A Winnipeg columnist tees off on NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Senators prospect Mika Zibanejad to play in North America this season, Flames provide no update on new arena, and Canucks players and alumni participate in golf tournament honoring the memory of Rick Rypien.
WINNIPEG SUN: Paul Friesen takes NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to task for threatening what could be the third lockout during his stewardship of the league. Friesen assumes the Jets ownership, and those of other NHL cities making currently making big bucks, are happy with the current system, while also chiding the owners for pushing so hard for the current system in the first place.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Overall, I share Friesen’s disdain for the league’s current stance, but he’s fooling himself if he believes the Jets owners are happy with the current system. Sure, they’re making lots of money from it, but they also see an opportunity here to try and make even more for themselves at the expense of the players. Friesen almost makes it sound as though this is all Bettman’s doing and the owners are just along for the ride. The owners are the ones seeking more givebacks from the players whilst paying lip service to revenue-sharing. Bettman is doing his job by negotiating on their behalf.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators prospect Mika Zibanejad will either play in Ottawa or their AHL affiliate this season.
CALGARY HERALD: The Flames lease agreement on the Saddledome expires in 2014, raising speculation over a new arena. So far, the Flames are tight-lipped on the subject.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s understandable why the Flames want a new arena, as the current one is 30 years old now, one of the oldest in the league, and the club could benefit from a modern, large venue. Still, the Saddledome is also among the more iconic arenas in the league, due largely to its distinctive shape. It’ll be a shame to lose that.
VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks players and alumni are participating in a golf tournament honoring the memory of Rick Rypien, who took his own life last summer at 27. The proceeds will benefit mental health initiatives.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A worthy cause, and good to see Rypien hasn’t been forgotten by his old teammates.