NHL director of officiating Stephen Walkom issued a memo to his on-ice officials on Wednesday, instructing that they start calling a delay of game penalty on any player who ignores a warning to conform to the now-enforced equipment standards. Soccer Jerseys China . And Carolinas Alex Semin felt the brunt of this call, receiving a two-minute penalty for having his sweater tucked into his pants late in the first period of the Hurricanes preseason game against Columbus. According to the leagues mandate - which gained traction last March at the NHLs general managers meetings - players will be warned and then penalized if they intentionally ignore protocol. Penalties may also be called on players who dont have their hockey pants properly zippered, or for those who choose to play with their sleeves rolled to their elbow pads. Safety concerns are the primary reason for closely monitoring how a player adjusts his sleeves or pants, but the managers issues with those who choose tuck their sweater in speaks more to marketing and identification of the players and his number. And cue the Wayne Gretzky eye roll. By todays standard, every NHL player will have to have his sweater properly draped over his pants and covering all hard equipment...otherwise, he will face the wrath of the fashion poli...er, the referees. Now without question, NHL officials do not - and will not - like having to call these penalties, but league sources insist they will not back off and hope the more penalties called in the preseason will translate into fewer calls in the regular season as the players conform. As an aside, I watched a Pee Wee AAA team practice on Wednesday and counted 11 of 15 skaters with their sweaters tucked. Most of these boys have no idea why they do it, other than they think it looks cool and - of course - Alex Ovechkin wears his sweater that way. Or, did. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking toward a final decision on the use of hybrid icing in the upcoming regular season. The NHLPA has to sign off on the change before it can be officially implemented. The PA intends on gathering feedback from players starting next week, but no decision has been made by the players as to how the intel will be gathered. While its too soon to predict how the players will act on the matter in the days ahead, theres reason to believe they will opt to stay with status quo and reject hybrid icing. ----- New Yorks Derek Stepan and Torontos Cody Franson are continuing their hardball approach as both restricted free agents remain at an impasse in contract negotiations. Given the state of discussions, Stepan - New Yorks top centre last season - is unlikely to be on the Rangers roster when they open Oct. 3 in Phoenix. Sources say that Stepan remains locked on a bridge deal that would pay him $3.5 million per year, while New York would happily sign off on a two-year agreement at $3 million per. Doesnt sound like much, but cap teams like the Rangers are crunching every dollar to comply. While the Rangers see a great future in Stepan, they also like their depth up the middle with Brad Richards, Derick Brassard, Brian Boyle and Dominic Moore. Toronto seems just as happy to start the season without Cody Franson and unless their hand is forced by an offer sheet, the team could let Franson sit for an extended period - as in weeks or months. The Leafs have offered Franson a two-year deal at just under $2.4 million and sound unwilling to accept Fransons counter of a one-year contract unless the money comes in at $2 million or less. Unlikely. Franson deserves more, but if Toronto gives in on a one-year contract, Franson regains arbitration rights next summer - one year out from unrestricted free agency - which puts the Leafs in a very vulnerable bargaining position. Replacing Franson in the lineup is tough, but the addition of Paul Ranger - combined with the potential of Morgan Rielly and Andrew MacWilliam - is fueling the Leafs brass to hold its ground in this dispute. ----- The NHLs Board of Governors meet on Monday in New York. As per usual, this meeting will serve as a state of the NHL update. Franchise matters ranging from the expected sale of the Florida Panthers, the sale of the New Jersey Devils and the latest on the Ilitch familys ownership transfer in Detroit will be covered by the commissioners office. Some around the league expect future expansion to find its way into discussions at the board level on Monday as well. If Seattles plan to construct a new building is followed through, its believed Seattle will remain of interest to the NHL. However, sources say there isnt going to be a major expansion plan or push given the improved financial stability of all 30 NHL teams anytime soon. Until next time... Soccer Jerseys Outlet . -- The Minnesota Vikings released reserve cornerback A. Wholesale Soccer Jerseys China . While hell be dialed in to that tournament on a course he loves, you can forgive him if his eyes glance down the calendar just a bit, towards April. https://www.soccerjerseyschina.us/ . The Detroit Tigers star had microfracture surgery Friday to repair the medial and lateral meniscus in his left knee. "I dont want to say it was a surprise," team president and general manager Dave Dombrowski said.CINCINNATI - The Bengals were in good shape heading into the fourth quarter. Then it all came apart. And a day later, they were still trying to figure out exactly what had happened.A 42-21 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday has staggered the AFC North leaders. Sure, theyre still in first place in the NFLs toughest division. Its not the record but the way theyre playing thats causing concern.All I can tell you is I felt great and then all of a sudden, 12 minutes later, Im in my car going home going, What the hell just happened? defensive co-ordinator Paul Guenther said on Monday.Heres what happened: The Bengals got outscored 25-0 in the fourth quarter, gave up more than 500 yards overall for a club-record third time this season, and lost their cushion in the division race.Cincinnati (8-4-1) is up by a half-game on Pittsburgh (8-5) and Baltimore (8-5) heading into the final three weeks. But theyve got a tough closing stretch, starting with a game at Cleveland (7-6) on Sunday.The Bengals have one more home game — against Denver (10-3) on a Monday night — followed by a game at Pittsburgh.One more slip-up could cost them the playoffs.Everything is important this time of year, and were in position where weve made it that way, quarterback Andy Dalton said on Monday. It starts this week.It starts with trying to figure out why theyve turned into such a team of extremes. They looked like one of the best in the NFL during their 3-0 start to the season. Theyve been blown out in all four of their losses — two of them at home to division rivals — while playing some of the worst defence in franchise history.Which team is it going to be in December? The one that looked like it could run away with the division, or the one that seems to run and hide in the biggest games?The way we lost is pretty bad, safety George Iloka said.The Bengals led 21-17 heading into the fourth quarter, and then totally fell apart. Daltons fumble on a fake handoff startedd the Steelers 25-point surge. Cheap Soccer Jerseys. The Steelers had 229 yards in the fourth quarter alone and 543 for the game, the most against Cincinnati this season.Cincinnatis defence has allowed 500 yards three times this season, a franchise record, according to STATS. The previous mark was two 500-yard games allowed in 1968 and 1969, when the Bengals were an expansion team.Theyve given up more points (298) than theyve scored this season (281).And in four of their most important games, theyve totally come apart. They lost a Sunday night game at New England 43-17. They failed to cross midfield until the fourth quarter of a 27-0 loss at Indianapolis. And theyve dropped their last two home games against Cleveland 24-3 on a Thursday night and against the Steelers on Sunday.Its the first time since 2002 — when current Steelers defensive co-ordinator Dick LeBeau was their head coach — that the Bengals have lost consecutive home games by 21 points or more. Its the first time since 2008, when they went 4-11-1, that the Bengals have lost four games by 21 points or more.All those very bad trends have them feeling like anything except a division leader.No, it definitely doesnt feel like it, linebacker Vincent Rey said.Notes: The Bengals have lost their last two games in Cleveland. They havent been swept in their two-game season series since 2002. ... Coach Marvin Lewis was noncommittal on Monday when asked whether linebacker Vontaze Burfict would return this season. Burfict hasnt played since he had surgery on Oct. 29 to clean out his left knee. ... The Bengals have to decide whether to activate quarterback AJ McCarron or leave him on an injury list for the rest of the season. The fifth-round draft pick has been sidelined since training camp with a sore passing shoulder. He was cleared to practice on Nov. 18. The Bengals had a roster exemption for him that ends this week.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL ' ' '