Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Tarik El-Bashir in Wednesday’s Washington Post,
But as the NHL prepares to open season tonight—the third under the new collective bargaining agreement—some league executives and outside observers are again voicing concerns about the growing disparity between high- and low-revenue teams.
Although the average player salary this season is expected to be about $1.8 million, which is what it was in 2003-04, the salary cap ceiling has grown to $50.3 million per team, an increase of nearly 30 percent in two years. The salary cap floor, meantime, is up to $34.3 million, substantially more than some clubs spent before the lockout that scuttled the 2004-05 season.
more… (*a detailed overview the NHL’s financial situation)
*may require free registration to read
from Grant Kerr of the Globe and Mail,
The foreign invasion keeps taking over leadership of NHL teams like never before….
The Detroit Red Wings nearly have an all-import captaincy. Nicklas Lidstrom from Sweden wears the ‘C’, with Swedes Henrik Zetterberg and newly-appointed Russian Pavel Datsyuk as alternates. Kris Draper, a Canadian, is the other alternate captain.
Some of the choices for these positions of importance are mind-boggling, considering most import NHL players are not year-round residents in their adopted hockey communities.
a little more...
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
Look, I love The Hockey News and not just because I tend to agree with their thinking and they tend to agree (within reason) with my preseason picks.
But if there’s one area we tend to differ regarding the upcoming season, it’s who will be the first coach fired.
The consensus in the latest edition of “The Bible,” is that the first coach whacked will be Tampa Bay’s John Tortorella. The magazine came to that conclusion by polling their 30 correspondents, six “colleagues” from the Globe and Mail and some senior staff members….
Add it all up and I’d argue that Tortorella has a better shot at keeping his job longer than Atlanta’s Bob Hartley, Washington’s Glen Hanlon, Montreal’s Guy Carbonneau, Edmonton’s Craig MacTavish, Dallas’ Dave Tippett or even Phoenix’s Wayne Gretzky.
read on plus more hockey talk…
from the Detroit Free Press,
Will the rumors ever stop about you leaving the Wings to run the Maple Leafs?
(Bowman) They’ve been finished. I went to Toronto (last Friday), and nobody bothered me. I’ve been with the Wings for 14 years. I basically was not interested in leaving. I like the people I work with. No reason I’d want to change.
more from Bowman, including his team “favorites” for the season…
The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association, together with Getty Images and Greystone Books have published Reflections on a Hockey Season: The 2007 NHL Year in Photographs. [...] The first of an annual visual celebration, the book chronicles the highlights and candid, behind-the-scenes images from the 2006-2007 NHL season.
Photos and more descriptive info below:
The wife of NHL hall of Fame hockey player Emile Francis is missing.
According to Lt. Chuck Reed of the West Palm Beach Police Department, Emma Frances dropped her husband Emile Frances off at Palm Beach International Airport Sunday morning, but never made it back home.
Since everyone reading these words is either reading them on this blog or via some rss feedreader, the audience here might be a bit biased in believing hockey fans are very tech-knowledgeable. But in this instance, your bias is absolutely correct—NHL hockey fans are indeed very well-wired.
From the Sports Business Journal on Monday, October 1 (sorry, no link. subscription only):
The NHL has long asserted that its fans are the most tech-savvy in sports. Exclusive data provided to Sports Business Journal by Scarborough Sports Marketing seems to support that belief. Twenty-four percent of NHL loyal fans live in households that own an HDTV and more than seventy percent have a broadband connection (cable or dsl) at home.
See the graph below.
Some predictions from me at my NHL.com blog today.
Feel free to come up with your own topics too!
from the Tennessean,
The leader of a local group trying to buy the Nashville Predators said Monday that he doesn’t expect the deal to work out.
The group on Saturday asked for new tax money and several improvements to the Sommet Center, where the Predators play. According to leader David Freeman, the city has rejected the requests.
from Joy Russo at ESPN,
Now, keep in mind that this is the preseason edition, but we’re not factoring in the preseason scores here, folks. They are about as relevant as Megan Fox’s role in “The Transformers” (I know Michael Bay wanted her in it, but she was not in the classic comic). Back to my preseason point: Chicago went 7-1 before the start of last season and we know how well things turned out there.
So, my Optimus bitterness aside, here we go!
1. San Jose Sharks
Yes, they’ve been ousted in the second round of the playoffs for two straight seasons, but is this the season the Sharks turn things around for good? Any team that has Joe Thornton (114 points in 2006-07) has more than a decent chance.
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 email@example.com