Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Allan Maki at the Globe & Mail (Friday edition),
William (Boots) Del Biaggio III, who would own as much as 49 per cent of the Predators if they are sold to a collection of mostly Nashville people, spoke glowingly of one of his recently added partners, Windsor-born Doug Bergeron, then added: “I don’t mind telling The Globe and Mail I’m very excited to have a Canadian billionaire as part of my group. It’s refreshing to have someone who respects the NHL, respects the process and the tradition of the NHL.”
That comment was aimed squarely at Balsillie, who had offered more than $220-million (all currency U.S.) for the Predators, only to upset the NHL by accepting season-ticket deposits in Hamilton, where he had hoped to take the team.
from the Tennessean,
Nashville Predators owner Craig Leipold has extended today’s deadline for a sale of the hockey team.
A mostly-local investors group had been trying to close the deal by today. Leipold met with Mayor Karl Dean today and later announced he would extend the deadline.
“Based on the progress being made, I am convinced all parties will benefit from extra time to complete this transaction so we will extend the purchase agreement,” Leipold said in a statement, “with a goal of completing the sale as soon as possible.”
From Allan Maki at the Globe & Mail (Wednesday edition),
Today could see the ownership plight of the Nashville Predators settled — for now, at least — with a Canadian listed as one of the new investors. And no, his name is not Jim Balsillie.
It’s Doug Bergeron, the Windsor-born chairman and CEO of VeriFone, a San Jose-based company that specializes in electronic payment products.
Bergeron’s name has surfaced as a possible partner in the group of mostly local investors that is down to the final hours of its exclusive negotiating agreement with Craig Leipold, the Predators’ owner.
From John Glennon at The Tennessean,
Even if the city and a mainly local group of investors seeking to buy the Predators agreed on a new arena lease as early as today, it may be too late for the NHL to approve a change of ownership by Wednesday.
That’s when the period of exclusive negotiations between the local group and Predators owner Craig Leipold expires.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said he was “not sure” if the league would have enough time to approve an ownership change by Wednesday.
“But everyone’s primary focus should be getting a deal done there, and then we’ll deal with approval,’’ Daly said.
from the Tennessean,
Under normal circumstances the Panthers likely would rest their starter tonight. But with the buzz sure to accompany Vokoun’s return, this isn’t a normal situation. Trotz said he would enjoy a matchup between Vokoun and his former backup, Chris Mason.
“I would love that,” Mason said. “I have a lot of respect for Tomas, and it would be a thrill to compete against him.”
Vokoun was not so sure.
“I have mixed feelings about that,” he said. “Sometimes people come back and say, ‘I have something to prove.’ I don’t feel that way. When I got traded I knew the exact reason why I was traded. Everyone was so nice to me from the bottom to the top. I play for Florida and want to win the game, but I wish nothing but the best for the Preds.”
from the Tennessean,
Today is the last day for Nashville Predators buyers and Mayor Karl Dean to reach a deal on a new Sommet Center lease, but no one seemed confident Tuesday about the prospects.
If the mostly local buyers group doesn’t reach a city deal today, there won’t be enough time to get public approval before an Oct. 31 deadline for exclusive negotiations with owner Craig Leipold. Leipold could then talk to out-of-town buyers.
from the Tennessean,
“I’m at a loss for words,’’ Predators captain Jason Arnott said. “We played hard the last two games and not one of us showed up tonight.
“It was an embarrassing game and we’ve got to go home and look at ourselves in the mirror, come back and be ready to compete. We’ve got a lot of soul-searching to do.’‘
more on the Preds after losing to the Kings 6-0.
From David Pollack at the Mercury News,
The Sharks surprised the hockey world in September when they signed veteran forward Jeremy Roenick as a free agent. After all, the guy is 37 and had all but announced his retirement after a couple of subpar seasons in Los Angeles and Phoenix.
Lately, Roenick has been the one doing the surprising. Brought in as a strong locker room presence, Roenick has been getting it done on the ice as well. Saturday night, his second-period power play goal held up as the winner as San Jose defeated Nashville 3-0 for the Sharks’ first home victory in three tries.
There’s an audio slideshow of the game available as well, with some commentary by the players. A nice feature by the Mercury News.
from the Mercury News,
The Nashville Predators spent the night before their game with the Sharks in a getting-to-know-you session with one of their prospective new owners, San Jose banker William “Boots” Del Biaggio.
Del Biaggio, who will no longer be a member of the Sharks ownership group if his new group’s bid to purchase the Predators is approved, treated the entire team and its road entourage to dinner at Sino, a Santana Row restaurant Friday.
“They haven’t had much of a sense of direction in the last year,” Del Biaggio said, referring to questions of ownership and the team’s future in Nashville. “I thought I’d give them a face of the new ownership group.”
From Sheila Wissner at The Tennessean,
While Nashville officials and the would-be owners of the Nashville Predators struggle to reach new terms for an arena lease, one man stands to walk away from it all with more than $30 million.
Team owner Craig Leipold, who says he’s unloading the hockey team because it’s a money-loser, would gain a windfall of more than three times his initial investment, according to an analysis by The Tennessean. That’s even after covering $70 million in operating losses Leipold has claimed.
*Very good overview of the ownership structure and financial origins of the team.
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