Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/03/06 at 10:11 AM ET
Ann Arbor, MI: What will happen to the Red Wings next season? Will Yzerman be back? Will GM Ken Holland realize that despite their success in the regular season, this team wasn't built to win in the playoffs? Gary Thorne: I'm not so sure. They have to settle the goaltending matter in a big-time way. If they do that, they are solid and have speed up front and still have a defense that can move the puck. Chelly will still get the job done, but not beyond another year. Stevie Y needs to call it quits, but with the dollars hanging out there, he may come back and that means spot play. It's what happens after next year that will determine the Wings' future. First though, who's in net? McLean, VA: While the NHL is no doubt happy just to have a Stanley Cup finals to broadcast, league and OLN officials can't be too happy about an Edmonton-Carolina matchup. When will the NHL dump the smaller markets? Gary Thorne: No. They can't. The league is a gate driver. So long as the seats are full in whatever city plays, a lot of money is being made. This was a very good year at the gate for the NHL. Put 18,000 in a rink at $200 or more a ticket and then they spend a hundred more on concessions and tees? You do the math. Small markets still equal big bucks.more
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