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Gary Bettman Talks MLBAM Partnership

from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,

Almost one year into a landmark digital media rights partnership, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Wednesday they believe the deal has benefited both sides.

The six-year contract, which was signed Aug. 4, 2015, allows Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), the technical arm of Major League Baseball, to serve as the host of all of the NHL's digital properties, among them NHL.com, NHL.TV and NHL Network.

"[MLBAM] has been extraordinary," Commissioner Bettman said during an appearance with Manfred at Paley Center for Media in Manhattan. "Bob Bowman (MLBAM president and chief executive officer), who not only created but presided over it since its inception … has made it the leading enterprise for streaming live sports. They're cutting edge, extraordinarily professional. They're great at what they do."

Commissioner Bettman said a review of the NHL's digital-media presentation led him to MLBAM. There also was a comfort level professionally and personally with Bowman, whom Commissioner Bettman said he's known for almost 25 years.

"We were reviewing all of our options both on the strictly vendor side and also what other more integrated solutions or possibilities were there for us," Commissioner Bettman said. "Based on our knowledge and understanding and respect for what [MLBAM] had accomplished, we thought that this would be the best opportunity for us to provide the best experience for our fans to connect to the game using technology both today and into the foreseeable future.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Still No Contract For Auston Matthews

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

Toronto Maple Leafs top draft pick Auston Matthews remained without a contract on Wednesday, the sticking point apparently over performance bonuses that GM Lou Lamoriello has historically avoided in his time as an NHL executive.

There is no reason to panic yet, with hockey still two months away.

But some find it a curious way to do to business for a team that has invested heavily in building through youth, and spent so much time selling the pain of losing to land a player of Matthews calibre.

“This one, to me, feels foolish,” an NHL source not involved in the talks told The Star. “I don’t know what Lou’s reward is if he wins for the amount of risk you take by going this direction.”

The Leafs not only risk alienating Matthews and his camp — souring future talks when Matthews will have more leverage — but they may be sending a negative message to players around the league about how the team treats stars, he said.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: auston+matthews

No Four-On-Four OT Hockey In NCAA Games

from John Shipley of the Pioneer Press,

The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee decided Wednesday to table a proposal for four-on-four overtime and a sudden-death shootout that would have been required for all NCAA regular-season games, the NCAA announced.

The proposal would not have affected postseason tournament games, including conference and NCAA championships, which would continue to use a five-on-five, sudden-death overtime format played in 20-minute periods.

However, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel did approve use of an experimental rule allowing a 3-on-3 overtime period followed by a sudden-death shootout if a game is tied after a 5-on-5 OT period. Any conference interested in using the experimental rule may do so, the NCAA said.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, College Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The “Culture” Trade

from Josh Lile at WFAA,

The discussion that will never die keeps…not dying. This time we can blame Marc Bergevin of the Montreal Canadiens for lighting the cigarette near the gas leak by trading P.K. Subban for the probably washed up Shea Weber. (Special shout out to the man who traded Tyler Seguin for also trading Taylor Hall at almost the exact same time. What a stroke of good fortune for Peter Chiarelli.)

Today’s choose-your-own-adventure is built around the word “culture.” Culture is important. Culture isn’t important. Maybe culture is important, but overrated. You can’t measure culture, so leave the narrative-building to the neophytes. Narrative, analytics, culture, character, suffering, hammer, thumb, pain: the rabbit hole has no recognizable end point.

What do we actually know about culture?

We know culture as this mysterious “other” dimension that somehow dictates the inner-workings of major organizations. It’s often portrayed as something that just exists. “Hey the culture is here guys. Wait…you. You’re messing it up. Go away.” Culture is grossly oversimplified or misunderstood often, I think, largely because most people will never have to actively think about how to establish or tweak an environment for a large group of rotating people.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: p.k.+subban, shea+weber

Afternoon Line- Jeff Petry

from the MontrealCanadiens,

With the Canadiens spending half of every season on the road, we decided to ask the players for their take on what’s hot and what’s not across the NHL’s 29 other destinations in Canada and the United States.

FRIENDLIEST MEDIA?

Jeff Petry- Probably Dallas. There’s just one guy (laughs).

more short questions and answers from Petry...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jeff+petry

The Off-Ice Battle In Nashville

from Nate Rau of The Tennessean,

Attorneys for Nashville Predators part-owner David Freeman argued Wednesday that his lawsuit seeking to recoup the hockey club and Chairman Tom Cigarran should stay in a Nashville court — not be sent to the NHL for arbitration.

In fact, Freeman's case for keeping the lawsuit in Nashville hinges at least in part on the complicated legal argument that he's not technically an owner, but rather an investor in a trust that owns a portion of the Predators.

It's a critical point for Freeman, because he and others who buy an NHL franchise sign agreements dictating that their business disputes will be considered in arbitration hearings overseen by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Brad Richards Announces His Retirement

from the NHLPA,

Brad Richards is announcing his retirement today from the National Hockey League (NHL), following a decorated career that spanned 15 seasons.

Richards played a total of 1,126 career NHL games with five different teams: Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars, New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings. The talented and highly skilled forward notched 298 goals and 634 assists for 932 points over the course of his career. He also eclipsed the 100-point plateau in career playoff scoring, registering 105 points in 146 postseason games.

“I want to thank the fans and the five organizations I have played for: Tampa Bay, Dallas, and the three original six teams — the New York Rangers, Chicago, and Detroit. During my time with those teams I met many great people. I also want to thank the staff and management in those organizations for all the help and support they gave me. I appreciate all the trainers who did tireless work to help me play and keep me healthy. I had many amazing teammates and made many great friendships along the way that I truly appreciate, and I will never forget the great times we had together. Thank you to all my coaches for pushing, teaching and giving me the opportunity to play this great game. Winning the Stanley Cups in Tampa Bay and Chicago was the best part of my career and I will never forget those moments. Nothing compares to enjoying that night with your team and knowing what you have accomplished together,” said Brad Richards.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brad+richards

Signed UFA Players Who Must Prove Themselves Again

from Tal Pinchevsky of ESPN,

"Players used to get paid for what they had done in the league. Now they're paid for what we predict they're going to do in the league. The cap has changed the mentality of how we look at players," said former New York Rangers and Islanders GM Neil Smith. "If you don't fit into one of two groups -- young, up-and-coming star or veteran superstar -- then you're going to have to sign a short-term deal because no one wants to use up their cap on a guy they're scared of."

Here are the players who have signed deals and are looking at a similar make-or-break season in 2016-17.

Thomas Vanek, LW, Detroit Red Wings: Vanek appeared to be a crucial piece when the Minnesota Wild signed the high-scoring winger to a three-year, $19.5 million contract in 2014. At the time, he was fresh off a productive 68-point season and a trip to the Eastern Conference finals with the Canadiens. But Vanek never made it to the third year of that contract, being bought out by Minnesota last month before signing a one-year deal with the Wings. The two-time 40-goal scorer struggled mightily last season, scoring 18 goals and posting a minus-10 before going goalless in 10 Wild playoff games. Vanek, 32, isn't being signed to be a bottom-six forward, meaning he must recapture his scoring touch to stick around. He'll have every opportunity to do that with the Red Wings, who boast talented centers in Darren Helm, Dylan Larkin and fellow free-agent signee Frans Nielsen, not to mention scoring wingers in Henrik Zetterberg and Gustav Nyquist.

P.A. Parenteau, RW, New York Islanders:

read on for more players too...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Garrett Rank, The Golf Playing NHL Referee

from Claire Rogers of GolfDigest,

There are several big names in this week’s RBC Canadian Open field, but Garrett Rank is one you probably haven’t heard. The 28-year-old Ontario native, cancer survivor and NHL referee has been able to balance and pursue his passion and his profession with grace and determination. After winning the 2015 Canadian Mid-Amateur Championship for the second straight year, Rank earned an invitation to Glen Abbey Golf Club. His amateur record includes finishing second in the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur, making it to match play in the 2014 and 2015 U.S. Amateur and reaching the semifinals in this year’s U.S. Amateur Four-Ball at Winged Foot.

To reach his country’s biggest golf tournament speaks to Rank’s persistence. After being diagnosed with testicular cancer during his collegiate golf and hockey careers, he continued to stay involved in both sports, going on to lead a double life: one on the course, the other on the rink as an NHL referee.

Hockey had always come before golf in Rank’s world. At age 4, Rank stepped onto his family’s backyard rink where he learned to skate. While Rank failed to qualify for his provincial golf championships, his junior hockey team made the Ontario finals three years in a row.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: garrett+rank

Neutral Arbitrator Of Dennis Wideman Decision Dismissed By The NHL

from Jared Clinton of The Hockey News,

James Oldham’s most notable decision as the NHL and NHLPA’s neutral arbitrator appears as if it will also be his last.

According to the Sports Business Journal’s Liz Mullen, the NHL has dismissed Oldham from his post as neutral arbitrator. Oldham, a law professor at Georgetown University, was the arbitrator assigned to the Dennis Wideman suspension case. Oldham’s decision on the suspension saw the Calgary Flames defenseman have his 20-game suspension for checking linesman Don Henderson reduced to 10 games.

It was well within the NHL’s power to relieve Oldham of his duties, and either side would have had the power to do so if they believed it was time for a change in neutral arbitrator. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Oldham’s time with the league is up, though, considering the NHL has since sought to have Oldham’s biggest decision, the reduction of Wideman’s original 20-game ban, overruled.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dennis+wideman, james+oldham

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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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