Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jonathan Bombulie of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
The Penguins' five highest-paid players — Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury — will make $38 million next season. That will fill 53.2 percent of the $71.4 million salary cap.
Add in the other 17 or 18 players on the 23-man roster — even after the Penguins shed third-line center Brandon Sutter and his $3.3 million salary in a trade with Vancouver on Tuesday — and the team is bumping its head on the salary ceiling.
The only teams that will allocate more than half of their cap space to their top five players are the Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks, who are fresh off a Stanley Cup with star forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews making eight figures.
On the surface, that might sound like the Penguins and Blackhawks are in an untenable position. A closer look tells a different tale.
First, top-heavy salary structures are common in the NHL. Sixteen of the league's 30 teams allocate between 40 and 48 percent of their cap space to five top players.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
When the Vancouver Canucks were able to augment their centre position through the Brandon Sutter trade this week, they hit upon one of the proven formulas of improving a team in the NHL.
The difficulty in pulling this off more often, of course, is getting yourself into the right position and then finding a team which has the assets you covet, and having stumbled into same the position the Pittsburgh Penguins found themselves in before this trade.
Positioning yourself to take advantage of teams that are over the salary cap and must pare down before the start of the season is something the Canucks have done successfully in the past, and other teams as well have found this a winning formula.
After all, when you are making a trade with a team that has to make a trade, the odds are very much in your favour that success will be forthcoming.
from the Pittsburgh Penguins,
The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired forward Nick Bonino, defenseman Adam Clendening and a 2016 second-round pick from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Brandon Sutter and a 2016 third-round pick, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
The second-round draft pick acquired by Pittsburgh is Anaheim’s 2016 second-round selection.
The third-round choice that Pittsburgh is sending to Vancouver is the compensatory pick awarded from Buffalo for hiring Dan Bylsma as head coach earlier this summer.
Bonino is signed through the 2016-17 season and carries an average annual value of $1.9 million. Clendening is signed through the ’15-16 campaign.
added 11:39am, Vancouver release is below...
via the Pittsburgh Penguins,
The Pittsburgh Penguins have agreed to terms with forward Eric Fehr to a three-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
The deal runs through the 2017-18 season and has an average annual value of $2 million.
Fehr, 29, has played most of his 10-year NHL career with the Washington Capitals. He posted 19 goals, 33 points and a plus-8 in the 2014-15 campaign with Washington. His goal total was the second-highest mark of his career.
The 6-foot-4, 212-pound center was a key member of the Capitals’ penalty kill unit in ’14-15, logging 1:23 shorthanded minutes per game. The defensively reliable center won a career-high 52 percent of his faceoffs.
Fehr underwent elbow surgery June 3 and faces a recovery time of 4-6 months.
Fehr has been a plus or even nine times in his NHL career, and has broken the 30-point plateau three times, including each of the past two seasons.
from Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Hiring Sam Ventura as a consultant responsible for analytics only is the start, Penguins vice president of hockey operations Jason Karmanos insisted.
With hockey becoming more data-driven, building an analytics team is one of the Penguins' priorities, one over which Karmanos will have significant influence.
And one that started with the hiring of Ventura, a 27-year-old Swissvale native who, with Andrew Thomas, cofounded hockey analytics website war-on-ice.com.
“My hope is that over time we can build an analytics team,” Karmanos told Trib Total Media. “In order to do that correctly, ideally you would have full-time positions on staff. That's the goal. I think (hiring) Sam was a huge step in that direction.”
Ventura, who recently earned his Ph.D. in statistics from Carnegie Mellon, will start teaching there in the fall as he had planned.
from Jenn Menendez of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Experts say the high fee for an expansion franchise could drive up the price of the Penguins, a successful and known commodity.
“Psychologically, it may help a buyer who’s interested in purchasing the Penguins, between the team and the development rights, to kind of justify to themselves that I can go up to $750 million or $800 [million] or $850 [million] because I don’t have to do all that work,” said John Clark, a professor in sports marketing at Robert Morris. “In the Penguins case I think it helps them a little bit.”
The franchise has been on the market since June 3, when it retained Morgan Stanley to explore the possibility of a sale. It was most recently valued by Forbes at $565 million and ranked the 10th most valuable NHL team largely because of its long-term lease at Consol Energy Center, a lengthy string of sellouts, development rights where the Civic Arena stood, a strong television rights package and healthy merchandise sales.
“In my personal opinion in the case of the Penguins, I would not be surprised if they saw a premium price for the franchise,” said Larry Grimes, president of the Maryland-based Sports Advisory Group, which advises investors on purchasing professional teams. “It’s one of the most well-established franchises in the league with a rabid fan base, stars locked up, Stanley Cups under their belt. It’s a strong franchise in what appears to be a strong market. I had seen articles last week that indicated the price could be as high as $850 million. I would not doubt that.”
from Mike Ozanian of Forbes,
Mario Lemieux has done a spectacular job turning around the Pittsburgh Penguins. But the NHL Hall of Fame owner is not going to get the $850 million for his hockey team that some claim he might.
Part perhaps even more clever than the way he engineered his team on the ice is the deal Lemieux struck with the government that gave he and co-owner Ron Burkle the building rights to about 29 acres of land where the old arena was located. That land is now being developed into valuable property where companies like U.S. Steel will have a long-term lease.
The timing could not have been better for the comeback of real estate. Borrowing is cheap. Great time for Lemieux and Burkle to get out.
I still say the team and their lease at Consol Energy Center is worth about $565 million. This is the number you use when looking for comparable multiples of revenue (four times for Penguins) to value hockey teams. You only way you get to $850 million by adding in the Civic Arena development.
a bit more...
from Evan Webster of the Herald News,
Three Nova Scotia NHL players got the star treatment Monday while having supper at Acadian Fish & Chips on Hammonds Plains Road.
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, Colorado Avalanche centre Nathan MacKinnon and Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Andrew MacDonald dropped by the restaurant on their way back from a round of golf.
Restaurant manager Evelyn LeBlanc offered them a free meal.
“Sidney came to the counter, and I looked at him and said, ‘Are you who I think you are?’” she said.
“He just smiled and grinned at me, then said ‘Maybe.’ So I said, ‘Well, your meal is on the house.’”
LeBlanc said the players do a great job representing Nova Scotia, and that she was happy to feed them for free.
from the HHOF,
Bryan Trottier was a modern-day player with old-fashioned attributes. At a time when specialists were beginning to take over from the all-round player, Trottier was a throwback. He was a defensively sound centerman with the vision and instincts of a pure scorer. Over an 18-year National Hockey League career, he led his teams to the Stanley Cup six times, including four consecutive titles with the New York Islanders in the early 1980s. And his achievements went beyond team success. He was the winner of the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie, the Art Ross Trophy as top scorer and the Hart Trophy as the most valuable player. Trottier, at his retirement, was the league's sixth-highest all-time scorer.
In 1974, however, the NHL was reacting to the threat of the World Hockey Association. The elder league held a semi-secret draft with an emphasis on underaged players - teenagers who were 17 and 18 years old. Trottier was chosen 22nd overall in the second round, and he was the ninth underaged player taken that year. He was a promising forward, but hardly anyone pegged him as a dominating player. The New York Islanders, the team that selected him, even suggested he spend another year in junior, making him the only secret underaged player to wait to turn pro following that draft.
Watch the Legends of Hockey feature on Bryan Trottier below...
from Deborah M. Todd of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Seven years after the Pittsburgh Penguins helped to transform a Carnegie Mellon University research project into a viable tech business, the professional hockey team is hoping for another score with local startups.
The Pens and the Pittsburgh Technology Council teamed up in June to issue a call to Pittsburgh’s techies to submit ideas for software, hardware, data analysis techniques or other products that can give them a technological edge over National Hockey League competitors.
The call, which ends today, requested brief videos or essays explaining the ideas and how they can benefit the Penguins. While the team is open to suggestions, according to senior director of technology Erik Watts, it has its heart set on ideas that relate to fan amenities and immersion, keepsakes, games, increased interaction, social media engagement, big data analysis, automation and other areas.
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.
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