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Tag:Phoenix Coyotes
Posted on: August 11, 2011 11:32 pm
 

Report: Canadian group eyeing Coyotes purchase

By Brian Stubits

Earlier this week a report surfaced out of Arizona that two groups were still negotiating to buy the fledgling Phoenix Coyotes franchise. Considering how the process has gone since the NHL has owned the team beginning in 2009, skepticism was naturally high.

Then came a report on Thursday night from the Business Journal that a Canadian group with plenty of cash is formulating a plan to purchase the team. All of a sudden there is hope again in the desert, something that hadn't been in high supply since Matthew Hulsizer withdrew from the process.

The report goes on to say that in the proposal at this point, there would a seven-year out clause where the owners could relocate the franchise if market conditions don't improve. That's a pretty substantial amount of time for the fans in Arizona to prove their desire to keep the team or not and would have to be considered amply fair.

It goes on to say the deal could possibly be approved by the NHL in the coming days.

Reaching a deal soon (relatively speaking) is imperative to keeping the team in Arizona. The city of Glendale still has $25 million set aside to cover any operating costs the team might have to pay, but it's not clear whether or not that money would be available for another season, with the answer likely be no.

Also from the Journal, one of Hulsizer's biggest hurdles seems to be less of an issue with this potential ownership group.

A $40 million to $50 million contribution by Glendale towards the purchase could avoid a lawsuit promised by the Goldwater Institute Goldwater watchdog group. Glendale wanted to make available $100 million worth of bonds to help Hulsizer [buy] the team, but that deal fell apart in part because of Goldwater's legal opposition.

As promising as this latest development might sound, it would still be wise to tamper enthusiasm. They have been closer in the past to getting a deal reached with a new owner only to have it fall apart. But hopefully for the fans in the desert, this is more than just another mirage.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 11, 2011 10:16 am
Edited on: August 11, 2011 10:54 am
 

Daily Skate: Kovalev's burden, U.S. Juniors lose

By Brian Stubits

TOO GOOD FOR HIS OWN GOOD: Since Alexei Kovalev left the NHL to go to Russia's KHL, he fired some shots at Ottawa and then took plenty of shots in return. That's all on top of the criticism he's heard throughout his career. You know them: He doesn't play every game, he's hockey's Randy Moss, all talent and no heart, etc. Scott Cullen of TSN penned a column about Kovalev suffering the curse of being supremely talented and thus having expectations through the roof.

USA JUNIORS DROP: As the Junior camp rolls on in Lake Placid for Team USA and they try to whittle down the roster to the final 22, the Americans are playing some exhibition games. On Wednesday they squared off with the Swedes and fell 4-1. The only score of the U.S. came from Florida Panthers draftee Vincent Trocheck. The USA has two more games remaining at the camp, one rematch with Sweden and one against Finland.

SMASHING TICKET SALES: The Predators haven't had the best offseason on record, but it's not stopping them from selling tickets (Ticketnews.com). The numbers are up across the board for season ticket sales in Nashville, and in a rare site an NHL team is actually outperforming an NFL team (the Tennessee Titans). The team's first playoff series victory seems to be helping, as does the slight rebranding to further align themselves with Nashville's rich music history.

BIG RED BIRD III: The Detroit Red Wings showed off their new airplane on Wednesday that they will use this season, named Red Bird III. Take a look at these pictures (Hockey Town Blog). There are a multitude of reasons players want to go play for the Wings, but comfort in the sky like this will only hope give another reason.

DESERT SIGNING: The Phoenix Coyotes made a small move yesterday, re-signing forward Viktor Tikhonov to a one-year, two-way contract. In the AHL last season, he had 10 goals and 23 assists for the San Antonio Rampage. AZ Vibe says the deal contains a "European Assignment Clause" meaning if he isn't playing with the Coyotes, he can play in the KHL.

HOCKEY MEETS SOCCER: Perhaps soccer is just on the brain after Jurgen Klinsmann made his U.S. coaching debut last night and the announcement that NBC and the network formerly known as Versus will be showing MLS games. But check out these hockey-meets-soccer jerseys that were mocked up by majupra.imgur.com. Can't figure out why, but I find myself liking the nauseating Canadiens stripes (and red jersey).

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 9, 2011 9:43 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 1:40 pm
 

A look at what's being tested at RDO Camp

rdoBy: Adam Gretz

The NHL will be holding its Research, Development and Orientation camp in Ontario next week, an event that helps the league test potential rule changes. They will be using 30 prospects, as well as head coaches Dan Bylsma (Pittsburgh) and Dave Tippett (Phoenix) to test the potential changes, ranging from no-touch icing, hybrid icing and no line changes for a team guilty of being offside, among many, many others.

Dan Rosen at NHL.com has a complete rundown of everything that will be tested (and there's a ton of stuff going on), as well as a schedule for each day.

A couple of the proposals that will be tested that stand out to me:

1) REMOVAL OF THE TRAPEZOID Yes. A thousand times yes. Implemented after the lockout as part of the effort to increase goal scoring across the league, it put a restriction on goaltenders leaving their crease and going into the corners to play the puck, limiting players that had spent years improving their puckhandling ability (guys like Martin Brodeur, Marty Turco, etc.). When I spoke with Phoenix's Mike Smith a couple of weeks ago, a goaltender that's regarded to be a strong puckhandler, we talked about this briefly and you can probably count him as somebody else that's probaby in favor of giving goaltenders more freedom. Limiting the movement of players on the ice (which this rule does) just seems to go against what the game is all about. And if your goaltender can't handle the puck effectively, well, he either needs to improve that aspect of his game or your team needs to find a goaltender that's capable of doing it.

2) NO ICING PERMITTED WHILE SHORTHANDED Now here's a way to potentially increase scoring, at least as far as the power play is concerned. By calling icing in shorthanded situations (you're currently allowed to ice the puck while on the penalty kill, which is the only advantage the shorthanded team has) you're going to increase the number of offensive zone faceoffs for teams on the power play, which is bad news for teams that are down a man. The dangers of defensive zone faceoffs are obvious -- the closer a team starts to the net it's trying to score on, the better chance it has of getting a shot on goal and scoring if it can win the faceoff (you can read more about the dangers of Defensive Zone Faceoffs by clicking here). And this is true in even-strength situations, let alone power play/penalty kill situations. Not a huge fan of this one as it gives teams on the power play yet another sizable advantange. Playing a man up (or two) is enough. A couple of years the NHL made it so every power play starts in the offensive zone, regardless of where the offending team gained control the puck to draw the whistle on a delayed penalty call.

3) OVERTIME VARIATIONS The current tiebreaking procedure in the NHL consists of five minutes of four-on-four sudden death overtime, followed by a shootout if the tie is not broken. The shootout has been a polarizing addition to the league, and last year the NHL took a small step toward reducing its impact by not including shootout wins as part of the tiebreaking procedure in the standings.

Another way to help reduce its impact (and the number of shootouts) is to give teams more overtime to play with, including several minutes with fewer players on the ice.

One idea that will be tested will be to switch ends, play four minutes of four-on-four hockey and then, if the tie is still not broken, switch ends again and play three minutes of three-on-three hockey. After seven minutes of four-on-four and three-on-three hockey it stands to reason that, given the amount of talent that will be on the ice and the additional room that will be out there, somebody will manage to get a goal and break the tie before a shootout is required. I like this idea quite a bit and would like to see it get some serious consideration, if for no other reason than the potential to see some of the three-on-three lineups teams like Pittsburgh, Detroit, Washington, Vancouver or Chicago could throw out there, and the type of back-and-forth hockey that would follow.

Just because these are being tested doesn't mean the rules will be changed or added to the league, it's simply a way to see them in action and take a test drive.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: August 9, 2011 2:33 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2011 2:41 pm
 

Report: Two potential buyers in on Coyotes talks

By Brian Stubits

It's the neverending franchise-selling story. The Phoenix Coyotes still have a desert future hanging in the balance and after Matthew Hulsizer dropped his bid to buy the team, that future looked bleak.

But there might be a beacon of hope again. Make that two beacons.

Mike Nealy, Coyotes COO, said that the team continues to hear from two potential buyers, according to Arizona Republic reporter Lisa Halverstadt. Who those suitors are is not known. They have asked to remain anonymous as negotiations go on. Halverstadt says both names are known in the sports world, however. (Jerry Reinsdorf still around, perhaps?)

Expect news to pick up when Glendale City Council members return from their summer recess. The stated goal by the council is to have everything wrapped up come fall. At this point, with how long the search has been going and all the hurdles that have been placed as obstacles, that seems a bit on the optimistic side. Just a touch

Stay tuned. I'm sure in a couple months there will be three potential buyers, none of which are currently in the mix.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Posted on: August 6, 2011 1:14 pm
 

Daily Skate: Avery talks arrest

By: Adam Gretz

"IT'LL ALL WORK OUT AT SOME POINT" Those are the words of New York Rangers agitator Sean Avery when talking about his recent arrest. The New York Post caught up with Avery after he posted $20,000 bond on the battery charge and sounded confident everything would eventually work itself out. He was arrested on Thursday night after the police were called to his home during a party, where he allegedly called them "fat little pigs" and challenged them to a fight.

BIGGER ROLE FOR CLEARY? Since joining the Red Wings six years ago, Daniel Cleary was able to jumpstart his career. He had a career year last season, scoring 26 goals in just 68 games, finishing second on the team in goals, trailing only Johan Franzen. Can he not only repeat that success, but also build on it in 2011-12? That's what Helen St. James of the Detroit Free Press tried to answer. Cleary has proven to be a great find for the Red Wings, and after struggling to find a consistent role with Chicago, Edmonton and Phoenix early in his career, he's become a nice complementary piece in Detroit.

ANOTHER CHANCE FOR O'SULLIVAN Patrick O'Sullivan's career has been a disappointment to this point but the former second-round pick is getting another look this season, signing a one-year, two-way deal with the Phoenix Coyotes. Originally selected by Minnesota with the 56th overall pick in 2003, he's already played for four teams in five years, scoring 56 goals in 311 games. He managed to score two goals in 31 games last season, which he split between Minnesota and Carolina.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: August 1, 2011 8:59 pm
 

Report: Blues owner sets deadline; Hulsizer out?

By Brian Stubits

Last week the Dallas Stars took another step toward selling the franchise to a new owner and moving on to the next era. The St. Louis Blues are about to do the same. But they look like they will be down one prospective owner.

According to Andy Strickland at truehockey.com, current owner Dave Checketts has set a deadline of August 22 for interested buyers to put in their formal offers. One name who might not be among the list of entrants is Matt Hulsizer (pictured), the Chicago businessman who pursued the Coyotes for some time before throwing in the towel.

After he withdrew from the scene in Phoenix, Hulsizer said he maintained interest in owning an NHL franchise and the prevailing wisdom was that he would court the Blues. The problem, Strickland says, is the asking price might be too high for Hulsizer's taste, which is supposedly around the $200 million mark.

If Hulsizer is out on both the Blues and Coyotes (and not in the Stars equation), it will be interesting to see where he might show up again. The market is getting pretty thin.

Another name in the hunt is Tom Stillman, who is currently a minority owner of the team. He is trying to assemble a group to make a bid on the team themselves.

Much like the Stars, Checketts hopes to have the team sold by early October and the start of the season.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: July 29, 2011 10:27 am
 

Daily Skate: Modano sounds done; new cities?

By Brian Stubits

MODANO DONE? There is still no word from Mike Modano on if he has played his final game in the NHL, but the smart bet is that he has. In an interview with a Dallas radio station, he largely affirmed that believe, but wouldn't go as far as to confirm it. "I don't know. I think that was the swan song," Modano said. So are you officially retiring? "Not yet," Defending Big D has all the details on the radio interview and says that it's hard to come away from it believing anything but Modano's career is finished.

LOCATIONS FOR RELOCATION: The Atlanta Thrashers just became the Winnipeg Jets. Soon the New York Islanders and Phoenix Coyotes could be on the move as well, if things don't go their ways. There really are no Plan Bs in either city, so it's a boom or bust scenario. But Kevin McGran at the Toronto Star points out that serious problem in the relocation aspect ... relocate where? Quebec City is the first city on the list, but it doesn't have an arena. At least it does have potential owners who could build an arena by 2015 (when the Isles lease runs out). But others? Kansas City has an arena with no prospective owner. Same goes for Houston. Seattle doesn't have a suitable arena and no apparent serious owners. I'm still wondering why Milwaukee is never in this conversation. Perhaps it would be time to consider Hamilton, Ontario.

LOONEY TIMES: Former Detroit Red Wing Darren McCarty made a brief return to professional sports on Thursday, joining the Dodgers' Class A affiliate, the Great Lakes Loons, as a player for a day (Detroit Free Press). Unfortunately, McCarty didn't actually play in the game, he just signed autographs throughout as part of a Red Wings legends series. What I want to know is if he would have jumped in the fray if there had been a basebrawl. That would have been a time to have McCarty on your side, now wouldn't it?

KICKIN' KICKS: Paul Bissonnette is, thanks to Twitter, one of hockey's best-known personalities at this point. The Coyotes fourth-liner just got some awesome new shoes that seem to fit his personality ... and his team. The Biz tweeted out a picture of his custom Coyotes high tops that, as you might have guessed, are red. Take a look. I think he should have custom-made skates to match.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: July 26, 2011 10:34 am
 

Daily Skate: Yashin still looking, Boogaards talk

By Brian Stubits

STILL LOOKING: So far, the NHL interest in Alexei Yashin has come from one source, his former team in the Islanders. But that doesn't mean the 37-year-old is packing up for a return to Long Island yet. Yashin continues to consider all of his options -- which include multiple teams from the KHL. "There's not any rush to make a decision," Yashin told Newsday. So imagine this: The Isles could be rejected by somebody they once dumped (and are still paying) to go play in a league other than the NHL? Ouch.

BOOGAARD STATEMENT: As if grieving over the loss of Derek wasn't enough, the Boogaard family is now struggling with the charges brought against Derek's younger brother Aaron, who has been accused of providing Derek with the prescription drugs that contributed to Derek's death. Older brother Ryan released a statement for the family, expressing their disappointment in the authorities for the charges and maintaining everything will be set straight when Aaron has his day in court.

PROUD NEW PAPA: The Coyotes' Keith Yandle and his wife Krystin welcomed their first child on Monday, baby Mila according to teammate Paul Bissonnette. It's always nice to have this happen in the middle of the offseason so Yandle doesn't have to miss any time ... both with his team and his family.

LITTLE BITZ OF A MOVE: The Vancouver Canucks made a small acquisition on Monday, signing right winger Byron Bitz to a contract. Bitz, 27, comes over from the Florida Panthers after sitting out all of last season due to a sports hernia. He played seven games with the Panthers in 2009-10 after he was traded from Boston in a deal that shipped Dennis Seidenberg northward. How'd that one work out, Boston? In 87 career games in the NHL, Bitz has nine goals and nine assists. He is a big body that fits on a third or fourth line, but he will be hard-pressed to make the NHL squad.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com