Kukla's Korner Hockey
“The letter thing is I think overblown by people on the outside. Within this room, we’re confident going forward. If we have a captain, if we don’t have a captain, if someone else is the captain, we don’t really care. There’s enough leaders in here to do a good job.”
-Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks. Much more on the Sharks from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo.
from Jesse Lawrence at Forbes,
According to TiqIQ, the season average for Blackhawks tickets at the United Center is currently $262.32 on the secondary market. This marks an 12% increase from last year’s season average of $234.43. The significant increase in ticket price on the secondary market comes on the heels of the team’s Western Conference Final appearance last season, though the Blackhawks ultimately fell to the Los Angeles Kings in seven games. The Blackhawks won 46 games last season, the most wins in a single season since 2009-10, despite a franchise-record 15 overtime losses. In the lockout-shortened season of 2012-13, the average secondary market price for Blackhawks tickets was $237.38 in 24 home games, marking a 10.5% jump in price for the upcoming season in comparison to 36-7-5 season the Blackhawks had two years ago. The Blackhawks also have the highest average price for any American NHL franchise this season on the secondary market.
The Blackhawks will host their most expensive home game of the season against the Detroit Red Wings on February 18. The current average price of Blackhawks vs Red Wings tickets is $333.60 on the secondary market, 27% above the season average.
Gary Bettman and George Strompolos were at the Canadian Club of Toronto today and discussed numerous topics including expansion.
You can watch more videos on different topics today at Sportsnet's YouTube page.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Where it stood as of Monday morning: The Jackets still want their leading scorer back at around $3 million a season over two years. It’s been their stance for a long time when it comes to a two-year deal, and it’s believed Overhardt came down last Thursday from the $6 million plus a year he originally asked for to less than $5 million per year. Overhardt would not comment on that information but a source confirmed it to ESPN.com.
But it’s still a standstill. Neither side appears to be wilting one bit.
The Jackets believe they can overcome the loss of Johansen. After all, they got almost nothing from either Nathan Horton or Marian Gaborik (before he was traded) last season and still made the playoffs. So there’s a strong, team-first belief in Columbus that no matter which player is missing, they can overcome it.
more plus the Ottawa Senators' goaltending battle...
Hockey is back and so is NHL Live, which kicks off another season Monday at 5 p.m. ET from the NHL Powered by Reebok Store in New York City.
NHL training camps are under way, and Steve Mears and EJ Hradek will commence their daily season previews with a look at the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks. NHL Network insider Darren Dreger also joins the show with the latest news from around the League, including the status of unsigned restricted free agents.
The Anaheim Ducks are among the projected top contenders for the Stanley Cup. NHL Live welcomes coach Bruce Boudreau to discuss what's ahead for a recalibrated Ducks team that bulked up at center with the addition of Ryan Kesler.
Remember to submit your #AskEJ questions all season long to @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, and join the conversation on Twitter as we ask your opinion on some hot topics around the NHL.
from Michael Babad of the Globe and Mail,
“The opening of National Hockey League training camps … will be welcomed by a range of Canadian businesses including stadiums, bars and clothing retailers,” associate economist Alexander Lowy said in a weekly report on Canada by Moody’s Analytics, a sister company to the well-known ratings agency.
“Canada’s favourite professional sport often has a measurable impact on economic activity,” he said, noting part-time employment as arenas hire, and the boost for food and shelter as “fans gather in bars and restaurants” to take in the games.
In Canada, the total output in sports and performing arts is “particularly tied” to hockey, Mr. Lowy said.
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
Peter Karmanos, one of the most venerable team owners in the NHL, is looking for someone to succeed him as owner of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Karmanos has hired New York investment bank Allen & Co. to help him find an investor who would be willing to commit "hundreds of millions of dollars into the team but let me control it," he told TSN.
Karmanos said he wants to partner with an investor who would buy out his interest in the team over time. Karmanos said he is seeking an investor who would value his team at $420 million or more.
"What I am trying to do is set up a reasonable succession plan because I'm not one of those guys who thinks I am going to go on forever," Karmanos said in an interview. "I'd like to have a partner again...but someone will have to pay dearly for it. (The Hurricanes are) a valuable franchise despite what some of your folk in Canada say about them. I don't see a basketball or baseball or football team coming here. We're going to be the lone ranger here (in Raleigh) for quite some time."
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
“Yeah, it was different (than he’d expected),” rookie of the year Nathan MacKinnon acknowledged.
“I didn’t realize how smart he’d be. I know he was passionate, very competitive, but he understands the game so well. Everything he does there’s a reason behind it,” MacKinnon told ESPN.com.
“He doesn’t just bark at guys. He’s always thinking. It’s only my second season but I’m sure he’s one of the most progressive coaches in the league,” MacKinnon said.
Young Avs captain Gabe Landeskog admitted he, too, wasn’t sure what to expect from the legendary goaltender turned coach.
“I think it surprised me, you always get the questions is he yelling at you, is he all fired up every game and all this stuff. I think to a lot of people (with the team) he’s surprisingly calm. He’s very smart in the way he interacts with his players whether it’s between periods or after games or before games he’s very calm and he’s able to look at the big picture. He’s emotional yes, but he’s smart about it,” Landeskog said in an interview.
from Jeff Simmons of Sportsnet,
Biggest story line to watch: Without Hartnell, the Flyers created a sizeable hole at the top of their forward group. Hartnell was a strong fit alongside centre Giroux and right winger Vorcaek on the first line, so Berube and the coaching staff must quickly find an adequate replacement. Early reports indicate Umberger could be a fit in that role, but he hardly provides the size and physicality that worked so well with the two scorers. Others in consideration are Schenn, Vincent Lecavalier and Michael Raffl, who all saw time in the role last year.
2014-15 prediction: Despite the Flyers’ strength up front, Philly will take a minor step back without Hartnell and fail to qualify for the playoffs. They don’t have enough on the back end. Philly finishes ninth in the Eastern Conference standings.
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Mueller went to Switzerland last season, signing with Kloten, which he led in scoring 26 goals and 46 points in 49 games, ranking third in the Swiss league.
“You talk to anyone that puts the puck in the net, you get 20 goals anywhere, you’re feeling good,” Mueller said. “I haven’t felt that in a long time. So to put up points and be looked upon to put goals in the net, it’s obviously a great feeling. I’m riding that confidence of last year into this year.”
Mueller has been concussion-free for two-plus seasons and says “knock on wood” that he is as healthy as he’s been in a while.
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock advised Mueller to “just go play. He’s a really intelligent, offensive player. He’s had stops and starts in his career due to injury that really impacted his NHL career. So he just needs to come and play. When you have a player that plays with that level of intelligence, he’s going to fit in wherever we play him.
“I just know that the player before he got hurt, Mueller was a good player in the National Hockey League. Can he be back there again? Who knows, but he’s just got to come and play. He’s got a really high level of intelligence.”
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.
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