Kukla's Korner Hockey
— Is the NHL done with the Olympics? Depends on whom you ask. The owners don’t want to go, and league officials seem pessimistic. The players do want to go, and union officials seem optimistic. They agree on one thing: A lot depends on whether they receive concessions in Pyeongchang like they did in Sochi – insurance costs, travel costs, access, et cetera. Serious talks have not even started with the IIHF and the IOC, but most expect a decision to be made sooner than last time.
— NBC has paid billions for NHL and Olympic rights in the United States. It certainly would prefer NHL players go. But it might not pressure the NHL to participate in Pyeongchang. It might not care as much as you might think. If NHL players stay home, NBC could air other events – say, more figure skating – or hockey in whatever form it takes. One TV perspective: “It’ll still be Olympic hockey, and it’ll still outdraw the NHL’s ratings.”
-Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo where you can read more hockey topics.
from David Goldman of CNNMoney,
Reebok's 2015 NHL All-Star uniforms featured fluorescent green stripes -- a standout for a typically conservative league. Unsurprisingly, Reebok said it had young fans in mind when designing the uniforms.
"To showcase the heroes of the game, we thought we could have a design more targeted towards a younger demographic," said Dom Fillion, Reebok's lead designer. "We think it will get them excited about the game."
Since none of the NHL teams feature neon colors on their uniforms, Reebok is turning to team-licensed apparel such as t-shirts and hats to feature the popular color.
"Demand for these colors has definitely gone up," said Keith Leach, Reebok's director of NHL merchandising.
more, includes many sports...
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
Canada’s TV numbers are in for the NHL all-star game and the numbers are down.
Sunday’s game that featured an absurd 29 goals drew 1.479 million viewers to CBC, nearly one million viewers less than the last all-star game in 2012 when 2.454 million people watched and 2011 when 2.363 million tuned in.
“Frankly it’s a little mystifying,” said Scott Moore, president of Sportsnet and NHL Properties for Rogers. “Somebody else asked me if I have an explanation and I don’t really.
“I just think they (the numbers) seem wrong.”
The ratings for the rest of the weekend were also down significantly compared to previous years.
Saturday’s super skills drew 1.7 million viewers to CBC, down from 2.5 million in 2012 and 2.4 million in 2011.
And Friday’s fantasy draft on Sportsnet drew a hair over half-a-million viewers, compared to 1.33 million in 2012 on TSN and 1.5 million in 2011.
If you missed it earlier, some numbers for US viewers...
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
Now is the time for the best players in the NHL to stand up the way they do when the Stanley Cup is on the line. Because if they don’t push the issue on Olympic participation, the NHL will be more than happy to trash the entire concept.
The NHL and NHL Players’ Association announced the details of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, which will be played in Toronto Sept. 17-Oct. 1, 2016. Both sides spoke of the event in glowing terms and there was much singing from the same songbook. That’s because both sides stand to gain a mother lode of money from a World Cup. The profits for the event are split 50-50 between the NHLPA and the league, meaning they will not be part of Hockey Related Revenues and will have no bearing on the salary cap. Each side is free to take its money and do with it whatever it wants.
So it comes as no surprise that Kumbaya will be used as the national anthem for the Young Stars under-23 team and We Are Family will be the anthem for the Pan-European team.
But make no mistake. When it comes to the Olympics, the two sides are completely opposed.
The NHL and Sportvision announced on Saturday a partnership to revolutionize the collection of data in the game of hockey.
With tracking chips implanted into pucks and the back of players' jerseys, Sportvision will be able to gather previously unattainable data from all over the ice by using a series of infrared cameras placed around the arena that will read the chips. The location of each player and the puck, as well as the speed of the puck and each player are among the data that can be collected at a rate of 30 times per second.
"Hockey is an incredibly hard sport to follow," said Hank Adams, the CEO of Sportvision. "It is very dynamic. It is very fast. Players change shifts dynamically during the game. You have guys coming on and off the ice, and fans at home can't see that. With this technology, we can very simply tell fans who has come on, who has come off, how long their shift was. It can be very simple storylines like that, or very complex storylines; when you collect this data over a long period of time, you can really start helping fans understand the game better and maybe even help coaches understand the game better. What happens with the penalty kill against a power play in certain formations. We can start mining this very deep data."
Below,watch Sportsvision in action at the NHL All-Star Skills Event last night..
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Cap-challenged teams were relieved Saturday to hear from the NHL that the plunging Canadian dollar won’t impact the salary cap as much as many feared.
"It’s not as bad as everyone is predicting," Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said after the Board of Governors meeting. "Some of the stuff we heard from them is more reassuring."
What they heard is what NHL commissioner Gary Bettman later told media at a state of the game news conference: "I assure you, even with the decline in the Canadian dollar, the salary cap does not fall off a cliff. When we gave you the rough estimate/projection in December, the same estimate I gave to the clubs, we were projecting a cap of $73 million, assuming the 5 percent increment under the CBA, based on the Canadian dollar at 88 cents to the US dollar to the rest of the year. At 82 cents, the cap would be $72.2 million and at 80 cents, the cap would be $71.7 million.
"No one can project where it’s going, but the point I’m making is, you are not going to see a dramatic difference. The cap is computed based on currency on a daily basis, it’s averaged over the season. So even with an 80-cent Canadian dollar, still looking at a cap of almost $72 million."
continue plus LeBrun basically puts a bow on all the news of the day other than the World Cup...
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
This is just the beginning. When the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association stage the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto – featuring the Big Six nations, plus a team of other Europeans and one of 23-and-under North Americans, unfortunately – it will be the first step in what NHL commissioner Gary Bettman called their “joint vision for international hockey.”
“The aspiration,” said John Collins, the NHL’s chief operating officer, “is to build a global brand and a global business.”
The NHL and the NHLPA announced the World Cup on Saturday at the All-Star Game. But they are working on a Ryder Cup concept – say, a best-of-5 series between North American and European NHL stars in a city like London or Berlin in 2018. They’re researching expanding eligibility requirements so NHL players who can’t make their national teams can represent other nations where they have roots – say, England or Italy. They hope to hold a qualifying tournament in 2019 to fill out the 2020 World Cup, so they don’t need teams of other Europeans and 23-and-under North Americans and the World Cup can become a pure nation-on-nation tournament.
New York/Toronto (January 24, 2015) – The World Cup of Hockey will return in September 2016 in Toronto, Canada when eight teams, comprised of the world’s best hockey players, compete for a best-on-best international hockey championship, the National Hockey League (NHL®) and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today. The World Cup of Hockey is a joint effort of the NHLPA and the NHL, in cooperation with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). It is expected that more than 150 of the best players in the NHL will participate in this tournament in what should be the biggest celebration of the game.
The eight teams will be divided into two Groups of four, and each will compete in three tournament games within their assigned Group in a round-robin format. The top two finishers in each Group will advance to a single game semi-final against a team from the other Group. Winners of the semi-final games will advance to a best-of-three final round. All tournament games (round-robin, semi-final and final) will be played at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto from September 17 - October 1, 2016.
“We are thrilled to partner with the NHLPA in planning and producing what we expect will be the world’s best international hockey tournament,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “The 2016 World Cup of Hockey will highlight not only our global reach, but also the skill and passion of the world’s best athletes. We would like to thank our international partners – the IIHF and their members – for their cooperation in helping to make this event a reality.”
from Alexandra Wolfe of the Wall Street Journal,
National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman didn’t grow up ice skating. He only learned in college, when his girlfriend at the time (now his wife) helped teach him. These days, Mr. Bettman doesn’t skate much, but he does watch his grandson play.
The longest serving commissioner in any major league sport today, the 62-year-old Mr. Bettman is looking for new ways to attract fans. At the NHL All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio, this weekend, he plans to announce the slate of outdoor NHL games for next season (most games are played in covered arenas), as well as the return of the World Cup, an international hockey event that he says “will be back in a major way” next year. A successor to the Canada Cup, which was held occasionally between 1976 and 1991, the World Cup has only been played twice, in 1996 and 2004.
Hockey’s popularity has been on the rise. Total attendance at pro games has grown to 23.5 million last season from 15.5 million in 1993, when Mr. Bettman took over. Over the same period, the NHL’s revenue has grown to nearly $4 billion from $400 million a year. (By comparison, professional football and baseball each had revenue last year of about $9 billion, while basketball took in about $5.5 billion.) In recent decades, the NHL has gone to great lengths to broaden the sport’s national footprint, expanding into new markets and relocating teams to places where ice hockey wasn’t traditionally played, such as Dallas.
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.
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