Kukla's Korner Hockey
From the Globe & Mail,
Officially, the sale of the Nashville Predators to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie won’t be put to a vote at tomorrow’s National Hockey League board of governors meeting in New York.
Unofficially, it will be the hot topic of the day.
What to do with Balsillie and his bid to buy the Predators has become the NHL’s front-and-centre issue. The co-chief executive officer of BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion Inc. has agreed to pay close to $238-million (all currency U.S.) for a team that is losing money.
As a backup plan, or arguably his true plan, Balsillie is preparing a move to Hamilton, where he is already taking deposits on season tickets.
from Brian Costello of the Hockey News,
It’ll soon become known as the Scott Hartnell theory.
When NHL teams are faced with the decision of keeping an 18-year-old draftee on the roster or send him back to the development ranks, they’ll consider what happened regarding Hartnell.
Hartnell cracked the Nashville lineup as an 18-year-old rookie in 2000-01 even though he had two more seasons of junior eligibility remaining with the Western League’s Prince Albert Raiders.
He had just two goals and 16 points in 75 games that season, but has since evolved into a top-six forward who, according to TSN, signed a six-year, $25.2-million contract with the Flyers Monday.
from Bob McKenzie at TSN,
The Philadelphia Flyers have dipped into the free agent market a little early, thanks to the Nashville Predators.
Because of Nashville’s uncertain ownership future and an expected tight budget in the coming year, sources tell TSN the Predators arranged with the Flyers to give them exclusive negotiating rights to two coveted free agents - defenceman Kimmo Timonen and forward Scott Hartnell.
Sources tell TSN the Flyers have now signed both Hartnell and Timonen to long-term contracts.
from The Maven,
This is the time of year when Lou Lamoriello completes his head-coach search. With the Entry Draft coming up, it would not surprise if Double L announces his new bench leader any day now….
I’m guessing it’ll be Brian Sutter, who has experience, savvy and toughness. I was tempted to call this coaching scenario “The Meadowlands Melodrama” until I realized that Lou just moved his offices from East Rutherford to Newark.
more hockey talk, including the Bruins, the Senators and the Predators situation…
from Loose Change at the Hockey News,
This Jim Balsillie is really starting to become a pain.
How dare he attempt to bring his maverick money into the staid old National Hockey League (twice) and dictate how things are done?
How dare he recklessly disregard due process and try to circumvent the rules?
from Theresa Tedesco of the National Post,
According to insiders, Mr. Bettman and William Daly, the NHL’s deputy commissioner, told Mr. Balsillie that if he wanted to buy the Predators, he had to make a “good faith” attempt to keep the team in Nashville, and not to sabotage its chances of surviving in that city.
Apparently, Mr. Balsillie was troubled about not having certainty about his ability to move the team, and was clearly uneasy about his previous experience with the league. Before he publicly announced his bid for the Penguins last October, he had a similar conversation about moving Sidney Crosby and the team if the arena funding didn’t materialize. Apparently, Mr. Bettman agreed at the time, saying “I’ll be the first to help you pack your bags.”
more... long but interesting read…
If the Nashville Predators are not sold by June 30, which seems unlikely now, sources say club owner Craig Leipold is prepared to vastly trim his player payroll next season, even if it means dismantling a Stanley Cup contender.
The so-called scorched earth tactic, reminiscent of baseball’s Florida Marlins, is designed to minimize financial losses next season, which will almost certainly approach US$10-million, and force the City of Nashville to buy more tickets if it wants to keep professional hockey in the Tennessee capital.
from the Nashville Predators,
The Nashville Predators today delivered written notice to the Sports Authority of Metropolitan Government (as required by Section 2.3 (b) of its license agreement) that the club reserves the right to cancel the license agreement at the end of its 2007-08 NHL hockey season if the average number of tickets sold to home games played at the Sommet Center (excluding exhibition and preseason games) during the “cure season” does not equal or exceed 14,000 per game.
read on for a statement from Leipold…
from the Nashville Post,
Sources told NashvillePost.com that the sale to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie is in danger because of Metro’s legal wrangling over the lease with the team, and the result could be a legal war between the city and the Predators. Attorneys from both sides have been meeting for weeks and team owner Craig Leipold and his attorneys are meeting with Mayor Bill Purcell and the city’s attorneys this afternoon.
read on...the lawyers take over from here…
from the Tennessean,
A longtime Metro Sports Authority member and local attorney says that even if the Predators hit 14,000 in paid attendance next season, an owner could still try to move the team.
Steve North said Friday that an owner could choose to break the lease himself, pay Metro a fee of approximately $27 million for “liquidated damages” and then move the team.
That scenario, however, is unlikely to occur, according to North.
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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