Kukla's Korner Hockey
By George Malik: from the Detroit News:
A promotion in which fans could snag the right to buy two World Series tickets by purchasing a Detroit Red Wings ticket package has ended. At noon on Wednesday the offer was made to existing Red Wing season ticket holders and members of the Red Wings World fan club. All of the ticket packages were gone by 9 a.m. today, said Mike Brinich, Red Wings media relations manager. Brinich would not say how many of the packages were sold. Buyers had to purchase 20 single game tickets to be able to buy two of the World Series tickets for either Saturday's or Sunday's games. He said the promotion was a way of saying thanks to season ticket holders and members of the fan club for their support. "We thought it was a fun way for fans of both teams to participate," Brinich said.
Note from Paul: I wanted to bring this post by George back to the front page. George posted this last Friday around 6pm, just about the time KK readership drops for the weekend. Very well written and I did not want it to get lost, never to be read again... By George Malik: As soon Jim Balsillie got involved in the bidding for the Pittsburgh Penguins, it was assumed that the CEO of the Blackberry-producing RIM corporation would attempt to move the team to Hamilton, ON. Balsillie was part of an earlier group of Hamilton-based investors who approached the NHL directly about moving the Penguins to Steeltown, but the league's desire to keep the Pens in Pittsburgh--provided that the franchise receives a new arena--nixed those plans. But Balsillie's purchase of the Penguins sparked renewed the hopes of those who believe the Maple Leafs Ontario monopoly must end.
By George Malik: If you've ever wondered why billionaire businessmen purchase sports teams despite the fact that the vast majority of sports teams sustain operating losses, the CBC provides a few answers:
[E]ven though many teams themselves may lose money on an annual basis — and the financial state of sports teams is something that owners and player unions seldom agree on — most clubs do tend to grow in value over time. For instance, Forbes magazine now values the New York Yankees at just over $1-billion US, with George Steinbrenner and his family owning 80 per cent of the franchise. Not a bad return on investment when you consider he bought the team for $10-million US in 1973. Annual operating losses just don't seem as important in those circumstances. Sometimes, the owners have other business interests that invite tie-ins. The Mavericks' Cuban also founded HDNet, which calls itself the first television network to broadcast exclusively in high definition. It will come as no surprise that it also carries Mavericks games. And some owners have built sports conglomerates that begin with the team but grow to include the stadium (often subsidized or with some kind of a tax deal), extensive retail operations and broadcast stations that together, build value.
By George Malik Remember John Spano? The guy that tried to buy the Islanders in 1997 for $168 million, though he had a net worth of $2 million? The NHL was truly embarrassed by parading around a pauper as a franchise's saviour. The Isles were sold to Howard Milstein Steven Gluckstern in June 1999, and the two promptly bungled a deal to build a new rink on Long Island, and had Mad Mike Milbury trade Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Berard, Ziggy Palffy, and Bryan McCabe away to clear salary space. Gary Bettman and the NHL's Board of Governors breathed a huge sigh of relief when Charles Wang and Sanjay Kumar, the owner and CEO, respectively, of Computer Associates, came forward to buy the Isles... But the honeymoon was short-lived...
By George Malik From NHLPA.com: the PA has decided to do something about their image...something very small...
he National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) and Busch Nascar Series driver John Graham today announced that Graham will drive in an upcoming American Le Mans Series race with NHLPA logos adorning his car. The race takes place on the afternoon of Sunday, September 3, 2006 at Mosport International Raceway, just outside of Toronto, Ontario. This agreement allows John Graham to prominently feature the distinctive NHLPA logo on the car that he will be racing at the Labour Day Grand Prix of Mosport, presented by Mobil 1. The car will also be displayed publicly for fans and media today at Mosport-Racefest, which is being held across from Eaton Centre in Toronto at the Yonge-Dundas Square from approximately 11am – 2pm. This will provide an excellent photo and video opportunity for media.Well, of course...
By George Malik Pat "Baghdad" Brisson has a unique take on his client's lack of employment:
Anson Carter is unemployed, frustrated and disappointed, but he's not going to panic and sign an under-market deal, his agent said Wednesday. "We're not looking for him to get paid like a 50-goal scorer but, at the same time, he should be paid like a 25-30 goal scorer," Pat Brisson said from his office in Los Angeles. "He deserves a fair deal in the right environment. He will be patient."
"Anson is not looking for a home run," said Brisson. "If something happens in the next week, so be it. If not, he will wait. We're not going to panic and jump on anything. Some players aren't strong enough to go through this, but Anson has the backbone for it."
"Everyone thinks they are going to win the Stanley Cup this week," Brisson noted. "It's a little frustrating. It's disappointing more than anything. It's hurting his pride."Is this called "taking the high ground"? Brisson's not lending Anson a hand by pounding the "poor Carter" angle into the ground. If I was a general manager (Ah, the power, the power! Ha ha ha...Oh, sorry...), I'm not sure I'd want to take on a "bruised ego" rehabilitation project, especially if that project had a $2.5 million price tag and a two-year commitment.
The "Evgeni Malkin Situation" has raised more than a few eyebrows on this side of the pond. Allegations of "sports terrorism" and defiant promises to prove the big, bad NHL that it can't "steal our players" have spouted from the mouth of Metallurg Magnitogorsk's Gennady Velichkin, with his bluster booming louder and louder with every new translation of his statements:
"They all like to talk about democracy, the American way and then they shamelessly steal our best players. This is pure sports terrorism," said the Metallurg general director. "Don't forget, Malkin is a young kid, he is still very naive and it was easy for them to get into his head all that stuff about the American dream and how great the NHL is," he added. "The Pittsburgh owners are trying hard to sell the club, and the price would be totally different if they had Malkin. "But you can't just take our best players and expect to get away with it." "We've put so much effort, resources and money into Malkin's development as a player. He was our gold diamond, our prize possession. He had a contract with us, we were building the whole team around him and now he is gone," Velichkin said. "But don't think we'll just sit there and do nothing. We'll go to court to get what we believe is proper compensation."The drama goes from bad to worse when we hear Evgeni Malkin's stories of passport-stealing team officials and owners' strong-arm tactics which smack of mafia movie material:
Ken Holland made the understatement of the summer when he said the following about Dominik Hasek:
Dom is like a Ferrari. Dom knows his body, and, Dom, you know. He goes down, he's like a contortonist, and he's down and has got his body going in different directions, and he's got to feel good, that he can make his moves, or he's not going to play.To say that Dominik Hasek's a Ferrari doesn't do him justice--nor "the groin."
Hi, everybody! My name's George Malik, and I write the Snapshots blog on MLive, and a second one's on the way. I've followed the Wings and the NHL since the days of Paul "Rocketman" Ysebaert, and the stories I've made up about my goaltending exploits are legendary. Paul very kindly extended an offer to share my opinion with you, and I hope you do the same. I'll start 'er off with one of my favourite topics: the Collective Bargaining Agreement. ______________________ On the day the previous CBA expired, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman made a promise to the fans of two smaller-market teams that felt they couldn't compete in a world where salaries kept climbing in an "inflationary spiral."
For the fans it has meant high and increasing ticket prices, and the status quo has meant that teams cannot meaningfully compete. It is a fact, a fact, that during this CBA, a team in the top one third of salaries has been three times more likely to make the Playoffs than a team in the bottom third. This is a status quo with which we simply cannot continue to live. Our game and our fans deserve better.
[W]e owe it to hockey's fans to achieve an economic system that will result in affordable ticket prices and stable, competitive franchises.That "affordable ticket prices" business? Sorry, ol' Gary says that ticket prices vary on a "market-to-market basis,” which is why the Islanders and Kings (via a "facilities fee") decided to raise prices after non-playoff seasons. Competitive franchises? Twenty-plus teams fight it out every year for playoff spots, cap or no cap. What about the CBA helping franchises become “stable?” Let's look at one of Bettman's poster-boy franchises, and ask the fans of the Buffalo Sabres how they like ol’ Gary’s definition of stability:
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org