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Look for the team to move to Seattle if the sale of the Sacramento Kings to hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is finalized. The NBA team’s prospective new owners want to move the Kings to Seattle where they plan on opening a new arena in two years. Two teams in one building is better economics. Quebec, the former home of the Colorado Avalanche, has also been mentioned as a viable place for the Coyotes to go. It is. Quebec City has broken ground on a new arena. But NHL commissioner Gary Bettman wants the league to be coast-to-coast. And with Jets moving from Atlanta to Winnipeg last season the NHL doesn’t want its sponsors and U.S. television partner, NBC Sports, thinking the league is contracting geographically.
Various sources are reporting that the potential deal for Jamison to buy the Coyotes is falling apart. Today he was denied a lease extention which indicates that he is having serious difficulty coming up the the funds to purchase the NHL team.
Brent Sopel is BACK? The Gritty hard nose defenseman who helped Chicago win a cup has been reportly talking to teams about making a return to the NHL. Sopel left the NHL after the 2010-11 season and has been playing for Metallurg Novokuznetsk of the KHL. Sopel played in 47 games registering 2 goals and 6 assists and serving 33 penalty minutes. Sopel was drafted 144th Overall by the Vancouver Canucks in 1995 and had his most productive season during the 2003-04 campaign registering 10 goals, 32 assists and 36 penalty minutes in 80 games. Sopel played for 6 NHL teams over the span of 13 NHL seasons. Sopel turned 36 this month. Sopel will surely provide grit and leadership to any of the many teams struggling on defense.
WELCOME BACK BRENT!
What team do you think should go after Sopel?
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Now, I am sure that I have missed players. You can add them in the other field.
Tim Connoly has now been assigned to the Marlies. You would have to think that Nonis will try to move him and retain contract.
— hockeytraderumors (@hockeytraderumo) January 18, 2013
Things certainly start with a bang Jan. 19.
The defending champion Los Angeles Kings, who defeated the New Jersey Devils in a six-game Final last June, raise their banner before a matinee game (3 p.m. ET) against the Chicago Blackhawks that will be carried by NBC in the U.S. and CBC in Canada. Both networks will cover the pregame ceremony.
A riveting playoff rematch is the other matinee TV game that Saturday: The Pittsburgh Penguins visit the Philadelphia Flyers to renew acquaintances in the battle for Keystone State bragging rights. NBC will carry that game regionally after the Kings’ banner raising.
Canadian fans will enjoy a CBC triple-header on Opening Night. In the afternoon, the Ottawa Senators visit the Winnipeg Jets. Then, at 7 p.m. ET, the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Montreal Canadiens to renew their passionate Original Six rivalry. Finally, the Anaheim Ducks close out the night with a game against the Vancouver Canucks at 10 p.m. ET.
Three nights later, Canada’s TSN kicks off its national coverage with a doubleheader: Winnipeg at the Washington Capitals (7 p.m. ET), and the San Jose Sharks at the new-look Edmonton Oilers (9:30 p.m. ET).
Although a few years old here is a video with lots of great hits to welcome back to the NHL.
— Alex Seixeiro (@alexfan590) January 9, 2013
So we are all now in the glory knowing that NHL hockey is set to resume very shortly. Quick question though …. who do you dislike more, Bettman or Fehr? Why Who won the lockout?
Goaltender Roberto Luongo issued a tweet on Sunday that said: “So (what) do we do now?”
Many Toronto fans may be asking the same question after months of speculation over whether the veteran goaltender with the 12-year contract will be joining the Maple Leafs from the Vancouver Canucks for the lockout-shortened NHL season.
The players emerged from the room around midnight and scurried down the hotel escalator past reporters, unwilling to share much, if anything.
The smiles on some of their faces, however, suggested it wasn’t a bad day at all.
As one player would later share via text message to ESPN.com, “There was certainly traction. But I don’t want to say more.”
That cautious optimism — the key word being cautious — was on full display when NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA outside counsel Steve Fehr stood shoulder to shoulder in a joint media availability after the marathon sessions, Fehr calling it possibly the best day in the entire process, while Daly nodded in agreement.
But other than that, both sides were tight-lipped. Like a pitcher working on a no-hitter through six innings, it’s too early to get too excited.
I’d be ready to say this, however: I’m willing to bet there’s a far greater chance of hockey this season than not after Tuesday’s developments.
At the center of this fragile momentum is the presence of the Pittsburgh Penguins, led by reclusive billionaire owner Ron Burkle, who shined brightly in talks Tuesday, according to sources, the players receptive to his tone.
Burkle’s first appearance in labor talks comes at a critical time in the process, with both sides having tried nearly everything else — mediation, large group meetings, small group meetings, etc.
After an awkward, five-month exit from the St. Louis Blues as president of hockey operations, John Davidson finally became a free agent yesterday when his contract buyout was completed.
Don’t expect him to stay on the market long, even though the NHL is mired in a frigid lockout.
“If the phone rings, I’ll listen,” Davidson said. “That (Blues) chapter is closed. Now we open another one.”
Davidson, an NHL goaltender, broadcaster and executive during a 40-year career in the league, said he wanted to secure his departure from St. Louis before he began looking for his “next challenge.”
He did not rule out joining the Blue Jackets’ hockey operations department. Actually, he sounded quite intrigued by it, recalling a meeting on May 29 that he had with Blue Jackets majority owner John P. McConnell and president Mike Priest.
“The only team I’ve met with during this process is the Blue Jackets,” Davidson said. “And that was good. That was real good. I’d meet with them again, absolutely. We had a very productive discussion, just sharing thoughts and getting an understanding for what they feel about their franchise.
Well, it’s Day 9 of the NHL lockout, and there remains a distinct lack of urgency from the league and the NHLPA.
Even with 61 preseason games (and probably 1 per cent of hockey-related revenues) already wiped out, Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr have had hardly any negotiating sessions, prolonging a stalemate that appears its headed for at least December.
So if they’re not going to sit down and hammer this thing out, we’ll have to step in and act as an impartial mediator by putting together a compromise for both sides.
(In case you haven’t seen it, the two proposals currently on the table are spelled out in detail here.)
Those offers put the two sides at least $1-billion apart depending on how league revenues grow over the coming years, but there is a deal to be had somewhere in the middle of all this.
And the answer to how to settle this thing is with a new agreement neither side is going to like all that much.
Step 1: Let the players keep the $1.87-billion they earned last season – and not a penny more.
The union’s offer comes with a 2 per cent raise in Year 1, but it’s become clear in negotiations that that’s just not going to fly.
And the league wants players to take a big pay cut via escrow next season that won’t work either.
The players have dug in on this one, and it’s really not too much to ask in Year 1 of the deal. If NHL revenues grow at 6.3 per cent (which is roughly what they’ve averaged the last eight years minus the effects of the Canadian dollar), that $1.87-billion will drop the players’ share to 53.6 per cent.
And it’ll slowly trail down from there.
Trade Man is on holiday for another week or so. After that regular updates will resume as normal.
Shane Doan deadlines have been kind of like Roberto Luongo trade rumours.
The quantity has only been matched by the unreliability.
Doan has set another one for today. Greg Jamison indicated to Doan’s camp he could be in possession of the Phoenix Coyotes by today (yeah, right), or at least be in a position to say it’s going to happen soon (yeah, right).
If not, and there have been reports Jamison’s bid is unravelling, Doan’s agent Terry Bross vowed he will “begin aggressively negotiating with other teams.”
It’s about time he makes a deadline stick.
At this point, even if the Phoenix ownership situation stabilizes, there’s no guarantee the Coyotes, a franchise without much money, can even afford Doan. The market has been set, and it’s pricey.
The Red Wings could well add prize free agent defenseman Ryan Suter to their lineup today, but as the market opened Sunday, they already got started on forging a fiercer team.
They add a big, promising goaltender in Jonas Gustavsson, help for the power play in Mikael Samuelsson and grit in Jordin Tootoo. They also made forward Damien Brunner official, announcing they’d signed the coveted Swiss forward after he had agreed to terms last month.
The Wings are in the process of upgrading after losing in the first round of the playoffs in April, followed a month later by the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom and departure of Brad Stuart, both of whom were top-four defensemen. Their top targets are Suter and forward Zach Parise, and general manager Ken Holland made offers to both early Sunday afternoon. Neither was expected to make a decision before today, but the Wings are among the front-runners for Suter.
The Wings remain interested in Columbus superstar Rick Nash but are disadvantaged by needing to make an offer so sweet it will entice the Blue Jackets to trade the face of their franchise to a team within the Central Division.
The Rangers appear to have a considerable amount of cap space with which to maneuver in reconstructing for next year, but with the labor agreement set to expire on Sept. 15, it’s anybody’s guess as to exactly how much.
The Blueshirts will have approximately $20 million of space under a summer cap that’s likely to be in the neighborhood of $76M, but it’s impossible to know whether the 2012-13 cap will exceed, be equal to, or decrease from last season’s $64.3M when it’s reset under the new collective bargaining agreement.
Similarly, it is unknown whether any of the systems regulations will change as applied to calculating the cap, whether the players will ultimately accept a rollback (unlikely) if locked out (likely), and whether amnesty buyouts will be part of the picture.
The Wings had the option of using MacDonald in that role last season, and still pursued other goaltenders. They went after Tomas Vokoun when free agency began July 1, but couldn’t compete with Washington’s offer of $1.5 million and a shot at the starting spot. Ultimately, the Wings signed Ty Conklin, whom they had in ’08-09. There’s little chance Conklin will return after he went 5-6-1 with a 3.28 GAA and .884 save percentage.