Kukla's Korner Hockey
The key to success in the new NHL—with a $44-million US salary cap this season—is for general managers to get the most bang for their bucks.
In other words, it you’re paying big money for a player, he’d better produce.
As the NHL heads into the second half of the season, it’s interesting to note which financial strategies have paid off so far—and which haven’t.
Heading into Saturday’s action, the Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres and Nashville Predators were the three best teams in the NHL.
from the Buffalo News,
Chris Drury and Daniel Briere certainly aren’t comfortable discussing business and impending unrestricted free agency. Drury is one of the all-time gamers, a guy who seldom loses focus when it comes to winning. He’s not thinking about money. He’s thinking about his next shift….
Like it or not, Darcy Regier and his cohorts will eventually need to make a decision about these two. The math suggests the Sabres can keep one or the other, probably not both, perhaps not even either. Even if the salary cap doesn’t become an obstruction, their value could exceed the Sabres’ budget. They’re already spending about $7 million more than they had planned.
from the Tennessean,
In an interview with Predators beat writer John Glennon, team owner Craig Leipold shared his thoughts on ...
The perception that hockey in Nashville is still a weekend or holiday event: “I think we are something of a destination event, an entertainment night. ...This is a sports business. We expect our players to give us 100 percent and show up every night. We’d like to see our fans show up 41 nights a year.’‘
Also from the Tennessean,
Changing needs, cost-cutting and a lack of interest in the game are among the reasons companies have given in canceling their accounts, Violetta said. The team may also still be struggling to overcome local residents’ lack of familiarity with the game the Predators play.
“Hockey is not a native sport here,” Stein said. “I think because of the cultural element of their geography, it’s going to be a challenge in many seasons.”
from the Courier Post,
If the Flyers and Peter Forsberg cannot come to an agreement on a contract extension by the end of the NHL All-Star break later this month, they may elect to trade the star center prior to the Feb. 27 trading deadline, club general manager Paul Holmgren said Saturday.
“At the trade deadline, if we didn’t have something done for future years, we might just be inclined to roll the dice,” Holmgren said. “I really haven’t thought that far ahead to be honest with you. I think he’s still a tremendous player. But I haven’t really looked at that.”
from the News Democrat,
The rare attraction of free food brought many fans to the St. Louis Blues game at Scottrade Center on Saturday, including Dupo High School teachers Jerry Devany, John Daab and Scott Hamm.
“I probably wouldn’t have (been here),” said Daab, part of a crowd of 17,868 in attendance. “We talk hockey at school and about how well they’d been playing lately. We saw the deal and said ‘hey, let’s go.’”
“I just started laughing when I saw everything, I felt like a kid in a candy store,” said Daab, who had three hot dogs, two orders of chicken strips and some peanuts. “How they had it set up was perfect, there were no lines. We got here and whatever we wanted, they had it for us.
“The longest lines I saw were the bathroom lines.”
from the Port Huron Times Herald,
Ask anyone in town for the International Silver Stick Tournament this weekend. Hockey helmets, pads and gloves - especially the gloves - are notoriously stinky, and the stink is nearly impossible to expunge.
“It doesn’t matter what you do. The smell is there,” said Anderson, whose son, Ashton, plays for the Mississauga IceDogs. “It’s an ongoing problem.”
Hockey parents have various strategies and coping methods for the stench. There are even services and machines designed to clean hockey equipment, although there is some disagreement about how well they work.
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
On the slippery surface, the Senators were near perfect yesterday.
On the video scoreboard, however, they committed a major faux pas.
During a first-period stoppage in a skit promoting the team’s Hockey Night in Barbados fan contest, Spartacat forced a fellow wearing a Montreal Canadiens jersey to jump off a ship.
Eyes on the Prize chimes in too…
In the moments during the pregame buildup between the Senators and Habs, a scene on the video screen above the ice sent a rage throughout the Canadiens organization.
In an inconsiderate display of brash idiotic arrogance, heartless timing, and ill will, a cartoon featuring the Senators mascot Spartacat teases a Habs fan in a boat, inviting him to jump in the lake, so to speak. Senators owner Eugene Melnyk steers the ship, while the mascot taunts and pokes at the fan, before finally throwing him overboard.
Mike Chen breaks down the “First Day of Hull”,
The much ballyhooed debut of Brett Hull was a total success. Hull’s brashness came through right away, and it injected some life into Ray “Chicken Parm” Ferraro who is usually duller than Jacque Lemaire power play. Some highlights of Hull’s comments:
On Jarko Ruutu: “Here’s a typical play by a typical player in the NHL. Jarko Ruutu refuses to drop his gloves…he’s got one goal in 40 games. It’s players like that we have to weed out of the league.”
read on... And NBC still needs to let us know what happened with the HD broadcast, numerous break ups throughout the game…
added 7:44am, from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
Brett Hull debuted as NBC’s hockey analyst on Saturday afternoon, but he could have been doing the job for years.
Hull is a natural for TV. Working with host Bill Clement and co-analyst Ray Ferraro in the studio, he was smooth, appeared comfortable in front of the camera, and, of course, wasn’t short of opinion.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
They were two young NHL general managers facing similar challenges, both running Canadian teams that had missed the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs and in desperate need of a starting goaltender.
One went big. One went medium-sized.
The GM who went big was Vancouver’s David Nonis and, as the grinding NHL season moves through January, the Canucks are discovering the benefits of almost never having to wonder or worry about the identity of their goaltender from night to night.
from the Boston Herald,
Dave Lewis has seen enough.
After watching his team stumble to its sixth defeat in seven games yesterday with a 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden - Tim Thomas [stats]’ 35 saves prevented another lopsided result - the Bruins [team stats] coach vowed to shake up the lineup for tomorrow’s matinee against the Buffalo Sabres.
“We need to either change the lines or change the rotation on players, because right now it’s not working,” Lewis said.
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