Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Sports Illustrated,
Sports Illustrated senior writer Michael Farber shares who he thinks the NHL expansion will benefit and if the expansion is good for the game.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
Just days after officially opening its expansion sweepstakes, the NHL has received five requests for expansion bid applications. Las Vegas, Quebec City and the Greater Toronto Area are in the mix as expected, but what might surprise some observers is its believed there are two competing bids from Seattle.
A source indicated that Victor Coleman, a Los Angeles-based real estate developer and native of Vancouver, has definitely requested a bid package and intends to apply by the July 20 deadline. The other Seattle bid is believed to be coming from Connecticut investment banker Ray Bartoszek. And if that weren’t enough, there are apparently two groups looking at the possibility of building an arena in the affluent suburb of Bellevue, which is across Lake Washington from Seattle.
The NHL wants to be in Seattle, it seems. And, judging by the interest the parties have displayed to this point, Seattle definitely wants to be part of the NHL.
from Frank Seravalli of TSN,
Do you want to be the owner of an NHL expansion franchise?
If you and your buddies cobble together enough cash, you, too, could put in an application to own the league’s 31st or 32nd club.
You should probably have a sound financial plan in order, though. We’re not talking about beer money here.
The NHL began distribution of application materials for parties interested in expansion on Monday. They are due back to the league by August 10. The fee to apply for an expansion franchise is seven figures - north of $1 million U.S. - and only a portion is refundable.
On top of that, interested parties must demonstrate the ability to pay an expansion fee north of $500 million, prove the viability of their proposed market and evidence the availability of an arena for the team to call home.
from Chris Hine of the Chicago Tribune,
When it comes to handling concussions, the NHL is miles behind the NFL — hardly the model on the issue. In the NFL, there is an independent injury spotter in the press box at every game, looking out for head injuries. If a spotter suspects one, he or she informs the team doctor and athletic trainers, who examine the player with an independent doctor present. And if a player is diagnosed with a concussion, an independent physician must clear him before the player returns to the field.
The key word there is independent. It doesn't appear in the NHL's protocol.
The NHL puts concussion diagnosis and return-to-play protocols solely in the hands of its teams and team physicians. This creates a conflict of interest for the team doctor and the player, who might appear weak to fellow teammates if he reports an injury. A heavy onus is on the player to report his symptoms to doctors, which is laughable given the backward macho culture that requires players to play through everything and teams to reveal nothing about injuries, especially in the playoffs.
from Stephen Whyno of the CP at the Brandon Sun,
Players preferred all three-on-three, Schneider said, not only because it doesn't add more time to games but because they believe it will produce better hockey.
"What it really boiled down to was, players said, 'If we want to end games sooner going three-on-three, then having three-on-three for the longest period of time was the way to go about it,'" Schneider said in a sit-down interview last week in Las Vegas. "They think it's going to be exciting, wide-open hockey."
The AHL had incredible success cutting down on shootouts in its first season under the seven-minute overtime format split four-on-four and three-on-three. The key to it working in the NHL might be how three-on-three is coached.
"I hope three-on-three does what everyone thinks it's going to do," Schneider said. "I hope coaches don't start coaching it defensively because it could turn ugly quickly. My position always was: If Mike Babcock wants to get to the shootout, he's going to get to the shootout whether it's three-on-three or four-on-four."
Schneider is a supporter of the shootout and had to put his personal feelings aside when talking to players and attending the competition committee meeting in early June. Commissioner Gary Bettman at one point asked players which they'd prefer — the status quo of four-on-four overtime or three-on-three, and Schneider said a great majority wanted the latter.
The question of the AHL format or status quo was never brought up, Schneider said.
from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Fans in South Florida brought the heat Friday night, doing their presumed duty and echoing boos throughout BB&T Center when the NHL commissioner took center stage to open the annual showcase for hockey's future.
Gary Bettman smiled, as he always does, before pointing to a packed upper concourse. He shouldn't have had to say another word. That point was enough.
On the last Friday of June in a sun-soaked city, Floridians had come inside to watch unknown teenagers take their NHL baby steps.
For Bettman, the full house in South Florida surely was more enjoyable than a private round of golf at a nearby club. If the Florida Panthers' run to the 1996 Stanley Cup Final marked the South Florida market's equivalent of a hole in one, the support South Floridians showed for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft was at least a double-eagle.
Bettman doesn't play to a golf crowd. His is hockey, a crowd equally rough and unreasonable.
Certainly, hockey fans everywhere are justified to hold a grudge against Bettman for the three work stoppages that stain the first page of his resume. But that resume is thick with other accomplishments, too.
from Antony Bruno of Broadcasting & Cable,
Both aired in the same timeframe, with the NBA’s championship series running from June 4 through June 16 and the NHL’s games from June 3 through June 15. Both were aired on major broadcast networks, with ABC presenting the NBA games (along with ESPN) while NBC owned the NHL series (along with NBC Sports). And both best-of-seven series lasted only six games.
But the similarities end there. The NBA Finals massively outpaced the NHL Finals in terms of advertising revenue, generating over $220 million in estimated spending compared to the $43.6 million the Stanley Cup Finals attracted, which has implications both in terms of network revenue impact and brand advertiser effect.
The impact on the different networks airing these finals is striking. The NBA series contributed nearly 60% of ABC’s total advertising haul for the timeframe they aired. Meanwhile the NHL series contributed just over 17% to NBC’s ad revenue over their airing dates (yet was about 50% of NBC Sports’ revenue).
These figures will likely come into play when it comes time for the networks and the leagues to negotiate new carriage contracts. The NHL in particular has only recently returned to network TV after several years of cable banishment. While its advertising take looks paltry compared to basketball, baseball, and football playoffs, the NHL has seen an increase in revenue over the years. Last year was particularly lucrative as the Finals featured teams from two huge media markets—the LA Kings and NY Rangers. Whether relatively smaller markets like Chicago and Tampa Bay can continue the trend to NBC’s approval is a factor worth following.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
- The NHL did not do the teams’ hockey operations groups any good with its scheduling and locations of the GM meetings (Tuesday, Las Vegas) and the draft (Friday and Saturday, Sunrise). Bruins GM Don Sweeney, for example, took a red-eye from Las Vegas to South Florida after the meetings. The decision didn’t just place GMs on the other side of the country from their colleagues heading into the most important weekend of the year, it also taxed the GMs by forcing them to fly from one coast to the other. With draft boards, trades, and RFA/UFA interviews on their agendas, GMs needed to be at their freshest physically and clearest mentally. The travel schedule did not allow that to happen.
- Three GMs did not consider Carey Price worthy of their first-place Vezina votes. Pekka Rinne, Devan Dubnyk, and Henrik Lundqvist each nabbed one apiece, keeping Price from sweeping the voting. Price should have been a unanimous selection given his dominance (44-16-6, 1.96 goals-against average, .933 save percentage, nine shutouts) on a flawed Montreal team. Price saved 36.51 goals above a replacement-level goalie, according to http://www.war-on-ice Cory .Schneider was No. 2 in that category, saving 29.93 goals above replacement level. Schneider, meanwhile, did not even qualify among the top nine in the Vezina ranking. Andrew Hammond, Jonathan Quick, and Cam Talbot tied for seventh place. None of those three came close to approaching Schneider’s performance. Perhaps the GMs did not have enough time to study the results closely enough. For that reason alone, they did not do the voting justice.
- If your local fireworks seem a little weak on Saturday, you can blame the Bruins. They used them all up by trading Lucic and Dougie Hamilton.
more hockey topics...
Players could be part of the gossip page on a regular basis if the NHL approves expansion there...
via Norm Clarke of the Las Vegas Review-Journal,
At Surrender (Encore at Wynn) on Wednesday after the NHL Awards show at the MGM Grand: Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, who took home four awards: The Hart Memorial Trophy, Vezina Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award and the William M. Jennings Trophy. Also there: Malcolm Subban of the Boston Bruins, Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames, Jaromír Jágr of the Florida Panthers and Jirí Hudler, captain (?) of the Calgary Flames. … Hudler, celebrating his big night after winning the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy at the NHL Awards Show at the MGM Grand Garden. Also at Crush: Ryan Getzlaf, captain of the Anaheim Ducks. … At Light Nightclub at Mandalay Bay on Wednesday: Erik Karlsson, captain of the Otto(?)wa Senators, the James Norris Trophy winner. Also there: former NHL standouts Daniel Alfredsson and Anson Carter.
from Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal,
A sweltering June day that will go down in history in Las Vegas.
A historic moment was added to the timeline Wednesday, the sort of announcement that forever could be etched into those occurrences that most define Las Vegas.
Clark County was created in 1909, the Boulder Canyon project approved almost 20 years later, and it was apparently a big deal around here when the city’s population reached 2,000, although today that would be defined as the number of students in a high school English class.
Sports also have produced such notable memories, but none will be considered more significant than that which officially began on a June afternoon in a studio ballroom at the MGM Grand.
Las Vegas took its next anticipated step toward welcoming its first major league professional sports franchise when the NHL agreed to formally open an expansion process, meaning there is enough interest from 30 owners to pursue those folks with the desire and means and know-how to join their fraternity.
Which means folks with a half billion dollars laying around to cover an expansion fee.
Bill Foley has all that and more, and the chairman of Fidelity National Financial appears more than ever set to become the person who delivers Las Vegas its long-desired major league team.
And that is incredibly historic.
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.
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