Kukla's Korner Hockey
A few days old...
from Peter Roumeliotes of Sports Ilustrated,
Social media has without doubt created a more active and engaged hockey fan who has never had an easier time following their favorite sport. During live broadcasts or at the arena fans constantly check Twitter, post and chat about the game they are watching, and simultaneously keep up with the latest news and trends. Research has found that hockey fans are among the most tech-savvy in sports. Look no further than the NHL’s wide array of bloggers, some of whom led the advanced statistics charge, a movement that grew with the use of social media.
Given hockey's status as the four or fifth banana among the major pro sports in the U.S., the NHL wisely realized the value of digital media as another way to promote itself and serve its fans who eagerly embraced the ability to voice their opinions in forums and social media platforms on a global scale. This phenomenon isn’t simply called “checking your phone while you are watching a game.” It’s known as “Second Screen Consumption.”
from Stephen Whyno of the CP at the Brandon Sun,
At this time in 2012, the NHL season was on hold as officials from the league and Players' Association were embroiled in tense lockout negotiations. More than three months of hockey were lost before a 48-game season was salvaged.
Three years later, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Don Fehr rave about the quality of play — some of the fastest and most exciting hockey they believe the sport has ever offered. Not only is the on-ice product thriving, but the relationship between the NHL and NHLPA is stronger than it has ever been.
"There have been times in the past where some might get the feeling that the union was working against us," Bettman said during a sit-down interview in his New York office. "Don and the union, people who work with him have been extraordinarily constructive, professional, in working on things that make sense to both of us.
"It doesn't mean we're not going to have disagreements about some things. But the places where we can work together, we are, and I think that's great for the game."
Bettman and Fehr are at the forefront of the friendlier NHL-NHLPA partnership. The two men have known each other for over 30 years, Bettman said, and there's at least a high level of respect in peace time and during labour talks.
In a phone interview last week, Fehr echoed Bettman's caveat that there are philosophical disagreements between the league and the players and also the feeling that the two sides can work together now to accomplish some positive things.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
We’re supposed to believe that “Mr. Jacobs” of the Bruins just might rather pass on his $33 million-plus share of the $1 billion in fees projected by Gary Bettman if the NHL adds two clubs for 2017-18 than recommend that the league in fact expand?
Sure he will.
Remember. Expansion fees are not included in Hockey Related Revenue and thus belong to the owners and owners only. And 2017-18 expansion would come two seasons before an anticipated Owners’ Lockout IV.
Spare us the consternation about the continuing numerical unbalance between the East and West if Quebec joins Las Vegas as expansion clubs.
The next round of expansion should bring a radical realignment of the NHL that could, if not should, feature a Canadian Conference.
But about the expansion draft. We raised the issue last year and are raising it again. In a league in which successful teams always have extremely limited cap space, is the NHL going to create a pair of teams that would have up to $75 million of space with which to bid on free agents?
read on for some talk about the New York Islanders' move to Brooklyn...
Expanding by two teams, in theory, provides balance in a 16/16 conference split, but neither Columbus nor Detroit seem to have any interest in going back to the west, so a 17/15 imbalance would create an obvious problem. There is additional concern the player talent pool will be drained to a puddle by having to furnish two new franchises from top to bottom.
There is no guarantee of expansion. As others have widely speculated, it could be one team, two teams, or none. The Bettman playbook suggests he has a plan, and he will spend the next several weeks polling/meeting with those who aren't yet on side with his vision so he clearly has a handle on how this will play out when NHL owners are asked to vote, as early as December.
-Darren Dreger of the Dreger Report at TSN where you can read more on expansion and other topics...
We trusted the NHL to protect us. We signed up to play hockey knowing that we might get injured and dinged, but we certainly did not sign up for avoidable brain damage and long-term disabilities. The league was responsible for informing us of the long-term neurological problems we might experience after suffering from concussive and sub-concussive injuries while playing professional hockey. However, league officials failed to comply with this duty, and instead encouraged and glorified fist-fighting and violence to advance its own financial interests — at the high price of player health.
During my 10 seasons with the NHL, I sustained a countless number of head injuries. But I am one of the lucky ones: despite suffering from severe depression, insomnia, dizziness and continuous seizures, I have learned to deal with these symptoms — although some days are better than others. On my worst days, I have trouble remembering the names of my friends and family, and I struggle to find the proper words to finish each sentence. This leaves me frustrated and embarrassed. And in fighting these physical and mental demons, I sometimes feel the need to isolate myself from my closest family and friends.
-former NHL playe Mike Peluso. More from Peluso at the Montreal Gazette.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
While the league’s head office says absolutely zero conversations have happened yet on this front, it hasn’t stopped front-office executives from the 30 teams from pondering what’s ahead, and in some cases somewhat nervously.
As one executive opined to me recently, if the league is asking for $500 million or more for an expansion fee, you better believe it will try to give that new entry a decent chance to stock its roster.
So just how many players each club will be able to protect from the expansion draft is always fascinating fodder.
But there’s a new wrinkle on the horizon that didn’t exist in the last round of expansion in 2000, when Minnesota and Columbus got teams: There has been a proliferation over the past decade of no-movement clauses in players’ contracts.
A no-move clause not only means a players’ blessing is needed for a trade, it goes a step further and prevents a club from putting him on waivers or trying any other shenanigans to get rid of said player. It’s a powerful thing to have in your contract.
from Frank Seravalli of TSN,
Commissioner Gary Bettman relayed Campbell's notes to the media: of the 44 preseason games sent to overtime with a tied score, 33 games (75 per cent) produced a goal via 3-on-3 play. Bettman said the average was "pretty much what we expected." Detroit GM Ken Holland said in June the league targeted a 70 per cent success rate as a benchmark.
More interesting was the average time it took to produce a goal: 2:49.
Even though 3-on-3 was implemented with the idea of ending more games, was there any concern amongst the governors that they were ending too fast?
"Not at all," Bettman said. "I think people are pleased with the early returns. But we'll see how it unfolds in the regular season and what coaching strategies are employed to effectuate or deal with it, depending on how you want to play it."
So far, strategies and player deployment have been all over the map. Teams have used three forwards, two defencemen and one forward, and two forwards and one defencemen all in the same five-minute overtime.
We even saw the first penalty shot goal produced by 3-on-3, with the Rangers' Keith Yandle beating Philadelphia's Steve Mason on Monday night at Madison Square Garden.
Time to move on and wait until it plays out.
added 5:21pm, Then this...
added 5:28pm, Since Brooks brought up the nasty word...
added 6:20pm, If interested, Scott Burnside with all the talk from the BOG today...
from Danny Ecker of Crain's Chicago Business,
Sports data company Stats LLC has lost its third major sports statistics partnership this year to one of its top U.S. competitors.
The National Hockey League today announced a new multi-year agreement with St. Paul, Minn.-based Sportradar US that makes it the new exclusive distributor of the league's official game statistics.
Sportradar replaces Hatboro, Penn.-based sports news wire service called The Sports Network (TSN) just seven months after Stats acquired TSN in a move to expand its reach in hockey.
Under the deal, any media company that wants to use the NHL's official statistics on things like ice time, shots on goal, face-offs won and lost, among others, will license it through Sportradar instead of TSN.
Gary Bettman is expected to meet with the media at 4:30pm ET.
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.
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