Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Toronto Star,
Whoever winds up owning the Pittsburgh Penguins may inherit an unpleasant chore: defending a multi-million-dollar lawsuit from a disgruntled Canadian billionaire.
Investment bankers who specialize in the sports industry say it’s likely that Jim Balsillie, chief executive of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, will sue the Penguins to recoup the reported $10 million (all figures U.S.) deposit he gave the team to look at the team’s finances as he considered making an offer to buy the 39-year-old franchise.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Balsillie walked away and left the team without an owner as the hours slipped away before the state’s all-important decision on the gaming license.
Sources tell ESPN.com that had those same restrictions been in place for other owners who have purchased teams in recent years, those owners would have walked away from the league in a heartbeat….
But the team source said Lemieux might be equally chagrined at the league for pushing away a man whose personal wealth would have allowed him to purchase the team without financing.
“I can’t imagine the current ownership group in Pittsburgh is very happy with Gary,” the source told ESPN.com.
Unless Bettman is already in the process of negotiating a backroom deal with the state and/or city to ensure a palatable Plan B is already in place if Isle of Capri is dealt a losing hand.
By George Malik:
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock raised an interesting point on Monday:
Babcock said, “Who sells hockey? To me, I don’t know. I don’t know for sure.”
After mentioning baseball, Babcock jumped to football and said the NFL markets its product well. He said he thought NFL games were much better to watch on television than in person.
“Our game’s just exactly the opposite,” Babcock said. “We gotta do a better job of the guy at home knowing how good the game actually is. How fast-paced, how physical, how great the athletes are, how hard they work.
“To me, we got a way better game than we sell. Somehow, we gotta figure that out and sell it.”
That’s an understatement.
via the Pittsburgh Penguins,
The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired defenseman Wade Brookbank from the Boston Bruins for future considerations, it was announced Tuesday by general manager Ray Shero.
Brookbank has been assigned to the Penguins’ American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via 680 News,
Scoring is down from last season, which has the NHL’s rules guru contemplating a change he never thought he’d consider.
“I know this is going to rock some traditionalists, and I can say this because I’m one of those, but I really think we’ve got to look long and hard at bigger nets,” Colin Campbell, the NHL’s director of hockey operations, said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
from Ken Campbell at the Hockey News,
Just weeks after Alex Ovechkin fired Don Meehan and announced that his parents would be handling his affairs, San Jose Sharks superstar Joe Thornton has left well-known agent J.P. Barry. Thornton’s brother, John, who had previously worked with Barry, is in the process of being certified by the NHL Players’ Association and will represent Thornton.
The firings bring into question whether or not top-end players, most of whom are automatically paid 20 per cent of the team’s salary cap, are finding that they don’t need their agents.
from E. M. Swift of Sports Illustrated,
Show me the passion! I’m not suggesting that the NHL bring back goons, the thugs like Broad Street Bully Dave Schultz of the Flyers or Detroit’s Joey Kocur, who could be counted on to mug opponents a couple of times in every game. But there can be no denying the entertainment value of watching genuinely angry men, guys who could play and fight.
Ted Lindsay. Tiger Williams. Bobby Nystrom. Wayne Cashman. Thy kept the bad blood flowing from one game to the next, leading to a delicious sense of anticipation that is utterly lacking in today’s cleaner/faster/safer NHL.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Is this the year of the Original Six revival?
OK, it may be too soon to go down that path right now, with mid-season still a couple of weeks away, but the recent turnarounds in Boston and Chicago have all six of the 1967 pre-expansion teams in the playoff chase, which is something you couldn’t have said last year, as the Bruins stumbled and the Blackhawks bumbled their way through seriously underachieving seasons.
TORONTO, Dec. 19 /CNW/ - Four weeks and counting! Canada’s unofficial hockey holiday - CBC’S HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA - hits the ice for its seventh annual broadcast celebration, Saturday, Jan. 13 at 12 noon ET, live from the Nelson and District Community Complex in Nelson, B.C. Host Ron MacLean will be front and centre in Nelson to pay tribute to Canada’s great frozen game, alongside Don Cherry, Cassie Campbell, Scott Morrison and Dick Irvin. The 2007 edition of CBC’S HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA will honour Canada’s countless hockey volunteers: the tireless individuals who are the backbone of the game at the grassroots level and who will do anything - including selling snacks and 50/50 tickets, making hot chocolate and driving cross country - to give kids a chance to play hockey. CBC’S HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA will also feature the traditional big-ticket NHL all-Canadian tripleheader, beginning with Montreal at Ottawa at 2 p.m. ET, followed by Vancouver at Toronto at 7 p.m. ET (available in High-Definition) and Edmonton at Calgary in the night-cap at 10 p.m. ET.
John Buccigross of ESPN is all over the NHL today in his NHL column…
Is Barry Melrose illiterate or does he just not want to actually write an article?
Barry is a bilingual illiterate. He can’t read or write in two different languages. Thank you! I’ll be here all week! Enjoy the veal! Level 42 is next. [Editor’s note: Barry can write, but he does a podcast and video clips for ESPN.com.]
much, much more including the Pens situation…
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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