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from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Free-agent center Mats Sundin has declared his interest in playing for the Rangers this season, well-connected sources have told The Post.
J.P. Barry, who represents the elite, 37-year-old former Toronto pivot, has been in constant communication with Rangers front-office personnel this week, The Post has learned, though the conversations have not reached the stage of a contract negotiation.
There have been no numbers exchanged between Sundin and the Rangers, who have approximately $2 million of cap space to spend on the 2008-09 roster.
from Ken Berger of Newsday,
Speculation has been simmering for weeks that the Dolan family business, Cablevision, might be willing to sell Madison Square Garden, the Knicks, and Rangers, as a way to placate shareholders and investors unhappy with the company’s flagging stock price. Knicks fans, unhappy with Dolan for reasons related to his flat-lining basketball team, no doubt rejoiced upon hearing the news.
Not so fast, though. Dolan’s gesture to investors—allowing them to voice concerns during a “listening tour” last week—seems to have been little more than a head fake. People knowledgeable about MSG in particular, and the sale of sports franchises in general, tell Newsday that it’s premature to run out onto Seventh Avenue traffic and celebrate Dolan’s departure from the Garden of Ills.
“I would say the most likely buyer is probably some group headed by Jim Dolan, personally, because Jim seems to get a lot of pleasure out of those particular assets,” an expert in the field of sports and media transactions told Newsday.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
No one, least of all Glen Sather, knows what the Rangers would do if Mats Sundin unexpectedly declares his interest in playing this season on Broadway rather than in Vancouver, where the Canucks have a two-year, $20M offer on the table; or in Toronto, where the Maple Leafs unfathomably have a one-year, $7M offer out; or in Montreal, where the Canadiens have been holding a uniform for No. 13 since February.
It would be as difficult to reject Sundin as it would be to conjure the strategy to fit him under the team cap, and no, there is not a shred of truth to reports of the Blueshirts working on a massive salary-dump in order to clear space for him.
more NHL topics, from ‘Boots” to Radulov….
From Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy,
So was there a glimmer of hope today for New York Rangers fans tired of their ownership situation? Cablevision said it was “considering several options to boost its stock price including spinning off some of its diverse holdings,” according to the Associated Press. Andrew Zimbalist, a sports economist with Smith College, told the AP that if the contracts between the two teams, cable television and MSG could be sussed out, the Knicks would be worth about $500 million and the Rangers $300.
Are the Rangers a “spinoff” candidate? The Dolans aren’t saying. John Moag, chairman of the sports investment bank Moag & Co., tells Bloomberg that the Dolans’ sports teams and MSG itself could bring in almost $2 billion if Cablevision does decide to sell.
From Steve Zipay at Blue Notes in Newsday:
Thirty-six-year old Czech center Petr Nedved, who played 478 games with the Rangers in three stints between 1992-93 and 2003-04, is coming to training camp to try to land a job.
“He has spoken with Tom and Glen and passed up some other offers in Europe, wanting to come to camp with the opportunity to earn a job here,” a Rangers spokesman confirmed a few moments ago. “There is no commitment on our end.”
from the Daily Record,
Ex-pat Gordie Clark enjoyed an emotional reunion in Glasgow on his first trip back to Scotland since his family emigrated in the 1950s.
Gordie, 56, is the director of player personnel with NHL giants the New York Rangers.
The Record revealed last month how he was heading back to Scotland to trace the family he lost contact with after a devastating tragedy in Canada in 1978.
The former Boston Bruins star lost seven members of his family - including his parents, brother and sister - in a blaze at their home in St John, New Brunswick.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
How could the Rangers have had $15.55M in the cap bank to sign four free-agent defensemen, Redden, Kalinin, Michal Rozsival and Paul Mara, but never get around to making an offer to Brooks Orpik?
If Marc Staal, whose omission from the NHL all-rookie team was a reflection of utmost ignorance, by the way, becomes the stud defenseman over the next two years everyone anticipates, why the need for Redden and Rozsival?
What team spends $4M to sign two third-pair defensemen, anyway?
If 2004 - which was easy, except for the Brian Leetch trade - was a purge, then what exactly is this . . . other than a mystery?
Why are the three dominant personalities of the last two seasons - Jagr, Shanahan, Avery - gone? And don’t try to pretend it’s about money.
from Brett Cyrgalis of The Blue Seats at the NY Post,
And so now they slog through this political tap dance with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in hopes of saving some face. Dolan missed the boat on denying the New Media Policy, but hasn’t missed his chance to publicly show how much he cares about free-market economics.
If he really did care, he would have paid attention to the moves GM Glen Sather made over the last three weeks. He would have seen the discrepancy between the spoken philosophy and the practiced philosophy. He wouldn’t be worried about how his product is marketed, but rather the quality of the product itself.
He would have been more worried about the status of the Rangers rather than the status of his wallet.
from Steve Zipay of Newsday,
Madison Square Garden Thursday asked a U.S. District Court judge to dismiss last month’s claim by the NHL that alleged that the Rangers breached NHL bylaws by challenging league rules, a move that the league said could lead to disciplinary proceedings—fines, suspension or even termination of ownership with a vote of three-quarters of the owners.
In documents filed Thursday, the Garden said that the league should have the lead in collective bargaining and on-ice rules, but not on certain aspects of marketing, such as team Web sites.
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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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