Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Eric McErlain at the Sporting News,
It was just last week that I warned that Russia’s nascent Kontinental Hockey League represented a legitimate threat to the way that the NHL did business.
Now, here we are just a week later, and the brewing competition between the two leagues over hockey talent—in particular Russian-born hockey talent—is threatening to escalate into a full-scale war.
Eric reviews the events of the past week, then further explores the long-term impact all this might have on the NHL.
From Lyle Richardson at The Hockey News,
The Philadelphia Flyers remain slightly above the $56.7 million salary cap for next season, leading to speculation GM Paul Holmgren will consider shopping a right winger, since he’s got plenty of depth at that position.
Joffrey Lupul was considered a potential candidate given his $2.3 million cap hit for next season, but given recent reports that he’s close to signing a new four-year contract with the Flyers, he’s probably staying put.
Other trade candidates could include Mike Knuble, Scottie Upshall or Steve Downie. Knuble’s $2.8 million cap hit for next season makes him the likely candidate.
And check out James Mirtle’s list of remaining free agents.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
The unwritten rule of the NHL ownership club is no secrets, or, at least, no secrets from the big guy. When Tom Hicks (Dallas) and George Gillette (Montreal) decided to go in on a little soccer team called Liverpool, they weren’t bound by the rules to tell Bettman, but they did regardless because it was the right thing to do.
ESPN.com has learned, that is all going to change come fall, when owners will be instructed by the NHL to reveal their financial relationships with other owners. It probably should have been done before and the errors in judgment from AEG and Leipold in the Del Biaggio mess revealed that flaw in a way that embarrasses themselves as much as the NHL.
Had Leipold or AEG bothered to tell Bettman what they were doing, one has to believe the deal would have been put on hold regardless of how badly Bettman and the rest wanted the sale done. The integrity of the league and Bettman’s leadership demands it, and given his handling of the Samueli matter, we are prepared to accept that.
But as Katz settles in as the NHL’s newest owner, he would be wise to remember the immortal words of Groucho Marx who said, “I don’t care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members.” The NHL is filled with scoundrels, cheats and liars, all led by a pint-sized czar, a former lawyer no less. Some NHL owners seem to live by another of Marx’s rules: The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.
-Andy Holloway of Canadian Business
Release from the KHL press service today:
KHL is in Disagreement with the Proposal to Suspend Players Signed Contracts
Today the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) suggested conducting an investigation regarding six players: Alexander Radulov, Nikita Filatov, Tomas Mojzis, Jason Krog, Fedor Fedorov and Victor Tikhonov. Until this investigation has come to its final conclusion and the IIHF has rendered its decisions, all the concerned players will be suspended from international transfers and competitions.
Regarding this statement KHL clarifies its position:
We accept the idea of an investigation but specify that it should be conducted within the framework of the relevant legislation of Russia, USA and Canada, as well as in accordance with the labor law regulations of the KHL and the NHL.
(Bill) Daly told the Team 1040 in Vancouver that losing the entire 2004-05 season was worth it - financially.
“It achieved, for us, a rational relationship in the amount of dollars we pay out on a yearly basis to players and the amount of revenues we take in as a league.” Daly told the Team 1040. “That was the goal from the start, and now we have an enforceable relationship between our salaries and our revenues at this point, and that’s what we were trying to achieve.”
from Mike Toth at Sportsnet,
So, why are the rules different for Ray?
In my opinion, there’s a hint of racism in the air. Canada is becoming more multi-cultural by the day, especially in major cities. But for the most part, the hockey culture is still predominantly white and many NHL power brokers grew up in a Canada that was completely different. Unlike their compatriots in the NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball, NHL general managers don’t have any experience dealing with the Allen Iverson’s of the sports world. Many black people have their own distinct culture and when a guy like Emery walks into a dressing room with his flashy clothes and hip-hop spirit, some hockey people tend to raise their eyebrows.
from Ryan Kennedy of the Hockey News,
Hockey is a humble sport by most accounts. The players don’t do much bragging, teams rarely tinker with classic logos and the league prefers Americans don’t get over-stimulated by showing them games on TV stations they could watch at bars or even their homes.
But to say hockey people are honest is a stretch sometimes. There’s something lacking in several recent NHL stories that needs to be rectified. Let’s just call it The Realness. As in, “Get real, you don’t actually think we believe what you just told us, do you?”
The best recent example of this came when Jay Feaster “resigned” as GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Survival was part of the game…
From Mike Brophy at The Hockey News,
• Can Sidney Crosby wrestle away the scoring title and MVP award from Alex Ovechkin? Sid the Kid was making his move up the scoring charts this season when he suffered a high ankle sprain that ultimately shelved him 29 games. Still, he came back and led his team to the Stanley Cup final.
• Will Chris Chelios play again? Truth is, I hope he does. Although he was a healthy scratch during the final, the 46-year-old Chelios can still be a fine No. 5 defender on the defending champs. I’d love to see him hit his goal of playing until he’s 50.
read on for eight more reasons
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