Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Fan590 in Toronto mentioned today that Brian Leetch is hanging them up. More as it becomes available.
added 10:33am, from the CP via TSN,
Star defenceman Brian Leetch officially retired Thursday, ending an 18-year career that featured two Norris Trophy wins and 10 all-star selections.
The 39-year-old sat out the entire out 2006-07 season after spending 2005-06 with the Boston Bruins, when he recorded five goals and 27 assists in 61 games.
“I have been fortunate to be an NHL player since 1988,” Leetch said in a statement. “I missed being in the NHL this past season, but believe it was the right time for me to stop playing.”
from bob Smizik of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
But here’s what’s even harder to imagine: ESPN failing to have hockey mentioned in the first 30 minutes if it were involved with the sport. Once the NHL left ESPN, it basically ceased to exist.
It’s not just “SportsCenter.” If the NHL were carried by ESPN, they’d be talking about it on the “Dan Patrick Show” (not a word Tuesday in the more than 90 minutes we suffered through) and the stars of the sport would be schmoozing with Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic on their highly popular morning show.
Such exposure generates interest and interest generates ratings and revenue.
Buffalo Sabres managing partner Larry Quinn dropped by the WGR studios on Wednesday afternoon to chat with Mike Schopp and The Bulldog on a number of topics surrounding the organziation….
He expressed concern over the fact that the NHL salary cap may reach $48 million this year. Quinn feels it’s counterproductive to the original plan of the cap during the lockout.
more on the Sabres… Another management type concerned about the cap, the one the owners agreed upon!!!
Regular KK readers may recall another team doing the same about a month or so ago, but it has been a long week and I can’t recall who it was.
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
Here’s something Bettman clearly doesn’t understand: Canada is the bedrock of the NHL. Even with the European influx, we provide the bodies and the heart and the people who will pay through the nose and battle their way through a blizzard to watch the game.
Perhaps for a change, Bettman should try to make the U.S. networks want the NHL, rather than the other way around. Perhaps he should act as though he actually believes hockey is worth paying for.
And maybe he should pretend that he can find Canada on a map. We’re right up here, Gary - due north.
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
Perhaps hockey fans have to accept the fact that there will never be justice in officiating. But it might be nice if there were fewer injustices.
Hockey is one of the most difficult sports to officiate. In fact, it may be the most difficult.
Baseball is almost without exception, relatively simple, black-and-white calls. A runner is either out or safe. A pitch is either in the strike zone or it isn’t.
Basketball and football require a bit more judgment, especially on calls like interference and holding in football, and charging in basketball.
But until recently, hockey officiating required judgment calls and very little else. The game had evolved to the point that calls were purely subjective, varying from night to night depending on the referees’ whims.
via Tripp Mickle at Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),
The NHL is proposing the creation of an enhanced club services division that will share business practices in hopes of increasing league revenue by at least $85 million over the next five years.
Teams would be asked to help each other boost revenue by sharing business practices.
The proposal, which will be brought before the board of governors for a vote on June 20, calls for the creation of four account teams that will work with eight clubs each. Like the NBA’s team marketing and business operations department, the group will be designed to help those clubs maximize ticket and sponsorship sales, team sources said.
The NHL acknowledged that there is a proposal but declined to discuss it in advance of the board of governors meeting.
from Bill McGraw of the Detroit Free Press,
But the more you look into the nationality thing in hockey, the more nothing makes sense, stereotypes disintegrate and Don Cherry sounds like a resounding gong or clanging cymbal, in the words of one famous hockey writer.
First of all: Brian Burke, the guy who built the proto-Canadian Ducks. He was born in New England and grew up in Minnesota. He might be uptight, but he’s no Canadian.
In Sunday’s game between the Wings and Ducks, there was absolutely no pattern to nationality. I checked.
from Bob Keisser of the Long Beach Press-Telegram,
Anyone who has ever considered himself a hockey fan would testify on a Zamboni-sized bible that it’s a great sport and one of the most exciting to see in person. The Detroit-Anaheim series that the Ducks now lead has been every bit as entertaining as the Warriors-Mavs and Suns-Spurs NBA series.
But the sport has made so many errors over the years that it has fallen from one of the Big Four sports to a sport barely in the top 10. Chances are if you’re not a hockey fan, you probably think a Red Wing is something on the menu at Hooters and a Blue Jacket something you buy at J.C. Penney.
Seriously. After the NFL, baseball and the NBA, NASCAR has become one of the Big Four. They’re followed by the Olympic Games, college football, college basketball and golf. Tennis may even rank higher since it at least has four majors.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The Bobby Holik signing- bonus grievance against the Rangers due to be heard late next month is likely to have an adverse impact on next season’s team, Slap Shots has learned.
If the Blueshirts lose the case - which will be heard in conjunction with similar grievances filed by Jed Ortmeyer and Darius Kasparaitis - they will be liable for a $1.52 million salary-cap charge against next season’s roster, we’ve been informed by individuals with knowledge of the case.
continued and some NHL trade talk…
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
“Yeah, things have changed,” Maple Leafs defenceman Wade Belak said. “I came into the league hearing tales of guys who got hammered all the time after a game, some because they were too scared to fly (during the expansion years, when trains became planes).
“Myself, I listened to the great drinking stories of people my dad’s age. I’ve been on teams where there’s a big keg in the room.
“I think everyone still enjoys a nice, cold beer after a game, but now you have to weigh that against the risk to your career, a DUI charge and the chance you’ll really hurt someone.”
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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