Kukla's Korner Hockey
“You had a lot of complexity around Kovalchuk and some other things. It was a disappointing season. I see it. I was unhappy. I didn’t like being home watching the playoffs on TV. I wanted to be in the playoffs. That’s not lost on me. At the same time, good people and good systems can have disappointing years. We’re long term. We’re focused on making this a great franchise over the long term.”
-Josh Harris, owner of the New Jersey Devils. More on the Devils from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger.
from Paul Lukas of ESPN,
Until 1951, some NHL teams had only one uniform, so the question of what to wear at home was often moot. In 1955, the league mandated that teams wear colors at home and white on the road. That arrangement was reversed in 1970, when teams began wearing white at home. And then it was reversed again in 2003, when teams went back to wearing colors at home, the format that's still in place today.
That brings up one of those classic questions that fans can debate for hours: Which uniform is better at home: white or colors?
And then there's a related but distinct question: Does a hockey team look better wearing a white uniform or a colored uniform?
Uni Watch has always been in favor of NHL teams wearing white at home. Part of this is no doubt because your friendly uniform columnist grew up in the white-at-home era, but there's more to it than that. The feeling here at Uni Watch HQ is that most NHL teams just look better in white.
read on and you can vote on which sweater you like better...
via the Florida Panthers,
FOX Sports Florida, the regional television home of the Florida Panthers, today announced Denis Potvin has joined its roster of Panthers on-air talent as it expands their broadcast team for the 2014-15 season. In his new role, Potvin will return to the broadcast booth as color analyst, a position he previously held with the Florida Panthers for the club’s first 16 seasons in the National Hockey League.
Alongside play-by-play announcer Steve “Goldie” Goldstein, Potvin will provide a seasoned, exciting voice to Panthers’ television broadcasters after spending the past four seasons as color analyst for the Ottawa Senators. Bill Lindsay will remain an integral part of FOX Sports Florida’s Panthers broadcast team as he transitions to a new role this season as color analyst for Panthers LIVE! pregames, intermissions and postgame shows, along with providing a second analyst on-ice perspective for select games. Bill will join Drew Goldfarb, who returns for his second season as host of Panthers LIVE!
"We are pleased to welcome Denis back to the broadcast booth for the Florida Panthers," said Florida Panthers CEO & President Rory Babich. "With an exciting season on the ice right around the corner, the addition of Denis, a hockey legend with long-term ties to the organization, to the existing broadcast team of Steve, Billy and Drew promises to provide an enhanced experience for our TV viewers with one of the premier broadcast teams in the NHL."
“This was a great opportunity to expand and bolster our Panthers broadcast team by bringing in Denis, an NHL Hall of Famer and a veteran broadcaster with intimate knowledge of Florida Panthers Hockey and the team’s history in South Florida,” said Brett Opdyke, executive producer of FOX Sports Florida. “It also allows us to showcase Bill’s analyst skills on our Panthers LIVE! shows, and gives our broadcasts the added bonus of a second analyst “between the benches” on marquee games.”
from Louie Korac at NHL.com,
Can the Blues compete for the Cup with their revamped goaltending? -- The Blues allowed Ryan Miller to leave via free agency and will confidently turn to veteran Brian Elliott and rookie Jake Allen, who has 15 games of NHL experience under his belt.
The Blues feel like Elliott, who signed a three-year, $7.5 million contract, earned the right to go into the season as the No. 1.
"[Ellliott's] watched two other guys [Miller and Jaroslav Halak] get the ball," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "Now he feels like it's his turn. There's still going to be competition, but I think Brian's going to start as the incumbent based on experience and all the work he's put in."
Will the additional depth at center pay off? -- Adding Stastny, Jori Lehtera, Peter Mueller and Joakim Lindstrom to a group that includes David Backes, Patrik Berglund, Steve Ott and Maxim Lapierre gives the Blues strong reinforcement despite losing Vladimir Sobotka to the Kontinental Hockey League.
"We wanted to add depth, we wanted to add competitive depth, we wanted to strengthen the middle of the ice and that's what we've done," Hitchcock said. "We've added scoring depth and we added real definitive depth at the center ice position."
Would-be Islanders suitor Charles Barroway is suing current Islanders owner Charles Wang for $10 million after Wang reneged on the sale of the soon-to-be-Brooklyn-based team, and the New York Times' Richard Sandomir went so far as to pen an editorial-style article suggesting that Wang's--well, let's be honest here--awful stewardship of the team merits all but a moral imperative to sell the team to someone who can competently manage it.
This morning, the New York Post's Josh Kosman reports that Barroway's lawsuit involves someone with an intriguing tie to a certain sport's commissioner, and that commissioner now finds himself in a sticky situation:
An adviser working for the hedge-fund manager who sued the New York Islanders for reneging on a deal to sell him the team is NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman’s half-brother, The Post has learned.
Andrew Barroway hired Jeffrey Pollack several months ago after reaching a handshake deal to buy the club from owner Charles Wang for $420 million, sources said.
Wang and Bettman are believed to be pals.
And in addition to reporting that Barroway had difficulty actually coughing up the cash to purchase the team, Kosman reports that Wang increased the asking price for the team substantially (and many suspect that Wang did so after the Los Angeles Clippers sold for a billion dollars):
According to the Globe and Mail's David Shoalts, Rogers Communications is worrying that it overpaid for its Canadian TV-and-internet rights package, but the NHL discovered that the first payment from Rogers and strong performances by the outdoor games held this past season yielded an extra $150 million in revenue for the league:
Thanks to another run of prosperity after the NHL settled its labour problems 18 months ago, [NHL commissioner Gary] Bettman was able to tell the owners there will be a little extra in their piggy banks for the coming season. Each of the 30 teams will get an unexpected $5-million (all currency U.S.) thanks to the success of the league’s Stadium Series and the first payment by Rogers Communications Inc., on its $5.2-billion, 12-year broadcast deal. That is a total of $150-million in cheques mailed out this summer.
The Stadium Series was the four outdoor games played last season in addition to the existing Winter Classic and Heritage Classic. They were added for a revenue boost following the 2012-13 lockout and paid off nicely for the NHL despite fears the league was flirting with killing the golden goose.
Shoalts continues and explains how these revenues will effect the NHLPA going forward (as you already know, the NHLPA chose to accept a $69 million salary cap instead of pushing for a $70-71 million cap to minimize escrow withholdings after surrendering significant portions of their paychecks to the league during the 2013 and 13-14 seasons):
USA Today's Kevin Allen and Erik Brady penned a fascinating article about the ways in which the role of a professional sports commissioner has changed during the tenure of outgoing MLB commissioner Bug Selig, sourcing comments from Selig, his predecessor, Fay Vincent, preeminent sports economist Andrew Zimbalist, former MLBPA executive director and current NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr and a certain Mark Cuban (NFL commissioner Roger Goodell chose to decline an interview).
The article both traces Selig's path and sets a greater historical context for the role of a sports commissioner and how it's evolved since Selig took the job in 1992...
"If you go back, (sports) talk radio was in its infancy, there was no Internet, no mobile, less television coverage, no out-of-market packages to speak of, there was no social media and digital platforms," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told USA TODAY Sports. "That's a longwinded way of saying there is more to do. … To be a commissioner you always had to multi-task. But there are now multiple tasks, compared to what there were."
And aside from spending a significant amount of text pointing out that it's not the commissioner who is "in charge" per se--it's the owners who any and every sports commissioner represents, and the owners' interests that he proffers--Bettman, who took the reins from John Ziegler, very specificially tells Allen and Brady about the evolution of the commissioner's position:
The Tennessean's Josh Cooper updated two important items on the Nashville front today, and the first comes via a tip from NHL.com: According to Cooper, Predators forward Mike Fisher's not exactly going to return in a hurry from surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles' tendon:
There is no change in the timeline for forward Mike Fisher's recovery from a ruptured Achilles, Predators general manager David Poile said.
Fisher was injured in early July and the Predators announced that he would miss four to six months.
"He's working out on a regular basis here," Poile said. "Everything is tracking to date, but the bottom line is still a four- to six-month injury. Optimistically, Thanksgiving and end of November. That's an optimistic target."
Second, Cooper reports that the Predators and restricted free agent defenseman Ryan Ellis remain "a ways apart":
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