Kukla's Korner Hockey
The new NHL—Powered by Reebok store had its official grand opening today.
The grand opening of the first-ever NHL-themed store in New York brought thousands of fans to the new facility, as well as some hockey legends like Glenn Anderson, Bruce Driver, Ken Daneyko, Rick Middleton, Eric Cairns, Butch Goring, former referee Paul Stewart, and of course, the biggest star of them all, the Stanley Cup.
Photo gallery has some great shots here.
National Hockey League franchises have increased in value as a result of the collective bargaining agreement between owners and players that capped player salaries at 54% (now 56%) of league revenue beginning with the 2005-06 season. More cost certainty has increased the number of bidders for teams while the supply remained fixed at 30 franchises.
But the new CBA has not been the panacea for team values that some self-serving owners would want you to believe.
From Barry Rozner at the Daily Herald,
The dominoes are starting to fall.
The housecleaning on West Madison began with the departure of Peter Wirtz last week and continued with the removal of Bob Pulford on Thursday, one of the most important moves the Blackhawks have made in years.
At this rate, new Hawks owner Rocky Wirtz will have home games on TV and a first-class hockey operations department by Christmas.
OK, that’s a stretch, but he’s moving fast and you have to give him time to clear up the more complicated matters.
from the CP,
Today, the 36-year-old Budin is president of Sports Advisors, an online handicapping concern with sites such as sportsinfo.com. He is also an author, taking readers behind the scenes of a sometimes sordid business in his book “Bets, Drugs and Rock & Roll” that was written with Bob Schaller….
Budin estimates that in the NHL “at least 20 to 25 players are gambling - at least, if not more.” That would amount to only 2.9 per cent of NHLers.
NHL player contracts contain a clause prohibiting betting on NHL games, and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly has stressed the league’s seriousness of dealing with gambling-related issues in the past.
“We take this seriously,” he has said. “Gambling culture is something we educate our players about extensively.”
Daly says the league has no comment on Budin’s book or interview comments but questions the credibility of it all.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
The NHL’s old boys’ club and its deeply-rooted tendencies to let the game’s inmates run its asylum have stormed back to the fore – and consequently, the number of horrific on-ice incidents and accompanying awful press have again eclipsed any of the league’s modest structural achievements.
Someone, somewhere, needs to step up and be the loudest canary chirping in the cave. Somebody needs to take the narrow-minded fundamentalists by the snouts and show them precisely how the present road eventually merges with the one that leads directly to ruin.
via the Blackhawks,
The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that Bob Pulford has been named Vice President of Wirtz Corporation.
Bob Pulford has served the Chicago Blackhawks, the National Hockey League and the game of hockey for the better part of six decades. As a Hall of Fame player, a coach, and an executive, his passion for hockey, its players and its fans have made him a giant in the game.
Bob will transition from Senior Vice President of the Chicago Blackhawks to Vice President of Wirtz Corporation. In his new role, Pulford will serve as the Blackhawks liaison on NHL affairs. He will also continue in his role as Alternate Governor to the National Hockey League.
From Evan Grossman at NHL.com,
Located on Avenue of the Americas between 46th and 47th streets in the heart of New York City, the new NHL store will celebrate its grand opening on Friday, Oct. 12. And calling it a store is not quite doing it justice, as this is much more than just a place where you can buy hockey stuff. The NHL store is designed to be a unique experience for visitors that plays on many senses in addition to the impulse to want to buy everything in the store.
This is a hockey cathedral, in many ways, with an ice wall where you can carve your name or initials, a computer where you can custom design a pair of sneakers with the crest and colors of your favorite team, a radio studio upstairs where you can see and hear the daily XM broadcast of NHL Live, or sip on your favorite flavor latte or cappuccino at the hockey-themed Starbucks that’s adjacent to the store.
from SportsBusiness Journal (paid reg.),
MSG Chairman James Dolan is often viewed as an industry pariah, a notion no doubt burnished by his defeat last week in the Anucha Browne Sanders sexual harassment lawsuit.
But surprisingly, the argument of Dolan, MSG and the New York Rangers — if not the methods — are garnering support from other NHL clubs and regional sports networks in their legal fight against the NHL for control over digital rights….
“There’s some feeling around the league that says, ‘Good for them,’” a team executive said. “There’s some downside to the league saying, ‘Boom. Here’s your (Web site) format.’ Teams have been hurt by that and aren’t getting satisfaction.”
“We think digital rights can be best exploited on a team-by-team basis locally through the team and its local media partners,” said an executive at an RSN with NHL rights after asking for anonymity because of the ongoing lawsuit.
update 1:22pm, Thanks to the folks at SportsBusiness Journal for providing KK readers with a link to read the full article…
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
The Rangers, who want the right to control their own website instead of adopting the league’s “homogenized ... cookie cutter” model, argue the addition of Drury and Gomez have “made the Rangers a strong contender ... creating enormous opportunities to increase traffic to the Rangers website, as well as to use the Rangers website to cultivate fan excitement, attract new fans, and enhance the Rangers business.”
The Rangers surely won’t need to draw on their new high-priced forwards in court. It looks like history may be on their side.
Garry Bettman was in Atlanta last night and answered a few questions regarding the game, the Thrashers, etc…
from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Q: What do you see ahead as far as TV deals?
A: We have great partnerships with NBC and [cable network] Versus. ... There have been reports that ESPN is interested in us. ... I do believe our current partners will be in the picture long-term. Whether or not there is an opportunity to have another partner is something we’re always open to looking at.
more from Bettman…
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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