Kukla's Korner Hockey
Ben Wright at Blueland Blog remembered… I can’t believe 4 years have passed.
from the National Post via Canada.com,
“I don’t want to be the Buffalo Bills of hockey, who keep getting there and getting there, but you don’t really finish it off,” Sharks defenceman Kyle McLaren said. “Guys are getting older and more experienced. They’ve been in these situations a few times before. Our lack of confidence after Edmonton, the way we lost that, and Detroit ? We just have to get better. Be able to close teams out a little better.”
General manager Doug Wilson has engineered a wonderful team and a strong organization in San Jose. He’s got an excellent farm system, the biggest group of forwards in the NHL, and as the season opened had more than US$10-million of cap room with which to improve..
from the Slate,
The first order of business: Getting down to your fighting weight. Convene a crack independent panel of hockey people and economists (say, Wayne Gretzky, Alan Greenspan, Alan Thicke, and Neal Peart) to come up with the optimal number of NHL franchises. Some sports economists suggest that a 20-team NHL would be making money hand over fist. I’ll use that figure until Thicke and co. come back with their findings. But how do you ditch teams without looking like you’re waving the white flag? You contract through relegation.
Tomorrow, issue a press release that says you will eliminate the five teams with the worst records at the end of the 2008-09 season.
from Team Marketing Report,
TMR’s exclusive Fan Cost Index survey, now in its fifteenth year, tracks the cost of attendance for a family of four. The FCI includes: four average-price tickets; four small soft drinks; two small beers; four hot dogs; two game programs; parking; and two adult-size caps.
check it out and $7.25 for a beer in LA!
from the Enterprise,
General manager Peter Chiarelli is so confident in the ability of Julien, who coached Montreal before the Devils, to wring sound defensive hockey out of a team that Boston’s frequently maligned corps of defensemen was left virtually untouched in the offseason.
“I want to see these (defensemen), these players in Claude’s system first,” Chiarelli said.
Chiarelli describes Julien’s system as a “collapsing zone.” Players say it’s highly structured.
“There’s a transition of passing (an opponent) off, from one area to another, to another player,” said defenseman Aaron Ward. “There’s a lot of thinking involved.”
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
It’s going to be an interesting season. Can new GM Scott Howson build something? Can coach Ken Hitchcock do anything with overpaid leftovers and wet-eared kids? Is there any leadership in the locker room? Any fire? Is the younger talent worth a reinvestment? A good number of fans, thousands of jaded consumers, are taking a wait-and-see posture. That’s fair enough.
If there’s a mere glimmer of hope, they’ll be back. And if there’s something more, they’ll be filling the building before long. Good God, if there’s just a whiff of the playoffs, Columbus will be gripped by the chase.
from the Dallas Morning News,
And what about the Stars? Dallas ranked 12th in average tickets distributed at 17,914 last season. It ranked 16th in percentage of capacity at 96.7 percent.
This season, the Stars could fall slightly below that. The season-ticket base is down 10 percent to fewer than 13,000. On some nights, there could be a lot of empty seats.
The same goes for Colorado and Detroit. If those two can’t sell out with Anaheim and Dallas in town on opening night, what kind of crowd will show up for Columbus on a Tuesday in November?
from the Chicago Daily-Herald,
Then Martin Havlat’s name came up and things soured.
Because when the Hawks’ go-to guy skated off the ice, bent over from the waist in obvious agony late in the third period after being sandwiched by a pair of Minnesota players in front of the Wild net, it suddenly didn’t matter that they had played so well in dropping a 1-0 decision in the season opener.
What mattered was that after the game Havlat’s right arm was in a sling and his right shoulder had already been X-rayed with results to be announced today.
from the New York Times,
“We’ve been a close-knit bunch in a couple of weeks,” Guerin said Wednesday. “That means we’re going to play well on the ice.”
The Islanders’ top line, centered by Mike Comrie with Ruslan Fedotenko at left wing and the 37-year-old Guerin at right wing, was acquired through free agency. Half of the defensive corps was not with the team a year ago.
“I know a lot of faces have changed,” Guerin said. “I don’t think the attitude has.”
From Eduardo A. Encina at the St. Petersburg Times,
For Doug MacLean and Oren Koules, opening night was just one reason to celebrate.
Their group, which is attempting to purchase the Lightning, is pleased with the progress of the application process. And one of the investment partners, Mark Burg, believes in the acquisition so much that he has doubled his stake, Koules said Thursday.
Koules said he hopes the sale to Absolute Hockey Enterprises - MacLean, the ex-Blue Jackets president, Coral Springs real estate developer Jeff Sherrin, Hollywood producers Koules and Burg and Tampa attorney Steve Burton - by Palace Sports & Entertainment will be finalized by the time the NHL board of governors meets in late November at Pebble Beach, Calif.
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.
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