Kukla's Korner Hockey
"I chose to live my life -- every little detail -- publicly because I know how many people it's helped. I know how many people have taken the noose off their neck, I know how many people have put the gun down, how many people that have not taken the whole bottle of pills. What I want to encourage people is, it's OK to tell your story. One day you're going to tell your story, and it's going to save someone's life."
-Theo Fleury. Much more on Fleury from Katie Strang of ESPN.
It's still about distribution rights and I don't think we will see any blackouts lifted in the near future.
from the FCC,
The Federal Communications Commission repealed its sports blackout rules, which prohibited cable and satellite operators from airing any sports event that was blacked out on a local broadcast station. This action removes Commission protection of the private blackout policies of sports leagues, which require local broadcast stations to black out a game if a team does not sell a certain percentage of tickets by a certain time prior to the game. Elimination of this rule, however, may not end all sports blackouts: sports leagues may choose to continue their private blackout policies through contractual arrangements with programming distributors. For more information read the news release....
In other sports, blackouts generally occur as a result of the way in which the sports league has defined a particular team’s “home territory.” For example, if you live within a particular team’s “home territory” but your cable or satellite system does not carry the local television station or regional sports network that holds exclusive distribution rights to that team’s games, you will be unable to view the team’s games, even if you subscribe to an “out-of-market” sports package, such as MLB Extra Innings or NHL Center Ice.
If a sports event is blacked out on a particular broadcast or non-broadcast channel, you may want to contact the broadcast channel or non-broadcast system to determine why the decision to black out the event was made, as well as register your viewing preferences with the channel or system which they can consider when renewing any future distribution agreements with sports leagues. You also can contact the relevant sports team.
a bit more...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
For the first time in what feels like a lifetime, two of hockey’s most respected hockey minds are on the sidelines as the NHL regular season sits just one week away.
It’s a foreign feeling, to say the least, for George McPhee and Ray Shero -- the two former generals of that Washington-Pittsburgh rivalry.
Now both former general managers are taking a moment to reset and refresh, because you better believe they’ll be back.
"It’s the first time in this business I ever got fired," Shero told ESPN.com Wednesday in his first public comments since the Penguins relieved him of his duties last May. "But you always know in this business it’s going to happen. Not many people as GMs retire and get to stay in the organization like for example Paul Holmgren did in Philadelphia [Holmgren became the Flyers president after Ron Hextall became GM]. That was fantastic for him.
"So, for George and me, I mean if George had won a Cup or I had won another one, I’m sure we’d still be doing what we were doing with our respective teams. But that didn’t happen. We’re both in a good place. We’ve chatted a number of times, which has been good, he’s a real good guy and we’ve always had that mutual respect when we had those great games in that (Washington-Pittsburgh) rivalry."
from Daryl Reaugh of Razor With an Edge,
Coaching seems to be more interested in schemes for possessing the puck, and making plays of skill with it, than they are dumping and chasing, crashing and banging, pinging and ponging.
Players are the most media-savvy ever to enter the NHL.
The sport feels ‘modern’.
Hockey appears to be pretty good at social media.
Other leagues are copying NHL initiatives (video replay, speed of play, rule changes to protect players).
Goaltending: Still very important, and excellent, but despite being the most coached position in sports, it is no longer dominating the sport at the level it once was. (Chicks dig offense)
TV deals in Canada and the US are guaranteeing major exposure.
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
The NHL put GoPro cameras on the front of officials’ helmets to record that perspective twice last preseason (both in Toronto) and twice this preseason (in Buffalo and Detroit). It wasn’t for promotional purposes. It was for internal training.
The officials don’t like wearing the cameras – mounted with adhesive, blacked out with gaffer tape. But the cutting-edge footage is for education and improvement.
“You never really know what you’re going to get from it,” said Tom Masters, video manager, NHL officiating. “But hopefully there’s some teachable moments in there you can use going forward.”
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
How about getting the hockey juices flowing with the Stanley Cup final teams touring Europe for a September series against Europe's top clubs?
As the NHL and the NHL Players' Association work to finalize an agreement to bring back the World Cup of Hockey in September 2016, a tournament of the top eight hockey nations to be held in Montreal and Toronto, officials with the league and players' union are already musing over other plans to spur revenue.
The NHL has rich, long-term TV contracts in both Canada and the U.S. and it generates billions of dollars from corporate sponsorships, ticket sales and merchandise sales. Several NHL team owners told TSN that the league's biggest unrealized source of revenue is income generated from abroad. North America, after all, represents less than five per cent of the world's population.
"The timing has never been better for the NHL to look at international rights," said Ken Yaffe, a former executive with the NHL who oversaw the league's international business.
from Scott Shoshnick of Bloomberg,
The National Hockey League closed a $1.4 billion credit facility, which is more than double the previous amount, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.
The person requested anonymity because the league didn’t disclose the lending pool, which was led and structured by Citigroup Inc. (C) and closed yesterday. The facility includes 20 banks and 20 investors, the person said.
NHL spokesman Frank Brown and Citi spokeswoman Natalie Marin declined to comment on the facility.
Among the 11 teams that tapped the facility are the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks and New Jersey Devils, the person said, adding that three so-called parking spots are being reserved for other potential borrowers.
NORTHFIELD, Ill. – Sept. 29, 2014 – Kraft will celebrate the passion and unity of hockey communities like never before with the launch of Kraft Hockeyville 2015 on both sides of the border. For the first time, the award-winning program in Canada is expanding to help build better communities in the United States as well. Now, hockey towns in the U.S. can enter for a chance to win a $150,000 arena makeover courtesy of Kraft, have an NHL preseason game played in its local arena showcased on TV and earn the title “Kraft Hockeyville 2015.”
from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,
Hockey, I’m afraid, is in for the Year of the Number. We got an early indication when Brendan Shanahan’s Toronto Maple Leafs turfed a couple of veteran hockey people in the front office to bring in Kyle Dubas, a young hotshot whose ticket to the big-time was his supposed grasp of the relatively new discipline of hockey analytics — breaking down everything that happens on the ice and attempting to quantify it through various systems. (Pittsburgh, Chicago and Los Angeles are said to have had secret analytics departments for some time. If that’s the case, maybe it’s time everyone got on board.)
Whether you think it’s a fad or the future probably depends on whether you’re a poet or an accountant. But may I remind you — accountants run the world.
Inevitably, the stats movement has spread to the media. Newspapers and TV network websites are hiring journalists who are numerate rather than literate. That sometimes results in turgid prose, written in indigestible 500-word blocks that are enough to leave any reader yearning for the glory days of this profession, when sportswriters who could barely count wrote like angels.
When I reacted to TSN’s new analytics hire last week by saying I hoped it was a fad that would die before I do, I was bombarded with angry missives calling me a useless old curmudgeon and worse.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Analytics aren’t the answer.
Instead, analytics are the beginning of the question.
And the beginning question I have as a hockey consumer is: Why there isn’t more information available to an inquiring, inquisitive and educated public than exists in any forum that hasn’t been bought and paid for by NHL teams?
Much more information....
If you know where to go to look for it, you can find anything in baseball. Anything. Data isn’t reserved for various club managements. But hockey? As the NHL and its teams advance, the consumer is left behind. Even the most rudimentary information is all but impossible to locate.
For instance. NHL.com, which at least has increased its historical data base, will give you every player’s faceoff stats, home and away, at even-strength, on the power play and on the penalty kill, but the more critical breakdowns of the numbers — as in offensive/defensive zone; offensive/defensive zones while even, on the PP, on the PK; right circle, left circle; vs. righties and lefties; vs. righties and lefties in the right D circle, the left D circle; etc. — are nowhere to be found.
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