Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mark Williams of the Columbus Dispatch,
The sponsors attended sessions providing more information about digital-media trends and strategies, insights on Columbus sports fans and how to use the logo rights that they acquired as part of their sponsorship for marketing.
They also picked up fresh data about the Blue Jackets fan base, which have higher household incomes than the typical Columbus family and spend more on things like Internet purchases, cellphones and groceries.
Larry Hoepfner, executive vice president of business operations for the Blue Jackets, said the team’s goal is for sponsors to get more business because of their affiliation with the team.
“If we aren’t doing that, we aren’t doing our jobs,” he said.
The team’s No. 1 challenge is to continue to grow the fan base with more season ticketholders, casual fans coming to more games more often and to get people who’ve never been to a game to come, he said.
“We’ve got to find ways to get them to a game,” he said.
After an injury-plagued season in which the Blue Jackets missed the playoffs, this year’s team is positioned to be much better this season, said John Davidson, the team’s president of hockey operations, and other team officials.
“We’re really excited about our hockey club,” he told the sponsors. “Our team is going to be good, very good. So are a lot of other teams.”
“We’re more than capable as a hockey team. You get this group and put them together, you have to be able to grow with the team and go through the experiences without jumping the gun and changing things or bringing in new people. Management has shown confidence in the group.”
-Cal Clutterbuck of the New York Islanders. More from Clutterbuck by Cory Wright at NewYorkIslanders.com.
ARLINGTON, VA. – The Washington Capitals have re-signed goaltender Braden Holtby to a five-year, $30.5 million contract extension, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
“Braden emerged as a top NHL goaltender and we are pleased to sign him to a long-term contract,” said MacLellan. “We feel Braden is just entering his prime and in his young career has already established himself as one of the best goaltenders in the history of our franchise. He is an athletic goaltender with a tremendous work ethic and is a big part of our future.”
from Peter Corbett and Katy Roberts of the Arizona Republic,
Hockey will return to Gila River Arena this fall after the Glendale City Council this morning unanimously approved an amended two-year agreement with the Arizona Coyotes.
The deal, approved on a 7-0 vote, settles a six-week legal dispute between the city and the team. The new agreement cuts Glendale’s up-front cost from $15 million to $6.5 million but also shifts $6 million of ticket and other revenue to the Coyotes.
The amended contract will save Glendale close to $3 million per year, Interim Assistant City Manager Tom Duensing said.
Council members and Coyotes President Anthony LeBlanc said they hope to work out a longer-term deal between the city and the team.
Vice Mayor Ian Hugh encouraged hockey fans to buy season tickets.
“Hockey is here to stay in Glendale,” Hugh said.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
This summer the NHL has its plate more than a little full with off-ice issues that will require more than a little deft stickhandling from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
The NHL has already decided that there will be no further sanctions against former Los Angeles Kings forward Jarret Stoll, who was charged with felony cocaine possession after being caught with drugs at a Las Vegas resort pool in April. Stoll, an unrestricted free agent, pleaded guilty to reduced misdemeanor charges relating to the incident and was sentenced to probation and community service.
The league is also waiting for Stoll's former teammate Slava Voynov to complete his sentence after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor domestic abuse charge relating to an incident involving his wife last October. The defenseman is serving a 90-day sentence. He was also sentenced to three years' probation.
In another Kings-related situation, the NHL is aware of the information the team used in deciding to terminate the contract of Mike Richards after an incident at the Canada/U.S. border earlier this summer. The league simply considers Richards an unrestricted free agent....
Finally, the league is also awaiting the resolution of the case involving new Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O'Reilly, who responded to being awarded the richest contract in team history by allegedly drunkenly driving a vintage pickup truck into a Tim Hortons coffee shop near London, Ontario, in the middle of the night and then fleeing the scene.
added 11:46am, Montreal release is below...
from Bruce McCurdy of the Cult of Hockey,
Why can’t the zebras find a happy medium that sees them call actual penalties when they happen instead of pocketing their whistles on too many nights? The game hasn’t changed that much that players have legitimately cut their infractions in half over the past decade, as the powerplay opportunity numbers suggest. Too many nights the 5v5 game results in a virtual stalemate out there, and the occasional powerplay might have the desired effect of encouraging at least one of the teams to try to score.
It’s a sad state of affairs that in many games the only penalties that will be called down the stretch are non-discretionary ones. Somebody shoots the puck over the glass? No choice, that’s a penalty. Somebody puts an opponent’s face through the glass? See no evil, call no evil.
from Patrick Little of Alberni Valley Times,
"Mini Ha Ha" was grotesquely oversized for a teenage boy. His weight, I was told, was between three and four hundred pounds. I knew golf course superintendents who cringed knowing Mini was playing their course due to the weight he exerted on the greens with each step he walked. Wearing a signature pork pie hat and carrying clubs, he appeared to waddle down the fairways. I was always surprised how well he managed hitting the ball given the physical disadvantage.
Mini treated me as one of the boys. While he never won any tournaments of significance I was aware of, he did possess a self assurance and confidence that silently seemed to ignore his disability.
All I knew of Mini, outside of golf, was he worked at a bicycle shop in Edmonton's east end. Years later, he etched his name in history as a coach at Canadian junior hockey levels.
His nickname today is Hitch and Ken Hitchcock has become a legendary, respected and well-known National Hockey League coach with a Stanley Cup ring on his finger. Looking at him now though, one might think the greatest win was a battle within himself during those formative years as "Mini Ha Ha."
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Salary arbitration filings create deadline-driven negotiations, and so there is still time for the Rangers and Derek Stepan to strike a deal prior to Monday’s scheduled hearing, as Chris Kreider, Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky all did on the mornings of their respective scheduled hearings and as Derick Brassard did on the eve of his last summer.
But at this point, with a wide gulf separating the parties, it’s more a question of whether the Blueshirts will decide to go for a one- or two-year arbitration award than whether the club and the 25-year-old center will be able to hammer out a long-term agreement within the next 72 hours.
The Rangers, who have the option, must declare by Saturday, when the club and player submissions are due. The decision will rest on management’s evaluation whether Stepan’s trade value would be higher on a hypothetical one- or two-year contract. Stepan is not eligible to become an unrestricted free agent until 2017.
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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