Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Mark Spector at the National Post,
“I think someone can effectively represent the players of the NHL, and at the same time do it in a manner that is constructive, co-operative with the NHL, with the owners, and good for the game as a whole,” Kelly said in a one-on-one interview this week. “We should be able to solve complex problems without firing at each other; without not being able to be in the same room with each other; without the bitterness and emotion that existed the last time.
“Maybe I’m being naive,” he added. “But I will tell you, having spent a lot of years dealing with difficult legal issues - civil and criminal - and negotiating difficult legal problems with some of the finest lawyers in the world, I know it is possible to do this.”
Adam Proteau of the Hockey News concludes his interview with Paul Kelly. In case you missed the firat part, a link is available on the page….
THN: Improving the marketing of the game has been a common goal of the NHL for decades, yet little progress has been made. What are some of your opinions on ways to finally make some headway in this area?
PK: I’ll make three or four quick points:
One is U.S. television. I commend Versus for their broadcasts, but we need broader reach, broader coverage, reaching a greater number of homes, on more nights, with more highlights. We need something that’s even half of what you have here in Canada, and we don’t have it in the United States.
If I’m in a certain city and I want to watch a hockey game, I go hunting around the TV dial, I go past ESPN – which has a poker game on – and I can’t find a hockey game because many of the places I go to don’t have Versus on the dial. It’s unacceptable.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
For Brendan Shanahan, one of the architects of change, the view from ice level, two-and-half-years after the lockout, looks pretty good. Not perfect, but considering where the NHL was in the not-too-distant past, not bad at all.
“What I like most is people don’t call it the new NHL anymore, they’re used to it now,” Shanahan was saying Wednesday morning, as his New York Rangers began a swing through Western Canada. “Every once in a while you’ll see an old playoff series on that hockey channel. You just sit and watch that now and it’s ‘oh my god, look at that hook, look at that guy getting mobbed or held.’
continued and recommended reading…
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
The Hockey News: You’re nearly two-thirds of the way through your first tour of team meetings. What has that process been like?
Paul Kelly: It’s been phenomenally interesting and informative. The beginning part of the process is pretty much an introductory thing, introducing myself and my background, how I view the roles and management of hockey, initial thoughts, ideas and goals I have for the association and the guys.
Then we go into a couple of important developments in the coming months, and we go from there into probably the most important part of it, which is interactive give-and-take with the players, and that goes on for about 45 minutes and covers a range of topics, (including) equipment, schedule, rules issues, health and safety issues.
from the Atlanta Business Chronicle,
A new revenue-sharing system helps those teams, with Atlanta receiving about $6 million in each of the first two years of the new collective bargaining agreement.
But fast forward three years later and that hard team cap on salaries is accelerating upwards and teams like Atlanta are not keeping pace at the top end of the team payroll spectrum.
Paul Kelly is the NHLPA’s third executive director in three years and he visited Atlanta on Monday (coincidentally to meet with the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning; teams prefer to meet on the road, he said, where there are fewer distractions).
With the NHL having won its hard salary cap the hard way, Kelly’s job very much is to drive revenues to keep players’ salaries moving up.
from Tripp Mickle at SportsBusiness Journal (paid sub.),
NHL Players’ Association Executive Director Paul Kelly has invited NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to attend and address players at the union’s summer meetings. The invitation is the first Bettman has received in 15 years as commissioner.
Kelly informally extended the invitation when he met Bettman for the first time this fall. He later repeated his invite when he spoke before the league’s board of governors Nov. 29. A written invitation to the commissioner followed in an e-mail early this month.
“I was pleased to be invited,” Bettman said in an e-mail. “We believe that this represents a constructive development in our relationship.”...
“In past years, my appearance at the board of governors or the commissioner’s appearance at one of our meetings would not have been an enjoyable event,” Kelly said. “The players now hold the same view I hold. It’s time to grow the revenues and look at new markets and work with each other instead of against each other.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
League sources told Sun Media yesterday that Paul Kelly, the newly appointed NHLPA executive director, has been telling players the number of regular-season games in Europe is going to rise dramatically.
Kelly has suggested the NHL increase its regular-season schedule to 84 games and don’t be surprised if those extra two games are held at European venues. The belief among players is there could be as many as 8-10 games per season in Europe in the next two or three years.
“It’s the only way that revenues can be grown,” said the league source. “They’ve pretty well tapped everything they can in North America. Europe has tremendous growth potential and the NHL wants to do something about it. The players are partners now and need to do their part.”
more and your weekly dose of NHL rumors and talk…
from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star,
They’ve made no friends in enemy uniforms and yet both men willingly put their careers and reputations on the line for their National Hockey League brothers.
Last year, Chelios took on NHLPA executive director Ted Saskin, accusing him of using unfair practices to gain the spot as the man in charge of the association.
Saskin was ultimately forced to resign and Paul Kelly recently replaced him.
A half century ago, Lindsay led the players in revolt against the owners, seeking to form a players’ association to fight against unfair practices implemented by NHL owners.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
“I just think there’s going to be a steady, dramatic increase in visor usage,” said Kelly, hired by the NHLPA in October to replace ousted former NHLPA executive director Ted Saskin. “Players are getting the message that they should put a visor on, there are more young guys and European guys coming into the league, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 20 (percent) spike in the number of players wearing visors next year, and another 15 percent spike the year after that.
“Even left to its own natural evolution, visor use will become pretty much unanimous in a matter of two or three years.”
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
Its members may not be able to skate, pass or shoot a puck without falling down but the NHL Players’ Association believes its soon-to-be-appointed, six-person advisory board will be an off-ice powerhouse, a dream team of support.
The NHLPA, with the help of Reilly Partners, a Chicago head-hunting firm, is presently assembling candidates to sit on a formal advisory that will be the first of its kind among the major professional sports unions.
The board will be composed of experts in the field of law, corporate affairs, finance, marketing, labour relations and player representation.
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