Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Darren Dreger at TSN,
The NHL put the cart before the horse.
That’s how NHLPA Executive Director Paul Kelly responded mere minutes after the National Hockey League announced the Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers will open the 2008 regular season in Prague and Stockholm.
The Players Association hasn’t approved the agreement and Kelly was surprised by the announcement the New York Rangers will also participate in the Victoria Cup. Although unlikely, Kelly says the players may not agree to play, “There is a chance we wouldn’t consent,” Kelly added….
“If they want us to be a true business partner, then they need to include us from the beginning,” Kelly concluded.
from the CP,
All was warm and friendly as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman interviewed NHL Players Association executive director Paul Kelly on his weekly radio show on Thursday.
“Paul has been really good to deal with,” Bettman said after the 15-minute interview ended on the NHL Hour show on XM Radio from New York.
The two men represent opposing sides in a league that had the entire 2004-05 season wiped out by a lockout, but Kelly is the new man, taking over three months ago after the house-cleaning that swept former boss Ted Saskin out of the NHLPA.
added 6:45pm, from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly surprised some earlier this season when he suggested the players would be in favor of adding a couple of games to the NHL regular season, to make it 84 instead of 82.
Sources say the NHL board of governors will get its chance to vote on that concept this weekend in Atlanta at the NHL All-Star Game.
The governors have previously been lukewarm or even opposed to bumping up the schedule to 84 games, but that proposal was often in the context of going to the Detroit Red Wing-sponsored schedule matrix, where there would be a home-and-home (30 games) series with all teams in the opposite conference.
The NHLPA’s Paul Kelly will be Gary Bettman’s guest on the NHL Hour today.
The NHL Hour broadcasts live Thursdays from 4-5 pm ET on NHL Home Ice, (XM channel 204) and NHL.com. The show will re-run on XM Satellite Radio and NHL.com, with archived shows available for download via a podcast on NHL.com.
from the Sun-Sentinal via the Santa Barbara News Press,
Thursday night, in a conference room of a New Jersey hotel, Kelly met with his 28th team - the Panthers - for more than an hour and a half.
Afterward, he noted some of the issues that matter to players:
This is a ‘‘big issue’’ with them, Kelly said. Players would prefer to increase the number of regular-season games from 82 to 84 and play no more than five preseason games - the current limit is nine.
Players are concerned about poor ice conditions they say increase the chance of injury and affect scoring. And cities with warm climates aren’t the only ones struggling to maintain a quality surface - Calgary and Boston are among the worst, Kelly said.
Players want to see revenues continue to grow and there’s growing support of ‘‘globalization.’‘
from Pierre LeBrun of the CP via Yahoo,
“It went well today,” Daly told The Canadian Press on Wednesday night. “We went through our respective views of what was transpiring and the possible causes. We share the same concern with respect to too many young players coming to North America before they are ready to play in the NHL. We talked about possible ways to address it. We have conceived of a possible short-term interim framework to give us more time for us to evaluate what’s going on in the market place.
“That framework is subject to all of the parties going back to their respective constituencies to discuss its merits.”
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.
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