Kukla's Korner Hockey
The last time the Washington Capitals played the Wings at the Joe Louis Arena, they won the game 4-1 with goals from Jaromir Jagr, Robert Lang, Dainius Zubrus and Peter Bondra. That was in November of 2003 and it seems a lot longer than that.
Boy, how things have changed. The Caps decided to unload some high-priced players, taking on the attitude of building from with-in the organization. They have been active in the UFA market, but are spending wisely instead of throwing big money at big names. In the very near future, the Caps will become a team to fear, as long as they sign Alexander Ovechkin to a long term contract, something I see happening by the end of this season.
Today is also a day the Red Wings organization should have taken a look at their stance on the Hockey Bloggers. The Wings continue their refusal to acknowledge reputable hockey blogs and are paying the price for it. Heck, today is a perferct example. The University of Michigan hires Rich Rodriguez to coach their football team, the Detroit Lions lose again, the Pistons win again and we have 15 inches of snow to battle with today.
The Wings are hosting Alexander Ovechkin tonight, and yes, that is a the story for hockey fans, but sports radio hasn’t even mentioned it, the Wings beat writers do their typical work about it and that is all we have here in Detroit.
How refreshing it would have been if the Wings had invited or allowed a few hockey bloggers into the press box tonight. But then again, they would not be able to control what they write, and THAT folks is the story.
from Neil Best at Newsday,
Let’s be clear on this: With three local squads on basic cable, and with Versus and NBC also showing games, there is no shortage of hockey action on your TV.
So only passionate fans of a team outside the area or avid fans of the entire league need consider forking over $169 for the season (more than what MLB charges for its online, out-of-market service).
For people in those categories, there are benefits over the comparably priced TV version of Center Ice. They include portability (if you have a good laptop), the ability to see four games at once, real-time stats and archived games.
A couple of early games on the NHL schedule today. Check NHL.com for broadcast information.
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
But it all did get me to thinking: What issues should Bettman tackle on his show?
I understand subscription radio is, at least in theory, completely immune to ratings pressures and rather is driven by purchase and subscription revenue. But Bettman still should be thinking about quality, and perhaps even controversy, so here are some suggestions:
• “Creative Math”: Bettman explains how ticket prices, the league’s single biggest problem because they provide rationalizations for bailing out and staying away, remain startlingly and stiflingly high in the wake of the lockout and the implementation of the salary cap.
From Blackantehm Military News,
“My mom and dad in Michigan are watching,” said Army Spc. Graham Besonen. “It’s important for them to see me and know I’m safe. I’m really a Red Wings fan, but I came to enjoy a hockey game and for my family to see me.”
Most of the pictures were sent to Versus at least a week prior to the game. However, the network wanted to make sure all of the troops were recognized. Just prior to the start of the game, a group photo was taken and e-mailed to Baker. During the third period, the picture was shown on TV.
“I was really impressed with Versus and the NHL putting our pictures on during the game,” said Army Sgt. Rich Allen. “I’ve always been a hockey fan, and to be deployed and see myself on television during a game was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
from James Mirtle,
It’s from this secret location, somewhere in northern California, where this strange creature spends his days pumping out all sorts of wacky hockey-related numbers for our perusal.
And it’s a good thing, too. Because, more and more, I’m stopping by his site to look at what certain players are up to.
Desjardins’s latest concoction is a look at shots on goal at even strength, something that tells us Alex Ovechkin leads the way with 103.
Talking about shots on goal… via the Columbus Dispatch,
The Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche combined for 32 shots last night, with each team taking 16. That’s the lowest combined total in Blue Jackets franchise history. The previous record was 35 set twice.
Pat Hannigan, who played his first National Hockey League game for the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1959-60 season and then enjoyed a second career broadcasting Buffalo Sabres games, has died. He was 71.
But in Fort Erie, he was better known for his social justice efforts, helping refugees new to Canada through Casa el Norte, a safe house for newcomers.
More on Pat Hannigan’s life and career at Legends of Hockey
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
The door is open, then, for ESPN.
According to an ESPN source, the network could be interested if it saw a fit in terms of cost and content. The network would require playoff hockey and one night of exclusivity during the regular season. “It’s totally in the NHL’s hands,” the source said.
As one media critic expressed it, does the NHL want to be No. 7 on ESPN or No. 1 on Versus? The league does indeed receive more loving care from Versus than it did on ESPN, despite the half-hour show ESPN2 used to give it nightly, but its absence from the cable heavyweight has taken hockey one step further from the national conversation.
National Hockey League games are among the first programming to be offered through Apple’s iTunes video download service to launch Wednesday, Apple Canada has announced.
Apple began offering videos for download in the U.S. in September 2006, but the service has not been available in Canada until this week.
The top NHL games for the 2007-2008 season, a selection of Stanley Cup classics and a five-game bundle of great Stanley Cup final games is to be made available, Apple said in a statement.
from BenWright of Blueland Blog,
I’m not one to ask you to do something I wouldn’t do myself, so here’s what I’ll do. If you guys can get Kovy voted into the starting lineup of the NHL All-Star Game I’ll let someone shave my head at a game or practice (logistics to be determined later). Seriously. I’ll bring the clippers and pick a fan or reader (or maybe even a player if I can pull some strings) and let them buzz off all of the hair on my scalp. Do we have a deal?
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 email@example.com