Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
If you are like me, then you must be searching for hockey news whenever possible.
Today at my NHL.com blog, I point to a few hockey blogs that may help you with that search.
via the New York Rangers,
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with restricted free agent forward Marcel Hossa.
Ice hockey is a fairly straight-forward sport. Think of it as football – except on ice, with big sticks and a smaller ball (the puck).
The aim is to score more goals than your opponent into a net, guarded by (funnily enough) a net-minder or goal-tender.
The rest of the team is comprised of five players, who play in a number of positions, similar to those on a football pitch. Two defensemen generally remain at the back of the five and are larger and more heavily-built than their team-mates. A centre is usually positioned in the middle of the rink and is the playmaker of the team, usually showing good all-round skills but particularly excellent vision and a solid and reliable pass.
continued... it sounds so easy!
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
In a perfect world, fans across the sporting world would be lining up at the NHL’s door. They would be saying, let us in, give us tickets, tell us where to watch you on television, where to buy your jerseys and pennants….
This multitude of fans would say, as they clutched their rubber pucks to their hearts, we’re tired of star athletes who mutilate dogs or keep guns or beat up their girlfriends or who are shot at or who shoot at others.
In a perfect world, the NHL would become the people’s choice, not just because of the game itself, but also because of the atmosphere surrounding the game and its environs, environs that have, for the most part, remained immune to the kinds of cripplingly bad press we’ve seen other leagues and sports endure this summer.
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
NHL.com recently sat down with Jeremy Jacobs, newly elected chairman of the NHL’s Board of Governors, for insight into his new role, his team and the future of hockey….
NHL.com—What do you see as your role as chairman?
Jacobs—Good stewardship, that’s the role I see for myself. The NHL is on a sound footing and at this point, the NHL needs, perhaps, some tweaking here and there, but it’s in good shape overall. This game is very much under Gary’s direction and my role is to help him and support him and be a tireless advocate for the sport and its owners.
via the Ottawa Senators,
Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray announced today the club has re-signed centre Chris Kelly to a one-year deal.
Kelly returns to the Senators for his third full season in the NHL. He recorded his best season in 2006-07, scoring 15 goals and adding 23 assists for 38 points in 82 games. The Toronto native also had seven points (three goals and four assists) while playing in all 20 post-season games.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org