Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeremy Mullman of AdAge,
The National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers may be a sports franchise, but the team’s ownership is increasingly behaving like a media conglomerate in its efforts to woo and retain sponsors amid a tough sports-business environment.
Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Panthers and their arena, has taken over the team’s radio and TV-broadcast sales, set up shop in social-media hubs such as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and even upgraded digital signage around the Bank Atlantic Center in an attempt to create a one-stop shopping portal for sponsors.
The SSE Media Network, which formally launched this month, comes at a time when sports teams are struggling with cutbacks from major sponsors—such as automakers and financial institutions—creating intense competition for those that are still able to spend. In that climate, SSE is betting that the combination of increased impressions via the new platforms and one-stop shopping will give it an advantage over less-integrated competitors.
from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,
“It’s better than nothing,” said defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, who scored 8:30 into the game to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead. “I guess we’ll take anything, but the extra one would have been big.”
Added defenseman Nick Boynton: “It’s a disappointing way to lose, but we got a point. We have nowhere to go but up.”
The Panthers continued their late-season skid, losing for the seventh time in the past nine games. But this loss did move them into a tie with the Montreal Canadiens for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Canadiens have a game in hand.
The NHL waived the blackout of the Hurricanes/Panthers game tonight and allowed it to be shown on Center Ice.
The audio source is coming from the Panthers radio network and there are no graphics on the screen. No score, no time, no commercials popping up, just a screen of hockey and it is actually refreshing to see the game like this.
added 8:10pm, Ha, I just noticed David’s post. I guess I am old school and remember fiddling with the rabbit ears to get a clear picture. It just brings back some great memories for me.
from Brian Biggane of the Palm Beach Post,
For the third time in six games, Florida carried a lead into the third period Saturday night and was unable to hold it, falling 3-1 to Columbus at the BankAtlantic Center.
What made this one even tougher is the Panthers still clung to their 1-0 lead with three minutes to play before the Blue Jackets’ Raffi Torres got the tying and winning goals 1:13 apart.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Driving to the glitzy BankAtlantic Center here on the fringe of the Everglades, Peter DeBoer’s mug can be seen plastered on various billboards along the way.
The billboards are part of an ad campaign promoting the “Panthers Promise,” an innovative plan in which fans purchasing the four-game ticket pack will get priority purchasing rights for the post-season.
Of course, there is no guarantee that the Panthers will make the playoffs. If they, in fact, do not, fans who have invested in the Panthers Promise Plan will get free tickets to four games in 2009-10.
Asked if seeing himself on all these larger-than-life signs makes him the so-called “face” of the franchise, DeBoer chuckled.
“For (the fans’ sake), I hope not,” he laughed.
from Jim Hughson of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
Here are four teams you might not want to face in the first round – that is, if they get in.
Okay, so it’s no revelation that a Stanley Cup finalist with two of the top three scorers in the league would be a tough match up for any team, but consider how bad the Penguins looked before the coaching change.///
Tomas Vokoun has one of the best save percentages in the league and is capable of winning games single handed. In front of him, the Panther defence is as good as any and better than most….
Columbus Blue Jackets
Hitchcock has a playoff-ready style, which means the Jackets don’t give their opponents many chances to score….
more on each team plus the Stars are mentioned too…
From Wes Goldstein at CBSSports:
Their gamble was keeping Jay Bouwmeester, their much-coveted young defenseman who could walk away for nothing this summer as a free agent and was arguably the most valuable potential asset at the deadline. Bouwmeester has rejected several contract extension offers from the Panthers over the last few years, leading to the widely held assumption around the league that he is just counting the days until he gets out of Florida.
He won’t deny that, but the Panthers still resisted the temptation to deal him because he is their best player in the midst of a strong season and they are real playoff contenders for the first time since the turn of the century. Getting there is critical to an organization struggling to attract fans, and keeping Bouwmeester, despite the risk of coming away empty-handed was supposed to send a vote of confidence to the players along with the message that the future is now.
But if the message was received, something apparently got lost in translation by a team that doesn’t seem to have any real leaders in the dressing room or even a captain.
Tomas Vokoun of the Panthers with a great glove save on Thomas Vanek of the Sabres. Buffalo did defeat Florida 3-1.
From Steve Gorten at the Sun-Sentinel:
Winger Richard Zednik skated on the ice at HSBC Arena this morning for the first time since he skated off it Feb. 10 of last year covering his neck with his glove in fear for his life. Zednik’s carotid artery was accidentally slashed by teammate Olli Jokinen’s skate in the third period of a game against the Sabres that night.
Zednik said one of the surgeons who performed surgery on him that night invited him over to her house for dinner last night. He went and they reminisced about the incident and that night.
Here are some of his thoughts after this morning’s skate on what it was like on the ice:
“I was trying not to think about it. I want to just focus on hockey.”
Zednik was the first Panther on the ice this morning and skated toward the boards near where the incident happened, but he said that was simply coincidental.
“I’m not going back. I’m looking forward. I’m not trying to go back. What happened, happened. I’ve already passed that. I don’t want to go back and think about what could have happened.”
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
Florida center Nathan Horton will be out an undisclosed amount of time after having surgery to repair the ring finger on his left hand, The Miami Herald’s David J. Neal is reporting.
Horton told Neal today at Incredible Ice that his hand was stepped on right before David Booth scored his third goal against the Blues on Saturday. Horton had surgery following the game and has his hand in a splint. He says the trainers have not given him a timetable for a return.
added 2:00pm, Miami Herald now reporting Horton will miss 2-4 weeks and McCabe dealing with orbital bone issue.
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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