MLSE president Tim Leiweke to step down next year, goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere retires, plus updates on Johan Franzen, Simon Gagne, prospect Connor McDavid and more.
TORONTO STAR: A day after MLSE president and CEO Tim Leiweke denied rumors he was stepping down, it’s been revealed he will in fact be stepping down at the end of next June.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reaction and the possible impact for the Maple Leafs can be found in “Canadian Corner”.
THE DENVER POST: Goaltender J-S Giguere formally announced his retirement yesterday after 16 NHL seasons spent with the Hartford Whalers, Calgary Flames, Anaheim Ducks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Colorado Avalanche. His best seasons were with the Ducks, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2003 as playoff MVP and backstopping the Ducks to the Stanley Cup title in 2007.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Giguere’s retirement also represents the end of an era, as he was the last active NHL player from the Whalers. In my opinion Giguere was at his best in the 2003 Stanley Cup playoffs. Without his stellar play, the Ducks don’t make it to the Final.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Despite what Johan Franzen’s critics believe, he still has value for the Red Wings as a scorer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The concern about Franzen is largely based on his ridiculously-long contract. While it’s an affordable cap hit ($3.954 million annually) the contract carries him up to 2019-20, by which time he’ll be largely ineffective as a scoring forward.
TVA SPORTS: Simon Gagne acknowledged his invitation to the Boston Bruins training camp next month represents his last chance to renew his NHL career.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Top NHL prospect and Erie Otters star Connor McDavid recently created a stir with a visit to Buffalo.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres could be in line to land McDavid via next year’s NHL draft lottery if they have another poor finish. There’s speculation around the blogosphere that struggling teams (like the Sabres) could tank the season to improve their odds of landing McDavid. Given the way the lottery is weighted (and the recent changes to the lottery rules) there’s no guarantee any team which finishes near, or at, the bottom of the standings will secure the first overall pick and the right to select McDavid.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Rob Rossi catches up with former Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: The Bruins’ new practice arena will open in 2016, but what’s particularly notable about it is the fact any revenue earned from the club practicing at the facility is exempt from the NHL’s revenue-sharing program. Though the facility won’t be owned by the Bruins, they can still charge admission for fans to watch the club practice, plus “the rink will have a pro shop, where the Bruins can sell merchandise, and the team will be able to book corporate functions and sponsorships there.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: You’ve got to admire how the Bruins, and other team owners, can find loopholes in the CBA to work to their advantage. Not every team, can benefit from this sort of thing. Popular, big-market clubs will make a killing from this. Of course, this will become a significant point in the next round of CBA talks between the league and the NHLPA.