match for St. Petersburg.
#4 Magnitogorsk toppled #13 Tver 5-2 to take a 2-0 series lead. Denis Kazionov was scoreless in the match for Tver.
Vasily Koshechkin allowed 5 goals in #11 Togliatti's 5-4 loss to #6 CSKA. CSKA takes a 2-0 series lead.
Alexei Glukhov was scoreless as #8 Khimik shut out #9 Cherepovets 4-0. Severstal has yet to score a single goal in the series and trails 2-0 overall.
The favored teams are a perfect 16-0 thus far in the Superleague playoffs.
Get out the brooms. Linkopings defeated Lulea today 5-2 to complete the first round sweep in the Elitserien playoffs. Lightning prospect Andreas Holmqvist, who led the team in scoring through the first three games of the season, lasted just 3:42 into Game Four before being kicked out for an ultra-rare Swedish league fight with Lulea's Tomas Surovy, formerly of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL ranks. Despite the absence of one of their most potent offensive weapons, Linkopings still managed to win easily and now, along with #1 seed Farjestads which also completed the sweep today in their series, await an opponent to be determined in the second round.
It couldn't be anyone else this week...
Mississauga 7 @ Brampton 4
Chris Lawrence and Mississauga appear to be back on track. The IceDogs put up 7 goals in Brampton to beat the Battalion 7-4 today. Lawrence had a goal and was plus-1.
London 7 @ Owen Sound 6 (Shootout)
Owen Sound had 65 shots against the high-powered Knights, including outshooting London 23-5 in the third period, but the Attack fell 7-6 in a shootout. Marek Bartanus did not register a point, was even, and had 2 PIM. London is tied with Plymouth for the most points in the league at 100.
On the opening day of the Superleague playoffs...
#1 seed Kazan defeated #16 seed Novokuznetsk 4-2. Dimitri Kazionov remains out of the lineup for Ak Bars.
In overtime, #3 Ufa defeated #14 SKA 2-1. Anton But had the only goal of the game for St. Petersburg.
#4 Magnitogorsk massacred upstart #13 Tver 7-1. Denis Kazionov had 2 penalty minutes in the match.
Vasily Koshechkin took the loss as #11 Togliatti fell to #6 CSKA 4-1.
Alexei Glukhov and #9 Cherepovets were shutout by #8 Khimik 3-0.
All favored teams won today.
Springfield gets their butts handed to them.
Jonathan Boutin allowed 5 goals on 36 shots in the loss. The Falcons were outshot 36-14 in the game including a shell shocking 16-3 in the decisive opening frame in which Hartford leapt out to a 3-0 lead. Defenseman Joe Rullier made an inauspicious Falcons debut registering a -3 rating in the game, just slightly better than the team's top line veterans who each checked in at -4. Springfield allowed a disgusting two shorthanded talleys in the game.
HFD Immonen, (12) (Baranka, Degon), 6:29 (SH)
HFD Immonen, (13) (Byers), 10:52
HFD Dawes, (16) (Jessiman, Richter), 19:24
HFD Callahan, (34) (Byers, Liffiton), 7:05
HFD Callahan, (35) (Immonen), 3:51 (SH)
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.
Chiefs fail to complete the comeback.
Ryan Munce allowed 3 goals on 22 shots before Toledo tacked on an empty net goal in the closing moments of the game. Maxime Boisclair had 2 assists with Johnstown's goals coming from Zbynek Hrdel and Ian MacLean. Gus Katsuras also had a helper in the game.
TOL Attard, (9) (Parillo, Zultek), 5:16 (PP)
TOL Hall, (2) (Blight, Mulherin), 7:48
JHN Hrdel, (8) (Katsuras, Boisclair), 8:45
TOL Sakaluk, (2) (Zultek, Sullivan), 17:07
JHN MacLean, (1) (Boisclair), 18:14 (PP)
TOL Parillo, (12) (Watson), 19:47 (EN)
Game sheet from ECHL.com.
In todayâ€™s Springfield Republican they briefly mention the Edmonton rumors:
Falcons president and general manager Bruce Landon met with the Booster Club prior to the game. "We have two years left on our deal with Tampa Bay," Landon said, debunking a rumor that Edmonton was planning to become Springfield's parent team next season. "I told our fans that I feel their pain." Landon also assured the fans the Falcons have not been sold and will operate next season.
As Nigel mentioned in the Greco/AHL discussion, Bill Barber and Claude Loiselle canceled their appearance with Springfield fans to watch Mike Lundin play UMass. If Maine's season is indeed finished, and considering Springfield's injuries to their defensemen (Rosehill, Rullier and now Matt Smaby), Lundin could be signed pretty quick - pending education issues, I'm sure.