Kukla's Korner Hockey
via MutliChannel News,
Other sports are skating on thinner ice. Viewership of the National Hockey League playoffs on Comcast’s Versus network is flat compared to last year. And TNT and ESPN are reporting double-digit dips in viewership of the National Basketball Association playoffs.
Versus’ 0.2 household rating for NHL playoff ratings through May 25 is even compared to its inaugural season of hockey coverage, according to network president Gavin Harvey. The network’s conference finals coverage however, posted a 17% increase to a 0.7 from a 0.6.
He said the network has benefited from several competitive playoff series featuring a number of big market teams, including all three New York City-area teams and the upstate Buffalo Sabres.
He also pointed to the increased awareness of Versus’ NHL coverage, which includes regular-season, playoff and two Stanley Cup finals telecasts. “Clearly we have more awareness as the home of hockey than we had last year,” he said.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
Gretzky is cheering for the Ducks, mostly because of location, location, location in terms of the Coyotes. But there also is his legacy.
“Oh yeah. I think all of us who were around back then see the Ducks as a success of our group. It came at the same time as the Disney movie Mighty Ducks and Mr. Eisner of the Disney Corporation came to all our games,” said Gretzky, who spends the off season in Southern California.
“The sport has grown an awful lot in the southwest and the Ducks getting to the final and winning the Stanley Cup would only help.”
It’s one thing for a California team to have all the stars, moons and planets lined up and to knock on the door every once in a while, but the door needs to be knocked down, said No. 99.
from the LA Times,
StubHub, a San Francisco-based online ticket marketplace, said that only about 250 seats from season-ticket holders were available for Monday night’s opening game, selling for $200 to $1,200 each.
“That’s not nearly as many as you’d see for a Dodgers playoff game or even a Lakers playoff game,” said Sean Pate, a StubHub spokesman. “It shows me a lot of those season-ticket holders are holding onto their seats.”
Chuck Alexander of Anaheim said he is leaning toward selling his seats behind Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, especially when he heard center-ice seats were going for $1,500 each, more than five times the face value of his $280 seat. He sold his two tickets to a semifinal game for $1,200 to a Detroit fan.
more (reg. req.)
from Scott Bordow of the East Valley Tribune,
Short of committing a felony — and getting caught — there is little a professional athlete can do to make himself a pariah. Drugs? There’s always a second chance. A DUI arrest? Counseling and some harsh words. Dogfighting on your property? I wasn’t there, officer.
But there is one unforgivable sin: illegal gambling.
Even the whisper of a gambling scandal threatens the integrity of a sport.
But the popularity of sports is dependent on the games being fairly decided. Once that truth is violated, a sport is forever compromised.
Which is why former Coyotes assistant Rick Tocchet should be permanently banned by the NHL.
TSN’s sister station in Quebec RDS reports that the Montreal Canadiens have offered defenceman Andrei Markov a four-year contract worth just over $5 million a season.
from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,
As sure as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, you’re going to hear a tale of woe about the 2007 Stanley Cup Final because “big market” teams aren’t competing.
Hockey fans will be watching and we’re going to see some of the NHL’s best players vying for the Cup. The excellence of competition goes well beyond the name of the city a team calls home. It’s too bad that elementary lesson is lost so quickly.
They are a medium and they are helping to build a new one that is fast growing instead of shrinking. They are journalists who are self policed. If they do bad work, they won’t be pointed to by other bloggers and they will fall out of the search engine results pages. The NHL needs all of the coverage and audience we can generate. Our audience is the most wired of all the pro sports.
read on and note what Ted said…
We know of a few blogs that don’t point to any other blogs, pretending that they information they have came from a source.
We also know one of those blogs lies to draw readers and clicks; that blogger refers to it as his “stchick”, but I would remove a few letters and spin the letters around for a better description.
from the AP via ESPN,
Dominik Hasek will wait a few weeks before deciding whether to return to the Detroit Red Wings next season or retire.
“Me and my family have to make the decision,” said the 42-year-old goaltender, who signed a one-year incentive-laden contract with Detroit last summer.
It turned out to be a good move for both sides as Hasek backstopped the Red Wings to the Western Conference finals, where Detroit was eliminated in six games by the Anaheim Ducks.
“Physically, I felt great this season,” Hasek said.
continued...plus Bertuzzi wants to stay in Detroit…
from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,
But the cold fact is, Nashville wasn’t buying what they were selling and Leipold, who had the benefit of one of the most forgiving leases in the history of sports arenas, simply couldn’t make it work.
And that’s the scary part for a great many hockey markets in the U.S and Canada.
Nashville was, and is, bleeding red ink. According to Liepold’s open letter to the hockey fans in that community the team lost $27 million in real cash losses over the last two seasons despite a team that garnered 216 points in the standings over the same time span.
That means one of hockey’s great winners on ice was one of its biggest losers at the gate.
from the St. Peterburg Times,
The Lightning general manager got word this week from owner Bill Davidson that payroll will not be cut, as was feared, and might even end up higher than last season’s $44-million.
In a perfect world, Feaster said, that would end speculation one of his high-priced stars - Vinny Lecavalier, Marty St. Louis, Brad Richards or Dan Boyle - will have to be traded.
“It should, ” Feaster said Thursday. “I hope it does. It’s one of the things Feaster and Davidson talked about. He likes those players. He recognizes we’re very close. He’s bullish on this team.”
For more talk on off-season movement, check out Spector and make sure to go back a few days too.
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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