Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Fortune via CNN Money,
Going to 60 hockey games a year might sound like fun, but for Gary Bettman it’s just another day at the office. In 15 years as NHL chief, he has more than quadrupled revenues to $2.6 billion, added four teams and, more recently, signed a network TV deal with NBC and led the league to record attendance levels even after the 2004-05 lockout season.
But meeting with team owners, business partners and season ticket holders keeps Bettman, 55, on the road shaking hands, doing deals and catching scores on his cellphone. Fortune caught up with him in his New York office to see how he pulls it off when not on home ice.
1. Days on the road: Roughly 100.
NEW YORK/TORONTO (April 14, 2008)—National Hockey League Senior Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell today issued the following advisory on the interpretation of Rule 75 -
Unsportsmanlike Conduct: “An unsportsmanlike conduct minor penalty (Rule 75) will be interpreted and applied, effective immediately, to a situation when an offensive player positions himself facing the opposition goaltender and engages in actions such as waving his arms or stick in front of the goaltender’s face, for the purpose of improperly interfering with and/or distracting the goaltender as opposed to positioning himself to try to make a play.”
From Paul Kukla at Hockey.com:
One quick question for you- Are you following all the games during the playoffs or are you just concerned about the results of your team?
The reason I ask is when the NHL came back after the lockout year, it seemed to me the majority of fans were just interested in their team. The league and the other teams really were not of interest; it was all about the team.
Now that we are three years into the redefined NHL, I am beginning to see more and more fans not only following their team, but also the NHL in general. Am I right?
and more, including a sample from the panicky emails showing up this week
Flashbacks To: 1928, 1931, 1942, 1948, 1953, 1955, 1960
April 14, 1928 • In only their second season as an NHL franchise, the New York Rangers captured the 1928 Stanley Cup with a 2-1 triumph over the Montreal Maroons in the final game of the best-of-five title series.
The Rangers became only the second American team in history to win the Stanley Cup, joining the 1917 champion Seattle Metropolitans of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association.
from Tripp Mickle of SportsBusiness Journal (paid sub.),
For the first time since the 2004-05 lockout, the NHL pushed the metrics of attendance and TV ratings in the same direction — up.
The league set its second post-lockout attendance record, drawing 21.2 million fans to its rinks. Average attendance rose 1.8 percent to 17,268 fans a game, and the all-important metric of paid attendance increased 2 percent and reached an average of just more than 16,000 fans.
The success at the gates was matched on national television. Versus saw its ratings increase from a 0.2 to a 0.3 average cable rating while average total viewership was up 28 percent from 212,366 in 2006-07 to 272,417 in 2007-08. NBC’s ratings rose from a 0.9 to a 1.0 household rating and viewership rose 11 percent to 1.5 million over nine telecasts.
from the Edmonton Journal,
This is the longest Clarke has been out of real work. He’s a sounding board for current Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. He’s still around, if needed, but it’s not like Holmgren has Clarke’s number on speed dial. This is Holmgren’s club now and Clarke doesn’t want to intrude.
But he’s still got some fire in his gut. You know he’d like to be on the inside.
“I’m not campaigning for a job ... somebody has to call me first,” shrugged Clarke, who isn’t going to go banging on the door of someone like Richard Peddie, who runs the Toronto Maple Leafs, to get on their list for GM to replace the caretaker Cliff Fletcher.
“I think I’ve been around long enough and if I fit what a team is looking for ... .”
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
The Chicago Blackhawks badly want a puck-moving D-man when the free-agent shopping starts July 1, but there’s no way they’re getting Brian Campbell, who’ll re-up in San Jose because he wants to keep playing with childhood friend Joe Thornton.
Wade Redden or John-Michael Liles are in their fall-back position, but Redden’s stock has dropped surprisingly the last two years in Ottawa and Liles is coming off a very so-so year. Liles is on Carolina’s radar, too.
many more NHL bits…
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Star,
• You know it’s a mess inside the Florida Panthers organization when class act Joe Nieuwendyk walks away, wanting no part of it.
• Everybody is too polite to make a big deal about it, but two terrible goals allowed by Martin Brodeur ended up costing New Jersey its first two games against the New York Rangers and may end up costing the Devils the series.
• Here is why nice guy David Poile cannot be considered for the Maple Leafs’ vacant GM job, even though some have pushed him as a candidate: This is his ninth season in Nashville. The Preds have never won a playoff round.
more NHL talk scattered about…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
• You might want to keep on an eye throughout the playoffs on impending Minnesota free-agent left wing and power-play point man Brian Rolston, and on impending Montreal free-agent right wing Michael Ryder, because the Rangers sure are.
• There’s a word for the Ottawa fan boy-writer who called on the Senators to break Sidney Crosby’s ankle with an imitation of Bobby Clarke’s 1972 Summit Series slash that did the same to the USSR’s resplendent Valeri Kharlamov. It’s the same word that applies to the editor who allowed the plea to actually appear in the newspaper.
It’s spelled, M-O-R-O-N.
more NHL talk from Larry…
from Steve Ladurantaye of the Globe and Mail,
It’s spring, and many will be staring at our television sets in the hope a Canadian team will hoist the Stanley Cup. Five Things takes a look at the business of playoff hockey….
5. PAY DAYS
When the regular season ends, it also means an end to regular paycheques for NHL players. Mind you, they’re not playing for pride alone. An elaborate system of shares exists to ensure those who carry their teams deep into the postseason are rewarded. This year, after the Cup winner is determined, $6.5-million will be split among the 16 teams that made the playoffs. While the exact method of distribution hasn’t been determined by the NHL Players Association, last year the Ducks were given 25 shares worth $75,000 each, for a total of $1,875,000.
more & some of the topics have been brought up on KK in the past, but there is some new information too.
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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