Kukla's Korner Hockey
from James Mirtle at the NHL Fanhouse,
Already known as one of the most outrageous and outspoken people in hockey, the Tampa Bay Lightning head coach gave an almost surreal interview to Toronto radio station The Fan 590 yesterday in which he ripped the outgoing ownership regime of Bill Davidson, the 83-year-old billionaire owner of the Detroit Pistons.
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
Hockey Night In Canada’s first high-profile signing of the off-season will be Craig Simpson, who is leaving coaching to resume a broadcasting career as a game analyst at Hockey Night, multiple sources say.
Simpson is expected to quit his job as an Edmonton Oilers assistant coach to work in the booth with play-by-play announcer Jim Hughson.
Insiders view Simpson’s addition to Hockey Night, expected to be announced shortly, as a major cornerstone to the rebuilding of the show.
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
Salaries are on the rise, revenues are on the rise. And by all accounts, the value of an NHL franchise is on the rise, with the Tampa Bay Lightning having sold this week for a reported $200 million (all figures U.S.).
That has some folks within the sports business believing that hockey is making a comeback from the devastating lockout that cost it the 2004-05 season, about $2 billion in revenue and its stake as the fourth “major league” in North America.
But it has others believing that owners haven’t learned the lesson of out-of-control spending, likening the frenzied spending for franchises to the free-wheeling spending on free agents every July 1.
from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
“Not one NHL team has called,” Waddell said. “I think I made it clear at the draft—Marian Hossa isn’t going anywhere. If Marian Hossa is going someplace, Don Waddell better be going with him.”
Hossa is a free agent after this season but Waddell remains optimistic that a contract extension can get done before the season starts.
“Would I like to get him signed before the start of the year? Yes. Is it desperate if we don’t? Absolutely not,” Waddell said.
from Legends Of Hockey Network,
It’s hard to believe, but its now been 19 years since Wayne Gretzky was traded from Edmonton to Los Angeles.
I remember the day well. I refused to listen to the radio when I first heard it.
TSN looks back at that day too…
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,
With the additions of Daniel Briere, Kimmo Timonen, Scott Hartnell, Jason Smith and Joffrey Lupul, the Flyers have changed the entire face of their roster and their fans have noticed.
“We’re experiencing our best new season ticket sales since the lockout ended,” Flyers vice president of marketing and communications Shawn Tilger said on Wednesday. “The pulse is the strongest I’ve seen since we signed Peter Forsberg after the (2004) lockout.”
read on and the Flyers are actually getting very creative with their season ticket holders. I wonder if other teams are taking notice?
From CP via Globe & Mail,
Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk got a surprise when he opened the newspaper Wednesday morning and read about the pending sale of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The team is one of his favourite organizations in the NHL and he wasn’t expecting an ownership change.
Melnyk says he’s not sure why some owners are deciding to get out of the hockey business.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” he said. “It’s very interesting. I think what’s happening is that people have gone through seven, eight, nine, 10 years of ownership. I don’t know whether age is a factor or whether they’ve moved or what personal issues they have and why they’re selling. Maybe it’s for the money. A lot of these teams were worth half of what they’re selling for four years ago. Some people might simply be cashing in.”
from the Atlanta Thrashers,
The Atlanta Thrashers have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent defenseman Karel Pilar and forward Milan Bartovic, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Waddell. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
via the Bruins Blog,
NESN announced today that Milbury, the former Islanders executive, will serve as a studio analyst this season. Milbury will be part of NESN’s pre-game, intermission, and post-game analysis.
“I’m very happy to be joining the NESN team,” Milbury said in a statement. “This opportunity is giving me a chance to be connected once again with the organization that I cheered for growing up and broke into the league with both as a player and a coach.”
From the AP via TSN,
Carolina Hurricanes star Eric Staal and his brother Jordan Staal of the Pittsburgh Penguins have been offered plea deals stemming from their arrests at Eric Staal’s bachelor party in Minnesota last month.
Paul Krepelka, the agent who represents both players, said the prosecutor in Cook County, Minn., offered to settle the case by having the Staals plead guilty to a petty misdemeanour for disorderly conduct. Charges of obstructing the legal process are to be dropped against both players, Krepelka said.
Ten of the 14 young men charged after complaints of screaming, yelling and loud music appeared in court and accepted the same deal Wednesday, Krepelka said.
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