Kukla's Korner Hockey
If the Nashville Predators are not sold by June 30, which seems unlikely now, sources say club owner Craig Leipold is prepared to vastly trim his player payroll next season, even if it means dismantling a Stanley Cup contender.
The so-called scorched earth tactic, reminiscent of baseball’s Florida Marlins, is designed to minimize financial losses next season, which will almost certainly approach US$10-million, and force the City of Nashville to buy more tickets if it wants to keep professional hockey in the Tennessee capital.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The Madness appears to be on the verge of returning to the NHL, once again in Boston and once again behind the bench.
Sources have told The Post that mercurial Mike Milbury, who two weeks ago left his ceremonial front-office position with the Islanders, has interviewed for the Bruins’ head-coaching position. He is in line to replace Dave Lewis, who seemingly out of nowhere was dismissed yesterday, 10 weeks after completing the first season of a four-year contract.
Milbury, whom The Post has learned has interviewed for the post as long as 10 days ago, coached the Bruins to 101- and 100-point seasons in 1989-90 and 1990-91, r
from the Nashville Predators,
The Nashville Predators today delivered written notice to the Sports Authority of Metropolitan Government (as required by Section 2.3 (b) of its license agreement) that the club reserves the right to cancel the license agreement at the end of its 2007-08 NHL hockey season if the average number of tickets sold to home games played at the Sommet Center (excluding exhibition and preseason games) during the “cure season” does not equal or exceed 14,000 per game.
read on for a statement from Leipold…
vai the Boston Bruins,
Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has relieved Head Coach Dave Lewis and Associate Coach Marc Habscheid of their coaching duties, and will reassign them to other positions within the club.
“Since the season has ended I have completed a thorough review of the team and the coaching staff, and I have determined that Dave Lewis and Marc Habscheid are not the proper fit for the Bruins at this time,” said Chiarelli. “I have a short list of candidates in mind, and I hope to have a new Head Coach in place in the near future.
“I want to thank Dave and Marc for their hard work and dedication this past year, and I am certain that they will have success in their future endeavors.”
added 10:34pm, from BostonBruins.com,
The GM had started the phone call by saying that he had “great respect for both of those men and for what they have done in the past and what they will accomplish in the future, however my job is to ice a team that is going to win on a consistent basis.
“One of the things that was telling to me this year was the inconsistency of our play.
“We would go for long stretches where we would be either very good or not so good and what tells me as a manager is that there is a level of play that we can attain…and it didn’t happen.
“In fairness to Dave and to Marc we put together a staff under somewhat extenuating circumstances. And I interviewed them both. They were both good.”
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
For a mathematician, 32 is a much more attractive number than 30. It creates a nice balance — 16 teams make the playoffs and 16 don’t.
And the rumors of realignment into four divisions that surfaced last year had a lot of merit. Bettman denied the story but you can take that for what it’s worth.
With the proposed sale price of the Nashville Predators being in the $240 million range, Bettman knows that he can sell expansion franchises for at least $120 million.
If he sells two of them, that’s a tidy $8 million for each existing owner. Too lucrative to pass up.
As for the nets, if you read between the lines of some of the statements being made by hockey executives, you know what’s coming.
The league admits that the game needs more scoring. As Bettman said in his press conference at the All-Star game, “The focus on offense remains the priority.”
Furthermore, it’s no secret that the league has given the matter of larger nets serious consideration.
more on both topics. A side note, the NHL competition committee met today in Toronto, on the agenda was bigger nets, visors and hits to the head…
from the Nashville Post,
Sources told NashvillePost.com that the sale to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie is in danger because of Metro’s legal wrangling over the lease with the team, and the result could be a legal war between the city and the Predators. Attorneys from both sides have been meeting for weeks and team owner Craig Leipold and his attorneys are meeting with Mayor Bill Purcell and the city’s attorneys this afternoon.
read on...the lawyers take over from here…
from George Johnson at ESPN,
The hire has implosion written all over it.
The debris field threatens to stretch all the way north to Edmonton, all the way south to Lethbridge.
The ending of this movie has the potential to mirror Jimmy Cagney in the final minutes of “White Heat,” standing at the top of the chemical plant, emptying his bullets into a gas tank and shrieking “Made it, ma! Top o’ the world!” as the mushroom cloud of fumes and fire envelops him.
Yes, “Iron Mike” Keenan is back. Harder to get rid of than a zit a day before the prom. His authoritarian jackboots traded in for a pair of cow-pie clogged cowboy kickers, bringing his blunt, uncompromising, signature style to Calgary.
from the CP via TSN,
The Montreal Canadiens signed forward Christopher Higgins and defenceman Mike Komisarek to two-year contracts on Friday.
The 24-year-old Higgins and 25-year-old Komisarek are both former first-round draft picks by the Canadiens and have become key components of the team.
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
Men old enough to be the Hart Trophy winner’s father and men who played with and against the Calder Trophy runner-up’s father are making decisions about 2007-08.
In the post-lockout NHL, one-year twilight deals make more sense than ever, at least for the teams, and arguably for the players as well, if they’re at all concerned about legacies, reputations, pride and even keeping career-closing options open. By that, I mean such things as a slightly slipping, but still effective, veteran perhaps shooting to finish with a franchise in his hometown or his original team for symmetry sake.
The possibility of including incentives in contracts for the over-35 set also provides a safety net. To a point, it can indicate skepticism, particularly about players coming off injuries or with a tendency to miss significant time, but mostly it’s a win-win proposition for both sides of the table in the cap world.
from the Tennessean,
A longtime Metro Sports Authority member and local attorney says that even if the Predators hit 14,000 in paid attendance next season, an owner could still try to move the team.
Steve North said Friday that an owner could choose to break the lease himself, pay Metro a fee of approximately $27 million for “liquidated damages” and then move the team.
That scenario, however, is unlikely to occur, according to North.
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.
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