Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
Salaries are on the rise, revenues are on the rise. And by all accounts, the value of an NHL franchise is on the rise, with the Tampa Bay Lightning having sold this week for a reported $200 million (all figures U.S.).
That has some folks within the sports business believing that hockey is making a comeback from the devastating lockout that cost it the 2004-05 season, about $2 billion in revenue and its stake as the fourth “major league” in North America.
But it has others believing that owners haven’t learned the lesson of out-of-control spending, likening the frenzied spending for franchises to the free-wheeling spending on free agents every July 1.
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
But despite the NHL’s many troubles — the rapidly escalating salaries, the lack of new revenue streams, the lack of a major U.S. television agreement — people are buying into commissioner Gary Bettman’s show. Not only that, they’re paying more and more money to do so….
This is all very strange. How can franchise values be going up at a time when the NHL looks to be struggling all over again?
from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
How can the National Hockey League, so obviously struggling postlockout in many of its 24 American markets, with all of those empty seats and punchline television ratings, in fact be thriving as a business?
How can a no-loopholes salary cap attached to a percentage of overall revenues be soaring if commissioner Gary Bettman’s vision of the NHL is so clearly headed for the tank?
The answer lies with the almighty dollar — in this case, the Canadian dollar, which continues to ride high against the American greenback.
From TSN, breaking news,
Nashville owner Craig Leipold has advised the NHL to no longer consider Jim Balsillie as a prospective owner of the team.
Sources say Leipold told the league the absence of a finalized sale agreement and Balsillie desire to move the franchise to Hamilton are the reasons for his decision.
more soon… (whoa…)
Updated 9:28pm EDT:
More from TSN,
It’s the second time Balsillie has been spurned in his efforts to buy an NHL team. He backed out of an earlier agreement to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Balsillie had agreed to pay up to $238 million for the Predators. There was a deadline of June 30th put in place to complete the details of the sale.
Leipold, however, pulled the plug early.
Balsillie had already started putting the wheels in motion to move the team to Hamilton.
At a board of governors meeting in New York earlier this week, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman called talk of moving the Predators “premature.”
Updated 10:26pm EDT:
More from Scott Burnside at ESPN.
From Tim Wharnsby at the Globe & Mail,
The National Hockey League general managers who sit on their thumbs in the next day or so may wind up as the big off-season losers.
With the Stanley Cup having been won by the Anaheim Ducks only 16 days ago, there is a race going on among the 30 general managers to improve their teams. There was so much chatter and gossip buzzing around that the usual debate on which young talent would be drafted when and where took a back seat on the eve of the 2007 NHL entry draft.
“We’re in a hurry, aren’t we?” one general manager said. “I got in here late [Wednesday] afternoon and there already was a tremendous buzz, and I think we all expect a lot of movement here.”
continued… (*looks at the swirl of rumors yesterday)
From the AP via SacBee,
They wouldn’t name names, but developers are telling city officials that several billionaires are behind a $9.5 billion proposal to reshape 85 downtown acres into a development including a sports arena.
The Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved measures to let developer REI Group continue trying to acquire the land needed for a 22,000-seat arena, plus hotel, condominiums, casino and retail space toward
“This is a very quiet group. They’re not anxious to broadcast who they are on television,” Jon Weaver, an REI Group principal, said following the vote. He said he would privately identify project backers for Mayor Oscar Goodman.
Yesterday, the UHL announced their name change from United Hockey League to the International Hockey League, at the league’s annual meeting in Las Vegas. But what might be even more interesting is some rules changes they’ve made for the coming season, including these on matters of penalties:
- The instigator penalty has been eliminated except during the final five minutes of a game.
- In regards to secondary altercations, players will receive a 10-minute misconduct as opposed to a game misconduct.
- If a dive and hook occur on the same play, only one penalty is to be called. Diving takes precedence over hooking in that situation.
The UHL (IHL) has always been known as a rough and tumble league with teams that focused on entertainment as much as winning and it’s interesting to note that their attendance numbers have suffered as fighting was reduced in recent seasons, having adopted the NHL’s new standards. So do these rules changes indicate an interest in turning back the clock? It would seem so.
But while the NHL might not be in a hurry to return to the same standards, they might consider that adjustment to the hook/dive penalty call. I’m guessing a whole LOT of hockey fans would like to see that standard in the NHL.
From Scott Morrison via Welland Tribune,
So this is the so-called off season?
Hardly. In the past week ...
- A general manager who got his team three wins away from winning the Stanley Cup gets fired.
- A coach who was told two months ago he would be back next season gets fired.
- Deposits on tickets for a franchise that doesn’t exist go through the roof.
- The future of a franchise remains in limbo while a quiet cold war between the prospective owner and the NHL builds and the team loses two of its best young players.
- A coach who had 43 wins last season gets demoted to assistant coach, his replacement a surprise but quality choice.
And so it goes ... where to begin?
From the Globe & Mail,
Officially, the sale of the Nashville Predators to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie won’t be put to a vote at tomorrow’s National Hockey League board of governors meeting in New York.
Unofficially, it will be the hot topic of the day.
What to do with Balsillie and his bid to buy the Predators has become the NHL’s front-and-centre issue. The co-chief executive officer of BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion Inc. has agreed to pay close to $238-million (all currency U.S.) for a team that is losing money.
As a backup plan, or arguably his true plan, Balsillie is preparing a move to Hamilton, where he is already taking deposits on season tickets.
From Two Minutes for Blogging,
So I’ve been doing some research about the NHL’s CBA and how the salary cap is attached to league revenues. From a fan’s perspective, I must say that there is a lot of unreliable information about there about the CBA. And along the same lines, and more interestingly, there is mixed information about what comprises league revenue.
So when I start putting together an Excel sheet of “% increase/decrease in NHL revenues from the previous season,” and I see that the NHL just experienced the highest percentage of growth (approximately 6.7%) since 01/02 (then 11.5%), I can’t help but wonder how the NHL is growing and how it plans to sustain its growth.
continued… (*deals with some interesting issues like “What does the league consider revenue?” and “How will the league sustain the revenue growth?”)
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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