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Category: NHL-Talk

The William Hill/NHL Partnership

NEW YORK (MARCH 28, 2019) – William Hill US, America’s leading sports book operator, today announced a strategic partnership agreement with the National Hockey League (NHL), naming William Hill as an “Official Sports Betting Partner of the NHL®.”

“This new partnership is yet another example of the innovative yet practical approach our League is taking with the emerging sports gaming industry,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “We continue to work directly with stakeholders to cultivate relationships across the sports betting landscape. Partnering with William Hill US, a leader in both the sportsbook and mobile betting marketplace, provides a tremendous opportunity to further fan engagement.”

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Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: william+hill

All Brian Murphy, NHL Linesman

It was the Rangers (vs.) Boston playoff series in 2013. The series went five games, and Game 4 at Madison Square Garden went to overtime. What was interesting about that game, with about five minutes to go in that game my partner called an icing play that (Rangers coach John) Tortorella didn’t like, and he was really giving it to my partner, like over the top. My partner was a younger guy, so I stepped in and started giving it back to Tortorella. Unfortunately, Brian Engblom is between the benches and forgot to hit the mute button (on the microphone) and it was a time during the game, I believe it was a tie game at the time, so it wasn’t a situation where I was going to give a coach a bench minor to alter the game and we had a pretty heated interaction. Well, the game ends up going into overtime and at the end of regulation, Tortorella calls me over and I don’t want to go over. He keeps calling, so I (skate) over and I only got 15-20 feet away from him and he looks at me and says, “Murph, we’re good, right? We’re good?” I said, “John, you’ve got nothing to worry about.” The public only sees him and I screaming at each other, but in reality, John was actually concerned he was maybe a little over the top and I was maybe a little bit mad at him....

-NHL linesman Brian Murphy.  Joe McDonald of The Athletic (paid) has much more from Murphy who recented appeared in his 2000th game.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+murphy

Change The Playoff Format?

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

As the NHL and NHLPA continue to discuss extending the current divisional playoff format beyond this season — which is almost certain to happen, on a one-year basis — there seems to be some growing unrest among players about how well it’s working overall.

There is concern about the Boston/Toronto scenario in the Atlantic, where the matchup has basically been set for weeks and diminished the importance of games down the stretch. There is also a broader concern that the format doesn’t properly reward a good regular season with the most equitable first- and second-round matchups.

Now in its sixth season of existence, the NHLPA is wondering if the shift away from the 1-8 conference playoffs has had its intended impact economically, and for broadcasters and fans.

While the divisional format is likely to remain for 2019-20, the players don’t seem overly eager to commit to it beyond next season.

Talks are expected to continue this week.

more topics which were first brought up on Saturday Headlines...

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NHL Ref Brad Watson Retires At Home

from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,

Coloradoan Brad Watson called it a career Saturday, concluding a 23-year stint as an NHL referee in front of family and friends at the Pepsi Center. I feel fortunate to have been among those friends.

A scratch golfer, good hockey player, and terrific story-teller, Watson hand-picked his 1,393rd and final NHL game — choosing his adopted hometown team hosting the Chicago Blackhawks in concluding his 73-game, regular-season annual commitment.

“It’s a nice way to go out. It’s at home, where I’ve been for 19 years,” Watson said.

Watson, 57, worked 214 playoff games and eight Stanley Cup Finals, including 2013 when the Blackhawks defeated the Boston Bruins in six games. His first playoff game was April 13, 2000, when the Avs hosted the Arizona Coyotes for Game 1 of a first-round series at the Pepsi Center.

The league’s oldest ref, Watson has close ties with former Chicago coach Joel Quenneville and Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic — two respectful relationships born in 1996 when Watson worked his first NHL game and the Avs were in their inaugural season in Colorado.

continued

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  Tags: brad+watson

Do The NHL GMs Really Have An Input?

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

It never fails to get a chuckle out of me when someone excoriates the body of NHL general managers for not recommending changes in, say, the lottery, or the playoff structure, or the rule governing hits to the head, or the offside rule.

Once and for all. NHL general managers were long ago neutered as a force by Sixth Avenue. The GMs march to the commissioner’s tune in matters significant and insignificant, both. When Gary Bettman or Hockey Ops wants a change, the GMs rubber-stamp it. When the league execs are opposed, so are the GMs.

It has been this way at least since the 2004-05 failed collective bargaining talks, during which the NHL at one point put forward a hard-cap proposal that would have made general managers all but obsolete. For inspired by the MLS model and attorney Bob Batterman, who is among the handful of most influential people in the sport through the last 15 years, Bettman put forth a proposal in which players would sign contracts with the NHL, which would act as a clearinghouse and then assign the athletes to teams as if it were a house league.

more plus a radical plan to fix the draft...

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Teams Announced For the 2019 NHL Global Series

NEW YORK/TORONTO (March 21, 2019) – The National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), in conjunction with Live Nation Sweden, today announced that the Buffalo SabresChicago BlackhawksPhiladelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning will participate in the 2019 NHL Global Series.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Wednesday Afternoon Hockey Thoughts

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

- ... The focus should be on repairing the problems and focusing on the playoffs. This is too important a time of year. Babcock’s not walking away, but is anyone else wondering if this marriage is in trouble?

- I think Vancouver is going to look at finding a youngish defenceman, maybe somebody in his early to mid-20s. Troy Stecher’s in that range, and he’s made real good strides. Quinn Hughes is younger, Alexander Edler and Chris Tanev older. Think Brandon Montour, if not him specifically. Those players tend not to be inexpensive as trade pieces.

- Now that Los Angeles is officially eliminated from playoff contention, I think we’re going to start hearing more of Todd McLellan’s name in conjunction with the Kings. In GM Rob Blake’s two seasons with San Jose, the Sharks won 104 games with McLellan as coach.

- One Eastern Conference star on Tampa Bay: “You know what they do better than ever? They check. The difference between this year and last year is enormous. That’s why they’ve been as great as they are.”

- On April 2, the NHLPA will hold its annual agent meeting in Toronto. The most intriguing item on the agenda will probably be some kind of labour update. As best as I can tell, the NHL and the union continue to meet in small groups — not much bigger than Commissioner Gary Bettman, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr and brother Steven, working as Legal Counsel. Word is the league has presented some kind of model that will decrease escrow. In exchange, that likely means more certainty in the salary cap numbers from season-to-season, with smaller increases as part of that. Maybe more clarity on that date.

much more on the first topic plus numerous, additional Thoughts...

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If There Was No Salary Cap In The NHL

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

With Mike Trout nearing a new professional sports high with $426.5 million deal over 12 years with the Angels, it is interesting to wonder where NHL salaries would be for top stars without a salary cap.

“I’d say in excess of $20 million for sure,” said Brisson who represents several stars, including Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby.

Agent Alan Walsh said in a free market system “franchise players would be making upwards of $25 million per season."

“While NHL player salaries for elite players have been severely constrained by the salary cap since 2005, the value of NHL franchises are skyrocketing,” Walsh said. “In just a four-year span, even the value of an expansion franchise has jumped from $500 million (Vegas) to $650 million (Seattle).  Shockingly, top NHL player salaries today are comparable to what they were in 2002-03.”

more

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Should The NHL Playoff Format Be Expanded?

from Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic,

Dundon also raised eyebrows earlier this season when he spoke out publicly about his desire to expand the playoff field. It raised eyebrows only because it’s uncommon for NHL owners to publicly discuss that kind of thing. Especially when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is currently on record as saying he has no interest in expanding the playoff field past the current 16 teams.

Dundon is undeterred, however, and it’s an idea he will keep pushing.

“It just makes so much sense to me,” the ‘Canes owner reiterated Tuesday.

He would love to see a best-of-three series between No. 7 and No. 10 and between No. 8 and No. 9 in each conference before the 16-team playoffs begin.

I love it, too.

I mean, you can start a best-of-three series on the Sunday after the regular season ends and have it wrapped up by Wednesday. We’re not talking about an onerous time commitment.

more ($$$) plus GM talk for the Canes...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tom+dundon

The NHL’s Music Man

from Carol Schram at Forbes,

Imagine a job where you're required to mount a series of world-class concerts designed galvanize live audiences while also looking and sounding great on television.

And by the way — you don't know when or where those events will happen.

With just over three weeks until the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs kick off on April 10, that's the task charged to the National Hockey League's Chief Content Officer, Steve Mayer....

Mayer joined the NHL offices in 2015 after spending 20 years at IMG, where his television production credits included everything from the Olympics to the New York City Marathon, a long list of sports reality and documentary series, network variety specials and live sporting events like NFL halftime shows. He'd also partnered with the NHL on events like the Winter Classic, the All-Star Fantasy Draft and the NHL Awards.

Under his watch over the last two years, the league has delivered an impressive series of unique performances by big-name musical guests. During the 2018 Stanley Cup Final, Sting and Shaggy performed on the steps of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., Imagine Dragons took to the ice at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and Panic! At The Disco performed on a floating stage in front the fountain outside the Bellagio Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.

read on

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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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