Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Brian Costello of the Hockey News,
There are 111 NHL pre-season games this year, an average of 7.4 per team. That’s 4,440 man games. Is that really necessary to get a player prepared for the regular season?
The whole idea behind pre-season games in the first place was to get the players in shape and sort out a half-dozen roster spots per team. Well, those reasons are gone.
Players are long since in shape for training camp and the dawn of the salary cap era means rosters are pretty much determined, save for two or three openings, by August.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Any attempt by the NHL to pull out of the Olympics after the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games will face a stiff fight from the NHL Players’ Association.
Paul Kelly, executive director of the NHLPA, said Thursday that “NHL management does not have the right to make unilateral statements that we will not participate in the Olympics again. Players have strong views about the issue.”
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
Painting himself as a victim, former Los Angeles Kings star Luc Robitaille has launched a lawsuit against a former minority owner of the Nashville Predators in an attempt to recoup the $2 million Robitaille says was fraudulently taken from him and left him unwittingly in debt to a bank.
In a court filing that is part of the bankruptcy proceedings for William (Boots) Del Biaggio, Robitaille says he was left owing a bank $2 million (all figures U.S.) after Del Biaggio misused a joint line of credit that had been intended for real estate deals.
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
And now that a group that wanted to build an arena in Las Vegas that could house an NBA team has backed off, it is an opportunity for the NHL to become the first major sports league to put a team there. That, too, is tempting.
But would it work? And more importantly, what will owners be left with after they deposit their share of the expansion fees into the bank accounts? I’ll tell you what: a further watered-down product and two more teams on shaky ground from the moment of inception.
They can get in line behind Phoenix, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Florida and Atlanta. Even Tampa Bay, which generated a lot of buzz with new ownership and an aggressive rebuilding program this summer, isn’t out of the woods in terms of being able to generate a profit.
from NHL PR,
Following yesterday’s NHL’s September Board of Governors meeting yesterday in Toronto, Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly met with the media to answer questions. Among the topics discussed: the Alexander Radulov situation; the absence of an NHL-IIHF player transfer agreement; the North American economy and its possible impact on the NHL, and the possibility of expansion.
continue for the transcript…
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
...despite the apparent fascination, expansion was not a topic on the agenda at the NHL board of governors meeting in Toronto yesterday.
“We like our 30 teams now and we don’t feel this an appropriate time to do it,” commissioner Gary Bettman said. “What the future may hold, I’m not prepared to predict, but it’s not on the agenda.”
When an appropriate time for expansion arrives, Bettman was asked, would the NHL first investigate Europe or North America.
“I know there has been a lot of speculation about going to Europe,” he said. “The fact is anything is possible. We don’t have plans yet or maybe never to put franchises on the continent. We think endeavours in Europe are important because 30 per cent of our players come from Europe, but our first priority is here in North America.”
more from the BOG meeting yesterday
2008-2009 CRITICAL DATES CALENDAR
(subject to change)
12 Opening Day of Rookie camp
16 Opening Day of NHL training camp for NYR, OTT, PIT, TB
19 Opening Day of NHL training camp
20 Pre-season schedule begins
23 Kraft Hockeyville Game, Roberval, QC (Buffalo Sabres vs. Montreal Canadiens)
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Now all this salary cap stuff is far too complex for you and me to digest in the next minute or so, but all you really need to know is this - Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Cam Barker are going to chew up a lot more of the Chicago Blackhawks’ cap space this year than they did last year.
With the disappearance of the bonus cushion, which allowed teams to overspend the cap by as much as 7.5 per cent, Kane, Toews and Barker alone will account for $9.3 million in hard salary cap space this season. That’s almost $7 million more than how it could have been accounted last season.
For all intents and purposes, Boston’s Phil Kessel goes from being an $850,000 salary cap hit for the Bruins to a hard $2.2 million hit.
from the CP via TSN,
Even though the U.S. economy has been hit hardest over the last year with the housing-market collapse, the NHL’s six Canadian franchises are also concerned about the affect the current economic situation could have on them.
‘‘The last couple of weeks - wow - it’s been killer,’’ said Edmonton Oilers president and CEO Patrick LaForge. ‘‘I think we’re all concerned. I can only speak for Edmonton but I can say that these are very interesting times, what the stock market is doing and the impact on our major clients, which are businesses.
‘‘I think we have to all be very mindful that these are tough times. The Canadian teams are not exempt.’‘
from Ron Kantowski of the Las Vegas Sun,
A report in today’s Sports Business Journal, citing inside sources, said Harrah’s will no longer partner arena developer AEG on a proposed 20,000-seat arena behind the Las Vegas strip.
The Journal said a group of investors including Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer, MGM Studios CEO Harry Sloan and Wall Street financier David Bonderman would instead partner AEG on the project that was announced in August, 2007….
According to the Sports Business Journal, NHL executives were concerned that if Harrah’s remained as a partner, the other strip properties might not want to support the $500 million project by purchasing suites and driving other business toward a casino rival.
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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.
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