Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Winnipeg Free Press,
When the Pittsburgh Penguins signed $id the Kid yesterday to a five-year, US$43-million contract extension, the ongoing evolution of the NHL’s economic panorama continued unabated.
My, what a curious animal, the NHL.
After all, it was only a few years ago that the Penguins had a payroll of $23.4 million for the entire team. Now they’re going to shortly be shelling out $9 million per year to Crosby alone. Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oilers, not so long ago the league’s poor sister, were last week throwing $50 million at Buffalo sniper Thomas Vanek, although to no avail, as the Sabres matched the offer to the restricted free agent.
from USA TODAY,
NBC wants to put a cameraman in skates on the ice during NHL shootouts.
read on for some “behind the glass” talk but the article covers TV networks looking for more access when covering sporting events…
thanks to a KK member for the pointer…
If you are a hockey fan, I suggest you listen to the interview Bob McCown and Jim Kelley did with Ralph Mellanby yesterday evening on The Fan590 in Toronto.
Ralph is the former executive producer of HNIC and speaks out on why Sidney Crosby should not be the captain of the Pens, why Hamilton will never get an NHL team, the “old boys” network, Jim Balsillie and a few other topics.
You may wat to start around the 2 minute mark unless you want to hear about the advantages of HDTV.
from Business Wire,
2K Sports announced today that Jason Spezza, first-line center for the Ottawa Senators, has been named cover athlete and official spokesman for NHL® 2K8, 2K Sports’ top-rated NHL video game for five years in row*.
“It’s a great honor to be the NHL 2K8 cover athlete,” said Jason Spezza. “The NHL 2K series has always selected some of the best players in the NHL and I’m really excited to follow in their footsteps of representing the finest hockey video game title this year.”
from Jimmy D. at the Chronicle Herald,
Move Tampa to Quebec City, put the new team in Montreal’s division, fix up the Colisee. Vinny Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis offer enough francophone content to keep folks happy.
Move Florida to Philadelphia, a city that can easily support two teams (and the city of sports losers can suffer from having two teams that will never win the Cup).
Move Nashville to Hamilton. Compensate the Leafs and Sabres by offering them dibs on any free agents whose whiny wives refuse to live in Hamilton.
Move Carolina back to Hartford, hire Ron Francis as coach and GM. Offer to also relocate the 45 true hockey fans in North Carolina to nice neighbourhoods in Connecticut and give them season tickets for life.
Move Phoenix back to Winnipeg. Too hot in the desert, too cold in Winterpeg — what’s the difference? The difference is Manitobans know hockey and give a &*#t about hockey. Sorry, Wayne. Go back and help the Oilers.
Problem solved. No joking.
from Darren Dreger at TSN,
Ottawa’s Dany Heatley, Atlanta’s Marian Hossa, and San Jose’s Patrick Marleau headline the list of potential 2008 unrestricted free agents.
Of the three, Heatley’s numbers over the past two years have been staggering. Back-to-back 50-goals seasons, one hundred plus points, comparitively he blows Briere, Gomez and Drury out of the water….
Heatley’s agent J.P. Barry is expected to meet with Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray this week to discuss Ray Emery’s extension with the Senators. Heatley’s future is likely to come up, but unless Eugene Melnyk has the money truck parked outside Scotiabank Place, this negotiation isn’t even close to being finalized.
Of all the headlines that the NHL prefers to avoid seeing on a Monday morning, this one has to rank pretty high: “Team ‘Operation Slapshot’ at 2007 World Series of Poker.”
In a little more than a month former NHLer Rick Tocchet will find out his sentence for pleading guilty to charges of third-degree conspiracy and third-degree promoting gambling for his part in the operation of a gambling ring in New Jersey. To kill time Tocchet has decided to play in the 2007 World Series of Poker for his shot at the nearly $7.5 Million first place prize.
As TIB points out, this isn’t at all the same thing as gambling in sports - and there’s nothing wrong with NHL people playing poker. But it still strikes me as sort of obvious-stupid for this particular hockey person to be anywhere near this event. (And according to the the article at PokerBiz, Janet Gretzky participated as well, believe it or not.)
Do these people not have public relations reps telling them “bad idea! don’t do it!”?
Wow, the slowest day regarding hockey talk in a long time.
Nothing out there today folks, nada, zip…
Signings and trade talk may filter in here and there, but I have a feeling the next three weeks or so may be slow.
We will be around and will report anything hockey related.
In the meantime, stay cool! 92 degrees here in the Detroit area at 8:30pm!
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• Poile, the Nashville Predators veteran general manager, was all prepared to talk to the Leafs about a senior position that may have included becoming general manager, when his owner, Craig Leipold, revoked the permission.
• So Scotty Bowman has finally admitted he turned down the Maple Leafs after first lying about it. What he hasn’t admitted is he had a general manager (or assistant) ready to take over. He had Igor Larionov ready to become coach, Craig Ramsay ready to assist him, and he had spoken to other well-known NHL names about taking front office positions with the team.
more hockey talk scattered about…
from Larry Wigge at NHL.com,
“We think he’s a perfect addition to our team,” Holland said. “He’s been a premier defenseman in the League for a number of years. He can play in every situation—power play, penalty kill, against the other teams’ best players.
“With his mobility and puckhandling skills, he is a perfect fit for our style of play. We wanted three puck-moving defensemen—and now with Nicklas Lidstrom, Brian and Niklas Kronvall we have that.”
A couple years ago, another player told me; “Forget the size. Rafalski can control a game with his skating, shooting and his smarts.”
The player was Mario Lemieux. Can’t get better than that kind of compliment, can you?
more on Rafalski and the Central Division…
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