Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Nashville Predators,
The sale price for the franchise is $193 million. The sale must be approved by the NHL’s Board of Governors. The anticipated closing date for the transaction is no later than September 30, 2007.
“I am thrilled that David Freeman and his local group have joined up with Boots Del Biaggio and come together to purchase the Predators,” Leipold said. “My hope is that their commitment to Nashville will be reciprocated in the form of business and individual support on an ongoing basis to make this franchise successful for the long-term. This is a great day for Predators fans, players and staff!”
added 8:46pm, from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
In the wake of Wednesday’s announcement that a group of Nashville businessmen had signed a binding letter of intent to purchase the Predators, we can’t help but feel that unless these owners find a similarly empowered budgie or parakeet to plant a similar smacker of life on the team, they will be nothing more than caretakers of a team doomed to exist on life support until the moving trucks back up to the arena doors.
Despite all the back-slapping and toasts toward a long future in Nashville that accompanied the announcement, the future of the team is far from secure.
from the New Jersey Devils,
The Devils announced today that forward Zach Parise has been re-signed to a new multi-year contract. No further terms of the deal were disclosed.
added 4:59pm, via Fire & Ice,
Restricted free agent left wing Zach Parise signed a four-year, $12.5 million contract to remain with the Devils today.
from the Kansas City Star,
A Nashville group planning to sign a letter of intent to buy the Nashville Predators today is expected to include William “Boots” Del Biaggio, who also has a contract to own an NHL team for Kansas City’s Sprint Center.
Del Biaggio could not be reached for comment today, but was in Nashville for the announcement.
The Predators have a long-term lease with the Sommet Center in Nashville, but they must average 14,000 fans per game this season or the lease could be voided.
By being part of the Nashville ownership, Del Biaggio—who has been a minority partner in the San Jose Sharks—would boost his profile and status in the NHL and give him leverage to move the club to Kansas City.
An arbitrator has awarded New York Rangers centre Sean Avery a $1.9-million salary for next season.
Avery, 27, was seeking $2.6-million in arbitration after scoring 48 points in 84 games last season with the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers.
added 1:27pm, via the NY Rangers,
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has signed restricted free agent forward Sean Avery.
“We are pleased to have Sean under contract and are looking forward to him returning with the same passion and enthusiasm he brought to our team last year,” stated Sather. “He is a terrific competitor, who we expect to play a significant role in a successful season.”
via Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Remember The Spirit of Manitoba? That was the group of Winnipeg businesses that banded together in an attempt to stop the Jets from moving; they too had fans rejoicing at the prospect of pulling the franchise back from the brink of relocation, yet ultimately couldn’t stop the move from coming to pass.
I’m not guaranteeing the same fate for the Predators, but their fans definitely should hold off on the victory celebrations for a while. If history repeats, their darkest day may yet be to come.
from the Boston Bruins,
Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has named Craig Ramsay and Geoff Ward Assistant Coaches. Ramsay and Ward join Assistant Coach Doug Houda and Goaltending Coach Bob Essensa to round out Head Coach Claude Julien’s staff.
Greg Wyshynski at the NHL Fanhouse does a very in-depth story on “Eklund”.
Because as Eklund’s popularity and influence have grown—with surging Web traffic, high-profile radio gigs and an on-air role during an NHL trade deadline television special—so have serious charges about a fraudulent biography, his lack of journalistic ethics and some online behavior that historically has gotten professional reporters fired. During our hour-long conversation, the “anonymous hockey blogger” finally began to answer to them—with some startling revelations….
One of the most controversial aspects of the Eklund legend is his biography. The background he had given to ESPN was in direct contrast with the fanciful origin story he gave FanHouse’s Eric McErlain in an early (and must-read) interview in 2005. Self-aggrandizing aside—I still love the part about having written a book that sold so well he no longer had to work full-time—the fact was that the official bio on his Web site changed significantly after he began attracting a larger audience.
read on... much, much more including pics…
Wow, what a month for KK!
Who would have thought the UFA period would have brought so many readers to KK for the month of July?
I expected a slight increase in numbers for the month, but nothing like this. Thank you to everyone who visits KK on a regular basis and it is much appreciated.
The facelift for KK is right around the corner. Expect to see some fantastic enhancements to the site sometime this month. It has been a long process but one well worth waiting for.
To see stats for previous months, start here.
from the Toronto Star,
Gilmour admits there’s still a player inside him, appreciating how fast the game is. It’s something he tries not to lose sight of as a scout.
“As for watching the game different, you can kind of still put yourself in their shoes. When you sit up top, it’s an easier game,” said Gilmour.
“When you’re down low, you kind of know what’s going on, and why he made that mistake, and why he’s there.”
So where does he see his future lie: as a GM, or as a head coach?
“That’s a good question,” he said. “It’s hard to say right now. I don’t want to pinpoint which way I want to go, I don’t know.”
from the Star-Telegram,
This is an open letter to the NHL and its powers that be, who keep telling us—because they certainly aren’t showing us—that they want their sport to be relevant and popular again.
Well, NHL, hear this: You want a calling card, you’ve got it. You’re clean. You’re scandal-free. You’re like that goody-goody student who sits quietly at his desk while the others are shooting spit wads at each other. And those spit wad-shooting scamps, the ones who have been taking your thunder and television ratings for years, are mired in PR disasters that could put a damper on their sports.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org