Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via Sportsnet,
The NHL’s unbalanced schedule will once again be front and centre at the board of governors meeting in Chicago on Tuesday while talk of possible expansion will also be on the agenda when owners gather for the first time this season.
Few issues have ignited as much passionate debate among owners in recent years as the schedule, which since the lockout has featured eight games versus each divisional opponent—too many according to some—and only 10 games (five on the road) against non-conference opponents.
“We cannot walk away from the debate, it’s critically important to our customers,” Oilers president and CEO Pat LaForge told The Canadian Press on Monday. “We think it’s the same for all Western teams. We think we’re at a huge disadvantage the way the schedule is right now.”
From the NY Rangers,
The New York Rangers announced today that individual game tickets for the 2007-08 season sold-out in less than one hour. It is believed to be the fastest season sell-out in team history. Tickets that went o-sale at 10 a.m. on Saturday completely sold out with the exception of an extremely limited number of single tickets.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Dear Gary Bettman,
Please accept this as a formal plea to cease and desist with these outdoor hockey games in football stadiums. The first one in Edmonton left me cold, to employ a pun as painful as your comparison between these games and the players playing on backyard rinks and ponds when they were children, and the rest even colder. Well, if I had lost my mind and actually attended the one in Hamilton last year, it would have left me wet, since it rained like crazy.
The worst-kept secret in hockey is finally coming out in the open as the NHL makes its announcement about the January 1st, 2008 outdoor game to be played between the Buffalo Sabres and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Update 2:09pm ET:
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
Here’s some news worth calculating: the more our Canadian dollar rises, the more likely it is that NHL players may soon be taking a pay cut….
But soon, our dollar and the U.S. dollar are expected to be equals. And should our dollar surpass its US counterpart – a possibility, according to some economists – NHL players will be taking home less money.
from Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),
Former NHL Players’ Association executive directors Bob Goodenow and Ted Saskin routinely tape-recorded players, agents, NHL officials such as NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and officials of other sports unions, including NFL Players Association Executive Director Gene Upshaw, without their permission or knowledge, according to a report issued to NHLPA members last month….
The report also details a taped conversation between Daly and Saskin in October 2004, which Daly said was recorded without his knowledge. Last week, Daly wrote in an e-mail , “I’m not prepared to comment on the ‘ethics’ of the practice. But apparently, it was a practice that Bob (Goodenow) endorsed and may even have been insisted on.”
Daly blasted the report, saying, “To the extent anyone reads the Block report and treats its conclusions as ‘gospel’ — i.e., that they are factual — they are making a big mistake,” Daly wrote in an e-mail.
Thanks go out to Sports Business Journal for allowing KK members and guests to read the full article...
from the Buffalo News,
League executives will gather at Ralph Wilson Stadium this afternoon to trumpet the first NHL game to be played outdoors in the United States, one that should shatter the league’s attendance record. The Sabres will host the Pittsburgh Penguins at 1 p.m. Jan. 1 in the home of the Bills.
NBC, one of the league’s television partners, has been pushing for a marquee New Year’s Day event, Collins said. The holiday is one of the busiest days of the year for television use. It traditionally has been an afternoon of college football bowl games for sports fans, but since the advent of the Bowl Championship Series to determine a national champion, most of the top games are on other days.
The league views that as an ideal time to attract fans.
“It will really build a national and North American platform for the league,” Collins (NHL Sr. VP) said. “There’s a lot of interest in the game.”
more including ticket information…
via the Toronto Sun,
While the Maple Leafs make their pre-season debut in Edmonton tomorrow, Jeff O’Neill sits and waits.
Could the free-agent sniper, who spent the past two seasons with Toronto, be headed to the Ottawa Senators?
O’Neill’s agent, Ian Pulver, told Sun Media yesterday that discussions have been held with Senators general manager Bryan Murray.
“Jeff O’Neill continues to review all of his options,” Pulver said.
I am not really sure about this, but it appears the Modesto Bee was in search of the greatest sports dynasty. Mentioned in the story were the Yankees, the Oakland A’s, the 49ers and then this…
To anyone who has followed the sport of hockey since before the Gary Bettman era, determining the greatest sports dynasty is an open-and-shut case.
It’s the Montreal Canadiens from 1952 to 1980.
Sixteen of the club’s 24 Stanley Cups came during those 29 years. They won five straight Cups from 1956-60—a feat not since repeated—and four straight from 1976-79. In the 1960s, the Canadiens won four Cups in five years. Only once did more than two seasons pass without the Canadiens raising the Cup.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• The Ottawa Senators have quietly expressed some interest in Curtis Joseph as a backup goaltender should they be able to find a home for Martin Gerber and his $3.7-million US contract.
• Word around is that the new tough NHL was ready to give Mark Bell a 30-game suspension had he not shown such remorse and personal growth to the league. Doubt Ferguson, who said he did his due diligence on Bell, was aware of that when he tied up $2 million in summer cap money trading for him.
• A waste of money: Whichever NHL team ends up signing Peter Forsberg. He has little left to offer.
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