Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Forbes via The Financial Post,
Eleven billionaires currently own all of or a stake in 10 of the NHL’s franchises. (Not included in this group is the Minnesota Wild. Craig Leipold bought a stake in the club this January but technically his wife, Helen Johnson-Leipold, is the billionaire in the family.)
According to payroll data from Nhlscap.com, the teams with billionaire owners are on track to spend an average of US$47.8-million on player salaries during the current season. The 20 teams without billionaire owners are on track to spend an average of US$45.1-million this season. That US$2.7-million difference between the two groups is a notable amount in the NHL. It’s enough to pay this year’s salary for an All-Star like Henrik Zetterberg. The Red Wings winger is tied for third in the NHL in total points this year.
There’s a correlation between the extra spending and winning. As of Friday, billionaire-owned teams were averaging 62.3 points for the season. Teams not owned by billionaires were averaging 59.8 points.
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
The NHL last season mandated that its 30 teams begin using a new computer program created by Toronto’s Sutton Medical Technologies Ltd. to digitize the medical files of the league’s 700-odd players, and those playing in the minors.
A year on, league and medical-industry executives say Sutton’s program has been embraced by team officials and has added a new and unlikely wrinkle to player signings and trades. The NHL is the first North American pro league to use the technology. Unlike other leagues like the NBA that insist players pass a physical exam before being traded, the NHL has no such rule. In past seasons, that left some teams agreeing to acquire players without insisting they first pass a physical. And in many cases, a player’s complete medical file wouldn’t be forwarded to his new club until weeks after he joined the team.
from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,
Memo to my friends and family (all five of you, four being family):
Do not attempt to contact me over the next two days (unless you know where Marion Hossa has been traded).
I am sequestered in a television studio until Wednesday. Send food, and fresh powder puffs.
NHL Trade Deadline Day has not always been the colossal all-day television telethon it has become.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
• I am insinuating nothing. I am implying nothing. But if Anaheim GM Brian Burke sends a package of major prospects to the Maple Leafs in order to rent Mats Sundin and then Burke becomes Toronto GM over the summer - the man doth protest his lack of interest way too much - while Sundin returns to Toronto next season, well, how exactly will that look?
• John Tortorella is operating on borrowed time in Tampa, and everyone knows it, including him. Question: Does he wind up in San Jose, Detroit or Philadelphia?
more NHL type talk…
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette via the National Post,
How would Gainey, the general manager, describe Gainey, the player?
“I was strong-willed,” he said. “I was extremely difficult to play against. Determined to carry my part of the team’s game to improve our chances to win the game. I enjoyed the harder parts of the games and the harder parts of the season.”
What he didn’t say was that no player before him, or since, delivered those qualities game in, game out for the length of his 16 seasons with the team, which included 1,160 regular-season games - eight as captain - and 182 playoff games, which brought home five Stanley Cups and the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1979.
Who gets traded, who do you want to get and give-up?
Today you are the hockey expert, let your views be known on the upcoming trade deadline moves.
Is you team still in the playoff race or is it time to be a seller? If your team is considered a lock to be playing in mid-April, do you need to get stronger or stand pat?
Let KK readers and myself know what your strategy is for the next few days!
from Victor Chi at the Sporting News,
When it comes to a trade deadline, no other sports league can match the fuss and frenzy of the NHL.
The NHL should be accentuating this distinction.
Turn the day itself into a stand-alone event. It should be easier now that the NHL Network is available in the United States. And if Versus is supposed to be such a great partner for the NHL, get the network to simulcast the NHL Network or a Canadian all-sports outlet or produce its own trade-day show.
On deadline day, games actually serve as a diversion. The attention and resources required to covering games come at the expense of deeper trade coverage.
From Kevin Allen at USA Today,
You know that the hockey world has entered the 21st century when the Atlanta Thrashers and Detroit Red Wings had to deny a rumor that appeared on a bogus Valtteri Filppula Facebook page earlier this week.
As is always the case, the ridiculous rumors far outnumber the actual trade negotiations. But with five days remaining before the trade deadline, here are the top buyers and sellers in the marketplace:
continued… with a list of 15 top-buyers and 6 top-sellers
Neil Smith, former general manager of the New York Rangers, will be the guest on the NHL Hour today. Hosting the show today will be Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.
The NHL Hour broadcasts live Thursdays from 4-5 pm ET on NHL Home Ice, (XM channel 204) and NHL.com. The show will re-run on XM Satellite Radio and NHL.com, with archived shows available for download via a podcast on NHL.com.
from the Vancouver Sun,
The sounds you heard out of the managers’ meetings in Florida this week were of frustration, of anger, and of determination to cut through all the horsedoodle the Goaltenders’ Benevolent Protective Association has been dispensing for years about how reducing the size of their padding is a safety issue.
The GMs have always known it’s not true. The only difference is that now, having turned the rulebook upside down in an effort to create more offence, they have been forced to confront the obvious: It’s the goalies, stupid.
“We’re tired of the conversation,” said Detroit’s Ken Holland, himself a former netminder.
“We’ve got to shrink the goalies. If we can’t get this right, then we have to sit down and look at the alternatives. And obviously bigger nets is one of the alternatives.”
No one wants bigger nets. No one wants the game’s history bastardized by tinkering with the dimensions of hockey’s most fundamental focal point. But there is no mistaking the threat.
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