Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the CP via TSN,
Moments after helping Scotiabank announce that it is now the official bank of the league, Bettman was besieged with a wide-ranging series of questions on Wednesday.
He talked about the proposed sale of the Nashville Predators and potential expansion. He spoke about the league’s foray into Europe and touched briefly on Rick Tocchet’s suspension, the rising Canadian dollar, the NHLPA’s search for an executive director and the New York Rangers lawsuit against the league.
Even with so much on his plate, Bettman was looking forward to the puck dropping in North America on the 90th NHL season. He was to attend the Maple Leafs-Ottawa Senators later in the evening.
Finally, the puck drops in North America tonight.
Center Ice ready, Verus tuned in and still waiting (but know it is coming) for the NHL Network.
The game is back folks, we are in our comfort zone again. The ice is heating up and I can’t wait.
A tradition here at KK continues, enjoy! (wmp audio)
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
Here’s a look at some players, coaches, teams and managers who might be making headlines this season:
Our pick for best defenseman (Norris Trophy)
With Scott Niedermayer on the fence somewhere between Fernie, British Columbia, and retirement, the door once again swings wide open for Nicklas Lidstrom, who has managed to win five of the last six awarded. Chris Pronger may give chase in Anaheim, but this is Lidstrom’s trophy to lose.
Our pick for best goaltender (Vezina Trophy)
This one represents a changing of the guard as far as we’re concerned. Yes, Martin Brodeur will be in the mix as will Roberto Luongo, but watch for Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers to earn his first Vezina after being nominated in each of his first two NHL seasons.
from the Sun-Sentinel,
The wife of NHL Hall of Famer and former New York Rangers coach and general manager Emile “The Cat” Francis has been found unharmed at a hotel after he reported she was missing.
If you can catch ESPN Classic today, you have some great games to watch.
All times are ET.
NHL.com went through a bit of a facelift.
Check it out- looking good.
from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
And then there’s the number that backs everything up: According to Dolan, 93 per cent of the NHL overall revenue (up from 91 per cent before the lockout) is generated by the teams, with only 7 per cent generated by the league.
That’s why the Toronto Maple Leafs are extremely well off, and the Predators are gasping for air. And that’s why, if the local Nashville deal falls through, it’s no real solution to move the team to another non-hockey market such as Kansas City — because it will have to sink or swim right there.
Even in the darkest days in Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa — and Winnipeg and Quebec City — at least that was never an issue.
From Lisa Dillman at the LA Times,
Amusement park rides aren’t nearly as scary as the upper reaches of Pengrowth Saddledome, home of the Calgary Flames, which is why news that the team’s goal judges would be stationed in the thin air of the catwalk sounded like a bad joke.
So, Pluto was unavailable? Maybe they’re planning on playing U2’s “Vertigo” when a goal is scored. And just an idle thought, will these goal judges be given high-powered binoculars along with their official blazers at Thursday’s home opener? “It almost sounds laughable,” agreed Flames public relations assistant Sean Kelso.
continued… (*looking at various teams; may require free registration)
Tonight the NHL and Esquire Magazine celebrated the start of the 2007-08 season and the 10th anniversary of Hockey Fights Cancer with an all-star bash at Esquire North, a penthouse overlooking New York City’s Central Park.
Among those expected there were NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, Esquire Publisher and Vice President Kevin C. O’Malley New York Islanders head coach Ted Nolan, Hockey Hall of Famers Bobby Nystrom and Rod Gilbert, NHL great Willie O’Ree. Plus a host of players, including Mike Comrie, Rick DiPietro and Bill Guerin of the Islanders; Ryan Miller, Derek Roy and Paul Gaustad of the Buffalo Sabres; and others. The Stanley Cup also made a special appearance at the event.
Photos and more, below.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org