Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
At least a couple of them (GM’s) will be pushing the league to change the way it does business. Darcy Regier, the general manager of the Buffalo Sabres, says he wants the league to add a new department of research and development.
Regier thinks it is high time the league hired people whose sole responsibility would be to study and test new ideas for the game, from rule changes to equipment changes. The overriding purpose of an R & D department, Regier says, is to stay ahead of the coaches, whose lifework is to take any pizzazz out of the game with stifling defence.
“I just think there are always things you have to do to stay ahead of the players and coaches,” Regier said. “That means you always have to open the offence because the defence catches up.
from John Shipley of the Pioneer Press,
The NHL lockout seemed like a disaster at the time, a foolish and petulant move by a professional sport with already tenuous prospects. Nearly three seasons later, it’s hard to argue with the results. Just about everything has gone according to plan.
The league is on pace for its third consecutive season of record revenues and attendance. It has a new costcontaining salary cap that allows for massive player contracts. Perhaps most important, the product itself is thriving, with dozens of exciting young players and competitive parity that has 26 of 30 teams within at least five points of a playoff berth with less than 30 games remaining.
So why does everyone have a pet project that will “fix” the NHL?
from the Staten Island Advance,
Too often, injuries to referees and linesmen aren’t even reported. A player limps off the ice and it is deemed significant. Yet when an official is hurt, cheers are heard from the crowd and it might get a line in a story.
NHL officials are, in fact, pretty tough. And there are several of them who do their jobs better than most players perform their own. Kerry Fraser, Don Koharski and Bill McCreary are three who come to mind.
fromm Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
Now a group of influential NHL players that includes New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur, Dallas’s Marty Turco, Detroit’s Dominik Hasek and Edmonton’s Dwayne Roloson want the league’s – and inevitably the Leafs’ – uniforms altered again. In what would be a radical overhaul that might incite hockey traditionalists but surely gratify some of the league’s cash-strapped owners, several NHL goalies have asked the league and its players union to consider starting a so-called Goaltender’s Club….
The players are working alongside prominent hockey marketer Brad Robins and Edmonton player agent Ritch Winter. Robins and Winter estimate on-uniform ads might generate upwards of $30 million a season for the NHL.
from Slap Shot at the NY Times,
All season long, the competitive point of the third period is blunted by the guaranteed point both teams get for a tie. Before you ask yourself why you’re paying to watch teams not try all that hard in the third period, consider this: it gets worse late in the season. So when games are supposed to get more competitive, they actually get less competitive.
But wait, there’s *still more*. When did all these regulation ties start happening? The answer: 1999-2000 — the very year the NHL instituted the bonus point for a regulation tie and 4-on-4 overtime.
from the Calgary Herald via the National Post,
The “new” NHL in the Old World?
Officially, there’s nothing cooking, with league brass claiming the focus is on solidifying the franchises already operating on this side of the Atlantic.
Unofficially, the idea has a lot of financial and romantic appeal, and remains on the league’s proverbial radar.
Realistically, there’s plenty of heavy lifting to do before the Stanley Cup playoff MVP proclaims: “I’m going to Euro Disney.”
Start with the fact there may be limited appetite overseas for NHL hockey.
Three years ago today, the official end to the NHL 2004/05 season was announced.
We missed it, and please don’t let it ever happen again.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
Well, it’s official. In only the third season since the 2004-05 NHL season was cancelled because of the lockout, total salaries for NHL players already have surpassed the total league-wide payroll at the 2004 trade deadline. In March 2004, the 30 NHL clubs combined to pay its players a total of $1.34-billion in salaries.
Even with the 24 per cent salary rollback that the players surrendered during the lockout and the salary cap ($50.3-million this season), the total amount that will paid out to players in 2007-08 will be approximately $1.4-billion, a $60-million increase.
From this week’s “Friday Faceoff” with Damien Cox and Scott Burnside at ESPN,
Scott: Hello, Damian. Everywhere I look, I’m reading discussions and debates about the Vancouver Olympics, which are just under two years away. I see you wrote on it earlier this week. I did as well. What’s the deal? Why are people so pumped about an event that’s some 730 days away?
Damien: Well, I can’t speak for the United States of America and how much interest there is there as of yet. But here in Canada, this will be, of course, the first Olympics held in our country since the Calgary Games in 1988.
more, and worth the read. At one point Cox even remarks to Burnside, “I think you’re just not very bright.”
I think these two are gradually morphing into a bitter, married couple.
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
Yes, recent history shows that while any number of teams can get to a championship final, over the past dozen years — through the pre-salary cap and post-salary cap eras — every single Stanley Cup winner following the lockout-shortened 48-game season of 1994-95 finished in the top three in points in its conference and in the top five in points overall.
The reality is, it was easier to win a championship during the previous decade (1986 to 1995) by coming out of nowhere than it has been of late. In those 11 seasons (no NHL games were played in 2005-06), the teams that won the Stanley Cup finished first in their conferences four times, second in their conferences five times and third in their conferences twice (the Devils of ‘00 were actually placed fourth because they didn’t win their division, but actually finished with more points than the team seeded third).
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.
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