Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Z. Klein of SlapShot at the NY Times,
I.I.H.F. President René Fasel managed to strike a delicate balance at his news conference in Moscow on Tuesday, praising Russian hockey-fan-in-chief Vladimir Putin and the K.H.L. while at the same time asserting that the league must honor player contracts, and expressing resistance to the N.H.L. while at the same time vowing cooperation with it.
“In general, I like the K.H.L., and I think that the idea of pan-European leagues is smart, but I still say that national federations and leagues have to live by the same rules,” Fasel said in describing a meeting he had with Putin, an outspoken advocate of K.H.L. expansion into Scandinavia and Central Europe.
“I will never allow the absorption of the weak by the strong,” Fasel said.
My goal this season, get a non-hockey fan involved in the game. Read all about it at my NHL.com blog today.
from Bruce Arthur of the National Post,
As the possibility of present and future litigation over the Phoenix Coyotes continues to widen, there is another battlefield that is waiting to erupt. The war thus far has been between the National Hockey League and Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie. But the next fight could be between the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Court filings filed late Friday night show a disagreement between the league and its most powerful franchise, dating back to 2006, over whether the Leafs have a veto over another team playing in their territory.
The NHL had taken the position that a franchise transfer into the home territory of an existing franchise would only require a majority vote among the league’s board of governors. The Leafs, in a letter hand-delivered to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, strenuously objected, and wrote that the club would “reserve all rights to take whatever actions are necessary to protect their exclusive rights to their home territory.”
from Jason Kay of The Hockey News,
Bottom line: the game is great, but we should always be thinking about ways to make it better. Here are 40 of the ways I saw, at least at one point in my tenure – and in no particular order – of making that happen.
1. Shorten the season. Seventy games would do nicely.
3. More 4-on-4. Maybe the last five minutes of regulation?
9. Bigger nets. With bigger players, bigger gear and better technique, the scoring area has drastically reduced over the years.
Mike Brophy does a Q & A with Stephen Walkom who has left his job as the NHL’s director of officiating and will be returning as a referee this season.
Sportsnet.ca: Some critics suggested the standard for calls took a little dip in last season’s playoffs and once again referees were turning a blind eye to infractions. Do you agree?
Walkom: They talked about it a little bit, but I think everybody is always ready to pounce on it. That’s why I compared the first period prior to the lockout against the first period of this year’s playoffs. Yeah, there was probably one penalty in the first period that we should have called, but we don’t want our guys making up penalties just so we can call the standard. Was there one hook missed? Yeah, there was. Was there a hold we could have called in the second period? Perhaps. But the thing is there were 14 of those four years earlier. Our guys aren’t missing penalties by choice; not calling penalties because of the time of the game or the score of the game. That mentality is gone. If they see something, they react to it.
via Bruce Constantineau of the Vancouver Sun,
North American sports leagues — including hockey, football, basketball and university sports — will ramp up during the flu season this fall and winter but few are planning for worst-case scenarios that would see games or seasons cancelled and millions of dollars of revenues lost.
The National Hockey League’s response is typical.
“We’ve focused on it and met internally to discuss the matter but at this time we have no firm ‘cancellation’ or other contingency plan in place,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor the situation and step up our preparation efforts if and when it becomes necessary.”
from the CP via TSN,
Ex-NHL hockey coach Jacques Demers, who has spoken frankly about his lifelong battle with illiteracy, is about to be named to the Senate, his employer said Thursday.
Now a hockey analyst, Demers’s current employer—television network RDS—announced the appointment on its web site.
It says he will be named to the Senate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper during his swing Thursday through Quebec City.
Bob McKenzie of TSN tells you Why He Loves Hockey at Puck Daddy….
And not just in the NHL. Have you ever been at a minor hockey game that goes into overtime? The sense of drama, anticipation and palpable fear and tension, on and off the ice, is unlike anything in any other sport.
from Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal,
You can put your money on the fact that the February Games in Vancouver will be the last time the NHL participates in the Olympics.
Expect a reversion to the old formula when collegians and other top amateur players, a la 1960 and 1980, when Uncle Sam won Gold Medals with the likes of Ken Morrow, Mike Eruzione (Winthrop, Mass.), et. al.
Remember this—the Russkies host the 2014 games in Sochi. The way the NHL feels about the KHL stealing of North American stars such as Jiri Hudler and Alexander Radulov, there’s no way Bettman Inc. will want to do any favors for the Europeans.
read on for more hockey observations…
from David Naylor of the Globe and Mail,
The NHL offers $140-million (all currency U.S.) for the team, plus up to 20 per cent of whatever profit (not to exceed $20-million) the league might earn by reselling the team within two years of the closing date of its purchase from the bankruptcy court.
Since the NHL states in its bid that it “does not anticipate there would be a net profit upon a resale of the team to a Glendale buyer,” its own interests, and those of the creditors, would likely be best served by relocating the team to a market where its value could be maximized beyond $140-million.
The league’s apparent openness to relocating the Coyotes flies in the face of its commitment to Glendale, dating back to when the team’s troubles surfaced last season and throughout the league’s four-month fight with Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie…
added 8:48am, from Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic,
...the NHL’s plan is nothing but a stay of execution. In the short term, it will give Glendale one last chance to lure a local investor or bring Reinsdorf back into play. If it doesn’t work, the Coyotes will be off for greener pastures.
Along the way, a horrible falsehood has spread across the globe, the myth that hockey can’t work in the desert. Wrong. The Valley can support hockey, and has supported hockey in the past. This is a Glendale problem, one born from bad teams and long commutes and a bad decision to build an arena in a cotton field. This is not an Arizona problem.
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