Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the NHL, With dramatic playoff races continuing to build, National Hockey League clubs set an all-time record for January attendance—attracting 3,193,093 fans to 187 total games and posting a per-game average of 17,075, the highest in the League’s 89-year history. The per-game figure, which represented 92.3% of capacity, was nearly two percent higher than the previous January high of 16,795, set during last season’s record-setting campaign.
League-wide average attendance has increased month by month: 16,537 in October, 16,538 in November, 16,850 in December and 17,075 in January.
from the London Free Press,
(Dale) Hunter is clearly comfortable in London, where as co-owner and president of the team he has ultimate job security and never feels it necessary to resort to public relations ploys to boost his image. He’s made some masterful decisions with the Knights on special teams and line combos—moves that might not work with the same effect in pro.
“In the NHL, you’re dealing with more egos, an age range from 20- to 40-year-olds, and there’s money involved, so you have to be careful how you do things,” he said. “But I watched a Rangers game the other night and Jaromir Jagr was out for the whole two minutes of a power play, so some things are the same….”
Just in case you were wondering…
via the Pittsburgh Penguins,
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on Wednesday dismissed both complaints filed by Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Russian Super League against the NHL, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Evgeni Malkin.
“We are very pleased that all aspects of the litigation concerning Evgeni Malkin’s right to play hockey for the Pittsburgh Penguins have now concluded,” said Ted Black, the Penguins’ vice president of business and legal affairs. “On behalf of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Mr. Malkin and his family, I want to thank Bill Daly and Julie Grand at the NHL and our attorneys, Brad Ruskin, Scott Eggers and the Proskauer Rose law firm, who represented us in this matter.”
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
So compared with the wreckage that went before, Bettman is practically Pete Rozelle. He has ruled with an iron hand, he had definite ideas and a definite direction and no one can say that he hasn’t been busy commishing all along - although the league would arguably be better off if it had operated without a commissioner all these years.
Bettman’s tenure has been a mixed bag at best: on the plus side of the ledger are the entry of NHL pros into the Olympic Games, the crackdown on clutching and grabbing, the long overdue move to a shootout to decide games that are tied after five minutes of overtime and, above all, the much touted Collective Bargaining Agreement under which the league now operates.
from the Chicago Tribune,
“It has been a better year [personally], but we always want team goals too,” Khabibulin said. “We’re not where we want to be right now so it’s everybody’s fault, mine included.”
While he has had some clunkers this season, including a stretch at the United Center that was particularly rough in late December, Khabibulin mostly has given the Hawks an opportunity to win nearly every night.
“We haven’t given [Khabibulin] enough support,” Hawks general manager Dale Tallon said.
added 9:42am, Check out Spector for some trade talk, including Khabibulin may be available…
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
The Penguins apparently have cut a deal with public officials to finance an Uptown arena that would keep the team in Pittsburgh, a state senator said Wednesday.
“I’m hearing that a deal could be made any day, which makes me suspect it’s all about crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s,” said Sen. Wayne Fontana, a Brookline Democrat who serves on the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority, which would own the arena. “I don’t know that there are any major hurdles left. It’s all just little things.”
Fontana said he expects officials to announce a deal today or Friday.
Other reports state there may be a snag in a deal, so it is still sitting on pins and needles time for Pens fans.
from Jack McCaffery of the Delco Times,
The game began with 10,000 seats still empty, then ended, amid boos, in another Flyers loss. Happy now? Isn’t that what everybody wanted? And if not everybody, too many? Didn’t the know-it-alls yell for years that in order for hockey to thrive, it had to be Euro-ized? Wasn’t it said to be oh-so-necessary to remove the violence and the red line from the game, to allow the figure skaters to do their figure 8s—and 9s, too?
from the Province,
While the man in question has yet to express any concern over his working conditions, Canucks’ fans have started to experience an unease over the demands placed on their franchise goalie.
This could be because they’re aware the Canucks will only go as far as Luongo takes them.
It could also be because they’re aware the Canucks are violating several of the province’s labour laws in their employment of the goalie.
Thus far this season, Luongo has played in 48 of the Canucks’ 52 games and his next day off doesn’t appear to be coming any time soon. This means Luongo could play 78 games this season, which is one game short of Fuhr’s NHL record set in ‘95-96.
from Kevn Allen at USA TODAY,
A record 25 deals involving 40 players were made at the March 9 deadline last season, but factors could limit the number of deals. Counting injury callups, the Flyers, Bruins, Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils are over the $44 million cap. The San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche, Vancouver Canucks, Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning have less than $1 million remaining.
But salaries are prorated for cap purposes, meaning a team acquiring a player at the deadline will have to count only 40 days of his salary against the team cap. For example, a team acquiring Forsberg will count about $1.25 million of his $5.75 million salary.
much more... inlcuding GM comments…
from Inside Bay Area,
Like many Bay Area visitors, Philippe Boucher and his friends have packed a busy schedule into their current trip.
They did some sight-seeing in San Francisco. There was a group dinner at a Santana Row restaurant here in San Jose. The wives went on a shopping-and-winery tour. And the guys made sure to take in a couple of Sharks games. In a manner of speaking.
Boucher and his Dallas Stars teammates will be playing the Sharks tonight for the second game in a row at HP Pavilion — a quirk in the NHL schedule that has had them encamped in San Jose since Sunday night.
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