Kukla's Korner Hockey
Gary Bettman was on with the NBC Sports Group today and did an interview with Al Michaels.
I am not sure if all these quotes are from the interview but that really doesn't matter, what he says does.
via a press release from NBC,
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on the men’s hockey tournament: “It’s been a terrific tournament so far, the hockey has been good, it’s been fun, it’s been entertaining and I think we have two great semifinal matchups.”
Bettman on whether he was surprised by the outcome of Russia v. Finland yesterday: “Not shocked. There’s a reason we play the games, you never know what’s going to happen. You could feel the air come out of the [hockey arena], actually you could feel the air come out of the whole area here. I know that it’s terribly disappointing for the Russian players and for the entire country because they take great pride in the history that Russian hockey has.”
Bettman on whether a lack of coordination between the players, who have not had much time playing together, is to blame for Russia’s loss: “The remaining four teams don’t seem to be relying on that excuse. In the days of amateur hockey people tend to forget that the Russian team was completely professional. That’s what made the ‘Miracle on Ice’ such a miracle because you had a bunch of college kids who came together to defeat a professional team.”
I am starting to feel the last two back to back 3:00am ET games right about now.
So time to catch up on some sleep, recharge and get back at it tomorrow.
Regarding the tweet below, you have to imagine the flight is going to feel a lot longer for those aboard tomorrow.
On the way to Sochi, I am sure there was much anticipation bot tomorrow it will a group of players who have been eliminated from the competition and probably some injured players too.
Safe travels for those returning home and best of luck for those still participating.
We will be watching.
from Mike Imrem of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
The league always is looking for a way to make January and February relevant, a series of outdoor games being the latest concoction.
Here’s the solution: Bah-bah, Olympics, bye-bye.
Then set aside six weeks in the dead of winter and make the break more useful by annually or every couple of years playing an Olympic-style tournament in cities around North America.
The first week would be to gather players for practice. The final week would give them an opportunity to unwind.
The middle four weeks would feature a compelling international tournament at home.
Players who want to represent their native lands — though not enough to enlist in the military, by the way — still would be able to wave their flags.
Fans in places like Chicago who are addicted to attending hockey games would get rivalries like U.S.-Canada instead of Blackhawks-Blues.
NHL owners would lose revenue from maybe a dozen fewer regular-season games but get it back in more lucrative TV contracts and bloated ticket prices for the tournament.
The National Hockey League (NHL) was non-committal about players' future participation in the Olympics on Tuesday, leaving open the possibility that the Sochi Games might be the last to showcase the world's best players.
The three most powerful men in hockey - Rene Fasel, head of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Players Association chief Donald Fehr - had no firm answers for reporters when asked whether NHL players would be back in four years' time.
"Yes, Rene would love for Don and I to say today that we are coming (to Pyeongchang), but he knows that's not the case," said Bettman. "This is the fifth time we have participated in the Olympic tournament - where we are in this process should not be a shock to anybody."
In North America, talk persists that Sochi will mark the final time that NHL players will be seen on Olympic ice. Bettman insisted nothing has been decided and negotiations would continue, as has been the case after every Winter Games.
"Let's try to be very clear, it's nothing that's been discussed, it's nothing that will be discussed while we are here in Sochi," said Bettman.
On Tuesday, NHL commission Gary Bettmann, players association chief Don Fehr and Rene Fasel, president of the International Ice Hockey Federation, will meet with the media in Sochi. What they’ll say is unknown, but the league’s braintrust — Bettman and his No. 2, Bill Daly — have been saying that Sochi will be the last go-round for the NHL and there won’t be any NHL players in Pyeongchang in 2018. Their desire is to relaunch the World Cup, but they’re dreaming in technicolor if they believe that tournament would generate the kind of passion and following the Olympics inspire.
In the space of about five minutes, for example, American T.J. Oshie became a worldwide phenomenon when he scored four goals in six shootout attempts in the Americans’ 3-2 win over Russia on Saturday. Just under a million tweets were sent out about Toshie in the 4-1/2 hours following the game. U.S. president Barack Obama tweeted about the St. Louis Blues forward. So did movie stars and NFL and Major League Baseball players.
Do you think that would happen at a World Cup? Let’s ask a tougher question. Do you think Vladimir Putin owns a box set of Fawlty Towers?
-Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province. More from Willes at Canada.com looking at the injury factor of players.
NHL Player Agent Pat Brisson is featured.
from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
That’s why it’s possible — perhaps even likely — that Olczyk will coach again. He was fired in December 2005 after a season-and-change with the Penguins, a time when he was young, overmatched and had little support from the organization.
It would have to be the right opportunity for Olczyk, of course. He has a great television gig, two actually. He works the NBC telecasts with Mike “Doc” Emrick — the best national play-by-play man in any sport — and does commentary for the Chicago Blackhawks with legendary local broadcaster Pat Foley. “He’s to Chicago what Mike Lange is to Pittsburgh,” Olcyzk said. “I have been so lucky.”
So why even consider giving it all up?
“I still have a burning desire to teach,” Olczyk said. “I have a passion to be a part of the wins and losses. I think I would like to fulfill that emptiness. At the end of the day, I’m a coach by trade who happens to have a microphone.”
from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,
As the National Hockey League embarks on a two-week hiatus for its stars to compete for national glory in Sochi, we sit down with commissioner Gary Bettman to briefly chat about Steven Stamkos, future outdoor games, the 12-year Rogers rights deal, and why the heck he was giving Gene Simmons a piggyback ride.
Most of the discussion surrounding the 12-year Rogers-NHL deal has focused on the television broadcast. What are your online plans for the next few years?
Online has become and will become even more important than it’s been. Millions are consuming their video content online as opposed to watching traditional television. We’re going to see as the devices continue to evolve – and there are devices going to be created that we don’t even know about yet – people, particularly young, tech-savvy people, are going to consume their media in a variety of different ways, and we’re going to make sure we’re responsive to what they want.
Is there a reason why the league’s website tends to shy away from showing fights or controversial goals?
We don’t shy away from anything. I know people say that and write it, but if it’s there, it’s available. You get it from us; you get it from YouTube. There’s no shying away. I know that’s a perception, but it’s not an accurate one.
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
Snider is right, though. It's a raw deal for the NHL, the league that pays all of these players to go off for nearly a three-week joy ride.
"Joy ride," you say? Pretty much, I say.
Some players strenuously object to the characterization that they look at the Olympic break as mostly a paid vacation, a "Great if we win," "Oh, well, we tried" exercise.
But that's what I believe. Players are getting paid by their NHL teams to go over to Sochi and compete for a medal in the Olympics. If they get it, great! If not? They come back to their teams with their money still guaranteed, while NHL owners take zero from the profits of the Games, and take all the risk if one of their top players gets hurt.
Players that embellish on a consistent basis run the risk of not receiving the benefit of the doubt when they are legitimately fouled. Brendan Gallagher is too effective and too good a player to develop that unwanted reputation from the refs.
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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