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Big Boys’ Toys, Casinos, And Equity

By George Malik: If you've ever wondered why billionaire businessmen purchase sports teams despite the fact that the vast majority of sports teams sustain operating losses, the CBC provides a few answers:

[E]ven though many teams themselves may lose money on an annual basis — and the financial state of sports teams is something that owners and player unions seldom agree on — most clubs do tend to grow in value over time. For instance, Forbes magazine now values the New York Yankees at just over $1-billion US, with George Steinbrenner and his family owning 80 per cent of the franchise. Not a bad return on investment when you consider he bought the team for $10-million US in 1973. Annual operating losses just don't seem as important in those circumstances. Sometimes, the owners have other business interests that invite tie-ins. The Mavericks' Cuban also founded HDNet, which calls itself the first television network to broadcast exclusively in high definition. It will come as no surprise that it also carries Mavericks games. And some owners have built sports conglomerates that begin with the team but grow to include the stadium (often subsidized or with some kind of a tax deal), extensive retail operations and broadcast stations that together, build value.

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Tucker, Peca Bury The Hip-Check

from the Globe and Mail:

When the Toronto Maple Leafs gathered in the dressing room at the Air Canada Centre for their preseason opener a few weeks ago, Darcy Tucker motioned to his new teammate, Michael Peca, to occupy the locker stall to his left. "Right here," said Tucker, slapping his hand on the seat next to him. The other players in the dressing room gave the kind gesture a double-take, considering what happened on April 26, 2002, when Tucker delivered a low-bridge hit on the then New York Islanders forward, resulting in reconstructive surgery for Peca. Tucker's overture was part of the healing process that the two have undertaken since they became teammates last summer.

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Doing It The Right Way


I like this for a number of reasons. First, Ted and the Caps have already shown that they really mean it, via the links to "hockey-friendly blogs" and invitations to events. Second, he's right- there isn't much media coverage on the Caps in the Washington area, so if the fans want more, they have to do it themselves (which isn't necessarily a bad thing). And don't get me started on the stupid statement I heard Amy Lawrence on ESPN Radio make yesterday about hockey not being exciting and people not wanting to watch it (Fred has more on it at his blog, so I won't go into detail here). Anyway, I'm glad to see that Ted recognizes the blogosphere and realizes the influence it can have. We're fortunate to support a team whose owner gets it; I feel bad for the hockey bloggers in say, Chicago, who will likely never have the possibilities that we do.
DCSportsChick points to some interesting links. The web landscape, when it comes to hockey, is changing and a few teams have jumped aboard. Those teams that have not are facing some serious issues if they continue their stodgy, old fashioned ways.

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Dealing With Change

from the OC Register,

The once-recognizable Disney-movie-born Mighty Duck with the goalie mask bent into a bill joined the endangered species list, given that the new team logo includes just the left-turned webbed foot - forming the "D" in Ducks - of our feathered friend. All the merchandise bearing popular but 13-year-old color palettes of jade, eggplant and white or black and purple is now part of a Mighty heritage that many longtime fans aren't likely to forget soon. About a third of Friday night's sellout crowd of 17,174 arrived in the Ducks gear that merchandisers can now classify as retro or throwback. Some said they hadn't had the time or money - a $220 pricetag hung from the black (home) Reebok uniform sweater and a $95 tag from the white CCM replica sweater in the Team Store front window - to update their Ducks wardrobe. Other longtime Ducks fans said going retro was a conscious decision, a statement of disapproval of the cosmetic changes that owners Henry and Susan Samueli have made in their first offseason.
read on

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Keep An Eye On Vegas

via Darren Dreger at TSN,

Now I'm sure you've heard of Jerry Bruckheimer. He's produced mega movies like Pirates of the Caribbean and Top Gun and he's also the mastermind behind the famed CSI series. Bruckheimer has been waiting patiently with his pockets full of cash, eager to gamble on the success of hockey in Las Vegas. Bruckheimer put in a bid to buy the Anaheim Ducks a few years back, and most recently kicked the tires on the Penguins. But this movie mogul isn't interested in propping up a troubled franchise - he wants an NHL team in Vegas, be it through re-location or expansion. NHL sources suggest a fee north of $250 million could be what its going to take.

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Center Needed

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

One of the only reasons that the Atlanta Thrashers aren't mentioned frequently as a possible break-out team this season is the question mark surrounding their centre-ice corps. The Thrashers have quality wingers, a decent defence and an emerging young goaltender in Kari Lehtonen, but in the absence of Marc Savard — who signed with Boston as an unrestricted free agent — they're basically featuring a centre-ice corps of Slava Kozlov, Steve Rucchin and Bobby Holik.
read on...plus many NHL topics discussed...

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“Red” All Over

from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazetts,

-As you'd expect, now that he's with the Florida Panthers' Todd Bertuzzi has had more than enough questions about his cowardly attack on Steve Moore, which left the former Colorado Avalanche forward with a broken neck. Enough already, Bertuzzi told a recent interviewer. "I'm done talking about it. Next question. You got another one?" -Ottawa general manager John Muckler: "How are you feeling these days?" Veteran reporter: "How's an 80-year-old guy supposed to feel?" Muckler, 72: "I'll let you know shortly!"

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Start Early- End Early

from Linda Cohn at ESPN,

I love the NHL, but I wish the league would look at the bigger picture here in the sports world. The league always will have its core base of fans, the die-hard fans who will watch games on TV, the Internet, their telephones, on Mars! But if the league really wants to build on the success of last season and really wants to increase its fan base, it seriously should consider starting the season three weeks earlier and shorten it by a month. You won't have players complaining that the season is too long. You can still make money with sellouts in the dog days of February.

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Back To Business As Usual

from the Canadian Press:

Fans have come back to the NHL. And now they're paying for it. Led by the Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes, more than half the league's teams have raised ticket prices, including 10 of them by more than five per cent.
Carolina tickets now average $38, an increase of 45 per cent over last season, the first since the NHL returned from a lockout that cost the league the 2004-05 season. The Florida Panthers bumped up prices 29 per cent after they were only one of six teams to raise prices last season. Stanley Cup runner-up Edmonton, Calgary, Nashville, Boston, Dallas, Montreal, Philadelphia and Ottawa also raised their prices by more than five per cent.
Remember, folks: It's about supply and demand, not player salaries. continued

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Martell Update

via the AP,

NHL referee Rob Martell will miss at least one week of action after getting hit in the left eye with an errant puck during the San Jose Sharks' game against St. Louis. Stephen Walkom, the NHL's director of officiating, said Friday that Martell has swelling and blood in his eye, but probably incurred no long-term damage. He was cleared to fly out of San Jose, but won't return to the ice for at least another week.

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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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