Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the Express-News,
When the Spurs knocked out the Suns to set up their meeting with the Jazz, more than a few people speculated the nation’s viewing public wouldn’t be too interested in watching the two small-market teams.
Apparently, San Antonio isn’t all that interested, either.
For the first time in the five-year history of the AT&T Center, the Spurs didn’t sell out a playoff game.
The Spurs listed their attendance as 18,300, about 500 short of the 18,797 capacity.
hmmm, will the media be all over this one?
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
There are countless things we can and should write about after a stunning weekend of hockey that saw the Presidents’ Trophy winning Buffalo Sabres eliminated and the Detroit Red Wings, the team that tied Buffalo for the most points in the regular season, put on the brink.
Television decisions shouldn’t be one of them, but what happened with NBC in the United States on Saturday and Sunday was almost beyond comprehension for a so-called major sports league.
from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,
Everyone loves to hate a villain, and in the NHL, the Ducks are exhibit A—as in Anaheim. Even their makeover from the cartoonish Mighty Ducks to their more Dark Wing inspired motif fits. They fought more than any team during the regular season, and they continue to win in the playoffs despite taking penalties at an alarming rate. It’s part of playing a relentless forechecking style and banging bodies at every opportunity.
Sabres/Sens on Saturday 1.2 rating and a 3 share
Ducks/Wings on Sunday 1.6/4
via Tripp Mickle at Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),
The NHL is proposing the creation of an enhanced club services division that will share business practices in hopes of increasing league revenue by at least $85 million over the next five years.
Teams would be asked to help each other boost revenue by sharing business practices.
The proposal, which will be brought before the board of governors for a vote on June 20, calls for the creation of four account teams that will work with eight clubs each. Like the NBA’s team marketing and business operations department, the group will be designed to help those clubs maximize ticket and sponsorship sales, team sources said.
The NHL acknowledged that there is a proposal but declined to discuss it in advance of the board of governors meeting.
from the Ottawa Citizen,
Drury said part of the pain on Saturday was the knowledge that faces were going to change in the next few months.
“Yeah, it certainly is,” he said.
“We’re not going to be a group anymore. After nine months, that is hard to take.
“And even teams that win, you know, like Carolina (in 2006), there are always changes, new faces. We know there are going to be changes here, and it’s hard because you do build friendships and you battle with guys
“Ultimately I guess that’s just the job we do and that’s sports.”
from Bill McGraw of the Detroit Free Press,
But the more you look into the nationality thing in hockey, the more nothing makes sense, stereotypes disintegrate and Don Cherry sounds like a resounding gong or clanging cymbal, in the words of one famous hockey writer.
First of all: Brian Burke, the guy who built the proto-Canadian Ducks. He was born in New England and grew up in Minnesota. He might be uptight, but he’s no Canadian.
In Sunday’s game between the Wings and Ducks, there was absolutely no pattern to nationality. I checked.
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
Meet Dany Heatley, playmaker.
The Senators left winger, often facing withering defensive attention because of his goal-scoring skills, has turned into a set-up man.
He is the NHL’s leading playoff scorer with 21 points, moving ahead of linemate Jason Spezza with a one-goal, two-assist performance Saturday as the Senators earned their first trip to the Stanley Cup final.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
The best team in the Western Conference final is not winning the Western Conference final.
The deeper and stronger team on the ice is not leading 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.
When summer hits, and the Wings have not been part of any kind of parade, they may well look back at yesterday’s game at Joe Louis Arena, and at Game 4 in Anaheim, both of them one-sided, and tear themselves apart wondering how they let this opportunity pass.
from the Ottawa Business Journal,
The deeper the Sens go, it seems, the more people crowd into area sports bars and pubs and hold tailgate parties. Is there a monetary spin off to the local economy when an NHL franchise goes four rounds into the playoffs? If so, how much? And while Sens fans are encouraged to “Be Red,” is the club itself in the black?
Club management is tight-lipped on questions surrounding exact revenues, although experts peg the amount an NHL team earns per playoff home game somewhere between $1 million and $2 million, depending on the city, by adding up gate receipts, merchandise, parking and concessions and deducting expenses.
It’s likely higher still in Ottawa, since team owner Eugene Melnyk owns the building. Consider as well that ticket prices rise the deeper the team heads into the playoffs.
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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