Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
- The 2015-16 cap may reach $73 million as suggested at last week’s Board of Governors meeting by Gary Bettman, but a number of team executives contacted by Slap Shots are taking a conservative approach to roster construction, understanding that a decline in the Canadian dollar could limit the cap to closer to the $71 million neighborhood.
- So, apparently it’s true. Director of Officiating Stephen Walkom did receive a standing ovation following his presentation at the Board of Governors that outlined the NHL’s approach to training their officials.
One member in attendance, however, did not join the celebration. “I must have been in the back getting coffee,” the Fellow Who Shall Not Be Identified told Slap Shots. “Both my hands were full.”
- Snapshot. The NHL’s Most Disappointing Teams: 1. Dallas; 2. Minnesota; 3. Colorado; 4. Rangers.
more NHL topics...
Elliotte Friedman sits down with prospective Las Vegas NHL owner William Foley to get his thoughts on why the NHL will work in Vegas and his connection with Wayne Gretzky.
A very well down interview by Friedman.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Players would love it, too, and so would beat writers.
“I bet there’d be a serious home-ice advantage, and some very low-quality articles written,” joked Wild GM Chuck Fletcher, well aware of my infatuation with Vegas (I half considered not leaving the poker table one June afternoon when the Wild traded for Brad Staubitz).
In all seriousness, the NHL has to be right on this. With revenues soaring, the last thing the NHL needs is another Glendale or South Florida.
My gut? Vegas can thrive as long as we all understand the formula to make Vegas succeed will be different from every place else.
For instance, Vegas is an industry town where most locals work Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays, so there will need to be more afternoon games and lots of Monday/Tuesday night games. And we’ll all need to accept a large chunk of tickets will go to out-of-town gamblers willing to leave the casino for 140 minutes to shell out $80 for a ticket.
Heck, that’s a measly pass-line and odds bet on the craps table and less than it costs to see Celine Dion.
from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
- Boston general manager Peter Chiarelli and assistant GM Don Sweeney were on a lengthy power-forward viewing tour. (If he could skate, the Bruins might have pursued the Lakers’ Carlos Boozer.) Chiarelli did not want to discuss it, but word last weekend was the Bruins were not close on anything. With that being said, there was a feeling at the Board of Governors meeting that things have intensified on Sabres forward Chris Stewart.
Right now Boston and Buffalo are like two high schoolers at the prom deciding whether or not to dance. Eventually, you’ve got to make your move, or go on to the next victim.
- With Edmonton’s reported interest in Artem Anisimov, the Oilers did shoot much higher. They asked about Ryan Johansen, and from what I understand, were prepared to make a legit offer. My guess: if the Blue Jackets showed interest, Edmonton might have tried to get both centres. I don’t think it got very far, though. According to one GM, “everyone” has inquired about Johansen since his contract dispute with Columbus. “We’re being told he is not available.”
- Carolina is three games into a lengthy stretch that sees them play 15 straight against Eastern Conference opponents. It wouldn’t surprise me if this stretch determines Ron Francis’ roster decisions.
- Kyle Okposo on the change in the Islanders’ mentality: “We’ve gone from hoping to win to expecting to win. And, not just that, but expecting to put teams on their heels right away.”
more including the Babcock talk...
from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
...Bettman decided to dip his toe in the water of Las Vegas, allowing billionaire businessman William Foley to hold a season-ticket drive (whatever that means without a team there) to gauge the interest in the market. It is nothing formal, but if it went well, they might consider starting the process of expansion.
The range of potential problems in Sin City is astronomical, which is exactly why all major sports leagues have stayed away from Las Vegas. Not only is there little permanent population, but it’s a city based on gambling. The main draw of getting people into the arena would be to place a bet on the game and then go watch it. Honestly, that would be a blast. If not, my guess is the place would be half-empty every night.
But you know how much work that makes for the league, checking for improprieties with the wagering and the outcomes? NHL referees can have a huge impact on the outcome of a game. Vegas is an awful headache for the league. It’s a scandal waiting to happen.
more hockey topics, including the outdoor games...
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Foley's plan is two-pronged, he told ESPN.com. First, he and his Las Vegas-based partners, the Maloof family -- former owners of the Palms Casino and former owners of the NBA's Sacramento Kings -- will put out a call for individuals and businesses to express their formal interest in supporting an NHL team.
Foley hopes that response, which would not require a monetary commitment, will be measured in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Then, during the second phase, Foley and his group will ask for a commitment from those people/businesses in terms of some form of down payments or deposits on season tickets.
Foley is hopeful that if the NHL agrees to this two-part plan, then the league would be able to provide more clarity on the possibilities of an expansion team in Las Vegas, assuming the initial numbers are positive.
from Alan Snel of the Las Vegas Review-Journal,
Billionaire title-insurance businessman Bill Foley, who is part of an ownership group seeking a National Hockey League franchise in Las Vegas, said Tuesday he hopes to launch a ticket drive in February as the first step toward showing the NHL that Las Vegas is a viable market.
“The door is open. Now we have to walk through the door,” Foley told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We want to demonstrate to the NHL that there is a lot of interest in Las Vegas.”
“Las Vegas is a sports town,” Foley said. “If we can deliver the right product on the ice, people will support it.”
Foley was given the green light by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman this week to explore Las Vegas as a potential market to play host to a NHL franchise.
“The NHL is very interested in Las Vegas. They want to make sure that if it comes to Las Vegas it would be supported by locals, not just out-of-towners,” Foley said.
Darren Dreger and E,J. Hradek wrap up Day 2 of the BOG meetings.
Topics discussed were the World Cup of Hockey, the "ticket drive" in Las Vegas and the salary cap.
via the Las Vegas Sun...
1. Man arrested in fatal shooting at Las Vegas apartment complex
2. Jose Canseco proposes to Shania; Britney adds to show; Mark Wahlberg in L.V.
3. Strip Scribbles: Female DJ disguised as male lands movie; Barry Manilow; new topless cabaret
4. Lawyer hints at new findings in Blake Griffin case
5. Barrick Gold to open IT office in Henderson
6. Nevada expects to be $162 million short of budget by July
7. NHL to explore expansion into Las Vegas (AP story)
from Gary Lawless of he Winnipeg Free Press,
Expansion money will buoy franchises for a short time, but business models with faulty foundations will eventually fail.
Put a bullet in Arizona and Florida and strengthen the league, rather than further water it down.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced Monday he is prepared to give U.S. businessman William Foley permission to conduct a season ticket drive in Las Vegas.
Bettman has more exit options than the Florida turnpike, but it's clear the league is now interested in adding a team or two. Vegas and its soon to open state-of-the-art sports and entertainment facility are clearly in the league.
But why add now? Too many markets don't work and the talent pool is diluted. Certainly, this has to go into any consideration of the league's future.
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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