Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Toronto Sun,
I didn't suffer any damage to my teeth watching the first few games in the new-look NHL. I comment on my teeth because, for the past five years or so, I have spent most of the time, while watching NHL games, grinding my teeth together unable to stomach the product that for 82 games, plus pre-season and playoffs, was being passed off as the greatest spectator team sport. Why the sudden change? First, gone from the games (thus far) is the hacking, grabbing, impeding and general wrestling that went on in the neutral zone as players of speed and skill were brought down (many times literally) to the level of the slow and less skilled so that the latter could compete on the same ice surface as the former. What I see now are players able to generate true skating speed up the ice with and without the puck, thus producing a much better flow to the game. The result? No grinding of my teeth.
from the Herald Tribune,
One can't expect the NHL to rid itself of its Jay Bouwmeesters in just three games. Ingrained behavior takes longer than that to change. Since the days of Howie Morenz, hockey's first superstar, the stick has proven the great equalizer for plodding players without the necessary RPMs to keep up. A hook here, a jab or poke there. No real malice intended. And none was exhibited when Bouwmeester, a Florida Panthers' defenseman, put his stick Saturday night into a definite no-no zone.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post (reg. req.),
The PA membership was informed by executive director Ted Saskin that the total opening night compensation of $1.031B for 713 roster players accounted for a 12 percent overage of the 54 percent allowed the players as measured against the projected 2005-06 league revenues of $1.803B. The $1.031B includes $23M in earnable bonuses. The 731 roster players includes 34 on Injured Reserve. Escrow will be computed again and adjusted if necessary at the quarter-mark, halfway-mark and three-quarter mark of the season. In his memo, Saskin informs the players that the revenue projection is "very conservative," and does not include the $65M from the OLN television contract or the $10M from the league's satellite radio deal. He also states that the revenue projection was on a "contemplated significant drop in attendance . . . that does not [match] the current 3-percent rise in season-ticket renewals. "The forecast of year-end revenues is significantly higher [than $1.803B]." As cited in the memo, if league revenues reach $1.85B, escrow for the season will amount to 9.5 percent. Should revenues reach $2B, escrow will be $1.7 percent. If, however, revenue is $1.6B, then players will be hit with a season escrow of 22.6 percent. And if escrow is 22.6 percent, someone other than Saskin will be sending out the escrow memos next year.
Phil Coffey of NHL.com, answers some mail,
Hey there. With the new NHL season looming over the horizon, I would like to ask a question that I've been pondering for the past couple of years: Why was it changed so that the home team wears their away jersey and the away team wears their home jersey? Personally, I liked it better the old way, seeing the Flyers with their white uniforms at home ice. Now, they have to wear the black ones, and it just doesn't seem like the same old game I knew. Any answers? This is a case of what's old is new again. It used to be that the road team wore its white uniforms and the home team pulled on the more colorful jerseys. The switch was made to home team wearing white during the 1960s and it remained that way until the switch was made for 2003-04. The switch was made as means of giving the home fans the chance to see their team in their more colorful uniforms. I'll admit that the change does take some getting used to. I'm also used to seeing the white uniforms at home.
Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Jocelyn Thibault injured his left knee while being struck by a puck during Saturday's pre-game skate, forcing Andy Chiodo to be recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL. Sebastien Caron started in goal for the second straight night after also playing in a 3-2 loss Friday at Carolina decided in a shootout. The Penguins did not disclose any more information about Thibault's injury, which occurred during the morning skate about eight hours before the team's home opener against Boston.
from the CP via Canada.com,
With Ilya Kovalchuk now under contract with the Atlanta Thrashers, Nick Boynton remains the only notable restricted free agent that hasn't re-signed with his club. But the all-star defenceman and the Boston Bruins are no closer to a deal as the NHL season heads into Week 2, despite the fact both sides are only $150,000 US apart on a new deal. "There's nothing new to report," Bruins general manager Mike O'Connell said on Saturday from Pittsburgh, where his club faced the Penguins.
When National Hockey League players receive their first paycheque on October 15th, 12 per cent of it will be withheld to fulfill the escrow payment as part of the new collective bargaining agreement. Sources tell TSN, the precise 12% figure for escrow has now been posted on the NHLPA secure web site, The Source. TSN reported, earlier this week, that the rate of escrow for the first quarter of the season would be at least 10% and perhaps more. Although members of the NHLPA have been aware of the escrow situation, it's not likely too many of them will be thrilled when they see 12% missing from every paycheque they receive in the first quarter of the season.
Ilya Kovalchuk is staying in Atlanta for the long term. The Atlanta Thrashers signed the restricted free agent to a five-year deal Friday night and all that is required is league approval from the NHL. The new contract is expected to be approved by the league Saturday. Pending that and his immigration status, Kovalchuk is expected to be in the Thrashers' lineup either Wednesday against Montreal or Friday against Toronto. The contract is worth $6.5 million the first year, then $5 million, $5.5 million, $7.5 million and $7.5 million in the final year, agent Jay Grossman told ESPN.
via the AP,
Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Michael Barnett announced today that the Coyotes have acquired left wing Geoff Sanderson and right wing Tim Jackman from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for left wing Jason Chimera, defenseman Cale Hulse and center Mike Rupp.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun via Slam,
The NHL Players' Association will hold a vote Tuesday to decide whether players want to make wearing visors mandatory. Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson made it pretty clear where he stands on the issue yesterday. "I think they should be grandfathered in," said Alfredsson. "I believe everybody should be wearing them and I think some people have to change their attitudes on them. "I know a lot of guys don't want to wear them, but I believe it should be a standard piece of protection. I know some people don't think Canadian players should wear them. I don't think it affects the way you feel about a player one bit."
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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