Sunday, August 30, 2009
RDS.ca reports that Alex Tanguay has agreed to a one-year deal with Tampa Bay.
"Selon ce que RDS a appris, Tanguay s'est entendu sur les termes d'un contrat d'un an avec le Lightning de Tampa Bay.
La formation de Tampa négocie depuis le début du mois de juillet pour tenter d'en arriver à une entente. Vincent Lecavalier et Martin St-Louis l'ont même contacté il ya deux semaines pour le convaincre de se joindre au Lightning.
Tanguay a récolté 16 buts et 25 aides en 50 rencontres avec le Canadien l'an dernier. L'attaquant de 29 ans en sera à sa quatrième équipe dans la LNH. Il a également joué pour l'Avalanche du Colorado et les Flames de Calgary."
Ok, just kidding... roughly translated:
"Done, Alex Tanguay has found a new line. Depending on what RDS has learned, Tanguay has agreed terms on a one-year contract with Tampa Bay.
Tampa had been negotiating since early July to try to reach an agreement. Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis contacted (Tanguay) two weeks ago to convince him to join the Lightning.
Tanguay collected 16 goals and 25 assists in 50 games with the Canadiens last year. The 29 year old sniper will be his fourth team in the NHL. He also played for the Colorado Avalanche and Calgary Flames."
Tanguay is a bit over-hyped. Once a consistent point-per-game producer, his supporters contend that his decline was due to missing more than thirty games last season and cumbersome defensive responsibilities under Mike Keenan in Calgary. Maybe his game is not in decline, and playing with high calibre line mates may revive his scoring touch in Tampa, but don't count on it.
Friday, August 28, 2009
"In exchange, the Canucks give up a pair of recent draft picks. Rahimi was selected in the third round in 2006, and played the last two seasons with the Manitoba Moose of the AHL. White was Vancouver's first round pick (25th overall) in 2007, and played last season for the University of Minnesota."
Thursday, August 27, 2009
We will begin with the Atlantic Division.
(+) New Jersey re-signed their best young centerman, Travis Zajac, and best over-all defenseman, Johnny Oduya, and also kept strong, veteran leader Shanahan. They have maintained plenty of available cap space to add at the trade deadline and in the years to come.
(-) The Devils lost mainstay winger Brian Gionta, and it remains to be seen if Nicklas Bergfors is up to the task of replacing his production. The team also waived goodbye to backup goaltenders Kevin Weekes and Scott Clemmensen, who carried the team last year in Brodeur’s absence. Should Brodeur fall victim to injury again, will Jeff Frazee be ready?
(+) Philadelphia traded for the much hyped blueliner, Chris Pronger. Pronger does improve their defensive core, but at what cost? Philly was unhappy with their goalie performance last season and replaced them with the enigmatic Ray Emery and Brian Boucher.
(-) The cost for Pronger was trading winger Joffrey Lupul and top defensive prospect Luca Sbisa. Pronger is still a good defenseman, but is not the player he was just a few years ago. The Flyers also parted ways with consistent winger Mike Knuble. Adding an aging, declining, suspension magnet in Pronger to a team with a penchant for the untimely penalty may not prove to be wise. To make matters worse, Philly signed Pronger to a long term extension that goes in effect after he turns 35, which means they will be responsible for the full term of the contract when he will be 42 years old. The team will also miss the 50+ goals of Lupul and Knuble, and could suffer a major headache with the explosive Emery should things no go well for him. Although there has been much ado over the addition of Pronger, the Flyers have hurt themselves more than any other team in the Atlantic.
(+) The Isles used the number one overall draft choice to stir excitement in their fan base and reel in ultra-talented center John Tavares. Tavares will be given a shot to play right away with their other young guns Kyle Okposo and Josh Bailey. Since their star goalie Rick DiPietro’s health is still in question, the Isles secured the position by adding two potential starters in net with Dwayne Roloson and Marty Biron. Should DiPietro return to form, the team has excellent trade value on their hands come deadline time. Off the ice, the Isles have made positive strides securing a new arena which would stabilize the franchise and provide much needed new revenue streams.
(-) The team has lots of young talent, but the Isles would have benefited by adding a few more veterans to show the young guys how to get it done. With three of their best skaters all under the age of 21, it may take longer than Islander fans would like for this team to make progress in the standings.
(+) The reigning Stanley Cup Champions re-signed the popular, gritty, leader it needed in Bill Guerin and also brought back playoff performer, Ruslan Fedotenko at reduced costs. The team has few holes and has already shifted its off-season focus to re-signing next year’s potential free agents Sergei Gonchar and Kris Letang.
(-) Pittsburgh lost defensemen Rob Scuderi and Hal Gill. Scuderi made the hockey world take notice with his spectacular play in last years playoffs. Scuderi and Gill were paired together as the Pens shutdown tandem. It will vital for newcomer Jay McKee to pick up the slack defensively.
(+) New York made a big splash trading away cap albatross Scott Gomez and prospects for Chris Higgins and prospects. Not only did the Rangers clear cap space, but also received a consistently productive forward in Higgins at a fraction of the cost. In addition they signed uber UFA Marian Gaborik and picked up the versatile Vinny Prospal who can fill a number of roles.
(-) In losing Gomez, Nikolai Zherdev, Nik Antropov and Colton Orr the Rangers begin the new season without their top three scorers and an enforcer skilled enough to play all 82 games. Gaborik is a deadly sniper when healthy, but has been extremely fragile. If he cannot stay in the lineup, the Blueshirts have another bad contract to add to the pile. New York signed Donald Brashear to fill the void left by Orr’s departure, but paid too much for a guy who just won’t be up to the job. The team also has to decide what to do with talented forward Brandon Dubinsky. He has shown flashes of talent, but is looking to get paid as if he has arrived. Higgins, Prospal and Gaborik are a boom or bust trio. Gaborik is the lynchpin. If he cannot get it done, it will be a major setback to the organization.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
However, we were informed that the Winter Classic Ticket Drawing Registration opens September 15 at 12 noon ET to the general public.
Lloyd: ...What are my chances?
Mary: Not good.
Lloyd: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?
Mary: I'd say more like one out of a million. [pause]
Lloyd: So you're telling me there's a chance... *YEAH!*
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Not that long ago, the KHL was a great option for those not yet ready or able to play in the NHL. The now deceased, New York Rangers draft pick Alexei Cherepanov was a prime example. It also has served as a nearer-to-home, big money, farewell tour for overage stars like Jaromir Jagr and more recently, Sergei Fedorov.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
- The current ownership cannot get anything right.
- The NHL has approved only one of the three bids by new ownership groups.
- Creditors favor a bid that the NHL unanimously rejected.
The current ownership cannot get anything right. U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Redfield T. Baum must conduct a contempt hearing for current Coyotes "owner" Jerry Moyes, his wife, and their attorneys for “willfully violating” a confidentiality order.
Why? "Attorneys for Moyes posted confidential documents to the public docket last week. The documents were later removed, but Glendale sought the contempt order on Monday, saying the city was “absolutely outraged” by the release of the information." -AP
Why is this a big deal to the city of Glendale where the Coyotes play? The documents showed that the bid submitted by Jerry Reinsdorf had included a negotiated special taxing district to be created near the arena that would pay the new owners as much as $23 million next year. Additionally, if after five years, the team was still losing money, Glendale would have to pay $15 million for each year of losses or allow the team to be sold and moved without penalty. The Arizona Cardinals, for one, are opposed to this special taxing district, citing it "as an unfair and improper transfer of funds from the Cardinals' fans to Mr. Reinsdorf's group" ... clearly the release of these documents is an unending headache.
The NHL has approved one of the three bids by new ownership groups. Reinsdorf's bid was the only one to gain approval by the NHL's Board of Governors. The Board, most certainly, finds this bid most appealing because Reinsdorf has a proven, successful track record as owner of Chicago's Bulls and White Sox, and was the only bid to focus keeping the franchise solely in Arizona. Thanks to Moyes' attorneys, we are all "magically" privy to how Reinsdorf is attempting to make it happen in Glendale.
Creditors favor a bid that the NHL unanimously rejected. Team owner Jerry Moyes opposes the Reinsdorf deal, which would give him little or no money. (duh) He supports a proposal by Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie to buy the team for $212.5 million and move it to Hamilton, Ontario. That deal would give Moyes about $100 million. The NHL has unanimously rejected Balsillie as an owner. Creditors like Balsillies group, as the most lucrative bid means more debt settled!
The AP reports that Judge Baum "ruled Wednesday that all bids for the financially ailing Coyotes, those to keep the team in Arizona or to move it elsewhere, would be accepted for the Sept. 10 auction. He specifically said the US$212.5-million offer from Balsillie, the Canadian billionaire who twice before tried to move an American team to Canada, would be considered."
Basillie's "Make it 7" group (if you have not been following along, moving the team to Hamilton would make 7 teams in Canada) is already celebrating:
"Balsillie spokesman Bill Walker praised the judge's
However (this is the part where I give my "all-important" opinion), regardless of the outcome of the auction, this court does not have the authority to force the NHL's Board of Governors to accept the "winning" bidder as owners.
The third bidding group has a hybrid scheme to keep the team in Glendale, but they propose to play some "home games" in Canada... and their bid amount is low, so we give them no chance in this.
If Reinsdorf is awarded the franchise, Glendale is forced to take it on the chin and faces community backlash to the nth degree. If Balsillie wins, the court must invalidate the team's arena lease. Glendale, therefore, takes it on the chin again and Balsillie must gain NHL BoG approval.
The League may or may not be opposed to Balsillie as an owner himself, despite his checkered and somewhat shady past with prior ventures. Yet, I believe the bigger hurdle is the location, or in this case, relocation itself.
If by some miracle, Balsillie wins at auction, gets the judge to release them from the arena lease obligations and gains approval from the league... there is still a little matter of pacifying, not 1, but 2 existing franchises in Buffalo and Toronto who would suffer market infringement from a Hamilton team. A whole new battle begins.
To appease both markets, most likely a relocation fee would be paid to both franchises, which would then be expected to be distributed, proportionately, with the other 27 league franchises. A fee large enough to satisfy all interested parties probably would be too costly, when added to the purchase price, for Hamilton to be profitable for quite some time and the league has another Phoenix on its hands.
If hockey fans in Hamilton are "thirsting for this team," as Bill Walker claims, they better enjoy "drinkin' the Kool-Aid" now because its not gonna happen. There are no winners here. Oh nooo, indeed!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
He hopes you forget his childish, public, diatribe against Eric Lindros and his parents. He hopes you forget how he handled replacing former Flyer coach Roger Neilson while on medical leave. “Roger got cancer - that wasn't our fault. We didn't tell him to go get cancer. It's too bad that he did. We feel sorry for him, but then he went goofy on us.” (Yeah, I know what you are thinking, that IS an actual quote.)
…and now he hopes you forget the state of the NHL before the lockout.
Alan Bass of the Hockey News recently published an article entitled, "Backchecking: Clarke continues legacy in front office", in which Clarke, commenting on how his team approaches staying competitive, was quoted:
“ ‘We were allowed to spend the money, we always tried to win,’ Clarke said. ‘We didn’t do what Pittsburgh did; lose seven years in a row so they could get good. They did it twice, in fact. They went through six or seven different owners. We’ve had one owner.’
Clarke finds the strategies of some current teams appalling when considering the way other organizations have built competitive teams. ’It’s somewhat embarrassing that three of the last teams (in the 2009 playoffs) missed the playoffs six or seven years in a row; Washington, Chicago, and Pittsburgh,’ he said. ‘Now they’re good and the teams that try to win all the time get penalized. Our philosophy has never changed since 1967.’ ”
Don’t get me wrong, rivalries are great for any game, but the facts, like many of Clarke’s antics, make Bobby look ridiculous.
Prior to the ’04-’05 lockout, the NHL had clearly divided into the haves and the have-nots. Never was this more evident than the ’03-’04 season when 7 of the NHL’s 30 teams had payrolls in excess of $60 million (Flyers $65.1m) and 11 had payrolls of less than $35 million (Penguins $26.6m). In fact, had it not been for the complete ineptitude of the NY Rangers that season, the Atlantic Division standings would have read as a straight roll call of descending payrolls.
The losing “seven years in a row so they (Pittsburgh) could get good” Clarke must have been referring to, are the ’99-’00 to ’06-’07 seasons, when the Flyers nearly doubled the payroll of the Penguins in that span.
Typical of the situation for many teams in the former, dichotomous structure, Philadelphia enjoyed massive revenue advantages in the form of favorable local television and arena deals. Owner Ed Snider is also the Chairman of Comcast Spectacor, a Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment company which owns the Philadelphia Flyers, the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA, the Philadelphia Phantoms of the minor AHL, the Wachovia Center, the Wachovia Spectrum, the regional sports network Comcast SportsNet and Global Spectrum, an international facilities management company.
Pittsburgh meanwhile, was mired in a financial disaster, created by the former ownership group, who had tried to spend like Ed Snider, but lacked the one important commodity, known as cash to do it successfully. The Penguins also toiled in the oldest arena in the league, with no promise of a new one.
Clarke was only echoing the sentiments of the aforementioned Flyers owner, Ed Snider. In 2008, after being eliminated by the Penguins in the Conference Final, Snider was quoted:
"Let's face it, you get rewarded for being the worst team in the league, so Pittsburgh has all these great players for being lousy for so many years," Snider said Monday during a rare locker-room visit. "That part I don't like so much. I've never been in favor of the draft the way it is."
Honestly, what team hopes to lose, nevermind struggle for survival for multiple years?
Did the Steinbrenner’s ever attack the Tampa Bay Rays for “tanking it to get better”? No, because even they are not that ridiculous.
It was MLB-like, situational differences between the franchises like the Flyers and Penguins that made the lockout necessary. Bobby Clarke (and Ed Snider too) just hopes you forget the details.