Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Kansas City Star,
A Nashville group planning to sign a letter of intent to buy the Nashville Predators today is expected to include William “Boots” Del Biaggio, who also has a contract to own an NHL team for Kansas City’s Sprint Center.
Del Biaggio could not be reached for comment today, but was in Nashville for the announcement.
The Predators have a long-term lease with the Sommet Center in Nashville, but they must average 14,000 fans per game this season or the lease could be voided.
By being part of the Nashville ownership, Del Biaggio—who has been a minority partner in the San Jose Sharks—would boost his profile and status in the NHL and give him leverage to move the club to Kansas City.
via Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Remember The Spirit of Manitoba? That was the group of Winnipeg businesses that banded together in an attempt to stop the Jets from moving; they too had fans rejoicing at the prospect of pulling the franchise back from the brink of relocation, yet ultimately couldn’t stop the move from coming to pass.
I’m not guaranteeing the same fate for the Predators, but their fans definitely should hold off on the victory celebrations for a while. If history repeats, their darkest day may yet be to come.
from the Tennessean,
Nashville has 24 players it believes should be on the NHL roster — 14 forwards, eight defensemen and two goalies. Only 23 can be carried on the roster during the regular season.
So if everyone stays healthy as the regular season nears, some kind of trade is likely.
“Something has to give,’’ General Manager David Poile said, adding that movement could come either at the forward or defense positions.
“I could go either way, with the combination of the coaches’ preference as to where we have better players, where we need depth, where we’re healthiest. There could be any number of reasons we pick one player over another — it could be age, could be potential, asset value.’‘
from the Tennessean,
Almost two weeks after a daylong rally generated the sale of 726 season ticket equivalents for the Predators, the team continues to garner interest but is still short of last year’s total.
Since the July 19 event at Sommet Center the Predators have sold an average of 20 a day, according to Steve Violetta, the team’s executive vice president of business affairs….
The season ticket renewal rate is about 73 percent. Historically, Violetta said, it’s from 82 percent to 88 percent, so at least an additional 10 percent in renewals should come.
New season ticket sales are at 2,100 since the sales push begin in March, when the Preds were heading to the playoffs.
The Tennessean also has a story regarding the local investor group trying to purchase the Predators…
Wes Goldstein of CBS Sportsline is passing out summer grades to the NHL teams in the Central Division.
Nashville and Columbus fans, you won’t be happy.
from the Tennessean,
From all indications, a proposed local ownership group is getting very close to putting a deal together to purchase the Predators from Craig Leipold. An announcement could be forthcoming by early next week.
Unlike a previous failed negotiation process between Leipold and Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie, it is likely that any deal between Leipold and a group headed by Nashville entrepreneur David Freeman would require the prospective buyers to put down a significant non-refundable deposit as a show of commitment.
via the Nashville Predators, Nashville Predators General Manager David Poile announced the signing of free-agent forward Martin Gelinas to a one-year contract this afternoon.
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie has accused NHL commissioner Gary Bettman of forcing the owner of the Nashville Predators to break off discussions about the sale of the team to Balsillie, ESPN.com has learned.
The Canadian ownership group also alleges Bettman directed Predators owner Craig Leipold to focus on closing a deal with William “Boots” Del Biaggio III, who is the front man for a group trying to bring an NHL team to Kansas City.
“We were advised by Mr. Leipold that the commissioner had found out about the existence of the negotiations and ordered him to immediately cease any further communications with us,” Balsillie’s legal representative, Richard Rodier, told ESPN.com this week.
from the Nashville Predators,
The Nashville Predators entered the newest era in equipment innovation, unveiling their newly redesigned and technologically-advanced jerseys for the 2007-08 season at a team rally held Thursday inside the Sommet Center….
“It is going to be a change that I think is needed,” Legwand said. “Obviously they are going to be tighter-fitting, and that will be weird at first, but I think we will all get used to it. The game changes, and I think it is time for a change – there really hasn’t been a jersey change since the ‘70s and ‘80s. This is going to be a big one, but people should like them.”
read on and see a few pictures of the new design…
from the Daily News Journal,
Without question, it was a feel-good day for the franchise, the local hockey community and the Predators themselves.
Chances are, though, it accomplished little, if anything.
After all, this was not the first time the Predators held a ticket drive. Back in 1997, they needed 12,000 commitments before the franchise was approved by the NHL commissioner and its board of governors. Every day for weeks the count was updated until that number was reached and Middle Tennessee’s place on the professional sports map was secured.
Then what happened? Within three or four years, the number of Predators’ season-ticket holders had dropped by more than one-third.
Let’s face it: Ticket drives (or any sort of drive, for that matter) are effective only to a point. Everyone likes to feel as if they are a part of something, but rarely do such tactics produce any sort of long-lasting results.
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 email@example.com