Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
Imagine how the good people of Nashville must be feeling about hockey this morning.
The diehards heartbroken because they have once again been played for suckers.
The politicians relieved that, thanks to Del Biaggio’s financial implosion, they may have just dodged an extremely expensive bullet.
The local investors wondering where they can possibly find the money to operate without losing their shirts in a league in which — thanks to rising revenues elsewhere, especially in Canada, but certainly not in Nashville — spending even to the salary floor becomes ever harder to justify.
Everyone else, wildly cynical about the whole enterprise, and amazed that a “major league” sport could ever do business like this.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy has five unconventional ideas:
Ever since the latest Del Biaggio story broke, I’ve been noodling through ways to solidify the NHL in Nashville. There are certain obvious fixes, like continuing to rally local fans and businesses to buy into the franchise. The following five ideas are less obvious, more long-shot and are submitted for your approval. Or inevitable disapproval.
1. Move the Predators to the Southeast Division. This idea comes from a conversation I had with Predators blogger Paul Nicholson of Geek Thoughts. The abridged version: Sports fans in Nashville relate more to college sports rivalries than anything else. So naturally, teams in Georgia, Florida and perhaps Carolina are going to stoke fan passions more than teams in Chicago and St. Louis.
Forget that the people who run Ufa don’t seem to have any regard for the sanctity of a contract, they don’t seem to have a very good grasp on hockey talent, either. In Radulov, they had a player who was disgruntled with his contract and his playing situation and wanted to return home, yet Ufa decided to give him $4.33 million a year for the next three seasons.
Who do these guys think they are, the Toronto Maple Leafs?
-Ken Campbell of the Hockey News and more on Radulov...
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
Would Radulov’s coaches, teammates and fans forgive him for trying to skip out on the final year of his Nashville contract in order to play in Russia, or would they embrace the return of one of the league’s top young offensive talents?
Both Predators Coach Barry Trotz and team captain Jason Arnott say they want Radulov to return for the coming season, but they are aware some baggage might come with him.
“When you back out on your deal and you let your teammates and the whole organization down like that, it’s hard to swallow — no question,’’ Arnott said. “I can’t sugarcoat it any better. It’s disappointing.
“But if he does come back and play with us, hopefully he comes back with a good mind and be ready to play. If he does that, I think guys will forget about it….”
from Brad Schrade of the Tennessean,
As Metro officials considered whether to give millions of additional tax dollars to the Nashville Predators’ new owners earlier this year, at least one part-owner was already selling the idea that the team would fail here and could be moved to another city.
William J. “Boots” Del Biaggio III, a California businessman who has filed for bankruptcy and has been accused of fraud by several lenders, was signaling to potential investors that the team had “portability value,” according to a confidential document obtained by The Tennessean.
from Jason Kay of the Hockey News,
Summertime. Attention span short. Too many distractions…umm…outside window. Here’s blog, in spurts:
For the second consecutive summer, the Nashville Predators have an ownership mess, underscored by a dearth of activity in free agency (as in zero this year).
While GM David Poile, head coach Barry Trotz and their staffs deserve heaps of credit for prevailing under difficult circumstances, the constant franchise turmoil is unseemly and telling.
While there is a faction of concentrated, good fans in the region, NHL hockey still isn’t working in Music City.
Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile issued the following statement regarding reports that Alexander Radulov has signed a contract to play in Russia…
“Alex is under contract with the Nashville Predators through the 2008-09 season. We are looking forward to him being here for training camp and being a part of this franchise’s success for years to come.”
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly issued the following statement in response to questions regarding the Alexander Radulov reports:
“It is our understanding, based on the representations made both at our meeting yesterday, but also at an earlier meeting with Mr. Medvedev in May, that the Russian League will not allow a player to play in violation of his contractual obligations in the NHL.”
*More on the Radulov signing earlier today on KK
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
The new agreement between the NHL and International Ice Hockey Federation to not poach players under contract hasn’t even been put into writing yet, but it has already received its first test with reports that Alexander Radulov has signed with Salavat Ufa of the Continental Hockey League.
IIHF spokesman Szymon Szemberg said neither the IIHF nor the NHL has received any official documentation concerning the Radulov signing and all his organization has to rely on are media reports. But he also said if it is true that Radulov has signed a contract in Russia, it is, “a flagrant breach of the agreement.”
Updated 2:51pm ET (Alanah): Updates to the above story:
The agent for Alexander Radulov wouldn’t say whether or not he approves of his client’s decision to sign a three-year contract with Salavat Ufa in Russia, but he did acknowledge that the Continental Hockey League team offered so much money that it put Radulov in an almost untenable situation.
*note: original post-time was 11:59am ET
from Jessica Hopp of the Tennessean,
Sullivan was on the ice for workouts Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. He plans to be back skating today. He said most workouts contain significant breaks so he can remain on the ice as long as possible before succumbing to the exhaustion that comes from being out of skating shape.
“We are still testing how much I can take,” Sullivan said. “It’s more a fatigue factor than a pain factor.”
Still, there is no specific date set for his return to the Predators lineup. Training camp … November … next year … all were thrown out as possibilities for Sullivan, who is under contract with the Predators until the end of next season.
from Sport-Express (English version),
Despite this contract expires in a year, Alexander decided to swap more than successful career in NHL for a comeback to Russia.
“Salavat Yulaev has been trying to sign me for two years already”, said Radulov to Sport Express. “The club general manager Oleg Gross has been keeping in touch with my agent, so I was aware they wanted to see me wear their uniform.”
“Ufa team offered me a good contract and I decided to put my signature under the contract.”
“I had a brilliant season in Nashville, so I don’t see any reasons to regret that I didn’t move to Ufa last summer.”
added 10:50am, Puck Daddy has more on this…
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 firstname.lastname@example.org