Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Category: NHL-Talk

Our Game Is Getting Great

from Daryl Reaugh of Razor With an Edge,

Coaching seems to be more interested in schemes for possessing the puck, and making plays of skill with it, than they are dumping and chasing, crashing and banging, pinging and ponging.

Players are the most media-savvy ever to enter the NHL.

The sport feels ‘modern’.

Hockey appears to be pretty good at social media.

Other leagues are copying NHL initiatives (video replay, speed of play, rule changes to protect players).

Goaltending: Still very important, and excellent, but despite being the most coached position in sports, it is no longer dominating the sport at the level it once was. (Chicks dig offense)

TV deals in Canada and the US are guaranteeing major exposure.

continued

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The GoPro As A Training Tool

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,

The NHL put GoPro cameras on the front of officials’ helmets to record that perspective twice last preseason (both in Toronto) and twice this preseason (in Buffalo and Detroit). It wasn’t for promotional purposes. It was for internal training.

The officials don’t like wearing the cameras – mounted with adhesive, blacked out with gaffer tape. But the cutting-edge footage is for education and improvement.

“You never really know what you’re going to get from it,” said Tom Masters, video manager, NHL officiating. “But hopefully there’s some teachable moments in there you can use going forward.”

read on

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The Best (NHL) Against The Best (Europe)?

from Rick Westhead of TSN,

How about getting the hockey juices flowing with the Stanley Cup final teams touring Europe for a September series against Europe's top clubs?

As the NHL and the NHL Players' Association work to finalize an agreement to bring back the World Cup of Hockey in September 2016, a tournament of the top eight hockey nations to be held in Montreal and Toronto, officials with the league and players' union are already musing over other plans to spur revenue.

The NHL has rich, long-term TV contracts in both Canada and the U.S. and it generates billions of dollars from corporate sponsorships, ticket sales and merchandise sales. Several NHL team owners told TSN that the league's biggest unrealized source of revenue is income generated from abroad. North America, after all, represents less than five per cent of the world's population.

"The timing has never been better for the NHL to look at international rights," said Ken Yaffe, a former executive with the NHL who oversaw the league's international business.

continued

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Report- NHL Increases Their Credit

from Scott Shoshnick of Bloomberg,

The National Hockey League closed a $1.4 billion credit facility, which is more than double the previous amount, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

The person requested anonymity because the league didn’t disclose the lending pool, which was led and structured by Citigroup Inc. (C) and closed yesterday. The facility includes 20 banks and 20 investors, the person said.

NHL spokesman Frank Brown and Citi spokeswoman Natalie Marin declined to comment on the facility.

Among the 11 teams that tapped the facility are the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks and New Jersey Devils, the person said, adding that three so-called parking spots are being reserved for other potential borrowers.

continued

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Kraft Hockeyville Coming To the USA

NORTHFIELD, Ill. – Sept. 29, 2014 – Kraft will celebrate the passion and unity of hockey communities like never before with the launch of Kraft Hockeyville 2015 on both sides of the border.  For the first time, the award-winning program in Canada is expanding to help build better communities in the United States as well.  Now, hockey towns in the U.S. can enter for a chance to win a $150,000 arena makeover courtesy of Kraft, have an NHL preseason game played in its local arena showcased on TV and earn the title “Kraft Hockeyville 2015.”

Continue Reading »

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All Those Numbers

from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,

Hockey, I’m afraid, is in for the Year of the Number. We got an early indication when Brendan Shanahan’s Toronto Maple Leafs turfed a couple of veteran hockey people in the front office to bring in Kyle Dubas, a young hotshot whose ticket to the big-time was his supposed grasp of the relatively new discipline of hockey analytics — breaking down everything that happens on the ice and attempting to quantify it through various systems. (Pittsburgh, Chicago and Los Angeles are said to have had secret analytics departments for some time. If that’s the case, maybe it’s time everyone got on board.)

Whether you think it’s a fad or the future probably depends on whether you’re a poet or an accountant. But may I remind you — accountants run the world.

Inevitably, the stats movement has spread to the media. Newspapers and TV network websites are hiring journalists who are numerate rather than literate. That sometimes results in turgid prose, written in indigestible 500-word blocks that are enough to leave any reader yearning for the glory days of this profession, when sportswriters who could barely count wrote like angels.

When I reacted to TSN’s new analytics hire last week by saying I hoped it was a fad that would die before I do, I was bombarded with angry missives calling me a useless old curmudgeon and worse.

read on

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Needed: More Access To Stats

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Analytics aren’t the answer.

Instead, analytics are the beginning of the question.

And the beginning question I have as a hockey consumer is: Why there isn’t more information available to an inquiring, inquisitive and educated public than exists in any forum that hasn’t been bought and paid for by NHL teams?

Much more information....

If you know where to go to look for it, you can find anything in baseball. Anything. Data isn’t reserved for various club managements. But hockey? As the NHL and its teams advance, the consumer is left behind. Even the most rudimentary information is all but impossible to locate.

For instance. NHL.com, which at least has increased its historical data base, will give you every player’s faceoff stats, home and away, at even-strength, on the power play and on the penalty kill, but the more critical breakdowns of the numbers — as in offensive/defensive zone; offensive/defensive zones while even, on the PP, on the PK; right circle, left circle; vs. righties and lefties; vs. righties and lefties in the right D circle, the left D circle; etc. — are nowhere to be found.

read on

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Is More Netting Needed To Protect NHL Fans?

from Dave Savini of CBS Chicago,

Just like football, hockey is a physical and powerful sport, but with players hitting pucks at well over 100 mph. Is enough being done to protect fans?

CBS 2’s Dave Savini sat down with a Blackhawks fan who suffered brain damage and hearing loss.

At least three people were injured last season at the United Center, including a Yorkville man who may never be the same.

Chip Green suffered a severe head injury. He was struck by a puck during a Blackhawks playoff game against Minnesota in May....

he couple wants the NHL to make safety changes. To keep fans safe, the Greens say safety nets should be expanded to cover the corners of the rinks, too.

Chip Green was sitting just above the safety glass where the netting ends when he was struck by a corner shot from Blackhawks star Duncan Keith....

Green’s attorney filed a lawsuit Thursday against the United Center and NHL, which has not responded to CBS 2’s request for comment.

more

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The NHL And Off-Ice Discipline

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Given the ongoing train wreck that is the NFL and its mishandling of issues, it's natural to look to other leagues and wonder how they deal with these kinds of issues and what kinds of safeguards are in place.

This isn't about smugness or suggesting that the NHL is immune to these problems.

The NHL has more than 700 players. There are another, what, 400 to 500, coaches, GMs and other executives related to hockey operations. It is a small town. Stuff happens in small towns. People get sick. They commit a range of criminal acts. They drink too much. Some do drugs. And, of course, there are domestic issues.

That is life and no one is suggesting that life doesn't take place in the National Hockey League.

But if there is a way to explain why the league's discipline issues have been for the most part restricted to on-ice behavior, perhaps it's in the fact that the league's policies governing personal behavior have been drawn up with and are administered jointly by the players themselves through the National Hockey League Players' Association and the league itself.

The number of domestic-related issues are so small both historically and within the recent past that it is difficult to suggest any real trends regarding the problem as it relates to NHL players, deputy commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN.com. Exactly why the number is so small could be related to a variety of factors.

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Will The Expanded Trapezoid Change The Game?

from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,

Hawks coach Joel Quenneville called the new trapezoid dimensions "an important thing" and it is likely to change teams' strategies. Like all teams, the Hawks either dump the puck into the offensive zone with a long shot from inside the red line or carry it across the blue line. Now, goalies who handle the puck well will have more room to do so and forechecking and breakouts will be affected.

"I like to play the puck so it gives me a little more space to give it to our 'D,'" Hawks goalie Corey Crawford said. "Pucks (that) last year you weren't sure (about), we'll be able to get to before their guy (does)."

Quenneville said the Hawks' frequency of dumping pucks into the zone won't change much but they way they do it certainly could. For a team that thrives on retrieving the puck and then possessing it in the offensive zone to create scoring chances, it's an important aspect of the game.

more

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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