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Category: NHL-Talk

The NHL Welcomes Corporate Sponsors In Vancouver

from Tripp Mickle of SportsBusiness Journal at the Sporting News,

The NHL may have ceded control over its players and hockey operations during the Olympics, but it didn’t cede the opportunity to bolster its bottom line at the Vancouver Games.

The league took advantage of Sunday’s historic trio of hockey games to treat key partners to an Olympic hospitality experience. The league hosted a party at Club Bud on Saturday night and then treated 40 existing and potential partners to tickets to Sunday’s Russia vs. Czech Republic, U.S. vs. Canada and Sweden vs. Finland hockey games.

“When the schedule came out and we saw those three games on the same day, we decided it would be great to spend three or four days here,” said Keith Wachtel, the league’s senior vice president, corporate sales and marketing. “It’s a big presence of partners and it’s nice to find them in one place and keep the momentum going until the (NHL) season starts up again.”

The partners in attendance at the games included Pepsi, Budweiser, Scotiabank, Visa, Energizer, Kraft, McDonald’s and Cisco. The league also hosted prospective partners.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

NBC Sends The NHL A Message

from Steve Rosenbloom of RosenBlog at the Chicago Tribune,

First, the NHL in the Olympics mirrors the silliness of the parallel universe that is the whole warped fantasy sports experience, where Blackhawks fans are rooting for Duncan Keith to turn over the puck in the slot.

Then there’s the whole stupid notion of shutting down the league for two weeks. What business does that? What business with good business sense, I mean.

And wise up, the argument ended Sunday when NBC decided the NHL is not good for Olympic coverage, at least not on its big-boy channel, no matter that it was the greatest possible rivalry the NHL could offer network TV.

Nope. Sorry. Ski cross gets the kids and pretty, shiny hobbies like that cockamamie pairs ice dancing get the women. U.S.-Canada hockey, you be good kids and run down to a cable channel without high-def, OK?

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nbc, winter+olympics

Now This Is Exciting

from John Gonzalez of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

How can Olympic hockey not be more compelling than the mercenary version peddled by the NHL, a league that consistently ranks last among the four major sports in television ratings? Anyone who watched Canada’s thrilling shoot-out win over Switzerland could sense the obvious urgency and pressure.

That’s how it goes in the Olympics - the game feels more intense. When Chris Pronger (who is suiting up for the Canadians) was asked what might happen if he has a chance to unleash a punishing check on Flyers teammate Kimmo Timonen (who is playing for the glory of his fellow Finns), he didn’t hesitate. “Sucks to be him,” Pronger told The Inquirer.

The Olympics are like a hockey civil war - brother fighting brother in the name of emancipating our (or at least your) puck-loving souls. Then, when the last drop of blood is shed and the final biscuit has been fired into the basket, they will reunite for the good of the union.

Tell the truth: You’re a little verklempt, aren’t you?


Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+oiympics

Working The Games- On-Ice Officials

NHL referee Brad Watson sits down with Heidi Androl to discuss the adjustments on-ice officials need to make while working the Olympic Games.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brad+watson, winter+olympics

Afternoon Line

It would be a shame, in four years’ time, if there were no NHL players at the Winter Games in Sochi - no superstars to appear on television across the globe - because they were being kept safely wrapped up for North America to enjoy. Everyone should know who Sidney Crosby is. Everyone should know the game he’s playing.

-Ollie Williams at his BBC blog.  Read more on this topic…

Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sidney+crosby, winter+oiympics

Steps To Sochi

from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated, Before The Road to Sochi 2014 lurches to a conclusion, the NHL needs to tidy up some issues. In no particular order:

• Licensing. During Salt Lake City 2002, the NHL had the right to have its shield appear with the Olympic rings. That didn’t happen in Turin or Vancouver. To extract more from its Olympic participation, the NHL would like more co-branding.

• Scheduling. Like the Players Association, the NHL is concerned about the abruptness of the switch from league games to Olympic games. (Edmonton played Anaheim on Sunday night. This tournament began Tuesday.) A buffer would be nice, in any case, although travel from North America to Sochi would make it imperative.

• Coverage. The league has its NHL Network, but in the Vancouver pecking order, it runs neck-and-neck with The Score. (The Score, for those not privileged to live in Canada, is a tertiary all-sports network that is a non-rights holder here.) The NHL Network does not envision showing games, naturally, but at least it would like greater access to players.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: iihf, ioc, winter+olympics

“Gary, We Need You”

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

Fasel stopped short of dropping to his knees and pleading with Bettman to make sure NHL players are in Sochi, Russia, in 2014, but he didn’t stop short by a lot. He suggested the NHL can lose its All-Star break to create more time to send players to Sochi and said continuing to send players would enhance the game’s growth.

“The effort to shut down for two weeks and play here is worth it,” Fasel told reporters at a news conference while Bettman, sitting to his right, grew increasingly red-faced. “For our game, our fans, Gary, we need you.”

Bettman, the red spots in his cheeks fairly blazing by now, smiled. “It’s nice to be needed,” he said, though his tone didn’t match his words.


Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman, iihf, rene+fasel, winter+olympics

Ted Has A Point

from Ted Leonis of Ted’s Take,

The NHL has provided more than $ 2 BILLION of committed contracts in terms of players to the Olympics. The Capitals have provided in our six players more than $ 200 million worth of talent as well, I believe. And in payment back we received two free tickets to each game, per team.  Seems like a fair exchange huh?

And we aren’t allowed to do any press work on site or media streaming in any way or use the Olympic logos or see our players or park at the arena and on and on. I bet I am violating some rules in blogging about the Olympics as I am not paying a penny to do so. I didn’t ask for permission or credentials either.

I love the Olympics but we don’t have a fair exchange of value that is for sure.

As far as I can tell the Olympic Committee is more important than governments, leagues, police forces, individual teams, athletes and even religions. They rule! They are in total control. The floggings will continue until morale improves around here!


Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+olympics

KHL Full Of NHL Type Players

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,

Take a look at the Olympic rosters of all teams competing in the men’s tournament and then tell me the KHL hasn’t hurt the NHL.

No way you can say that. While many thought the KHL would be able to lure away many of the top-level players, so far that hasn’t happened—unless Ilya Kovalchuk has a genuine surprise for everyone at the end of the season.

But that’s not likely to happen either because, while he might get a long-term offer from a Russianleague team, he’d be nuts to take it—contracts in Russian not having quite the same meaning, if you get the drift here.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl

NHL Has Nothing To Gain By Not Going To Sochi

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

But if the NHL pulls out, the flavour and competitive nature of the tournament will be enormously different in Sochi when it returns – correctly – to the larger international ice surface. With no NHLers, the U.S. will have to go back to using college kids, Canada’s team will look like a Spengler Cup entrant again and the NHL will be handing over the tournament marquee to the KHL, which already will have 60 or more players in the Vancouver tournament.

Which league will look big-league then? How will the NHL gain by retreating into self-imposed Olympic exile while countries like Latvia and Germany suddenly find themselves able to compete with the top North American countries, home to the NHL?

This, to be fair, shapes up to be a brilliant hockey tournament, one without a clear favourite. There’s Canada with home-ice advantage, the Swedes as defending champs and the Russians holding bragging rights from back-to-back world titles. The U.S. will be sentimental favourites due to Brian Burke’s personal ordeal and everybody seems to forget Finland won silver four years ago.

But without the NHL, there might be even more intrigue, more of a sense of the unknown.

Better than anything Bettman’s league can ever serve up in the final two weeks of February, for sure.


Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+olympics

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com


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