Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Staple of The Cult of Hockey,
The NHL’s official plus/minus stat is one of the most discussed individual stats in hockey, but it’s also one of the most flawed, misleading and misunderstood.
For instance, this year Marian Hossa of the powerful Red Wings is plus-8. But last season, playing with the hapless Thrashers most of the year, Hossa was minus-14.Bobby Orr plus/minus
Hossa is pretty much the same strong player this year as he was last year, but his plus/minus this year would make you think he’s utterly outstanding, while his plus/minus last year would make you think he was a mediocre bum.
from Damien Cox at ESPN,
The world of quotes. Yes, indeed, they do make the world go ‘round, even the NHL, which isn’t exactly the sassiest of pro sports leagues when it comes to lipping off….
“Every single day, you ask the same questions. You know the amazing thing? You’ve never asked me once about what we’re doing in practice. ‘What was that drill?’ No one’s ever asked that. It’s always, ‘What’s Jason Blake going to do tomorrow? Where’s Brian Burke having dinner tonight?’ You don’t really talk about the actual X’s and O’s of the game. I find that kind of strange. So, then I wonder, maybe you don’t ask those questions because maybe you don’t understand.”
—Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson sparring with the media
from the CP via TSN,
Montreal Canadiens president Pierre Boivin fears that the sagging loonie could send Canadian NHL teams spiralling back into the dark economic days that preceded the lockout.
Boivin says the league’s six Canadian clubs are thriving at the gate and bring in more than a third of the total revenue for the 30-team NHL.
But he identified the tumbling dollar as one of three threats to the continued viability of Canadian clubs.
added 6:01pm, from Frederic Tomesco at Bloomberg,
More declines in the Canadian currency would recreate the situation that existed before the lockout, when most Canadian clubs were unprofitable, Boivin said. The Canadiens paid out $18 million last season to other NHL clubs as part of the revenue- sharing system, he said.
more if you are interested in the business side of the NHL…
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Removing the trapezoid, the area behind the goal line where NHL goaltenders are allowed to play the puck, is another idea that will get discussed by the competition committee.
Some believe, the combination of forwards barreling in on the forecheck, protected from obstruction, and goaltenders not being allowed to freely move the puck have contributed to injury.
Paul Kelly wonders if Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Mike Van Ryn would have been in the same vulnerable position if Vesa Toskala had been allowed to get to the puck before Montreal’s Tom Kostopoulos raced in to complete his check…
from Ted Montgomery at USA TODAY,
You’ve all read countless articles about how the NHL can improve its profile, how savvier marketing can elevate the league to new heights in the public’s consciousness. I’ve even written a few columns like that myself. And I believed what I wrote in those columns. I really did.
But I’ve changed my tune. I’m now resigned to the notion that the NHL will probably never be more popular than it is right now, today. And I think we, as die hard hockey fans, would be better served to accept this fact rather than striving to attain what is clearly now an unachievable pipe dream.
from John Buccigross of ESPN,
• OK, here are Bucci’s top four power rankings for each conference. Keep in mind, my rankings are not so much based on performance thus far; they are based on who I see are the toughest teams to beat in a best-of-seven series come playoff time.
Eastern Conference: 1. Pittsburgh; 2. Washington; 3. Montreal; 4. New York Rangers
Western Conference: 1. Detroit; 2. San Jose; 3. Minnesota; 4. Anaheim
• From a strategical standpoint, I still believe that a player should skate to the bench, and another player should hop on, when he breaks his stick. This saves time from a stick handoff scenario and saves me the frustration of watching a forward on the ice without a stick.
much, much more...
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
No one has been able to make the NHL All-Star Game a meaningful exercise for going on two decades now, no matter how much they tweaked and adjusted and tried to convince you that the light-hearted shinny they play bears even a reasonable facsimile to the way the game is played, night-after-night, through a gruelling 1,230-game regular season.
Given how that is not going to change this year either, even though the All-Star Game is being played in the cradle of hockey – Montreal – in January, I have little issue with the fact that Canadiens’ fans are doing such a good job of guaranteeing that all six of their candidates for the All-Star team may crack the starting line-up.
From Paul Kukla at NHL.com:
This is the main reason we are not seeing many trades early in the season—the cap situation prevents it.
You may say, “But my team is way below the cap, they can afford so-and-so.” True, but do remember, teams have established their own internal cap figure and may not want to go above it for budgetary reasons.
So, the first thing that should be in your mind when you think of or read about a possible trade is, does it fit within the cap. If not, move on and start thinking of a trade that not only will make sense, but also fit within the salary-cap structure.
From Pierre Le Brun’s ESPN blog:
At this point Vancouver, in our mind, remains the heavyweight since the Canucks not only have the most cap space and most money available to spend on Sundin, but they also are playing some decent hockey right now. Should Sundin sign the $20-million, two-year deal that’s apparently still on the table from last July, then one of the perks will be the Winter Olympics, which will be held in Vancouver in 15 months.
Still, the Canucks are far from a lock.
read on for more on Sundin plus some goalie speculation
from Tripp Mickle of SportsBusiness Journal,
NHL owners accustomed to minding their own business now have to disclose it, courtesy of a new policy instituted by the league in late September.
In response to a series of unknown financial arrangements between former Nashville Predators owner William “Boots” Del Biaggio and two other NHL owners, the league’s board of governors adopted a new policy that requires owners to disclose any and all business and financial relationships between one another.
The rule means that an owner like AEG, which owns the Los Angeles Kings, must submit to the league every single one of the arenas that it manages that also serve as home to an NHL club, like Jobing.com where the Phoenix Coyotes play
read on (SBJ is normally a paid subscription, and thanks go out to them for releasing the article to KK)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org