Kukla's Korner Hockey
An arbitrator has awarded New York Rangers centre Sean Avery a $1.9-million salary for next season.
Avery, 27, was seeking $2.6-million in arbitration after scoring 48 points in 84 games last season with the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers.
added 1:27pm, via the NY Rangers,
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has signed restricted free agent forward Sean Avery.
“We are pleased to have Sean under contract and are looking forward to him returning with the same passion and enthusiasm he brought to our team last year,” stated Sather. “He is a terrific competitor, who we expect to play a significant role in a successful season.”
via Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Remember The Spirit of Manitoba? That was the group of Winnipeg businesses that banded together in an attempt to stop the Jets from moving; they too had fans rejoicing at the prospect of pulling the franchise back from the brink of relocation, yet ultimately couldn’t stop the move from coming to pass.
I’m not guaranteeing the same fate for the Predators, but their fans definitely should hold off on the victory celebrations for a while. If history repeats, their darkest day may yet be to come.
from the Boston Bruins,
Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has named Craig Ramsay and Geoff Ward Assistant Coaches. Ramsay and Ward join Assistant Coach Doug Houda and Goaltending Coach Bob Essensa to round out Head Coach Claude Julien’s staff.
Greg Wyshynski at the NHL Fanhouse does a very in-depth story on “Eklund”.
Because as Eklund’s popularity and influence have grown—with surging Web traffic, high-profile radio gigs and an on-air role during an NHL trade deadline television special—so have serious charges about a fraudulent biography, his lack of journalistic ethics and some online behavior that historically has gotten professional reporters fired. During our hour-long conversation, the “anonymous hockey blogger” finally began to answer to them—with some startling revelations….
One of the most controversial aspects of the Eklund legend is his biography. The background he had given to ESPN was in direct contrast with the fanciful origin story he gave FanHouse’s Eric McErlain in an early (and must-read) interview in 2005. Self-aggrandizing aside—I still love the part about having written a book that sold so well he no longer had to work full-time—the fact was that the official bio on his Web site changed significantly after he began attracting a larger audience.
read on... much, much more including pics…
Wow, what a month for KK!
Who would have thought the UFA period would have brought so many readers to KK for the month of July?
I expected a slight increase in numbers for the month, but nothing like this. Thank you to everyone who visits KK on a regular basis and it is much appreciated.
The facelift for KK is right around the corner. Expect to see some fantastic enhancements to the site sometime this month. It has been a long process but one well worth waiting for.
To see stats for previous months, start here.
from the Toronto Star,
Gilmour admits there’s still a player inside him, appreciating how fast the game is. It’s something he tries not to lose sight of as a scout.
“As for watching the game different, you can kind of still put yourself in their shoes. When you sit up top, it’s an easier game,” said Gilmour.
“When you’re down low, you kind of know what’s going on, and why he made that mistake, and why he’s there.”
So where does he see his future lie: as a GM, or as a head coach?
“That’s a good question,” he said. “It’s hard to say right now. I don’t want to pinpoint which way I want to go, I don’t know.”
from the Star-Telegram,
This is an open letter to the NHL and its powers that be, who keep telling us—because they certainly aren’t showing us—that they want their sport to be relevant and popular again.
Well, NHL, hear this: You want a calling card, you’ve got it. You’re clean. You’re scandal-free. You’re like that goody-goody student who sits quietly at his desk while the others are shooting spit wads at each other. And those spit wad-shooting scamps, the ones who have been taking your thunder and television ratings for years, are mired in PR disasters that could put a damper on their sports.
from the Edmonton Journal,
It can’t be called blind faith, because a flippant label like that one would demean the fan base.
And these people know their hockey.
But for whatever reason, and there may well be plenty of them, Edmonton Oilers season ticket-holders have opened their wallets faster than ever this summer. It’s Aug. 1, six weeks before NHL training camp, two months before the Oilers play the San Jose Sharks in the first of 41 home games at Rexall Place and the team doesn’t have a single season ticket left to sell. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
from the Tennessean,
Nashville has 24 players it believes should be on the NHL roster — 14 forwards, eight defensemen and two goalies. Only 23 can be carried on the roster during the regular season.
So if everyone stays healthy as the regular season nears, some kind of trade is likely.
“Something has to give,’’ General Manager David Poile said, adding that movement could come either at the forward or defense positions.
“I could go either way, with the combination of the coaches’ preference as to where we have better players, where we need depth, where we’re healthiest. There could be any number of reasons we pick one player over another — it could be age, could be potential, asset value.’‘
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
The online publication SportsBusiness Journal reported this week that the NHL has started preliminary talks with ESPN about replacing NBC as a television partner in 2008-09.
In response, an NBC spokesman said it was premature to speculate on what the network will do with its 2008-09 option.
What’s more, NBC will employ a flexible NHL schedule in 2007-08, from which it will pick the best matchup — a move that should push up ratings.
“This is the first opportunity that NBC will have to really fight for the rating number that it considers to be its target,” an NHL source said.
Still, if the NHL is talking to ESPN, it’s almost certain NBC has informed the league it is preparing to pull out.
Networks make programming decisions months in advance. It’s unlikely the NHL would have approached ESPN unless it knew NBC was not planning to pick up its option.
Update 2:30am ET:
More thoughts from TIB,
Giving up exclusivity for publicity would be a smart move for the young network. ESPN, which has mocked the channel on occasion, would now be helping remind its audience it not only exists, but carries similar content. Somewhere Alanis Morissette is smiling.
Despite the jokes directed at Versus, Comcast has done a good job getting it onto more cable systems since the NHL deal was signed, and continuously improving the hockey broadcasts as they’ve gone along.
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