Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said he thinks the rise in spending on players this year is a one-time occurrence, and that he doesn’t think double-digit percentage increases will happen in subsequent years.... As of last week, only four of the 30 NHL clubs had spent less money than they did the year before, and four teams had year-over-year payroll increases of more than 40 percent. “I can’t say I am necessarily surprised where payrolls are,” Daly said. “It’s the nature of the cap system that teams tend to migrate towards the cap.” Coming out of the longest work stoppage in the history of professional sports, the NHL last season set its revenue projections conservatively — $350 million too conservatively, as it turned out. The league had predicted revenue of about $1.8 billion, but the final number was about $2.1 billion. As a result, the upper limit on payrolls was too low, Daly said. This year, it is $5 million, or 12.8 percent, higher. “The reason [spending] grew by a double-digit percentage is we had a payroll range last summer that didn’t reflect what our leaguewide economics were,” Daly said. “I don’t anticipate that we will continue to see double-digit increases in the payroll range on a going-forward basis.” Daly said that although he is not concerned about the market on a leaguewide basis, the league is monitoring the way certain teams are spending on certain players. “It’s clearly something we have to monitor … to make sure the right dollars are going in the right pockets,” he said.
from the CP via TSN,
Former Canadian national team coach Dave King was fired by Metallurg Magnitogorsk on Monday. Despite leading the club to a Russian league regular-season title last year, King was let go after back-to-back losses this weekend dropped the team to 3-4-1 on the early season. King was immediately replaced by his assistant coach Fedor Kanareikin.update 11:07am, from Reuters via the Guardian Unlimited,
Canadian Dave King has quit as coach of Metallurg Magnitogorsk following a string of poor results, the Russian Superleague club said on Monday. "Today, we came to a mutual decision to part company with head coach Dave King," Metallurg said on their Web site.update 12:34pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
"I was caught completely off guard this morning because, geez, it was only eight games," said King. "I was playing the young kids the way they wanted me to. But this is Russia and everything over here is just so volatile. A lot of people would like to come over because financially, it's such a great pay day, but you really earn your money. It can be there and it can be gone so quickly."more
from the Daily News,
Will 'til next year. It's a phrase that began with supporters of baseball's Brooklyn Dodgers, who always had trouble beating those big-shot New York Yankees across town. For the last four decades, fans of another team in blue and white have taken up the call - could this be the year the Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup? The ones at Halifax Metro Centre for last night's exhibition game against the Ottawa Senators thought so. They packed the building with jerseys, painted their faces, and weren't too upset that their squad came to town without stars like Mats Sundin, Thomas Kaberle, Michael Peca and Darcy Tucker.continued
from the Hamilton Spectator,
In case there's anyone out there who still believes the NHL could work in Hamilton, Saturday's game ought to end the lunacy once and for all. At a time when stories are flying around that a prospective new owner is vying to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins and move them to Copps Coliseum, those same Penguins come here for an exhibition game and barely half the seats are sold. Honestly, how does anyone think this game doesn't answer every question about our interest in the product and our ability to sustain a team? The NHL comes here maybe once a year, and when it does, this city lets out a collective yawn and finds something else to do.continued
from the Czech Business Weekly,
Next season, the New York Rangers could kick off their National Hockey League (NHL) campaign in Prague, the Czech sports marketing company Česká sportovní announced last week “It’s quite realistic that Prague will host a regular NHL game early next season,” said company owner, Tomáš Petera. “Given the Rangers’ Czech-studded lineup, led by Jaromír Jágr, we’re primarily eyeing the opportunity to bring the Rangers to a game here.” So far, the NHL has staged hockey games outside of North America only three times, in Japan. The last time that the NHL faced off overseas was in 2000, when the Pittsburgh Penguins took on the Nashville Predators at the Saitama Super Arena outside Tokyo.continued
from the Pioneer Press,
· My mom's side of the family had a lot of influence on me when it came to hockey. (Wild coach) Jacques (Lemaire) is my mother's brother. I've never called him Uncle Jacques. I call him Jacques. He wasn't my only uncle. There are nine brothers and sisters. It's a vast family. · I want the people of Minnesota to know that I owe my whole career to them. Each and every game, I'm going to do whatever it takes to make them proud and help the team win. I'm a guy that's really thankful for anybody who's ever helped me. It doesn't go unnoticed with me. For the fans who've stuck by me from the very beginning, that really counts for something.read on
from the Calgary Sun,
With all due respect to Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay is going to be the most exciting Flame to watch this season. Admit it. Every fan that took in his debut at the Saddledome last week focused on one guy for most of the night -- and that was No. 40.... The best thing about Tanguay is he wants to be the kind of player who lifts his team to a new level. Some fans have read his comments over the past couple of weeks and mistaken confidence and enthusiasm for cockiness. That's not the case. If anything, he's his own harshest critic.read on
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Nonetheless, Gonchar's bosses are to be forgiven if they are particularly cautious about how he's handled over the next few days. After all, he has been looking like a pretty precious commodity lately. Perhaps even worthy of the five-year, $25 million contract the Penguins gave him in the summer of 2005. He has four goals (three on the power play) and two assists in two exhibition games, has made intelligent plays all over the ice and has provided a steadying influence on the Penguins' blue line. That he is rookie center Evgeni Malkin's primary link to his teammates and coaches only enhances his value.... "I want to do better this year," he said. "It was a very disappointing year, for all of us. We didn't have a good start. We went in with a lot of expectations, and didn't start well. "It was very hard for all of us, especially for me, after signing a big contract. Hopefully, that's not going to be the case this year. I'm going to try to do everything to avoid it."more
from the Boston Herald,
The Bruins’ short-term memory is certainly pleasant right now after four consecutive, strong preseason wins. There is no guarantee the good times will keep rolling, but that clearly is Lewis’ aim. “We’re trying to have an atmosphere where conditioning is important, hard work is important, structure is important, individual creativity is important, but yet enjoy what you do because not many people in the world are lucky enough to get the opportunity to play professional sports,” Lewis said. “There’s enough pressure as it is, each player putting internal pressure on himself, external pressure from the coaches, media, fans, that you have to have a release. If you’re comfortable you always play better. If you’re relaxed you play better. We’re always trying to loosen them up. “We’re just getting to know the team as coaches. It’s a fairly quiet team, we’re getting to find. I think there are a couple of characters. The blossom hasn’t fully opened yet, but I think we’re getting there. We’re trying to break the ice. (Associate coach) Marc (Habscheid) is good at that. (Assistant) Doug (Houda) has had some funny presentations before games. (Center) Marc Savard has really helped in that area.”read on
Well the name changed, but the website hasn't.
I would have thought Versus would have done an overhall on the site too.
added 7:48am, from the LA Times,
"Versus captures the essence of our brand," Harvey said. "We felt it was a slam dunk, and sports fans we talked to all agreed." The network is also suggesting that people can simply call it by the letters VS. Harvey, a UCLA business school graduate who became network president in 2004, said creative director Michael Magnotta came up with the name last October. Focus groups were conducted and Versus was approved in April. None of this might have happened if not for the NHL. When OLN got the deal last August, it was viewed as a watershed for the network because it gained a league it could hang its hat on. "For us, it was a game changer," Harvey said. "It put us on the map. It is the engine that drives us. We think the NHL has tremendous growth potential, and we want to grow this thing together."more (reg. req.)
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