Kukla's Korner Hockey
From 1040 ESPN Tampa:
The Tampa Bay Lightning is the second-best franchise in sports, according to ESPN The Magazine’s ninth annual “Best Franchise in Sports’’ rankings, which will hit newsstands on Friday. According to ESPN, only the Super Bowl-champion Packers are a better franchise than the Lightning, which advanced to within a game of the Stanley Cup final in Jeff Vinik’s first year as the team owner.
According to ESPN The Magazine, the study determines “an overall ranking for pro sports franchises according to how much they give back to fans for the time, money and emotion they invest in them. ...The rankings are determined by a multi-tiered analysis that examines a team’s efficiency in spending fan money as compared to its on-field performance. It also factors in feedback in 21 categories from more than 70,000 fans nationwide, both online at ESPN.com and in polling conducted by both independent third parties.’‘
All 122 teams from the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball were ranked in order in eight different categories: “bang for the buck,’’ players, fan relations, affordability, stadium experience, ownership, title track and coaching.
For a complete listing of ESPN’s rankings go here.
via NHL press release:
STANLEY CUP FINAL SETS NORTH AMERICAN VIEWERSHIP RECORD
FOR BOTH ENTIRE SERIES AND GAME 7
—Game 7 on CBC in Canada Earns All-Time Best Viewership for NHL Coverage
—NBC Sees Best U.S. Viewership for any NHL Game in 38 Years
—VERSUS/NBC Combined Viewership Best for Series Including a Canadian Team
—Game 7 Earns Huge 43.4 Rating and 64 Share in Boston
NEW YORK – June 16, 2011 – The 2011 Stanley Cup Final, won by the Boston Bruins over the Vancouver Canucks in a dramatic seven-game series, set numerous viewership milestones and records, including the highest North American viewership for any Stanley Cup Final in history – 11.5 million viewers (records go back to 1994). Game 7 of the series led the way, averaging a record 18.3 million viewers in the U.S. and Canada, also a North American viewership record for any NHL game on record.
From a StubHub press release today, these observations about their sales:
• Today, fans have been paying an average price of $3082 per ticket
• Yesterday, that average price was $2413
• The most expensive ticket purchased has been $6500 – 2 tickets each at this price for Club 106 (Row 12), purchased by a Vancouver buyer yesterday
And you could even spend more, if you want. TheFourthPeriod notes this on Twitter:
2 tickets, 2nd row for GM7… $10,345 on stubhub… hot damn.
That’s EACH ticket.
From Jeff Z. Klein and Stu Hackel at the NYT’s Slapshot blog:
His tenure was marked by controversy from the outset, even more so in recent years with the increased attention on concussions and hits to the head. While taking a leading role among leagues in understanding the concussion issue, the N.H.L. was slow to punish players for head shots, and Campbell bore the brunt of the criticism.
Most do not understand that the league’s discipline policies are established by the owners and general managers along with the players union, and none of those parties favor long suspensions.
Campbell merely enforced the policies, unless his son Gregory’s team was involved, in which case his deputy, Mike Murphy, stepped in. (Gregory Campbell plays for Boston.) After each incident, Campbell was subject to intense lobbying from all sides.
Still Campbell was not faultless in executing his duties. He justified his rulings by saying he had a duty to preserve the game’s physical nature, fearing that if he imposed the maximum punishment, players would become more tentative.
From the AP via NHL.com:
The most lucrative sponsorship deal in NHL history is in doubt after an Ontario judge ruled in favor of Labatt’s claim that the league reneged on its agreement with the beer company.
The Ontario Superior Court ruled Friday in favor of Labatt’s, which claimed it already had a deal in place with the NHL before the league committed to a $375-million sponsorship agreement with archrival Molson Coors.
It was called “a monster deal” by NHL chief operating officer John Collins when it was unveiled in February.
Origins of this lawsuit are explained in more depth in this February 22, 2011 story in the Toronto Star.
Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail reflects on today’s news of Colin Campbell’s departure as chief disciplinarian:
In my view, Campbell’s integrity is unimpeachable, but eventually the optics of being the head of discipline in a league where his son had a prominent role this season became too difficult to ignore. Campbell recuses himself in any series involving Gregory and thus is at the Stanley Cup final as a spectator, leaving the disciplinary duties and video reviews to his staff - primarily Mike Murphy and Kris King.
The primary benefit of shifting duties in hockey operations is that it gives the NHL a chance to revamp the disciplinary process.
Campbell has long believed that there can be no one-size-fits-all standard of discipline because no two NHL plays are ever exactly alike - and that multiple factors, including a players’ history of reckless play, must factor into any disciplinary decision.
Others disagree - and believe the system needs to be more narrowly codified, in the same way the ordinary judicial system has a known list of penalties for anyone who breaks the law.
From Eric Fisher at Sports Business Journal:
Upper-deck seating at most arenas, including the Capitals’ home, Verizon Center, has long been more of a value-oriented product, a place to put fans who just want to be in the building, weren’t concerned about status, or didn’t necessarily have entertaining needs for business clients.
But Van Stone, looking at detailed demographic and income information on his fan base, found that a large amount of Capitals ticket buyers in the upper seating bowl held six-figure incomes. Furthermore, they were also among some of the team’s most ardent fans, as shown by a variety of additional measures such as merchandise and secondary market ticket purchases, team website visits, survey participation and other indices.
With fan interest in the Capitals also peaking, thanks to the continued ascendancy of star forward Alex Ovechkin and a series of high-seed playoff appearances, Van Stone and Monumental used that data to devise a new price structure in which upper-deck seats that previously sold for $14 each on a full-season basis nearly doubled to $27 each.
read on —the article extends beyond the Caps to a look at other sports teams’ ticket sales as well, and how demographic data is being used to sell to fans.
From the Winnipeg Free Press:
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman went into fire-fighting mode again today with some cold-water words for those convinced the league has received a finalized deal to move the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg.
Appearing on Tampa, Fla., radio station WDAE this morning, Bettman was served the Atlanta-Winnipeg question with a little too much certainty for his liking.
“I think you’re being a tad presumptuous on what’s going on in Atlanta,” Bettman said. “Nobody’s announced anything and frankly if there is something going on nothing is going to happen until it actually happens, which means it may not happen.
“So I think people need to take a deep breath and pause.”
At The Mark News on Facebook:
Chat with retired professional hockey player Brendan Shanahan. The current Vice President of Hockey and Business Development at the NHL takes your questions all day Wednesday, May 25.
If you’ve got any questions or comments for Shanahan, you can post them here on the FB page. Post them anytime, and he’ll respond to as many as he can throughout the day tomorrow.
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.
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