Kukla's Korner Hockey
Brian Biggane of Inside the Panthers at the Palm Beach Post responds to the latest story by David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail about expansion & the schedule…
David Shoalts, who covers the Toronto Maple Leafs for Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper and loves to bash the Panthers, was at it again Wednesday.
In a story about Wednesday’s Board of Governors meetings in Chicago, Shoalts noted that while expansion will be discussed, it isn’t likely to come about for a few more years. If and when it does happen, he said, Winnipeg is likely to be passed over in favor of American cities such as Las Vegas, Kansas City and Seattle.
Winnipeg’s best chance of getting a team, he continued, “remains relocating one of the league’s basket cases, such as the Atlanta Thrashers, Florida Panthers or Nashville Predators.”
added 9:30pm, Bob McKenzie at TSN also has some notes regarding the BOG meeting. A few people willing to pay up $200M-$300M for an NHL team!
From WBEN in Buffalo,
The Buffalo Sabres outdoor game at Ralph Wilson Stadium—officially called AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic New Year’s Day- sold out 74,000 tickets in under 1 hour Tuesday morning.
The game, against the Pittsburgh Penguins, began offering tickets at 10:00 am at the Bills Ticket Office outside the stadium and online at Ticketmaster.com. None were available by 10:40 am
It is not known how many tickets went to individual buyers and how many went to brokers, but there are indications that the secondary market is already skyrocketing. There were no limits on the number of tickets any individual could buy, and immediately after the sell out tickets were being offered on E-bay, at typical prices of $2,000 for six, or roughly $300 each.
Sept. 29-30 - Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings season-opening series at London.
Oct. 3 - General regular-season opening night.
Nov. 10 - Hockey Hall of Fame Game - New York Rangers at Toronto Maple Leafs.
Nov. 12 - Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Toronto.
from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via Sportsnet,
The NHL’s unbalanced schedule will once again be front and centre at the board of governors meeting in Chicago on Tuesday while talk of possible expansion will also be on the agenda when owners gather for the first time this season.
Few issues have ignited as much passionate debate among owners in recent years as the schedule, which since the lockout has featured eight games versus each divisional opponent—too many according to some—and only 10 games (five on the road) against non-conference opponents.
“We cannot walk away from the debate, it’s critically important to our customers,” Oilers president and CEO Pat LaForge told The Canadian Press on Monday. “We think it’s the same for all Western teams. We think we’re at a huge disadvantage the way the schedule is right now.”
From the NY Rangers,
The New York Rangers announced today that individual game tickets for the 2007-08 season sold-out in less than one hour. It is believed to be the fastest season sell-out in team history. Tickets that went o-sale at 10 a.m. on Saturday completely sold out with the exception of an extremely limited number of single tickets.
The worst-kept secret in hockey is finally coming out in the open as the NHL makes its announcement about the January 1st, 2008 outdoor game to be played between the Buffalo Sabres and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Update 2:09pm ET:
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
Here’s some news worth calculating: the more our Canadian dollar rises, the more likely it is that NHL players may soon be taking a pay cut….
But soon, our dollar and the U.S. dollar are expected to be equals. And should our dollar surpass its US counterpart – a possibility, according to some economists – NHL players will be taking home less money.
from Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),
Former NHL Players’ Association executive directors Bob Goodenow and Ted Saskin routinely tape-recorded players, agents, NHL officials such as NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and officials of other sports unions, including NFL Players Association Executive Director Gene Upshaw, without their permission or knowledge, according to a report issued to NHLPA members last month….
The report also details a taped conversation between Daly and Saskin in October 2004, which Daly said was recorded without his knowledge. Last week, Daly wrote in an e-mail , “I’m not prepared to comment on the ‘ethics’ of the practice. But apparently, it was a practice that Bob (Goodenow) endorsed and may even have been insisted on.”
Daly blasted the report, saying, “To the extent anyone reads the Block report and treats its conclusions as ‘gospel’ — i.e., that they are factual — they are making a big mistake,” Daly wrote in an e-mail.
Thanks go out to Sports Business Journal for allowing KK members and guests to read the full article...
from the Buffalo News,
League executives will gather at Ralph Wilson Stadium this afternoon to trumpet the first NHL game to be played outdoors in the United States, one that should shatter the league’s attendance record. The Sabres will host the Pittsburgh Penguins at 1 p.m. Jan. 1 in the home of the Bills.
NBC, one of the league’s television partners, has been pushing for a marquee New Year’s Day event, Collins said. The holiday is one of the busiest days of the year for television use. It traditionally has been an afternoon of college football bowl games for sports fans, but since the advent of the Bowl Championship Series to determine a national champion, most of the top games are on other days.
The league views that as an ideal time to attract fans.
“It will really build a national and North American platform for the league,” Collins (NHL Sr. VP) said. “There’s a lot of interest in the game.”
more including ticket information…
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail, in response to Gary Bettman’s statements today regarding Mark Bell’s suspension,
Bettman’s phrasing is eerily reminiscent of the wording of commissioner Roger Goodell’s statement when he suspended a couple of NFL miscreants (Pacman Jones and Chris Henry) last May. Goodell talked about the “integrity” of his league; how it was a “privilege to represent the NFL” and that its members must meet “the highest standards of conduct.”
All of which sends a clear signal to professional athletes everywhere — that whatever standard of behavior was tolerated in the recent past by the NHL, NBA, NFL and major-league baseball, the rules are starting to change and that part of the “covenant” with their fans that Bettman alluded to is becoming good role models again.
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.
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