Kukla's Korner Hockey
from an editorial in the Tennessean,
Nashville’s new mayor, Karl Dean, and new Metro Council should do what’s necessary to keep the Nashville Predators hockey team from leaving — as difficult as those decisions may be.
The Metro officials, many of whom are just settling into their new positions, may feel like the clock is ticking and they’re being asked to score a short-handed goal. But increasingly, the Predators issue has become more a case of what the city will lose if the National Hockey League franchise goes to another city, not just what’s to gain by keeping them.
From Neil Stevens at CP via the Globe & Mail,
It might come as a surprise to hockey fans to know that seven goaltenders including Colorado’s backup will bank more than Martin Brodeur this season.
Kimmo Timonen, not Nicklas Lidstrom, will be the highest-paid defenceman. Bryan McCabe will get more than Jarome Iginla, Joe Sakic or Joe Thornton.
And get this: Thomas Vanek’s pay will be more than 10 times Sidney Crosby’s base salary.
There is no simple explanation for all the disparities because there are more than 700 NHL players and the compensation they’ll receive from their teams in 2007-2008, all in U.S. dollars, has in many cases been arrived at differently.
From Jeff Gordon at STLtoday.com,
AL MACINNIS: The Hockey Hall of Famer is the vice president of hockey operations and still another potential NHL GM. He has no interest in serving a ceremonial role with this franchise.
Like Murray, MacInnis has a clear vision of what works and what doesn’t work in the NHL. He gives this hockey operation additional insight and another view on players inside and outside the organization.
more… (*looking at all the Blues’ top management)
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
If the Commissioner were to come forward with a state of the league address in the U.S. this week the big questions wouldn’t centre on what he had to say. They would centre on whether or not anyone would come out to ask them.
It’s different in Canada and especially in Toronto and so give the Commissioner some credit for not just recognizing the obvious, but for wading into what is largely a hostile crowd.
Now there are reasons for that too and not the least of them is that the Toronto Maple Leafs annually offer no hope of success. That seems to keep “da boys” on a relatively sharp edge.
From Michael Cass at the Tennessean,
The lease deal being negotiated between the city and a group buying the Nashville Predators calls for taxpayers to fund $7 million of improvements such as new “Fun Zones” at Sommet Center.
The capital projects would be in addition to the $4.2 million of tax money and seat fees per year that would be used for operations of the hockey team.
The group purchasing the team in an effort to keep it in Nashville says the city would get the money back over time because of increased activity at Sommet Center and downtown.
from the CP via TSN,
Moments after helping Scotiabank announce that it is now the official bank of the league, Bettman was besieged with a wide-ranging series of questions on Wednesday.
He talked about the proposed sale of the Nashville Predators and potential expansion. He spoke about the league’s foray into Europe and touched briefly on Rick Tocchet’s suspension, the rising Canadian dollar, the NHLPA’s search for an executive director and the New York Rangers lawsuit against the league.
Even with so much on his plate, Bettman was looking forward to the puck dropping in North America on the 90th NHL season. He was to attend the Maple Leafs-Ottawa Senators later in the evening.
from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
And then there’s the number that backs everything up: According to Dolan, 93 per cent of the NHL overall revenue (up from 91 per cent before the lockout) is generated by the teams, with only 7 per cent generated by the league.
That’s why the Toronto Maple Leafs are extremely well off, and the Predators are gasping for air. And that’s why, if the local Nashville deal falls through, it’s no real solution to move the team to another non-hockey market such as Kansas City — because it will have to sink or swim right there.
Even in the darkest days in Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa — and Winnipeg and Quebec City — at least that was never an issue.
Tonight the NHL and Esquire Magazine celebrated the start of the 2007-08 season and the 10th anniversary of Hockey Fights Cancer with an all-star bash at Esquire North, a penthouse overlooking New York City’s Central Park.
Among those expected there were NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, Esquire Publisher and Vice President Kevin C. O’Malley New York Islanders head coach Ted Nolan, Hockey Hall of Famers Bobby Nystrom and Rod Gilbert, NHL great Willie O’Ree. Plus a host of players, including Mike Comrie, Rick DiPietro and Bill Guerin of the Islanders; Ryan Miller, Derek Roy and Paul Gaustad of the Buffalo Sabres; and others. The Stanley Cup also made a special appearance at the event.
Photos and more, below.
From Tarik El-Bashir in Wednesday’s Washington Post,
But as the NHL prepares to open season tonight—the third under the new collective bargaining agreement—some league executives and outside observers are again voicing concerns about the growing disparity between high- and low-revenue teams.
Although the average player salary this season is expected to be about $1.8 million, which is what it was in 2003-04, the salary cap ceiling has grown to $50.3 million per team, an increase of nearly 30 percent in two years. The salary cap floor, meantime, is up to $34.3 million, substantially more than some clubs spent before the lockout that scuttled the 2004-05 season.
more… (*a detailed overview the NHL’s financial situation)
*may require free registration to read
Since everyone reading these words is either reading them on this blog or via some rss feedreader, the audience here might be a bit biased in believing hockey fans are very tech-knowledgeable. But in this instance, your bias is absolutely correct—NHL hockey fans are indeed very well-wired.
From the Sports Business Journal on Monday, October 1 (sorry, no link. subscription only):
The NHL has long asserted that its fans are the most tech-savvy in sports. Exclusive data provided to Sports Business Journal by Scarborough Sports Marketing seems to support that belief. Twenty-four percent of NHL loyal fans live in households that own an HDTV and more than seventy percent have a broadband connection (cable or dsl) at home.
See the graph below.
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