Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Category: NHL-Talk

Wings’ PR Staff Lacks Common Sense

By George Malik: I just don't get it. The Red Wings just installed a beautiful set of LED displays on their scoreboard, finally updating the video system after using big-screen TVs for almost fifteen years. You'd think that the organization would utilize that scoreboard to at least show some replays, or maybe tap into the rink's Center Ice package to show some highlights from around the league. It can't be that difficult to call down to the Fox Sports truck and ask, "Hey, can we see that last play on the board?" Right? Wrong. The scoreboard rarely shows replays. In the instances of controversial calls, reviewable goals, and even hard hits, fans attending games may as well bring an AM/FM radio with them, because the in-game production crew spends its time telling its rink-side camera crew to do crowd shots. Little kids dancing? You bet. Uncomfortable shots of fans who are told to "make some noise" but are unenthusiastic? Yes, indeedy. Awkward pauses, with the cameras pointed at an empty rink? Of course! It can't be that hard to splice into the Fox Sports feed to show replays on a regular basis. Yes, when we're talking about controversial hits, borderline penalties, or reviewed goals, showing those replays might get the crowd incensed, which steps on the NHL's toes ever so slightly, but isn't getting the crowd worked up the entire point of having that big video screen?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, George James Malik, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Check Your Head

By George Malik The "head-shot" debate has turned into the latest gripe-fest between those who believe that hockey is becoming a "soft" sport every time a physical blow is made illegal, and those who want to prevent injuries. Both sides of the argument generally have put forth thoughtful and considerate arguments (relatively speaking), but they're also using the debate as the latest battle upon which the very fabric of the game and future thereof depends. Come on now, let's be honest. When the commentators get involved, it becomes a contest of power and a gripe-fest. The hockey establishment and its representatives in the radio, TV, print, and online media try to proffer their arguments into gains in terms of power and influence; an element of "stewardship of the game" remains, but we all try to look after our own interests when we argue with one another. In this case, it's the "old school" against the "new school," and that old school's got a hundred years of history behind it, so the case of blows to the head has become a fertile battleground for both parties. Let's cut the rhetoric out for a moment. Let's talk about the physics involved instead.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, George James Malik, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Equity’s What The Lockout Was All About

By George Malik: As one peruses the Forbes report on NHL franchise values, something stands out immediately--21 of the league's 30 teams made less than $5 million in operating income, and most barely broke even--before taxes. The Atlanta Thrashers and New Jersey Devils lost over $5 million apiece, and yet their teams experienced 21% and 19% increases in value, respectively. Why? Larry Brooks, love him or hate him, was right about one thing: the NHL's owners don't get make their financial hay from gate receipts and operating profits. It's all about equity.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, George James Malik, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Selling Itself Short

By George Malik: When the GM's meet in Toronto later today, they're going to discuss potential rule changes as they canvass the GM's for their opinions as to why both attendance and ratings are down this year. They'll toss around the usual crap that GM's do--bigger nets, letting more penalties go to bring "passion" and "intensity" back, according to some pundits, mandating wood sticks and/or visors, etc; in other words, they'll look at the easy changes, the tweaks that don't require much forethought, any idea what players want, or what fans would like to see changed.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, George James Malik, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Wings Finally Release Headshots

The Wings' PR arm doesn't just blow off its paying customers; it stiff-arms the media as well. The Red Wings and Islanders are the only teams in the NHL that don't release their media guides to the NHL's media, their press releases are sparse, the team's inaccessable. "Headshots," which look suspiciously like "first day of school" pictures, are important as they add faces to the names that newspapers or websites write about. They're seen as simple, easy-to-provide references that should be made available by, at the latest, the beginning of the season. The Wings don't buy into the concept of having "courtesy" for anyone, whether you buy a ticket, watch games on TV, buy team merchandise, or write about the team, and that attitude's symbolized in the "when we feel like it" approach it takes to making these beauties available:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, George James Malik, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Two Takes On European Player Development

By George Malik Two articles from the Globe and Mail caught my eye recently: First, Ken Campbell does a nice job of debunking the IIHF's study on the NHL's "detrimental" effects on European player development:

The motivation behind the IIHF report was to try to convince the hockey powers to allow players to play longer in Europe, not only so that they’ll ultimately develop into better NHL players, but so they’ll fill more European rinks, and elevate the quality of play and the teams over there will make more money.
The fact is, playing as a teenager in a foreign land might not be for everyone. But is it that destructive for a player to come to North America and learn the language, culture and style of play before embarking on an NHL career? One of the stats in the study astounds me, quite frankly. It points out that 79.4 per cent of the Europeans who came to play in the CHL as 16- or 17-year-olds never went on to play in the NHL. That means, then, that 20.6 per cent of them did. That’s a phenomenal number!

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, George James Malik, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Wings’ Foul-Out Endemic Of An Arrogant Organization

By George Malik: from the Detroit News:

A promotion in which fans could snag the right to buy two World Series tickets by purchasing a Detroit Red Wings ticket package has ended. At noon on Wednesday the offer was made to existing Red Wing season ticket holders and members of the Red Wings World fan club. All of the ticket packages were gone by 9 a.m. today, said Mike Brinich, Red Wings media relations manager. Brinich would not say how many of the packages were sold. Buyers had to purchase 20 single game tickets to be able to buy two of the World Series tickets for either Saturday's or Sunday's games. He said the promotion was a way of saying thanks to season ticket holders and members of the fan club for their support. "We thought it was a fun way for fans of both teams to participate," Brinich said.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, George James Malik, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Putting The NHL Back In The ‘Peg

Note from Paul: I wanted to bring this post by George back to the front page. George posted this last Friday around 6pm, just about the time KK readership drops for the weekend. Very well written and I did not want it to get lost, never to be read again... By George Malik: As soon Jim Balsillie got involved in the bidding for the Pittsburgh Penguins, it was assumed that the CEO of the Blackberry-producing RIM corporation would attempt to move the team to Hamilton, ON. Balsillie was part of an earlier group of Hamilton-based investors who approached the NHL directly about moving the Penguins to Steeltown, but the league's desire to keep the Pens in Pittsburgh--provided that the franchise receives a new arena--nixed those plans. But Balsillie's purchase of the Penguins sparked renewed the hopes of those who believe the Maple Leafs Ontario monopoly must end.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, George James Malik, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Big Boys’ Toys, Casinos, And Equity

By George Malik: If you've ever wondered why billionaire businessmen purchase sports teams despite the fact that the vast majority of sports teams sustain operating losses, the CBC provides a few answers:

[E]ven though many teams themselves may lose money on an annual basis — and the financial state of sports teams is something that owners and player unions seldom agree on — most clubs do tend to grow in value over time. For instance, Forbes magazine now values the New York Yankees at just over $1-billion US, with George Steinbrenner and his family owning 80 per cent of the franchise. Not a bad return on investment when you consider he bought the team for $10-million US in 1973. Annual operating losses just don't seem as important in those circumstances. Sometimes, the owners have other business interests that invite tie-ins. The Mavericks' Cuban also founded HDNet, which calls itself the first television network to broadcast exclusively in high definition. It will come as no surprise that it also carries Mavericks games. And some owners have built sports conglomerates that begin with the team but grow to include the stadium (often subsidized or with some kind of a tax deal), extensive retail operations and broadcast stations that together, build value.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, George James Malik, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Gary’s Dirty Little Secret

By George Malik Remember John Spano? The guy that tried to buy the Islanders in 1997 for $168 million, though he had a net worth of $2 million? The NHL was truly embarrassed by parading around a pauper as a franchise's saviour. The Isles were sold to Howard Milstein Steven Gluckstern in June 1999, and the two promptly bungled a deal to build a new rink on Long Island, and had Mad Mike Milbury trade Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Berard, Ziggy Palffy, and Bryan McCabe away to clear salary space. Gary Bettman and the NHL's Board of Governors breathed a huge sigh of relief when Charles Wang and Sanjay Kumar, the owner and CEO, respectively, of Computer Associates, came forward to buy the Isles... But the honeymoon was short-lived...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, George James Malik, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

« Previous       ‹ First  < 757 758 759 760 >       Next »

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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts