Kukla's Korner Hockey
As the Montreal Canadiens unveiled a series of initiatives as part of the club’s Centennial celebrations, Forbes magazine is reporting that team owner George Gillett has put the franchise up for sale.
“I’m here today to celebrate the 100th anniversary and I’m proud as punch to be involved and I look forward to being involved for a longtime to come” Gillett told Sportsnet before addressing the Forbes report. “I have no comment. I haven’t seen the article but had I seen it, I would have no comment.”
The reported asking price is $400 million, more than double the figure Gillett paid for the team ($181 million) back in 2001. In a recent report Forbes.com listed the team value at $334 million.
added 4:58pm, from CBC,
On Thursday, the 70-year-old Gillett told reporters he is “angry” that he continually has to deny the hockey team is on the market.
“The club has never been for sale. As far as I know, no one has ever talked to anyone about the sale of the club,” said Gillett, who bought 80 per cent of the Canadiens and the Bell Centre for $185 million US in 2001.
“I’ve never authorized anyone to discuss it. We have received many inquiries about a possible sale [but] I’ve never entertained any of them.”
from Mike Milbury of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
Today marks the official start of the Montreal Canadiens’ 100th anniversary.
Pardon me if I don’t feel like joining the party.
For the Habs fans, this begins a few months strolling down memory lane. For me, it’s like bringing out the skeletons in the closet.
For three straight years from 1977-1979, my Boston Bruins squared off against the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup playoffs. And three times, we were sent home a little too early.
If the two teams were cars, the Montreal Canadiens were the Porsches of the NHL. Sleek, fast, streamlined. The top of the line….
And the Bruins? We were just an old, rusty Dodge pick-up truck. Hey, nothing wrong with dependability.
read on for some memories from Mike…
from Sean Gordon and Paul Waldie of the Globe and Mail,
Montreal Canadiens owner and Colorado-based debt-financing king George Gillett is engaged in another financial high-wire act that could have an impact on Canada’s most storied hockey franchise.
According to a lien filed in Delaware, Gillett has taken out a high-interest, $75-million (all currency U.S.) personal loan from a U.S.-based private investment fund, putting up his heavily-leveraged share of British soccer giant Liverpool Football Club as collateral….
But it’s clear Gillett is among the many NHL owners facing stormy financial seas because of the economic downturn.
Hockey industry sources say at least three other teams - the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Phoenix Coyotes - have recently taken out high-interest loans with distress lenders or private equity funds because of tightening credit in the United States.
from Krista Jahnke of the Detroit Free Press,
Mike Ilitch has the most brand power of any owner in professional sports….
That’s according to the 2008 Turnkey Team Brand Index, a survey released Monday that uses scientific polling to pinpoint how teams and owners are perceived by local fans.
As the Red Wings’ owner, Ilitch came in at No. 1 among 122 professional sports owners, and his Wings ranked No. 4 among teams.
SportsBusiness Journal lists the Top 20 and Bottom 5 Teams. Hockey teams in the top 20 are the Wings, Penguins, Canadiens and Hurricanes. One NHL team is in the bottom 5, the NY Islanders.
Alexei Kovalev on his early season slump…
I’m not worried about it. I’m glad it happens early in the season because I know I’m going to recover, and once they start going in, they’ll go in in bunches.
“So you keep working on it. It’s happened in the past and it isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you.”
more from Bill Beacon of the CP via Yahoo…
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
1. Whatever happened to that really good player Alexei Kovalev?
Unfortunately for the Montreal Canadiens, the great Alexei Kovalev—the one that generated Hart Trophy talk and ended up leading the NHL in power-play points last season—has gone AWOL. Poof. After the Habs’ 3-2 win Saturday against Buffalo, Kovalev has gone 13 games without a goal. He has just five goals so far and is fourth in team scoring.
read on for more Q & A…
from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
Theodore was lights out, stopping all 28 shots he faced to beat Montreal and settle an old score against his former team. The 32-year-old goalie was the No. 1 star of the game for the first time as Cap, earned his first shutout as a Cap, and got his first standing ovation as a Cap….
Carbonneau on Theodore: “He was good. He was lucky at sometimes but sometimes you make your luck. He made the save when he had to, but we didn’t really test him.”
more on the Caps 30 victory over the Canadiens last night…
Brad Stuart on Alex Tanguay. Tanguay left the ice with a neck injury and did not return.
From an NHL press release today:
If the puck were dropped today, the first shift of the 57th NHL All-Star Game would look a lot like a Montreal Canadiens home game—or a latter-day version of the early All-Star games that pitted the defending Stanley Cup champs (often the Canadiens) against a team of luminaries from the rest of the League.
One major difference: Should current voting trends ultimately prevail, the Canadiens would become the first team in the history of NHL All-Star fan balloting to ice an entire starting lineup when the NHL All-Star Game faces off in Montreal’s Bell Centre Jan 25.
So the current starting lineup is: Alex Kovalev, Saku Koivu, Alex Tanguay, Andrei Markov, Mike Komisarek and Carey Price.
Below is the complete list of Eastern Conference nominees and their current voting numbers:
The Canadiens lost to the Islanders 4-3 in a shootout.
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