Kukla's Korner

No White Flag Waving

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Oldfield at CBC,

Both parties are taking stock, keeping an eye on their stakeholders, and envisioning ways to get out of their current situation. It will not be easy.

The biggest single problem? The players simply cannot accept the owners’ offer.

To do so this time would ultimately mean the end of the NHLPA. To accept the offer would clearly demonstrate that in the future — and forever — the owners need simply to threaten to lock the doors to get the deal they want.

In The Art of War, Sun Tzu warns, “Never surround the village.” What that means is that you must give your opponent an option other than fighting. In other words, an honourable way out.

Unfortunately, Gary Bettman and the owners missed that chapter.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Tatar Backup Plan

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul


Lev Prague bought the KHL rights to Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar as an investment in the future rather than with short-term plans in mind, Lev general manager Normunds Sejejs told R-Sport on Thursday.

With nine games for the Red Wings since signing in 2009, Tatar has previously hinted he will look to Europe if he fails to break into the Detroit roster.

Lev traded its first-round draft picks for the next two seasons to SKA St. Petersburg last week in return for Tatar’s rights and goaltender Jakub Stepanek.

KHL rules on lockout signings prevent a team having more than three NHLers on the roster and Lev has reached the limit, meaning Tatar cannot move yet.

“We can’t use him right now. Maybe we buy the rights for the future,” Sejejs said.


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Bad PR 101

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

If the NHL chooses to cancel its Winter Classic event this week, it will mark a new low for a league that has become an expert in public relations excavations. 

I’m not trying to convince you one cancelled game is in and of itself more heinous than the hundreds of regular-season contests already kiboshed in this latest lockout travesty that has become standard operating procedure for the league’s owners. However, there’s something exceedingly nauseating about both the symbolism and ramifications on the ground that would come with the cancellation of this marquee event. 

To begin with, there’s the undeniable fact the Winter Classic has, in just half a decade, become one of the league’s hottest properties. For many, the outdoor showdown carries more cachet than the All-Star Game. The WC is also linked to HBO’s “24/7” behind-the scenes series, another recent and successful innovation. NBC, the U.S. network that broadcasts the game, has been very pleased with the ratings it receives from the New Year’s Day event.

But all the momentum the NHL has built with this product will be balled up and pitched into the trash the moment they mothball it.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The impact of this latest shutdown will be profound. The fan base will erode dramatically in many markets.

Some owners will opt out of the business. A team or two could move. Dozens of players will see their careers end. Others may opt to remain in Europe, where the leagues run without interruption.

Much of the progress made since the last lockout will be lost.

Hockey will remain a fringe sport in this country, well out of the mainstream. The NHL will remain a symbol of opportunity lost and a sad example of how not to run a professional sport.

-Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch where you can read more on this topic.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Easy Solution

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim (Boomer) Gordon of Sirius/XM NHL,

So I couldn’t wait any longer. As this season continues to erode away, and negotiations have been brought to a standstill, it was time to put my two cents in. 

The owners have stated that they would like a 50/50 deal. The players say they are willing to accept that relationship, as long as their current offers are honored. So why so difficult? If they are on the same page, why can’t they speak the same language? 

I set out to see if I could split the difference. Create a system where an equal split can be attained, while the players are compensated in full for their existing contracts. 

As it turns out, with a little “shared sacrifice”, it was a relatively easy deal to get done.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

I Guess You Could Say Anything Is Possible

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Are NHL Fans Ready To Fork Over More Money For Tickets?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun,

Here's something to ponder as we face the first month of winter without the NHL.

How would you feel if a thug apologized for lifting your wallet, at the same time he was casing your car with a plan to break into it later on?

That's basically what the megalomaniacs running the NHL are doing when they blather on about projected revenue growth of the game over the next several years.

Where do you think a good chunk of that revenue growth is going to come from?

Rising ticket prices, of course.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Ottawa Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk On The Lockout

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sportsnet,

Hockey fans are in uproar over the current situation with backlash aimed towards both the owners and players, although Melnyk said the bottom line is there's no hockey.

"Everybody can finger point all they want but at the end of the day I don't think anybody cares who's at fault, all they know is we're not playing hockey," Melnyk said.

With a done deal looking gloomy, the whole season could be cancelled along with the Winter Classic between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings scheduled for Jan. 1.

"I think it's an important part of the game," Melnyk said. "It's got a huge audience, (it's) extremely profitable for the NHL which means it's also profitable for everyone else. It has become a marquee event that I think is very, very important to everyone."

If the Winter Classic does get cancelled, the league will reportedly be looking at a loss upwards of $15 million.



added 9:34am

You can listen/watch the interview below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Fans In Carolina Faced With Ticket Decisions

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,

For hockey fans truly unhappy about the lockout, there’s only one real way to hit both sides where it hurts: Demand their money back.

A few Carolina Hurricanes season-ticket holders have done just that, pulling their money from the team, including some of the oldest and most loyal....

Josh Hauser just wanted to go back to his 12-game plan in the upper deck from the full season tickets he bought in the lower bowl over the summer, a difference of about $2,400.

When the team told him it wouldn’t pay interest on his money if he reduced his commitment, he took all of it back.

“A horrifying experience,” Hauser called it.

“We travel a lot and my wife is in grad school,” he said. “We planned to sell a lot of the tickets. At no time did we ever imagine them holding onto thousands of our dollars indefinitely. They were very defiant, very insistent that we can’t touch any of that money or we’d lose our seniority and benefits. We had no choice.”

Even those who are keeping their money with the team are making decisions about how they support it in the future.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Wait Until Next Year

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

Suddenly, this lockout looks good. The Davidson family can get the lay of the land, figure out where they want to live and settle comfortably. More important, the man can roll up his sleeves and take measure of the operation. He can see what is on hand and decide what he wishes to add and subtract. He can clarify his vision and chart a direction. He has done this before, in the Mound City (Point of fact: A thousand years before the arch went up, St. Louis was known for its earthen mounds. Goodness, but I digress.)

Go ahead and wipe out the season. Davidson and his staff can have unfettered months to study, analyze and scout the minors, juniors and colleges in preparation for the draft. Remember, the Jackets have three first-round picks next year — their own as well as the Los Angeles Kings’ and the New York Rangers’. It could be a windfall.

Sitting out there is Nathan MacKinnon, the consensus No. 1 prospect and a potential franchise player. He is projected to be better than Rick Nash. So, why play games now? That could be dangerous.

The Jackets were the worst team in the league last season, but they are deeper now. What if they strung together a couple of winning streaks? What if Sergei Bobrovsky stops pucks? Their chance at winnin’ MacKinnon would dwindle. They would end up with Pascolai Picardatov.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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