Kukla's Korner Hockey
fromm Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Make no mistake. After supporting Bettman and the Board on issues contrary to their own self-interests such as the hard salary cap, revenue sharing, and cancellation of the 2004-05 season, the Rangers are no longer amenable to ceding control of their business to Sixth Avenue, and neither are a growing number of the big-market teams who carry the league on their backs.
These clubs may support Bettman’s lowest-common-denominator approach to competition on the ice, but they most certainly do not support Sixth Avenue’s concept of parity when applied to individual bottom lines. Slap Shots has obtained a copy of a letter Garden CEO Jim Dolan sent by fax to the 29 other NHL owners Friday night. While affirming respect for the league Governors, Dolan leaves no doubt he not only is engaging the NHL in a philosophical battle, but is challenging the league’s competence in generating revenues and growing the game.
from Evan Weiner at MCN Sports,
When publications and websites put out lists of the Top 100 this, the Top 100 that, they are should always to be taken with a grain of salt. BusinessWeek has posted a list of the Top 100 Power People in sports with National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell on the top of the list. BusinessWeek should have asked me to be part of their panel because their list is filled with questionable choices and omissions. But BusinessWeek in their wisdom didn’t ask me or Darren Rovell at CNBC or Ronald Blum at the Associated Press or Murray Chass at the New York Times for our opinions or sports business experts in Europe or Asia for their thoughts which is why it is flawed and nothing more than an exercise in futility.
It’s too bad because that Power 100 list might be far more accurate with real sports business experts than the BusinessWeek 100 that was presented. There really is nothing on the list that indicates that the panelists thought about the UEFA 2008 football tournament. That happens to be the second most watched sports event in the world behind the World Cup.
There is nothing about cricket or boxing on the list. The National Hockey League Commissioner is rated just 27th on the list even though the NHL has lots of eyeballs watching its product in Europe far more eyeballs than the NFL on that continent.
from the AP via Sports Illustrated,
Hockeytown needs to get its groove back.
The organization has aggressively tried to market its once-popular product, dropping some ticket prices as low as $9 and plastering images and messages on billboards.
A week before the opener against the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks at Joe Louis Arena, a block of 15 seats was available - at $44 apiece - in a corner of the upper bowl.
“The No. 1 thing that has hurt us from a fan’s standpoint is the Michigan economy,’’ general manager Ken Holland said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Want to discuss the opening game today between the Ducks and Kings?
How is the TV coverage, likes, dislikes, this is the place to be heard.
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
The private car was a place for bonding during the regular season and for all-night wet parties when the Canadiens were returning home after winning Stanley Cups on the road.
The trip to Chicago was a marathon on rails. The Canadiens would play a Saturday night game at the Forum and, immediately after it, would head for Westmount Station. Departure time: somewhere around midnight. Breakfast and lunch (thick steaks to die for) in their private dining car, after which most of the players would take their afternoon naps.
Normally, the team would arrive there at 6:30 p.m., head directly to Chicago Stadium - now and then with a police escort when the train was late. They would play the game, head back to the train and arrive in Montreal at 11 p.m. on Monday.
from the Calgary Sun,
“Dean is a friend of mine, but if it was Dean or somebody I don’t know, there’s no need for that.
“There’s nobody that can say, ‘I never hit anybody kinda cheap’ because you can get your elbows up or stick up, but you can’t hit somebody like that.”
Although the league has taken heat for being lenient on violent incidents, players were applauding Colin Campbell—the NHL’s disciplinarian—for taking a stand.
“It’s good the league did something,” Conroy said.
more on the suspension of Downie from Craig Conroy and other Flames too…
From the AP via MSNBC,
So ends the summer when the NHL stood out by simply laying low.
No talk of lockouts, steroids, rogue referees or police blotters in the world of hockey during the few short months following the Anaheim Ducks’ landmark championship for California.
The league that usually gets noticed when things go wrong, was glad to let baseball, football and basketball own the scandal-focused spotlight. Hockey escaped embarrassment and turmoil, and now is readying its next attempt to matter in the U.S. sports landscape.
Madison Square Garden sued the NHL on Friday, saying the league has monopolized promotion of its teams.
According to the lawsuit, the NHL has claimed it will fine MSG, which owns the New York Rangers, $100,000 per day if it does not give the NHL complete control over the team’s Web site and other promotions.
update 6:55pm, a little more on this from Bloomberg…
Colin Campbell was involved with a tele-conference call today discussing the Downie suspension.
Q. Can you characterize what Steve Downie did to Dean McAmmond? What you saw?
COLIN CAMPBELL: Characterize? We had requested this be put on the agenda for the board of governors. As a result, the general managers looked at a number of hits. We had 52 hits from last season that were not suspendable hits, but hits where shoulders were delivered to the head.
And from that meeting on, the general managers in June, it was in Ottawa in the finals, the Competition Committee met and reviewed the same hit.
We convened a group of coaches in late July, early August as well as having talked about the draft to a number of coaches, assistant coaches as well. We had six coaches that were brought in here and we discussed what we had found.
At the end of the day, there were a number of criteria that the groups didn’t like, and any of those criteria could get you suspended. At the same time, we wanted to keep hitting in the game of hockey. And legal shoulder checks to the head would be allowed if they were delivered in a legal fashion.
from NHL Digest,
Trying to swoon the majority of the United States market into adopting ice hockey as a major sport worthy of prime time television slots, major advertising dollars, and premium ticket prices has been a daunting task for the National Hockey League.
To the seasoned hockey fan, the sheer speed and grace of the professional game is enough to send goosebumps up our spines. As hard as it may be for us to understand, that is simply not the case for the average North American television viewer.
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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