Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
Even Fox News, a network that can’t be watched by anyone with an IQ higher than a zucchini, jumped all over the story last week. I was checking out of a Wyoming hotel when my jaw dropped at this intro from the Fox anchor: “The National Hockey League, known mostly for its brutality and bloody brawls ...”
Huh? My New NHL? Third man in? Anybody out there remember the last bloody brawl in the NHL?
Whatever, Fox went downhill from there. For a full five minutes, the anchor and two panelists revealed such bottomless ignorance of the league and the issues involved that they might as well have been talking about cricket. The only male on the panel, who claimed to be a hockey player himself, referred to the NHL as a league where “you get two minutes in the penalty box for assault and battery.”
Try telling that to Todd Bertuzzi.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Amid a global credit crunch, an undisclosed number of franchises with For Sale signs on the front lawn, and mounting economic pressures, the National Hockey League’s Board of Governors will convene at the Tony Resort Hotel, The Breakers, in West Palm Beach on Monday for two days of meetings….
It is unknown how many NHL teams might be for sale at the moment, but rumblings are that as many as five could be had. Again, as a secondary holding, NHL teams are becoming dispensable by owners whose primary businesses are struggling.
Like the housing market however, more teams for sale drive the price of each individual team down.
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
Hockey players take great pride in never shirking their responsibilities to the sport. They’d rather crawl off the ice dragging a broken leg behind them than writhe around like an Italian soccer player with a hangnail. As the superb Orange County Register columnist Mark Whicker once wrote, “If Abraham Lincoln had been a hockey player, the day after the Ford’s Theater incident, he’d have been listed as ‘slight headache; will play.’”
So when Avery made his senseless remark — the latest in a series — he broke no laws, but he absolutely shattered hockey’s code.
This was his transgression and it was certainly deserving of the league’s action.
But the question that remains unanswered is this: Why was Bettman involved? This was a matter concerning hockey’s code of acceptable behavior, and where is there the slightest indication that Bettman has even the most cursory familiarity with that?
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
One of the most intriguing ideas came from Buffalo Sabres president Larry Quinn, who was musing out loud about what needs to happen for the NHL to make financial sense in all 30 markets. His idea – increasing television revenues – was not exactly ground-breaking, but his explanation of how the NHL might get there was.
Kelly suggested the NHL needed to move closer to the NFL model, where about two-thirds of all revenues are shared because of the generous TV contracts the league has been able to negotiate.
“I talked to the NFL guys last year,” said Quinn, “and I asked them: How did you change your game from the off-tackle, three-yard running play and scores that were 13-10 to what you have right now? And a wise old guy said to me: It’s very simple. Roone Arledge walked down the street and said to Pete Rozelle one day: Listen, I have this idea. It’s called Monday Night Football. I can make you lots and lots of money, but here’s what I can sell: I can sell quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. That’s what I can sell to the American public.
“Well, if you look at what we do, we sell goaltenders. I think it’s fair to say, both Canadians and Americans, that’s not what they love about the game. They love Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky, Guy LaFleur and Jean Beliveau.”
read on for more stories from around the NHL, including thoughts on the Sean Avery business.
Q. How did you come to settle on the number of six games, and two, had you spoken to the Stars before you decided on the suspension by the league? I get the feeling that they were going to take action if you had not.
COMMISSIONER BETTMAN: Let me take the second question first. What we have done is reflect the league response. This is what we felt was the appropriate response to what Sean Avery said, and what the Stars choose to do or not do is up to them. And you’ll have to talk to them if you would like their guidance in that regard.
With respect to the six games, as all of you who cover the game know, there is no formula that ever gets you to a particular number in disciplinary cases with precision. You have to do your evaluating based upon the entirety of the circumstances, what you think is correct.
What was guiding me in this case was a number of factors. One, we needed to be clear that this was the type of conduct that we did not view as acceptable and not representative of what our players do.
After the meeting, [Brett] Hull spoke to the media outside the building before leaving and said that he expected a decision by later today or Friday. Avery departed after Hull and did not speak to reporters as he was escorted to a waiting car.
If a decision comes down today from the NHL, we’ll be sure to update this post.
update 6:18pm, The NHL will release their decision Friday morning regarding Avery.
Detroit Red Wings Senior Vice-President Jim Devellano will be the guest on today’s edition of NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman. The show is on now, from 4-5 p.m. ET on XM Satellite Radio (204) and Sirius (208).
You can also listen live online at the NHL Network Online once the show starts.
* While on the air, listeners can call into the show at 1-877-645-6696, or send questions/comments via this email address: email@example.com
**Archived shows available for download via podcast on NHL.com.
New York (December 3, 2008) – The Calgary Flames and NHL Winter Classic 2009 host Chicago Blackhawks heat up the Western Conference XM NHL® All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports. Meanwhile, Red Wings fans continue to vote in droves to support their Stanley Cup champions.
Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom extended his dominance in the balloting among defensemen by gaining over 75,000 votes last week to remain, for the second week in a row, the highest Western Conference vote-getter. Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf has a stronghold on second place, while Wings’ Brian Rafalski (135,074)is holdingoff Chicago’s Brian Campbell (133,265) for third place among defensemen.
Pierre LeBrun asks readers of his blog at ESPN:
Best GM in the NHL? The ESPN.com puckheads delivered again.
Ken Holland was the most popular answer, followed by Lou Lamoriello (Devils), Doug Wilson (Sharks) and Brian Burke (Toronto), among others. Because there’s been so much focus on Burke over the past week, we needn’t bother going over that again here.
Let’s take a look at other GMs:
from Jesse Campigotto of CBC Sports,
NHL players are working overtime like never before to earn their six-, seven- and eight-figure salaries. Through Friday, 89 of the 333 games (26.7 per cent) played this season required more than 60 minutes to decide a winner.
That’s a notable increase from each of the three seasons following the 2004-05 lockout, when shootouts were introduced to settle contests still knotted through overtime. In those campaigns, the rate of games going to OT hovered between 22.1 and 22.8 per cent.
So what, right? More overtime equals more excitement. More fun. More hockey for your hard-earned (and, given the sickly state of the TSX, increasingly precious) dollars. Plus, you don’t exactly see fans filing for the exits before the start of a shootout.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org