Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
Seven weeks into the NHL season, the Predators are nowhere near the NHL cellar, sitting in a playoff spot in the Western Conference at 11-8-2 despite having the league’s lowest payroll.
“Surprising? I don’t know why we’re surprising,” said forward Radek Bonk. “I know we had a tough start, but before the season we didn’t think we were going to be bad. So I don’t think we’re surprising ourselves.
“Obviously when you lose players like Forsberg and Kariya and Timonen, they were stars on this team. But we have good team chemistry here and a good bunch of guys. And lately that’s been showing.”
from Brad Holland at NHL.com,
Nashville’s Game Presentation: I had a chance to sit low in a very good seat last night, and watched the game with an ice-level view instead of a bird’s-eye. Outstanding! The Nashville fans were energetic, into the game, and right on top of the action. They were courteous, asking questions of me and even weren’t shy to give a few tips on how to make NHL.com better (I spent the third period sitting next to a young Predators fan and youth Nashville hockey player who knew as much about hockey-at-large as any Canadian kid…
more on Brad’s hockey weekend… and I think I may have to have a sit-down with young Bradley!
from the Daily News Journal,
He’s elevated his off-ice workouts without suffering any of the relapses or back spasms that have plagued him for so long.
It may not sound like much, and there’s still no timetable for Sullivan to return, but a player who’s spent his entire hockey career turning doubters into believers is confident he’s in the process of doing it again.
“The last two weeks have been great because every day I’m able to do a little bit more and wake up somewhat pain free, or at least not being worse the next day,” Sullivan said.
“Am I planning on skating next week? No. But on the other hand, am I three months away? I don’t think so. In my mind, I’m finally seeing results, whereas for the first eight months I hadn’t seen any.”
from Ian Winwood at the Guardian,
My job here is not made any easier by the fact that Nashville is rubbish. I found myself there last autumn. Dumping my bags in the hotel room, I asked the receptionist “where the stuff was?” You know, bars and that. Pointing me down the street, I was surprised to learn that the ‘downtown’ area consisted of fewer than a dozen drinking sheds, and virtually no shops. Like so many American cities, the suburban spread has rendered the centre of town redundant. On a Friday night in the home of country music, the bar I dined in was filled with the sounds of Keane, if not people.
I would like to report that the city’s hockey experience is better. I’d like to, but I can’t, because it’s not: it’s crap.
From John Glennon at The Tennessean,
The final step in the sale of the Predators to a mainly local group of investors is likely to occur on Nov. 29.
That’s the date of the next NHL Board of Governors meeting, which will take place in Pebble Beach, Calif. Any change of ownership needs to be approved by a three-quarters vote of the league’s 30 governors.
Update 7:14pm ET: Local Nashville television coverage of reaction to the deal on WKRN TV. Includes the Mayor, the Governor and others.
From The Tennessean,
David Freeman, head of the group buying the Nashville Predators hockey team, put out this statement this afternoon:
“We are excited to reach an agreement with the Mayor’s Office on lease changes to keep the Predators in Nashville under local ownership. We are very appreciative of Mayor Dean for getting this done amid the many priorities he has as the new mayor of our city. He obviously has a strong desire for this hockey team to remain in Nashville.”
continued… with the rest of the statement
Updated 5:52pm ET: From the AP via USA Today,
Mayor Karl Dean said the agreement guarantees the team will stay in Nashville for the next five years or the city’s financial investment will be paid back.
The changes for the Sommet Center must be approved by the Metro Sports Authority and city council. The NHL Board of Governors must approve the $193 million sale.
from the Tennessean,
Mayor Karl Dean and the investors who hope to buy the Nashville Predators are planning to announce a deal to change the pro hockey team’s arena lease this afternoon, two sources said….
The deal Dean’s administration has negotiated will still have to be approved by the Metro Sports Authority and Metro Council.
update 2:00pm, A KK member just posted in the comments that the meeting has been called-off.
from the Tennessean,
Mayor Karl Dean made a final, take-it-or-leave-it offer to the Nashville Predators’ potential new owners Friday, proposing a more generous arena lease in exchange for a commitment to stay in Nashville for five years.
Under his deal, the Predators could still leave town in three years – after the 2009-10 season — if the investors lost $20 million in that time and paid attendance fell below 14,000 per game.
Former NHL defenseman Jere Karalahti has been arrested in his native Finland on suspicion of a drugs crime, police said on Friday.
Karalahti, 32, played for Los Angeles Kings and Nashville Predators between 1999 and 2002 before returning to Finland. He is among the best Finnish players and has been playing for league champions Oulun Karpat this season.
Police said the arrest was related to a big amphetamine smuggling case and that the player was being held in custody while an investigation was underway.
“The court of Espoo has today imprisoned Karalahti ... suspected of a gross drugs crime,” detective chief inspector Ari Karvonen from Espoo police said.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
The Nashville Predators won’t be packing their equipment bags for a move to Kansas City or anywhere else, at least not for the next three years.
Multiple sources have confirmed to THN.com a deal has been reached between the city of Nashville and a prospective local ownership group to rework the team’s lease at the Sommet Center that will guarantee the Predators remain in Nashville until at least through the 2010-11 season.
added 3:32pm, from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
No more minimum attendance numbers that lock them in for another 10 years. No specific break-even point. Nada. Now, it’s simply a question of whether the team is financially solvent – a vague term to say the least – that decides whether the team stays or goes.
So let me get this straight: Craig Leipold couldn’t make the business side work after a decade’s worth of attempts, but a more convoluted ownership collective is going to be successful in just a third of that span? And at a time in NHL history when the salary cap is expected to rise to above $60 million in the next couple seasons, bringing the salary cap minimum level up with it?
Update 11:45pm ET (alanah):
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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