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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.