Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the National Post,
Gary Bettman, for all our jeers, is no fool. We all loathe him for giving up on Winnipeg and Quebec City, but he fought like a mother bear to protect the six remaining Canadian franchises, bending league rules to permit Edmonton and Calgary to adopt distributed-ownership structures….
In expecting him to give up on the growth of the game in the U.S. and start repatriating NHL franchises to Canada willy-nilly, we’re asking him to abandon a plan that has worked out just fine by the only measure that matters to him—the owners’ bottom line. Even after deliberately turning down the high bid for his asset, Leipold is likely to end up earning about 9% per year in nominal dollars on his original US$80-million investment in the Predators. That’s what we call a satisfied customer.
added 8:45am, from the National Post,
The National Hockey League was prepared to deliver a team to William (Boots) Del Biaggio and Kansas City’s Sprint Center as part of a plan to keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh, sources told the National Post yesterday.
Sources said the league, which didn’t want to lose a value market in Pittsburgh, asked the Kansas City investors to back off their chase of the Penguins while indicating to the group it would be next in line for an NHL franchise.
from the Edmonton Sun,
Former Oilers defenceman Dick Tarnstrom might become current Oilers defenceman Dick Tarnstrom on July 1.
The 32-year-old blueliner, who spent last season in Europe, is coming back to the NHL.
He has apparently narrowed his list of potential employers to Edmonton and another club and will be making a decision shortly after the start of the free agent frenzy Sunday afternoon.
The Star-Telegram did a Q & A with Dallas Stars owner Tom Hicks…
Anaheim GM Brian Burke recently said he’s still positive about the NHL’s future. Do you agree?
Given the cards we were dealt, we’re playing the hand well. We can improve, and I think we will. I think our broadcast partners will continue to do a better job, and in the long term we have to be in a position of total coverage in HD (high definition) to get the viewing of hockey to be at the level fans want to see on television. That’s the direction the world is headed. The cap right now is acting as a magnet rather than what it was intended to do. There are teams spending to it that shouldn’t be. Fewer [teams] will do it this year than last because those who did lost money. The whole idea was for it to be a midpoint, to keep a competitive balance at a high level.
from Mike Zeisberger at the Toronto Sun,
Come on. Kansas City?
When will commissioner Gary Bettman and his colleagues finally stop this pipe dream of shoehorning the NHL into each nook and cranny of the U.S.?
Hockey is a niche sport in many pockets south of the border. Many Americans just don’t care about it.
Phoenix. Florida. Nashville ... the list goes on concerning struggling, non-traditional hockey markets there.
Perhaps this is all about the all-mighty dollar and the NHL’s tangled web of bureaucracy but Mr. Bettman should remember one thing.
More than 14,000 season tickets were sold in Hamilton in two days.
If you read Spector today, you know he received a heads-up on Peter Forsberg undergoing surgery. Here is a bit more from the Denver Post…
Peter Forsberg’s hockey future once again is under a cloud of uncertainty as the former Avalanche star is scheduled to undergo surgery today on his troublesome right ankle, two sources close to the player confirmed.
Forsberg was scheduled to have his right ankle operated on at a hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, near his hometown of Ornskoldsvik.
Forsberg, 33, must be inactive after the surgery for several weeks, casting doubt on whether he’ll be ready to play at the start of the coming NHL season.
Adam Proteau of the Hockey News takes a look at every team in the following fashion…
Detroit Red Wings
Got ‘em: skilled, savvy veterans; speedy young forwards
Need ‘em: dependable, top-end point producer; rugged, mid-tier blueliner
Potential Free Agent Targets: Aaron Miller (LA), Ryan Smyth (NYR), Slava Kozlov (ATL), Brent Sopel (VAN)
read on for the rest of the teams…
Regular KK readers know Scott Burnside at ESPN has been previewing his top UFAs. Today he talks goaltenders but let me ssve you some time…
Ed Belfour, Curtis Joseph and David Aebischer.
With the UFA signing period kicking off at noon EDT on Sunday, July 1st, we just wanted to let you know we will be around to announce signings and all the talk that goes with this time period.
Although KK is very active during the weekday, it should be interesting to see the traffic stats for the weekend.
KK members, don’t forget to use the KK Forum for any breaking news. We receive notification of any post there and will follow up if need be.
from the Staten Island Advance,
“I want to help a team be better and win a Stanley Cup,” said Yashin last night in Charleston at a youth hockey clinic operated by old friend and countryman Alexei Kasatonov. “It’s been one of my dreams; that hasn’t changed since I first started playing hockey.”...
“I’m going to prepare for the upcoming season like I have in past years,” said Yashin, who said he hasn’t been contacted yet by another NHL team, though Internet rumors list Detroit and Minnesota as possible suitors. “We’ll see after July 1 (when the free-agency signing period begins). I’m looking forward to the future.”
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
A couple of recent columns regarding net size and ways to improve the NHL generated a lot of feedback.
For the most part, the correspondents were clearly passionate about the game and offered a number of thoughtful comments.
But there are still a lot of misconceptions out there, so in the hope of furthering the discussion, it seemed to be a good idea to paraphrase some of those comments and expand on them.
The best way to increase scoring is to reduce the size of goalie equipment.
Of course it is. But this is a league run by lawyers and they can’t figure out a way to do it while following the tenets they learned in law school. It has to be “fair” and “just” and everybody has to be “equal under the law.”
Those of use fortunate enough to have escaped the legal profession would just say, “We’re going to measure your chest, waist, arms and hips when you’re wearing the kind of Kevlar protection the police use to stop bullets.
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 email@example.com