Kukla's Korner Hockey
From the Torontoist,
The leaves are falling; the days are getting colder and the nights longer. All this can only mean one thing. It’s hockey season.
In Toronto, hockey is virtually synonymous with the Maple Leafs. Which is fine if you’re into teams with questionable goaltending, aging stars and $45 nosebleed seats.
Luckily for us, the Leafs aren’t the only game in town. Quality hockey, pleasantly free of suits in corporate boxes, can be found in and around Toronto.
continued… (*scrap your Leaf fandom for options ranging from the OHL to the Sabres)
From Wired ASAP,
It may be more than 100 degrees outside, but inside this factory about 25 minutes south of the U.S. border, more than 500 workers are busy making equipment for a sport played on a large sheet of ice.
And they’re pretty busy, churning out about 7,000 hockey sticks a week. While Mexico is hardly the heart of hockey country, this is precisely where a large chunk of the NHL’s sticks are designed, tested and mass produced.
For the most part, hockey is about as foreign as a sport can get in Mexico, but the Easton Hockey plant has its own roller hockey team—and they’re well equipped, of course.
*There’s also a video slideshow available.
Ben Wright at Blueland Blog remembered… I can’t believe 4 years have passed.
from the National Post via Canada.com,
“I don’t want to be the Buffalo Bills of hockey, who keep getting there and getting there, but you don’t really finish it off,” Sharks defenceman Kyle McLaren said. “Guys are getting older and more experienced. They’ve been in these situations a few times before. Our lack of confidence after Edmonton, the way we lost that, and Detroit ? We just have to get better. Be able to close teams out a little better.”
General manager Doug Wilson has engineered a wonderful team and a strong organization in San Jose. He’s got an excellent farm system, the biggest group of forwards in the NHL, and as the season opened had more than US$10-million of cap room with which to improve..
from the Slate,
The first order of business: Getting down to your fighting weight. Convene a crack independent panel of hockey people and economists (say, Wayne Gretzky, Alan Greenspan, Alan Thicke, and Neal Peart) to come up with the optimal number of NHL franchises. Some sports economists suggest that a 20-team NHL would be making money hand over fist. I’ll use that figure until Thicke and co. come back with their findings. But how do you ditch teams without looking like you’re waving the white flag? You contract through relegation.
Tomorrow, issue a press release that says you will eliminate the five teams with the worst records at the end of the 2008-09 season.
from Team Marketing Report,
TMR’s exclusive Fan Cost Index survey, now in its fifteenth year, tracks the cost of attendance for a family of four. The FCI includes: four average-price tickets; four small soft drinks; two small beers; four hot dogs; two game programs; parking; and two adult-size caps.
check it out and $7.25 for a beer in LA!
from the Enterprise,
General manager Peter Chiarelli is so confident in the ability of Julien, who coached Montreal before the Devils, to wring sound defensive hockey out of a team that Boston’s frequently maligned corps of defensemen was left virtually untouched in the offseason.
“I want to see these (defensemen), these players in Claude’s system first,” Chiarelli said.
Chiarelli describes Julien’s system as a “collapsing zone.” Players say it’s highly structured.
“There’s a transition of passing (an opponent) off, from one area to another, to another player,” said defenseman Aaron Ward. “There’s a lot of thinking involved.”
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
It’s going to be an interesting season. Can new GM Scott Howson build something? Can coach Ken Hitchcock do anything with overpaid leftovers and wet-eared kids? Is there any leadership in the locker room? Any fire? Is the younger talent worth a reinvestment? A good number of fans, thousands of jaded consumers, are taking a wait-and-see posture. That’s fair enough.
If there’s a mere glimmer of hope, they’ll be back. And if there’s something more, they’ll be filling the building before long. Good God, if there’s just a whiff of the playoffs, Columbus will be gripped by the chase.
from the Dallas Morning News,
And what about the Stars? Dallas ranked 12th in average tickets distributed at 17,914 last season. It ranked 16th in percentage of capacity at 96.7 percent.
This season, the Stars could fall slightly below that. The season-ticket base is down 10 percent to fewer than 13,000. On some nights, there could be a lot of empty seats.
The same goes for Colorado and Detroit. If those two can’t sell out with Anaheim and Dallas in town on opening night, what kind of crowd will show up for Columbus on a Tuesday in November?
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