Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch, .
..the NHL still cannot cut a deal with its old broadcast partner, ESPN. The network helped the league gain popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It also stuck with the NHL in the early part of this decade when the game had become almost unwatchable due to the un-penalized obstruction.
Post-lockout hockey is an entertaining product, but the casual sports fan—the one the NHL needs to attract—isn’t programmed to search it out.
There are things I don’t like about ESPN, but it lends credibility to a sport. The league can tout its improved ratings on Versus, but it’s not a destination channel.
added 12:44pm, Sean Leahy of Puck Daddy has some suggestions for the NHL Network.
Fan590 in Toronto just reported Ted “Teeder” Kennedy has passed away.
“It has been a relatively busy summer with free agency and some trades. It’s died down a bit and I think you’ve seen some GMs show restraint and patience, but there’s still been some big deals out there. I think once the [Dany] Heatley situation is resolved too, you will see more trades and signings as well as when camp gets closer, teams will need to address cap issues and fill out rosters. It will heat up soon.”
-Paul Kelly, Executive Director of the NHLPA. More about Kelly from James Murphy at NESN.
from Michael Traikos of the National Post,
According to the National Hockey League, “there is no truth to the suggestion” that the Toronto Maple Leafs are blocking another team from moving into southern Ontario.
PSE Sports & Entertainment, the company Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie formed to pursue ownership of the Phoenix Coyotes, filed a document into bankruptcy court on Wednesday accusing the Leafs of exercising their territorial veto to prevent Balsillie of purchasing the Coyotes and then moving them to Hamilton….
“At no time has the Toronto franchise or any representative of the Toronto franchise voiced an opinion at a Board of Governors Meeting even remotely consistent with the allegation that is being made,” NHL deputy commissioner Billy Daly wrote in an e-mail to the National Post Thursday.
“In other words, its a total fabrication, that has no basis in fact or in law.”
I am off to a Doctor’s appointment. I won’t have internet access for about an hour, but will be back shortly after that.
In the meantime, feel free to bring up anything hockey related in the comments.
update 2:49pm, I am back. What, no 3-way trades, no signings, no nothing. Carry on folks.
from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald via the National Post,
As far as Hockey Canada is concerned, the issue of insurance coverage for the country’s best players has a giant check mark beside it.
“Everything is fine,” Johnny Misley, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations, said regarding the controversy over insurance coverage for NHLplayers attending the upcoming orientation camp for potential 2010 Olympic team members.
“We have secured insurance to help protect the players - given the low risk there is - to give them peace of mind.”
Peace of mind doesn’t describe the mindsets of the NHL or NHL Players’ Association - at least judging by recent public comments regarding the camp.
added 7:50pm, Icethetics may have the first pictures of what the Team Canada sweater may look like for 2010.
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
Disregarding last season’s four-team, four-game opening show in Europe that preceded the North American portion of the schedule, and also the five-day All-Star break, the NHL’s 82-game season was stretched out over 181 days in 2008-09. Sticklers can add five days for the Senators, Lightning and Penguins, and four for the Rangers.
This season’s schedule, not counting the 14-day break, will take 179 days. The season-opening European games in Helsinki (Panthers versus Blackhawks) and Stockholm (Red Wings versus Blues) are built into the same period in which all teams are playing.
The two fewer days doesn’t qualify as significant compression.
Actually, schedule compression compared to the previous season hasn’t been much of an issue since the ‘98 and ‘02 Games, and they came in seasons when the NHL also had four-day All-Star Game breaks.
from Dave Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
If Jim Balsillie ultimately fails in his bid to buy the Phoenix Coyotes, or any other NHL team for that matter, the Canadian billionaire will be able to look back on two events that shaped his fate more than any others.
One was entirely in his control and may be Balsillie’s single biggest mistake of the entire campaign, even though it had nothing to do with the Coyotes. The other was not, although its outcome, which has not yet been determined, will affect not only Balsillie but all four of the major professional North American sports leagues, their unions, companies that do business with them and their fans.
First, the matter not in Balsillie’s control: A lawsuit between a company called American Needle, which makes knit caps and baseball hats, and the NFL.
Now that many of us are experiencing high temperatures in early August, how about we cool down a bit and watch the process of putting in the ice at an arena.
via Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• What does it say about Nikolai Zherdev, when he’s only 24 years old, is one goal shy of 100 in the National Hockey League, is a free agent, and only teams with 10-foot poles want to touch him?
• Yes, Jeremy Roenick could talk and make you laugh, but the guy could play, too. A bunch. He’s borderline Hall of Fame and may be able to talk his way in.
• The math on Jerry Reinsdorf’s apparent offer for the Coyotes is somewhat startling. It goes something like this: He wants $23 million US, or thereabouts, in lease concessions from the City of Glendale, wants to deal Wayne Gretzky out of the game by not paying him his $8 million a year, and get some $15 million in revenue sharing annually from the NHL. In other words, he figures that, with $43 million in handouts, he has a chance to break even.
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 email@example.com