Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
Spector has some interesting news today, including the possibility of Patrice Brisebois returning to the Canadiens.
Former Detroit Red Wings defenceman Danny Markov is being seriously courted by Vityaz Chekhov of the Russian Superleague.
Both Sovsport and Vityaz Chekhov’s official website report that Vityaz’s GM, Alexei Zhamnov, has met with Markov, who is split as to whether he’ll continue his career in the NHL or return home:
from David Kolb at MSG Network,
None of the media outlets north of the border missed an opportunity this summer, slamming Gary Bettman….
The big complaint has been that the fractious billionaire, Jim Balsillie was unable to corral the Nashville Predators and high-jack the club to Hamilton, Ontario, giving Canada its seventh team. It’s the second NHL club purchase that Balsillie has botched.
For goodness sakes … he was selling season tickets in Hamilton already. How cheesy is that?
from Ken Campbell at the Hockey News,
Although the chances of a gambling scandal surfacing in hockey are probably much less than in basketball, the NHL is actively taking steps to further prevent the possibility of a Tim Donaghy situation from happening in its league.
The league has already sent a memo to the NHL Officials’ Association saying that it wants to meet to see what further steps might be needed to prevent an on-ice official from doing what Donaghy is alleged to have done, betting on his own sport’s games and passing information on to others who are involved in betting.
from John Ryan at the Mercury News,
Gary Bettman, the commissioner of the only major sport* not in crisis, gives a seminar on Managing From The Top. Attendees: Bud Selig, Roger Goodell and David Stern.
(*It was major once.)
OK, listen up, dillweeds, because I don’t have all day. I have a league to run, not a penal colony or a chemistry class. And it ain’t easy making this NHL thing do what it do.
As I see it, y’all have one big problem: ESPN. I turn on that network and what do I see? Baseball Tonight. NFL Live. NBA Shootaround. Every day! That’s a lot of time to fill. They have to obsess over everything, good and bad.
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