Kukla's Korner Hockey
Gary Bettman made a statement today at the World Hockey Summit in regards to how hockey fans feel about NHL participation in the Olympics.
via Scott Burnside tweet,
Bettman says fans’ response to NHL participation in Olympics is a “mixed bag”. Not sure we buy that.
What are your thoughts and thanks to many of you who already responded to the same question on Twitter.
added 2:41pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
To the surprise of practically everyone in the room, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman wasn’t quite the wet blanket that delegates to Wednesday’s session of the World Hockey Summit might have imagined.
Instead, Bettman was quite playful during his 30-minute cameo appearance, teasing questioners, poking fun at IIHF president Rene Fasel, but most importantly, clarifying the NHL’s position with regard to Olympic participation, which was the day’s primary point of discussion.
Bettman stressed that he is not anti-Olympics and contrary to the general perception, the NHL hasn’t said no to appearing in Sochi, Russia, where the 2014 Games will be played.
from Andrew Podnieks at IIHF.com,
The gold-medal game between Canada and the United States was, quite simply, the single most watched hockey game in history. More than 114 million people around the world watched Sidney Crosby score in overtime to give Canada home gold.
By comparison, Lumme noted, the worldwide numbers for the 2010 and 2009 Super Bowl were 110 and 106 million, respectively. The most recent UEFA Cup final reached 106 million. In short, Lumme noted, “Olympic hockey is right up there with some of the biggest events in the world.”
The global average for hockey was 28.5 million, meaning that for every minute of hockey, that many people around the world watched NHLers play
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
You’ll have to forgive Paul Kelly for feeling a tad radioactive.
But then, you might feel that way, too, if you held the position that the former NHL Players’ Association boss does today, but still found yourself persona non grata at the event that bills itself as the World Hockey Summit.
Kelly, in case you didn’t know, survived the disgraceful coup d’etat at the NHLPA with his reputation intact, so much so that he was quickly snapped up by the NCAA and hired as the executive director of College Hockey Inc., the nine-month-old organization that acts as the information and marketing arm of U.S. college hockey.
Given the heated battleground that is the relationship between the NCAA and Canada’s junior hockey system, with both competing furiously for the same players, you might think Kelly would be a useful speaker at the summit.
Well, you thought wrong, and it’s not hard to guess that it was the CHL, one of the organizations behind the summit, that didn’t want him involved.
from Andrew Podnieks at IIHF.com,
Slavomir Lener, a veteran coach who has traveled the world working in the game, provided the Molson Canadian World Hockey Summit with a distressing series of statistics which indicate a clear devastation of the European game because of a loss of players to Canadian junior hockey. His opinions were supported by Murray Costello, Tommy Bugstad, and Jan Filc….
“Canada gave the world hockey, which has since become a global game,” he explained. “What’s fascinating is that every major country plays the game a different way. There is the robust play of Canada, and the slightly different way for the Americans, the consummate team play of the Soviets, the opportunistic Czechs and Slovaks, the perfectionist Swedes, and the Finns who can play any way, but like it in-your-face.”
And then the roadblock. “So why do the leaders of the CHL want to bring players over to Canada and make them play a Canadian style of game? We need to get the development streams as strong all around the world. Instead of thinking of the immediate result, we need to think five or ten years down the road. If any player anywhere in the world develops and gets better, all of hockey benefits.”
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
On the stage, at the Air Canada Centre, Rene Fasel, the normally mild-manner dentist who doubles as the president of the International Ice Hockey Federation, essentially told the NHL to stay out of Europe with whatever expansion plans it may have in the future.
“I will fight like hell and not allow anybody to come from abroad,” said Fasel Tuesday, when asked about the much-rumoured, but never actually articulated idea that European expansion is the NHL’s next frontier.
It was an unusually strong position for Fasel, a man known for his mediating and negotiating skill and overshadowed the other small admission that he made during Day 2 of the World Hockey Summit regarding future NHL participation in the Olympics.
from Jeff Marek of CBC,
Outspoken sports radio host Bob McCown called for stiffer penalties on fighting on Day 1 of the World Hockey Summit in Toronto.
Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke said parents are the worst judges of talent in all of hockey.
Continental Hockey League (KHL) chairman of the board and former player Slava Fetisov said Russia isn’t as interested in transfer agreements/payments as they are in having a relationship with the NHL that grows the game worldwide.
Hayley Wickenheiser talked about how there are only six rinks in all of Russia where women play hockey.
Steve Yzerman pointed to the lack of arenas in Florida, which has hurt development of the sport in that state.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
They gathered, for the first night, at the Hockey Hall of Fame and used that tried-and-true format – the Hot Stove discussion – to launch the world hockey summit. Everybody who was everybody in the world of hockey showed up, or was on their way, including a couple of intriguing guests from Russia – Alexander Medvedev, president of the Continental Hockey League (KHL), and Slava Fetisov, the league’s chairman.
Medvedev’s league is about to enter its third season and despite many growing pains along the way, and the frustration of not being able to repatriate the crème de la crème of Russian players, is becoming a more viable option with every passing season.
from James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail,
Huet’s agent, Steve Bartlett, said his client would have been willing to renegotiate his contract to stay in the NHL, something that is not currently an option.
“His goal was to stay in the NHL,” Bartlett said. “If there was a way he could have, he would.
“That’s the downside of the inflexibility of the CBA – there’s no ability to renegotiate or for another team to take on a portion of a contract. Financially, you’re well covered, but if your goal is to play in the NHL, you’ve got two hands tied behind your back.”
from Chris Kuc of Chicago Breaking Sports,
Cristobal Huet’s time with the Blackhawks appears to be nearing an end.
The veteran goaltender is in discussions with Fribourg-Gotteron of the Swiss League, but “nothing is 100 percent yet,” according to Huet’s agent Stephen Bartlett. “We’ve had discussions with (Gotteron), but nothing is finalized and there are a lot of hoops to go through and approvals that have to happen here, so at this point it’s preliminary to say anything is done.”
from the CP at The Hockey News,
It might be a little on the expensive side, and it might take place during one of the last prime weeks of summer, but organizers of the world hockey summit believe fans will be rewarded for their attendance.
The four-day event opens Monday in Toronto, featuring some of the sport’s most influential figures discussing pressing issues in an open public forum. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and IIHF president Rene Fasel will host separate question-and-answer sessions, while Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke and Detroit Red Wings counterpart Ken Holland headline an impressive list of panellists.
“This would be hockey-nerd heaven, for sure,” said Paul Carson, vice-president of hockey development with Hockey Canada.
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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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