Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Carol Slezak of the Chicago Sun-Times,
When Rocky Wirtz officially welcomes fans to the Blackhawks Convention this evening, his greeting might be drowned out by chants of ‘‘Rock-y, Rock-y.’’ When he mingles with fans, he likely will be asked to pose for pictures and sign autographs.
Truth be told, Wirtz will feel a little uncomfortable if these things happen because being front and center really isn’t his style. But he’s not about to complain. The way the Hawks’ chairman sees it, the convention is another opportunity for the organization to reach out to fans, and a happy fan base is good for business.
The Toronto Maple Leafs lead the National Hockey League with the highest ticket prices, they top the NHL with the highest revenues, yet they are the only Canadian team not to make the playoffs since the lockout. So, as an olive branch to their fans, they’re putting on a free pre-season game against the Buffalo Sabres.
If they really wanted to give their fans a treat, they would stage the game but bring in two other NHL teams, not just one.
-Mark Spector of the National Post
from Empty Netters,
In this release by the Penguins which brags about how they had a renewal rate of 99 percent from their season ticket holders for next season, there’s one little item that’s somewhat buried.
“The club also plans to select four games for special “Student Rush” promotions. For those games, college and high school students will be able to purchase discounted tickets for $20. A total of 400 tickets will be available for each of the four games.”
We wanted to contact a team official to find out if that absolutely means there will only be four games where student discounted tickets but we spent the better part of our day yesterday in a pool. Sorry, we’re lazy. We’ll try to get word by Monday.
read on for a breakdown of the Penguins October schedule…
from Rob Parent of the Delco Times,
Every now and then, however, the NHL finds ways to show how it’s a little bit different.
The most recent example of that is the schedule, which actually shows an increase in travel for the teams, as opposed to the last couple of seasons.
But it does makes you wonder if the NHL realizes that jet fuel costs for its league teams totals something akin to the national budget of a Third World country, or California (same thing).
Apparently, some teams do realize it.
“Since 2006, fuel costs have doubled on our charter jets,” Comcast-Spectacor chief operating officer Peter Luukko said Wednesday, referring to the price of carrying the Flyers from Florida to Vancouver and all points in between.
“That’s a big jump in costs. That has a big effect on the budget, and this year we had to increase our scouting budget 25 percent. That’s directly attributable to fuel costs, because our scouts fly and drive all over the world.”
from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Now, coming off a trip to the Stanley Cup final and with the roster apparently set, it’s time to take care of the coach in a fair and reasonable manner.
Therrien has one year remaining on his deal. The sides are negotiating an extension. He made $675,000 last season, well below the highest-paid NHL coaches, and is slated to make $750,000 this coming season. That still isn’t close to the best-paid men in his profession. Many are way past the $1 million mark….
So, what’s fair for Therrien, who still has worked only three NHL seasons start to finish but has enjoyed tremendous success over his two full years here?
A two-year extension worth around $1 million per season sounds right.
from Steve Zipay of Newsday,
Madison Square Garden Thursday asked a U.S. District Court judge to dismiss last month’s claim by the NHL that alleged that the Rangers breached NHL bylaws by challenging league rules, a move that the league said could lead to disciplinary proceedings—fines, suspension or even termination of ownership with a vote of three-quarters of the owners.
In documents filed Thursday, the Garden said that the league should have the lead in collective bargaining and on-ice rules, but not on certain aspects of marketing, such as team Web sites.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Scotty Bowman not having a brother available for hire, the Kings on Thursday introduced Terry Murray—younger brother of Ottawa General Manager Bryan Murray—as their new coach.
Murray, who will be 58 on Sunday, has several virtues.
Chief among them is that he is known as a good teacher, which will be useful as the Kings become young enough to double as a day-care center.
Also that he’s not Marc Crawford, the previous coach, who relentlessly hammered the young players who are expected to form the team’s core for years to come
from Brian Biggane of the Palm Beach Post,
The Panthers, trying to increase ticket revenue and stimulate season-ticket sales, designated five of their first 16 home games as so-called premium games when the NHL announced its 2008-09 schedule Thursday.
Visits by the defending champion Detroit Red Wings, the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens are among the games that will carry a $25 surcharge on every single-game ticket. Season tickets and other ticket packages will be exempt from the surcharge.
Doug MacLean is guest hosting on Fan590 today and just mentioned Gerard Gallant interviewed for the Islanders job yesterday. Now, before the rumors start to fly, he just interviewed, that is all.
Doug said Pascal Leclaire elected not to go to arbitration so he will either sign with Columbus or will hold out until he gets a contract he likes.
Doug also mentioned Detroit is the best hockey city in the states, no doubt about that, and said with the Wings cutting some ticket prices for the upcoming season, well, it may send some fear around the rest of the US based teams. If the Wings can’t move tickets, well, there may be a league-wide problem.
Terry Murray – formerly the Head Coach of the Washington Capitals, Florida Panthers and the Philadelphia Flyers, where he led that club to the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals – has signed a multi-year contract to coach the Kings. He replaces Marc Crawford, who coached the Kings the past two seasons and was relieved of his duties on June 10. Murray becomes the 22nd head coach in Kings history.
“I am very excited about this opportunity,” said Murray, who has a 360-288-89 record over 11 NHL seasons as a head coach. “This will be my biggest challenge as a coach. There is a lot of work ahead and it will take a collective effort to execute the plan we have in place. I am looking forward to training camp and to getting the process under way.”
Said Lombardi: “We are very pleased that Terry has accepted this challenge. He has a wide range of coaching experience and he understands the importance of teaching, which is critical to the building process.”
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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