Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Botticello of FoxSports,
FOX Sports Live caught up with Hanks as he recently dropped the ceremonial first puck at Staples Center and cheered on his beloved defending Stanley Cup champs.
FSL: Given your time there, you had plenty of exposure to it ... what is the main difference in the sports culture of Canada compared to the U.S.?
HANKS: Well the hockey coverage ... yeah there's a lot more of it. It's the first 15 minutes on "SportsCentre." Coming from the U.S., it's kind of like walking into a "Twilight Zone," where everything is oddly familiar but yet strikingly different. So it was very nice for me to basically talk hockey with pretty much anyone I ran into. I enjoyed that.
Living in LA, there's only a select few (hockey fans), and it's more of like a secret club. Everyone thinks Los Angeles is not a hockey town. And that is absolutely not true. It is just an underground hockey town. It's like Fight Club. We all break the first rule, though.
Kings fans in LA definitely know their stuff. Hockey fans in LA definitely know their stuff. You just have to find each other, and then it's like a secret bond that you have.
FSL: You've been a Kings fan since '87, and you know how things were before these two banners were up in the rafters. What has it been like to witness?
HANKS: It's incredible really. You know, a huge first step was this building (Staples Center). Once the organization moved to Staples, you knew, OK, things are really going to be different....
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
National Hockey League security personnel were at the MasterCard Centre on Monday as part of their team-by-team talk on player safety away from the rink.
Years ago, a big part of the lecture had to do with avoiding narcotics, seedy characters and the like, but there has been a shift in recent years to proper protocol on social media, particularly what information a player lets out and avoiding the release of any potentially damaging images.
"When I first came in there was no social media or anything like that," 37-year-old defenceman Stephane Robidas said. "That was a big thing today. When I broke in, there were no cellphones. I got my first one during my first year, but there was no camera on it, no Facebook, no e-mail on your phone. But this is a new era."
The players usually are briefed in these meetings on what to do in any difficult off-ice situation. Where once the league had few brushes with the law compared to other pro sports, that's no longer the case.
read on for some notes on the Leafs...
Begin the regular season no latter than Sept. 20, which would ensure the Stanley Cup finals to be over no later than May 31. The kids are back in school in September, vacation is over, let's drop the puck already. And who likes hockey games in June? Just silly. There would be resistance to this for sure, heck, one southern team governor once pondered at an owners' meeting the merits of starting the NHL season in late November so as to not conflict with the baseball playoffs and the start of the NFL season. I'm sorry, but you're either a hockey fan or you're not. Drop the puck Sept. 20 and don't worry about what the other sports are doing. No games in June!
-Pierre LeBrun of ESN on what he would do if in charge of the NHL. Read on for more ideas...
from Jason Belzer of Forbes,
The ever increasing popularity of hockey in both the United States and Canada has fueled the explosive growth of NHL player salaries over the last decade. No agency has capitalized on this more than Newport Sports Management. Based in Ontario, Newport has negotiated an estimated $1.26 billion in NHL contracts, bringing in almost $50 million in commissions.
Spearheaded by agent Don Meehan, Newport’s single sport practice has helped the agency to tie for #6 on Forbes’ list of overall most valuable sports agencies in the world. Newport represents clients include: Minnesota Wild wing Zach Parise, New York Rangersgoalie Henrik Lundqvist, as well as defensive players Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings , Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators, Henrik Tallinder of the Buffalo Sabres and Dion Paneuf of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Moving up to the #2 spot on this year’s list is veteran agency Octagon, with approximately $880 million in contracts under management.
Don’t look now, but the cost of an NHL expansion franchise likely just soared.
It’s been rumored for years the NHL might defy conventional wisdom by demanding sky-high expansion fees upwards of $400 million per franchise, even in this country where teams generally lag those in Canada in value. And despite the disbelief usually accompanying such rumors, recent sales involving the New York Islanders and Arizona Coyotes just supplied the NHL some fresh justification for commanding such sums.
-Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times where you can read more on this topic.
Each team has a freezer in their dressing room where they keep at least 80 game pucks at a temperature of 14F (-10C) the day before each home game. This will ensure the pucks delivered to the supervisor of the off-ice officials are frozen and ready for game use. Before the start of the game, fifteen pucks are taken from the home team’s freezer in a hard plastic cooler directly to the penalty box freezer. At the start of the second and third period, an additional fifteen pucks are taken again from the team dressing room’s freezer to the penalty box freezer, each time carried in a hard plastic cooler in order to keep them as cold as possible.
Also, in an effort to provide the players with the best possible puck each and every shift, the puck is changed for a new frozen puck every time a puck has been used for more than two minutes of actual playing time. This is done in order to bring consistency to every shift for the players on how the puck will react....
Frozen pucks helps the linesmen making great and fair face-offs as the puck, when dropped flat on the ice, will generally not bounce. The only downside of this procedure for all on-ice officials is that, when hit by an errant puck, well let’s just say that it create a bigger bruise as a frozen puck is much harder than a warm one!!!
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
The Canadian dollar has been steadily losing value vis-à-vis its U.S. counterpart. It dropped below 90 cents this week and economists see a further decline in the future. A CIBC report said the loonie could fall to 82 cents early next year.
What does this mean for the NHL?
The league has enjoyed a dramatic rise in revenues over the past decade despite two potentially devastating lockouts. We would like to give NHL commissioner Gary Bettman credit for growing the business, but the driving force behind the increase has been a healthy Canadian dollar. Canada bounced back from the recession faster than the U.S. and that was the result of a booming resource sector.
But oil prices have reached the stage where it is too expensive to extract the sludge from the Alberta oilsands. The dollar is dropping and every decline in the loonie’s value will have a largely adverse effect on the NHL.
We start by looking at those overall revenues. Upwards of one-third of the money that is used to measure hockey-related revenue in the NHL is generated by the seven Canadian franchises. If the dollar drops in value, so does the overall revenue.
Teams are expecting to have a little more cap money next season because the full value of the Rogers Canadian TV deal kicks in, but that deal will be worth a little less next year and the value could continue to decline.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Billionaire William Foley is betting hockey will sell in Sin City .
Foley is in advanced talks with the NHL about bringing the first major league sports franchise to Las Vegas, The Post has learned.
“He’s the real deal,” a source said. “He has deep pockets.
His goal is to bring an NHL team to Vegas starting with the 2017-18 season, which would mark the league’s 100th anniversary....
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman’s half brother, Jeffrey Pollack, has been advising Barroway, sources said. Pollack also lives in Las Vegas.
NEW YORK/TORONTO (October 22, 2014) – The game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators, scheduled for tonight at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, has been postponed, the National Hockey League announced today.
The date and time of the rescheduled game will be announced at a later date.
The National Hockey League wishes to express its sympathy and prayers to all affected by the tragic events in Ottawa.
Statement from the Toronton Maple Leafs
“The Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of all affected by the tragic events in downtown Ottawa today. The Club supports the National Hockey League’s decision to postpone tonight’s scheduled meeting with the Ottawa Senators.
We have been witness today to some terrible events but are thankful to those brave men and women for their tireless service in protecting everyone’s safety.”
added 1:58pm, Ottawa Senators statement is below...
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
The lawyer for Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov said he interviewed the victim of Voynov’s alleged domestic abuse incident for more than an hour Tuesday and, “it’s clear to me there was no crime here,” and doubts his client will even be charged with an offense.
Craig Renetzky, a criminal lawyer who is representing Voynov in the matter, said the language barrier, both on the part of Voynov and the alleged victim, has created a misunderstanding and that the victim’s injuries that caused her to be hospitalized were the result of an accident. Voynov was arrested early Monday morning at a Los Angeles area hospital after staff at the hospital notified police of a possible domestic abuse case. Voynov was immediately suspended indefinitely by the NHL, but has yet to be charged with anything pending a police investigation.
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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