Kukla's Korner Hockey
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have re-signed defenseman John Erskine to a two-year, $3.925 million contract extension, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. Erskine will earn $1.925 million in 2013-14 and $2 million in 2014-15.
Erskine, 32, currently ranks sixth on Washington in average ice time per game (19:30), the highest total in Erskine’s 11-season career. His previous high came in 2006-07, Erskine’s first year with Washington, when he finished the season with an average ice time total of 18:03 per game. He has tallied one goal and one assist this season and ranks fourth on Washington in hits (31) and tied for third in blocked shots (19).
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have re-signed goaltender Braden Holtby to a two-year, $3.7 million contract extension, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. Holtby will earn $1.7 million in 2013-14 and $2 million in 2014-15. He was set to become a restricted free agent following this season.
“We are pleased to sign Braden to a contract extension,” said McPhee. “Braden is a young and talented goaltender who has performed very well in both the regular season and the playoffs during his NHL career. We are fortunate to have two excellent young goaltenders on our roster in Washington.”
from Craig Custance of ESPN (paid subscription),
Leafs TV, owned by the team, was launched in 2001 and immediately added leverage to negotiations to televise Maple Leafs games and helped raise the value of the franchise.
"What I can tell you, the television deal prior to Leafs TV arriving and the first contract after Leafs TV -- the rights fee per game doubled," said John Shannon, who was the vice president of programming at MLSE and now an analyst for Sportsnet.
During his time running LeafsTV, Shannon said three NHL teams approached the Leafs directly about setting up their own network, much like the Leafs did with the Yankees and their YES Network.
With teams like the Leafs, Rangers and now the Capitals leading the way, it threatens to create a gap between those NHL teams adding significant revenue through television deals or their own networks and those unable to do so.
"It drives up the revenue for the league and it drives up everyone's salary cap number," Leonsis said. "So if you're not generating more revenue while the league's revenues are going up, it means you're paying more in salary without have the additional revenues. There's this real drive to try and find more revenues so that you can keep up."
Which led to the creation to the Monumental Network. The problem for teams that don't also own an NBA team or arena, is it's a little tougher to create a network that would add leverage to local television deals. The infrastructure costs alone would take a good 10 years to recoup and a hockey team doesn't provide nearly enough content to fill a channel.
read on if an ESPN insider...
...the fun has been leaking out of Oveckin's game for a while. We've waited through two seasons and a quarter of a third to see the old Ovie. After watching him on Sunday, I'm not sure he's ever coming back.
-Stu Hackel of Sports Illustrated. Read more from Hackel in a detailed explanation why he feels the way he does.
from Katie Carrera of Capitals Insider,
The NHL and the NHL Players Association are meeting with the International Olympic Committee and the International Ice Hockey Federation today and tomorrow in New York to determine whether the league will allow its players to participate in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
One person who doesn’t believe NHL players should take part in the Olympics is Capitals Coach Adam Oates, even though he understands how it can help promote hockey.
“You know what, I don’t. I don’t. My honest answer is no,” Oates said Wednesday to a small group of reporters in Tampa. “Is it good for hockey that they do it? Great. But I grew up trying to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs, not Team Canada. Didn’t even know it existed.”
from Neil Greenberg of Capitals Insider,
Since the 2005-06 season, the biggest deficit overcome in the East to make the playoffs with 35 games left has been four points. Right now the Capitals are five points out of playoff contention and with no inter-divisional play, the teams ahead of them will always be getting points from somewhere. Take Tuesday night, for example: 12 Eastern Conference teams saw action and nine of them got at least one point. Seven of those clubs are teams Washington needs to leapfrog to get into the postseason.
By Dan Groob, TiqIQ
The Washington Capitals are disappointing again, and fans are none too pleased. Coming off a 2011 season which saw the Capitals finish with the most points in the Eastern Conference, last season’s 7th place finish and second round exit represented multiple steps in the wrong direction. This year, things might even be worse.
“Had some real good discussions with ownership over the last couple of days. They’re obviously not very happy. But they’ve been supportive. At times like this ownership can pile on and make things worse. Or ownership can say ‘How can we help and what we can do to make it better?’ And it’s been the latter. It’s been ‘How can we help, what can we do to make it better?’ And I provided some options and they provided some real fair direction, which was great. So that being said, if there’s something I can do to help the club out I will. But I’m not gonna do anything stupid.”
-George McPhee, GM of the Washington Capitals. More from McPhee's media scrum today by Katie Carrera of Capitals Insider.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
In the Caps' locker room, the players were suitably chastened, as you would expect from a team that is now 2-8-1.
Troy Brouwer suggested the team wasn't mentally prepared to play.
"I agree," offered captain Alex Ovechkin.
"Yeah, no emotions. Nothing."
Before Thursday's game, rookie head coach Adam Oates talked with enthusiasm about the direction he felt his team was headed. In spite of the losses, he felt they were not being dominated, that they were a few key saves and some bounces from being a better team, certainly a team with more points.
Keeping the faith will be harder after Thursday's offering.
"Tonight was just not a good enough hockey game," defenseman Karl Alzner said.
from Neil Greenberg of the Washington Post,
I get it. The outlook is grim. The Capitals are in last place in the NHL with a 2-7-1 record and will likely miss the playoffs. They have a minus-13 goal differential (worst in league) and have yet to score more than three goals in a game. Their penalty kill is ranked 23rd in the league, which is compounded by the fact they have been shorthanded 47 times (tied for third worst). Faceoffs, once a hallmark of head coach Adam Oates’s career, is also floundering at 47.8 percent. But that doesn’t mean Alex Ovechkin should no longer be a member of the team.
Sure, his production is nowhere close to what it was when he signed the first $100 million deal in NHL history back in January 2008 — a $124 million, 13-year contract extension that runs through the 2020-21 season — but it still doesn’t make getting rid of Ovechkin the right move.
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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