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Forecasting the PR Strategies for “NHL CBA 2012”.
With the NHL formally serving notice last week to the NHLPA of its desire to “terminate and/or modify” the current collective bargaining agreement by September 15th, hockey fans know for certain another potentially contentious round of labor negotiations will begin soon. Given the toxic atmosphere between the two sides during…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 05/23/12 | Comments 3

Big Market NHL Teams to “Max Out” This Summer?
For the seventh consecutive year, the NHL salary cap limits are expected to increase. Thanks to a projected $3.2 billion in revenue for the 2011-12 regular season and playoffs (the most for a single season in NHL history), the salary cap “ceiling” for 2012-13 could rise to $69 million, as…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 05/16/12 | Comments 4

Coyotes Need Fan Support To Survive.
After three years of uncertainty, the Phoenix Coyotes ownership issue could be on the verge of resolution. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on Monday acknowledged a tentative agreement had been reached with an ownership group (led by former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison) which would keep the team in Glendale,…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 05/09/12 | Comments 14

Are You Not Entertained?
During the first round of this year’s NHL playoffs, the NHL Network has several players wearing microphones, of which the best clips were featured in “Best Sights and Sounds of Round 1”. Among the clips were Phoenix Coyotes Keith Yandle, following one of his team’s victories over the Chicago Blackhawks,…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 05/02/12 | Comments 0

Looking Back on the Penguins-Flyers Series.
The Conference Quarterfinal between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers was expected to be the most entertaining of the opening round of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. No one, however, expected it to become a throwback to the wild, fire-wagon style of the 1980s. Though it ended with the Flyers…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 04/25/12 | Comments 2

Whither Radulov?
Alexander Radulov’s return to the Nashville Predators in March after a nearly four-year absence generated considerable commentary over whether or not his presence would bolster the Predators offense, as well as questions about his off-season intentions. In the summer of 2008, Radulov bolted for the riches of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 04/18/12 | Comments 0

NHL Must Do More To Promote Stamkos.
Entering the 2008-09 season, the OK Hockey group, which then owned the Tampa Bay Lightning, launched a clever ad campaign to promote their rookie forward Steven Stamkos, whom they’d selected with the first overall pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Using the slogan, “Seen Stamkos?”, it was a smart…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 04/11/12 | Comments 3

Management The Root of Canadian Clubs’ Woes.
When the salary cap was implemented under the current NHL collective bargaining agreement, it was assumed it would be a boon for Canadian NHL franchises to become not only more competitive, but improve their chances to become legitimate Stanley Cup contenders. Over the course of this CBA, however, only two…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 04/04/12 | Comments 2

This Summer’s NHL Trade Market Could Be Busy.
NHL general managers looking toward this summer’s free agent market to bolster their teams won’t find many star players available. It’s a very thin market this season, particularly for available “name” talent, lacking quality starting goaltenders and offensive stars. The best of this summer’s bunch includes New Jersey’s Zach Parise,…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 03/28/12 | Comments 2

NHL CBA Gamesmanship Well Underway.
Last week’s NHL GM meetings concluded with no indication when the league and the NHLPA will finally open negotiations toward a new collective bargaining agreement. The current CBA expires on September 15th, and while that date is still months away, the fact negotiations toward a new deal have not begun…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 03/21/12 | Comments 6

NHL GMs Face Salary Cap Headaches This Summer.
Over the past couple of weeks, reports have appeared suggesting the NHL salary cap, under the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA), could increase as high as $69 million for 2012-13, and if the NHLPA uses its right to escalate that figure by five percent, to potentially $72 million. Given the…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 03/14/12 | Comments 0

Cherry Bombs Off-Target.
Whether you love Don Cherry or hate him, there’s no denying he’s a master of self-promotion, and ratings gold for CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada. Cherry, the so-called “Prime Minister of Saturday Night”, uses his Coach’s Corner bully pulpit to educate, engage, enrage and generally entertain those who regularly tune…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 03/07/12 | Comments 11

What Will NHL Trade Deadline Look Like Under New CBA?
The passing of the final NHL trade deadline under the current collective bargaining agreement raises questions about the potential impact the next CBA could have upon future trade deadlines. Currently no one knows what the next collective bargaining agreement could contain. What follows is speculation as to potential issues which…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 02/29/12 | Comments 11

Gauging Erik Karlsson’s Worth.
In only his third NHL season, Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson is quickly becoming one of the league’s elite blueliners. A smooth-skating, puck-moving defenseman, the 21-year-old Karlsson is having the best season of his young NHL career. As of February 22, his 43 assists and 57 points already exceed the…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 02/22/12 | Comments 7

Trading Stars At The Deadline Doesn’t Always Pan Out.
It’s an accepted wisdom among fans and pundits that the NHL trade deadline is one of the best opportunities for a struggling non-playoff team to net significant returns for a star player who no longer fits into their future plans. Former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin become a subject…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 02/15/12 | Comments 1

KHL Still No Serious Threat to NHL.
When the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) was founded in 2008, more than a few observers suggested it had the resources to not only retain the best Russian talent, but could also prove a viable rival to the National Hockey League for the world’s best players. One reason for that belief…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 02/08/12 | Comments 4

Reducing Players’ Share of Revenue Won’t Save Poorly-Managed Teams.
When the NHL and NHLPA finally get together to open the latest round of CBA negotiations, it’ll be interesting to see what the league hopes to gain from the proceedings. In the previous CBA negotiations, it was all about “cost certainty” for the league and the team owners, in the…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 02/01/12 | Comments 10

What Should Selanne Do?
The struggles of the Anaheim Ducks this season has resulted in veteran winger Teemu Selanne being frequently mentioned in recent trade rumors. Ducks GM Bob Murray has repeatedly stated his intent is for Selanne to retire a Duck, though he’s left that decision up to the 41-year old Selanne, who…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 01/25/12 | Comments 8

Notable NHL Trade Rumors of the First Half Of 2011-12.
The current NHL season is now past the half-way point, and with the February 27th trade deadline now less than six weeks away, the speculation over which players are potential trade bait continues to grow Here’s a look back at some of the more, shall we say, “notable” NHL trade…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 01/18/12 | Comments 11

NHL CBA Negotiations: The Road Ahead.
The dust has settled from the NHLPA’s decision to reject – or rather, non-decision to accept – the NHL’s new divisional realignment plan, with most of the mainstream media and blogosphere punditry considering it the opening act in the next round of CBA negotiations. Opinion appears divided over whether it…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 01/11/12 | Comments 2

Teams on the Bubble.
It’s a brand new year, meaning the current NHL schedule is getting close to the mid-way point, the period when the true playoff contenders begin to separate from the pretenders in the standings. Barring miraculous comebacks in the second half, the Columbus Blue Jackets, Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes and New…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 01/04/12 | Comments 1

Reviewing the Notable NHL trades of 2011.
As 2011 draws to a close, I thought it worthwhile to look back on the notable trades of this year and see how they’ve worked out so far. Granted, it’s still too early to fully gauge how most of these trades could pan out, while some are easy to determine…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 12/28/11 | Comments 1

Winning the only language that counts.
The Montreal Canadiens recent promotion of assistant coach Randy Cunneyworth into the role of interim replacement for fired head coach Jacques Martin has unleashed considerable criticism from Quebec-based fans, pundits and politicians. It’s not Cunneyworth’s ability as a head coach, or lack of experience coaching at the NHL level which…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 12/21/11 | Comments 9

What Next for the Hurricanes and Ducks?
Between November 28th and November 30th, the Washington Capitals, Carolina Hurricanes and Anaheim Ducks replaced their head coaches. Since those respective moves, only the Capitals showed some signs of improvement. After dropping their first game under new coach Dale Hunter, the Capitals by mid-December were playing .500 hockey, with a…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 12/15/11 | Comments 1

The Brave New World of NHL Realignment.
Just when I think I’ve got the mindset of the NHL Board of Governors figured out regarding a quick decision on a bold proposal for changing their product, they surprise me. I anticipated the proposed plan to change the league’s current divisional format from six divisions into four conferences would…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 12/07/11 | Comments 7

Capitals and Hurricanes Captains Must Step Up.
The Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes made headlines Monday with the firings of Bruce Boudreau and Paul Maurice as their respective head coaches. Former Capitals star and London Knights coach Dale Hunter replaced Boudreau, while former Montreal Canadiens star and assistant coach Kirk Muller took over the reins from Maurice.…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 11/30/11 | Comments 0

Stupid NHL Trade Rumors from this Season’s First Quarter.
Those of you who regularly follow my work on Spector’s Hockey know my bread and butter is NHL trade and free agent rumors, commenting upon those reported by the mainstream media and rumor bloggers. As NHL teams reach the quarter-mark of this season, here’s a look – in no particular…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 11/23/11 | Comments 5

Fallout from L’Affaire Lucic.
Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic’s hit on Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller on November 12th, and its subsequent handling by the NHL, elicited strong feelings from fans and pundits, not just in Boston and Buffalo, but around the league. To recap, during the first period of said game, Lucic was…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 11/16/11 | Comments 9

Could This Decade Become Dominated by Canadian Teams?
For nearly twenty years, Canadian-based NHL teams have for the most part ranked amongst the lesser lights of the league. The Montreal Canadiens in 1993, Vancouver Canucks in 1994, Calgary Flames in 2004 and Edmonton Oilers in 2006 were underdogs which marched to the Cup Final, of which the Canadiens…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 11/09/11 | Comments 12

Attending NHL Games No Cheaper under a Salary Cap.
During the 2004 NHL All-Star Weekend at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, with a lockout on the horizon, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman made the following statement: “With the right economic system, we can take the pressure off of ticket prices, and I believe with the right economic…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 11/02/11 | Comments 6

Winter Classic In Danger Of Becoming Insignificant.
One of the most popular events of the NHL’s post-lockout era is its annual Winter Classic. The notion of an outdoor regular season game on New Year’s Day was initially greeted with scepticism, as critics doubted it would draw decent ratings against the numerous American college football bowl games held…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 10/26/11 | Comments 20

Escrow Squabble Foreshadowing Another NHL Lockout?
Earlier this month it was reported NHL players would be receiving checks by October 14th, representing the return of last season’s escrow deductions, which were deducted quarterly from their pay. Since the imposition of the current collective bargaining agreement in 2005, players have had these payments deducted quarterly throughout the…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 10/19/11 | Comments 5

Musings on the first week of the ‘11-‘12 Season.
- League disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan’s efforts to crack down on targeted hits to the head remains a laudable project, but I have to agree with agent Alan Walsh’s complaint that his client, Minnesota Wild winger Pierre-Marc Bouchard, was undeserving of a two-game suspension for a slash to the face of…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 10/12/11 | Comments 3

How Much Leeway Does Shanahan Have?
The hefty suspensions laid down by new NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan was the talk of the recent preseason. He wasted little time demonstrating to the players that the league is taking seriously the enforcement of Rule Number 48, which addresses illegal hits to the head, suspending nine players in only…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 10/05/11 | Comments 4

Winnipeg May Have Ready-Made Playoff Team
When the Quebec Nordiques were relocated to Denver, Colorado in 1995 and became the Avalanche, Colorado hockey fans got themselves a ready-made playoff team. Thanks to a blockbuster trade which landed them future Hall of Fame goalie Patrick Roy midway through 1995-96, they became a Stanley Cup championship team. While…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 09/28/11 | Comments 3

Doughty Will Have To Earn More Than Money
By the time you read this, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty will either be re-signed to a new contract, or his standoff with management will continue. Plenty of opinions have bandied about in recent weeks – pro and con – over the Doughty contract saga, most focusing on what…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 09/21/11 | Comments 6

Role of Enforcers Could Change
The recent off-season deaths of Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak has led to a growing chorus of critics calling for the National Hockey League to ban fighting. That chorus includes former enforcers like Dave Schultz, holder of the single season record for most PIMs with 472, and Chris…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 09/14/11 | Comments 0

Role of Enforcers Could Change
The recent off-season deaths of Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak has led to a growing chorus of critics calling for the National Hockey League to ban fighting. That chorus includes former enforcers like Dave Schultz, holder of the single season record for most PIMs with 472, and Chris…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 09/14/11 | Comments 22

Capital Gains?
To no one’s surprise, the Washington Capitals are once again ranked amongst the NHL’s top Stanley Cup contenders, but unlike previous years, they find themselves facing considerably more pressure to play up to expectations. Led by superstars Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green, the Capitals topped the Eastern Conference…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 09/07/11 | Comments 5

Come September, A Weekly Blog On KK
I’ve known Lyle Richardson since my early days of blogging and finally convinced him to come on over and do a weekly blog at Kukla’s Korner. Now all you the folks who email me about rumors can now email Lyle, but he will probably tell you the same thing regarding…
Posted by Lyle Richardson on 07/26/11 | Comments 29