Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Darren Dreger at TSN,
Jim Balsillie is at it again.
After a failed bid to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins, sources tell TSN the co-chief and executive officer of Research In Motion is negotiating to purchase the Nashville Predators.
added 7:29pm, from Nashville Post.com,
The Nashville Predators are being sold.
NashvillePost.com has learned that Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of Research In Motion (makers of the Blackberry electronic communication device) is purchasing the Predators from Wisconsin businessman Craig Leipold. Leipold has owned the club since it first took to the ice in 1998.
According to NashvillePost.com sources, a press conference has been scheduled for tomorrow to announce the sale of the team. At the time of publication of this article, officials from Predators could not be reached for comment.
added 7:50pm, from WTVF,
NewsChannel 5 learned that team owner Craig Leipold has reached an agreement with BlackBerry owner Jim Balsillie to sell the team as soon as paperwork can be completed.
Leipold met with the NHL Board of Governors at 2 p.m. Wednesday in New York, and then told his staff of the developments.
Leipold told the Predators’ front office personnel that the team will remain in Nashville for at least the next season, but made no promised for the future.
added 8:05pm, via the Tennessean,
Nashville Predators owner Craig Leopold has signed a letter of intent to sell the team to an out-of-town buyer, and an announcement in imminent, possibly by the end of the week, according to a source familiar with the deal.
The source said the deal has been in the works for weeks, but the letter of intent does not mean the deal has been finaliaized.
added 8:27pm, via Bloomberg,
Research In Motion Ltd. Co-Chief Executive Officer Jim Balsillie is close to buying the National Hockey League’s Nashville Predators for $220 million, a person familiar with the negotiations said.
from the Tennessean,
Nashville Arena will become The Sommet Center today under a naming agreement between the Nashville Predators and Franklin-based Sommet Group, a Predators official said.
The lease between the Predators and Metro allows the NHL team to keep all revenue from naming rights. With talk about the Predators possibly exercising an out-clause in their lease with the city in the coming weeks, the new naming rights deal could be a signal that the team is leaning toward staying in Nashville long term.
from the Nashville City Paper,
“We will look at how we deal with players from everything in terms of discipline to how we play the game in terms of systems to how we want to teach the game,” Trotz said. “I want to go through the same things with my staff that David does when he evaluates this organization.
“It will a process that is continuous throughout the season. I can’t be specific until I have that long meeting with our coaching staff, but everyone is aware that we are going to look at all the things we do as coaches. We ask our players to come back better. We are going to come back better as coaches.”
via The Tennessean,
The Predators have exercised the option years on the contracts of head coach Barry Trotz and his staff.
An official announcement is expected later today.
from the Tennessean,
Nashville will be without a first-round pick for the second consecutive season. It shipped its initial selection — as well as a third-round pick, forward Scottie Upshall and defensive prospect Ryan Parent — to Philadelphia for Forsberg a couple of months ago.
But the Predators are hoping their successful drafting in recent years, their ability to find talent in later rounds and their success in the free-agent market will help make up for the loss of first-round picks in two straight years.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
The big issue in Nashville is not Trotz’s job security, but who will be on his roster next season when he returns. Even if the Predators keep the same budget, re-signing free agents will be difficult, and if the Predators lower their budget, it could be impossible.
Hartnell turned down a three-year, $6.2 million offer before the season and there will be teams that might overpay to land a younger forward with some bite.
If you are Timonen and you look at the economic landscape for defensemen, you are going to believe that you should get $4.5 million-plus a season, particularly when teammate Marek Zidlicky is getting $3.5 million.
From John Glennon at The Tennessean,
Predators General Manager David Poile said Tuesday he doubts center Peter Forsberg will play in the NHL next season.
Poile stressed that his opinion was not based on talks with Forsberg since the end of the season, but simply on all the wear and tear that Forsberg has gone through over the course of his 12 NHL seasons.
Poile’s initial response to a question of whether he thought the Predators would re-sign Forsberg was, “Honestly, no.’‘
*My thanks to KK reader Jeff-OklahomaWingNut for bringing this story to my attention in the comments of a previous post
from the Daily News Journal,
If we’re halfway intelligent about hockey, we must admit some performance demerits lie with head coach Barry Trotz, an average NHL coach who has been handed a championship roster.
Trotz has fallen short in getting his team psyched up. Too often, the Predators come out flat and stay that way.
The Preds also have a propensity to play stupid. How many times have we seen a Nashville player act like a knucklehead and take a needless penalty that killed momentum and cost his team dearly?
That is opposed to San Jose, which sent the Preds free falling into the off-season again. Trotz’s boys did not feature a creative offensive strategy, especially one that successfully utilized Nashville’s speed advantage.
from the Tennessean,
Owner Craig Leipold said Sunday the Predators have not decided whether to invoke a clause in their lease that could force the city to decide whether to pay for thousands of tickets at the end of next season or give the team a way out of its lease.
Leipold told The Tennessean the NHL team averaged about 13,500 in paid attendance for home games this season, which allows them to put the city on notice for next season….
One reason the Predators might invoke the clause is that beginning next season, the NHL is requiring teams to reach 13,200 in paid attendance to qualify for the league’s full revenue-sharing package. Teams must average at least 14,000 in paid attendance in 2008-09 to qualify for full revenue-sharing benefits.
from David Boclair of the Daily News Journal,
Following three straight first-round playoff defeats, many Nashville Predators’ fans are wondering aloud on radio and on message boards whether coach Barry Trotz ought to be replaced.
Somehow, general manager David Poile has been given a pass, but in many ways Poile did not give Trotz as much to work with as a year ago. In that way, Poile has had as much — if not more — to do with the current state of affairs as Trotz.
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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