Happy Independence Day to my American readers. Get the latest on the Arizona Coyotes sale, Alexander Ovechkin voted to first and second team all-stars, Jarret Stoll rushed to hospital, updates on Tuukka Rask and Alex Pietrangelo, the latest contract buyouts and re-signings, and more.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: The saga of the
Phoenix Arizona Coyotes may not be over, for there’s an “out clause” allowing the new ownership to terminate its new lead agreement with the city of Glendale by year five if cumulative losses reach $50 million.
NATIONAL POST: Bruce Arthur reports the Glendale vote to keep the Coyotes was a decision to accept the lesser of two evils, agreeing to keep the team rather than pay someone else to maintain an empty arena.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Renaissance Sports and Entertainment, who now own the Coyotes, have their work cut out for them to make the Coyotes a money-maker in Glendale. The Coyotes are actually a well-managed, well-coached team which made the playoffs three of the past four years, and attendance has slowly improved in recent years. Still, the arena is located far from the metropolis of Phoenix, making it difficult to attract more fans. For the sake of Coyotes fans (and there’s more than a few hundred, jokers), I sincerely hope you won’t be going through this threat of relocation again in five years time, but I’m not optimistic.
SI.COM: The Professional Hockey Writers Association is in damage control mode after its members voted Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin to the NHL’s First All-Star team as a right wing (which he was for most of last season), and to the Second Team as a left wing.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The president of the PHWA notified the membership via e-mail of Ovechkin’s position change prior to the voting, so those who still voted for him as a left wing have no excuse for their error. Several hockey bloggers were quick to criticize the PHWA, and considering how some pundits look down their noses at bloggers, I don’t blame them. Prior to this incident there were calls for change on how the voting is conducted for NHL awards. The Ovechkin snafu could hasten that change.
CSNNE.COM: Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli is confident of getting RFA goalie Tuukka Rask under contract before July 5. It’s speculated Rask could receive an eight-year, $56 million contract.
STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo and winger Chris Stewart remain unsigned heading toward the start of the NHL free agency period on July 5. The duo are restricted free agents and would be eligible to receive offer sheets from rival clubs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s possible those two and Rask could become offer sheet targets if unsigned by July 5, though the decline in the salary cap this summer makes that less of a threat than if the cap went up.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: LA Kings center Jarret Stoll was rushed to hospital Wednesday morning after suffering a seizure at home. GM Dean Lombardi reports Stoll had a battery of tests done but otherwise was fine.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve heard nothing new regarding Stoll so I assume he’s now been released from hospital. Stoll has a history of concussions, so here’s hoping this isn’t a sign of a more serious condition.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Former NY Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro isn’t ready to retire and definitely wants to resume his NHL career.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s possible an NHL club takes a chance on the oft-injured DiPietro with an inexpensive one-year contract, but the odds appears stacked against him.
MINNESOTA WILD: yesterday announced their intent to use one of their compliance buyouts to shed the remainder of Tom Gilbert’s contract.
BUFFALO NEWS: The Buffalo Sabres waived winger Nathan Gerbe with the intent of buying him out.
SUNSENTINEL.COM: The Florida Panthers will buy out defenseman Filip Kuba.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks have re-signed defenseman Nick Leddy to a two year contract extension. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: The Dallas Stars have re-signed Jordie Benn to a three-year contract.