Kukla's Korner Hockey
For those of us who’ve been laughed at as “conspiracy theorists” and league-critical cynics of a Larry Brooks-like pedigree, Saturday was our Groundhog Day.
As in, we got to peek out of our little bunkers, point at our long shadows, and say, “We told you so.”
We told you that the lockout was about franchise equity, and the concept that a franchise’s bank value would increase exponentially when viewed as an entity with “cost certainty”—theoretically capped costs in terms of salary expenditures, directly tied to league-wide revenues, which effectively renders whether an individual team makes or loses money at the gate, in terms of ticket sales-vs.-expenditures, irrelevant.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Faithful reader Jim Burrows believes the NHL is missing out on a huge marketing/branding opportunity.
Burrows wonders why the league doesn’t mandate the use of team logos on player helmets, making them as much a part of the uniform - and, more important, team identity - as they are in football.
“Can you imagine where the NFL would be if they had taken the same approach?” said Burrows. “Imagine the Colts playing away [games] with a blue helmet! The helmet is central to the brand in football.”
more plus Kevin’s weekly tour around the NHL and a good feature on Blues goaltender Hannu Toivonen.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
“I think it’s a very viable location,” Buffalo-based Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs told the Boston Globe. “I think the league would be interested if the time came when it made itself available.”
Early estimates suggest expansion costs, which were $80 million a few years ago, could soar to $250 million or more. The money would be distributed among the 30 teams, minus the 54 percent for the players, not a bad take. Bettman doesn’t see the gambling issue as a major obstacle because hockey makes up such a small percentage of bets.
“We’re small potatoes on the sports book,” Bettman told reporters in Florida. “If we were going to Vegas, we would have to focus on that issue. But I don’t think it’s nearly the issue for us as it may be for [another league].”
read on plus much more NHL talk…
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
One GM on the lack of trades: “Nobody makes them anymore. You’ve got to give up cash to get rid of cash and it’s usually not worth the risk. I talk, and talk, and talk, and it usually leads nowhere.”
more... at least you can read about all the trade talk…
From Aaron Portzline at the Columbus Dispatch,
Warning: Once you’ve read this and studied all the numbers, the rest of the NHL’s regular season will be a mere formality. The Stanley Cup playoffs, too, for that matter.
The Portzline Evaluation Formula was dreamed up nearly three years ago in the hallucinating cold of Edmonton and fine-tuned this summer in Toronto with the help of a sudsy friend named Alexander Keith.
It is a gloriously subjective and simple way to evaluate each of the 30 NHL teams and, thus, predict how the 2007-08 season will play out.
We’re publishing it now (yes, it’s copyrighted) so we can say ‘We told you so’ next June … when the Detroit Red Wings beat the Ottawa Senators in the Stanley Cup Finals.
note 1:22pm, I missed my morning coffee earlier today and forgot to note this was from a tele-conference Campbell did yesterday.
Q. So often in these things we hear about repeat offender things, that each suspension thereafter is harsher. Now we’ve had two against a team in a short period of time. Is there any provision where teams can now be held responsible for their players’ actions as well?
COLIN CAMPBELL: There’s nothing formal that holds a team responsible. I guess if you really look at the issues they have to deal with, their roster situation, they have to deal with paying the player and with other aspects that come with losing two players that they’re paying. But there’s nothing formal that punishes the team for the number of players who are suspended.
from Rick Wethead of the Toronto Star
During Saskin’s tenure at the union, emails reveal that NHL chief legal officer and deputy commissioner Bill Daly passed on to Saskin several suggestions about which players and union staff might be conspiring against him. Other emails reveal Saskin had become especially close to Daly and Gary Bettman after his hiring.
In advance of a meeting in Russia in autumn 2006, Saskin emailed the NHL commissioner: “Looks like Bill is getting the Moscow trip in September; I may send Chelios.”
In a response the same day Bettman deadpanned: “With a one-way ticket (cc not bd)?”
read on... getting ugly again folks…
From the AP via Sports Illustrated,
John Vanbiesbrouck entered the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Friday night as the NHL’s winningest American-born goalie.
“One statistic you don’t know is that I had almost an equal number of losses,’’ the former Rangers star said. “That meant for a lot of cold, dark rides in New York City. It’s in those times that you grow, gain courage and ask the deepest questions.’‘
Vanbiesbrouck retired in 2002 with a 374-346-119 record. He won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goalie in 1986.
From Craig Custance at the AJC,
This season’s crop of rookies may the deepest since the lockout. There’s not another Crosby, but then again, when will there ever be? But there’s a young goalie in Montreal who people are already comparing to Patrick Roy and the Blackhawks have a player providing hope for a bright future. In honor of Thrashers rookie defenseman Mark Popovic, who wears No. 7, here are the top seven rookies already making an impact:
1. NICKLAS BACKSTROM, Forward, Capitals
from Evan Weiner at MCN Sports,
The National Hockey League’s regular season is just two weeks old and it is far too early to analyze any trends such as attendance and TV ratings, there have been a few interesting developments so far. The National Hockey League will have a hockey channel available to a good number of cable TV subscribers in the United States and it appears that the league’s venture into London, staging two regular season games between the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings, was a success.
There is also some talk that the league could open the 2008-09 season in Prague, The Czech Republic.
continued and the topics are many. Wings fans, Bettman even questions Jimmy D. and his statement about Las Vegas and the Wings moving to the East…
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