Kukla's Korner Hockey
GLENDALE, ARIZONA – Arizona Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have acquired center Boyd Gordon from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for forward Lauri Korpikoski.
"We are very pleased to re-acquire Boyd Gordon," said Maloney. "Boyd is an excellent defensive center who is one of the league's best in the face-off circle. He has a great work ethic and will add experience and leadership to our dressing room. We are excited to have him back."
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
Don Maloney nearly slipped out of the building unnoticed. The sly fox had already completed a mind-bending trade that was as much about salary cap gymnastics as hockey, but he played coy when I approached him just off the draft floor.
“I made a deal,” Maloney said. “A small one.”
While that characterization was technically true, the ramifications for the Arizona Coyotes and Philadelphia Flyers were rather large: Sam Gagner and a conditional draft pick to the Flyers for defenceman Nicklas Grossmann and Chris Pronger’s contract.
The perpetually capped-out Flyers will realize a savings of $7.28-million next season — assuming they buy out Gagner, which isn’t guaranteed — while Arizona moves $7.194-million closer to the cap floor, adds a defenceman and only takes on about $125,000 in actual salary commitments.
Working through the components of the trade, which included the Flyers retaining $500,000 of Grossmann's salary while dealing a future Hall of Famer who hasn't played since 2011, requires some heavy duty math.
What it all added up to is a creative bookkeeping maneuver for both teams.
from Frank Seravalli of TSN,
GLENDALE, ARIZONA – Arizona Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have acquired defenseman Nicklas Grossmann and the contract of defenseman Chris Pronger from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forward Sam Gagner and a conditional fourth round draft choice in 2016 or a third round draft choice in 2017.
The 30-year-old Grossmann registered 5-9-14 and 32 penalty minutes (PIM) in 68 games with the Flyers in 2014-15. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound native of Stockholm, Sweden has recorded 10-69-79 and 288 PIM in 531 career NHL games with the Flyers and Dallas Stars. Grossmann was originally drafted by the Stars in the second round (56th overall) in the 2004 Entry Draft.
Gagner collected 15-26-41 and 28 penalty minutes in 81 games with the Coyotes last season.
from Sarah McLellan of azcentral,
Until IceArizona triggered stability two years ago when it agreed to a 15-year arena management deal with the city of Glendale, the Coyotes had to promote a wobbly sales pitch to NHL free agents for the four consecutive summers they were in limbo.
And now that Glendale is trying to renege on that $225 million agreement, placing the team's future into further limbo, the Coyotes have morphed back into a destination plagued by off-ice issues.
The Coyotes can start finding out just how much this problem with Glendale has affected their image Thursday when the window for interviewing prospective unrestricted free agents opens.
"There are some players that we would really like to get, but we're going to find out whether, in fact, we're going to have any chance at all," General Manager Don Maloney said. "I plan to be very active as soon as the period opens to engage with people and see if there's interest in coming to us."
from Rick Westhea of TSN,
The city of Glendale has started to lay out its case for cancelling its $15-million-per-year arena management deal with the Arizona Coyotes.
City officials included details of their case for the first time in an 88-page document filed in Arizona Superior Court on Thursday. The documents were filed in connection with a city request to avoid making a $3.75-million payment due the Coyotes on July 1.
The city doesn't want to make the payment because last week, city council voted 5-2 to end the arena management deal with the Coyotes, a deal the team has said is crucial to its survival in the market. The team says the city must make the payment because it is for arena management services already provided over the last three months.
Without the arena management contract, an NHL source has told TSN the Coyotes will be forced to consider relocation.
Nevertheless, Glendale officials say that in cancelling the contract, they relied on a state statute that aims to prevent self-dealing for public-sector employees.
"Arizona's public policy in preventing self-dealing by government employees is so strong that a city may 'reap the fruits of the contract then void it,'" the city's legal filing says.
from Peter Corbett and Sarah McLellan of azcentral,
The public backlash against Glendale — on the airwaves and social media — has been harsh, but city leaders seem to be focusing more on the city's financial bottom line than the big-city dreams of their predecessors.
"I don't know why people are shocked about this," Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers said, explaining that three new City Council members who took office in December joined him and Vice Mayor Ian Hugh in pushing for a better arena deal.
Glendale pays the Coyotes $15 million annually to manage the arena, and its combined losses for the past two years on that deal will be more than $16 million.
Now, the stakes are even higher in the ongoing legal and political showdown. Unless a settlement can be reached, the financial fallout could be devastating for Glendale, the Coyotes and the city's businesses.
Taxpayers, workers and fans would also pay a heavy price.
"The longer this goes on, the more it contaminates the fan base," said David Carter, executive director of the Sports Business Institute at the University of Southern California. "When there is a crisis with ownership and the local municipality ... it weighs down the fans and leads to this downward spiral."
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Maybe there is a binding agreement in place that will keep the Coyotes in place for another year or three in Glendale, Ariz., and maybe there isn’t. Courts of law will decide the issue. As customary in Gary Bettman’s regime, league and ad hoc attorneys will be in for a windfall. Attorneys, by the way, whose fees aren’t capped and who pay no escrow.
But there is no reason other than the NHL’s institutional ego to maintain the franchise in Glendale that has been a money pit and source of unending drama essentially from its inception after yanking the Original Jets out of Winnipeg in 1996.
It’s been a two-decade soap opera replete with one inadequately financed owner after another, seasons apart in which the team was a ward of the state — was it 1999-2000 or 2000-01, I’m not sure now, during which the Rangers were prevented from trading for Nikolai Khabibulin and Keith Tkachuk because the Coyotes’ assets were frozen by Sixth Avenue? — and a series of unending court battles during which almost everyone connected with the franchise has been bled dry.
continued plus more topics....
Forget for a moment that the Coyotes’ long-running instability is a red flare for adding a team in a similar non-traditional hockey market such as Las Vegas.
Adding a team anywhere when the league doesn’t have its house in order with its 30 existing teams seems foolhardy.
Of course, for a share of the potential $500 million expansion fee from the Las Vegas ownership group, those 30 teams might be convinced to approve putting a team on Mars regardless of its practicality.
If the NHL has not committed to anything so far with expansion – as Bettman has repeatedly stated – it would hurt no one to wait on Las Vegas until this latest soap opera with the Coyotes plays out.
-Tom Gulitti of The Record where you can read more on this topic.
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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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