Kukla's Korner Hockey
(Maxim) The other great debate in hockey is fighting. Some people are for banning it, others say it’s a necessary part of the game. How do you feel about it?
(Bettman) It’s always been a part of the game. It’s an incidental part of the game and in increases and decreases based on how the game is being played. It’s physical. Contact is encouraged. Players are skating at each other, running into each other. It’s speeds up to 30 miles per hour and players are carrying sticks. It’s nonstop, it’s edgy, and it’s emotional. So the fact that this is an incidental part of the game-I don’t think it calls for debate to whether or not it should be in or out of the game. It’s always been a part of the game.
many more topics discussed…
From Lyle Richardson (Spector) at FoxSports:
It’s Christmas time again, and in the NHL there could be several teams or players looking for just the right gift under their respective trees which would help them the rest of this season. Here’s the NHL version of a top 10 Christmas wish list.
1. NHL — A great Winter Classic game between the Blackhawks and Red Wings.
from Terry Lefton of SportsBusiness Journal,
The NHL has added McDonald’s to its roster of corporate sponsors with U.S. rights. The pre-eminent quick-service restaurant has signed a deal through the 2009-10 season. McDonald’s has been a Canadian sponsor of the league since 1993 and has local rights deals with 15 NHL teams, including one in its final stages with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Under the deal, McDonald’s gets ads on NHL.com and the NHL Network and makes advertising commitments to NHL rights holders NBC and Versus. The deal also includes USA Hockey rights, which fit nicely with McDonald’s TOP Olympic deal. NHL Players’ Association rights for the U.S. were not included.
continued and thanks to SBJ for making the link available to KK readers…
from Jeff Z. Klein and Stu Hackel of Slap Shot at the NYT,
“Whatever you could do on a breakaway, if you had the skill to do it, you should be allowed to do that on a penalty shot,” Walkom said. “You can’t cross the goal line” — the basis for the rule prohibiting players from circling the net on a penalty shot — “and the puck can’t come to a stop.”
If a player did those things on a breakaway, he said, the other team would catch up and the breakaway would be gone.
What does concern Walkom during the spin-o-rama play is whether the shooter interferes with the goaltender as he is turning, preventing him from making the save. In Blake’s case, it was close, Walkom said, “but I don’t believe he interfered with him in making the save.”
As for the puck going backward, Walkom said officials did not adhere to a rigid definition of the puck moving from the goal. If they did, many penalty shots or shootout goals would be against the rules because “every time you stick handle, the puck goes backward,” Walkom said.
The Inside Hockey Radio Show this week featuring hosts James Murphy and Todd Carroll with their guests: Chicago Blackhawks Assistant GM Rick Dudley, Rick Westhead (Toronto Star), Steve Zipay (Newsday), Patrick King (Sportsnet.ca), and Conor McKenna (TEAM 990).
Live from Wayne Gretzky’s
After Inside Hockey, at 4pm ET you can tune into Live From Wayne Gretzky’s. This week, hosts Rod Black and Craig Button talk to Joe Nieuwendyk , Logan Pyett (future Red Wings defenseman, whose WJC 2008 Gold Medal was stolen Wednesday), Bob Costas, and NJ Devils goalie Scott Clemmensen.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Fighting is up in the NHL, and the man who made a significant contribution to the trend, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke, is not apologizing for it.
“I believe fighting has always been an important part of our game,” Burke said. “Only hockey, boxing and martial arts have no out-of-bounds contact — an essential component of the game. We were in danger of losing our roots to the game.”...
For all the talk about the pros and cons of fighting, there is no disputing the fact that it tends to bring fans out of their seats.
When the suggestion that fans like fighting was made to commissioner Gary Bettman during his Western Canada swing last week, he answered simply, “They seem to.”
from Lightning Strikes,
Stephen Walkom, the NHL’s director of officiating, said the ruling that Lightning goaltender Mike Smith deliberately threw his stick to disrupt Milan Hejduk’s shootout attempt on Thursday was the correct call.
“It was a very tough call. It was a gutsy call. It was a call that was made in an instant, and I support the call,” Walkom said.
Walkom said the referees did it right by conferring amongst themselves to try to get the call correct. As for perhaps in the future expanding video replay to include such situations, Walkom said no because, “Where does it stop. It’s a judgment call. You can watch this play 1,000 times, and the only thing you can say is the decision that was made you need to support.
In case you didn’t not see the disputed call, you can see it here.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
“I’m terrified of giving away product,” said Mike Veeck, who owns and promotes six minor-league baseball franchises and is the son of the first promotional genius in that sport, the late Bill Veeck.
“If people are cutting prices, then maybe something is wrong with their original pricing structure,” Veeck said. “Fans get used to paying your discount in about 12 seconds. Then that becomes the norm and you have to pay tremendously to get them back.”
Hockey clubs need to emphasize service rather than slash prices, says David Carter, the executive director of the University of Southern California’s Sports Business Institute.
“It’s like the debate of whether people should pay for content on the Internet,” Carter said. “Once you release it for free, you can’t persuade anyone to pay.
from Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal,
• Our Florida source insists that the steadily improving Panthers will not deal Jay Bouwmeester, although the dandy D-man becomes an unrestricted free agent, July 1.
• Before NHL owners meet again at the All-Star break, they will have a more lucid idea of which franchises really are for sale. In the meantime there’s the issue of Jim Balsillie and whether the billionaire hockey nut ever would be welcome within Bettman, Inc. If the pendulum swings from “nay” to “aye,” bet that JB will swoop in on one of the have-not clubs. What’s important to remember here is that the NHL. recently instituted a new rule that teams “notify the league when they begin a sales procedure.”
more hockey talk…
Trevor Linden will be the guest on today’s edition of NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman. Linden, of course, just had his number 16 retired and hung from the rafters in a pre-game ceremony last night honoring the longtime former captain.
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