Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The Flyers took their lumps in the short term by plunging to the bottom of the NHL standings — something that also gave them a chance to draft James vanRiemsdyk second overall in June’s entry draft — and have reversed field nicely. Their opening-night roster featured five former first-round picks age 25 or under (Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Joffrey Lupul, Scott Hartnell and Coburn), plus two others on injured reserve (Upshall and R.J. Umberger), not to mention blue-chippers vanRiesmsdyk and Parent, plus the love-him-or-hate-him pest Steve Downie.
Sadly, the Leafs fall into the other category — of a team that perennially tries so hard to compete in the here-and-now that they are forever caught in between, with never enough assets to legitimately challenge for a championship, but never really bad enough to draft blue-chip youngsters or bold enough to trade “untouchable” core players.
read on & other NHL bits…
From Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun via the Winnipeg Sun,
Almost 10 years after the Maple Leafs moved back to the Eastern Conference to rejoin the Original Sixers in Montreal, the Detroit Red Wings remained trapped in a Western time-zone warp.
But that is bound to change, says Wings vice-president Jim Devellano.
“There’s little doubt that Las Vegas is coming in (during expansion), it’s about four years from now,” Devellano told the Detroit News. “And I truly believe Gary Bettman will move us East at that changing.”
From the CP,
The Edmonton Oilers have reportedly signed general manager Kevin Lowe to a multi-year contract extension.
According to a report on TSN’s website, the Oilers were expected to announce the signing at a media conference Saturday morning.
Saturday, October 6 is the NHL’s busiest day of the season with 14 games scheduled, involving 28 of the League’s 30 teams. Highlighting the numerous storylines are home openers, significant milestones, intriguing individual match-ups, family ties, ‘Original Six’ contests and rematches from the 2007 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Plus a pretty cool feature, Evan Grossman of NHL.com will be live blogging from the “War Room” in Toronto…
from the Slate,
The first order of business: Getting down to your fighting weight. Convene a crack independent panel of hockey people and economists (say, Wayne Gretzky, Alan Greenspan, Alan Thicke, and Neal Peart) to come up with the optimal number of NHL franchises. Some sports economists suggest that a 20-team NHL would be making money hand over fist. I’ll use that figure until Thicke and co. come back with their findings. But how do you ditch teams without looking like you’re waving the white flag? You contract through relegation.
Tomorrow, issue a press release that says you will eliminate the five teams with the worst records at the end of the 2008-09 season.
from Team Marketing Report,
TMR’s exclusive Fan Cost Index survey, now in its fifteenth year, tracks the cost of attendance for a family of four. The FCI includes: four average-price tickets; four small soft drinks; two small beers; four hot dogs; two game programs; parking; and two adult-size caps.
check it out and $7.25 for a beer in LA!
from the Dallas Morning News,
And what about the Stars? Dallas ranked 12th in average tickets distributed at 17,914 last season. It ranked 16th in percentage of capacity at 96.7 percent.
This season, the Stars could fall slightly below that. The season-ticket base is down 10 percent to fewer than 13,000. On some nights, there could be a lot of empty seats.
The same goes for Colorado and Detroit. If those two can’t sell out with Anaheim and Dallas in town on opening night, what kind of crowd will show up for Columbus on a Tuesday in November?
From Eduardo A. Encina at the St. Petersburg Times,
For Doug MacLean and Oren Koules, opening night was just one reason to celebrate.
Their group, which is attempting to purchase the Lightning, is pleased with the progress of the application process. And one of the investment partners, Mark Burg, believes in the acquisition so much that he has doubled his stake, Koules said Thursday.
Koules said he hopes the sale to Absolute Hockey Enterprises - MacLean, the ex-Blue Jackets president, Coral Springs real estate developer Jeff Sherrin, Hollywood producers Koules and Burg and Tampa attorney Steve Burton - by Palace Sports & Entertainment will be finalized by the time the NHL board of governors meets in late November at Pebble Beach, Calif.
Says Wayne Gretzky:
“As my Dad always said, skate to where the puck is going – not to where it has been. I know that’s exactly what we will accomplish with my new website. I’m really looking forward to using Gretzky.com as a great place to relive my greatest hockey memories and to also develop this website into a unique hockey resource for all fans.”
Here’s the website and be prepared for flash running on your system. There are some interesting videos available, though - definitely worth a bit of exploration for Gretzky fans.
From Kevin Allen at USA Today,
Nashville Predators vice president Gerry Helper was a public relations staffer for the Sabres that season, and he recalls when 5-10, 170-pound Housley arrived at training camp he was so small “and boyish looking” that he didn’t fit the physical profile of a NHL player.
“But when you saw him on the ice it was a completely different story,” Helper recalled. “He was such a terrific skater. When he had the puck, he was unbelievable in terms of vision and creativity for an 18-year-old or a 28-year old.”
When he looked sharp in the training camp drills, critics said wait until the preseason games. When he was dominant in preseason games, they said wait until the regular season. “And when I was doing well at the beginning of the year, they said, ‘Wait until January,’ ” Housley said, seeming both amused and proud of the memory.
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