Kukla's Korner

The Latest From Gary Bettman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

Speaking publicly for the first time since the Stanley Cup Final, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Wednesday at a virtual sports conference that the league’s targeted Jan. 1 start date remains “a work in progress influenced largely by what we’re hearing from medical experts.”

Bettman did not move off the Jan. 1 target, no matter how unrealistic it may be to pull off now, while COVID-19 numbers continue to skyrocket across North America and the NHL and NHL Players’ Association remain at odds over the financial terms of the 2021 season.

“COVID is going through a second wave, which could be worse than the first wave,” Bettman said. “And between [U.S.] Thanksgiving and the aftermath and what they think is going to happen for Christmas and the aftermath, we are taking our time and making sure that, as we look for ways to move forward, we’re focused on health and safety and doing the right things.”

Health and safety concerns are only part of the reason why the NHL has not nailed down a date to drop the puck in 2021.

The NHL has requested players defer additional salary for the 2021 season, an ask that temporarily iced communication between Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr.

But on Wednesday, in conversation with FOX Business host Liz Claman at Sports Business Journal’s 2020 Dealmakers in Sports virtual conference, Bettman said the NHL is “not seeking to renegotiate” the six-year Collective Bargaining Agreement extension that was unanimously ratified by owners in July.


added 6:41pm, Below, watch Elliotte Friedman on Bettman today.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

Big Ten Hockey Tonight - Michigan vs Penn State

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Kristy NcNeil of MGoBlue,


Wednesday, Dec. 2 -- at Penn State (State College, Pa.), 6 p.m.
TV: ESPNU | Live Video | Live Stats | Live Audio

Thursday, Dec. 3 -- at Penn State (State College, Pa.), 6 p.m.
TV: Big Ten Network+ | Live Video | Live Audio | Live Stats
• Complete Game Notes (PDF)

• Social Media: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

The No. 7-ranked University of Michigan ice hockey team (4-2, 2-2-0-1 Big Ten) looks to bounce back from a weekend setback against Notre Dame when the Wolverines return to the ice on Wednesday and Thursday (Dec. 2-3) to take on Penn State (0-4, 0-4-0-0 Big Ten) in State College, Pa. Both games are scheduled for 6 p.m. puck drops. Wednesday's game will be broadcast live on ESPNU, while Thursday's game will be streamed live on Big Ten Network Plus.

read on

Thanks to a KK member for the pointer.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Audio/Video- Brian Burke On Playing This Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

Burke: Not playing 2020-21 NHL season would be 'catastrophic, devastating'

Hockey Central's Brian Burke weighs in on when fans can expect the 2021 NHL Season to commence with Jeff marek and Justin Bourne on Hockey Central.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Afternoon Line- Gary Bettman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul


added 2:02pm, Chris Johnston has more from Bettman below.

added 2:16pm, below, video of Bettman answering a question about the season.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Do You Consider Steve Yzerman An Elite GM?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Adam Gretz of NBC Sports,

In this week’s edition of the NHL Power Rankings we turn our focus to the league’s 31 general managers to see who is at the top of the class and doing the best job building their team.

We are looking at a combination of career achievement, as well as current success and the way they have set their team up for the long-term.

Who tops the list?

The Elites

1. Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche. There is not a team in the NHL that is set up for more long-term success than the Avalanche. The Matt Duchene trade could help set up the defense for the next decade, while he has also taken advantage of his salary cap situation to the past two years to stack the depth chart behind his All-Star top line.

2. Steve Yzerman, Detroit Red Wings. His Detroit track record is obviously incomplete, but he was the main architect of a Tampa Bay Lightning team that has been the NHL’s most successful team over the past six years. That counts. A lot. That is also why he gets such a high mark.

read on for more names...

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Skip This Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Madden of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Hockey is a winter sport. That was proven when this year’s Stanley Cup Final, played in late September, drew the final’s lowest rating since 2007. Hockey, baseball, basketball and football overlapped for a while, and that hurt hockey. The playoffs began Aug. 1, and that’s way off the traditional timetable. But the numbers are the numbers.

The NHL would basically skip a season. That would hurt the players’ wallets.

But what about the owners’ wallets? One report says each team would lose about $150 million if a TV-only season is played. Should the owners be expected to do that? Some have reportedly told Bettman they would prefer to not play.

Waiting ‘til October of ’21 isn’t what the players want. A labor dispute would be triggered. But a labor dispute is in progress right now. It’s just not yet being called that. The players would sue. The NHL would justify via force majeure (the pandemic).


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

For Those Not On Twitter

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Words Many Of Us Hate- Lockout, Strike

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Macramalla at Forbes,

Can the NHL lock out the players?


Article 7.1(b) expressly provides that the NHL cannot lock out the players during the term of the collective bargaining agreement. Here’s the actual wording in the CBA: “Neither the League nor any Club shall engage in a lockout during the term of this Agreement.”

Can the players strike?


Article 7.1(a) of the CBA provides that the players cannot “engage in any strike” or “work stoppage” during the term of the CBA.

The CBA sets out the terms and conditions that govern the employment relationship between the league and its players. Once the sides agree to a CBA, they can’t then backtrack on that agreement. Here, the NHL and the NHLPA extended the CBA in July, and as result, neither side can engage in a work stoppage.

So that’s it then—there will be no work stoppage!

Well, there’s a wrinkle. The player contract (called the Standard Player Contract, or SPC for short) provides that the league may suspend the season based upon “conditions arising from a state of war or other cause beyond the control of the League.”

The phrase “cause beyond the control of the League” is key here.


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Patrick Roy’s Last Game For The Montreal Canadiens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet's YouTube page,

Take a look back to December 2, 1995, a day that would forever alter the paths of Patrick Roy, the Montreal Canadiens and the Colorado Avalanche.


Below, catch the highlights from Roy's last game for the Habs.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Question Time

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Here are 20 questions surrounding the Wings as we await official confirmation, and information, regarding next season.

Are the Wings going to be better?
The Red Wings were 17-49-5 last season, with 39 points. The next worst team, Ottawa, had 62 points.

It’s difficult to be that bad in professional sports.

The Wings aren’t going to improve by leaps and bounds, but yes, they can — and will — improve on last season.

They can’t get worse.

In what areas are the Wings better?
Across the board.

Yzerman, and his staff, did a fine job of improving the depth and talent level across the lineup.

Goaltending, defense, forwards, special teams — all of them — are better from a personnel standpoint. Deeper.

There are many more NHL-caliber players in the lineup. That wasn’t always the case last season.

more (paid) hard-hitting questions...

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

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