Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
When Bettman predicted the $73 million cap, he was likely assuming that the NHLPA would, as it has done consistently in past years, opt to trigger a five per cent cap inflator.
Pushing the overall salary cap limit higher drives up the amount of money available for potential free agents - bad news for a spartan free agent class this summer that’s headed by Martin St. Louis - but it also leads to higher escrow collections for all players.
Players have become increasingly conflicted about this, several NHL player agents say.
“Players are worried about paying additional escrow,” Ian Pulver, a former NHLPA executive and current player agent said in an interview. “It’s a vicious cycle. Over the course of 10 years, players have voted to increase the cap, to ride with increasing revenue.”
Pulver said it would be a mistake not to trigger the escalator clause.
"Because there are a couple of bumps along the way shouldn’t mean the players shouldn't continue to increase the cap and force the major players — the NHL, the clubs and the NHLPA - to grow revenues. To vote against the increase of the cap because of a fear of escrow runs counter to the collective good and common sense."
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
-The general belief at the start of the season, when everyone could see the dollar was going to fall thanks to the oil prices going down, was all would be fine as long as the dollar stayed above 80 cents compared to the U.S. greenback.
Now it looks like a dream the dollar will hover above 80 cents, with economists expecting it to fall to 75 cents, or likely even lower before bouncing back, and a return won’t be until the end of 2016.
With luck, it won’t fall to 62 cents like we saw in ’02.
The preliminary salary cap for the 2015-16 season was around US$73 million — and there are plenty of teams that will have an interesting time dealing with that (hello, Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins) — but now the talk is it could be at $71 million....
- Could it actually be the year the St. Louis Blues hoist the Cup? That team sure isn’t lacking anywhere and now has the offence to go with the grit and size.
- What’s the bigger surprise: The Flames have the best intra-divisional record among Pacific clubs (14-4-1) or the Los Angeles Kings are 2-12 in overtime/shootout decisions?
more salary cap talk and other hockey topics...
NEW YORK / TORONTO (January 23, 2015) – The National Hockey League (NHL®) and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) today announced a North American partnership with GoPro, the maker of the world's most versatile camera and enabler of some of today's most immersive and engaging content. The agreement is GoPro’s first with a major professional sports league. As part of this unprecedented partnership, the NHL will use GoPro’s innovative equipment and expertise to deliver hockey fans never-before-seen perspectives of the game and the talents of the top players in high-definition video content during national and regional game broadcasts and across the digital and social media platforms of the NHLPA, NHL and GoPro.
from Chris Daniels of King 5 News,
On Thursday, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray acknowledged that he met with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
Murray said the meetings occurred Monday on his way to the U.S. Conference of Mayors. According to Murray, Silver said, "Seattle remains a very attractive city for an NBA franchise," but that "the league has no plans to expand at this time."
Murray added that he told Bettman, "We are very keen on bringing an NHL team here, and the commissioner recognizes the value we would bring as home to a future franchise. We will continue to work toward that shared vision."...
Murray is out of town and not available for further comment, according to his spokesman Jason Kelly.
Kelly stressed there were "no firm commitment" made by the NHL or NBA, but the NHL is "very interested in having Seattle host a franchise, that was very clear."
NEW YORK (Jan. 22, 2015) – The National Hockey League announced today the format for the 2015 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft™ presented by DraftKings, which will be held on Friday, Jan. 23, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).
By Mike Shackil,
The All Star game may be the main event of All Star weekend, but Saturday night will still have one of the most fun NHL events of the year. Every season the NHL All Star Skills Competition proves itself a truly unique event that brings excitement and fun for all involved.
This season, there will be the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater, the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge, the DraftKings NHL Accuracy Shooting, the Gatorade NHL Skills Challenge Relay, the AMP NHL Hardest Shot and the Discover NHL Shootout. While this may look like an over-sponsored event, it is still something the fans love to see.
While this ticket isn't going to get as much attention as the actual game, it might actually be a better buy. The average ticket price for the event is going for $214. Just to get into the door of the Nationwide Arena, it is going to cost $86. The skills competition brings an exciting and unique hockey experience for a reasonable price.
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
A U.S. bankruptcy judge has reiterated that the NHL should not receive the $145 million it demanded from former Phoenix Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes.
Moyes became the controlling owner of the financially troubled team and its new arena in 2006.
Two years later, he told the NHL that he couldn't afford to fund the team's operating losses. The Coyotes' losses have eclipsed $50 million per season. In 2009, the NHL was told that Moyes was discussing a possible sale of the team to Jim Balsillie and that Balsillie planned to relocate the Coyotes to Hamilton.
The NHL demanded that Moyes stop negotiating with Balsillie. Moyes responded by filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the team and its assets, and he executed a sales agreement for the team to Balsillie.
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
A prospective NHL team in Las Vegas should generate at least $450 million in expansion fees for the league, two NHL owners told TSN.
“It’s going to be between $450 million and $500 million. I bet it comes in at about $475 million,” one owner told TSN, requesting anonymity because the league does not like owners to speak publicly about such issues.
A second NHL owner subsequently agreed with the prediction.
The estimate, if it bears out, highlights the NHL’s growth over the past decade, a stretch during which the NHL has effectively doubled overall revenue to $3.7 billion.
The last teams to pay expansion fees, the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild, paid the league $80 million apiece.
Meanwhile I will just call it a money grab until proven wrong.
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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