Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
It was Bettman, sources have said, who went to Moyes on Tuesday and presented a conditional offer from Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf that would have paid down a portion of the team’s indebtedness as long as Moyes walked away.
Moyes walked, all right. He went right to Balsillie and finalized a $212.5-million (U.S.) transaction — with another $17-million for bridge financing — that would ensure every creditor got paid. That has put Bettman between a rock and a cactus, and those in the know say he’s not happy about it.
The thing is: That unhappiness is certain to spread among the owners, some of whom have begun to question Bettman’s handiwork, along with his vision. For example: His decision to have NHL games broadcast in the United States on Versus has been a spectacular dud, despite claims to rising viewership. His decision to keep teams in their current marketplaces no matter how much money they lose has created all manner of stress and strain throughout the league.
“Bettman’s smart,” a source said, “but he’s under tremendous pressure, maybe the most he’s ever felt.”
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province via the Calgary Herald,
The Coyotes have now been in the desert for 13 years, they’ve gone through owners the way some people go through cellphones and the situation has never been worse than it is now.
A similar story exists in Florida, Tampa Bay, Long Island and Atlanta. Those stories have also become one of the league’s talking points, which is why you see Bettman giving the same implausible answers to the same tired questions every time he holds a news conference.
And to what end? If the NHL has proven anything over the last decade, it’s proven it doesn’t work as a 30-team entity.
But think of what a 26-team league would look like. Think of the concentration of talent. Think of the product on the ice. Now think of the game being played in markets that cared about hockey and, while you’re at it, think of the revenues that league would generate.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Jim Balsillie is well on his way to becoming the dumbest, most stubborn, successful entrepreneur around.
How else to explain his latest hockey outburst—his clumsy, all-too-public attempt to bully the National Hockey League into allowing him to purchase the now-bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes franchise and move it to southern Ontario.
If all he is attempting here is to find his name in the headlines, he is certainly accomplishing that.
But if he honestly believes he can pull an end-run on commissioner Gary Bettman, secure an NHL franchise, move it, and use a public website to drum up support for a seventh Canadian franchise, then he is either getting terrible advice or he is simply fond of banging his head against the wall. Because that’s all he can accomplish here. This is a war he may not be able to win.
NEW YORK - National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly issued the following statement regarding the Phoenix Coyotes:
“We have just become aware of today’s Bankruptcy Court filing purportedly made on behalf of the Phoenix Coyotes. We are investigating the circumstances surrounding the petition, including the propriety of its filing. We have removed Jerry Moyes from all positions of authority to act for or on behalf of the Club. The League will appear and proceed before the Bankruptcy Court in the best interests of all of the Club’s constituencies, including its fans in Arizona and the League’s 29 other Member Clubs.”
If this is all news to you, check out an earlier KK post.
from Alan Adams at CBC Sports,
Russian billionaire Alexander Medvedev, who has been a thorn in the side of the NHL this season, claims he is looking at buying an NHL team.
“Actually, we have considered 10 opportunities and we’re doing due diligence on three teams,” Medvedev told reporters Tuesday following an oldtimers’ game at the world men’s hockey championship in Zurich, Switzerland.
“It will help us make our decisions.”
Medvedev, who is deputy chairman of Gasprom, the world’s biggest natural gas producer, would not say which teams he is looking at, but hinted he thinks the NHL should put more teams in Canada.
Chris Pronger and Steve Ott are the dirtiest players in the National Hockey League, according to a survey of their fellow players.
A Sports Illustrated poll of 324 players that is to appear in this week’s issue has Anaheim Ducks defenceman Pronger and Dallas Stars forward Ott in a tie, each chosen by 13 per cent of their peers.
Jarkko Ruutu of the Ottawa Senators was third at 12 per cent, with Sean Avery of the New York Rangers fourth at 10 per cent, followed by Scott Hartnell of the Philadelphia Flyers at five per cent.
Update 3:11pm ET: From the Detroit Free Press, Chris Pronger responds—
Told of the survey results this morning, Pronger laughed and said he disagreed.
“That’s their prerogative,” he said, adding that it didn’t surprise him he won. “There’s always a lot of whining out on the ice,” he said.
Pronger said it was possibly based more on his past than his present (he has only six penalty minutes in the 2009 playoffs, for example – none of them against Detroit).
from Rory Boylen of The Hockey News,
When a team loses, just like most anything else, the immediate urge is to point the finger and pass off the blame to a party without recourse. The refs are an entity that hold ultimate power over each game and are an easy and wide open target for mudslinging, character assassination and even physical challenges. Unfortunately it’s an ugly part of this game and it’s here to stay in some way, shape, or form, but like all the other intangibles within hockey, one can grow up and take a lesson away from the rink.
Being the natural and organic game it is, human error can play a decisive role in any given hockey game. Slashes, trips and interferences go undetected or overly detected, livening up the atmosphere of a game by getting people up in arms and into the action. But what’s done is done; name-callings and death stares will linger, but regardless of what anyone else thinks, someone is going on the power play when the ref makes a call.
From Paul Kukla at NHL.com:
Now is the perfect time to turn your non-hockey friends into a hockey fan. Invite them over for a viewing party, organize a get together at a local watering hole or just call them at game time and tell them to watch and keep watching.
I guarantee you the vast majority of the people you contact will want to watch another game. But you have to start the ball rolling by getting them to view a playoff matchup.
It is hard to believe this, but there are people out there that do not know anything about the game we love. By informing these people about NHL playoff hockey, you are really doing them a favor by telling them to watch a game that means something, a game built on determination and grit, style and skill too.
They may ask you what lies ahead, what team is bound to end up in the Stanley Cup Final? Your response is critical and this is what makes our game different than all the other playoffs.
Wade Vokey - a 50 year old life time hockey fan analyzes the current state of the National Hockey League and shares his suggestions that will save the game of hockey.
His major suggestion is play 5 on 4 in the offensive zone. He wants only four defending players in the defensive zone, with the other playing above the blue line. If he enters the defensive zone, 2 minute delay of game penalty.
from Gary Loewen of the Toronto Sun,
Forget about the Phoenix Coyotes heading back to their Winnipeg roots.
Asked on ESPN Radio what he planned to do with the Coyotes, commissioner Gary Bettman said, “We’re gonna fix them. That’s what we do when we have franchises in trouble.”
So, take that Kansas City and Las Vegas and Hamilton/Waterloo.
As for those who believe that the NHL is a Canadian game:
“If you think back to the late ‘90s early 2000s, there were numerous articles suggesting Canadian franchises other than the Maple Leafs couldn’t make it and there would be only one team left in Canada,” Bettman said.
“But we don’t buy into that hysteria.”
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 email@example.com