Kukla's Korner Hockey
Prior to joining the NHL in November as evp-corporate sales and marketing, John Collins was an executive for more than 15 years at the NFL, including svp-sales and marketing (in 2000 he was named one of Brandweek’s “Marketers of the Next Generation”) and then was president/CEO at the NFL’s Cleveland Browns. In May he was given added responsibilities and a new title, svp-business and media, to work with league marketing partners including Pepsi, Reebok, Anheuser-Busch, XM Satellite, Verizon Wireless and Dodge. He spoke with Brandweek executive editor Barry Janoff about the NHL’s marketing strengths, weaknesses and future.
Brandweek: How was the lockout in 2004-05 a turning point for the NHL?
John Collins: It’s a dramatic step if you shut down any business for a year. In terms of business and marketing, the first season after the lockout was all about restarting the business. The NHL represents a classic marketing opportunity and we hope a classic marketing success. Based on franchise values, revenue growth, the rise in salary cap and other numbers that commissioner Gary Bettman presented this month to the board of governors, the business has come back and is poised for growth.
from Paul Hunter at the Toronto Star,
“A team that was on the outside looking in can be on the inside in a hurry in this day and age,” said Phoenix general manager Don Maloney.
“You can reload a lot quicker,” adds Brian Burke, who brought the Stanley Cup to California for the first time as GM of Anaheim.
It is Year Three of the league’s dramatically different collective agreement, a contract many managers admit they’re still trying to fully grasp, and it is Burke’s Ducks for which the other teams are gunning.
This might have been the summer that will show how quickly and smartly teams can rebuild in the new system.
from Hockey Adventure,
The way the entertainment media interacts with NHLers is quite unlike traditional sports coverage.
For instance, on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the comedian-host joshed Wayne Gretzky about whether he’s known as “The Great One” around the house with his wife Janet. Also, at this year’s ESPY Awards, Kimmel quipped at Gretzky about David Beckham’s potential impact on soccer in the USA: “Maybe he can do what you did for hockey, and in 15 years no one will be watching soccer, either.”
Would Canada’s ultimate hockey god ever receive such irreverent treatment when interviewed on Hockey Night in Canada or in The Globe & Mail? Historically, no.
from the Boston Globe,
Bochenski, once in the mix as a second-line right wing, was a healthy scratch in yesterday’s preseason-ending 4-2 loss to the Islanders at TD Banknorth Garden. Bochenski dressed in only two of the team’s six matches, recording three shots and zero points - not exactly the numbers expected of a go-to scorer.
“With an extra 20 pounds, it’s trickier than you think,” said Bochenski, referring to his struggles at the start of camp. “But I’m not making any excuses. I chose to come in like that.”
more on the Bruins…
from Ed Moran at Philly News,
Downie did not have it easy as a kid, and it impacts him the way his story impacts everyone that gets to know him. His father, John, was killed in a car accident driving him to hockey practice when Steve was 7.
At 13, the hearing in his right ear began to fade and he now wears an aid off the ice.
When he was drafted by the Flyers 29th overall in 2005, he broke down and cried. He told reporters of the sacrifices his mother had made and how he was saddened that his father was not there to be part of the day.
He said that he remembered the day his father died. “I remember every minute of it. It only makes me play harder,” he said.
from the Denver Post,
The affable Laperriere has been fighting throughout training camp and the preseason, making sure everyone on his team and around the league knows they’ll have to go through him to get to Colorado’s numerous (and healthy) stars, including additions Ryan Smyth, Scott Hannan and Jaroslav Hlinka.
Lappy’s face is a mess, and he’s proud of it. He has multiple cuts around his nose, which has been pointing toward his right ear for years, and a black eye. He exceeds the definition of toughness and team pride, and uses those things to defend his teammates and provide motivation during rough times.
from the Edmonton Sun,
Physically Penner should be fine. It’s finding the chemistry with Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff on the first line which might take some time.
Hemsky and Horcoff know each other well. It’s a matter of Penner getting up to speed with them.
“It’s coming along,” Penner said. “I have to be a little more aware on the ice when I’m with him (Hemsky) because he can find you in the small seams. You have to be ready at all times with a guy like that because good things will happen.”
from the Buffalo News,
At some point this week, perhaps as soon as this morning, Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff will address his captain.
Ruff rotated the “C” throughout the team’s six preseason games, but only one player wore it twice, underscoring Ruff’s long-held affinity for the underappreciated Jochen Hecht. O kapitan, mein kapitan?
When the Sabres open the regular season Friday against the New York Islanders in HSBC Arena, the versatile German forward could be just the third captain in club history from the Eastern Hemisphere (after Alexander Mogilny and Miroslav Satan).
from the Toronto Star,
According to sources, the Buffalo Sabres will announce today that analyst Harry Neale is leaving the Toronto Maple Leafs’ regional broadcasts to join them.
Neale’s spot on the Leafs’ regional broadcasts, seen on Rogers Sportsnet, TSN and Leafs TV, will be taken by Greg Millen….
Though the 70-year-old analyst will continue to work for Hockey Night In Canada, he won’t be calling as many Toronto games as he has in the past.
from the Telegraph,
Though there are penalties in ice hockey, for high-sticking, for holding and holding the stick, there are no penalties for body checking your opponents at full speed, into a wall. Indeed, that kind of behaviour is rapturously applauded by knowledgeable fans. Such fans will need no explanation of the finer points of the game. Which is just as well. This is a sport of speed, power and violence, played without the inconveniences of offside or touchlines or namby-pamby referees. Indeed, ice hockey referees may well be the least namby-pamby officials in the sports world, since four of them must not only share the ice with two teams of aggressive hulks, but sort out the game’s near obligatory brawl.
There was one of those last night, and highly entertaining it was too. The fight ended as an honourable draw, with one player from each side sitting out a five-minute penalty.
read on about the 2 games in London…
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.
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