Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
In 15 years of watching the Bettman administration at work, the hockey world has learned that these fellows love to dabble.
They’ve dabbled in an unbalanced schedule, but now appear set to change back. They’ve dabbled in third jerseys and uniform “systems” and streamlining goalie equipment. They’ve dabbled in glowing TV pucks and neutral-site games and regular-season contests in Europe, not to mention the World Cup and the Winter Olympics, never fully committing to any of them….
Oh yes, and they’ve dabbled, curiously, in playing their games outdoors….
That the NHL will try to make this happen in a lakeside city that offers a winter climate that’s both unpredictable and often violently inhospitable is one interesting part of the equation.
That it’s willing to essentially undermine the competitive legitimacy of its own product by permitting such a novelty event to go forward is another.
Empty Netters tries to find out what happened to all the tickets for the Winter Classic.
from the CP,
Petr Sykora didn’t get the most money in this summer’s free agent frenzy, but he may have got the best job.
The 30-year-old Czech signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins and got put on right wing on the first line with NHL most valuable player and scoring leader Sidney Crosby.
Now he just needs show enough in camp to stay on the trio with 20-year-old Crosby and 39-year-old Mark Recchi when the regular season begins.
“There’s not many guys like Sidney in this league and to be able to play with a player like that would be one of the top moments in my career,” Sykora said Tuesday as the Penguins prepared to play their second pre-season game in as many nights against the Montreal Canadiens.
From WBEN in Buffalo,
The Buffalo Sabres outdoor game at Ralph Wilson Stadium—officially called AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic New Year’s Day- sold out 74,000 tickets in under 1 hour Tuesday morning.
The game, against the Pittsburgh Penguins, began offering tickets at 10:00 am at the Bills Ticket Office outside the stadium and online at Ticketmaster.com. None were available by 10:40 am
It is not known how many tickets went to individual buyers and how many went to brokers, but there are indications that the secondary market is already skyrocketing. There were no limits on the number of tickets any individual could buy, and immediately after the sell out tickets were being offered on E-bay, at typical prices of $2,000 for six, or roughly $300 each.
From the CP via Toronto Sun,
The Pittsburgh Penguins set a lofty standard last season and want to take it even farther in the 2007-08, says star centre Sidney Crosby.
Last year’s surprise Penguins finished tied for third overall in the Eastern Conference with 105 points, but were bumped from the playoffs in the first round by the team they tied with, the Ottawa Senators. And Crosby, who won MVP honours after leading the league with 120 points, wants both himself and the team to do even better this season.
The worst-kept secret in hockey is finally coming out in the open as the NHL makes its announcement about the January 1st, 2008 outdoor game to be played between the Buffalo Sabres and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Update 2:09pm ET:
For Canadian Residents Only:
Pepsi, Lay’s and Gatorade brands are giving away one prize every hour for 56 days, including the chance to meet NHL star Sidney Crosby.
With another NHL season right around the corner, hockey fans are getting ready to cheer their favourite teams and follow Canadian superstar Sidney Crosby’s first season as captain of the fast-rising Pittsburgh Penguins.
Meeting Sidney Crosby is just one of the incredible prizes awarded every hour, during the “Game On with Sidney Crosby” promotion running between September 9, 2007 and November 3, 2007.
from the Pittsburg Post-Gazette,
Regardless of how management classifies him, it seems extremely unlikely that Esposito will spend this winter with the Penguins.
They have a surplus of NHL-caliber talent up front, so there is no need to force-feed the league to Esposito instead of sending him back to the junior league Quebec Remparts.
“Just like everyone else, you want to make the team, but if I don’t make this team this year, I’m still young,” Esposito said. “I want to come in here and learn a lot and we’ll see what happens.”
No matter what transpires the next few weeks, Esposito figures to take at least one enduring memory out of this camp: He is expected to be in the lineup when the Penguins face Montreal in a preseason game tonight at 7:38 p.m. at the Bell Centre.
from the Buffalo News,
League executives will gather at Ralph Wilson Stadium this afternoon to trumpet the first NHL game to be played outdoors in the United States, one that should shatter the league’s attendance record. The Sabres will host the Pittsburgh Penguins at 1 p.m. Jan. 1 in the home of the Bills.
NBC, one of the league’s television partners, has been pushing for a marquee New Year’s Day event, Collins said. The holiday is one of the busiest days of the year for television use. It traditionally has been an afternoon of college football bowl games for sports fans, but since the advent of the Bowl Championship Series to determine a national champion, most of the top games are on other days.
The league views that as an ideal time to attract fans.
“It will really build a national and North American platform for the league,” Collins (NHL Sr. VP) said. “There’s a lot of interest in the game.”
more including ticket information…
WNYMedia has learned exclusively that ticket prices for the big event have been set from $10 for the first few rows of the 100 level seating bowl, which are labeled as obstructed view, to $203 for those heated club seats under the overhang.
We obtained a copy of the pricing chart through an unnamed contact, but were unable to reach Sabres PR spokesman Mike Gilbert this afternoon for verification or further comment.
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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