Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: nhl
The Penguins have announced their third jersey schedule, but what is more interesting is the fact that they have made last year’s Winter Classic dark blues the official third jersey. That won’t sit well with many fans who were a bit disappointed with the jerseys upon their unveiling last fall.
Personally, the more I saw the jersey last season, the more that it grew on me. In fact, I would say that by the end of the season I actually liked it quite a bit.
Those of you who have read my blogs over the years know that I have always been very complimentary of how the Pittsburgh Penguins treat their fans… at least most of the time anyway.
They have always done a number of things to make the fans feel involved such as having town hall meetings to keep them posted on the rebuild that went on a few years back, generous giveaways such as the popular “Shirts off their Backs” promotion that sees every Penguins’ player give away his game used jersey to a fan during a post-game ceremony following the final home game of the regular season and much more.
Many in the hockey world are still reeling from the events of Wednesday morning that saw a plane crash take the lives of all but one member of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl KHL team that was en route to the first game of its season in Minsk. Watching the pain and suffering of all involved as been tough for all of us, but no one has felt it worse that the many Russian born NHL players that have intimate ties to many of the teams in the KHL and specifically Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.
As the Penguins headed into the free agent frenzy this summer all of the talk focused on the fact that they might re-sign a former player. A guy who was drafted by the team back in the early 90’s, but hadn’t skated in the Burgh in a decade. Though the courtship was rocky and dragged on for several months, they finally got their man – Richard Park.
Who did you think I was talking about?? Jagr?
As we all know, Sidney Crosby meets the press this afternoon at 12:30pm. There isn’t a ton of insight into what will be discussed during the presser, but he is slated to give an update on his health after meeting with experts in both Michigan and Georgia following a reoccurance of concussion symptoms in August.
Though there is an update forthcoming, sources have told the Tribune Review’s Rob Rossi that there isn’t expected to be a major announcement regarding change in status. I will be live at the presser, but you can watch the feed below.
Over the next few days we will really be ramping up coverage here at FTPT, but in the interim I thought I would post the Penguins’ promotional schedule that just arrived in my inbox. There are a number of interesting items this year along with some old favorites such as “Schedule Mouse Pad” and “Team Calender.” The team will also finish their home schedule off with the very popular “Fan Appreciation Night,” in which the players give away the “shirts off of their backs.”
For those of you who have been wondering what the Penguins’ national TV broadcast schedule would look like, your prayers have been answered. The Penguins will appear on nation TV the maximum 12 times starting with their season opening game against the Vancouver Canucks. Counting the game in Vancouver, the Penguins have been selected to appear on Versus six times. The Penguins have also had six games selected by NBC for possible flex scheduling on Sunday afternoons.
The details of the broadcast schedule are broken down below in the release from the team.
The Penguins have signed their first round selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, defenseman Joe Morrow, to a three-year entry-level deal. Morrow was recently in town for the Penguins developmental camp and opened some eyes with his attention to detail, better than expected skating and hockey smarts. Morrow bolsters the Penguins already strong stable of defensive prospects, joining 2010 first rounder Simon Despres, Robert Bortuzzo, Brian Strait, Philip Samuelsson, and Carl Sneep.
From Pat Coyle of Coyle Media:
Over the past 18 months, sports teams have amassed huge followings on Facebook and Twitter. In an attempt to understand the fans following sports teams, Coyle Media has fielded a series of surveys in partnership with various professional and collegiate teams. We’ve collected over 12,000 completed surveys and learned a lot about sports fans and their social media preferences.
We are continually analyzing these data looking for insights. We’ve found it particularly interesting to see how fans behaviors can vary from sport to sport, and between various media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Team Websites.
Below is the graphical representation of their data:
Over at The Malik Report, George has details of the agreement available. And here is the KHL’s press release on the broad strokes of the newly-signed memorandum:
The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) and National Hockey League (NHL) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that regulates player transitions between the two bodies, respects the professional contracts of players from both leagues and forces both sides to complete a range of procedures to avoid hostility in the transitioning of players from one league to the other.
The MoU’s conclusion marks an important step forward in the relationship between the two most respected hockey leagues in the world. The nine points of the agreement will be effective for the next 12 months and can be reevaluated at the end of that period. Terms of the agreement include the exchanging of lists of contracted and free agent players, each league providing the other their standard contract templates and agreeing to appoint official representatives to conduct negotiations in person in Toronto or New York to resolve any player contract disputes.
I’m beginning this short update in the second intermission, with Team Lidstrom leading Team Staal 7-6, in an All-Star game that looks pretty darn similar to every All-Star game I’ve ever seen. Some fans behind me have expressed disappointment at the lack of defense being played and the absence of body checks (no, seriously) but, format change and all, it is still exactly what we thought it’d be. And, though I’ve made my lack of excitement over All-Star games in any sport pretty clear over the last few weeks, being here in Raleigh for this one, taking in the entire experience, has created an appreciation for what the event is all about – celebrating the game, selling the product and rewarding the fans with a showcase of the league’s biggest stars.
The city of Raleigh itself has been fantastic and there is no doubt that these people are big time hockey fans. They were jacked for this weekend and can take pride in knowing that they did a first-class job as a host. Folks have been friendly, welcoming and overly polite. And the infamous Carolina tailgaters today, my new friends at Cole’s Knoll specifically, were as energetic as advertised and just beaming about their team, their city and this weekend’s happenings.
I’ll check in one last time tonight before shutting things down for the weekend, as we trek back to Tampa tomorrow.
Well, we made it, and in some pretty decent time, as best I can tell.
But I will say this: Nine-and-a-half hours in a car with anyone is trying – and my partner on The Bolts Beat, ESPN 1040’s Mike Corcoran didn’t even do anything wrong. In fact, he did many things right! I mean, have you ever seen anyone eat three, count ‘em, three bacon cheeseburgers from Wendy’s in one sitting??? In fairness, I should counter that with an admittance to crushing about eight double stuffed Oreos once the energy meter started plummeting but, man, was that burger bombing awfully impressive!
We arrived right around 12:30 am and were basically settled in the room by 1:00. I considered a quick pint at what was described as the only place that would still be open right here in the vicinity of our hotel but decided against it in favor of some shuteye.
Just past the half-way point of the regular season, I thought it might be high time to take a statistical look at the Southeast Division. We did so as the season approached and will probably do it again once all is said and done, prior to the playoffs.
You get a look at stats by team and by the league as a whole, almost literally, everywhere else, so I always find it interesting to break things down a bit more specifically to just the division, particularly in the more obscure categories.
Here’s hoping you will too…
From Chris Johnston of the Canadian Press via the Globe and Mail:
Few ever thought the NHL would open its doors to camera crews and unfettered access during the regular season, but almost everyone who saw HBO’s “24/7” series was glad they did.
While the league will take some time before deciding what to do for an encore, at least one top executive is willing to dream big — chief operating officer John Collins says he’s open to the idea of doing something similar during the post-season.
“That would be the ultimate, being able to take fans inside the Stanley Cup playoffs,” Collins said Friday in an interview. “We’ll look at it. It’s certainly not something we’ll be able to pull together for this year.
Click here for more.
From Darren Rovell at CNBC’s SportsBiz:
A blog reader writes in today to tell us how similar the “NHL Face Off 2008” logo was to this year’s “NFL Kickoff 2008” logo.
It’s kind of ridiculous how similar they look. Have we really run out of logos? I know no idea is really original, but I hope the person who put this one together at the NHL didn’t get any sort of credit for it.
Rovell is apparently suggesting the NHL’s work is a knock-off of the NFL’s earlier logo. I’ll leave it to readers to decide, but he might have a point…
From Childs Walker at the Baltimore Sun,
A new arena is a poor risk for Baltimore if the city is counting on attracting an NHL or NBA franchise, sports business experts say, but some agree with city leaders that a proposed 18,500-seat venue could be profitable without such an anchor tenant.
Neither the NBA nor the NHL offers many relocation or expansion prospects, analysts said, and the presence of basketball and hockey teams in Washington make the odds even longer for Baltimore. [...]
NHL spokesman Frank Brown said the league has no plans for expansion or relocation, though several cities have expressed interest. He said questions about the Capitals’ sharing a market with another team are “way too hypothetical for me to answer.
From Charlie Teljeur at The Hockey News,
What would be a good analogy to describe the current state of Euro-NHL relations?
Maybe a chess match, in which one side – the NHL – has three Queens, five Knights, 12 Rooks and an infinite number of pawns. Europe is represented by a pair of rogue, but nicely dressed Bishops who feel they can move any direction they damn well please.
The National League – they’re the white side – have been hungrily swallowing up unlimited European talent since it was discovered Inge Hammerstrom wasn’t female and that she, er he, had a nice backhand.
Europe – playing the evil black role – occasionally jumps a pawn or two or sign a broken-down seen-better-days Queen (sorry, Jaromir) and waves said contract in the face of the “shocked” NHL, something akin to a pirate who steals your spare set of car keys.
From Jim Kelley at Sports Illustrated,
GB has done one heck of a job. Costs, for the most part, are capped. Revenue is up. Attendance is stable though lower than annually reported since the NHL came off the second of Bettman’s forced lockouts. And—this is most important and dear to every owner’s heart—the value of franchises has risen dramatically on his watch
Example: the expected sale of the Edmonton Oilers. The struggling franchise in what is arguably the NHL’s smallest city is expected to change hands for upwards of $200 million. Compare that to the $50 million cost of an expansion franchise (Ottawa and Anaheim) the day before Bettman was anointed in Palm Beach, Fla. in February 1993. Even with inflation, the increase is staggering—not nearly the value of an NFL or Major League franchise or even one in the NBA (which is hard to gauge because there haven’t been nearly as many in bankruptcy or for sale), but in the NHL, it’s a noteworthy achievement.
*related: an earlier article considering Bettman’s tenure posted on KK today.
Update 6:32pm ET: Pierre LeBrun at the CP flashes back on Bettman’s legacy today as well.
How about a road trip that hits every NHL, AHL and ECHL arena…
from Damien Cox at ESPN,
Today, it’s fair to say the majority of NHL fans are far more familiar with the Original 21. Or the Original 30 (“You mean Nashville hasn’t always had a team, Grandpa?”).
Still, the Red Wings might well be the league’s most popular team on a city-by-city basis, with the Rangers not that far behind.
So, to some, there is a special allure to those six franchises. In Canada, the Leafs and Habs always will be viewed through a different telescope than the Canucks, Senators, Oilers and Flames.
You could argue, however, that the league has spent more time promoting all of its new franchises than protecting the integrity and status of the so-called Original Six.
from Erin Nicks at the Ottawa Sun,
I can’t choose between the NFL and NHL.
I know you’re thinking that any sports fan would never be pressured to decide. Honestly, I thought it was a non-issue as well, until I had to deal with the Denver Broncos and Senators playing simultaneously on Monday night. The two teams I follow the most with respective opponents of their own (Tennessee and Montreal), yet I was forced to pit them against each other—eyeglasses perched on the tip of my nose as I feebly attempted to magnify the television’s picture-in-picture