Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
Donald Fehr is still the executive director after earlier declaring he didn’t think he would be in the job for very long, but if he wants a project to consider, he might start working on what must surely be annoying to the players — the NHL’s persistence in markets where hockey is obviously not working.
We refer here mostly to Florida and Phoenix, and to a slightly lesser extent, Carolina. And if you really wanted to cast the net wide here, New Jersey as well, although their New York market television deal keeps them in solid shape in the revenue game.
Commissioner Gary Bettman is loathe to move any franchises out of what he claims is loyalty to the fans in these cities, and to some degree, that’s laudable. But let’s be clear here, it’s also to make sure he doesn’t have to move these teams into markets they have targeted for expansion. Why move Florida or Phoenix into a ripe city for expansion when there is no way a transfer fee could be anywhere near as high as an expansion fee for the owners, a source of revenue in which the players do not share? They do, however, get the increase in jobs, and like any union, this one is all for increasing its membership and thus their own revenues, so expansion is essentially a win-win for both parties.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal.
- NHLPA talking head Mathieu Schneider was a fine D-man, but he’s got to be kidding with the ridiculous analysis that the top guys will be fatigued by having to play an extra few shifts of 3-on-3 OT if the AHL model moves to the NHL. A few extra shifts? Tired? That’s why the top guys are making $6 mil and $8 mil and $10 mil a year. So they maybe have to play LOTS of MINUTES!
- I’m a huge Darryl Sutter fan but I’m beginning to think the Kings have little left in the tank. They might gut it out to still make the playoffs but they can’t score. They get shut out (six times) or score one goal (another seven) way too often to think they can win another Cup. Sad, but there’s a lot miles on that LA team.
- *I’ve given up figuring what second-pairing NHL D-men should be making on the open market when teams stupidly throw money around, so I those not to laugh when I heard Cody Franson, an average NHL blueliner would be in the $5.5 mil range on July 1. He’s a 35-point NHL D-man. I guess if Matt Niskanen can get 7 years at $5.75 mil in Washington last summer, anything’s possible. He had 51 points and was plus 33 in his UFA year in Pittsburgh and is predictably back to being what he really is (17 points, plus 3) now.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
NHL players have reservations about a potential move to use three-on-three play in overtime next season to decrease the number of games decided by shootouts.
"My real concern is that top guys are going to be put in these situations, and there will be more wear and tear on them," NHL Players' Association executive Mathieu Schneider told USA TODAY Sports.
The rules change, to be discussed at the annual general managers meetings in March, has gained traction with GMs because the use of three-on-three this season in the American Hockey League has resulted in 74.8% of overtime games being decided before the shootout. That figure is 45% in the NHL.
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
This is just the beginning. When the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association stage the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto – featuring the Big Six nations, plus a team of other Europeans and one of 23-and-under North Americans, unfortunately – it will be the first step in what NHL commissioner Gary Bettman called their “joint vision for international hockey.”
“The aspiration,” said John Collins, the NHL’s chief operating officer, “is to build a global brand and a global business.”
The NHL and the NHLPA announced the World Cup on Saturday at the All-Star Game. But they are working on a Ryder Cup concept – say, a best-of-5 series between North American and European NHL stars in a city like London or Berlin in 2018. They’re researching expanding eligibility requirements so NHL players who can’t make their national teams can represent other nations where they have roots – say, England or Italy. They hope to hold a qualifying tournament in 2019 to fill out the 2020 World Cup, so they don’t need teams of other Europeans and 23-and-under North Americans and the World Cup can become a pure nation-on-nation tournament.
New York/Toronto (January 24, 2015) – The World Cup of Hockey will return in September 2016 in Toronto, Canada when eight teams, comprised of the world’s best hockey players, compete for a best-on-best international hockey championship, the National Hockey League (NHL®) and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today. The World Cup of Hockey is a joint effort of the NHLPA and the NHL, in cooperation with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). It is expected that more than 150 of the best players in the NHL will participate in this tournament in what should be the biggest celebration of the game.
The eight teams will be divided into two Groups of four, and each will compete in three tournament games within their assigned Group in a round-robin format. The top two finishers in each Group will advance to a single game semi-final against a team from the other Group. Winners of the semi-final games will advance to a best-of-three final round. All tournament games (round-robin, semi-final and final) will be played at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto from September 17 - October 1, 2016.
“We are thrilled to partner with the NHLPA in planning and producing what we expect will be the world’s best international hockey tournament,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “The 2016 World Cup of Hockey will highlight not only our global reach, but also the skill and passion of the world’s best athletes. We would like to thank our international partners – the IIHF and their members – for their cooperation in helping to make this event a reality.”
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
When Bettman predicted the $73 million cap, he was likely assuming that the NHLPA would, as it has done consistently in past years, opt to trigger a five per cent cap inflator.
Pushing the overall salary cap limit higher drives up the amount of money available for potential free agents - bad news for a spartan free agent class this summer that’s headed by Martin St. Louis - but it also leads to higher escrow collections for all players.
Players have become increasingly conflicted about this, several NHL player agents say.
“Players are worried about paying additional escrow,” Ian Pulver, a former NHLPA executive and current player agent said in an interview. “It’s a vicious cycle. Over the course of 10 years, players have voted to increase the cap, to ride with increasing revenue.”
Pulver said it would be a mistake not to trigger the escalator clause.
"Because there are a couple of bumps along the way shouldn’t mean the players shouldn't continue to increase the cap and force the major players — the NHL, the clubs and the NHLPA - to grow revenues. To vote against the increase of the cap because of a fear of escrow runs counter to the collective good and common sense."
NEW YORK / TORONTO (January 23, 2015) – The National Hockey League (NHL®) and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) today announced a North American partnership with GoPro, the maker of the world's most versatile camera and enabler of some of today's most immersive and engaging content. The agreement is GoPro’s first with a major professional sports league. As part of this unprecedented partnership, the NHL will use GoPro’s innovative equipment and expertise to deliver hockey fans never-before-seen perspectives of the game and the talents of the top players in high-definition video content during national and regional game broadcasts and across the digital and social media platforms of the NHLPA, NHL and GoPro.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
The NHL is preparing to take a glimpse into the future by using player-tracking technology at the upcoming all-star game.
Officials from the league and NHL Players’ Association will be in Columbus for testing early next week, according to two sources, with the goal of employing the Sportvision system during the Jan. 24 skills competition and Jan. 25 all-star game at Nationwide Arena.
That would see computer chips placed in the sweaters of each player, plus the puck, to chart what is happening on the ice. As a result, everything from how fast and far a player skates to how hard he shoots and positions himself would be measured in real time.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Nothing has been finalized, and we are being told there are still several issues to be settled, but the NHL and NHL Players' Association are discussing a World Cup tournament field that would include USA, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic, plus a European All-Star team made up of players from other countries and a team made up of top young players from North America....
This plan would allow us to see Slovenia's Anze Kopitar, Switzerland's Roman Josi, Austria's Thomas Vanek, Norway's Mats Zuccarello, Germany's Christian Ehrhoff and a legion of Slovaks led by Zdeno Chara.
Out-of-the-box thinking is also how we landed on the idea of patching together a team of rising young stars to compete as the eighth team. Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon probably won't make the Canadian team, but he will be the No. 1 center on this team. Florida's Aaron Ekblad could be the top defenseman and Anaheim's John Gibson could be in net.
It's a creative plan to be sure, but would it make the World Cup a better tournament?
Of course not.
The public's love for country vs. country competition is well-established. Could you imagine soccer's World Cup embracing this idea?
from Lance Pugmire of the LA Times,
Ryan Getzlaf said he was not encouraged by a Ducks official to stage the team practice he arranged Friday during the NHL’s mandatory holiday dead period.
The NHL is investigating the practice because it happened during a time that was negotiated through the collective-bargaining agreement as a mandatory three-day break.
A league spokesman said the NHL wants to know whether Getzlaf acted on his own or was urged by anyone in the organization to gather the players.
Getzlaf, the Ducks’ captain who ranks second in the NHL with 30 assists, said Tuesday that he informed Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau about the Friday practice before it happened.
“He [Getzlaf] said that’s what he wanted to do, and I said, ‘OK, fine,’ ” Boudreau said. “To this day, I don’t know what time they skated, don’t know how many guys were there. I’m glad they did, but it was all Ryan’s idea.”
Getzlaf said he rented ice for teammates “because I felt I needed to skate. We had [children] on the ice, very informal, we kind of putted around for 20 minutes.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org