Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Morris Dallas Costa of the London Free Press,
There has been growing discussion—and growing unease—in recent weeks about this lack of scoring. There’s no need to wear out one’s jowls discussing why it’s happening.
The reason is as plain as the hooking, holding, interference and obstruction that’s taking place on the ice.
Yes, ugly hockey is working its way back into the system.
What was almost eliminated with the establishment of new rules and new levels of enforcement after the lockout, is slowly reappearing.
from Pierre :LeBrun of the CP via Yahoo,
The current IIHF-NHL deal was a four-year agreement that began last season, but gave both sides the option to re-open it before Jan. 1, 2008.
Since they have, a crucial meeting will be held on Jan. 16 in New York between the NHL, IIHF and the European federations. And if they can’t agree to a new agreement?
“It wouldn’t be a good situation for hockey,” IIHF president Rene Fasel was quoted on his federation’s website. “The transfers to and from the NHL would not be regulated. This means that the NHL could offer contracts to European players basically all year and try to lure them in January or February which with the agreement is not possible. The European club would not be compensated.
“It could potentially create a transfer chaos where nobody would be a winner, with the exception of maybe agents and lawyers.”
from Mike Smith at the Hockey News,
Imagine you’re eight years old and are told: “Someday you will be a hockey scout. Your job will be to watch hockey games and you will be paid to do it.” You have a difficult time grasping this, but you hope it will be true.
Fast forward a few decades. You are sitting in a rink, watching another game and realize that you have a really good job. You have traveled the ever-expanding global hockey world. You’ve been to Victoria, Quebec City, Halifax, Prague, Stockholm, Grand Forks, Seattle, Prince Albert and on and on. You keep thinking: “I get paid to do this.”
from the Columbus Dispatch,
The NHL is defensive about its enforcement of the rule book.
Yesterday, NHL director of hockey operations Colin Campbell said the league is constantly on guard against letting the rule fall by the wayside.
“I haven’t seen that slip, but maybe it’s something we need to take a look at,” he said. “I’ll tell you this: It has always been a difficult question.
“How much time do you have to play the man before it’s interference? How much space do you have? … I think our guys do a pretty good job of calling the penalty right.”
Part of the issue, Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said, is that coaches have spent the past two seasons making adjustments.
From Evan Weiner at MCN Sports,
The new Medvedev league isn’t going to create anymore interest in hockey in Europe. The existing Russia Super League is widely considered to be the second best level of competition circuit in the world behind the NHL. There is also a second league in Russia, the Premiere League. There are leagues throughout Europe and the National Hockey League has been hiring players from European countries for decades.
Getting players to perform in a new and what appears to be an eastern European league will not be a problem; there are more players than jobs available always. Getting teams properly financed is a major challenge. With the exception of London, Europe does not have North American style arenas with luxury boxes and club seats and in-house eateries that produce extra revenues. If Medvedev is serious about challenging the NHL financially, he better have deep pocketed owners who can afford to lose a lot of money.
from Tripp Mickle at SportsBusiness Journal (paid sub.),
NHL Players’ Association Executive Director Paul Kelly has invited NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to attend and address players at the union’s summer meetings. The invitation is the first Bettman has received in 15 years as commissioner.
Kelly informally extended the invitation when he met Bettman for the first time this fall. He later repeated his invite when he spoke before the league’s board of governors Nov. 29. A written invitation to the commissioner followed in an e-mail early this month.
“I was pleased to be invited,” Bettman said in an e-mail. “We believe that this represents a constructive development in our relationship.”...
“In past years, my appearance at the board of governors or the commissioner’s appearance at one of our meetings would not have been an enjoyable event,” Kelly said. “The players now hold the same view I hold. It’s time to grow the revenues and look at new markets and work with each other instead of against each other.”
via the Vancouver Province,
Just compare the New Jersey Devils’ air (and bus) miles since Dec. 1 to the kilometres racked up by the Canucks.
- Canucks: Vancouver, St. Paul, Chicago, Nashville, Vancouver, Los Angeles/Anaheim, San Jose, Edmonton, Vancouver—13,705 kilometres;
- Devils: Newark, Manhattan, Washington, Boston, Newark—1,440 kilometres.
from Allan Maki of the Globe & Mail,
Dave King can see the possibilities because he’s seen the way hockey is changing in Europe and Russia - the emergence of rich owners, the advent of new arenas and now Russia and Sweden refusing to go along with the IIHF-NHL player transfer agreement, one they believe doesn’t reward them enough for the players they produce.
So a new European hockey league rising out of opportunity or even defiance? Having coached throughout Europe and with Mettalurg Magnitogorsk of the Russian Super League, King knows the mindset, can see it happening.
He can also see the NHL doing little if anything, as a new league proposed by Russian energy mogul Alexander Medvedev is being planned for Russia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Ukraine and perhaps Finland.
from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen,
Along the way the NHL has opened up to the best international players, joined the Winter Olympics (at least until it’s Russia’s turn to play host), and seen technology change the equipment players wear and the sweaters they put over their gear.
Have all the changes been for the better? Certainly not. Then again, nostalgia, by its nature, can be a deceitful bit of business and not to be trusted.
Here are 10 reasons why the hockey fan of today longs for yesterday:
1. We knew their faces:
No helmets, no face shields, a player could be identified without checking his number.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
League sources told Sun Media yesterday that Paul Kelly, the newly appointed NHLPA executive director, has been telling players the number of regular-season games in Europe is going to rise dramatically.
Kelly has suggested the NHL increase its regular-season schedule to 84 games and don’t be surprised if those extra two games are held at European venues. The belief among players is there could be as many as 8-10 games per season in Europe in the next two or three years.
“It’s the only way that revenues can be grown,” said the league source. “They’ve pretty well tapped everything they can in North America. Europe has tremendous growth potential and the NHL wants to do something about it. The players are partners now and need to do their part.”
more and your weekly dose of NHL rumors and talk…
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.
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