Kukla's Korner Hockey
From the Ottawa Sun,
As was first reported in the Sun on the weekend, Calgary Flames D Dion Phaneuf will be the main cover boy for Electronic Arts’ NHL 09 video game.
But the two-time all-star and 2007-08 Norris Trophy finalist won’t be getting the video game limelight all to himself.
Two countries will sell games with a player other than Phaneuf on the cover—one of them Sweden, where Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson draws the coveted cover spot. Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin will be on boxes in Russia.
Alexander Ovechkin is the winner of the 2008 Hart Trophy as the National Hockey League’s most valuable player to his team.
That is, according to the NHL’s online shop for a few hours on Friday.
The league’s official website briefly displayed a blue Reebok Washington Capitals T-Shirt of the Russian superstar, with the title ‘2007-08 Hart Trophy winner’ splashed across the bottom.
“The Hart Memorial Trophy, originally known as the Hart Trophy, the “oldest and most prestigious individual award in hockey,” is awarded annually to the Most Valuable Player in the National Hockey League,” the sales page read.
Update June 7th: From the CP via the Toronto Star,
A league source attributed the gaffe to a mistake by a third-party distributor, while pointing out shirts are created for every possible scenario. Should Ovechkin not win, the T-shirts would be destroyed.
from Ted’s Take,
The NHL had a great year. Can you name me one other media oriented company that can say they grew and grew fast across the board in terms of:
Ratings - both nationally and locally;
Season ticket renewals and season ticket sales;
Overall ticket sales;
Overall ticket pricing;
The salary cap will move up again as the players share in more than half of the revenues so the players are happy.
For the most part, the product has improved.
from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,
Olie Kolzig, the Washington Capitals goaltender through some of the best and worst moments in the team’s history, confirmed yesterday what had been suspected for weeks: He has played his final game for the franchise that drafted him in 1989.
continued (reg. req.)
from Capitals Insider,
Although majority owner Ted Leonsis, GM George McPhee and Team President Dick Patrick have yet to discuss next season’s roster in detail, it sounds like the Caps are going to seriously consider re-signing Sergei Fedorov - for the right price, that is.
The 38-year-old Russian was a major factor down the stretch, centering both of the top two lines and logging big minutes on special teams. Fedorov also mentored Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom as the youngsters made of their first playoff push.
“He was great for us,” Leonsis said yesterday. “So I’m sure if he wants to play, and we can afford it, we’ll figure it out.”
Update 2:42pm ET: Some comments from Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail, who notes that hockey writers and players actually agreed on these selections. A rare event.
From the NHLPA Press Release:
TORONTO (May 1, 2008) – The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today that Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames, Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals are finalists for the 2007-08 Lester B. Pearson Award. The Lester B. Pearson Award is presented annually to the “most outstanding player” in the NHL as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA.
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
On the heels of an MVP-calibre season in which he scored 65 goals, added 47 assists and led the Washington Capitals into an unlikely playoff berth, the 22-year-old’s marketing representatives are close to announcing Ovechkin’s first major sponsorship contracts.
In the works are deals with Ferrari and U.S. mobile phone company Verizon, says Konstantin Selinevich, who spearheads Ovechkin’s off-ice business relationships. Selinevich says talks continue with others, including Coca-Cola. Just last month, the Wasserman Media Group, a powerful sports marketing agency in Los Angeles, was hired to buttress efforts to land endorsements for Ovechkin.
While the star already has sponsor agreements with Reebok’s CCM brand, trading-card company Upper Deck and Hype, an energy drink, none has put much marketing muscle behind him. (Selinevich says that will change this summer when Reebok rolls out an Ovechkin clothing line.)
From Tarik El-Bashir at the Washington Post,
...just hours after an excruciating overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, one absence was conspicuous.
Veteran goaltender Olie Kolzig had cleaned out his locker stall and left the building, skipping the mandatory meeting. He did not speak to reporters. After Monday’s 3-2 loss at Verizon Center, he stripped his name tag off of his locker stall.
Kolzig, a fixture in the Capitals’ net for a decade before being essentially replaced by trade-deadline arrival Cristobal Huet, did not play after a 5-0 loss in Chicago on March 19. In recent weeks, Kolzig seemed increasingly detached as Huet led the Capitals to the franchise’s first playoff berth in five years. Kolzig, 38, did not return a message left on his cellphone, and his agent, Art Breeze, declined to describe his client’s thought process, other than to say: “The choice will be Olie’s as to where he plays next year…”
continued… with more post-season Capitals talk (reg. required)
Update 1:20pm ET: El-Bashir hears from Kolzig and updates at his blog,
First, Kolzig said he doesn’t want to give any interviews for a few days as he collects his thoughts. He said he obviously has some decisions to make and will talk soon.
Second, he also said he didn’t remove his nameplate from his locker stall at Verizon Center out of anger. He acknowledged that the Caps’ Game 7 loss to Philly could “possibly” have been his last game in Washington, so he wanted to take the nameplate as a memento. He plans to frame it with a jersey.
Today’s NHL media conference call brought together Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks, and Nicklas Backstrom from Washington. Earlier today all three were named as finalists for the Calder Trophy Award for the NHL’s Rookie of the Year.
Here is a transcript from that Q&A session.
Q. For Patrick and Jonathan, going after the same award, how do the two of you feel about that?
via the AP via Yahoo,
Coach Bruce Boudreau has been given a contract to stay with the Washington Capitals, a reward for leading the team from last in the NHL to a Southeast Division title.
Capitals general manager George McPhee said Wednesday: “He’s our coach. He’s under contract ... for a long time.”
added 2:28pm, more on the Caps at Capitals Insider...
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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