Kukla's Korner

Expansion fervor outpaces economic realities, especially in Las Vegas

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

I (hi, it's George) was going to leave this one for the morning and the boss to deal with, but I'm captain cold bucket of water during non-charitable-challenge time, so here goes:

As Paul noted, the Vancouver Province's Tony Gallagher insists that the NHL expanding to Las Vegas is a "done deal," even if there is no NHL-serviceable rink there as of yet (the Fourth Period's David Pagnotta will fill you in on the inevitability of expansion sooner than later and AEG and MGM Casinos' soon-to-be-built sports facility on the Vegas Strp), even though the Las Vegas Wranglers have folded for the time being and even though three intrepid scribes from the Las Vegas Sun have pointed out that Las Vegas' population (approximate "metro area" of 1.9 million people), TV ratings (or the lack thereof), population working nontraditional hours and the whole Vegas-is-still-recovering-from-the-recession thing all stand as very real roadblocks to any professional sports franchise thriving, for the present moment or any time soon in Vegas.

Then Sports Illustrated's wire posts this:

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The Latest Expansion Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,

It wasn’t very long ago that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was treating talk of expansion as though he was being asked if he’d like an epidemic of Ebola.

But recently the nature of the rhetoric has changed so much that the question is becoming not if, but when.

And then the ultimate question. Will they be able to limit the number of new teams to just two?

Sources close to the situation have indicated Las Vegas is a done deal, the only thing to be determined being which owner will be entitled to proclaim that he brought the first major league sports franchise to Sin City.

And given how dead set against a team in the gambling haven the commissioner was 10 years ago, this move into another player friendly state-tax-free zone represents a considerable about-face indeed.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Whalers to hold open scrimmages on Wednesday, Thursday

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Update: Times edited!

In case you're getting itchy to watch some hockey, from the Plymouth Whalers:

It's an optimistic time of year as all Ontario Hockey League teams start training camp this week in preparation for the upcoming 2014-15 season.

The Plymouth Whalers skate in scrimmages on Wednesday from 9-11 am and 2-4 pm and Thursday from 9-11 am. The scrimmages are free and open to the public.

34 players are scheduled to participate in the scrimmages, including new players Sonny Milano, Mathew Campagna, Will Bitten (first round pick, 2014) and Nicholas Caamano (second round pick, 2014).  Plymouth has seven National Hockey League drafts in camp, including Milano (Columbus), Alex Nedeljkovic and Josh Wesley (Carolina), Connor Chatham (New Jersey), Alex Peters (Dallas), Matt Mistele (Los Angeles) and Victor Crus Rydberg (New York islanders).

Rosters will be provided at the scrimmages.

After practicing on Friday, the Whalers start the preseason on Saturday at 2 pm at Compuware Arena against the Windsor Spitfires.  The game is called “Play it Forward for Bieniewicz”,  with 100 percent of the proceeds in the game benefit the John Bieniewicz Foundation and C.O.P.S. MI (Michigan Concerns of Police Survivors) Chapter.

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Red Wings mid-day mishsmash: from prospect tournament and charitable news to videos and ‘outlooks’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 2x at 3:43 PM: This afternoon's crop of Red Wings-related stories and catch-up stuff (just getting over the damn sinus infection) fall into bullet-point category more than anything else, so:

  • The Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindenau revealed the New York Rangers' prospect tournament roster, and we should find out the remaining seven teams' rosters over the the next seven to ten days (given that the prospect tournament begins on Friday, September 12th);

 

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Patrick Kane Or Phil Kessel?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet,

Kessel will turn 27 in October, while Kane hits 26 in November. Which player would you consider a bigger gift to your team?

The case for Kane: In addition to his sublime skills, Kane loves the spotlight. The guy is a star, pure and simple, a fact exemplified by his Cup-winning goal in 2010 and his Conn Smythe performance in 2013. On the ice, his playmaking and vision are what really set Kane apart. Just seven NHLers have registered more total assists than Kane since he entered the league in 2007–08 and only three of those players—Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Marty St. Louis—also have more goals. The Buffalo native may possess the softest hands on earth and when you combine that with the audacity to attempt ridiculous plays, you get things like his shootout winner against poor Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild. A born showman with talent to match; sometimes Kane makes it seem like things just aren’t fair.

The case for Kessel: It really starts during the 2011–12 campaign, when Kessel became the point-per-game player he’s been for the past three seasons. He also hasn’t missed a game since the beginning of the 2009–10 season, his first year with Toronto. That ability to avoid injury contributes to Kessel’s standing as one of the surest things in the league. With the Leafs the past few years, you’ve really never known what might happen from one moment to the next. But the one thing you could count on was Kessel showing up to the rink, skating really fast down the right side of the ice and firing deadly wrist shots to all parts of the net. In the past three seasons, the list of guys who’ve scored more total goals than “Phil the Thrill” is limited to Alex Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos and Corey Perry....

more

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  Tags: patrick+kane, phil+kessel

Owen Nolan On The San Jose Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Katie Strang of ESPN,

With a talented group of centers that includes Thornton, Couture and Pavelski, the Sharks remain stacked down the middle, a tremendous asset for any NHL team. Nolan likes the fact that, despite the shock of last April’s hasty exit, the Sharks did not tear down the entire roster in a knee-jerk reaction.

“I’m sure everyone is disappointed in the way they were put out of the playoffs, but I like the way they didn't panic,” Nolan said. “This team, as a whole, is a good hockey team. They didn't panic. They didn't blow the whole thing up.”

“I believe this is a solid hockey team that can win,” Nolan said. “We'll see how they approach [last season's playoff loss]. Hopefully, they don't dwell on it, but feed off of not wanting that to happen.”

Nolan thinks that will be an earnest point of emphasis once camp opens next month -– learning from mistakes of years past, avoiding the reputation of a team that can't deliver when it counts.

“You certainly don't want to be recognized as going out early,” Nolan said. “You'll have that [sick] feeling in your stomach of not wanting to go out that way again.” 

more

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  Tags: owen+nolan

TSN’s Westhead: Bertuzzi-Moore settlement reached but not completely concluded

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Pardon me for saying this, but this entry should be filed under, "Well, duh," per TSN's Rick Westhead and via RedWingsFeed:

Lawyers for Todd Bertuzzi and Steve Moore are negotiating terms of a confidentiality agreement, a week after Bertuzzi's legal representative said the two sides reached a settlement.

Since lawyer Geoff Adair confirmed a week ago to TSN that a settlement was reached, avoiding a trial that would have been a public relations disaster for the NHL, Moore's lawyer Tim Danson  has declined to comment on  the case, raising questions about whether Adair spoke too soon.

Those concerns appeared to be justified after Mark Moore, Steve's brother, told TSN that there was no final settlement. Neither side has commented since then.

Adair told TSN that terms of a settlement have been reached and that Danson is negotiating over terms of a confidentiality pact. But even if there are any objections, those would be settled by an arbitrator, Adair said.

Westhead continues, and it was rather evident that the case had reached an NHL-NHLPA "memorandum of understanding" agreement of settlement as opposed to a, "The check's in the mail" conclusion.

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Plymouth Whalers, Windsor Spitfires to ‘Play It Forward’ on Saturday, August 30th

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the Plymouth Whalers:

PLYMOUTH WHALERS, WINDSOR ‘PLAY IT FORWARD’ FOR BIENIEWICZ on AUG. 30

All proceeds of pre-season game will be donated to the John Bieniewicz Foundation

In soccer, the term “friendly” refers to a game between two teams that is an exhibition game.  A “friendly” is a match that generally has no impact in the standings.

“Friendly” is not usually used in the same sentence with the Plymouth Whalers and Windsor Spitfires. The two bitter Ontario Hockey League rivals have battled through 206 regular season games since 1990 and several memorable playoff series.

Need proof? Check the video the last time Plymouth and Windsor met on March 15, 2014 at Compuware Arena.

That’s going to change on Saturday, August 30 at 2 pm at Compuware Arena.  The Whalers and Spitfires hook up in a “friendly” in a benefit for John Bieniewicz, the Livonia soccer referee who passed away while working a game.

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Red Wings announce local TV and radio broadcast schedule

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the Red Wings...

RED WINGS, FOX SPORTS DETROIT AND CBS RADIO ANNOUNCE 2014-15 BROADCAST SCHEDULE
… 74 Wings Games On FOX Sports Detroit – 85 On 97.1 The Ticket or 1270 AM …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings, FOX Sports Detroit and CBS Radio today announced the 2014-15 Red Wings local television and radio schedules.

For the 15th year, all Wings regular-season and playoff games will be carried live by CBS Sports Radio with Ken Kal and former Red Wings captain Paul Woods providing the call.  CBS Radio will broadcast the games on a combination of 97.1 The Ticket and 1270 AM with 68 games simulcast on both stations.

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Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

If Trotz and Kuznetsov (not to mention new D-men Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen) can elevate the Caps, Washington will definitely get back to the playoffs after a one-year hiatus. And if Kuznetsov is as good as he has trended in his young career, who knows how good the Caps can be in the future.

-Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News where you can read more on Evgeny Kuznetsov.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeny+kuznetsov

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