Kukla's Korner Hockey
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…
from Sun Media,
For a couple of weeks, Sun Media has been polling NHLers, coaches, scouts and other media personalities from east to west and everywhere in between, looking to come up with a Best Of list.
We asked them to give their top pick in a number of categories ... and some of the answers are surprising.
When asked for the NHL’s funniest player, several answered: “Marc Bergevin,” a player who’s not even in the NHL any more. “Marc Bergevin is still the funniest player I’ve ever been around,” said one. “Nobody could touch him.”
THE PLAYER YOU CAN BUILD AROUND
1. Sidney Crosby
2. Roberto Luongo
3. Vincent Lecavalier
read on for the complete list…
Not only could the Montreal Canadiens play on the ice, they also could act… well, the acting could be questioned.
Watch the videos…
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
They’re back, so once again you can expect to hear about the Canadiens-Maple Leafs “rivalry.” The Rocket and everyone wearing a Leafs sweater. Eddie Shack and any Canadien who was within a stick-length of him. Dickie Moore and Frank Mahovlich.
“Hey, remember the time Dickie led a charge off the Canadiens bench after the Big M intentiallly shot the puck into Henri Richard’s face?” That was then and this is now - so what rivalry? The rivalry as we knew it was at its height in the six-team league and continued after the NHL’s first expansion and into the 1970s. Since then, it has gone the way of the grus Americana.
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
A Russian tycoon with a lifelong love for hockey has hired former NHL Players’ Association head Bob Goodenow to help start a new pro league in Europe that would compete for players with the NHL….
The likelihood of a new European league has increased in recent years as hockey federations in Russia and elsewhere in Europe have grown disenchanted with the NHL over its recruitment of their best players.
At the same time, Medvedev has ample dollars to start a competitor to the venerable NHL. In an interview from Russia, Medvedev confirmed that former Russian NHL star Igor Larionov and Goodenow are members of a so-called “working group” that’s starting the league. Goodenow travelled to Moscow this week to discuss the prospective league, Larionov said.
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.
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