Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dan Bickley of azcentral,
Robert Sarver believes in the future of basketball and soccer. He's not so certain about hockey in Arizona. His viewpoint will be very important in the coming years.
Don't get him wrong. He's not against the idea. The Suns majority owner says he'd have no problems sharing a multipurpose facility with the Coyotes somewhere down the road. But he's a very successful businessman who didn't get rich buying into pipe dreams, and there are some numbers you might not know.
Sarver says his Suns pay $23 million a year just to play at US Airways Center: $12 million in debt service, $8 million in arena management costs and $3 million in rent. A new arena capable of housing a NBA team and a NHL franchise starts at $500 million, and that's being conservative.
There will be contentious fighting over the levels of public subsidy, guaranteed. Sarver and his people have already studied that subject extensively, from construction tabs to political costs to emotional scars left behind. At the end of it all, it's going to take a partnership and a lot of upfront money to make any new stadium a reality.
After living under sweetheart terms in Glendale, can the Coyotes afford that kind of high-rent neighborhood?
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
The Blue Jackets are the chic midsummer pick to leap the pack in the Eastern Conference. They ought to be. Expensive teams that are not the Philadelphia Flyers look good on paper, especially in July. And the Jackets are expensive.
The salary-cap ceiling for 2015-16 is $71.4 million. According to NHLnumbers.com, the Jackets have but $3.6 million in remaining cap space — and most of that is set aside as a “bonus cushion” (in case, say, Ryan Murray activates some bonus clauses in his entry-level contract).
In fact, the Jackets are one of the seven most expensive teams in the league. That might change as other teams fill out their rosters, but the bottom line is the Jackets’ bottom line. They are no longer a budget team. They have spent just about as much as any team can spend. We are not accustomed to this, not in our market.
So, Jackets fans ought to doff their cap to majority owner John P. McConnell. Whatever else one might say about the man, he has been willing to spend on talent. That is all one can ask of an owner. The rest is on management and on the players.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
... with the coach Mike Babcock already hired and not the least bit intimidated about what the GM may or may not say or want to do and Brendan Shanahan evidently making the real calls in the organization, you have to wonder as to how effective he’ll be. After all, when he was in Jersey he was pretty much all powerful. What he said was law until the final days of his time there. In this case, it’s Babcock who holds all the power when it comes to running the team.
Lamoriello’s peculiar dictates ran the Devils and it made life miserable for many, which is why most players tried to get out of New Jersey as quickly as possible with the exception of lifers like Patrick Elias, Martin Brodeur and Ken Daneyko.
Who can forget Igor Larionov telling the story of how, at age 42, when he was finishing his career, he wasn’t supposed to have a glass of wine with his dinner the night before the game. And, as we know now given his involement in Napa, Iggy understandably took wine very seriously.
In the team pictures taken in civilian clothes, everyone had to wear the same color shirt and tie. Members of the media were not allowed to go into any of the coaches’ offices, even if invited, which they most assuredly were not but only because of Lou’s dictates. No player was allowed facial hair as he obviously considered them far too immature to be able to make their own personal choices.
Legend had it he had security cameras installed in the hallway so he could tell which player was talking with which reporter at all times.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Who has the best general manager-coach combination in hockey?
The question seemed appropriate in the wake of the Leafs stunning hiring of Lamoriello.
Before this summer, I would have put the combination of Ken Holland and Mike Babcock at the top of any list. But with Babcock gone and Jeff Blashill about to coach his first NHL game, it’s impossible to speculate where they rank.
The Stan Bowman-Joel Quenneville combination in Chicago is certainly strong and at times contentious. The Dean Lombardi-Darryl Sutter duo in Los Angeles, coming off a dreadful season in so many ways, still has two Stanley Cups to their names. The next in line for a Cup is the Steve Yzerman-Jon Cooper tag team in Tampa Bay. Others that impress: Doug Armstrong and Ken Hitchcock in St. Louis; Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan in Edmonton; Jim Nill and Lindy Ruff in Dallas; Bob Murray and Bruce Boudreau in Anaheim.
The easiest to ignore: Jim Benning and Willie Desjardins in Vancouver; Ron Francis and Bill Peters in Carolina; Jim Rutherford and Mike Johnston in Pittsburgh.
continue for more
hockey Leafs talk...
from Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe,
Though the NHL is willing to do its best to cut down on shootouts — enter the five minutes of three-on-three overtime that will kick off next season — the shootouts themselves remain non-negotiable, according to Gary Bettman. As he said, “I think to the extent some people wanted to see fewer shootouts, this will get us there, and that’s fine. The shootout isn’t going anywhere. You go to a building during a shootout, everybody’s on their feet, nobody is leaving, which is what it was designed to do. It’s exciting, it’s fun, it’s entertaining, and so if we’re going to try and reduce the number of shootouts, this may do it.”
Despite the anecdotal evidence — the legions of fans (and media, and GMs) that are vocally anti-shootout — Bettman pointed to fan research that says “overwhelmingly fans like it.” He added, “I think you see some people in the hockey community say they’d rather see fewer shootouts, but this is a sport that had ties for so many years and nobody liked that. And we’re not in the position in the regular season for a whole host of reasons to play games to the end in sudden death the way we do in the playoffs.” If nothing else, three-on-three should be a boon for the Bruins, who certainly would rather see any other way of deciding a game than the shootout.
more topics including expansion talk from Gary Bettman, the Leafs and more...
via an email from the New Jersey Devils,
The New Jersey Devils today re-signed defenseman Adam Larsson to a six-year contract with an average annual value of $4,166,666.67. The salary breakdown is as follows: 2015-16: $2,500,000; 2016-17: $3,000,000; 2017-18: $4,500,000; 2018-19: $4,850,000; 2019-20: $5,050,000; and 2020-21: $5,100,000. The announcement was made by Devils’ General Manager Ray Shero.
added 3:21pm, Press release is below...
Stepan's arbitration hearing is schedule for Monday, July 27th.
via Slava Malamud tweets,
"Corsi. A goalie coach who gained brief notoriety in early 21st century for a now unknown reason" - the Big NHL Plasmapedia, 2130 edition.
The Corsi geeks' problem isn't their object of devotion. Nothing wrong with having a metric to tell you one specific thing occasionally....
Corsi geeks problem is Corsi geeks themselves. Their willingness to attack anyone who dares to watch hockey and humans playing it without...
... necessarily citing their one arbitrary stat and (oh noes!) passing any kind of judgement w/o appealing to it as lazy narrative pushers.
We know the game, we see more in it than you, we love it for what it is. We are not lazy narrative pushers. You are self-important bores.
Anyone who's ever said "lazy narrative" to insult a reporter is someone who wanted to be one but couldn't string two words together #Corsi
So, please, don't push your inferiority complex on us. Go learn some grammar, get some writing talent. Maybe you can push a narrative, too.
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
We begin with the partisans who are in the most distress and count down to the ones who doing the most vibrant cartwheels in the streets.
THE FAN MISERY INDEX
1. NEW JERSEY DEVILS
CUP DROUGHT: 11 SEASONS
THREE-TIME CUP CHAMPS
Maybe Lou Lamoriello knew what he was doing when he bailed on this organization. These Devils have a dim past (just one playoff appearance in the past five years), a painful present (the NHL’s 29th rated offense in 2014-15) and a grey, dystopian future (arguably the least promising prospect pool in the game). This is a team so bereft of hope that it can only aspire to being dull and dreary.
2. CAROLINA HURRICANES
CUP DROUGHT: 9 SEASONS
The ’Canes have become the Washington Generals of the NHL, an opponent that shows up on the schedule so that fun, entertaining teams have someone to play. With their 2006 Stanley Cup (and the glory days of Eric Staal and Cam Ward) behind them, this is a group in search of an identity. One may coalesce around a promising blueline corps (Justin Faulk, Haydn Fleury, Noah Hanifin) but that's still years down the road. Until then, this team, and its fans, play the part of the punching bag.
from Mark Williams of the Columbus Dispatch,
The sponsors attended sessions providing more information about digital-media trends and strategies, insights on Columbus sports fans and how to use the logo rights that they acquired as part of their sponsorship for marketing.
They also picked up fresh data about the Blue Jackets fan base, which have higher household incomes than the typical Columbus family and spend more on things like Internet purchases, cellphones and groceries.
Larry Hoepfner, executive vice president of business operations for the Blue Jackets, said the team’s goal is for sponsors to get more business because of their affiliation with the team.
“If we aren’t doing that, we aren’t doing our jobs,” he said.
The team’s No. 1 challenge is to continue to grow the fan base with more season ticketholders, casual fans coming to more games more often and to get people who’ve never been to a game to come, he said.
“We’ve got to find ways to get them to a game,” he said.
After an injury-plagued season in which the Blue Jackets missed the playoffs, this year’s team is positioned to be much better this season, said John Davidson, the team’s president of hockey operations, and other team officials.
“We’re really excited about our hockey club,” he told the sponsors. “Our team is going to be good, very good. So are a lot of other teams.”
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 email@example.com