Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Mercury News,
But the arrival of the NFL and Major League Baseball less than 15 miles from HP Pavilion could cause economic headaches for the South Bay’s lone major sports franchise.
Most sports fans don’t have unlimited amounts of money for tickets and merchandise, and could find it just as easy to spend it on the A’s and 49ers instead of the Sharks, though academic analysts say that shouldn’t be a major concern for the NHL team….
Sponsorships could be the area in which the Sharks are most vulnerable.
Though the situation is improving, the team’s sponsorship income still isn’t where it was in 2004 when the NHL canceled its season because of a labor dispute. And sponsorship provides 15 to 25 percent of his team’s revenue, Jamison said.
The Sharks should expect their sponsors to be courted by other pro teams that relocate to the South Bay, said Paul Staudohar, a professor of business administration at Cal State-East Bay.
from Marcia C. Smith of the OC Register,
About a hundred family members streamed from the dressing room and into a holding area beside the ice.
After the players got their turn to hoist the Cup over their heads, many skated to the holding area and searched for their families like passengers coming off a plane at the airport.
Selanne, for one, found his wife and clutched her tightly, dropping his bearded mug onto her shoulder, whispering sentiments into her ear and crying against her cheek.
Giguere found wife, Kristen, and before night’s end, grabbed his son, Maxime, to set the infant in the cradle of the Stanley Cup for a photo.
Players’ families have been occasional extras on the baseball and basketball championship scene but were major supporting actors when the Ducks’ celebrated their crowning achievement.
from the Windsor Star,
On the surface, the leap from a US$39-million salary cap two years ago to one that is approaching $50 million would seem a sign of a healthy revenue growth.
However, Detroit assistant general manager Jim Nill feels the cap has just about hit the ceiling.
“I think you’ll see it settle in the low 50s,” Nill said. “We’re a gate-driven league and I think ticket prices are pretty much maxed out.”
While the NHL trumpets attendance increases as the main reason for revenues climbing, Nill feels that’s slightly misleading.
“Over the last few years, the revenue of the Canadian teams is up 20 per cent because the Canadian dollar is up. That’s a big part of the cap.”
from the Edmonton Journal,
After all, at 25, he is the free-agent baby.
Hartnell, who grew up in Lloydminster, is the youngest player available when the league’s unrestricted free-agent market opens for business July 1. The new collective bargaining rules stipulate that players who begin their careers in the NHL at age 18 are free to move on just seven years later.
A hard-nosed player with some offensive touch, Hartnell brings a lot to the table. How much do you pay for him?
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Never mind that the Leafs have gone 40 years—a lifetime for many—without winning or even playing for the Cup.
What is troubling, as the club plods directionless in the bottom half of the National Hockey League, is that the 40 years without a championship seem eerily capable of dragging into several more.
A statistical analysis of what makes a Stanley Cup champion sadly indicates how far the Leafs have been and remain from being a Cup winner.
from Earl McRae of the Ottawa Sun,
“Life is not as much about what happens to us, but what happens in us.”
And because of what happened in Billy Huard—Designated Tough Guy, his hands and fingers scarred, disfigured, and in constant pain, permanent pins in his wrists—Billy Huard deserves to be heard, and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, like it or not, has an obligation to hear him.
The Open Statement of Billy Huard:
“Since my retirement, I have seen all the rule changes, another lockout, and the demise of the fan base in a big way. And behind much of this seems to be ‘the fighting issue.’ Nobody can figure out how to deal with this. Here is what I, a former fighter, has to say, someone who performed the role for a living.
from the Windsor Star,
Dominik Hasek’s agent Rich Winter confirmed Monday that the Detroit Red Wings goaltender has made his decision about his future with the team, but he wanted to inform Wings management first.
Winter, who was decidedly upbeat in discussing Hasek’s plans, hinted that the 42-year-old is coming back.
Winter said he expected an announcement in the next day or two.
continued... plus talk on the other UFAs from the Wings…
from the CP via TSN,
The Islanders, meanwhile, have touched base with the Smyth camp. They’ve made it their priority to try and keep Captain Canada from hitting the market. Blake appears gone from the Island. Blake’s agent Neil Sheehy last spoke to Isles GM Garth Snow last Tuesday and there was no progress made.
“Based on our discussion, nothing has really changed,” Sheehy said Monday. “Basically we kind of agreed that going on the free-agent market was probably the best thing to do.”
“I’m not saying Jason doesn’t want to be an Islander, I’m just saying that based on everything he’ll probably be on the market July 1.”
much more UFA talk…
Al Strachan at Fox Sports wants to fix the game with a 10 point plan…
10. Market the players
These guys are the most articulate, entertaining and accessible athletes in pro sports yet as soon as one of them says something remotely controversial, Bettman and his minions rush to silence them. Build some commercials around them. Increase their image. The league knows how much the players can sell the game, but too many owners feel that if they market the player, then his salary demands would increase accordingly. That’s probably true but it’s time to stop worrying about such matters.
read the other nine…
from Craig Custance at the Thrashers Blog,
Slava Kozlov and not Keith Tkachuk, is looking like the potential Thrashers free agent who will be drawing the most interest come July 1st (assuming the Thrashers don’t get him locked up in the next couple of weeks, which isn’t out of the question).
The rumors of Kozlov’s return to Detroit continue to circulate, as James Jahnke points out in the Detroit Free Press roundup. The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson says the Florida Panthers are interested in Kozlov, but there are concerns down in South Florida that his asking price might be a little too high. The other Southeast Division team with some cash to spend, the Washington Capitals, might be a Kozlov suitor as well.
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