Kukla's Korner

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TSN Insiders Tonight

Why have Alexis Lafreniere and Jack Hughes been denied the chance to play in the World Juniors by their respective clubs? Could there be a number of outdoor games with fans when the season starts? TSN Hockey Insiders Darren Dreger, Pierre LeBrun and Frank Seravalli discuss this and more.

more and watch the segment too...

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Legal Action Is An Option For The NHLPA

from Rick Westhead of TSN,

The NHL Players’ Association’s lawyers are investigating whether to file an unfair labour practice complaint with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) or pursue a grievance with an arbitrator if the NHL decides to cancel the upcoming season, two people familiar with the matter told TSN.

If the league decides against playing the 2020-21 season, a complaint to either the NLRB or an arbitrator would be the process the NHLPA would follow to try to get players paid.


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Afternoon Line- Don Waddell

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Video- NHL Insiders And Player Agents Discuss The NHL At This Point

via the YouTube page of LineMovement,

It's Real Kyper at Noon, Episode 62, as Nick Kypreos is back to catch everyone up on the NHL Offseason, with our first “Roundtable”! Doug Maclean, Allan Walsh, & Ian Pulver join Kyper in discussing the NHL Return to Play in a wide-ranging conversation with each guest providing some unique perspectives through different angles.

January 1st was the ultimate goal, but by the sounds of it, that has become increasingly unrealistic in recent weeks. A key discussion point was the battle between the players and owners currently, with Gary Bettman asking to re-negotiate a new, more “covid-friendly” CBA.

How can agents help facilitate this problem and get their players back on the ice? The unfortunate part of all of this is the uncertainty and contract negotiations involved, but also the NHL relies on revenue from fans more than almost any professional league.

Watch the just over an hour show below.

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Four Teams Show Interest In Playing Home Games Under The Sky

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

Let’s begin this quickie blog with a caveat: it’s a long shot.

But…at least four NHL teams are investigating the possibility of playing home games in outdoor stadia if it will allow them to have fans in attendance.

Again, there are no guarantees in COVID times, “but it is being explored,” one executive said Wednesday.

None of the clubs would comment, but they are Anaheim, Boston, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. According to multiple sources, it was the Kings who first considered the idea several months ago. Owner Anschutz Entertainment Group also owns Dignity Health Sports Park, located 15 miles from the Kings’ home, Staples Center.


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More Offense From The Defense

from Travis Yost of TSN,

It has been a subtle shift over time, but scoring in the National Hockey League continues to climb. With no obvious, singular smoking-gun to explain the rising goal totals, hypothesizing continues unabated.

We already know that some observable shifts league-wide are helping the cause. The most obvious example? Teams are more aggressive shooting the puck, realizing that shot volume is a better relative driver of goal scoring than shot quality, though both are desirable components....

Shot rates are up, and so too are shooting percentages on those attempts. Why is that important? Players haven’t started to trade out quantity for quality. The proportional increase in shots, to a reasonable degree, can explain why scoring around the league has started to tick up.

But it doesn’t serve to answer the question of how teams are creating these additional shooting opportunities, or why offensive shot creation has relatively superseded defensive shot suppression.

read on, with charts and graphs...

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The Latest From Gary Bettman

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.

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Audio/Video- Brian Burke On Playing This Season

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.


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Afternoon Line- Gary Bettman


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

Skip This Season

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).


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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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