Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Jim Kelley at Sports Illustrated,
GB has done one heck of a job. Costs, for the most part, are capped. Revenue is up. Attendance is stable though lower than annually reported since the NHL came off the second of Bettman’s forced lockouts. And—this is most important and dear to every owner’s heart—the value of franchises has risen dramatically on his watch
Example: the expected sale of the Edmonton Oilers. The struggling franchise in what is arguably the NHL’s smallest city is expected to change hands for upwards of $200 million. Compare that to the $50 million cost of an expansion franchise (Ottawa and Anaheim) the day before Bettman was anointed in Palm Beach, Fla. in February 1993. Even with inflation, the increase is staggering—not nearly the value of an NFL or Major League franchise or even one in the NBA (which is hard to gauge because there haven’t been nearly as many in bankruptcy or for sale), but in the NHL, it’s a noteworthy achievement.
*related: an earlier article considering Bettman’s tenure posted on KK today.
Update 6:32pm ET: Pierre LeBrun at the CP flashes back on Bettman’s legacy today as well.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Nobody will ever convince me that criminalizing any and all minor ripple effects of someone’s physiological and/or psychological condition isn’t as barbaric and impractical as Canada’s court system gets.
The Lafleur family deserves our compassion, not any more punishment than their son’s poor choices have already delivered upon them.
They have been humiliated enough as it is, and the petty, spiteful charge Guy Lafleur faces today will do absolutely nothing to either end their misery or make the streets of Montreal safer.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
That’s not good judgment on Guy’s part. His son is facing a laundry list of very serious charges including sexual assault of a 17-year old, uttering death threats, kidnapping, forcible confinement, drug possession (more than one count) and assorted acts of mayhem that police thought endangered people’s lives. It’s one thing if Marc Lafleur violated the terms of his bail, it’s something else again if his father helped him do it.
more and other NHL bits from Jim…
Update 7:05pm ET: Lafleur turns himself in to the authorities a day earlier than previously announced. He was released without condition and is set to appear in court February 7th.
Wayne and Gordie talk hockey before the Coyotes/Wings game last night.
added 11:11am, The NHL Frozen Moment caught Wayne and Gordie too.
from Canwest via the National Post,
An arrest warrant has been issued for former hockey Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur over testimony at his son’s trial this year according to his attorney Jean-Pierre Rancourt.
Rancourt said an arrest warrant was issued for Lafleur for contradictory statements made during testimony in the trial of his son Mark. He said Lafleur was “devastated” by the warrant and could not understand why a summon had not been issued instead.
from the Globe and Mail,
Looking for the highest-paid superstars and players who give full value for average pay? Globesports.com has detailed salary information on National Hockey League players and teams.
continued... nice resource for folks looking for salary numbers…
from John Buccigross of ESPN,
This midwinter classic should continue. It should be fun, joyful, intimate and creative. And it should always be viewed by the NHL and NHL Players’ Association as a vital vehicle that is important to the game. This takes energy and vision, and anyone who doesn’t have that in the NHL offices should get out.
The NHL does a professional, classy job in the overall staging of its big events. It’s the one area the current regime does not get enough credit for. The league has elevated the game in that regard. Now, just relax and incorporate some love and fun into the festivities on Saturday and a little incentive on Sunday, and this hockey weekend will return to what it should be—a fun, joyful get-together that celebrates the most joyous game in the world and the players who play it.
from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star,
The incident occurred late last season and though Nieminen was ejected from the game and later suspended, in old-school fashion, he wasn’t forced to answer for his crime within the arena.
In the press box, former Blues tough guy and current team radio analyst Kelly Chase scowled.
“When I played, I didn’t have to call (National Hockey League commissioner) Gary Bettman to find out what the punishment was for running a guy from behind in Detroit,” Chase said. “The punishment was (Bob) Probert and (Joe) Kocur.”
According to popular logic, the reason why this form of capital punishment is no longer delivered is the instigator rule. That’s Rule 56 (a) in the NHL rule book, if you are inclined to look it up.
From Sam McCaig at The Hockey News,
Here’s a team-by-team look at NHL rookies who are making some noise this season:
There isn’t a Calder candidate in Anaheim; left winger Drew Miller was leading the Ducks rookies with two goals and five points in 26 NHL games played through Jan. 28. Bobby Ryan, the second overall pick behind Sidney Crosby in 2005, made his big-league debut this season and had three goals and five points in 13 games.
The Thrashers feature one of the most surprising rookies of 2007-08 in Swedish defenseman Tobias Enstrom. He’s among the freshmen leaders in assists and ice time, and may make it onto the Calder ballot.
From Scott Burnside at ESPN,
General managers ... recharge your BlackBerrys, update your Rolodexes and confirm your speed-dial lists. It’s trade-deadline season.
With the All-Star break beyond us, the Feb. 26 trade deadline looms large, and serious wheeling and dealing will begin in earnest as teams try to restock for the future, a charge to the playoffs or a run at the Stanley Cup.
Here’s a look at 25 players who could be on the move in the coming weeks, what impact they might have and their contract status after this season.
continued… Olaf Kolzig, Michael Ryder, Sergei Fedorov, and more…
Have a question or comment regarding anything NHL? Well, here is your chance to get the correct answer.
Read my NHL.com blog today to find out more. I normally don’t ask KK readers to get involved, but today I ask you for your participation to make this post one for the ages!
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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