Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
The NHL hasn’t taken over control of the Phoenix Coyotes, but it is taking an active role in trying to find new investors or ownership for the financially strapped franchise and is being kept apprised of any “significant” financial decisions the team makes, ESPN.com has learned from team and league sources.
The league also is trying to help broker changes to the existing lease with the city of Glendale in the hopes of making the situation more attractive new investors or owners.
Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes is in dire financial straights, with his outside business interests—most notably Swift Transportation, a large trucking firm—having been hammered by high gasoline costs, followed by the dramatic downturn in the economy.
added 11:08pm, from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
It appears the league is now the only benefactor to which the Coyotes can turn.
Financial documents obtained by The Globe and Mail show the team has pledged the franchise and all its assets, including all forms of revenue (with the possible exception of arena-naming rights), as collateral for loans from New York company SOF Investments LP.
SOF Investments is a subsidiary of the MSD Capital hedge fund, which is controlled by computer tycoon Michael Dell.
In a recent visit to Vancouver, Gary Bettman sat down with Kristin Reid to talk about the challenges and the perks of the job. He talks about the Olympics, his favourite teams, and best buildings in the League.
via Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings,
...the Kings were, until late last week, in the running for Chicago goalie Nikolai Khabibulin. No longer, it seems. Talks ended without a deal, but it had nothing to do with Khabibulin’s salary or any injury concerns. But that should answer the question about whether the Kings are willing to go after a veteran goalie this season.
from P.J. Stock of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
Best of the season to everyone except those that rip me about my blog entries. I hope many of you get coal in your stockings and reindeer manure under the tree. For all the others, a WII, a new car, gum, whatever you’re looking for, I hope you get….
Deserving of a gift:
1. Boston Bruins
Why? Despite competing with three other teams in the city that are all champions (Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox) and an owner who has a bad reputation in the city as a frugal man, the Bruins are back.
They have a star youngster, who, one year after being scratched for games in the playoffs because he wasn’t competing enough, responded by being one of league’s top scorers. That’s Phil Kessel….
more gifts and coal being passed out too…
from Hey, Missy at the Chicago Tribune,
In particular, the Red Wings will have to navigate a particularly steep and narrow set of about 15 steps down from the tiny visitors clubhouse and make one of the longest walks in baseball to the dugout and then out to the rink. Three times. For the last portion before getting to the dugout, anyone over six feet (and with skates on, that pretty much applies to everyone), they also have to be careful not to bump their heads.
It’s that time of the year again, so here are the presents people in the hockey world should see under the tree.
read on for the rest of the story at my NHL.com submission for the week.
from John Grigg of the Hockey News,
...But there’s one under-the-radar player who is fast making a name for himself around the NHL and coming up in Calder chatter (at least when I’m involved) – Boston defender Matt Hunwick.
The 23-year-old native of Warren, Mich., is an alumnus of the U.S. National Team Development Program and the University of Michigan. The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder started this year – his second pro season – with the American League’s Providence Bruins, but was called up after just two games. His first NHL game this season came on Oct. 15, but then he sat out until November. When Andrew Ference fractured his leg, Hunwick got a chance to be a regular and has only missed one game since.
After failing to register a point through his first five NHL games this season, Hunwick reeled off a six-game point streak in which he tallied three goals and eight points. He currently has three goals, 14 points (tying him for 10th among rookies with Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan) and is plus-13 in just 21 games.
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
Five questions to answer in 2009
Will the Sharks finally break through in the playoffs?
No, we don’t expect the Sharks to keep winning at this pace and finish the season undefeated in regulation at home. But we also don’t anticipate the annual playoff collapse, either. There’s something different about this San Jose team, and the roster finally has players who know what it takes to advance beyond the first two rounds.
How quickly will Brian Burke tear things down in Toronto?
There’s no easy way to rebuild, but the worst thing a rebuilding franchise can be is average. It needs to get much worse in Toronto before it gets better—and that starts by dealing anyone who can return prospects and picks.
read on plus a look at 2008…
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have recalled defensemen Bryan Helmer and forward Andrew Gordon from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today.
Helmer, 36, is a 6’1”, 215-pound 16-year pro from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. He is the Bears captain and is the active AHL games played (894) and assists (361) leader. The undrafted Helmer, No. 43 with Washington, has 11 assists in 25 AHL games with year. He was recently named captain for the Canadian team in next month’s AHL All-Star Classic. This is Helmer’s second recall of the year, as he recorded one assist in six games with the Capitals from Nov. 28 – Dec. 10. He has 24 points (8g-16a) in 140 career NHL games with Washington, Phoenix, Vancouver and St. Louis.
Gordon, 23, is a 6’0”, 185-pound second-year pro from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has 20 points (10g-10a) in 30 AHL games this year and is one of only four Bears to have double-digit goals and assists. Gordon has two game-winning goals and has tallied at least one point in 15 games this season.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
...there’s a good chance that if Wheeler (11-9 -20, plus-19 in 33 games) continues to produce at his current rate, he’ll earn some extra cash to tack onto his $875,000 base pay.
Wheeler is in line to hit three $212,500 Individual A bonuses: scoring at least 20 goals, finishing among the top three Bruins in plus-minus, and making the All-Rookie Team. Wheeler is on pace to score 27 goals. He is second on the team in plus-minus, trailing only Marc Savard (plus-20). Among rookies, Wheeler is tied with Toronto’s Mikhail Grabovski with 20 points, trailing Columbus’s Derick Brassard (25), Chicago’s Kris Versteeg (25), and St. Louis’s Patrik Berglund (21). Brassard dislocated his shoulder last Thursday and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
more on the Bruins
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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