News Blog: Hits and misses

If you’re betting on the next player to serve a Steve Downie-like suspension (not that I would ever do such a thing), a solid pick would be Jared Boll.

The Blue Jackets right winger, who uglied up Anaheim’s Travis Moen with a borderline dirty hit Oct. 5, already has 20 penalty minutes in Columbus’s first two games. And he’s quickly acquiring quite the reputation among opponents.

“That kid was running around like a mental case against us,” said one prominent NHLer who played against him in the pre-season. “He’s obviously trying to make a name for himself the way all rookies do, but someone’s going to hand him his lunch one day soon.”

• Have to give the NHL some big-time props for its brand-new, very cool-looking merchandise store in Manhattan.

The ice wall and floating hockey stick sculpture, in particular, are innovative and fantastic eye-catchers. Now, if we can only find a way to get rid of the Starbucks inside the place – the way these great thinkers did – it’ll be perfect.

• Quite enjoyed this opinion piece debunking the hype over the NHL’s new uniforms. Here’s a snippet:

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“…(W)hat did Reebok’s (promotional) numbers actually mean? Well, 14 per cent less (weight) meant a jersey that once weighed 670 grams now tipped the scales at all of 575 grams – a whopping savings of just over three ounces. The lowered wind resistance of nine per cent was another number that sounded impressive until you actually thought about it: never did the company explain just how significant the wind resistance was in the first place.

Imagine, for example, sprinting in a T-shirt, and again in a T-shirt that’s one size smaller. The latter ought to have at least nine per cent less drag – but are you actually nine per-cent faster? Of course not. You probably don’t even notice the slightest difference.”

That may be true, but players certainly know the difference – and not in a positive way. Judging by the increasingly angry outcries from NHL dressing rooms, this could turn into a serious fiasco for the league.