Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Ottawa Citizen,
No doubt arbitration is a gamble for both sides and in more than just salary. If Avery’s play falters in the upcoming season, the Rangers will be kicking themselves, especially as they’ll be paying him almost $2 million.
Perhaps the Rangers should suggest to the NHL and its Players’ Association that the arbitration system needs to be revamped in order to make it a less painful process - one in which the clubs don’t come out swinging at their own players and then try to kiss and make up when it’s over. That never helps team spirit, especially when word leaks out as it did in Avery’s case.
from Bob DiCesare of the Buffalo News,
...two seasons after its historymaking and image-fracturing lockout, the NHL is in some ways right back where it started. The average salary will top $2 million this coming season, compared to $1.8 million pre-lockout, even though salaries were reduced by 24 percent at the start of the new collective bargaining agreement. Small-market franchises are still struggling with financial issues and feeling like they’re being bullied by their mightier brethren. In-fighting has arisen among front offices with differing outlooks on running their clubs. The business model has changed but the gripes remain the same.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Each GM had access to the same nasty little weapon, a sheet of paper that would allow him to steal away another team’s restricted free agents for a handful of draft picks, depending on how much money the offer sheet represented.
For years, GMs kept those papers under lock, in part because the few offer sheets that were presented were invariably matched, including offers presented to established stars like Joe Sakic, Keith Tkachuk and Sergei Fedorov.
There was also the notion that the offer sheet was somehow dirty pool—by using the tool a GM could expect to suffer a similar fate somewhere down the road. Plus, GMs who might have pulled the stunt wouldn’t have been invited to any of the good GM parties.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Imagine, if you will, a press conference with the current NHLPA leadership assembled near the podium. Then imagine one of the players – say, Eric Lindros or Robyn Regehr – stepping to the microphone and making a speech like this:
Beginning today, the NHLPA is rededicating its commitment to the sport of hockey and to the fans who support the game. In doing so, we’re taking measures no professional athlete union has taken before.
Firstly, we’re instituting our own program to test for steroids, human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing drugs. Our members have agreed to random, multiple blood and urine tests; the program will be implemented by an independent firm, and testing will occur throughout the regular season, playoffs, and off-season.
from Canadian Business Online,
Canadian Business Online put the NHL to the test to find the players who offer the best mix of high performance and low cost. These are the best value players. They’re not necessarily the hockey elite, but they get the job done at the best price. It’s the dream team for bean counters — and cash-strapped owners.
And for those who want a peek at the worst of the worst, we’ve also assembled what would be a dream team only in Seinfeld’s “bizarro world” — players who cost a lot but don’t do much on the ice.
check out this very interactive site and thanks to a KK reader for the heads-up.
from the Star-Telegram,
This is an open letter to the NHL and its powers that be, who keep telling us—because they certainly aren’t showing us—that they want their sport to be relevant and popular again.
Well, NHL, hear this: You want a calling card, you’ve got it. You’re clean. You’re scandal-free. You’re like that goody-goody student who sits quietly at his desk while the others are shooting spit wads at each other. And those spit wad-shooting scamps, the ones who have been taking your thunder and television ratings for years, are mired in PR disasters that could put a damper on their sports.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
In a perfect world, fans across the sporting world would be lining up at the NHL’s door. They would be saying, let us in, give us tickets, tell us where to watch you on television, where to buy your jerseys and pennants….
This multitude of fans would say, as they clutched their rubber pucks to their hearts, we’re tired of star athletes who mutilate dogs or keep guns or beat up their girlfriends or who are shot at or who shoot at others.
In a perfect world, the NHL would become the people’s choice, not just because of the game itself, but also because of the atmosphere surrounding the game and its environs, environs that have, for the most part, remained immune to the kinds of cripplingly bad press we’ve seen other leagues and sports endure this summer.
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
NHL.com recently sat down with Jeremy Jacobs, newly elected chairman of the NHL’s Board of Governors, for insight into his new role, his team and the future of hockey….
NHL.com—What do you see as your role as chairman?
Jacobs—Good stewardship, that’s the role I see for myself. The NHL is on a sound footing and at this point, the NHL needs, perhaps, some tweaking here and there, but it’s in good shape overall. This game is very much under Gary’s direction and my role is to help him and support him and be a tireless advocate for the sport and its owners.
from Spector at Fox Sports,
Several hockey pundits and bloggers have echoed Burke’s words, accusing Lowe of screwing up the player salary structure with his inflated offers for Penner and his earlier attempt to sign Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek.
Lowe has also been called hypocritical for engaging in the same wild spending that big-market teams under the previous labor agreement engaged in which once threatened small-market clubs like the Oilers.
Regardless of the criticism, Lowe is doing what he’s entitled to do under the collective bargaining agreement. Sure, the offers to Penner and Vanek were pricey, but Lowe has the available cap space, the willingness to use it, and offered what he believed would be enough to pry those players away from their respective teams.
from Darren Eliot at Sporst Illustrated,
Dear Mr. Lowe,
I’m writing you on behalf of all current and future NHL players and their agents. First, let me commend you on your brilliant use of the Collective Bargaining Agreement mechanism known as the offer sheet. In tendering both Thomas Vanek and, most recently, Dustin Penner you not only demonstrated keen insight into the minutiae of the binding agreement between players and management, you also exhibited an astute assessment of talent.
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.
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