Kukla's Korner

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Category: NHL-Talk

All Gary Bettman

An in-depth interview with Gary Bettman from MACLEANS,

Q: It’s been a tumultuous couple of years for you, at least publicly. Do you still enjoy your job?

A: I love the job. I’m passionate about the game, and the people around the game, the way we as a sport connect with our fans. Every job has challenges, things that make the job interesting. I’m not exactly sure, by the way, that I buy into your characterization of tumultuous. That seems to be a little dramatic, perhaps media-centric, as opposed to the reality. But every business has day-to-day challenges, and that’s part of what gets those of us who work going every day.

Q: We want to give you a chance to respond to the broad perception here in Canada that you feel the future of the game lies in the United States—and that the real reason the NHL was in court this summer was to keep Canada from getting more teams.

A: I’ve got to ask you a question about your question. Where does that perception come from? What is it based on? Give me any factual basis and I’ll answer the question.

continued

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

Gambling In The Game

from Bill Lankhof of the Toronto Sun,

National Football League executives pat themselves on the back, noting they haven’t had a major gambling scandal in close to 50 years. National Hockey League vice-president Bill Daly calls gambling on NHL games by players or club officials a “hypothetical” issue.

Mostly, professional sports league administrators speak about how they have the twin-headed monster that is gambling and associated crime covered.

“Bull,” says Arnie Wexler, the former executive director of the New Jersey Council on Compulsive Gambling, a renowned speaker and a self-described “recovering compulsive gambler” who has counselled numerous professional and college athletes.

“This is a huge problem not only with players but some executives,” Wexler says. “It’s a hidden secret. They don’t want the information to get out to the public. So they try to hide it. They’re afraid the media will write about it.

“This is the big dirty secret. This is a bigger, dirtier secret than steroids for pro sports and it will be the next explosion.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Talking With Gretzky

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

I wanted to bounce a couple of rumours off Gretzky while I was at it. One - that he might be interested in getting involved in a second Toronto-based NHL team that would operate out of Vaughan in the north end of city.

“Nothing to it,” he said, although he mentioned that he played hockey Sunday nights for the Vaughan Nationals on the same team as Bill Kitchen, brother of former NHLer Mike Kitchen.

Another idea making the rounds: That Hockey Canada will ask him to coach at the 2010 world championships this spring, post-Olympics. So far, they haven’t contacted him about the opportunity, but he didn’t rule it out either. Gretzky did note that he’d played golf for a couple of days in California with former Oilers teammate Craig MacTavish, who will coach Canada’s entry in the Spengler Cup over Christmas. Gretzky put himself in the same category as MacTavish - of a coach currently between jobs but looking eventually to get back in.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wayne+gretzky

Only One Winter Classic Game

from John Shannon of Sportsnet,

Creating revenue streams for the league and teams is important, particularly in these trying days of disappearing sponsorship dollars. But just adding games won’t necessarily add extra dollars, but it will dilute what has already been created.

That means play one game – and one game only - on Jan. 1.

There are forces within the league that would like one, two, maybe even three more games. And it’s not just the “New York office” wanting these things. It’s no secret that Montreal wanted to host a game at Olympic Stadium. And there was a lot of discussion of a Toronto-Calgary game at McMahon Stadium. But the league and the teams have to show some level of composure and realize what is best for the game.

And what is best for the game is just one game on Jan. 1.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+classic

Follow The Rule Book

from William Houston of Truth & Rumours,

Very little of what Mike Milbury says makes sense to me, but he was right about one thing on Saturday night.

  The NHL does not need new rules to address the worst of the head shots – the predatory, blindside attacks.

  “The rules are already in place,” he said on Hockey Night In Canada. “There’s enough power for Colin Campbell to make a change.”

  Not said by Milbury is that Campbell, the NHL’s senior vice-president in charge of discipline, won’t do anything.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHL Dragging Their Feet Regarding Head Shots

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, a member of the competition committee and a proponent of taking action on head shots, wasn’t too hopeful when the league announced it would create a study group on the issue to report back in March.

“It’s been the slowest reaction I’ve ever seen to anything,” Miller said. “This was brought up years ago. We asked for something, and we asked for their respect in looking into it. Players have asked for it to be taken seriously every year, and there’s no appetite for it. It’s never going to go through on a vote.”

Miller is good friends with David Booth of the Florida Panthers, who was concussed as a result of a hit delivered by Mike Richards last month.

more hockey notes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Early Credit

from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,

With teams starting to sort out in the NHL standings, there are folks in the hockey world that deserve more recognition for what they are doing:

5. NHL fans: Considering the uncertainty of the economy, the league’s attendance seems strong. Seventeen teams are playing to 97% or better capacity, and only four teams (Phoenix, Florida, Atlanta and the New York Islanders)

    6. Detroit Red Wings coach Mke Babcock:  GM Ken Holland usually, and rightfully, receives plenty of credit for keeping this franchise on to. However,  Babcock’s coaching plays a big role. We can see that this season as the team has overcome defections to stay in the mix as one of the league’s best teams….

more

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Keep Battling Mike Murphy

via the CP,

Mike Murphy, the NHL’s vice-president of operations, revealed Friday he has cancer.

The 59-year-old told a Toronto sports radio station he was diagnosed six weeks ago with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Murphy, who coached the Maple Leafs and the Kings, said he is undergoing chemotherapy to be followed by radiation treatment.

“If I’m blessed, I will be cancer-free come playoff time,” said Murphy.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+murphy

Here Comes The Respect Word Again

from Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail,

“There are unwritten rules among the players,” Toews said, after the Blackhawks morning skate…

”It’s not a perfect world. Some guys do respect each other, and some guys don’t. You want to play hard within the rules of the game – and a lot of guys have that attitude,” Toews continued.

“But then you look at … some of these hits … and they (players) are going in at an unnecessary speed.”

And what if a player does that and then sits in the dressing room and says he didn’t mean to injure an opponent?

“If you’re going to sit there and answer questions after you hit somebody like that and say you didn’t want to hurt them - you’re lying through your teeth,” Toews said.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+toews

Gm’s Will Be Watching Their Money

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Scotty Bowman, the legendary former coach and now an adviser for the Chicago Blackhawks, believes next year’s NHL salary cap could drop about $2-million, a reasonable prediction given how little box-office revenue is being generated in Phoenix, Tampa and Atlanta. Even the rising Canadian dollar won’t offset those black holes. If that cap forecast is ultimately how it plays out, you’d have to think most general managers will get even more gun shy about adding high-priced help (such as Giguere) unless they’re on expiring contracts. Cheaper options (such as Martin Biron of the Islanders) will become far more attractive.

more hockey talk including some Ilya Kovalchuk talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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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