Kukla's Korner Hockey
By Tim Dolan,
Traveling to Pittsburgh might not be so burdensome after all: Saturday’s Stadium Series between the Penguins and Flyers is posting near-record low ticket prices on the resale market. On TicketIQ, a search engine that collects ticket data from over 90 percent of the market, Stadium Series tickets are now averaging $178. That makes it the second cheapest Stadium Series game since 2014, trailing only a 2016 matchup between the Wild and Blackhawks ($160 average).
For fans looking just to get past the gates at Heinz Field this weekend the cheapest tickets are currently listed from $91 each. Take a look at where Stadium Series ticket prices stack up all time below:
It would have taken minimal effort to flash a picture of Johansen on the Jumbotron and have the PA announcer say, "Fans, welcome back Ryan Johansen," before the game, or during an intermission. It would have drawn some cheers and a few boos, and it would have been done, no sweat.
Johansen's contention: He received no "thank you" because Jackets management is still hot about the vicious contract negotiations that took place in the summer of 2014. If he is right, it speaks to a certain pettiness on the Jackets' part. I would hope that management here is not so small-minded. It would be bad for business.
Yet, Johansen's plea for martyrdom does not come off well, either. He has the size and skill to do his talking on the ice, he should have been supremely motivated, and he played one of his average games — which is why he was traded in the first place.
-Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch where you can read more on this...
from Bob McManaman of azcentral,
Mike Smith didn’t allow a single goal that counted in practice on Tuesday, but the Coyotes goalie was still hopping mad a day after being removed from Monday night’s game against the visiting Anaheim Ducks.
Shortly after stepping off the ice following a brisk workout at the Ice Den in Scottsdale, Smith told azcentral sports that the NHL’s concussion protocol system needs an overhaul.
“I think there’s a lot of flaws in the system, especially with the goalie position, and it needs to get fixed,” Smith said, adding, “What stops a fourth liner from going and bumping into a goalie? It’s just a two-minute penalty to get your starting goalie out? I don’t think it’s happened in a playoff game yet, but I’m sure it will.”...
“When your helmet comes off in a game and you’re the goalie and the whistle hasn’t gotten blown, I think your first instinct is to probably protect your face,” Smith said, explaining what happened Monday night. “I think that was the reason why I did what I did and it has nothing to do with you being injured. It was more to protect myself before the whistle got blown. I didn’t agree with the call at all.
watch the incident below...
Right on his stick...
from Craig Button of TSN,
Who is the best hockey player currently not skating in the NHL?
Clayton Keller, the creative centre with Boston University, tops our list of the Top 50 NHL-affiliated prospects. Keller’s sleight of hand is matched by a creative mind that allows him to be dangerous every time he’s on the ice. The Arizona Coyotes prospect is an electrifying player who is highly productive.
Second on our list is Buffalo prospect winger Alex Nylander (Rochester, AHL), who reminds me so much of San Jose captain Joe Pavelski because of his ability to excel in any situation.
Ottawa defenceman Thomas Chabot (Saint John, QMJHL) is coming off a great performance at the World Junior Championship. No. 3 on our list, his progression this season has been impressive.
Our top five is rounded out by Arizona centre Dylan Strome (Erie, OHL) and Minnesota winger Kirill Kaprizov (Salavat Yulaev Ufa, KHL).
continued, includes Top 50 list...
TSN Hockey Insiders Pierre LeBrun and Bob McKenzie have the latest on how Patrick Eaves' $1 million cap hit makes him sought-after, teams calling the Wings about defenceman Brendan Smith, Ryan Miller's five-team trade list, the Sens being unhappy with the NHL's 'no apparent injury' language regarding Mark Stone and much more.
Watch at TSN... no geo-blocking...
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Question that would be rhetorical except that it is not:
In what world would a team allow its just-fired, universally respected coach to be hired within a week by not only a blood rival, but one that it could very well meet in the playoffs?
In the world of Jeremy Jacob$, the Boston owner who allowed Claude Julien to skip to Montreal so the B’s wouldn’t be on the hook for the approximately $1.5 million due on his contract for this season. And that $1.5M? Wouldn’t that be less than the value of a single home playoff gate?
Please don’t suggest that the Bruins granted Julien permission to go to the Habs because of their respect for him. There were other places for Julien to go and would have been still more for the 2011 Cup winner to land this offseason.
from Joe McDonald of ESPN,
There's a growing concern among players about the ice conditions around the NHL.
In an attempt to help fix the issues, the NHL and NHLPA Playing Environment subcommittee recently initiated a joint project to better identify and resolve ice-condition issues throughout the league. This process began on Feb. 1.
Players and on-ice officials are asked to fill out a one-page form after every game in order to quickly rate the ice. Players rate the ice either excellent, good or fair based on the three periods. The survey also asks is the ice hard and fast, and does it have good glide, or is it chippy, soft or sluggish.
Players are also asked whether or not the shoveling of snow during television timeouts is suitable or not.
NHL's deputy commissioner Bill Daly responded to an email from ESPN.com, asking about the success of the new rating process. "We've had an ice rating app available for players for years," Daly responded. "What we are trying now are actual ice report forms that are completed manually. No early returns yet, still way too early."
from Alexanda Bruell of the Wall Street Journal,
WSJ: You recently left a sexy digital music business to join a 100-year-old sports league. What’s your mandate?
MS. BROWNING: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman gave me one clear goal, and that’s to grow our sport. Our mission is to modernize our approach and take a fresh look at the marketing mix to find new ways to engage new and future fans. The real focus here is extending the reach of the NHL brand—driving viewership, digital audience, engagement with the app, increasing social followers. How does that drive our NHL TV sales, merchandise sales and ticket sales? The commissioner encouraged me to take a blank-canvas approach to growth.
WSJ: Who are your current fans and some of the new fans you’re looking to reach?
MS. BROWNING: We need to broaden beyond hard-core fans and expand to casual fans. Millennials and Gen Z are a huge focus for us. I believe that we’ve got a sport that’s wired to the attitudes and behaviors of these generations, because they’re so action-focused. We’re absolutely looking to target more women. Our demographics are about 60% male and 40% female.
WSJ: How are you using fan data to drive growth?
MS. BROWNING: This is a huge initiative for us. There’s a data opportunity at the NHL across all touchpoints—ticket and merchandise purchase data, what fans are doing at the game, how they’re engaging across digital platforms and social media.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org