Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bruce Owen of the Winnipeg Free Press,
The game-plan to return NHL hockey to Winnipeg is banking on a financial assist from the Manitoba government, the Free Press has learned.
While negotiations are underway between True North Sports and Entertainment Ltd. and the ownership group of the Atlanta Thrashers, a critical part of Winnipeg’s pitch involves help from the Selinger government.
True North, which owns the MTS Centre, is looking to the province to help it manage the debt load it carries on the downtown arena in order to free up money to help pay for the relocation of the NHL team to Winnipeg.
A source said that request from True North is being studied by the province and in all likelihood will be accepted. The value of the request, or if it involves a low or no-interest loan, is not known.
“The building is a public asset,” said a source explaining why the province is interested in an arrangement that sees aid go to the MTS Centre. “It will never move.”
From Gary Lawless at the Brandon Sun:
The Winnipeg Free Press has learned the NHL is working on two schedule drafts: one including Winnipeg and the other including Atlanta.
The league issued its schedule last season just prior to the NHL Entry Draft, and a source told the Free Press both Winnipeg and Atlanta have been asked to submit dates for next season.
The NHL originally was working on three different drafts but with the interim resolution of the Phoenix Coyotes situation, the league is now down to two schedules.
*h/t to Crashing the Crease
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
We do know there’s been ongoing discussions between True North and ASG (Atlanta Spirit Group), but as of Sunday night sources refute the various Twitter claims that the two sides have an MOU (business lingo for Memorandum of Understanding) or agreed to a period of exclusivity to get a deal done.
Both are possibilities, but neither have been agreed to at this point.
The NHL remains an integral part of the process, but until Winnipeg and Atlanta reach an agreement for the sale and purchase of the Thrashers, there is no reason for the league to intervene other than to continue to do what it can to secure local ownership to keep the team in Atlanta.
more plus some Hockey Canada talk…
Update 1:49pm ET: From Jeff Schultz at the AJC, more talk on the Thrashers situation.
from Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Q: Can you guarantee the team will be in Atlanta next season?
A: “Nope. I can’t guarantee that.”
Q: So what are the chances of the Thrashers being relocated?
A: “I’m not into handicapping. I’m usually wrong.”
Q: Can you address rumors that a franchise sale and a move to Winnipeg is pretty much done and that an announcement is imminent?
A: “There is nothing that has been done, nothing has been planned and nothing has been scheduled. Certainly, no transaction has been agreed to, not that I’m aware of.”
From Mike Ozanian at Forbes.com:
The group that owns the Atlanta Thrashers is looking for $110 million for the NHL club from investors that include former Atlanta Braves pitcher Tom Glavine.
We valued the money-losing Thrashers at $135 million in December. The Thrashers have made the playoffs only once in their 12-year history and averaged just 13,403 at Philips Arena this past season, 27th in the league. The attraction for a buyer is that the NBA’s Hawks, who share Philips Arena with the Thrashers, are responsible for the arena’s bond payments. The hockey team is debt-free and under the terms currently being discussed would pay a flat rent that would net the team about $7 million in non-ticket revenue while the owners of the basketball team ran the arena.
According to sources, if a deal is made to keep the Coyotes in Glendale, there’s a chance the Thrashers will move quickly into negotiations with True North to move the team to Winnipeg. A source close to the situation added that when it comes to relocation, there simply isn’t anywhere else to go.
There are also questions as to whether Thrashers ownership and True North could work out an agreement, but the possibility is not being ruled out.
If the NHL is unsuccessful in closing the deal and the Hulsizer sale crumbles, the Coyotes become the likely target for Winnipeg while the league’s attention will shift to the Thrashers and an effort to keep the team in Atlanta.
From James Mirtle at the Globe on Hockey blog:
Former star pitcher Tom Glavine is leading the charge to ensure the Thrashers stay in Atlanta.
A lifelong hockey fan who was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 1984 before going onto a lengthy baseball career, Glavine told the local NBC affiliate “he could not afford the $80- to $100-million to buy the Thrashers himself, but is trying to find investors interested and could end up a part owner.”
“I don’t want them to leave,” Glavine said.
from Dave Caldwell of the New York Times,
No matter how the Rangers fared Thursday against the Atlanta Thrashers, they could not earn a little “x” next to their name in the N.H.L. standings for having clinched a playoff berth. But they did have the power to skim much of the suspense from what has become a punishing playoff push.
Three nights after losing their catalyst, Ryan Callahan, to a broken ankle, the Rangers floundered, falling meekly at Madison Square Garden, 3-0. They can still make the playoffs, but now they need some help from the opponents of their pursuers, the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Rangers (43-33-5) remained 2 points ahead of the Hurricanes (39-30-11), the ninth-place team in the Eastern Conference, who did not play Thursday and have two games remaining. The Rangers’ regular-season finale is Saturday at home against the Devils.
added 11:29pm, Watch Tortorella post-game conference below…
Splitting the first half of a season from the second and comparing the two is about as useless, at the end of the day, as useless statistics get. Point being, the only thing that matters at the end of the year is the bottom line of 16 teams qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs and 14 others following along like the rest of us.
But useless doesn’t mean uninteresting as we peek at the difference in the standings from the 41-game mark for each team until now.
Have a look, after the jump:
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Atlanta Thrasher release...
The Atlanta Thrashers have re-signed defenseman Mark Stuart to a multiple-year contract extension, according to General Manager Rick Dudley. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Stuart, 26, has seen action in four contests with the Thrashers this season after being acquired by team in a trade with Boston on Feb. 18. Prior to arriving in Atlanta, the 6-2, 215-pound defenseman played in 31 games for the Bruins, totaling five points (one goal, four assists) with a plus-8 rating and 23 penalty minutes. In 287 career NHL games with Boston (2005-06 to 2010-11), Stuart has 40 points (13 goals, 27 assists) and 294 penalty minutes.
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.
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