Kukla's Korner Hockey
Saturday, October 6 is the NHL’s busiest day of the season with 14 games scheduled, involving 28 of the League’s 30 teams. Highlighting the numerous storylines are home openers, significant milestones, intriguing individual match-ups, family ties, ‘Original Six’ contests and rematches from the 2007 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Plus a pretty cool feature, Evan Grossman of NHL.com will be live blogging from the “War Room” in Toronto…
from the Slate,
The first order of business: Getting down to your fighting weight. Convene a crack independent panel of hockey people and economists (say, Wayne Gretzky, Alan Greenspan, Alan Thicke, and Neal Peart) to come up with the optimal number of NHL franchises. Some sports economists suggest that a 20-team NHL would be making money hand over fist. I’ll use that figure until Thicke and co. come back with their findings. But how do you ditch teams without looking like you’re waving the white flag? You contract through relegation.
Tomorrow, issue a press release that says you will eliminate the five teams with the worst records at the end of the 2008-09 season.
from Team Marketing Report,
TMR’s exclusive Fan Cost Index survey, now in its fifteenth year, tracks the cost of attendance for a family of four. The FCI includes: four average-price tickets; four small soft drinks; two small beers; four hot dogs; two game programs; parking; and two adult-size caps.
check it out and $7.25 for a beer in LA!
from the Dallas Morning News,
And what about the Stars? Dallas ranked 12th in average tickets distributed at 17,914 last season. It ranked 16th in percentage of capacity at 96.7 percent.
This season, the Stars could fall slightly below that. The season-ticket base is down 10 percent to fewer than 13,000. On some nights, there could be a lot of empty seats.
The same goes for Colorado and Detroit. If those two can’t sell out with Anaheim and Dallas in town on opening night, what kind of crowd will show up for Columbus on a Tuesday in November?
From Eduardo A. Encina at the St. Petersburg Times,
For Doug MacLean and Oren Koules, opening night was just one reason to celebrate.
Their group, which is attempting to purchase the Lightning, is pleased with the progress of the application process. And one of the investment partners, Mark Burg, believes in the acquisition so much that he has doubled his stake, Koules said Thursday.
Koules said he hopes the sale to Absolute Hockey Enterprises - MacLean, the ex-Blue Jackets president, Coral Springs real estate developer Jeff Sherrin, Hollywood producers Koules and Burg and Tampa attorney Steve Burton - by Palace Sports & Entertainment will be finalized by the time the NHL board of governors meets in late November at Pebble Beach, Calif.
Says Wayne Gretzky:
“As my Dad always said, skate to where the puck is going – not to where it has been. I know that’s exactly what we will accomplish with my new website. I’m really looking forward to using Gretzky.com as a great place to relive my greatest hockey memories and to also develop this website into a unique hockey resource for all fans.”
Here’s the website and be prepared for flash running on your system. There are some interesting videos available, though - definitely worth a bit of exploration for Gretzky fans.
From Kevin Allen at USA Today,
Nashville Predators vice president Gerry Helper was a public relations staffer for the Sabres that season, and he recalls when 5-10, 170-pound Housley arrived at training camp he was so small “and boyish looking” that he didn’t fit the physical profile of a NHL player.
“But when you saw him on the ice it was a completely different story,” Helper recalled. “He was such a terrific skater. When he had the puck, he was unbelievable in terms of vision and creativity for an 18-year-old or a 28-year old.”
When he looked sharp in the training camp drills, critics said wait until the preseason games. When he was dominant in preseason games, they said wait until the regular season. “And when I was doing well at the beginning of the year, they said, ‘Wait until January,’ ” Housley said, seeming both amused and proud of the memory.
from an editorial in the Tennessean,
Nashville’s new mayor, Karl Dean, and new Metro Council should do what’s necessary to keep the Nashville Predators hockey team from leaving — as difficult as those decisions may be.
The Metro officials, many of whom are just settling into their new positions, may feel like the clock is ticking and they’re being asked to score a short-handed goal. But increasingly, the Predators issue has become more a case of what the city will lose if the National Hockey League franchise goes to another city, not just what’s to gain by keeping them.
From Neil Stevens at CP via the Globe & Mail,
It might come as a surprise to hockey fans to know that seven goaltenders including Colorado’s backup will bank more than Martin Brodeur this season.
Kimmo Timonen, not Nicklas Lidstrom, will be the highest-paid defenceman. Bryan McCabe will get more than Jarome Iginla, Joe Sakic or Joe Thornton.
And get this: Thomas Vanek’s pay will be more than 10 times Sidney Crosby’s base salary.
There is no simple explanation for all the disparities because there are more than 700 NHL players and the compensation they’ll receive from their teams in 2007-2008, all in U.S. dollars, has in many cases been arrived at differently.
From Jeff Gordon at STLtoday.com,
AL MACINNIS: The Hockey Hall of Famer is the vice president of hockey operations and still another potential NHL GM. He has no interest in serving a ceremonial role with this franchise.
Like Murray, MacInnis has a clear vision of what works and what doesn’t work in the NHL. He gives this hockey operation additional insight and another view on players inside and outside the organization.
more… (*looking at all the Blues’ top management)
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