Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),
The NHL has increased its emphasis on shared business practices among teams, tripling the staff of its club services division and upping the number of visits those staff members make to each team. The league’s club services department, renamed following the lockout in 2004-05, will act as a single source for collecting and sharing information on such things as ticket pricing, marketing initiatives and promotional efforts, all designed to increase team and league revenue. In the past, teams largely were left on their own to determine and maximize such areas. “Being in the league office, we have the benefit of a view of all 30 clubs,” said Susan Cohig, group vice president for club services and until recently the department’s only employee since the lockout. “Teams don’t have that. Hopefully, from that 30,000-foot view we can say, ‘X team has gone through the same thing. Let’s see how they addressed it and see if it can help you.’” Beyond increased travel and personnel, the league also has invested in technology. This week the NHL will announce a deal with StratBridge, a Cambridge, Mass.-based software company that will provide the league with its StratTix technology. Teams will be able to use the technology to identify, in real time, who customers are, where they’re sitting and if they’re part of a group or a promotion.
via the Chicago Daily-Herald,
Veteran defenseman Derian Hatcher is minus-14, while defenseman Joni Pitkanen is minus-8. Winger Kyle Calder, acquired from the Hawks in exchange for Michal Handzus, has no points in 10 games and is minus-7 with 5 minor penalties. New GM Paul Holmgren is said to be looking to make a blockbuster trade to shake things up, with winger Simon Gagne’s name being floated as possible bait. It’s believed the Hawks have offered the Flyers defenseman Jassen Cullimore, who according to a report in the Ottawa Sun also has been shopped to the Boston Bruins.
When the Islanders skated out of the tunnel to face Buffalo, they were greeted by a season-low crowd of 8,861 fans. Playing as if the life had been sucked out of them, the Islanders suffered a 3-0 shutout loss that left most in the crowd yawning, except for when they were booing....Ted Nolan said,
The fans know how important they are to us and how much encouragement the players get from them. But the flip side is that we can't ask them to be loud if we don't give them something to be loud about. It's a Catch-22. We've got to perform to get them on our side." It's not going to happen overnight. Still, the lack of excitement over the Buffalo game never would have happened in a lot of other places in the NHL.more
from the Columbus Dispatch,
The Blue Jackets are paying their top 12 forwards about $24 million this season, roughly $6 million more than the entire roster made in 2000-01, the inaugural season. The Jackets expected to be an offensive force, but they aren’t getting much bang for their buck so far. "We have to create more scoring chances, it’s just that simple," coach Gerard Gallant said. "I thought we played a real good game defensively (Saturday), but we didn’t create enough and we didn’t capitalize on the few chances we did get. "There’s no reason we should be struggling to score goals like this. With the people we have? There’s no reason at all."read on
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
So why then, Darryl, does everyone in the city talk about the Flames lack of offence? "For the most part members of the media are all experts and don't watch games and don't understand it," explained Sutter, who has spent three years defending his team's scoring potential and slamming those who question the obvious. "It's not hard to figure out at all. On our last road trip the team scored 10 goals in the three games they lost. If our powerplay had scored two goals in the four game road trip we would have been 4-2 instead of 2-4. It's that simple and that close."more, plus a mention that Conroy will not be a Flame...
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
Darren McCarty says freewheeling spending isn't to blame for his bankruptcy situation. Instead, the Calgary Flames forward insists the biggest cause of his current troubles are bad business decisions. "It sounds as if I blew $6 million, which isn't the case," he said yesterday. "A lot of it had to do with a couple of properties that we owned and I signed my name to. It's not as if I was blowing the money."continued
from the Tennessean,
The more comfortable Predators defenseman Shea Weber feels on the NHL level, the more he's making life uncomfortable for his opponents.... The top blueline sensation of that draft so far has been Calgary's Dion Phaneuf, who last season moved straight from the junior ranks into a starring NHL role. He posted 20 goals, recorded dozens of memorable hits and this season is averaging more than 27 minutes of ice time per game. But Weber's teammates believe he will in time be comparable to Phaneuf. "The Flames needed Phaneuf right away, and they made him one of their go-to guys on the power play and the penalty kill,'' Suter said. "I think Shea is just as good as (Phaneuf). When you get put in more situations, you start proving who you are. Shea is definitely the real deal.''more
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Maybe it was nothing, but it's far more likely that it was not only something, but something significant in the making of the Rangers, 2006-07.... "I saw [Morris] lipping off to Jags and sensed that there might be some trouble," Shanahan, whose team-leading ninth goal closed the scoring, told The Post following the team's practice here yesterday. "Jags was trying to explain that he'd held back on the check and just leaned into him, but he wasn't buying it and it wasn't ending. "I wasn't really big on the way things were developing. I wasn't going to have it go on. So I got between them, we had some words, and it cooled off pretty quickly." Perhaps it wasn't a seminal moment, but it was a moment in the season unlike any before it. "We're a team," Shanahan said. "We're in this together."read on
from the LA Times,
"The whole thing is to establish a character and a work ethic, what you stand for, and that's not going to happen overnight," Lombardi said. "But I see a game like last night, it's a sign. I think we showed the character that I want to see." That is the glass-half-full view, with an eye on what may well be a brighter future. For the here and now, the glass seems to be cracked and leaking all over the counter. And fans are restless, demonstrated by low attendance at recent games.more (reg. req.)... including confirmation of Conroy talks...
from the Tribune-Democrat via the ECHL,
The final leg of an international tour stopped at Cambria County War Memorial Arena on Saturday night. But no big-name rock star was in town. No monster truck show or Disney on Ice production, either. Instead, four hardcore hockey fans from Norway parked a RV a few blocks from the arena and marched into the building where "Slap Shot" was filmed. These guys came for the Johnstown Chiefs' ECHL game against the Cincinnati Cyclones. But of perhaps greater significance, "The Do It Right or Donâ€™t Do It At All Tour" concluded in the Flood City after 14 days and approximately 3,200 miles at a cost of about $3,000 per man.continued Their recap of the tour stops...
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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