Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Windsor Star,
“When I first started as a pro scout, the first season (1985-86) after coaching in Detroit, there were only two or three of us (in the entire league),’’ Polano said. “Now, every team has at least two or three pro scouts.”
Though their job may be undertaken in virtual anonymity beyond the realm of the National Hockey League’s inner circle, the task they perform is essential to a team’s success, both short- and long-term.
“Every scout, both pro and amateur, is valuable to his team,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said.
from Mark Spector of the National Post via Canada.com,
Today, in the third season after the lockout that changed so many facets of the game, the NHL finds its popularity waning in three of its gold star American markets: Detroit, Dallas and Colorado. There just may be a price to be paid after all, the league is learning, for the salary cap that has put millions into league coffers over the last three years….
While interest has increased in small markets, where teams now compete on an even economic plane, it seems people in the large markets preferred it when their team had the ability to outspend opponents.
All of the big U.S. markets include competition from the NFL, the NBA and Major League Baseball. There is an inherent battle for headlines and talk-show time that is being lost by NHL clubs that simply aren’t making news the way they used to under the old collective bargaining agreement.
from Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star,
But while Bettman’s performance won’t cause any talk-radio hosts to worry about job security, the NHL boss deserves credit for going where no sports commissioner has gone before.
On the other hand, the NHL Hour wasn’t exactly a baptism by fire. Though the first call must have given Bettman chills, John from Winnipeg wasted no time in telling the commissioner he wasn’t going to ask about the Jets returning to Manitoba.
Most of the callers, all but the aforementioned from the U.S., either lobbed softballs at the commissioner or praised him and the state of the game.
from John Buccigross of ESPN,
The network has highlights of every game—every night and every morning; miles of NHL Productions footage, heretofore wasting away on shelves and unseen by the masses; special presentations; and, yes, vintage games shown in their entirety. It’s all a hockey fan needs….
And with the NHL Network showing those vintage games, it gives me the opportunity to do something I’ve wanted to do for a while—blog a game from the past.
So, here we go. The game is between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs from Jan. 2, 1971.
from Pierre LeBrun of the CP via the Globe and Mail,
The NHL owners have a busy agenda as they gather this week in picturesque Pebble Beach, Calif., but they’ll still find time to squeeze in a little golf.
The annual two-day board of governors meeting, the most important of the year, goes Thursday and Friday and should finally bring about a new format for the NHL schedule. It means that every team will play one another starting next season.
“There’s quite a large sentiment for change,” said Edmonton Oilers president and CEO Patrick LaForge.
read on for the main agenda…
“I believe that under the current system that all our markets can support their clubs. Contraction isn’t something we have any interest in,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said at the Reuters Media Summit in New York. He also said the league was not in any kind of expansion process.
added 12:58pm, from NHL.com,
The National Hockey League (NHL) and XM Satellite Radio today announced a new weekly live satellite radio show titled NHL Hour which will be hosted by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and a rotation of League executives. The show will debut Tuesday, November 27 at 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. EST on NHL Home Ice (XM Channel 204) and NHL.com. On December 6, NHL Hour will begin airing every Thursday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. EST.
Gary Bettman was also on Fox Business News yesterday- Watch the video…
from the Toronto Sun,
As the league’s big shots gather on the picturesque Monterey Peninsula, an alteration in the NHL schedule will be first and foremost on the agenda.
The format expected to get proposed would see teams play their four division rivals six times each (24 total games); the other 10 teams in their conference four times each (40 total games); and the 15 teams in the other conference each once (15 total games), adding up to a total of 79 games.
The other three games are believed to be wild-card tilts against teams in the other conference, thereby completing the 82-game sked.
more * And I do hope the schedule is changed and doesn’t get turned down by some hardliners in the East.
from the New York Times,
In the time before television and computers that can replay, magnify and freeze frame questionable goals, goal umpires stood on the ice or on a nearby snowbank, the hockey historian J. W. Fitzell said.
“It was a hazardous trade,” Fitzell said in a telephone interview from his home in Kingston, Ontario.
Besides the risk of standing in the middle of the action, goal umpires were often chosen from the home crowd and were often threatened by visiting players after a questionable goal. Often, they were replaced in the middle of a game.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
In the end, the league asked each general manager to submit his team’s position on the proposal. If the results of the straw poll show an overwhelming support for the Burke initiative, then the matter might go forward.
“It was discussed and the league has asked each of the managers to get back to them on their position on the issue,” said Jay Feaster, GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning. “I would anticipate that once that happens, there’ll be a more in-depth discussion in February.”
more GM talk…
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Brian Burke has a bee in his bonnet. Two of them, actually, and it may surprise you to know that neither has anything to do with Kevin Lowe.
So the Anaheim Ducks’ general manager has requested the NHL hold a conference call with all 30 NHL GMs today at 12 noon (EST) and the league has agreed to stage it.
Two topics are up for discussion.
One is the issue of whether GMs should be able to trade “salary” when they trade players, which is currently against the rules in the new CBA.
The other is the mega-suspensions recently given to Steve Downie (20 games) and Jesse Boulerice (25 games) and whether NHL GMs ever signed off on or were fully apprised of a new standard for supplementary discipline.
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