Kukla's Korner Hockey
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from Scott Cullen of TSN,
The Chicago Blackhawks won their third Stanley Cup in the past six seasons, downing the Tampa Bay Lightning in a six-game final series.
Off-Season Game Plan examines what should be an interesting summer in the Windy City, where they can't possibly keep their core together and remain under the salary cap.
Franchise cornerstones Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have contract extensions that kick in next season and those deals come with a $10.5-million salary cap hit, putting a lot of pressure on GM Stan Bowman to fit in the rest of the pieces while remaining under the salary cap.
The Blackhawks, already pushing against the cap, need to leave enough flexibility in order to get a deal done with rising star left winger Brandon Saad, a restricted free agent. It's not known exactly where the cap will fall - estimates have hovered around $71-million, with the optimistic assumption that the NHLPA would use the 5% accelerator allowed by the CBA - but Chicago is going to need to clear out some salary; the question is, how much?
Patrick Sharp seems like the most obvious big-ticket item to move, but he could be the first of several if the cap doesn't end up as high as hoped.
via the YouTube channel of Sportsnet,
He played an absurd amount of minutes, made smart plays, and added an offensive boost; watch some of the body of work that earned Duncan Keith the Conn Smythe Trophy.
A day ahead of a third championship parade in the past six seasons, Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman admitted his latest Stanley Cup champion will look a lot different soon enough.
“Obviously, there will be some changes,” Bowman said Wednesday afternoon at a season-ending press conference.
The NHL has a hard salary cap, and while it’s not yet set for the 2015-’16 season, it’s expected to be around $71.5 million. With stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane set to have matching eight-year, $84-million contracts kick in, Chicago will have to cut some salary. As it sits now, the Blackhawks have 14 players under contract in 2015-’16 for around $64 million, according to Spotrac.com, leaving them no room to pay market value to everyone else.
Antoine Vermette, Andrew Desjardins, Brad Richards and Marcus Kruger are the big-name forwards who are unrestricted free agents. Defensemen Johny Oduya and Michal Rozsival are also unrestricted free agents.
Bowman wouldn’t yet get into specifics on who will be back and who will be leaving, even when specifically asked about Vermette and Desjardins, a pair of trade deadline acquisitions whose strong play was instrumental in the Stanley Cup run. He only said it made him happy to see their quality play, even if it priced them out of the Blackhawks’ range on the open market.
from Danny Ecker of Crain's Chicago Business,
After three Stanley Cup titles in six seasons, 329 straight sellouts dating back to 2008, and building a brand of which nearly every corporate entity in Chicago (and many nationally) wants a piece, Rocky Wirtz has finally reached his financial goal.
The chairman of the franchise that some are now crowning an NHL dynasty no longer claims the team doesn't make money without the help of his other Wirtz Corp. businesses.
In other words: The Blackhawks now cover their payroll expenses from ticket sales, sponsorships and TV rights fees, no longer relying on internal capital calls midway through the season to pay its players.
"It took a little longer than I thought," Wirtz said of the team's revenues today at an appearance with the Stanley Cup at Phil Stefani's 437 Rush, "but I think we're there."
from Chris Emma at CBSChicago,
Standing on the outstretched red carpet, as fans banged on the boards to the side, the legendary Scotty Bowman looked toward his son, whom he named after the prize they cherish, Stanley.
Like father, like son, because neither Scotty nor Stan broke from their even-keeled form in the wake of the Blackhawks’ championship celebration on Monday night. This is understandable for Scotty, as it’s his 14th hoist of the Cup. And Stan shares in his father’s makeup.
“He’s pretty calm, doesn’t have as much emotion as some people would,” Scotty said of his son. “But he’s been through a lot.”
Scotty Bowman spoke as a proud father, seeing Stan once again celebrate his own success in the game of hockey.
As the Blackhawks’ general manager since July 2009, Stan Bowman inherited a Stanley Cup core — Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, etc. — and turned it into a championship team.
from Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Brandon Saad is going to be back. He’s going to get paid. The only question is how much.
A two-time Stanley Cup champion at 22 — not even Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane accomplished that feat — the 6-1, 204-pound Saad took another giant step forward on a career arc that seems destined for elite status as an NHL power forward in this year’s postseason.
Saad scored 11 points (eight goals, three assists) in 23 games. He scored the game-winning goal in a critical Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final as the Hawks avoided falling into a 3-1 hole. The Hawks were 7-1 when he scored a goal.
But like Marian Hossa, Saad’s contributions go far beyond the numbers. His strength with the puck, his defensive ability, his speed and his aggressiveness in utilizing that speed combine to give Saad a Hossa-like value that makes the Hawks the championship team they are.
Now comes the hard part. Saad will be a free agent in the offseason. Hawks general manager Stan Bowman has made it clear publicly that the Hawks are going to re-sign him. But even if other teams can’t sign Saad, they’re sure to do all they can to drive the price up and put an even bigger dent in the Hawks’ 2015-16 salary cap.
With the hard cap in the NHL, it’s a familiar quandary for key players on a championship team like the Hawks. The more they get paid, the less money there is for the supporting cast. It’s a delicate balance for players who know they only have a finite amount of years to make big money, yet appreciate being part of a championship team.
STAMFORD, Conn. – June 16, 2015 – Last night’s Stanley Cup Final series-clinching Game 6 on NBC delivered at 5.6 metered market rating, the third-best for a Game 6 on record (since 1995) and NBC’s fourth-best NHL overnight ever, according to The Nielsen Company.
The 5.6 overnight for Game 6, in which the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 to win their third Stanley Cup in six years, trails only the 2010 Game 6 between the Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers (5.8) and the 2013 Game 6 between the Blackhawks and Boston Bruins (5.7). Last night’s game is up 40% vs. the 2012 Game 6between the New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings (4.0).
Locally, the Chicago market delivered a 41.0 HH rating, its highest ever for a Blackhawks game, and a 57 share. The Chicago rating is the highest local rating for any market for a non-Game 7 on NBC. Tampa posted a 15.2 HH rating, its second-best ever on NBC.
Following are the Top 10 markets for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final:
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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