Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
And then there’s the number that backs everything up: According to Dolan, 93 per cent of the NHL overall revenue (up from 91 per cent before the lockout) is generated by the teams, with only 7 per cent generated by the league.
That’s why the Toronto Maple Leafs are extremely well off, and the Predators are gasping for air. And that’s why, if the local Nashville deal falls through, it’s no real solution to move the team to another non-hockey market such as Kansas City — because it will have to sink or swim right there.
Even in the darkest days in Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa — and Winnipeg and Quebec City — at least that was never an issue.
from Bruce MacLeod at Red Wings Corner,
Now the same people who had to turn people away at the ticket window have to figure a way to draw people in.
The franchise has been slow to react, but this game’s not over. It’ll be fun to watch the Red Wings try to become more fan friendly over the next few years.
more on the Wings ticket problems…
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
To correct that problem Reebok says it has developed a treatment that permits sweat to escape through the fibers, yet still manages to stay reasonably dry.
This new sweater is being shipped to teams around the league, with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Reebok’s spokesman Sidney Crosby likely to debut the modifications as early as Friday.
From Lisa Dillman at the LA Times,
Amusement park rides aren’t nearly as scary as the upper reaches of Pengrowth Saddledome, home of the Calgary Flames, which is why news that the team’s goal judges would be stationed in the thin air of the catwalk sounded like a bad joke.
So, Pluto was unavailable? Maybe they’re planning on playing U2’s “Vertigo” when a goal is scored. And just an idle thought, will these goal judges be given high-powered binoculars along with their official blazers at Thursday’s home opener? “It almost sounds laughable,” agreed Flames public relations assistant Sean Kelso.
continued… (*looking at various teams; may require free registration)
Tonight the NHL and Esquire Magazine celebrated the start of the 2007-08 season and the 10th anniversary of Hockey Fights Cancer with an all-star bash at Esquire North, a penthouse overlooking New York City’s Central Park.
Among those expected there were NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, Esquire Publisher and Vice President Kevin C. O’Malley New York Islanders head coach Ted Nolan, Hockey Hall of Famers Bobby Nystrom and Rod Gilbert, NHL great Willie O’Ree. Plus a host of players, including Mike Comrie, Rick DiPietro and Bill Guerin of the Islanders; Ryan Miller, Derek Roy and Paul Gaustad of the Buffalo Sabres; and others. The Stanley Cup also made a special appearance at the event.
Photos and more, below.
From Tarik El-Bashir in Wednesday’s Washington Post,
But as the NHL prepares to open season tonight—the third under the new collective bargaining agreement—some league executives and outside observers are again voicing concerns about the growing disparity between high- and low-revenue teams.
Although the average player salary this season is expected to be about $1.8 million, which is what it was in 2003-04, the salary cap ceiling has grown to $50.3 million per team, an increase of nearly 30 percent in two years. The salary cap floor, meantime, is up to $34.3 million, substantially more than some clubs spent before the lockout that scuttled the 2004-05 season.
more… (*a detailed overview the NHL’s financial situation)
*may require free registration to read
Burke has been critical of some of the moves made by the Oilers this past off-season and did not mince words when talking about Lowe.
“If I had run my team into the sewer like that I wouldn’t throw a grenade at the other 29 teams and my own indirectly,” said Burke. “So I have no intention of speaking to him anytime soon.”
When Duthie asked what would happen if the Ducks needed to talk to the Oilers about a player late in the season Burke explained his assistant GM, Bob Murray would make the call.
more… (*Full interview about 3 minutes long. Follow the link to check out the video.)
From the AP via TSN,
The Blue Jackets could start the season without as many as three of their top veteran players.
The club announced Tuesday that defenceman Adam Foote, left winger Fredrik Modin and centre Michael Peca would be put on injured reserve. The Blue Jackets open their season on Friday night at home against the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks.
From T.C. Denault at Habs World,
This year’s preseason offered no shortage of stories. [...] Strangely, lost in the shuffle was Alexei Kovalev.
What makes this even stranger is that this upcoming season represents a make or break year for Alexei Kovalev. The time for excuses is past. Now beginning his third full year in Montreal, one could argue that Canadiens fans have yet to see the best of Kovalev.
It’s hard to argue that we haven’t seen the worst of Alexei Kovalev already.
From Steve Gorten at the Sun-Sentinel,
Jacques Martin has never publicly said, and probably never will, that trading Roberto Luongo was a mistake, despite how it shook the Panthers’ organization.
Martin ultimately gave his approval of the trade to then-General Manager Mike Keenan not because he wanted to — Luongo was the reason Martin chose to coach the Panthers instead of the Coyotes — but because he felt he had no other choice after contract negotiations with the star goalie grew too contentious.
So Martin, the coach, made do with Alex Auld and Ed Belfour in goal. In June, Martin, the general manager, made a major move to stabilize that position and this franchise: He traded three draft picks to the Nashville Predators for goalie Tomas Vokoun.
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