Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Scott Cullen at TSN,
While the unrestricted free agent market garners most of the attention, this summer could finally present the time for NHL general managers to actually put the collective bargaining agreement to work, using offer sheets to acquire restricted free agent talent.
Yes, the Edmonton Oilers took a lot of heat for making such offers last year—falling prey to that all-too-common hockey mishap of not knowing “The Code”—it’s about time NHL general managers played with some competitive fire when assembling their teams; the kind of fire that fans expect from the team on the ice.
Includes a chart clarifying RFA compensation dollar amounts, and a look at potential targets for offer sheets around the league.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Things sure changed in a hurry – and you wonder if the hard salary cap of $42.5 million offered by the players association just before commissioner Gary Bettman pulled the plug on the 2004-05 season wouldn’t look good to half-a-dozen teams, who now see the gap between haves and have-nots rising again every day.
In four years, the ceiling has grown from $39 million to $44 million to $50.3 million to $56.7 million, the figure jointly announced by the NHL and the players association Thursday. Not many teams want to disclose their bottom lines, but you can be sure based on all those empty seats in Phoenix and Nashville and elsewhere in the southern United States, a lot of teams in non-traditional markets are still operating in the red, even though they achieved their much-vaunted “cost certainty” in the bitter negotiations that characterized this current labor agreement.
Sources tell TSN that for the 2008-09 season, the salary cap will rise to a maximum of $56.7-million. That is a $6.4-million increase from this past season when the cap was set at $50.3-million.
The lower limit also rose to $40.7 million, the minimum each of the 30 teams must spend on player salaries.
The most an NHL player can earn in a new contract next season is $11.34 million a year.
added 2:43pm, NEW YORK/TORONTO (June 26, 2008) – The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association announced today that the Team Payroll Range established for the 2008-09 League Year, pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, provides for a Lower Limit of $40.7 million, an Adjusted Midpoint of $48.7 million and an Upper Limit of $56.7 million.
The Associated Press contributes a story today on how the value of the Canadian dollar has changed the economics of Canadian teams in the NHL, as well as throughout the entire league.
Available via NHL.com.
from Terry Lefton of Sports Business Journal via the Sporting News,
“I have never been more bullish on the league,” an ebullient commissioner Gary Bettman told the audience of about 75 partners. Bettman has been commissioner since 1993, so that’s quite a statement.
Using vernacular familiar to any sports fan, John Collins, the NHL’s senior executive vice president of business and media, said: “We’ve got the mojo; now we’ve got to show we can do something with it. Pepsi knows how to sell soda, we need to convince people we know how to sell hockey on a national basis, and I think we are starting to do that.”
more and some Winter Classic talk too…
From Paul Kukla at NHL.com:
Can it get any better for us, hockey fun in the summer time? All teams are at 0-0-0-0. All teams have an equal shot at the Stanley Cup. We all believe, all our team needs is a little tweak here and there, and we are on our way to hockey in June.
These are the days we have been waiting for. An opportunity exists for our team to get better quickly, giving us hope for a dream season. Some teams will go all out, making a big splash in the UFA market while other teams will continue to build from within. Which way is correct? Well, we won’t know until the games are played, but it sure is fun knowing every team has a chance to improve by signing that key player(s)!
From Elena Bergeron and Sarah Turcotte at ESPN Magazine,
9. If it weren’t for silly trades, the draft would last 10 minutes. The first round took 90 million hours, because GMs insisted on brushing by tables like a chesty cocktail waitress.[...]
10. We need to start calling ourselves The Worldwide Leader, Except in Canada. No one knows what ESPN is in Ottawa. We had to tell people we were “the TSN of America.” They probably thought we were making it up to meet Mike Fisher.
11. Canadiens are nice to everyone—except Ray Emery. The Sens’ decision to place Ray Emery on waivers during the draft kind of soured things for us.
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
Even the smug man in charge at NHL headquarters would surely agree last week was an especially bad one.
As he addressed the league’s board of governors in New York, Gary Bettman admitted he had no clue that two of his closest NHL confidants – L.A.‘s Philip Anschutz and Minnesota’s Craig Leipold – had lent San Jose banker Boots Del Biaggio a combined $17 million (U.S.) to help him pay for a $25 million stake in the Nashville Predators.
NHL owners were speechless, according to a source who attended the meeting, as Bettman grumbled he had been in the dark. Neither Anschutz nor Leipold had made him aware of the cozy back-door deal.
Update 11:56am ET: (Alanah) Reading that article a bit closer, I noticed this blurb at the bottom that seemed worth noting—
Former Bruins star Bobby Orr has filed a grievance with the NHL Players’ Association against Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro, the Star has learned. Orr alleges his player agency spearheaded negotiations with the Islanders in 2006 on behalf of the goalie, but was fired shortly before he signed a 15-year, $67.5 million contract extension. Orr is fighting for his agent fee.
from NHL Home Ice on XM204,
EXCLUSIVE: NHL DRAFT AUDIO
Here are some hilites from the 2008 NHL Draft in Ottawa. Hear from the Players, General Managers, Head Coaches about being selected, trades, and futures of their clubs.
listen to numerous interviews…
NHL.com has a great section for all of the stories that came out of the draft in Ottawa.
KK now looks forward to the crazy period of the NHL off-season. The talk will start heating up and we hope to provide you with all the latest and greatest news.
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