Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
From ESPN, E.J. Hradek and Barry Melrose preview each NHL division in separate video clips. All the videos are below.
All from NHL.com,
In a matter of hours, the most international of the North American professional sports leagues will open its 90th anniversary season in the sparkling, sold-out setting of the 02 Arena in London, England.
from Shawn P. Roarke,
Like you, I don’t know what will happen during the 2007-08 season, but I like to dream about it. Here are some of the things—82 to be exact (just like a regular-season schedule)—I am looking forward to as we finish preparations for Saturday’s opening-day game. Whether they happen or not remains to be seen, but just thinking about the possibilities will make the wait for Saturday a little more palatable.
I even participated today…
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.
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