Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ben Pope of the News & Observer,
A crowd of about 4,000 – up 40 percent from last year – enjoyed family activities and watched a prospects scrimmage at the Carolina Hurricanes’ Summerfest event earlier this month.
“I wish I could have a Summerfest every other week,” said team president Don Waddell.
The Hurricanes have since entered a period of one or two months where their name won’t be spoken much, but that hasn’t diluted ticket sales, which have been surging throughout the offseason in spite of the team’s league-worst attendance last season.
Compared to this time last year, new season-ticket package sales are up about 40 percent and overall ticket sales revenue is up about 60 percent, Waddell estimated on Monday.
Waddell also said the team’s existing season-ticket member (STM) renewal rate stands at 90.15 percent. Last summer, the team achieved an 87 percent renewal rate but didn’t do so until September, and only about 72 percent renewed the previous summer.
RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with center Victor Rask on a six-year contract. The deal will pay Rask $4 million per year through the 2021-22 NHL season.
“Victor has gotten better every season that he’s been a part of our organization,” said Francis. “He is a big part of this team’s present and future, and we are thrilled to sign him to a longer-term deal.”
Rask, 23, established a career high and ranked second among Hurricanes skaters with 48 points (21g, 27a) in 80 games played during the 2015-16 season. The Leksand, Sweden, native ranked second on the team in assists (27) and third in goals (21). Rask (6’2”, 200 lbs.) led the Hurricanes in power-play points (18) and was second in power-play assists (13). He was fourth among Carolina forwards in ice time per game (16:58).
RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with forward Lee Stempniak (STEHMP-nee-ak) on a two-year contract. The deal will pay Stempniak $2.5 million per season.
“Lee is a veteran, skilled forward who will provide offense for our team, as well as leadership on and off the ice,” said Francis.
Stempniak, 33, netted 19 goals and added 33 assists (51 points) and was plus-3 in 82 games with the New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins in 2015-16. A fifth-round selection by St. Louis in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, the West Seneca, NY, native has scored 184 goals and earned 236 assists (420 points) in 790 career NHL games with St. Louis, Toronto, Phoenix, Calgary, Pittsburgh, the NY Rangers, Winnipeg, New Jersey and Boston. Stempniak has appeared in 28 career Stanley Cup playoff games, totaling 14 points (6g, 8a).
RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has bought out the remainder of defenseman James Wisniewski’s contract.
Wisniewski, 32, appeared in one game with the Hurricanes in 2015-16, suffering a torn ACL in his left knee during the first period of the team’s opener against the Nashville Predators. He has appeared in 552 career NHL games with Chicago, Anaheim, the New York Islanders, Montreal, Columbus and Carolina, totaling 274 points (53g, 221a).
added 11:24am, Done deal, press release is below...
from Conor Heneghan of JOE,
There were any amount of examples of Irish and Swedish fans getting on swimmingly before their encounter in Paris on Monday; the communal singing of Abba songs providing the best example.
Before the madness of Monday, there was an encounter between Irish and Swedish fans in Quigley’s Point Bar in Paris and it was only after the encounter that the Irish fans realised that one of the Swedish party happened to have a very high profile indeed....
With plenty of Irish fans in attendance, it wasn’t long before a sing-song broke out and when a small group of Swedish fans passed by, some good-natured taunts were chanted in their direction.
We’ll let William take up the story.
“Finding this hilarious, the three Swedish lads decided to join us for a beer. After chatting to them for a bit, I found out that they were three brothers, the Nordströms, who were living around the world but had all come back for the Euros.
"The eldest of them, Joakim, happened to mention that he was a hockey player but at the time nothing more was thought of it. After a couple of more songs and a beer, the bar man in Quigley’s Point informed us that there was a drink for the house paid for by Joakim.
Carolina release is below...
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
While the NHL gets closer to expansion – Las Vegas? Quebec City? Delay? Nowhere? – and persistent relocation rumors continue to swirl around the Carolina Hurricanes, new drama is developing within the franchise itself.
A lawsuit filed last week alleges Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. has defaulted on more than $100 million he borrowed from a trust established for his three adult sons, the plaintiffs, who also allege the trust was used in various ways to “support the Hurricanes.”
If Karmanos has been drawing on his sons’ trust fund to keep the Hurricanes afloat, it certainly makes you question what NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
“Mr. Karmanos has been for some time considering whether to take on a partner,” Bettman said Monday. “There’s no issue relating to the Hurricanes.”
The Carolina Hurricanes saluted Eric Staal with this video tribute.
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