Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Ricky Doyle at NESN:
Fans of the NHL should welcome this move, which seems inevitable despite no official word yet. Hockey is the lifeblood of Canada, so therefore it makes sense for a league that struggles to gain recognition to welcome the return of a team to a market where it’ll be relevant.
The interest and passion for the Jets never evaporated from Winnipeg after the team’s 1996 relocation. The move was simply a financial one. It was impossible for the city, which was the NHL’s smallest market by the time the franchise relocated to Phoenix, to financially support the franchise.
But if the economic support is there, which it would have to be in order for the move to become a reality, it’s a fantastic move for the NHL at large.The Thrashers have only made the playoffs once since entering the league in 1999. A change of scenery, and subsequently identity, could prove to be beneficial.
But success—or lack thereof—is only a minor reason why the Thrashers moving would be good thing for the NHL.
Update 12:24am ET:And not just the NHL. Winnipeg realtors are a happy bunch, too. From the Winnipeg Sun:
High-end home sales could see a dramatic increase over the next year, if an NHL team is on its way back to Winnipeg.
Realtors are thrilled at the prospect of 25 millionaires looking for homes in the city.
“That’s going to have a huge impact, not only on the real estate market, but on the whole economy itself,” said Ralph Fyfe, Winnipeg Realtors president.
“These fellows will be buying nice houses, in nice neighbourhoods and it’s only going to be good for our real estate market. There’s no question about it.”
And it’s not just the players realtors are considering.
From Kevin Dougherty at the Montreal Gazette:
Pierre Karl Péladeau, president and CEO of Quebecor Inc., is talking to the National Hockey League about bringing a team back to Quebec City, Mayor Régis Labeaume revealed Thursday.
Labeaume let slip the news that Péladeau was in contact with the NHL… [...]
Quebecor and the NHL delined to comment.
For anyone unfamiliar, Quebecor is a very large Canadian media company.
[*h/t The Score.ca for the Gazette pointer.]
From Nancy Armour at Forbes.com:
It was an on-ice code of justice, and it’s proven so effective over the years that players like Probert, McCarty and Derek Boogaard built careers dishing out punishing hits.
But Boogaard’s sudden death Friday five months after a season-ending concussion, and his family’s decision to donate his brain to the Boston University project that found Probert had signs of brain trauma resulting from blows to the head, is bringing added scrutiny to fighting’s place in the NHL.
“I think the league does a good job. They’re trying to limit head shots,” Tampa Bay Lightning center Nate Thompson said Monday. “I don’t think they can (ban fighting entirely). That’s part of the game. It’s a physical sport and it always has been. If they take that out of the game that takes a part of the history out of the game.”
Like football, hockey is a game of controlled violence.
From Etan Vlessing at The Hollywood Reporter:
TV hockey where there’s no ice?
The National Hockey League clearly believes countries where the game is no winter sport still want its TV product.
The pro league on Monday unveiled a tender process for international media rights to live hockey games to be sold throughout Europe and the hot tropics of the Middle East and Africa.
The NHL said Evolution Media Capital will conduct an open auction for the foreign rights to live NHL games covering the 2011-12 through 2014-15 seasons.
NEW YORK (April 29, 2011) – History was made, on and off the ice, in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The National Hockey League, on the heels of announcing the most significant media rights deal in its history, continues to reach new heights across multiple platforms while earning praise from fans and critics alike.
One of the most exciting and compelling Conference Quarterfinal rounds in Stanley Cup Playoff history, highlighted by nine straight days of overtime games, four Game 7s (the most in the first round in 16 years), and 49 total games (tied for the most ever), led to ratings increases and milestones at both the national and local levels, along with record Internet traffic on NHL.com. The first round, which the New York Times hailed as a round “that had everything,” and a “tough act to follow,” also scored in-arena with every arena at 100 percent capacity, achieving an all-time record for average attendance for the first round.
Kukla’s Korner always appreciates our direct advertisers, and we’d like to introduce you to one that’s new to us in recent months, WiseGuyWinners.com.
KK: WiseGuyWinners is not a gambling site but rather a site which tells subscribers which NHL teams will win on a daily basis. How did you start out doing this?
Raj Bhatti: I started out doing this because I grew up in Ontario watching hockey and eventually started betting it online about 15 years ago. I was also betting football and baseball and noticed that there was a dearth of information for hockey bettors. I spent many years with this little nugget in the back of my mind as I pursued a “real” career as a medical technologist.
About 3 years ago, I moved to Las Vegas and started betting sports a little more often, but still on a very recreational basis.
BEST-EVER BUSINESS YEAR FOR NHL HIGHLIGHTED BY RECORD REVENUE
All North American TV Partners Show Viewership Gains
NEW YORK (April 13, 2011)— In a season that saw outstanding on-ice performances capped by a spectacular playoff chase that went down to the last minute of the last game of the regular season, the NHL experienced unprecedented success off the ice, achieving myriad business records and milestones.
Led by dramatic increases in sponsorship and merchandise sales, landmark corporate investment in its big events and impressive digital growth, the NHL is on pace for its fifth consecutive year of record total revenue and is projected to bring more than $2.9 billion by the end of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. NHL Enterprises’ revenue is forecasted to increase by 14.8 percent and also will set a new best. Sponsorship sales set an all-time record with gross sales increasing by 33 percent over last year as the League added to its blue chip roster of corporate partners, attracted by the most coveted fan demographic in all of pro sports. In February, the NHL announced a new seven-year partnership with Molson Coors in Canada and MillerCoors in the U.S. to begin in July – the biggest sponsorship in the League’s 93-year history.
From Postmedia News:
The NHL is denying reports Wednesday that the Phoenix Coyotes will relocate to Winnipeg after they are eliminated from the playoffs.
According to fan590.com, Sportsnet Radio FAN 590’s Nick Kypreos and Doug MacLean were told by multiple sources that the move is imminent.
However, in an e-mail to Postmedia News, National Hockey League deputy commissioner Bill Daly denied the team will soon uproot from Glendale, Arizona, and move to the Manitoba capital.
“The report is untrue. No decisions have been made at this point in time, and there has not been a timetable set for making that decision,” Daly wrote. “We are still continuing in our efforts to effectuate a sale of the franchise in Glendale.”
from Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune,
“Why should we begrudge these owners, who pay exorbitant amounts for their franchise and pay out salaries and debt on their stadiums, a decent return on their investment?’’ said Esposito, who served as president of the NHL Players Association during his final two seasons as a player, more than 30 years ago.
In 2004, shortly after the Lightning paraded the Stanley Cup through the streets of downtown Tampa, the NHL turned to an outside counsel by the name of Bob Batterman to assist in talks with the NHLPA.
If you’ve been watching TV updates on pro football’s ongoing labor dispute, you saw NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell walking into a Washington office building last week accompanied by his league’s outside counsel.
Yes, that Bob Batterman.
“If you really want to bring about a major change in the way you do business, shut it down,’’ a longtime NHL executive told me, referring to the NFL’s labor strife. “Shut the game down for a year and NFL owners will get what they want — on their terms.’‘
from Josh Rubin of the Toronto Star and Chis Johnston of the CP,
Molson Coors hit archrival Labatt and Anheuser-Busch/InBev with a bruising body check Tuesday, signing a coveted major sponsorship agreement with the National Hockey League.
Labatt, meanwhile, accused the league of unsportsmanlike conduct, alleging it had already struck a deal with the NHL to renew sponsorship rights in Canada through 2014, and said it will pursue legal action to ensure their own deal is honoured.
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