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Kings' Beat Writer Quits Over Lockout Pressure From NHL


Guest radoran
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http://www.jewelsfromthecrown.com/2012/10/11/3488884/kings-reporter-hammond-told-to-stop-interviewing-players-during-the

So the Kings hired Rich Hammond to be their official blogger. Both the Kings and Hammond spent a lot of time working out the details of his position, making sure that Hammond would not simply be a PR release megaphone. The Kings would have no editorial control, and Hammond was free to criticize the team and its moves without fear of recourse. This was extremely important to both parties.

The lockout is going on, and the players are pretty much talking to any and every reporter that comes their way. Kevin Westgarth was no different, and so Rich Hammond talked with him about the lockout and posted it on his blog.

The NHL saw that interview and told the Kings to take it down immediately. You see, since Rich Hammond was technically a Kings employee, the NHL considered him to be a League employee. And League employees are not allowed to have any contact with players. It didn’t matter that Hammond was simply a beat writer that happened to be employed by a team rather than a newspaper, he was still employed by the Kings.

Both the Kings and Hammond fought this decision.

Yes, the comments of a 90-game player in the NHL sent the League into a tizzy.

Heckuva job, Gary.

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@radoran Agreed, but it is pretty sketchy for the NHL to make the jump on this blogger being an actual Kings employee. Sure, he's the PR guy, but stifling a blog written independantly by him....that's iffy IMHO. I realize by the letter of the law, he is fact a Kings employee, but this is a lame move by the NHL.

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@radoran

Have you seen the original blog by Hammond that cited the players?? I know it was taken down, but I didn't know if it resurfaced. If Hammond never received notification that he wasn't to have any contact with players he may be able to make a pretty big stink about this. I think these rules that the league is not allowed to have any contact with players tests freedom of speech rights. Which makes me wonder if there are any players that have a spouse or family member that works for an NHL team?

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@hf101 " Which makes me wonder if there are any players that have a spouse or family member that works for an NHL team? "

I had the same thought right away....the world is so small, you'd think this situation exists at least a few times.

I'm awaiting the anonymous reports to start leaking to the media.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@radoran Agreed, but it is pretty sketchy for the NHL to make the jump on this blogger being an actual Kings employee. Sure, he's the PR guy, but stifling a blog written independantly by him....that's iffy IMHO. I realize by the letter of the law, he is fact a Kings employee, but this is a lame move by the NHL.

I think it's just making sure that this kind of thing doesn't spread to more prominent employees.

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Referencing the thread where the NHL allowed owners to speak to players...

So, we can't have this blogger talking to the players - that would be wrong.

But owners circumventing the negotiation process is Just Fine for the NHL.

Oh, I didn't see that thread. The NHL allowed owners to speak to their own players? Or players in other leagues (i.e. scrubs)?

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