Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The NHLPA filed an unfair labor practice charge against the NHL with the National Labor Relations Board in New York today, The Post has learned.
The action by the Players’ Association immediately followed notification that the union had lost its grievance against the NHL regarding “defected player status” for drafted and unsigned Europeans.
NEW YORK (Nov. 3, 2008)—The National Hockey League just completed a record October that saw more fans attend and tune in to games than ever—while being treated to close games, more scoring and some spectacular individual performances.
Among the highlights from the season’s opening month, which began with the Premiere Games in Stockholm and Prague:
October Attendance Records
The per-game attendance average of 17,388 and the percent of capacity (94.1%) set NHL records. It was the first time in League history that average October attendance surpassed 17,000 per game. October’s total attendance was up 3.1% over October, 2007. Leading the way were dramatic percentage increases in Chicago (+71%) and Washington (+24%).
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
...This season, the NHL has gone out of its way to quash this little spasm of media interest. Claiming that the closeness to the trade deadline made it hard for GMs to concentrate on league business, the meetings now are scheduled for the week after the March 4 trade deadline.
A number of GMs have complained quietly to ESPN.com that the move makes no sense—a league desperate for media attention, especially in this day of shrinking newspaper travel budgets, shouldn’t be turning its back on a ready-made media event. But likewise, there is a small group of GMs who aren’t thrilled to see the media hanging around the hallways at the posh resorts where they hold their meetings.
more hockey notes too…
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
I get the underlying theory that players will target a specific area of an opponent’s body if they know the area is not fully healthy. But that’s an issue quite easily solved – that is, if the league had the stones to severely punish any found guilty of intending to injure an opponent.
And please, let’s not get bogged down in an argument over the difficulties of deciphering a player’s intent. The league already does that when it comes to other on-ice incidents; it certainly could extend that decision-making process to this area as well.
From Michael Russo at the Star Tribune,
The six-year CBA, which runs until Sept. 15, 2011, gives the NHLPA the right to reopen the agreement and begin negotiations on a new one by May 15.
“I’m pretty careful not to give my opinion publicly out of respect for the players,” said NHLPA Executive Director Paul Kelly, who met with the Wild players last Tuesday in Dallas. “This is a very serious issue that we’re discussing on the fall tour.”
Every player in the NHL will receive, or has already filled out, a confidential questionnaire that will be put into a sealed envelope until all 30 teams have been surveyed. They’re being asked a yes-or-no question: “Should we terminate the CBA at the end of the current season?”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
With all the recent focus on hits to the head following last Saturday’s violent collision at the Coliseum in which Doug Weight concussed Brandon Sutter with what is classified as a legal hit in the NHL, it is beyond mind-boggling that notorious repeat offender Chris Pronger was allowed to escape a suspension, let alone a penalty, for the shoulder blow he delivered to Pavel Datsyuk’s head on Wednesday night.
The puck was some 40 feet away on the boards when Datsyuk came across the line and appeared to first encounter defenseman Francois Beauchemin. Pronger came second against the off-balance Detroit center and got the shoulder high into the head.
The Inside Hockey Radio Show this week features host James Murphy with guests Tom Lynn (Minnesota Wild), Ken Belanger (Relocation.com), Joe Beninati (Capitals play-by-play) and Rob Simpson (NHL Network and MSG), Tim Rosenthal (Inside Hockey) and Bob Snow (NHL.com),
The show broadcasts from 2-4pm on NHL Hockey Ice XM 204, on The Team 990 in Montreal, and 1120 AM WBNW in Boston. It can be heard online at Team 990 or Money Matters Radio. Chime in by calling 1-877-645-6696 or email email@example.com.
from Kelly Hrudey of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
I shared goalie duties with a really good guy, Chris Terreri, but shortly after opening the season, Chris broke his hand in a game in St. Louis.
A couple of games after that, I separated my right shoulder and our goalie prospects at that time weren’t ready for NHL action.
The Sharks chose not to tell anybody about my injury.
So I ended up playing 12 straight with a separated shoulder. This kind of injury made it impossible for me to raise my arm over my shoulder.
If the other teams around the league would have known of my injury, without question every shot would have been high to my stick side.
Unfortunately, I can’t, not all of them—someone else take a shot.
The photo below is a flashback to last year’s Halloween day episode of Pardon the Interruption, which featured Michael Wilbon dressed in a couple NHL jerseys—something that qualifies as scary on ESPN.
Update 12:38pm ET: The Habs ask their players about their best Halloween memories—
Tom Kostopoulos: “My best costumes were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I wore a different one from that show three years in a row. First, I was Raphael, then Donatello and then Shredder. It was great!”
Mike Komisarek: “When I was a kid, my best costume was when I was dressed up as a hockey player. At least, that’s the only one I can share…for a bunch of reasons.”
More at the Montreal Canadiens site.
Update 1:39pm ET: And from the LA Kings, favorite costumes—
Dustin Brown: Anze Kopitar. A couple years ago I was the Big Bad Wolf which was pretty good.
Anze Kopitar: I bought a Brown jersey so that’s what I am going to be.
Update 1:52pm ET: More team mentions of Halloween and related events from the Devils, the Bruins, the Blues, the Sabres... etc. The NHL site also has a feature up on horror-themed hockey masks. And over at Going Five Hole Sean Leahy has some costume suggestions for NHL players.
Last but not least, go here if you feel like taking a light quiz.
Update 2:07pm ET: Reminded by Lady Stanley in the comments, I’d be remiss not pointing to the S.J. Sharkie video we posted yesterday.
Update 3:13 pm ET: Not exactly hockey related, but when Bruce Springsteen releases a spooky new tune on Halloween called “A Night With the Jersey Devil” we gotta include it, right? Check it out.
from Ted Jackovics of the Tampa Tribune,
• Prices sold through RazorGator for NHL home openers this month averaged $96, 25 percent higher than last year.
• The highest average opening-game purchase was $301 for the Vancouver Canucks and $33 for the Phoenix Coyotes.
• The Tampa Bay Lightning average ticket purchase for the Oct. 11 home opener against the Carolina Hurricanes was $78, compared with $59 a year ago.
• But this week, the average Lightning ticket purchase was $55, down from $78 a year ago. Some Lightning tickets were sold for $13.
more on ticket prices through brokers…
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