Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy:
The victors go the spoils; to the losers go the high draft selections and subsequent years of rebuilding. That’s how it works in the NHL. For the most part.
ESPN.com published its NHL “organizational rankings” for 2011 this week (insider sub. required) in which Grant Sonier, a scout who most recently worked with the Atlanta Thrashers, evaluated the depth of talent for all 30 teams.
read on for Wyshinski’s look at those ESPN’s rankings. (For starters, Florida is #1 and San Jose is #30…)
From Neil deMause at Slate:
Even so, there’s a good chance this will mark the fourth straight year that Major League Baseball has seen ticket sales slide after a record year in 2007. You can’t blame it on steroids, either. NFL, NBA, and NHL attendance have likewise dipped over the last three years.
The obvious culprit is the sinking economy: Lose $4 trillion in spending power, and at least a few consumers are going to save by watching games at home in hi-def. Yet as the economy lurches back to its feet, there are signs that the sports ticket bubble will continue to deflate. That could have far-reaching effects on ticket prices, competitive balance, and the very existence of the major pro sports leagues that aren’t the NFL.
Sports leagues’ ticket woes aren’t always visible to the naked eye. According to Team Marketing Report’s Fan Cost Index, three of the four major leagues saw average ticket prices rise last year. (The NBA, which cut prices by 2.3 percent, was the exception.) These figures, though, only take into account the face value of tickets.
From Jeff Marek’s The Sheet at Sportsnet:
So let me get this straight: Front loading a contract that includes dead years at the end where the player has zero intention of playing (Ilya Kovalchuk) for cap relief was a violation of the “spirit” of the salary cap, yet trading for a player with zero intention of him ever playing (Trent Hunter) with the sole purpose of buying him out for cap relief isn’t?
I know they’re different, but at the end of the day there are still plenty of ways to get around the salary cap in the NHL and New Jersey, it seems, has tried all of them. Interesting too when you consider that Devils GM Lou Lamoriello helped craft the current CBA. New Jersey has four players on the books this season with buyouts: Andrew Peters, Trent Hunter, Colin White and Jay Pandolfo.
plus more odds and ends from the hockey world
Monday is voting day to decide the future of the NYI, but will the team really leave if citizens vote against a new arena? From Tom Van Riper at Forbes:
But is it necessarily a case of build it or they will leave? Despite owner Charles Wang’s insistence that his outdated Nassau Coliseum isn’t a viable option going forward, what else does he do? Everyone talks about the Kansas City Sprint Center, which is dying for a full time sports tenant, but sports business experts doubt that the Islanders could duplicate their $15 million in annual cable money in that market, despite their second class standing in New York. Canada could be a possibility – fans of the old Quebec Nordiques have been rallying for an NHL return- but any arena plan there is still a long way off.
“There just aren’t many markets that covet the NHL right now,” says Robert Boland, who teaches sports business at the Tisch Center at New York University.
Craig Custance of Sporting News also comments today on the stakes of Monday’s vote in this article.
From Lyle Richardson at The Hockey News:
It is easy to float the rumor of collusion, but far more difficult to prove it.
Dupont pointed out NHL Players’ Association director Donald Fehr was able to prove collusion existed in Major League Baseball in the late-1980s and wondered “if it could be time to forge a similar case in hockey?”
The difference, however, was the MLB owners had, for the most part, agreed not to sign their rivals’ free agents. The surprisingly low number of free agents changing teams between 1985 and 1988 made it easy for Fehr to prove his case.
As for why Stamkos and Doughty didn’t receive offer sheets, there are other obvious factors at work.
One is the high cost of signing either player.
read on for Richardson’s full analysis
From Kevin Allen at USA Today:
Goaltenders own a large share of the pressure and not a large share of the payroll in the NHL these days.
With another free agency season almost complete, a review of the NHL salary structure shows a continuing trend of teams trying to save some dollars in net while handing out more lucrative deals to scorers and defensemen.
Going into the 2011-12 season, 10 NHL goalies will be averaging $5 million or more on their deals, 19 defensemen will earn at least $5 million, and a 20th (Chris Pronger) averaging just below $5 million. Meanwhile, 23 No. 1 centers averaging $5 million or better.
Only the New York Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist (18th at $6.85 million) ranks among the league’s 25 highest cap hits, according to Capgeek.com
From Justin Bourne at Puck Daddy:
Amateur capology is at its thickest in the off-season. “$1.7M for Marcel Goc? Why that’s at least $200K too much!” I do it as much as anyone, but I acknowledge that it would sure be nice to see more analysis of how Goc will fit in to the Panthers on-ice roster than their on-paper payroll.
If there are any fans that are going to agree with me on this, it’s those of the Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers. The media can and should dissect their off-season acquisitions from a financial standpoint (that’s part of their job) ... but the fans?
Your team was willing to spend some bucks, and because of that you got some better players. Your team is better. Your chances of winning the Stanley Cup are better. Who cares about the price tag if you can afford it?
NEW YORK (July 20, 2011) – The National Hockey League (NHL) and Disney Consumer Products have revealed plans to co-brand merchandise featuring characters from Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning animated series, Phineas and Ferb, in the 2011-12 NHL® season. The NHL made the announcement today at the 2011 NHL Exchange licensed products and retail trade show inside the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
The Disney and the NHL collection will include apparel, headwear, house & home products and collectibles featuring characters from Phineas and Ferb wearing NHL and team-branded merchandise. NHL and Disney licensees will deliver the new products to retail stores throughout North America in fall 2011, just in time for the new school year and the 2011-12 NHL season.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The NHL and Molson Coors won big on Tuesday when the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld their $375-million sponsorship deal.
Rival brewery Labatt was the loser, as the court upheld Molson’s appeal of a lower court decision that rejected the agreement between the NHL and Molson for the league’s North American rights beginning with the 2011-12 season. Labatt argued the NHL improperly broke off a sponsorship agreement with them for the league’s Canadian rights to strike the deal with Molson.
NEW YORK (July 11, 2011) – Following April’s landmark, 10-year media rights agreement with NBC, the National Hockey League (NHL®) and the NBC Sports Group announced today that the two companies are strengthening their relationship even further by creating a unique, groundbreaking sales venture that will streamline national U.S. NHL media sales for the next five years.
NHL media sales for all national platforms—NBC, VERSUS, NBCSports.com, NHL Network™, NHL mobile and all official NHL digital sites, including NHL.com — will be sold by the NBC Sports Group Sales Department, which will be bolstered by absorbing NHL media sales employees. All traffic generated by official NHL digital sites, including NHL.com, will now be attributed to NBC Sports Digital.
The agreement excludes current and future NHL official marketing partners, who will continue to purchase media through the NHL Integrated Sales Department. Financial terms of this new agreement, which continues through the 2015-16 season, were not disclosed.
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