Around the Way: Notes on the NHL at Large

Quiet day in Hawks land today, though Viktor Stalberg will return to the lineup tomorrow night.  But here are some other things going on in the world of the original 30.

- GQ has a must read for all hockey fans. The article is about Brian Burke after his son's death.   Here's the story in a nutshell: Brian Burke is the GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, formerly the Ducks, Canucks, and Whalers.  He's considered a hard-ass of major proportions.  Last year, his son Brendan -- who was working with the coaching staff while attending Miami University in Ohio -- came out as openly gay, the first person in hockey and closely associated with the NHL that has done so.  Mere weeks later, he died in a car accident.  It's a must read for how it all went down and what came next for Burke.

-On the complete other side of the spectrum, Toronto fans have gotten into a habit of throwing waffles on the Air Canada Center ice.  It happened during play in last night's loss to Atlanta, with someon taking aim at Phil Kessel.

-The Capitals actually won a game on Sunday, after losing eight in a row.

-Hit the panic button, as the Pittsburgh Penguins had lost two in a row.  But then they burned the Coyotes last night with Evgeni Malkin getting five points.  So now they've only won 13 of 15.

-Finally, Donald Fehr has been named the director of the NHL Players' Association.  While all baseball fans would read that and begin to shake in terror, this might not be terrible news for hockey fans.  One cannot describe accurately what a mess the union was in the past.  Over half the players didn't have a clue what was going on, as a few agents wreaked havoc on dealings.  With Fehr at the helm the amount of b.s. accepted will go way down.  Secondly, Gary Bettman and the owners can't run roughshod over a shaky union, which they did last time.  Neither side is stupid enough to lose any other time to a work stoppage (we hope), and the NHL will benefit from the other three leagues having to redo their CBA first.  Ideas can be drawn from that.  But it won't be pretty.

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