Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Tennessean,
The Predators are one of a handful of NHL clubs that use variable pricing, and franchise officials said the aim is twofold: They want to increase ticket revenue in one of the league’s smallest markets and they want to reinforce the idea that it’s more economical to buy full or partial season tickets at one low base price as opposed to buying tickets to an occasional game or two.
The concept has been hotly debated among Predators fans, some of whom don’t like paying more for more popular games, especially when the team is trying to reach an average of 14,000 paid fans per game to keep its current lease with the city intact.
For instance, the overall attendance at the previous Detroit home game this season — the first premium-plus game of the season — was 14,346 (13,608 paid).
That’s a noticeable dip from most past home games against the Wings, which were usually either sold out or close to it in 17,113-seat Sommet Center.
Update January 3, 2008: From The Daily News Journal
The Nashville Predators are starting the 2008 calendar year by eliminating the Premium Plus Pricing program that was implemented prior to the 2007-08 season, it was announced today by Predators’ President of Business Operations Ed Lang, impacting three remaining games this season.
The Premium Plus Pricing program was in effect for the following three games: Tuesday, February 12 vs. Detroit; Thursday, March 20 vs. Detroit and the home finale on Thursday, April 3 vs. St. Louis. Tickets for those three games will be reduced by as much as $39 a seat.
*note: this post originally dated December 10th, 2007
from Wes Goldstein at CBS Sportsline,
It’s enough to cause a lot of headaches in several front offices in the weeks and months ahead. Here’s a look at 10 situations most likely to do so:
1. Alexander Ovechkin: It’s hard to imagine the Washington Capitals will let their franchise face go under any circumstance, but Ovechkin has already reportedly rejected a deal worth $7.5 million annually and will almost certainly get an offer sheet approaching the maximum $10 million per season if he hits the open market.
from the CP via the Hockey News,
There’s not much Rutherford can do about injuries but he did make one notable decision Thursday, putting veteran goalie John Grahame on waivers and recalling netminder Michael Leighton from Albany of the AHL.
Grahame is earning US$1.4 million this season and will be an unrestricted free agent July 1.
“John Grahame didn’t do anything wrong, he didn’t get any support,” Rutherford said. “We’re just giving another guy a chance here.”
From the CP via TSN,
If the National Hockey League had an award for comeback player of the year, a prime candidate could be Alex Kovalev of the Montreal Canadiens.
Last season, the skilled but unpredictable right winger scored only 18 goals and looked to be on his way out of Montreal and perhaps even the NHL.
But Kovalev has rebounded to become the Canadiens scoring leader, as well as acting as mentor to young Belarus forwards Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn.
“You can’t be perfect all your career - there’s going to be ups and downs,” the 34-year-old Kovalev said Thursday after the pre-game skate. “Last year was one of those years where you can’t find your game and nothing’s going your way.
via the Colorado Avalanche,
The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that further medical evaluation on the injured right ankle of forward Ryan Smyth revealed a fracture and that he would be out approximately eight weeks.
“The fracture was discovered following additional medical tests which included an MRI exam,” said Avalanche Head Trainer Matthew Sokolowski. “We expect him to make a full recovery.”
from the AP via the Globe and Mail,
Teppo Numminen’s surgically repaired heart is pumping fine after the Buffalo Sabres defenceman’s latest medical checkup.
It’s his stamina that still isn’t there yet, leaving Numminen unable to predict Thursday when he might be ready to play.
“I don’t know. Still on the same schedule, day by day, week by week,” said Numminen, catching his breath after a 90-minute practice. “But things are getting closer. We’re moving in the right direction. ... They checked things out and things are like they should be.”
from Kevin Paul Dupont at MSNBC,
Before we go too far — and, remember, Feb. 26 is this year’s trade deadline — let’s take a look at how the first half has unfolded and size up some of the potential award winners….
Most significant franchise-changing moment
At the risk of sounding insensitive, the Sept. 26 death of long-time Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz, 77, triggered a number of changes that have aided the franchise in returning to relevance.
from the Detroit Free Press,
So what is the reason for fans not attending?
The Pistons are currently 10 games ahead of second place Cleveland in the Central Division and in position to have one of the top two spots in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They are also in the midst of a 10-game winning streak and are the only team to beat the 27-3 Boston Celtics at the Garden.
Many people might say it is because of Michigan’s poor economy. If you are having a tough time paying your bills, you are certainly not spending $30-$40 to watch professional basketball.
But for everyone that wants to blame the economy, they will need to look no further than the attendance numbers this upcoming summer at Comerica Park. Middle of the week games against the Kansas City Royals will be near capacity. The Tigers also play twice the home games at a venue that is twice the size of the Palace….
Fans are cautiously optimistic because they have seen this movie before. They expect long playoff runs and know that is when the real Pistons’ season begins.
from George Johnson at ESPN,
Phaneuf’s renown, however, rides on his ability to sap people of their senses. He currently sits a comfortable second in Western Conference All-Star voting among defenseman, trailing only the inevitable and unavoidable Lidstrom. And Phaneuf isn’t getting that kind of broad-based love at the ballot box for nimble poke-checks, stylish tie-ups or witty repartee.
He will develop over time and become a more well-rounded defenseman. He may even add some curly-cues to his repertoire. But what fans relish, and opposing forwards dread, is Dion Phaneuf, the Terminator.
Washington center Nicklas Backstrom, who led all rookies with 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 13 games as the Capitals posted their best month on a points percentage basis since February 2001, has been named the NHL Rookie of the Month for December.
Backstrom edged Chicago Blackhawks linemates Jonathan Toews (5-7—12 in 12 games) and Patrick Kane (2-7—9 in 12 games), Phoenix Coyotes center Martin Hanzal (1-8—9 in 14 games) and Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Tobias Enstrom (0-9—9 in 16 games) for the award.
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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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