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NBC Fading

from the Vancouver Province,

Turn out the lights. The NBC-NHL party is just about over. The U.S. TV network has one year plus an option left on its deal with the hockey league and with numbers sinking faster than the Lusitania the rats are already jumping ship.
The NHL on NBC now makes “Joanie Loves Chachi” look like an Einstein-like programming decision.
In response, the network has now cancelled its studio show and has reduced three games on Saturday to just one on Sunday.
Gone are Brett Hull, Bill Clement and Ray Ferraro.
“Of course I was disappointed,” says Ferraro. “Three minutes into the call and you know you’ve got to start earning a living some place else.”

read on & some HNIC news too…

Filed in: Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Staying Sharp

from the StarPhoenix,

Windsor has become a summer hotspot for some in the hockey business.
From Europe, the United States and Canada, Bob Allen welcomes a new group of students each week to his Maximum Edge shop to get the ins and outs on skates.
“A lot of people don’t realize what goes into skate sharpening, from moms and dads to professionals,” said Washington Capitals head equipment manager Brock Myles. “I always want to improve myself and know different techniques and different systems.”


Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Phoenix Talking With Ballard

from the Arizona Republic,

Discussions are continuing between the Coyotes and restricted free agent defenseman Keith Ballard, whom General Manager Don Maloney calls “a priority player right now.”
Maloney said the talks are not antagonistic, and that one of the snags is the length of the contract, but that the financial terms are still being hammered out.
“I would say we’re in the preliminary stages of getting a feel of where we each want to go with this thing,” Maloney said. “I like Keith. He’s going to be an important part of our team, but like anything else, we have to make a deal that makes sense to us….”

continued... including the Yotes are about $5 million below the salary cap floor…

Filed in: d, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Next Offer Sheet?

from the Sun-Sentinel,

With a wide gap separating the Panthers and restricted free agent center Stephen Weiss in contract negotiations, at least other three teams have inquired about signing him to an offer sheet, Weiss’ agent, Pat Morris, said Monday.
“Not to get into the parameters of it, but we’re talking about a long-term deal and there seems to be a major difference in how they view Stephen as compared to Nathan Horton,” Morris said. “That’s why we’re not signed.”


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

Avery In Shock

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The Post has learned that in addition to referring to Avery as, “a reasonably effective player as well as a detriment to the team,” in the team brief that was presented to the arbitrator, Ranger management also said:
“Avery is not a mature player. He plays, at times, like an individual rather than a member of a team. This is sometimes referred to as an inability to see the ice, and in Avery’s case this seems to fit with his overall approach to the game.”
Understand. These are the words chosen to represent Rangers management’s view of Avery’s worth….
“I have no idea what to say,” Avery, who went into the hearing seeking $2.6M, wrote in an e-mail to The Post following the hearing in Toronto. “I don’t know what this was about.
“I’m shocked.”

read on

Filed in: New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Ticket Situation In Nashville

from the Tennessean,

Almost two weeks after a daylong rally generated the sale of 726 season ticket equivalents for the Predators, the team continues to garner interest but is still short of last year’s total.
Since the July 19 event at Sommet Center the Predators have sold an average of 20 a day, according to Steve Violetta, the team’s executive vice president of business affairs….
The season ticket renewal rate is about 73 percent. Historically, Violetta said, it’s from 82 percent to 88 percent, so at least an additional 10 percent in renewals should come.
New season ticket sales are at 2,100 since the sales push begin in March, when the Preds were heading to the playoffs.


The Tennessean also has a story regarding the local investor group trying to purchase the Predators…

Filed in: Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Lowe Playing By The Rules

from Spector at Fox Sports,

Several hockey pundits and bloggers have echoed Burke’s words, accusing Lowe of screwing up the player salary structure with his inflated offers for Penner and his earlier attempt to sign Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek.
Lowe has also been called hypocritical for engaging in the same wild spending that big-market teams under the previous labor agreement engaged in which once threatened small-market clubs like the Oilers.
Regardless of the criticism, Lowe is doing what he’s entitled to do under the collective bargaining agreement. Sure, the offers to Penner and Vanek were pricey, but Lowe has the available cap space, the willingness to use it, and offered what he believed would be enough to pry those players away from their respective teams.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Forget ESPN

from Ray Slover at the Sporting News,

Unless I see something that tells me otherwise, I’d rather see the NHL leave games on NBC and Versus. Yeah, an ESPN connection would raise the league’s public-relations image. And if NBC wants out of the deal, the NHL is right to do something to assure its TV presence on a high-level U.S. broadcast outlet, preferably one available to the highest number of viewers. Free TV, rather than cable.
Hard-core fans aren’t the NHL’s primary concern. They are hooked and in the creel. It’s casual fans the league needs to grow its base and popularity. And realigning with the magical machine that is ESPN would seem a bonanza in the making.
Nah. Leave the games on Versus. Better yet, go through with the proposed NHL Network. It’s better than being a second citizen on ESPN.


Filed in: Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Grading The Northeast Division

from Wes Goldstein of CBS Sportsline,

The first-place Buffalo Sabres lost two of their best players, and the Stanley Cup finalist Ottawa Senators fired their general manager and will have a new coach, but both teams will look a lot like this year, which should be enough to separate them from the division pack.
Early returns make Toronto look to be the best of the Northeast also-rans, which isn’t difficult since the Canadiens and the Bruins seem to be selling only hope these days.

read on for the grades of the teams in the Northeast…

Filed in: Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Dallas Accepts Antti Miettinen’s Arbitration Award

From Dallas Stars press release,

Dallas Stars General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today that right wing Antti Miettinen has been awarded a one-year, $885,000 contract by a Toronto arbitrator.
Miettinen, 27, collected 11 goals and 14 assists for 25 points in 74 games with the Stars last season. He ranked third on the team in hits (145) and logged an average of 14:19 minutes of ice time during the 2006-07 season. During the 2007 playoffs, he tallied two points (1-1-2) in four games.
“We’re happy to have this process behind us and to have Antti under contract for the upcoming season,” said Armstrong. “We accept the arbitrator’s decision as a neutral party.”

(If only they could all be so easy…)

Filed in: Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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