Kukla's Korner Hockey
New York (June 18, 2007) – The 2007 Stanley Cup Hot Market sales period, beginning at the culmination of the Stanley Cup Final and including the seven days following it, produced a 48% increase from last year’s Stanley Cup Hot Market period and the highest sales numbers on Shop.NHL.com since the Detroit Red Wings won the Cup in 2002. The “Locker Room Hat” and “Locker Room Tee,” the two top-selling items on Shop.NHL.com, generated sales increases of 32% and 84%, respectively, over last year’s models.
Sales of NHL-licensed product increased on Shop.NHL.com for the ninth consecutive month, creating 22% sales growth for May 2007 compared to the same period last year. Fourteen NHL teams increased online merchandise sales for May 2007; the Ottawa Senators led the pack with an increase of 459% in comparison to May 2006. Other teams who more than doubled their May sales year-over-year: the Detroit Red Wings (135%), Anaheim Ducks (119%) and Buffalo Sabres (115%).
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
The Senators’ cloudy front-office situation should be cleared up early this afternoon. Amid rampant speculation about major changes coming to the front office of the Stanley Cup finalists, the Senators have announced a 1 p.m. press conference at Scotiabank Place. It’s expected the team will lay out the new structure of its front office and coaching staff, and the changes are expected to be significant.
Not only is the future of GM John Muckler in doubt, sources also say president Roy Mlakar’s position is being examined by owner Eugene Melnyk.
Mlakar likely doesn’t agree with the decision to remove Muckler from the GM’s job. If he’s let go, chief operating officer Cyril Leeder is considered a top candidate for the job.
from The Maven,
This is the time of year when Lou Lamoriello completes his head-coach search. With the Entry Draft coming up, it would not surprise if Double L announces his new bench leader any day now….
I’m guessing it’ll be Brian Sutter, who has experience, savvy and toughness. I was tempted to call this coaching scenario “The Meadowlands Melodrama” until I realized that Lou just moved his offices from East Rutherford to Newark.
more hockey talk, including the Bruins, the Senators and the Predators situation…
from the Tennessean,
Youth hockey is a key grass-roots element to generating and growing interest in the sport as well as support for the National Hockey League’s Nashville Predators. The question is whether the Predators will be around Nashville long enough to reap the benefits.
Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie has submitted an application to buy the Predators. He’s also laying the groundwork to move them to Ontario. If the Predators depart Nashville, it would take away the most visible source of motivation for youngsters to start playing hockey in the first place.
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
Everywhere he’s been in the NHL, people say Keenan has changed; he’s mellowed; he’s a new Mike. And then he gets into a feud and a good player (Hull, Wayne Gretzky, Trevor Linden) leaves town. At 57, is Keenan really that different than he was with the Philadelphia Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues, etc.?
“Like good wine, you age and get better,” Keenan said. “Maturation brings changes. The experiences, both positive and negative, you learn from those. Hopefully, everyone changes. I’ve changed and if I hadn’t I wouldn’t have lasted or coached in the league as long as I did.
“It’s important to take stock of what you’ve done and where you’re headed.”
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
-If Ryan Smyth is smart and gets the same sort of money to sign in either Detroit or Colorado, it’s a no-brainer. He should take the Wings.
They’re always in the playoff hunt and he talks about winning being important. It should be at 31. Plus, does Smytty want to play for the Avs, which means playing against the Oilers eight times a year in the Northwest Division? That might be a little uncomfortable.
-Chris Pronger apparently offered up $5,000 to any Ducks’ player who got the winning goal the night he was suspended in the finals against Ottawa. Dustin Penner was the lucky recipient.
much more NHL talk…
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
If, in the end, it comes down to a choice between the 73-year-old Muckler and the 64-year-old Murray, it isn’t hard to imagine why Melnyk would opt for the latter.
It doesn’t reflect negatively on Muckler’s ability to steer the Senators’ ship through the new restrictive salary-cap waters either. It just means Ottawa didn’t get the job done in the Stanley Cup and now faces a series of interesting personnel questions in the weeks and months ahead.
Melnyk may still be a relative neophyte as a hockey owner, but he surely understands this business is no different than the pharmaceutical industry on one important level: If you want to get to the top, everybody needs to be on the same page philosophically.
And if they’re not, then some hard decisions need to be made in order to remedy the situation.
About this time of day, usually on a Sunday, my father would tell my sister, my mom and me to get into the car, we were going for a drive.
We would hop into the 1967 Ford LTD, roll down the windows and take in some of the sites around the Detroit area.
Gas was around 33 cents a gallon and we didn’t have a care in the world. We would drive around for about an hour or so, just taking in the sites and sounds of metro Detroit.
On occasion, my dad would take us by Gordie Howe’s home in Lathrup Village. I would always strain my neck out the window in hope Gordie would see me and say hi, but it never happened.
Today, on Father’s Day I still wish my dad was around so I could take him for a drive, just to see the sites.
It’s not too late to reach out to your father, do so and just reminisce about the old days, it will be good for both of you.
from the Telegram,
“He can play in the NHL,” Chiarelli added, “but circumstances dictate that he probably won’t.”
At least not now, because even Chiarelli — a lawyer who rarely rules out anything — insists that Zinovjev, despite his rock-star status in Russia, isn’t worth $5 million in the NHL right now.
“No, he’s not, because he’s unproven,” Chiarelli said. “He’s proven himself over there and makes a lot of money, but he’s unproven over here.”
Assuming they can’t sign Zinovjev, the Bruins still would like to get something in return before their NHL rights to him expire on July 1, 2008. That could mean packaging the rights with an established player — goalie Hannu Toivonen comes to mind, especially if the B’s are as certain as everyone else about the bright future of 20-year-old Finnish sensation Tuukka Rask — and get a proven NHL talent in return from a rival team.
more on the Bruins…
Spector at his Fox Sports Blog has all the talk regarding the big time UFAs.
On a sidenote and my one prediction per year is Drury is a lock to go to the LA Kings.
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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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