Kukla's Korner Hockey
The National Hockey League’s Board of Governors have approved the sale of the Nashville Predators to a local group headed by David Freeman.
The Freeman group is expected to close on the sale within the next few days.
The group came together to make an offer to owner Craig Leipold after he originally announced a deal to sell his team in May to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie for $220 million. Balsillie’s deal fell through in June when he started taking season-ticket deposits in Hamilton.
Marketing plan by the new ownership group noted earlier today on KK.
from the Tennessean,
The National Hockey League’s Board of Governors is expected to approve Craig Leipold’s $193 million sale of the Predators to Freeman’s group this afternoon. Freeman and his colleagues could take control of the team as early as today.
The new owners plan to give Poile some guidance on the budget he can work with, which will allow him to start working on new contracts for players whose deals expire at the end of this season….
Freeman said the new owners will make their presence felt most in the Predators’ efforts to get more people into the Sommet Center’s seats for 41 home games a year.
Update 9:50pm ET (alanah): BOG has approved the sale of the Nashville Predators.
from the Tennessean,
The 13-year veteran leads the Predators with nine goals, and though the season is still young, Bonk is somewhat surprisingly on pace for the best goal-scoring year of his career.
His offensive output has been a big boost to a team that lost a bundle of firepower during the offseason, and he’s producing even though he spends most of his time on a checking line with Jerred Smithson and Jed Ortmeyer.
“It’s hard to say why — they’re just going in for me,’’ Bonk said with a characteristic shrug. “Sometimes you need 100 chances to score one. Right now it seems like everything goes in.’‘
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
Seven weeks into the NHL season, the Predators are nowhere near the NHL cellar, sitting in a playoff spot in the Western Conference at 11-8-2 despite having the league’s lowest payroll.
“Surprising? I don’t know why we’re surprising,” said forward Radek Bonk. “I know we had a tough start, but before the season we didn’t think we were going to be bad. So I don’t think we’re surprising ourselves.
“Obviously when you lose players like Forsberg and Kariya and Timonen, they were stars on this team. But we have good team chemistry here and a good bunch of guys. And lately that’s been showing.”
from Brad Holland at NHL.com,
Nashville’s Game Presentation: I had a chance to sit low in a very good seat last night, and watched the game with an ice-level view instead of a bird’s-eye. Outstanding! The Nashville fans were energetic, into the game, and right on top of the action. They were courteous, asking questions of me and even weren’t shy to give a few tips on how to make NHL.com better (I spent the third period sitting next to a young Predators fan and youth Nashville hockey player who knew as much about hockey-at-large as any Canadian kid…
more on Brad’s hockey weekend… and I think I may have to have a sit-down with young Bradley!
from the Daily News Journal,
He’s elevated his off-ice workouts without suffering any of the relapses or back spasms that have plagued him for so long.
It may not sound like much, and there’s still no timetable for Sullivan to return, but a player who’s spent his entire hockey career turning doubters into believers is confident he’s in the process of doing it again.
“The last two weeks have been great because every day I’m able to do a little bit more and wake up somewhat pain free, or at least not being worse the next day,” Sullivan said.
“Am I planning on skating next week? No. But on the other hand, am I three months away? I don’t think so. In my mind, I’m finally seeing results, whereas for the first eight months I hadn’t seen any.”
from Ian Winwood at the Guardian,
My job here is not made any easier by the fact that Nashville is rubbish. I found myself there last autumn. Dumping my bags in the hotel room, I asked the receptionist “where the stuff was?” You know, bars and that. Pointing me down the street, I was surprised to learn that the ‘downtown’ area consisted of fewer than a dozen drinking sheds, and virtually no shops. Like so many American cities, the suburban spread has rendered the centre of town redundant. On a Friday night in the home of country music, the bar I dined in was filled with the sounds of Keane, if not people.
I would like to report that the city’s hockey experience is better. I’d like to, but I can’t, because it’s not: it’s crap.
From John Glennon at The Tennessean,
The final step in the sale of the Predators to a mainly local group of investors is likely to occur on Nov. 29.
That’s the date of the next NHL Board of Governors meeting, which will take place in Pebble Beach, Calif. Any change of ownership needs to be approved by a three-quarters vote of the league’s 30 governors.
Update 7:14pm ET: Local Nashville television coverage of reaction to the deal on WKRN TV. Includes the Mayor, the Governor and others.
From The Tennessean,
David Freeman, head of the group buying the Nashville Predators hockey team, put out this statement this afternoon:
“We are excited to reach an agreement with the Mayor’s Office on lease changes to keep the Predators in Nashville under local ownership. We are very appreciative of Mayor Dean for getting this done amid the many priorities he has as the new mayor of our city. He obviously has a strong desire for this hockey team to remain in Nashville.”
continued… with the rest of the statement
Updated 5:52pm ET: From the AP via USA Today,
Mayor Karl Dean said the agreement guarantees the team will stay in Nashville for the next five years or the city’s financial investment will be paid back.
The changes for the Sommet Center must be approved by the Metro Sports Authority and city council. The NHL Board of Governors must approve the $193 million sale.
from the Tennessean,
Mayor Karl Dean and the investors who hope to buy the Nashville Predators are planning to announce a deal to change the pro hockey team’s arena lease this afternoon, two sources said….
The deal Dean’s administration has negotiated will still have to be approved by the Metro Sports Authority and Metro Council.
update 2:00pm, A KK member just posted in the comments that the meeting has been called-off.
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.
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