Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Smith at the Hockey News,
Imagine you’re eight years old and are told: “Someday you will be a hockey scout. Your job will be to watch hockey games and you will be paid to do it.” You have a difficult time grasping this, but you hope it will be true.
Fast forward a few decades. You are sitting in a rink, watching another game and realize that you have a really good job. You have traveled the ever-expanding global hockey world. You’ve been to Victoria, Quebec City, Halifax, Prague, Stockholm, Grand Forks, Seattle, Prince Albert and on and on. You keep thinking: “I get paid to do this.”
from the Atlanta Business Chronicle,
A new revenue-sharing system helps those teams, with Atlanta receiving about $6 million in each of the first two years of the new collective bargaining agreement.
But fast forward three years later and that hard team cap on salaries is accelerating upwards and teams like Atlanta are not keeping pace at the top end of the team payroll spectrum.
Paul Kelly is the NHLPA’s third executive director in three years and he visited Atlanta on Monday (coincidentally to meet with the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning; teams prefer to meet on the road, he said, where there are fewer distractions).
With the NHL having won its hard salary cap the hard way, Kelly’s job very much is to drive revenues to keep players’ salaries moving up.
NHL TV Ratings are up! Thanks to Ted Leonsis, you can view all the numbers…
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Atlanta Thrashers—7pm ET
The Lightning’s Vincent Lecavalier, who leads the NHL with 51 points this season, and the Thrashers’ Ilya Kovalchuk, who leads the league with 26 goals, will go head-to-head for the fifth time this season and the 35th time in their careers when the Lightning play the Thrashers tonight in Atlanta.
Lecavalier has scored 39 points (17-22—39) and Kovalchuk 36 (20-16—36) in their 34 previous meetings, with Tampa Bay and Lecavalier winning 18 times, Kovalchuk and Atlanta 14 times, and two games ending in a tie. They’ve met four times already this season with each player winning twice; Lecavalier (3-6—9) has more points but Kovalchuk (5-2—7) has more goals.
via On Frozen Pond,
Rumors have it that Montreal is shopping Michael Ryder, and I would think the Panthers have an interest with Ville Peltonen out a substantial—six/eight weeks—bit of time with his broken foot. Ryder has scored 30 goals the past two seasons, but is struggling so much this season he’s been a healthy scratch. Ryder has three goals and seven assists this season.
He hasn’t scored a goal since Nov. 16 at Buffalo and hasn’t so much as recorded a point since getting two helpers against Boston on Nov. 17. Change of scenery—and some sunshine—might be what Ryder needs.
from Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal,
Detroit general manager Ken Holland and his general staff – Jim Devellano, Scotty Bowman, Steve Yzerman – can’t get enough credit. Their head coach, Mike Babcock, is first-rate and their development team – have you noticed Henny Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, et al. – are top of the heap.
And how about the genius move in signing Chris Osgood? At 35, he’s playing as well as he ever did in 14 years of big league goaltending!
many more NHL bits, some of them covered on KK in the past week…
From CTV News,
The family of Keith Magnuson, who was killed in a drunk driving crash caused by former Toronto Maple Leaf captain Rob Ramage, is asking a judge to spare Ramage a prison sentence.
Magnuson’s son Kevin told a Newmarket, Ont. judge on Tuesday the Ramage family has been punished enough by the fatal accident and subsequent trial and conviction.
The Magnusons said they have forgiven Ramage for his actions, and would rather see him receive a sentence of community service instead of a penitentiary term.
*A surprising position for the family to take, considering they chose to take Ramage to civil court and were awarded $9.5 million in their wrongful death lawsuit.
from On Frozen Blog,
Leonsis emphasized that embracing new media is for the league merely an extension of the relationship its fans have already cultivated, passionately. “All of our fans are wired. They spend most of their time on broadband. They have their mobile devices.”
“People have underestimated the importance of search. They’ve underestimated the influence of Facebook. Facebook has a $15 billion valuation — more than every NHL and NBA team combined. What did they do? They brought a big audience of young Web-savvy customers. We have to look at our business in the same vein.”
So what’s ahead? For starters, the owner contends, increasing acceptance of bloggers and the blogosphere. Additionally, individual blogs that are likely to surpass The Hockey News in popularity and influence. Their quality, he said, “is better than the copy you see in the newspaper.” Then next up comes a very new age role for NHL players.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
At thehockeynews.com, we don’t ask how or even how many. We ask: How many of them were important?
That’s the crux behind Campbellnomics, a statistic unique to THN.com that measures meaningful goals. We’re not concerned with who scores the sixth goal in a 6-1 game. We’re more concerned with the players who can be counted on to contribute when it matters most.
From Kent Youngblood at the Star-Tribune,
So when the NHL returned, so did Lemaire—for the long term. And tonight he’ll become the 14th man to coach 1,000 games.
And that begs the question: Has Lemaire had more impact as a player or as a coach? Lemaire played 12 seasons with Montreal. Including playoffs, he played in 998 games, totaling 974 points.
“I’m probably the wrong guy to ask, because I can see it in both cases,” said Wild GM Doug Risebrough, who was Lemaire’s teammate in Montreal for five seasons. “I guess it depends on your time frame. Your younger players probably don’t realize how good a player he was. ... He was the best two-way player I’ve ever seen play. Not of my time, but ever. He was the centerman who could pass, he had a great shot, he was smart. He played with two good players [Steve Shutt and Guy Lafleur] because he was so good defensively.”
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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