Kukla's Korner

Up North Good, South Iffy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Greg Johnson of the LA Times,

The Stanley Cup finals are approaching and hockey couldn’t be in better shape.
A late-season NHL television broadcast drew almost 10% of the country’s residents, no matter that neither team was playoff-bound. First-round playoff TV ratings dipped but rebounded nicely for subsequent rounds. And Sidney Crosby, who’s been touted by the nation’s media since he was a boy, was named NHL rookie of the year.
Wait a minute, that’s the hockey story in Canada….
South of the border, where 24 of 30 NHL teams are based, hockey remains mired in problems.

read on (reg. req.)

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Not Going As Planned

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,

This is a league that does not share its attendance revenues. So a Canadian team might draw well at home, but an American owner couldn’t care less. He’s not going to see any of it. What he does know is that Canadian teams are traditionaly the NHL’s worst road draws. An owner in a major American city doesn’t want to try to sell tickets for games against teams from places like Winnipeg, Quebec and Waterloo — or even Calgary and Edmonton for that matter. He wants visits from New York, Boston, Los Angeles and so on.
Now, once Balsillie purchases the Predators, the battle will be on. He will want to move that team out of Nashville and into Canada. Perhaps, down the road, some other entrepeneur will try to follow a similar pattern with the Atlanta Thrashers or the Florida Panthers, and some of the other cities that Bettman brought into the NHL.
And while Canada is a nice place, it’s not the place to be if you’re trying to establish your sports league as a major league in the United States.
This is what Bettman has wrought.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Windsor Preds

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Mike Stone of WDFN in Detroit wants the Predators to move to Windsor!
Mike thinks it would be cool and can just imagine the rivalry that would be created.
What do you think?  Be kind to Stoney, a good guy and the best radio sports guy in Detroit.
Wojo, his sidekick says the only way for this to happen is to call the team the Windsor Ballets (Detroit area residents can explain if it comes up).

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Jokinen Live

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Florida Panthers,

Panther captain Olli Jokinen won’t be holding anything back tonight at 7 p.m., when he discusses the past season, wrist surgery, and the promise of the future during the first live chat on FloridaPanthers.com.
Jokinen, the team’s leading scorer the past two seasons, will answer fan questions for approximately one hour. Log on to www.floridapanthers.com tonight at 7 p.m.

continued

Filed in: Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

JSG = $$$

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen at USA TODAY,

Goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s ability to make crucial saves at the right time this postseason could end up helping his bank account as much as his Anaheim Ducks team.
Giguere, 30, will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, and his stellar performance this spring puts him in position to ask for a contract worth more than $5 million a season. Nashville Predators goalie Tomas Vokoun received a four-year extension worth $5.7 million a season, and his playoff resume isn’t as impressive as Giguere’s.

continued

Filed in: Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Stanley Cup Bits

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

• Emery never has faced the Ducks, marking the second consecutive year that a starting goaltender in the Stanley Cup Final faced his opponent for the first time. In the 2006 Final, Carolina Hurricanes rookie goaltender Cam Ward had not previously faced the Edmonton Oilers.

• Brothers In Arms: The Ducks’ Rob and Scott Niedermayer will be the first brothers to appear in the Final as teammates since the Philadelphia Flyers’ Rich and Ron Sutter in the 1985 Final against Edmonton. The last brother combination to win the Stanley Cup was Brent and Duane Sutter, who captured their second consecutive title together with the New York Islanders in 1983. The Niedermayers became the first set of brothers on opposing clubs in the Stanley Cup Final since 1946 when Scott’s New Jersey Devils defeated Rob’s Ducks in 2003.

Continue Reading »

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

Versus Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

STAMFORD, Conn. (May 24, 2007)—On Monday, May 28 and Wednesday, May 30, VERSUS, the national cable television home of the National Hockey League (NHL), will air exclusive coverage of the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final when the Western Conference Champion Anaheim Ducks face-off against the Eastern Conference Champion Ottawa Senators. VERSUS’ coverage of the Stanley Cup Final games will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET with the pre-game Hockey Central studio show LIVE from the Honda Center in Anaheim and will be hosted by broadcast veteran Bill Clement, who will be joined by VERSUS analysts Keith Jones and Brian Engblom. Mark Messier, who won five Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers and then led the Rangers to Stanley Cup victory in 1994, will join the studio team on-site as a celebrity guest analyst. Mike “Doc” Emrick is the series’ play-by-play voice and will be joined in the booth by analyst Eddie Olczyk. Bob Harwood and Christine Simpson will serve as on-site reporters and will have unprecedented access to coaches and players allowing for all of the exclusive interviews during the game.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Playoff Talk, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Letter From Leipold

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NashvillePost.com,

In a letter to Nashville Predators season ticket holders, suite owners and sponsors, team owner Craig Leipold explained why he is selling the team and confirms that it is being sold to Jim Balsillie, co-chief executive officer of Blackberry maker Research in Motion.
In his letter, Leipold stated that the team will have a $27-million real cash loss over the past two seasons because of below average attendance even though the team tallying up a total of 216 points, the fifth best in the NHL.

read on

added 12:58pm, via Bloomberg,

The price ($220M) may show that Balsillie is considering moving the team from Nashville, where its average home crowd of 15,260 ranked eighth from last in the 30-team NHL in attendance this year, said Marc Ganis, president of Sportscorp Ltd., a Chicago- based sports industry consulting firm.
“This is a very big number for a team in Nashville,’’ Ganis said. “There might be something more here.’‘

Filed in: Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Another Challenge For Bettman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Alan Adams of Sportsnet,

Bettman knows a second NHL team in southern Ontario will work. He knows Canadians live and die for hockey, and Balsillie is exactly the type of owner the NHL needs. He is on the cutting edge of communications technology.
If the NHL doesn’t let Balsillie move the Predators to southern Ontario, then Bettman isn’t Canada-friendly.
It is as simple as that.

more

added 12:45pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Instead, you have a situation where, two years into the current CBA, franchises in Phoenix and Atlanta and Florida as well as Nashville still can’t operate in the black, or even at the break-even point. And when the day comes that the owners in all those markets say ‘enough’ to the losses, that’s when the migration to points north will occur.
It’s no longer a question of if anymore.
It’s only a question of when.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Canucks Sign Kesler

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

The Vancouver Canucks have re-signed centre Ryan Kesler to a three year deal.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Filed in: Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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