Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tripp Mickle of SportsBusiness Journal (paid sub.),
For the first time since the 2004-05 lockout, the NHL pushed the metrics of attendance and TV ratings in the same direction — up.
The league set its second post-lockout attendance record, drawing 21.2 million fans to its rinks. Average attendance rose 1.8 percent to 17,268 fans a game, and the all-important metric of paid attendance increased 2 percent and reached an average of just more than 16,000 fans.
The success at the gates was matched on national television. Versus saw its ratings increase from a 0.2 to a 0.3 average cable rating while average total viewership was up 28 percent from 212,366 in 2006-07 to 272,417 in 2007-08. NBC’s ratings rose from a 0.9 to a 1.0 household rating and viewership rose 11 percent to 1.5 million over nine telecasts.
from the Edmonton Journal,
This is the longest Clarke has been out of real work. He’s a sounding board for current Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. He’s still around, if needed, but it’s not like Holmgren has Clarke’s number on speed dial. This is Holmgren’s club now and Clarke doesn’t want to intrude.
But he’s still got some fire in his gut. You know he’d like to be on the inside.
“I’m not campaigning for a job ... somebody has to call me first,” shrugged Clarke, who isn’t going to go banging on the door of someone like Richard Peddie, who runs the Toronto Maple Leafs, to get on their list for GM to replace the caretaker Cliff Fletcher.
“I think I’ve been around long enough and if I fit what a team is looking for ... .”
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
The Chicago Blackhawks badly want a puck-moving D-man when the free-agent shopping starts July 1, but there’s no way they’re getting Brian Campbell, who’ll re-up in San Jose because he wants to keep playing with childhood friend Joe Thornton.
Wade Redden or John-Michael Liles are in their fall-back position, but Redden’s stock has dropped surprisingly the last two years in Ottawa and Liles is coming off a very so-so year. Liles is on Carolina’s radar, too.
many more NHL bits…
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Star,
• You know it’s a mess inside the Florida Panthers organization when class act Joe Nieuwendyk walks away, wanting no part of it.
• Everybody is too polite to make a big deal about it, but two terrible goals allowed by Martin Brodeur ended up costing New Jersey its first two games against the New York Rangers and may end up costing the Devils the series.
• Here is why nice guy David Poile cannot be considered for the Maple Leafs’ vacant GM job, even though some have pushed him as a candidate: This is his ninth season in Nashville. The Preds have never won a playoff round.
more NHL talk scattered about…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
• You might want to keep on an eye throughout the playoffs on impending Minnesota free-agent left wing and power-play point man Brian Rolston, and on impending Montreal free-agent right wing Michael Ryder, because the Rangers sure are.
• There’s a word for the Ottawa fan boy-writer who called on the Senators to break Sidney Crosby’s ankle with an imitation of Bobby Clarke’s 1972 Summit Series slash that did the same to the USSR’s resplendent Valeri Kharlamov. It’s the same word that applies to the editor who allowed the plea to actually appear in the newspaper.
It’s spelled, M-O-R-O-N.
more NHL talk from Larry…
from Steve Ladurantaye of the Globe and Mail,
It’s spring, and many will be staring at our television sets in the hope a Canadian team will hoist the Stanley Cup. Five Things takes a look at the business of playoff hockey….
5. PAY DAYS
When the regular season ends, it also means an end to regular paycheques for NHL players. Mind you, they’re not playing for pride alone. An elaborate system of shares exists to ensure those who carry their teams deep into the postseason are rewarded. This year, after the Cup winner is determined, $6.5-million will be split among the 16 teams that made the playoffs. While the exact method of distribution hasn’t been determined by the NHL Players Association, last year the Ducks were given 25 shares worth $75,000 each, for a total of $1,875,000.
more & some of the topics have been brought up on KK in the past, but there is some new information too.
Flashbacks: 1938, 1941, 1945, 1960, 1979, 2007
April 12, 1938 • The Chicago Black Hawks captured the 1938 Stanley Cup title with a 4-1 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game Four of the best-of-five Final.
Eight American-born players—Carl Dahlstrom, Roger Jenkins, Virgil Johnson, Mike Karakas, Alex Levinsky, Doc Romnes, Louis Trudel and Carl Voss—skated for Chicago in the Final.
Gary Bettman is in Minnesota for the Avalanche/Wild game. He answered some questions befor the game..
from Russo’s Rants,
”I’ve been at every meeting of the competition committee since it was formed after the work stoppage — and this is both managers and players — (they’ve) said they don’t want to go to no-touch icing,” Bettman said. ”The sense is — and you get this from players as well — they don’t like play just stopping.”
–Bettman said the league is looking at its rules regarding college players in the wake of two high-profile players — Minnesota’s Kyle Okposo and Denver’s Brock Trotter — leaving their teams at mid-season. The league is talking with college conference commissioners and the players association about the issue, which Bettman said the league is not treating lightly.
more topics discussed…
April 11, 1936 • Detroit coach Jack Adams steered the Red Wings to their first Stanley Cup championship with a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 4 of the best-of-five Stanley Cup Final. The Red Wings, who had entered the NHL in 1926-27, became the last of the League’s “Original Six” teams to win the Cup.
April 11, 1965 • Detroit Red Wings center Norm Ullman set NHL individual and team playoff records by scoring two goals just five seconds apart in Game Five of their Semi-final series against Chicago. Ullman scored at 17:35 and 17:40 of the second period in a 4-2 Detroit victory. The goals were scored in almost identical fashion—snapshots from about 50 feet out, using Chicago defensemen as screens to beat Glenn Hall. Chicago won the best-of-seven series 4-3.
From the AP via Sports Illustrated,
“I’ve had a good run here,’’ Kolzig said Thursday. “And I hope it continues in the next two months.’‘
In other words, until the playoffs are over. After that, Kolzig will become a free agent, presenting an understandably murky future for a 38-year-old goalie who lost his starting job just as the Capitals were becoming good again.
“The worst thing I can do is have a pity party,’’ Kolzig said. “I’m not really going to talk about the situation until the end of the year, but it is what it is and I’ve come to grips with it.’‘
Kolzig has been supplanted by Cristobal Huet, acquired from Montreal at the trade deadline.
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