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Afternoon Line- Craig Morgan On Coyotes/Glendale

added 12:45pm, via Morgan tweets,

If Council approves amendments, city & team will reach settlement that will keep Coyotes at Gila River Arena for at least next 2 seasons.

Per terms of deal, Coyotes would collect all hockey-related revenue that previously went to COG (naming rights, tix surcharges, parking rev)

City would pay $6.5M a year to Coyotes to manage arena. Out-clause that was part of the original 15-year, $225M agreement would be removed.

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Among the East’s ‘Also-Rans’: Have the Panthers improved?

SI's Allan Muir looks at the Eastern Conference's "also-ran" (i.e. non-playoff) teams, determining whether their summertime moves have improved the respective 8 non-playoff finishers or whether the teams are just treading water, and he discusses a team not talked about very much in the Florida Panthers:

Florida Panthers (91 points, 10th)

You have to give them credit. The Panthers proved to be surprisingly competitive last season, far exceeding expectations for a roster that relied so heavily on youth and fading glory. They’ll go with a similar formula next fall, hoping that youngsters such as Aaron Ekblad and Jonathan Huberdeau continue to progress and veterans like Jaromir Jagr have more than fumes in the tank.

The team’s one major move of the summer saw it ship out one inconsistent forward in Jimmy Hayes for another in Reilly Smith. The former Bruin is the more established of the two with 33 goals and 91 points during the past two seasons, and he fills a need at right wing created by the buyout of Brad Boyes. As far as upgrades go, it’s not going to get Florida over the hump. Unless GM Dale Tallon has something else up his sleeve, it looks like the Panthers are hoping for significant internal growth. That should keep them in the hunt, but they’ll need to catch a few breaks to make the cut.

Muir continues...

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  Tags: aaron+ekblad, dale+tallon, florida+panthers, jaromir+jagr, jimmy+hayes, jonathan+huberdeau, reilly+smith

Babcock on Lamoriello: ‘This was a home run for Mike Babcock’

Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock spoke with NHL.com's Dan Rosen regarding the Leafs' hiring of Lou Lamoriello as their general manager:

"Lou has been about winning," Babcock told NHL.com in a phone interview Thursday. "Lou is a guy who has pushed himself to get better every single day. I think a senior management guy joining our team, understanding what the vision and what the plan is, is a home run for all of us. Everyone concerns themselves with the team on the ice; the team off the ice precedes the team on the ice. I think we're set up very good."

Babcock said Lamoriello's experience and history of winning, including three Stanley Cup championships with the Devils (1995, 2000, 2003), will be especially important for Maple Leafs assistant general manager Kyle Dubas, director of player personnel Mark Hunter and assistant to the general manager Brandon Pridham.

Babcock said he has been impressed with Dubas, Hunter and Pridham since he was hired on May 20, but adding Lamoriello will give those young executives a sounding board.

"To bring in a guy like Lou, that gives those guys someone to talk to, someone to mentor them, someone to ask, 'Hey Lou, you've been through this 100 times, what do you think?'" Babcock said. "You have an experienced guy who is still passionate and still fired up about it and still wants to work. That's Lou. He loves hockey."

Babcock said he first met Lamoriello during the 2003 Stanley Cup Final, when he was coaching the Anaheim Ducks against the Devils. New Jersey won the series in seven games.

In the 12 years he's known Lamoriello, Babcock said every time he has spoken to him he has come away impressed. Babcock said he has gotten only positive reviews from the people who have worked for Lamoriello, including a recent review from former Devils coach Peter DeBoer.

"Every coach I've ever talked to about Lou, and most of them have been fired by him, love him," Babcock said. "I talked to Pete DeBoer the other day about him. He raves about him. Lou has got a way of doing things, but Lou is a smart, smart guy and just like all of us who are in the pursuit of knowledge and the pursuit of winning, we're sure willing to adjust to somebody who has a better idea. This was a home run for Mike Babcock."

Rosen continues...

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  Tags: kyle+dubas, lou+lamoriello, mark+hunter, mike+babcock, toronto+maple+leafs

Audio/Video- Lou Lamoriello’s Job In Toronto

via Sportsnet,

Chris Johnston joins Jeff Blair to speculate how new GM Lou Lamoriello might fit into the current Maple Leafs management group, and whether he’d be willing to embrace a lesser role than he’s used to.

Listen/watch below...

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: lou+lamoriello

LeBrun: Don Cherry should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame

Don Cherry remains a controversial figure, but as ESPN's Pierre LeBrun suggests, there's no doubt that Cherry is a Hall-of-Famer in waiting:

Don Cherry, Coach’s Corner, Hockey Night In Canada. They are staples of the soul of hockey. The impact that Grapes has had on our sport for decades from his pulpit at CBC is beyond measure.

At the heart of it all has always been Cherry’s care for youth hockey. He has spent more time in minor hockey rinks in the Greater Toronto Area than anyone alive. He has never forgotten about the grassroots of the sport.

Think about his impact decades ago when he urged minor hockey to put stop signs on the back of players’ sweaters in order to curb hitting from behind.

Think about his decades-old push for the elimination of the old icing rule for fear of dangerous injuries that had already wrecked some careers. The NHL finally listened.

I could go on and on, but Grapes and the sport of hockey are intertwined in so many ways that they are one.

LeBrun continues...

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  Tags: don+cherry

Rapid Twitter Reaction To The New GM In Toronto

 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The New GM Of The Toronto Maple Leafs Is Lou Lamoriello

from the Toronto Maple Leafs,

Brendan Shanahan, President and Alternate Governor of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced today that Lou Lamoriello has been named the 16th General Manager in the Club’s history. Lamoriello joins the Leafs after previously spending the last 28 years in the New Jersey Devils organization.

continued

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  Tags: lou+lamoriello

Lou Lamoriello Resigns As President Of The New Jersey Devils

Newark, NJ – After 28 years, including three Stanley Cup Championships, five Eastern Conference titles,andnine Atlantic DivisionChampionships, theNew Jersey Devilsco- owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer announced today that Lou Lamoriello has made the decision to resign as the team’s President in order to pursue other opportunities. He previously stepped aside as General Manager on May 4, when Ray Shero was named to the position.

“Lou Lamoriello created and defined what it meant to be a New Jersey Devil,” said Harris. "His brilliance in shaping this franchise into one of the most storied and celebrated organizations in sport will make him a New Jersey Devil for life. He represented this organization, our current and former players, the state of New Jersey, and the greatest fans in the National Hockey League in a manner that exemplified character, class, and dignity.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: lou+lamoriello

An Analytical Consultant For The Pittsburgh Penguins

from Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Hiring Sam Ventura as a consultant responsible for analytics only is the start, Penguins vice president of hockey operations Jason Karmanos insisted.

With hockey becoming more data-driven, building an analytics team is one of the Penguins' priorities, one over which Karmanos will have significant influence.

And one that started with the hiring of Ventura, a 27-year-old Swissvale native who, with Andrew Thomas, cofounded hockey analytics website war-on-ice.com.

“My hope is that over time we can build an analytics team,” Karmanos told Trib Total Media. “In order to do that correctly, ideally you would have full-time positions on staff. That's the goal. I think (hiring) Sam was a huge step in that direction.”

Ventura, who recently earned his Ph.D. in statistics from Carnegie Mellon, will start teaching there in the fall as he had planned.

continued

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The Financial Picture Of Quebecor

from Nelson Smith of The Motley Fool Canada,

Quebec City seems like a slam dunk expansion team. It’ll have deep-pocketed owners, as well as the goodwill surrounding professional hockey heading back to Quebec City. Add in the new arena, and there isn’t much the NHL can object to.

It also looks to be a great deal for Quebecor. Yes, the $500 million expansion fee is a steep price to pay, but having the rights to show every game will be a huge boost to the company’s sports channels. And let’s not forget about the opportunity to promote other Videotron services, including the company’s newest venture, wireless.

But should investors eager to invest in the NHL do it through Quebecor? That’s where things get a little more tricky.

The investment case for Quebecor

The first thing that concerns me about investing in Quebecor is its balance sheet. The company has more than $6 billion in total debt, compared to total assets of $9.3 billion. Intangible assets make up nearly $3.8 billion worth of the total assets.

Essentially, the company owes more than it owns if you exclude the intangible assets. That’s not good, especially considering how it would most likely have to borrow the $500 million expansion fee.

more

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

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