September 29, 2013 |
A year ago, the NHL was a few weeks into the third labor stoppage of Commissioner Gary Bettman's reign and fans vowed they would never come back. Now, it's all sunshine and blue skies for the league and a firmly entrenched Bettman. A settlement in January that guaranteed labor peace for at least eight years -- and possibly 10 -- kick-started an intense, 48-game schedule. The 30 teams played to a cumulative 97% of capacity, with 16 teams selling out all 24 home games and 10 more playing to 90% or more of their arena capacity.
September 10, 2013 |
Darryl Sutter and Bruce Boudreau have so firmly established themselves on the local hockey scene that it's easy to forget how briefly the two coaches have been here. Sutter, known for his exacting manner and bitter-beer-face expression, succeeded Terry Murray on Dec. 20, 2011 and earned sainthood in the eyes of Kings fans for guiding the team to its first Stanley Cup championship six months later. Boudreau, who became a cult figure for his animated and often profane behavior on HBO's "24/7" series while coaching the Washington Capitals, succeeded the dour Randy Carlyle on Nov. 30, 2011.
September 3, 2013 |
After leading the NHL into three lockouts, Commissioner Gary Bettman won't win any popularity contests among hockey fans. But his bosses - team owners - continue to compensate him well. According to the Sports Business Journal , Bettman earned more than $8 million in salary and benefits for the 2011-12 season, up slightly from the previous year and a considerable chunk of change by any standard. Bettman, who a few months later would impose the third lockout during his 20-year tenure, earned $8.3 million for the 2011-12 season, according to figures obtained by SBJ through the NHL's tax filings.
August 21, 2013 |
Hoping to put one of the most chaotic periods in the history of their union behind them, NBA players on Wednesday elected Clippers guard Chris Paul as their president during summer meetings in Las Vegas. Paul replaces Derek Fisher, the veteran point guard whom Paul nearly succeeded with the Lakers in late 2011 before NBA Commissioner David Stern famously quashed a proposed trade involving the then-New Orleans Hornets. Paul becomes the first superstar to hold the NBA players' association president's job since Patrick Ewing's term ended in 2001.
April 27, 2013 |
Introspection and navel-gazing are not Darryl Sutter's favorite activities. The Kings' coach is blunt, more likely to look ahead than to over-analyze the past in search of great cosmic meaning. So, when asked about the peaks and valleys his team experienced during this lockout-shortened season, Sutter was typically direct. “There's no highs and lows,” he said. “Highs and lows right now are for them guys that are 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. They have highs, they have lows.” BOX SCORE: Kings 3, San Jose 2 The Kings earned the No. 5 playoff seeding by beating the San Jose Sharks, 3-2, Saturday at Staples Center on second-period goals by Kyle Clifford and Slava Voynov and a third-period goal by Justin Williams, earning a standing ovation from the announced sellout crowd.
April 26, 2013 |
Not only have the Kings struggled in a big way on the road of late, losing their last six games, but it also has been a season-long issue. They won two of their first seven on the road and would end up winning eight of 24 road games, finishing 8-12-4. For perspective: They won two more road games in the playoffs last year (10-1) than they did in this lockout-shortened season. Edmonton, Columbus and Dallas all managed to record more road wins than the Kings this season. "Once playoffs start, it's a totally different story," said Kings center Anze Kopitar after a 3-1 loss Wednesday in Detroit.