Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Now, you’d like to think there is retribution coming down the road for those teams which spent like French kings, but the truth is, you can’t be certain where this is going. The cap rose to just north of $50 million this summer from $44 million last season and, yikes, $39 million in 2005-06, the first season after the lockout, and the widespread presumption is it can’t possibly go up again.
But the new CBC deals kicks in at $100 million Cdn in 2008-09, up from $60 million this season. Huge markets in Los Angeles, Chicago and St. Louis have been under-performing at the gate and now seem poised to turn their fortunes around. The New Jersey Devils are moving into a new rink. Nashville could move into a more lucrative market.
Add it all up and who’s to say the cap won’t go up again, leading to more fireworks next summer?
from Larry Brooks at the NY Post,
Fact is, however, that higher ticket prices beget more revenue, which begets a higher cap, which ultimately benefits the Rangers and every big-market franchise and consumer around the league.
The fans all across Small Market NHL might want to consider that before buying all the new apparel and licensed products the league is creating for this season with its introduction of new uniforms and new team logos, for without any meaningful revenue-producing programs coming from Sixth Avenue, the 2008-09 cap will increase in direct proportion to increased ticket prices and merchandising dollars.
more from Brooks, including Sutter talk, and Larry has a question for Kenny Holland…
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
In fact, big-market teams do have a distinct edge. Teams from larger (see: wealthy) markets, such as Philadelphia and New York, can offer longterm deals loaded with more money up front because they can afford to buy out players toward the end of the contract. The structure of the deals helps them circumvent the salary cap while still drawing the better players.
Understand, the big-market advantage wasn’t the reason the Sabres lost Drury and Briere. They could have kept both for less money over fewer years than the co-captains eventually received as unrestricted free agents. It wasn’t until Drury and Briere hit the open market that New York and Philly could impose their leverage.
added 8:41am, from the New York Times,
But the small-market teams appear to be struggling again. Buffalo lost Drury and Brière without seeming to make a serious move to keep either one. Edmonton struggled to lure players — including Rangers center Michael Nylander, who agreed to a contract with the Oilers, then backed out to go to Washington — until it finally landed Montreal defenseman Sheldon Souray last week for five years and $27 million.
The small-market teams have the same amount of money to spend as teams like the Rangers, although some would rather stay closer to the cap’s minimum figure ($34 million next season) than to the top.
John Ferguson Sr. has passed away at the age of 68.
The five-time Stanley cup winner succumbed to his second bout with cancer on Saturday at his home in Windsor, Ontario.
‘‘On behalf of my entire family, I’d like to thank the many friends, professional colleagues, medical personnel, and hockey fans who have supported us through this difficult time. Your expressions of sympathy have helped bring comfort to us. Your kind words have helped strengthen us.’’ John Ferguson Jr. said in a statement.
Ferguson’s son, John Ferguson Jr., is the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
*Note: a profile of John Ferguson, Sr. can be found on Legends of Hockey
from Mike Zappone at KDKA in Pittsburgh,
It’s laughable when I hear people around the league complaining every time a player signs a large contract. The instant knee-jerk response is that the lockout didn’t work. Those naysayers can’t be more wrong. Players will always jump from team to team, and there will always be teams overpaying for players. That’s the nature of free agency. Why don’t the same people complain when the same signings happen in the salary capped NFL?
The NHL’s cap system is actually more foolproof than the NFL’s. Teams can’t play around with bonus money to soften the cap hit or hide dollars like they do in the NFL. The NHL’s system counts every part of the contract towards the cap numbers.
from Wes Goldstein at CBS Sportsline,
Two weeks into what has been a busy free agency period for the NHL, the big-ticket items are basically gone, although lots of shopping remains to be done.
Salary cap room is the biggest issue for teams still looking to fill holes, but for those with the space, there are some attractive names remaining. Here’s a look at some of them:
Brent Sopel, D: The Canucks have stockpiled defensemen, which makes Sopel, who finished the season in Vancouver—where he began his career in 1998—expendable. Sopel is prone to mistakes in his own end, but has a great shot from the point and can play a physical type of game. He should be a top-four defenseman on most teams, and he made $2.4 million last season.
read on for more…
from Bill Clement at MSNBC.
Enough already! It’s time for much stricter enforcement of the rule that penalizes players for diving.
Policing those who make a habit of pretending to get fouled has always been on the league’s radar, specifically that of the competition committee and Colin Campbell, the executive in charge of how NHL hockey is officiated.
from Elliotte Friedman of the CBC,
I don’t know if that Bettman was kidnapped by aliens or was the greatest living actor not named Edward Norton. But, that commissioner is gone. In his place is a guy standing in the middle of a Nashville street, staring northward with his middle finger up in the air. Yes, this obscene gesture is directed at the hockey fans driving revenue growth since the lockout….
You have to wonder, though, if there is any chance Bettman’s power base is eroding. Not only is he killing a bad that will inflate the value of other teams, but salaries are reaching/surpassing pre-lockout levels. The new minimum of $34.3 million is higher than 10 team payrolls from 2004-05. All-Star and Stanley Cup ratings set all-time lows in the United States. Plus, if he accepts this above-market bid, he can still make the other teams some expansion money by adding Kansas City and Vegas if he wishes.
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
A proposed outdoor hockey game involving the Penguins and Buffalo Sabres could be played Feb. 17, 2008, rather than New Year’s Day….
Logistics, notably climate concerns, could prevent an “Ice Bowl” from being played in early January. Also, NBC might be re-evaluating airing an outdoor hockey game opposite popular college bowl games.
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
If there is any doubt about the one-sided nature of this “partnership,” consider the recent statement by Ducks GM Brian Burke. Speaking to Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal, Burke insisted that the recent spate of big contracts didn’t mean that the owners had returned to their pre-lockout ways.
“We’re not back to where we were before the lockout because there is a cap and there’s a 20 percent cap on individual players you sign,” said Burke. “And if the money for players can’t be sustained by the industry, we’ll all get a rebate.”
Translation: First of all, we’ve put a limit on what we can pay any single “partner.” But even if we screw up and pay too much, the escrow amount will rise and the players, not the owners, get the bill.
That’s the NHL partnership. The owners spend. The players pay.
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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