Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
Bettman isn’t keen on Sochi given its remoteness, time of the games and the fact the NHL has absolutely no say or control of the event. The NHL and its owners stand to gain nothing financially with the five-ring circus despite taking all the risks by shutting down mid-season and providing the talent.
It makes far more sense for all stakeholders — including the fans — for the best players on the planet to focus on the World Cup of Hockey, formerly the Canada Cup.
The owners will get their piece of the action, the players will get theirs, North American fans can see every game in primetime, and all the host cities will generate tremendous buzz and money for every game. People will watch.
An even bigger bonus will be the timing of the event. While the players and the owners are at odds over when the event should run, common sense suggests the owners will win and it will once again be staged in the fall, when every player is healthy and available.
Could there be a better way to grab the sports world’s attention than by opening your season with a marquee event?
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,
Brace yourself, Bridget, but Usual Suspects is about to agree with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Unless it gets a share of the profits and more influence on the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, the NHL shouldn’t go to Russia.
The Olympic TV impact is negligible in most of the American burgs where Bettman has hawked franchises, the elite players are exhausted by the travel and it punishes the NHL regional broadcasters who must go on hiatus at a time when hockey has the stage almost alone to itself in February.
Plus, the NHL gets bupkis in return. As it stands now, the panjandrums of the International Olympic Committee and International Ice Hockey Federation are telling the league to butt out, they’ll be the ones to collect the cash. They’ll also tell you what uniforms teams can wear, how often you’ll play and probably how much luggage you’re entitled to bring.
It’s a one-sided deal, one not reflecting the NHL’s leverage: the world’s best hockey players.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Yes, Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch had to wait in line outside GM Place at the Vancouver Olympics.
And the NHL couldn’t get its own network accredited to cover the games.
And the league couldn’t use any highlights from the Games on its website even though its own players were playing in the tournament.
And NHL GMs have had trouble gaining access and information about their players during the Olympics.
And the 2014 Sochi Games may not be on in prime time.
There are challenges to playing in the Olympics. Many, perhaps. But what a shining chance for the NHL to preserve something great and unique; what a shining chance to pay back the players and fans and the league itself by not giving in to the impulse to walk away from the Olympics because it’s inconvenient.
So says Brian Burke.
Gary Bettman made a statement today at the World Hockey Summit in regards to how hockey fans feel about NHL participation in the Olympics.
via Scott Burnside tweet,
Bettman says fans’ response to NHL participation in Olympics is a “mixed bag”. Not sure we buy that.
What are your thoughts and thanks to many of you who already responded to the same question on Twitter.
added 2:41pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
To the surprise of practically everyone in the room, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman wasn’t quite the wet blanket that delegates to Wednesday’s session of the World Hockey Summit might have imagined.
Instead, Bettman was quite playful during his 30-minute cameo appearance, teasing questioners, poking fun at IIHF president Rene Fasel, but most importantly, clarifying the NHL’s position with regard to Olympic participation, which was the day’s primary point of discussion.
Bettman stressed that he is not anti-Olympics and contrary to the general perception, the NHL hasn’t said no to appearing in Sochi, Russia, where the 2014 Games will be played.
from Andrew Podnieks at IIHF.com,
The gold-medal game between Canada and the United States was, quite simply, the single most watched hockey game in history. More than 114 million people around the world watched Sidney Crosby score in overtime to give Canada home gold.
By comparison, Lumme noted, the worldwide numbers for the 2010 and 2009 Super Bowl were 110 and 106 million, respectively. The most recent UEFA Cup final reached 106 million. In short, Lumme noted, “Olympic hockey is right up there with some of the biggest events in the world.”
The global average for hockey was 28.5 million, meaning that for every minute of hockey, that many people around the world watched NHLers play
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
...selling yourself to an indifferent market like the United States takes more than a one-time shot. The television ratings in Vancouver were proof Americans will watch hockey, and getting a chance to show your wares on a world stage should never be considered a bad thing (although what the NHL really needs is the United States to win the men’s gold medal).
First, though, the NHL has to commit to the Games for the long term. It should also decide what it is going to do with the World Cup of Hockey – a competition that appears, it seems, only when the league feels like it.
Ideally, either the Olympics or the World Cup should be chosen as the sport’s major international competition.
Originally, there was a plan to have the World Cup every four years in between Olympics, so there would be a best-versus-best international competition every two years. But that could result in what we saw in the 1980s, with the Canada Cups and the world championships – international hockey burnout for the players.
from Andy Blatchford of the CP at the Toronto Star,
The hockey sweater worn during one of Canada’s greatest sporting moments is up for auction.
Paul Henderson wore the battle-scarred, stick-marked jersey when he buried the winning goal in the 1972 Summit Series against the former Soviet Union.
The sweater’s owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, is a cancer survivor who plans to donate some of the proceeds to charity, said Marc Juteau, president of Classic Auctions, the Montreal-area company handling the sale. Henderson was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia last fall.
“It’s somebody that really cares about what’s going on with Mr. Henderson, somebody who’s been there,” Juteau said
Watch a feature on Henderson below…
from Andy Potts a The Moscow News,
But amid the disappointment of defeat, there is some comfort to be drawn from the game for organisers of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League.
The competition, which has a clear aim to rival the NHL for supremacy in world hockey, provided some evidence of its quality by supplying eight of the Czech roster – and claiming both goals for the underdogs in the final.
Indeed, on the night the Czechs had more KHL players suited up than the Russian – seven against six – while the big names from North America were mostly under the double-headed eagle.
from the CP at the Globe and Mail,
Jaromir Jagr found some new Czech teammates to celebrate a gold medal with.
The veteran forward set up Jakub Klepis just 20 seconds into Sunday’s game and Tomas Vokoun turned aside 35 shots as the Czech Republic captured the IIHF World Hockey Championship with a stunning 2-1 win over Russia.
Jagr expressed concern at the outset of the tournament that the country could be a candidate for relegation because so many NHL players declined an invitation. Not only did the unherladed team go on to win gold, it did so by handing star-studded Russia its first loss in 28 world championship games.
No one could have seen this coming for a Czech hockey program that had seen its men’s national team lose in the quarter-finals of the last four major international tournaments, including the Vancouver Olympics
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 email@example.com