Kukla's Korner

Agenda For NHL Owners Meeting Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The NHL's 30 owners meet Saturday morning, which is customary at All-Star Weekend, with a number of things on the docket to discuss.

There will be an update on Las Vegas and the ticket drive, which will kick off next month, and an update on Seattle, the league having met with the city's mayor this past week. Mind you, the sense is there is still not much to report there.

The dropping Canadian dollar and potential impact on the hockey-related revenues and next year's salary cap will also be discussed. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told owners at the Board of Governors meeting in early December that the expected cap number for next season would be around $73 million, but only if the Canadian dollar didn't plunge. Of course, it has, so it'll be interesting to see if the league has a different number in mind Saturday or if it feels it's premature to speculate on it.

Obviously, the World Cup of Hockey will be addressed with owners, as the league and NHL Players' Association are expected to unveil details for the September 2016 event.

Gary Bettman will address the media today at 1:00pm ET with a recap of the meeting.

Following, Commissioner Bettman will be joined by NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr, to make a joint NHLPA/NHL announcement.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHL All-Stars Say Yes To The Olympics

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

Memo to the league: Shea Weber thinks NHLers should go to the 2018 Olympics -- even if they are being held halfway around the world.

Would you argue with Weber, one of the toughest hombres in the game and a two-time gold medal winner with Team Canada?

“The Olympic experience is incredible,” Weber said Friday. “When it comes to representing your country, what can top that?”

Weber’s sentiments were echoed by the likes of John Tavares and Steven Stamkos. But will their voices be heard by NHL owners?

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Saturday Morning Hockey Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch o the Ottawa Sun,

- One team that could be interested in Ottawa winger Chris Neil is the Winnipeg Jets. They’ve been looking to add more grit up front before the deadline.

- With several teams looking for a young forward who can score, most have either Edmonton’s Taylor Hall or Jordan Eberle on their radar screen and all have inquired with GM Craig MacTavish about the possibility. What they’re being told? That the Oilers don’t want to do anything right now. “It’s surprising because you’d think they’d want to do something and there’s plenty of interest,” said a league executive. “With where they’re sitting and what’s been happening, it doesn’t sound like they even really want to discuss the possibility.” The Oilers are listening to offers but the sense is if they’re going to do something with either Hall or Eberle it will be in the off-season when their draft position is decided and they can weigh everything. All-star forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins isn’t going anywhere.

more including a few players on having an NHL team in Las Vegas...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Playing In The All-Star Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Nick Foligno just smiled when told he wouldn’t be able to pick Sidney Crosby in the all-star draft.

“Yes, I heard that,” smiled Foligno, a Columbus Blue Jackets winger and captain of one of the two teams in Sunday’s NHL showcase.

The surprising news came out around suppertime Thursday that Crosby wouldn’t be appearing here due to injury, certainly a blow to a league that understands every event it holds is better and carries a higher profile when Crosby is involved.

He’s actually only appeared in the all-star game once, for a wide variety of reasons. And this time, sources suggest the mysterious “lower body” problem is actually a hip injury aggravated this week during hotly contested games in Philadelphia and at home against Chicago that’s has knocked Crosby out of the game as a precautionary measure.

Fair enough, and Crosby has a lifetime get-out-of-jail-free card for the service he’s done as an ambassador for the league and the sport. 

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Lot Of Cup Lifting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,

Those plastic cups NHL players lifting and tipping backstage tonight at the NHL fantasy draft? They were filled with something special.

In a rollicking affair that lasted nearly 90 minutes, one team captained by Blue Jackets' Nick Foligno and another led by Chicago's Jonathan Toews divvied up 41 NHL All-Stars and set the rosters for Sunday's 60th NHL All-Star Game in Nationwide Arena.

Foligno won the puck-flip and had the first overall draft pick. He used it -- predictably, safely -- to select fellow Blue Jackets forward Ryan Johansen, keeping peace in the dressing room and giving local fans one team to cheer in Sunday's game.

There were plenty of giggles. One could say the best "rounds" took place before the draft started.

Asked what was in those cups, Toews smirked.

"I don't know. We were just hydrating, getting ready for the weekend," Toews said. "It's going to be a long one. A lot of ice time. I think we're short one guy, too, so we're going to have to have guys ready for extra ice time."

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- ASG Draft Night In Columbus

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Basically you can tell what the night was all about by watching a five minute video of Alex Ovechkin during the ASG draft.

Pierre McGuire pops in here and there but the featured star is Alex Ovechkin.

Other than that, if you need to view how the teams drafted, you can see it here.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Look At Gary Bettman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Alexandra Wolfe of the Wall Street Journal,

National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman didn’t grow up ice skating. He only learned in college, when his girlfriend at the time (now his wife) helped teach him. These days, Mr. Bettman doesn’t skate much, but he does watch his grandson play.

The longest serving commissioner in any major league sport today, the 62-year-old Mr. Bettman is looking for new ways to attract fans. At the NHL All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio, this weekend, he plans to announce the slate of outdoor NHL games for next season (most games are played in covered arenas), as well as the return of the World Cup, an international hockey event that he says “will be back in a major way” next year. A successor to the Canada Cup, which was held occasionally between 1976 and 1991, the World Cup has only been played twice, in 1996 and 2004.

Hockey’s popularity has been on the rise. Total attendance at pro games has grown to 23.5 million last season from 15.5 million in 1993, when Mr. Bettman took over. Over the same period, the NHL’s revenue has grown to nearly $4 billion from $400 million a year. (By comparison, professional football and baseball each had revenue last year of about $9 billion, while basketball took in about $5.5 billion.) In recent decades, the NHL has gone to great lengths to broaden the sport’s national footprint, expanding into new markets and relocating teams to places where ice hockey wasn’t traditionally played, such as Dallas.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman

The Nashville Predators In The Spotlight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Organ of The Tennessean,

The Predators have skated into a brighter spotlight this season.

Their dramatic improvement over last season has been a natural attention-grabber, but other factors have contributed to a new level of respect for the franchise locally and nationally.

“They’re getting more attention because it’s such a surprise for them to be where they are,” USA Today hockey writer Kevin Allen said. “And also there is the storyline of (Peter) Laviolette replacing Barry Trotz, who everyone had such great respect for. He’s moved on and you go from a defensive coach to an offensive coach. The story is intriguing.”

At the NHL All-Star break, the Predators (30-10-5) lead the Central Division and are second in the Western Conference and overall NHL standings.

The story is intriguing, Allen said, not because Trotz failed to move the Predators into a more prominent position, but rather because he laid the foundation for them to evolve to where they are mentioned among the league’s best teams.

continued

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

‘Goin’ out west’ with the Wings

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings posted the first part of what will be a 4-part video series chronicling the team's Western Canadian road trip, and I hope this video is a harbinger of more things to come:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Steven Stamkos Wants To Stay In Tampa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

The future of Steven Stamkos has become a hot topic as he approaches unrestricted free agency in 2016.

And during the media session for the 2015 NHL All-Star Game on Friday, Tampa Bay Lightning forward gave one of his strongest indications to date that he's leaning towards staying with the team that drafted him in 2008.

"Yeah I think that's exactly what the plan is," Stamkos told reporters. "Obviously, July 1 you can announce a deal and something hopefully similar to what (Patrick) Kane and (Jonathan) Toews did, sometime after July 1. It's a long ways away. I'm not really focused on that. We haven't really talked about that at all.

continued

added 4:04pm

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steven+stamkos

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