Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
So there are now limits to what he can do to improve the game. That’s assuming, of course, that he knows what needs to be done, and that in itself is a dubious proposition. So in order to help out the commissioner and point him in the right direction, here are five things that need to be fixed in his league.
1. Get a better TV deal….
2. Get rid of the weasels….
from Puck Daddy at Yahoo Sports,
Still, there are NHL franchises looking about as healthy as Amy Winehouse with a head cold. The venerable Forbes magazine believes three of them are the Phoenix Coyotes, Nashville Predators and New York Islanders; and it’s placed that trio on its list of “The 10 Sports Franchises Most Likely To Move.”
From Bill Beacon at the CP via Yahoo! Sports,
Many wonder how much more [Bobby Orr] may have accomplished had his knees held up, or if modern arthroscopic surgery had been available in his day. Back then, when a doctor wanted to know what was wrong with a knee, he had to cut into it to take a look. Now the looking and the surgery are done with a small incision that barely leaves a mark.
“I don’t think there’s any question about that,” he said. “I had scopes later, when they were cleaning it out, and it was a lot easier.”
The CP article was in part motivated by a recent Canadian Mastercard advertisement that graphically illustrates the damage Orr’s knee has suffered. You can check it out on video below:
Gary Bettman rings the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
from Jim Kelley at Sports Illustrated,
It was fitting that the NHL opened its season with four games overseas last week, because with the U.S. economy being what it is, the league may need every koruna, krona and euro it can get its hands on.
“The big fear is that if the economy continues to fall, fans will simply have to make a choice as to not only how they pay their bills, but which bills actually get paid,” said an NHL insider who spoke to SI.com on the condition of anonymity. “If it gets to that point, entertainment costs—and let’s face it, we’re in the entertainment business—are going to take a hit. A lot of us are going to take a big hit.”
From Paul Kukla at NHL.com,
I group teams in three categories before the start of the season: Can’t miss, fighting for a playoff spot or re-building and looking forward to next year. But I am always wrong with two or three teams in each category and I am glad I am. Surprise teams, both in a positive or negative manner, make the season exciting and keeps me glued to the game on a daily basis.
read on for some predictions
From Michael Farber at SI,
Some league officials have been eyeballing Europe for years as a potential landing spot for a franchise. There is even some ownership support for the idea, notably Ottawa’s Eugene Melnyk, who said he has been in favor of the idea for the past three or four years. But European expansion remains one of those theoretical topics along the lines of “if Wilma Flintstone and Betty Rubble walked into a bar ...”
While it might be fun to kick around, it is not going to happen. Not now. Not in a decade. Even if the global economy roars back in the next few years, the dollars, and Euros, probably won’t make sense. And not even Warren Buffett can do anything about the six-hour time difference that separates the East Coast and most of the hockey-playing major cities of Europe.
*more thoughts on the NHL in Europe posted earlier today on KK
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
“It’s almost like the NHL, at least from the cap and players’ standpoint, are aside and apart from reality,” Leonsis said. “And I just hope everyone in pro sports realizes how blessed we are that salaries are going up, franchise values for the most part are going up and revenues are going up. That’s not what’s happening in the real world.”
All of which confirms what I have thought all along. The lockout was not about getting costs in line or keeping ticket prices affordable. It was about one thing – franchise values. Even if Gillett is not making as much money as before the lockout, the man who bought the Canadiens and the Bell Centre for $250 million when nobody else wanted it, has watched the value of his asset skyrocket.
And even if the Capitals continue to lose money, Leonsis acknowledges his franchise is worth more now. The only problem is that Leonsis says he never intends to sell the Capitals.
Craig Custance at the Sporting News Today reports UFA defenseman Bryan Berard would like to play in the NHL this season but going to Russia to play is an option.
from Gary Loewen of the Toronto Sun,
The NH(S)L, the National Hockey Savings and Loan, and its chief banker, Gary Bettman, have cashed in on another opportunity to sell officially licenced league paraphernalia….
I hate to hammer you over the head with a reminder that sports is a business, but taking a few of the top NHL teams and creating a few truly interesting matchups in Stockholm and Prague instead of, oh, I don’t know, Canada, isn’t just business, it’s monkey business. It’s Bettman monkeying with our game for the sake of a few extra kronors.
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